Abraxas Cookshop

I’ve really been looking forward to giving you a tour of the cookshop where my mum works. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave, packed full to bursting of the most lovely cookware. I especially wanted to show you it while it is decked out for Christmas. It’s a lovely shop all year round but the building just lends itself so well to Christmas time! I was lucky enough to be allowed to take photos and post them on my blog, I hope you enjoy them.

Abraxas Cookshop is a family owned and run business and has a few shops in the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire/Warwickshire area. The one we are visiting in this post is located in Banbury, Oxfordshire. If you are familiar with the town, you can find it in the top corner of the market square, at the top end of Castle Quay nearby to Parson’s Street. There are some beautiful old buildings in Banbury but this one is particularly special. Just look at the brickwork on there! Coming closer, you can see that the window fronting is very ornate.

If I were walking past here for the first time, my head would definitely be turned by the window display. (Sometimes my mum gets to do the window displays, I think that may be her favourite bit. Some of my wedding bunting made it into the window once too, I was very proud.)

Let’s take a look inside …

The shop is long and slim with barely an inch of space unused. To my right is a wall covered in biscuit cutters and birthday candles, in front of me is Le Creuset in every colour.

On the table directly to my left is the seasonal display and right now this means Christmas cake decorations! I am sure we had decorations like this when we were children and the little nostalgic jolt is pleasing.

I love the teeny tiny star cutters. I have some of these just for the fact that they are dinky and cute rather than for actually using.

Oh and look up! Ever wondered how many types of sieves you could buy?

Behind the table of Christmas cake decorations and wooden spoons is a wall of shelving crammed with baking trays and tins, and then the inside of the window and various different pie dishes. It’s here that you’ll find multi coloured muffin cases, cake cases, petit fours cases, edible glitter, those posh papers that muffins from Costa come in … all sorts.

I’m going to take you downstairs now, because once I’ve finished poking through the wooden spoons (did you ever wonder why I have so many? Addicted, I tell you.), the downstairs room of the shop holds the most appeal for me. At the bottom of the stairs you are greeted by a line up of Kitchen Aid mixers (I reeeeeally want a red one of these, but there is no point as I purposefully don’t bake as I find that it is not helpful towards my weightloss efforts ;-) ). The coffee machines and teapots also congregate here. There is a sign offering customers a free espresso whilst they browse :-)

The downstairs of the shop is the same shape as the shop above, only with a beautiful brick arch ceiling spotted with star like lights. Nestled under the stairs is the Susie Watson ceramics (it took all my willpower not to buy the Christmas mugs, by the way. I had to exercise SO much restraint and just think a lot about my “Joy” mug that was waiting for me at home) and the brightly coloured Sabre cutlery. I can never pick my favourite design of Sabre cutlery, I think they look best all together.

Further down the shop, the table is set for a shiny silver Christmas dinner. If I had a big kitchen, this is the kind of table I would have. Sadly there is barely room in my kitchen for two people to stand back to back so I can’t see it happening any time soon!

Ok, here is my favourite bit of the shop. I try to keep my Bridgewater love toned down on my blog because let’s face it, ultimately it IS just crockery, but I have to say that it’s a fun common interest that my mum and sister share (with me). They have a large collection between them and I enjoy looking out for it and discussing it with them. It’s not something I buy often and what I have most certainly does get used, I hasten to add. I have porridge every day from my chicken-bowl!

Aaaaaaah pretty pretty!

I think that the reindeer design is my most favourite, and then the red/green Christmas ones come a close second.

I have started a little Christmas mug collection, like Victoria has, (I have, er, three so far) as I like the thought of “special” Christmas mugs that just come out for December time. I am quite taken with the idea of starting our own traditions at the moment and I really like this one.

I spent ages taking photographs downstairs but looking through them again now they are just the same photos of the Bridgewater but from different angles (whoops) so let’s head back upstairs now. (By this point my mum had had enough of holding my bags while I faffed about with a tripod being in the shop on her day off. We went for coffee afterwards though so that was all right.)

Time to go now. It’s funny, I didn’t notice this mirror by the door until I was taking photos.


If you feel like visiting Abraxas in Banbury, be sure to tell them that you saw it on my blog!

Photos taken with permission of the manager, please do not copy them.

22 thoughts on “Abraxas Cookshop

  1. Oh wow, what a lovely lovely post Heather. The building is stunning to say the least and then what a feast for the eyes when you go in! I too am loving the EB reindeer’s they are too beautiful and I might just have to keep an eye out for one. I have a slight cookie cutter collection addiction going on and would definitely come away with 1 or 2 or 3 if I was to visit this exquisite shop. Thanks for sharing xox

  2. Nicki says:

    Heather, I live in Northampton and spend TOO MUCH time in Abraxus in Weedon and Northampton. It’s my favourite kitchen shop ever. I love Emma Bridgewater and the supplies they have by way of Kitchen Aid, Le Creuset, Garden Trading, blah blah blah, just mean that I could spend hours in there. SUPER JEALOUS that your mum works there… it’s one of my fave shops! Lovely photos.

    Nicki xx

  3. Lovely looking shop – just the kind that I can wander in not knowing I need anything yet finding at least 10 things I NEED because they are so pretty :-)

  4. Pene says:

    OMG What an amazing shop!! I am so jealous I live far to far away to visit which is probably just as well as I’d want EVERYTHING! Thanks for sharing

  5. A gorgeous shop, I could spend a lot of time, and probably my entire bank balance in there. I wish I had a bigger kitchen, like yours you can barely get two people in, and they have to really like each other if they actually want to squeeze past to get to something at the other end

  6. Victoria says:

    I can never resist a look around a cook shop. I don’t think I’ll be happy until I have cake and flan tins in every available size! And my biscuit cutter collection is busting out of the tin they’re kept in.
    My Christmas mugs are all red and green but I am now thinking I need to branch out into the blue ones – the reindeer mugs are gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind one of the blue snowflake ones from this year. Think a trip to the factory shop in Stoke will definitely be happening in the new year.
    Have a good week; have you finished work for Christmas yet? xxxxxxx

  7. Jill says:

    What a gorgeous shop, both the building itself and the inside! I’m not a “cooky” person but I think even I could run amok in here. And a great place to buy gifts, too!

  8. Julie says:

    What a fantastic shop – absolutely stunning. Although I would love to have a shop like that nearby I think for my purse it is just as well I don’t! I don’t think I could resist the lovely mugs and all the Christmas baking stuff.

  9. Anne Marie says:

    Oooh, I want to go to Banbury. It’s so long since I passed through when I was on my way home from somewhere or other. I’d spend hours in a shop like that and spend far too much money.

    I love the Le Creuset stuff, have some in the shed which I’ve not used in a while, nowhere else to store it. It’s rather heavy when it’s laden but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

  10. Anne Marie says:

    Oooh, I want to go to Banbury. It\’s so long since I passed through when I was on my way home from somewhere or other. I\’d spend hours in a shop like that and spend far too much money.

    I love the Le Creuset stuff, have some in the shed which I\’ve not used in a while, nowhere else to store it. It\’s rather heavy when it\’s laden but I can\’t bring myself to get rid of it.

  11. Oh my….another place to visit….gosh this place looks like my daughter-in-law’s shop….only better, I can say as they won’t be reading this….I would love to browse around there for ….hours….nothing quite like kitchen stuff for pondering about. I’ve not seen anything quite like this before..and the architecture….what a wonderful place to work…now I know that work is work but having such wonderful things to look at (and dust?) must be better than selling some other boring stuff. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to Mum for going in on her day off and being the bag lady!

  12. Louise says:

    Wow, wow, wow! What a BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL shop! Everything displayed so wonderfully! Thanks for the tour! Enjoyed every single photo!

  13. Ann says:

    Thank you for taking us all on a tour of the kitchen shop – it was delightful. I never get tired of visiting kitchen ware shops and can always find little goodies despite cooking for over 50+ years. Merry Christmas from California.

  14. joanna says:

    I can never resist a visit to ABRAXAS when in Banbury I just love the vegetable peelers!!! I have to say though that your photos are absolutely gorgous and I enjoyed the vitual tour, more than in real life actually as I am usually laden with bags and at least one fractious child. I think I am going to have another look around now.By the way love the We wish you a merry christmas dec in the window very envious .Happy New Year

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