Tweed begone, there’s a New Kid on the Stockbridge Block (yup me too, the first album I ever bought). Hero gives a fresh, urban edge to this tiny market town. It is true that Chelsea-by-the-Test has always had a buzz, but in a shooting, fishing, “pull on the red cords and jump in my Range Rover,” kind of way. Nothing wrong with that, but if all those draughty Country Houses — OK, hours in front of Downton — get too much then this independent boutique is the warm antidote; drenched in natural-light and not a stuffed antelope in sight.
Firstly, the clothes. This isn’t office-wear or high fashion, but a clever edit of the chic and easy separates that we love to wear, from the European brands that we ought know about. Think flattering (allelujah!) cargo pants from Spain’s Ese O Ese; knitwear from Danish Second Female; cashmere jumpers with just the right amount of sparkle and slouch; ankle boots in softest leather; bottom flattering jeans and the perfectly cut coat. In short, catnip for us muddy ladies hopping from school-run, to dog walk, to business meeting, to cocktails, and that’s before lunch…
Accessories and homeware include minimalist jewellry with a cheeky twist from Jour De Mistral and scented candles from Maison La Bougie.
Founder, Laura Turner, is clearly a lady brimming with ideas and the energy to make them happen. She started out as a lifestyle blogger and it shows. Hero is a super-savvy set-up: check-out the Instagram feed with its beautiful curation of food, flatlays and “inspo”. All sounding a bit exclusive? A bit Alpha? Have no fear, #HEROTeam are less coolest girls in school, more mentors from a shiny, new business world giving a helping hand to us mere mortals.
The shop hosts regular workshops on everything from styling for Instagram to dressing your body shape, plus sparkling shopping events where customers indulge in truffles, Espresso Martinis and a Make Up Bar. Yours truly attended a Christmas event incognito and t’was truly fab.
Selfridges: be afraid, be very afraid.
Hero, Nomads House, High Street, Stockbridge, SO20 6HE. Tel: 01264 810 100. hero-online.co.uk