10 The Square, Winchester
Who you need to know
Owner Victoria Suffield (left)
Brands include American Vintage, Goat, Norse Projects, Orla Kiely, Petit Bateau, Queene & Belle
Guided by a 1950s book on how to open your own shop, eclectic contemporary lifestyle store The Hambledon’s quirky vintage feel was set from the off when
it opened in 1999. Owner Victoria Suffield puts the success of the rambling, slightly theatrical boutique down to “stocking unusual things but selling them graciously”.
But behind this sugary ideology is an on-the-ball owner with genuine bravery and determination. It is Suffield’s acute understanding of her core customer -
“a mixture of Winchester locals, London ‘refugees’ and Hambledon day-trippers” - that has seen her develop a shop with something for everyone. Pretty, embellished cardigans jostle with sophisticated denim and fashion-forward daywear labels such as Goat peek out from behind Marilyn Moore floral frocks.
Over the past decade The Hambledon has grown from a sparsely filled retail space, when customers used to ask Suffield if the light stock meant the store was having a closing-down Sale, to an incredibly warm and welcoming emporium, which fuses beautiful, antique decor with a fashion offering unrivalled in Winchester.
The store has recently revamped its menswear offer to bring it in line with the more extensive womenswear floor and has launched a weekly blog that serves as a subtle promotional tool.
Suffield prides herself on the store’s inventiveness and refers to the shopfloor as being “curated” - another glimpse into the art gallery-like approach of the shop that is “never compromised”.