Many Didsbury residents have complained in recent years about the increasing number of chains opening in the village, bemoaning its transformation into a clone town full of bland wine bars and identikit pizza outlets. But this is to ignore the presence of interesting independents such as Saints and Scholars, The Cheese Hamlet and my new favourite shop In All Her Finery, a charming boutique on School Lane just off the main Didsbury drag.
The shop opened back in February 2008 but I only went in for the first time last week, lured by the promise of cava and cupcakes. This twice-monthly event - every other Thursday - allows late night browsing between 6 and 9pm, and shoppers are welcome to help themselves to gorgeous cakes provided by Chorlton bakery And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon. The only drawback is the difficulty inherent in attempting to browse the displays of beautiful jewellery whilst simultaneously clutching a glass of fizz and trying to eat a cake in an elegant manner. Apologies to Fiona for any greasy fingerprints later discovered on the display cases.
Fiona sells a range of jewellery including some pieces she makes herself, along with a selection of high-end beauty products - full details are on the website at www.inallherfinery.co.uk. There is also an intriguing-sounding clothes swap party on alternate Thursdays, where you can take along beloved pieces that you don't want to get rid of but perhaps - ahem - don't quite fit you anymore (too many cupcakes perhaps?), and trade them for a new love. So get along there and show your support for an enterprising local business that seems to be going from strength to strength, and get a head start on your Christmas shopping while you're there.