Armstrong Ward is an independent lifestyle shop in Wainwright’s Yard. It draws people from far and wide, and time and time again. Set out over two floors, this miniature department store – complete with café – has many fine things to furnish a home with as well as presents for your nearest and dearest.
Everything in-store is chosen by owners Jacqueline and Andrew who place the spotlight on British designers as well as makers of distinctive, quality items. Headline brands include Emma Bridgewater, John Sankey, Maileg, and Neom. And local talent like the Sedbergh-based Bath House, and Kendal’s Blade & Rose, is also championed.
The fundamental joy of the store is how well it’s laid out. Everything is carefully chosen and placed, with plenty of takeaway ideas to try at home.
Customers turn to Andrew and Jacqueline for design advice and inspiration. They use their creativity and knowledge to guide purchases from the small and considered, like sofas and fabrics, to how to tackle whole rooms.
The café downstairs is a great place to meet up or to pause whilst shopping. There are lovely homemade cakes, soups, hot drinks and sandwiches. Online reviews say – ‘the best cakes in Kendal’, ‘a hidden gem’ and ‘friendly staff’. A box of toys, space to park a buggy and baby changing facilities make this a welcoming place for those with small people in tow.
It’s been a delight to see this Wainwright’s Yard business grow. From a start-up, with 35 supplier products on sale across one floor, to a two-storey emporium of 200-plus lines with a café and a busy online store for those who can’t make it to Kendal.