Saturday, 18 June 2016
Blog Tour - My Favourite Independent Bookshop
June 18-25th is Independent Bookshop Week and 2016 is the tenth year of this celebration. In conjunction with Orion's publication of How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry bloggers are being asked what is their favourite Independent book shop. Unfortunately I don't have a local independent book shop but when I was asked there could only be one answer, Chipping Norton's Jaffe and Neale.
Jaffe and Neale is in the centre of Chipping Norton, a town in the middle of the Cotswolds and is a bookshop and a café - can you think of a better combination? It is a fantastic shop, as soon as I walk in the door I feel like I am returning to see old friends. I found Jaffe and Neale when I visiting Chipping Norton's Literary Festival (Chiplitfest) three years ago and have returned every year since. The bookshop plays a big part in the festival weekend, becoming the hub of the festival for visitors, guests and volunteers. Pop up shops also appear in some of the festival venues, all staffed by the cheerful and friendly Jaffe and Neale staff. All greet vistitors with a friendly smile and ask if they can help, however when Mark Billingham's Saturday night Chiplitfest quiz starts, the gloves are off, and the staff unite to create a formidable team who usually end up in the top three and give the authors teams a good run for the prizes.
Jaffe and Neale host numerous author visits throughout the year and throughout Independent Bookshop Week they are hosting, among others; Carol Duffy, Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong (a full listing is available here)
Jaffe and Neale is owned by Patrick Neale and Polly Jaffé, both have backgrounds in the publishing industry and can be found working in the store. They opened the bookshop ten years ago, with their focus from the start being good books and good customer service, something which is evident ten years later. As soon as you walk in the store Patrick can be identified by his smart country gentleman attire and Polly is usually behind the counter with her fabulous smile - during festival weekend they can be spotted running between the author's green room, venues and the bookshop but always have time to greet friends and visitors they pass on the way.
Aswell as being an independent bookshop, Jaffe and Neale are a bustling café stocked with Aga-baked cakes made by Ceci in her Chadlington kitchen and look delicious. With chairs and tables both inside and out, there is no better reason to while away an hour reading a new book.
The bookshop offers something for everyone; with new bestsellers, old favourites and a well stocked non-fiction section, the shop is complete with a fantastic children's department. During festival weekend, an illustrator and/or author can be seen creating a window display which always look fantastic and frequent sessions are hosted at Jaffe and Neale for young bookworms. Independent Bookshop Week 2016 sees a visit from Alice's White Rabbit on Monday 20th June.
I hope I can encourage my blog readers to take a visit to Chipping Norton and pop into Jaffe and Neale. It really is a jewel in the crown of the Cotswolds and the perfect place to relax and enjoy an hour's indulgent book reading in lovely surroundings with the obligatory slice of (delicious) cake.
I am already on countdown to next years Chiplitfest and Jaffe and Neale will be one of the first places I pop into before the events start.