Mother and daughter: Skye and Nicky Frewin at the Almshouse Tea Shop and Book Store

Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member opens book shop in the town

Skye Frewin has opened a book shop in her mother’s tea shop at the Old Almshouse in Axbridge broadening the retail offering to residents to include a range of new publications to those of cakes, coffee and cream teas.

The books include novels for young adults and illustrated children’s titles giving a rich selection for families to browse and buy. Skye said the enterprise was to help fund the next stage of her education having already graduated from Exeter University with a degree in English.

Come on in and have a cuppa! All photos by Aaron Geis Photography –

Open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm the bookshop is currently featuring Inclusive Indie titles such as Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez, In the Palace of Flowers by Victoria Princewell and Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson.

Like many businesses the Almshouse Tea Shop faced challenging financial times. Axbridge Chamber of Commerce member and proprietor Nicky Frewin had to close during the lockdowns and to combat the drop in cashflow sold food and drinks from the front door and thus converting the business briefly to that of a small scale grocery store – one of the exemptions under the Government’s Covid-19 rules.

The Chamber have called on residents to support the new enterprise

“The book store idea came about at the right time,” said Nicky, “as Skye had completed her degree, needed funds for her master’s degree but also to help me with the reduced hours at the tea shop. We have converted part of the Almshouse with book shelves and displays so you can have a pot of tea and cakes while browsing the books. They go so well together and it’s a mother and daughter enterprise.”

Skye Frewin who has joined the Axbridge Chamber of Commerce alongside her mother said one of her passions was sustainability meaning the book shop and café symbolised sustainability perfectly.

The very stuff of life: delicious cakes at the Tea Shop

Speaking for the Chamber of Commerce, the chairman Richard Helps who owns the Post Office said it was brilliant a new business had opened. He said: “It’s important that residents support local businesses and I encourage everyone to visit the book shop and back Skye and Sue’s enterprises. Axbridge traditionally has had a range of retailers and services and it is important that we endorse them as a community.”

The Almshouse Tea Shop dating to the 14th century is on the corner of Axbridge Square and Moorland Street. Telephone 01934 733720. It opens from Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Skye Frewin is the mastermind behind the book shop

Note: the Almshouse has closed this week due to staff having to self-isolate due to Covid-19 but will reopen on Wednesday, 4th August. For details visit the Almshouse’ Instagram page at, or the website at, or the Facebook site at

To join the Chamber costs only £10 a year – for more information visit

Ah… coffee at the Almshouse Tea Shop

Photographs by Aaron Geis Photography –