Friday October 2nd 2020

South of the Basingstoke Canal and nestled beside St John’s Lye, St John’s is a quaint neighbourhood offering a lively mixture of shops and businesses.

With a distinctive character and beauty, which owes much to its late Victorian and Edwardian heritage, this neighbourhood is home to many great businesses such as Two Ducks, Simmons Family Butchers, Bem Coffee and Bellini.

And while it’s been a tough time for most businesses this year, the resilience and commitment of those in St John’s is clear.

Claire Leigh, owner of local independent gift and fashion boutique Two Ducks is just one local business owner who is upbeat about the future.

“Lockdown came as a real shockwave to us because there were so many unknowns. Since we reopened in June, I’ve never been so grateful for the unrelenting support from our local community. Just seeing the friendly faces of our loyal customers back in store was a massive boost for us it’s helped me remain optimistic for the future of all our small businesses.

“I’m really grateful to all my customers, old and new, for their continued support. St John’s is a wonderful neighbourhood to be in the heart of.”

Now fully back open, Claire has also just launched a new workshop to help locals learn calligraphy with great success.

“It’s so exciting to have the first workshop up and running. Everyone is so enthusiastic about them and I’m looking forward to introducing a wider range of topics for people to get stuck into.”

Paul Simmons, owner of popular Simmons Family Butchers is also looking forward with optimism.

“We pride ourselves on being a community-focused local business and we’re so appreciative of all our wonderful customers who supported us before, during and after lockdown. St John’s is an amazing village to be a part of. With the help of our loyal supporters we’ve been able to refurbish our shop, and we’re excited to unveil our shiny, new look shop soon!” owner Paul Simmons said.

There’s plenty more to enjoy in St John’s. Check out some of our other top picks below and keep checking to keep up to date.


A classy, top-notch bistro that offers the very best of Italian cuisine. Expect fresh flavoursome pasta, authentic pizzas and tasty meat dishes. Finish up with one of their indulgent homemade desserts.

Bem Coffee

This independent coffee shop guarantees a friendly, relaxing atmosphere. If you’re not lured in by the scent of the luxury Brazilian and El Salvador blend, the food menu will really make you sit up and take notice.

Fired Frog Pottery Café

Purpose-built pottery painting studio Fired Frog are on hand to get your creative juices flowing. While away the hours sipping on the award-winning ‘Joe’s Tea’ and creating your very own pottery masterpiece. When you’re done testing the range of paints, stencils and prints, leave your item for glazing and it’ll be ready for you to pick and bring home five days later. While we can’t speak for your painting skills, we know you’ll have fun while you’re there!

Ring A Roses

Rachel and the team run this beautiful florists which has built up a strong reputation as one of the finest florists in the North West Surrey area. While you’re there, pick up the perfect finishing touch to your gift by choosing from their range of scented candles, chocolates and vases. Guaranteed the freshest flowers with direct imports from the Dutch flower auctions, you’ll be blooming with joy.

Spice Village

The perfect spot for the traditional Indian culinary experience, Spice Village specialises in fragrant aromatic curries that won’t disappoint. Using the finest ingredients and top-notch cooking techniques, you’ll not be hungry after a meal from Spice Village.

Carlo Scannella Barbers

With over 20 years’ experience, this independent salon is the perfect spot to get your unruly mop tidied up in modern, clean surroundings. You’re guaranteed friendly staff and good prices here!

The Ketch Fish Bar

A staple in St Johns, the Ketch Fish Bar is always popular with locals and visitors alike. From fresh fish to rich pies and burgers to fried chicken, the queue often seen outside the door is justified.

Woking Print

Established in 1977, Woking Print has over 40 years of experience to fulfil all your printing needs. A fully independent litho and digital printer, the team will be able to help you with everything. From business cards to brochures and calendars to stationery, whatever you need, they’ve got it.

Asiana Restaurant

Sofia and her team are always on hand to offer a warm welcome to this highly-rated restaurant. We recommend the tandoori dishes- coated with special spices and marinated overnight before they’re cooked over charcoal Tandoor oven, this is a healthier way to sample authentic Indian cuisine.

Belisamo Hair Salon

This well-established village hair salon is staffed by friendly and experienced stylists, who’ll make sure you leave with a hair do you love. No matter what your vision for your new haircut, they’ll make it a reality!

Surrey Woodburners

As the weather’s getting colder, heat up your house with a cosy woodburning stove. Offering a range of contemporary and traditional styles, Surrey Woodburners also offers a comprehensive service to customers including advice, installation and after care. It’s going to be warm this winter!


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