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How familiar are you with central Reading’s oldest shopping centre? Do you even know where the Harris Arcade is? A surprising number of people don’t. Situated in Friar Street, this is the town centre’s grand-daddy of shopping malls, with a much richer history and containing a far more diverse array of shops than either the Broad St. Mall or The Oracle. Rumour has it, it once housed a brothel and the Rolling Stones frequented a cafĂ© there back in the 1960s!

Today, you’ll find all sorts of fabulous wares inside, ranging from comics to cheese, vinyl to vintage. Best of all, you’ll find excellent service from people who are passionate about what they do. Far from the “couldn’t-care-less” attitude of many chain-store employees, these businesses are owned by people who are genuinely interested in what they sell. You can ask questions and receive advice and it will all be served with a smile. It’s like a little, hidden gem right in the middle of town just a stone’s throw from the station.

So if you haven’t been in there recently or simply haven’t been in there at all, why don’t you pop in this weekend? There’s a high chance you’ll fall in love with something!

Here’s a handy link to a map if you really aren’t sure where you’re going!