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Discover the hidden delights of Wiltshire.

Our members represent a rich community of independent local businesses providing quality and unique products and experiences.

Find local artisan food & drink, unique gifts, art, local shops, events, places to stay & things to do in Wiltshire.

  • Pythouse Kitchen Garden Café & Shop

    Many of today’s visitor’s to the Pythouse Kitchen Garden remember running around the Victorian walled garden as children...»

  • Rubi Locke Jewellery

    Mini began making wedding jewellery over 10 years ago when her daughters were small. ...»

  • Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation & Gifts

    Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation is set in the lovely garden of Langley Green, a beautiful house dating back to the 12th century, ...»

  • The Shalbourne Collection

    Following successful careers in London, Carolyn Bartholomew and Sarah Samuel now live in the beautiful village of Shalbourne. ...»

  • Rushall Manor

    Rushall Manor is a delightful Georgian house that dates back to the end of the 18th century. It is currently owned by Caroline Larken...»

  • Wiltshire Farmers Markets

    Wiltshire Farmers’ Markets Association runs ten monthly markets across the county where local people can buy local food and drink direct from producers....»

  • Lucy's Days Out

    Lucy’s Days Out is a charity run by Julie Page. Her daughter Lucy first became ill when she was six....»

Get Creative at Mimo

Sam Bertram

12 February 2016

Mimo is a lovely interiors shop that’s a little bit different from the mainstream, just a short walk from Marlborough High Street in The Old Ropeworks near the river. Owner Sally Ballard has also recently started running creative workshops there to great success.   Tell us a bit about how you ended up having a shop like Mimo? ‘With a background in antiques and interior design Mimo is a shop where I make the things I love & collect for the home available to the public.  It’s full of vintage, restored and quirky pieces.  I love seeing my regular customers popping by to make sure they’re not missing out on any treasures! It all started shortly after embarking on my working life when I was a nanny for some amazing people, whom I’m still great friends with today.  They introduced me to friends starting an interior design business being run alongside an antiques business and, although initially I just helped out, I eventually took over the admin side /  project management. This led to a further job with another antiques dealer running the interior design side & eventually opening my own shop in the Cotswolds shortly after meeting my ex-husband. My first shop was short-lived though as children arrived soon after, not helped by a rather gloomy recession. Now my children are older – Alex, 22 and Will, 20, I’ve had time to focus on having my own business again and I set-up Mimo in 2011.  Gary from Eric’s Attic initially offered me space in his shop to sell my collection but when the space came available downstairs I leapt at the opportunity to take it and set-up by myself. I’ve always had the idea of making one of the rooms available for creative courses.’   Interesting – what type of workshops are you offering? ‘I’ve always thought there was an opportunity to offer creative courses in Marlborough as Marlborough College Summer School is only for four weeks of the year and beyond that there didn’t seem to be much available of this type.  I’m an optimist by nature and I really felt there was potential to offer workshops in the centre of town. We’ve had some fabulous courses here so far, from upholstery to sewing & dressmaking and plenty of arty courses for both adults and children alike. I’ve loved the mosaics courses, and in particular the floristry, creative writing and Christmas Wreath workshops were incredibly popular. Next planned is an Arts & Crafts workshop for kids during half term and an upholstery weekend at the end of February both which still have places so get in quick! I’m always open to ideas so if someone has something they’d love to learn or love to teach I’ll do my best to make it happen.’   Are you Wiltshire born and bred? ‘Not at all – I was born in Oxford where I lived and attended college and my mother still lives there. It was a fabulously buzzy & exciting place to grow up although I’ve moved so many times since I’ve almost lost count of the places I’ve lived.  The first antiques business I worked in was in Woburn, after marrying Nick we lived in various places in the Cotswolds and eventually moved to Ramsbury just fore Will was born and where the boys spent their childhood.  I now live right in the middle of Marlborough and I’m loving it.  It’s great being right in the middle of town and Marlborough has so much character.  As my boys have left home for work and uni it’s mainly just me and my dog, Monty.’    So what’s planned for the future? Just enjoying where I live and my business for now.  But what will be will be – I don’t mind moving, so if I had to move again I would. But for now Mimo isn’t going anywhere soon. I love meeting new people so please pop in and say hi. http://www.mimo-trading.com/  


2016 Bucket List

Sam Bertram

14 January 2016

It wouldn’t be a new year if we didn’t pull together a bucket list - so here’s our take on what you should be aiming to see and do in 2016 to make the most of this beautiful county. Plan for one a quarter and you’ll find it incredibly achievable and rewarding! 1. Experience some of the amazing pubs & restaurants in the county - It’s important to support your local pub & restaurant, but once in a while it’s worth going further afield.  In Wiltshire we have The Good Food Guide’s best pub in the country - The Michelin Starred Red Lion, East Chisenbury.  There’s Tom Parker Bowles’ favourite The Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn, AP McCoy’s pub The Outside Chance, The Michelin starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn which has been AA and Decanter’s Restaurant of the Year amongst other accolades and The Pear Tree in Purton, The Good Hotel Guide’s Best Country Hotel in 2015. There's also the Charming Pythouse Kitchen Garden near Tisbury. Not bad huh? 2. Visit a new part of the Wiltshire countryside & walk somewhere new – the Wiltshire countryside is absolutely stunning with amazing walks from the North Wessex Downs to the Nadder Valley. Our members have lots of top tips on their local walks – whether it’s walking the ancient Ridgeway, discovering Maud Heath’s Memorial Column on Wick Hill near Chippenham, an invigorating walk across Salisbury Plain or a walk around Fonthill Lake near Tisbury you’ll be pleased you ventured there.  3. Look at your grocery list and think what you can source locally – there’s so much fabulous food & drink available right here in Wiltshire. Visit your local butcher or deli or become a regular at a Wiltshire Farmers Market so that local always makes its way onto your table. It not only supports your local economy but when it hasn’t travelled it’s better for the environment and tastes better too! 4. Take in one of our national treasures – It was recently reported that the stunning Stourhead near Mere is the second most visited National Trust Property. However, there are plenty more to choose from – Avebury (the ‘better’ stone circle), Lacock Abbey, Wardour Castle near Tisbury, Great Chalfield Manor and Garden (featured in ‘Wolf Hall’), The Courts Garden in Holt or Old Sarum near Salisbury.  And don’t forget the marvellous Salisbury Cathedral and Malmesbury Abbey or Castle Combe, said by many to be the prettiest village in England or The Merchant's House in Marlborough. 5. Make it to at least one of Wiltshire’s Festivals – Kick-off your shoes at a music festival – the Cock & Bull Festival at Jamie’s Farm near Box or The Larmer Tree Festival. Or if art is your thing there are plenty of Arts Festivals around the country – in Salisbury, Trowbridge & Devizes and fabulous theatre at Illford Arts Festival near Bradford on Avon. Marlborough & Mere both have literature festivals & there are plenty of Food & Drink Festivals throughout the summer. See our events calendar 6. Learn something new - how often do you wish you could do something better? There are plenty of places offering courses – Marlborough College Summer School has every course you can imagine and it’s a fun way to spend a week.  The Shalbourne Collection & Mimo in Marlborough have some fantastic courses as do Wagon Yard Artists for those keen to learn ceramics. 7. Don’t always default to Amazon – if you’re looking for a gift stop and think if you could buy from a small local company before hitting Amazon.  You’ll be amazed at the unique gifts available as well as how affordable they are too.  We have lots of gift ideas for both him and her so check those out before going global!  


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Sign up for our newsletter and you could qualify for the offer of the month. Glass Artist Sue Lashmar, is giving away these gorgeous jewel coloured, drop earrings made from multi-coloured dichroic glass.