Hope for tea and art

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Sandy Highfield on the right, new hotel manager and friend

A preview of the collaborative project between the Hope Anchor hotel and Art & Soul gallery, 28 High Street was held on Thursday, May 3. The hotel has a new manager, Sandy Highfield, who is launching new tea rooms together with the art gallery on May 25, featuring afternoon teas including vegan and gluten-free cakes.

Illustrator Paul Shadbolt, eyeing up the cakes

Sandy says: “It is a cosy and friendly venue packed to the rafters with beautiful and varied creations from local artists at affordable prices starting at £15. We will also be offering art classes and workshops in the near future.” The hotel has a rich history, dating back to the 17th century and is situated at the end of the delightful cobbled Watchbell Street as well as having wonderful views across the river and the town. The Hope Anchor was featured in the 2014 TV film of Mapp and Lucia (from the books by EF Benson) as The Traders Arms.
Emma Miller, owner of Art & Soul, who sees the art shows at The Hope and Anchor as an extension of her gallery, says: “Our mission is to support local artists, offer affordable and accessible art as well as making sure that the lion’s share of the profit goes to them and every purchase goes right to the heart of the community.” In the gallery there are a collection of cards, locally made jewellery as well as other hand-made gifts.
If you would like to know more about the collaboration, view and perhaps buy a picture or book a visit to the hotel please visit the website

Photos by Emma Miller

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