Forget the big names and instead find the treasures Dorchester has to offer in its arcades. Navigate your way to the Tudor Arcade and let the impact of Melbury’s window-dressing stop you in your tracks.
Models draped in style stand with a Pandora of unusual boxes, bowls, pictures and cushions at their feet. Even the unusual shelf units are all for sale. Walk in and you will begin a journey around the world in a vision of a muted prints, sea blues, khaki, heather hues and animal prints all around you – and that’s before you get to the clothes.
Several of the leading labels on show comply with the ethics of fair trade, several such as Nomads are British-designed – in Cornwall in fact. We all have our favourite labels but be careful, in Melbury, your conventional choices could fly out the window as you are wowed by timeless clothing boasting labels such as Oska, Braintree, Sandwich, Adini, Sahara, Masai, Captri, Flax, Masai and more.
The prices are sensible and the management at Melbury refuse to hold onto old stock. If it hasn’t sold and one size is left on the rail, it’s moved to a sale rail.
So where did this little gem originate from? Well Melbury didn’t start out as we see it now in Dorchester or indeed at its Sherborne store. Initially, Thelma Brabik opened in Shaftesbury in 1980 with a gallery exhibition of etchings and paintings.
Quickly thereafter, she opened another store in Sherborne in Half Moon Street and it evolved to what Melbury is today. More than 30 years later the Melbury shop in Sherborne flourishes with its sister shop in Dorchester.
Melbury is much more than clothes. There is an excellent range of jewellery and accessories to adorn the wide range of clothing to create an even more flattering look.
There is a range of silver priced from £3 to £300, together with gemstones and gold-plated jewellery – well worth browsing for that finishing touch.
There is also a wide range of gifts – unusual, tantalising, natural products ethically made, perfect for Christmas.