We are incredibly lucky to have a vibrant independent shopping scene here in Bedford. Did you know that 57% of the shops in our town are family run? That’s much more than most other towns across the country.
An independent shopping experience is like no other. The hand-picked stock, the service, the friendly face you’ve got to know over the years, the variety (we have Witches shops, an Egyptian shop and a Cat Café, to name but a few!) So please take some time to come on over and discover the wonderful shops for yourself!
For food that’s invigorating and full of healthy vitamins to make you feel fantastic. Veggie Crush is our go-to vegan/vegetarian takeaway on the High Street. Their mission is to make healthy and delicious food more convenient and affordable and we’re excited for that!
Their menu includes vegan salads, Buddha bowls, soups, smoothies and cold pressed juices, in fact they offer 25 varieties, so you can switch up your daily juice recipe and you’ll never get bored. For those looking to do a detox or a cleanse, Veggie Crush can offer a personal approach and support when getting started. Look out for their Friday specials too!
FiverFest gives you the opportunity to experience a large vegan rainbow wrap served in a box with hummus and vegetables or a large Moroccan wrap served in a box with hummus and vegetables for £5. FiverFest runs from 2nd – 16th July.
86 High Street, Bedford, MK40 1NN
Open Monday – Friday 8.30 – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 4pm
KOKO Black is a luxurious, fine dining coffee and desserts restaurant in the heart of the town centre on Castle Lane. If light-as-air choux buns, creamy melted chocolate, lashings of cream, waffles and cookie dough are at the top of your list of favourite foods, then a visit to KOKO Black will not disappoint.
The menu is bursting with Instagram-worthy cakes, sundaes, crepes and desserts that are presented beautifully and taste out of this world. It’s not just sweet treats though… there are dishes to satisfy those that are hungry for something savoury, Shakshuka being a firm favourite – a free range egg dish, seasoned with spices and served with fresh ciabatta bread.
FiverFest gives you the opportunity to indulge in something to make life sweeter.. a luxury choux bun or their famous cookie dough made with your choice of Kinder Bueno, Bounty, Smarties or Ferrero to name but a few for just £5.
26 Castle Lane, Bedford, MK40 3US
Open 5pm – 11pm all week
There’s great excitement over at bbtea this weekend as the family run team celebrate their 3rd birthday! This is such a fun place to visit on the High Street for a refreshing Taiwanese bubble tea drink. The bubbles are actually called Boba. They’re juicy ‘pearls’ that burst with flavour in your mouth as you drink them. There are plenty of varieties to choose from, so you can easily mix and match to make the perfect drink.
From numerous bubble tea flavours to dumplings and bubble waffles, the team at bbtea strive to offer the best boba tea experience in Bedfordshire!
If you’ve not tried bubble tea before, you’re in for a treat! To mark their special birthday, they are offering any two large drinks for £8 on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July. After that, you’ll be able to enjoy any regular boba tea and get a metal straw for £5 until 16th July as part of FiverFest.
43 High Street, Bedford, MK40 1RY
Open Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm
Frescoes Coffee House
Frescoes Coffee House is a cosy, independent coffee house comprising of three beautifully styled rooms nestled in the heart of Mill Street. It’s not just lovely inside, it’s also got a seating area outside that’s quite sheltered, where you can enjoy watching the world go by sitting beneath the beautiful fresco on the wall above.
The welcome here is very warm and friendly and most importantly, yes, the coffee and food is really good. The menu consists of breakfast ideas including pancakes topped with bacon and maple syrup and light lunches such as baked potatoes, fresh salads and toasted sandwiches. You could also enjoy a glass of Prosecco here too!
Frescoes are taking part in FiverFest too! Where you can enjoy a delicious open bagel topped with stilton and bacon and dollop of ale chutney, served with a side salad for £5 until 16th July.
Frescoes Coffee House
20 Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3HD
Open Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 4pm
If you’ve never shopped in a ‘bulk’ store before, then going to The Store will definitely inspire you to think differently about your shopping habits.
The Store aims to be Bedford’s first zero waste bulk shop. A grocery store designed to reduce single use packaging and household food waste by selling products in bulk, and without traditional packaging to prevent mountains of unnecessary waste.
The experience of going into the shop is delightful. They stock laundry detergent, dish soap and fabric conditioner by the litre scented with Neroli, Ginger or Wild Fig – divine!
There’s Bedfordshire honey on tap, fresh veg, eggs and self-service oat milk. Just bring in your empty glass bottles and jars to refill with pulses, grains and rice, or if you fancy, there’s even a machine dispensing fresh peanut butter. If you do forget to bring a jar, they have some free of charge for you to get going with. So don’t hesitate to have a look around if you’re in St Cuthberts Arcade and check out their website for click and collect, if you want to save time and plan ahead.
St Cuthberts Arcade
26 St Cuthberts Street, Bedford MK40 3JG
Open Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday – 9.30am – 4pm
Sunday – 11am – 4pm
Pricecheck The Italian Supermarket
Buongiorno! The Italian Shop in the Harpur Centre is a treasure trove of rows and rows of authentic pastas in all shapes and sizes. There’s jars of tasty pasta sauces and tins of tomatoes to make the base for pasta dishes that are bursting with flavour and also really quick to make.
Take a look in the fridges for a wide selection of sausages, cured meats and Italian cheeses. Fresh Parmesan, mozzarella and mascarpone are just a few familiar favourites. There’s also Italian coffee and stove top coffee pots available to make your morning cuppa the Italian way!
The staff are chatty and helpful and will guide you if you ask them about which ingredients work well together. This Sunday 3rd July is the Italian Festival in Bedford. So come along and enjoy the delights of Italian cooking and maybe pick up a few ingredients whilst you’re there!
Unit 11, 18 The Harpur Centre, Bedford MK40 1TP
Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm
Sunday 11am – 2pm
When you walk into Krina Beauty in the Harpur Centre you are met with a smile. Their kind demeanour puts you are your ease immediately. Krina Beauty specialises in walk-in beauty treatments such as eyebrow threading in the traditional Indian way and hot waxing for the face and neck. Men are welcome to have waxing too!
Henna brows are also available, but patch testing must be carried out with them days prior to the treatment.
If you’re off on holiday soon, then body waxing, eyelash extensions and of course manicures and pedicures with bright and colourful polishes are a must. When you get back from your hols, relive that relaxed holiday vibe with a deep tissue body massage or Indian head massage to get you back to zen!
Last but not least, for those looking to get into a really good skincare routine, Dermalogica facials and hour-long treatments can help lift, brighten and sooth tired skin. Pop in anytime to find out more.
UNIT 4, Harpur Centre, Horne Ln, Bedford MK40 1TP
Open 9am – 5.30pm Monday – Saturday
Sunday 10am – 4pm
The beautiful smell of eucalyptus greets you as you walk into Boutique Planet in The Arcade. Your eyes are immediately mesmerised by the rails of pretty dresses and summer clothes that make you want to head to the changing rooms with an armful to try on.
The changing rooms are clean and spacious and for those with toddlers in tow, there’s a basket of toys to keep them entertained. The staff are helpful, relaxed, chatty and welcoming which makes the experience lovely.
Accessories, sunglasses, earrings, necklaces and handbags are plentiful to coordinate with your new outfit. It’s also a great place to come with a friend to encourage each other to try on some new looks!
If you’re shopping for gifts for girlfriends, Boutique Planet has scented room fragrances, purses, mugs and small gifts that will bring a smile. But don’t leave without checking out their amazing summer sandals, a treat for your feet and a great way to update your summer wardrobe.
8 The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS
Open Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm