The Curious Shop: Goose Home & Garden

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One of the downsides of renting is being restricted (usually) to playing around with your soft furnishings; one of the upsides, however, is being able to change the style of your space as regularly as you would like!

Today, Sarah & Paul from Goose Home and Garden, our new favourite online shop, join us to tell us about their business. The online shop stocks a range of decorative vintage, from quirky signs to old furniture. One of our friends, Jessica Alice, was so inspired by Sarah that she decided to start her own business selling second hand lifestyle items. 

Sarah’s love for collecting started many years ago as a child trailing after her mum to house sales. Both Paul and Sarah started dealing in vintage homewares 20 years ago in Brighton, and now they sell regularly at fairs in the south of England. By the way, if you were wondering why “Goose”, it is because that is what newborn Sarah was christened by her older brother! We cannot wait to see them at a fair.

For more, visit http://www.goosehomeandgarden.com/.

Images: Sarah Kingston

24 hours in Norwich: A Guide

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Norwich is such a charming city. I had heard lots of good things about it and so was pretty keen to go! It was a lovely day out with plenty to see and do, as well as with places to rest in, but we didn’t have much time. I think 48 hours would be perfect for time to see the Castle (a museum and gallery – top picture), go into the Cathedral, and wander around the Lanes (independent businesses, pictured above) and antique shops. Here are our top picks for 24 hours in the city:

Stop number 1: Looses Emporium | http://www.loosesemporium.co.uk/ | 23-25 Magdalen St, Norwich, NR3 1LP

This place is pretty huge and has a whole range of items from furniture to Roman coins to children’s books. I found a few bits and bobs (like the fireside spaniels and an enamel teapot), but I could easily have bought more if I had room in my bag!

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Stop number 2: St Gregory’s Antiques & Collectibles | http://www.st-gregorys-antiques.co.uk/ | Pottergate/St Gregory’s Alley, Norwich NR2 1ER

Antiques in a 14th century church? Yes! So cute. The church is beautiful with a well-looked after stained glass window – I loved the old airplane suspended from the ceiling! A lot of old stuff in a bit if a jumble but good for a rummage. Loved the collection of old pocket watches and clocks.

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Stop number 3: Aladdin’s Cave | http://www.aladdinscavenorwich.co.uk/ | 52-56 Magdalen Street Norwich, NR3 1JE

I couldn’t take a picture of the shop front as I didn’t have a lens with a wide-enough angle! This place is prety big, with a pretty good mix of things. There were old toys, a fab selection of ephemera, and plenty of china.

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If you are in Norwich, you have to visit the Cathedral. We barely had time to because I had spent all day rummaging through old things. As the sun was out, however, we couldn’t help but laze about in the grounds of the Cathedral and bask in the light.

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Places for food & drink: We stumbled upon Number 17 late-ish afternoon, desperate for food before our train home. How glad we were! The lovely, family-run place had outdoor dining in a little courtyard/back garden, where the B&B rooms were. We loved the fruit growing on the trees, the quiet garden, and the vintage crockery/tea sets. Oh, also, the food is freshly made and the cakes are homemade!

1. Number 17 Bed & Breakfast | http://www.number17norwich.co.uk/ | Colegate, Norwich, NR3 1BN

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2. Roots | http://www.rootsnorwich.co.uk/  | 6 Pottergate, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1DS

We stuck our heads in but didn’t end up stopping here for food. However, the menu looked delicious and reasonably priced. We loved the idea of cake tapas!

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Images: Courage & Dash

Summer Lazing with Layer Home

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When Hannah from Layer Home first got in touch, I knew that I had met a kindred spirit – someone who had a love of interiors and old things and a lot of energy for a project she really believed in.

Layer Home is currently a website filled with articles about design, styling, and antiques. It is the brainchild of Hannah (a digital guru) and Denise (a property development and expert), a mother-daughter team (even more to love!). We can’t tell you too much, but there are exciting things afoot at Layer, so STAY TUNED!

We caught up with them (in Denise’s beautiful garden) and asked for the pair to share some of their thoughts on design, inspiration, and collecting.

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Denise: These photos are taken in the garden of my house, which is an Arts and Crafts property in a pretty village called Englefield Green, Surrey. The house used to be the old doctor’s surgery, and the original shutters are still on the outside of the house now. I’ve lived here for seven years and still love it.

Where do you find inspiration?
Hannah: Everywhere! Instagram is a constant source of inspiration. Since we launched Layer on Instagram earlier this year, we have been consistently amazed and inspired by so many beautiful photos taken by talented bloggers and photographers within the interiors space.

But we also find inspiration from nature, fashion, shopfronts, people walking down the street – all over the place. Sometimes it’s nice to switch everything off and step away from the online world to give yourself the space to be creative.

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How do you combine style and comfort?
Hannah: Thinking about how the space will actually work and be lived in is something that we believe in strongly. There’s just no point creating beautiful spaces that are uninhabitable or impractical for the people using them everyday (we agree!). We like to think carefully about where everything should sit from the word go – it’s not glamorous, but people forget how important putting plug sockets in the right place can be!

Which are your favourite places in your home?
<Denise: The garden lodge tucked away in a secluded spot at the end of the garden is definitely my favourite place. We built it from scratch a few years ago on a pretty tight budget – but it’s now my oasis of calm to take a cup of tea in the morning and practice some yoga.

Hannah: The courtyard in my house is definitely a triumph! It is very white and light, and when we pull back the full-length doors from the kitchen it really feels like one, really large room. The antique mirrors on the fence reflect back the light and make the space feel even bigger.

Describe the favourite pieces in your home and tell us the stories behind them.
Denise: My favourite painting is by Thomas McGregor who is an artist based in London and it’s an abstract piece called Trees on Park. It’s in a beautiful gold, gilt frame and the juxtaposition of traditional gilt frame and modern painting works fantastically. The blue, pink and green tones work beautifully in my dining room. I’ve just recently started buying artwork as I was quite intimidated by it before. Now I just buy pieces that I fall in love with! This painting was purchased from Mark at Ebury Trading.

Hannah: I visited Ardingly market last week and picked up the yellow and white 1960s woven plastic chair. I just can’t get enough of it! It’s outside in my courtyard now that the weather is nice and it just gives a great pop of colour to the white space. It’s very comfortable and feels quite ‘Mad Men’-esque!

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Tell us about how you use your outside space? What do you love about it?

Hannah: The outside space was something that sold my house to me. In the summer, it literally gives us another room in the house and it’s where we eat breakfast and dinner, practice yoga and less glamourously, dry our washing! It’s also perfect for Friday evening drinks with friends – we open up the doors from the kitchen, light the tealights and get some cocktails going.

One tip for anyone looking to restyle their outdoor space.
 Don’t be afraid to bring ‘inside furniture’ outside. Some of our most favourite events have involved heavy lifting of sofas and chairs and rugs outside, even if only for a short period of time.

You can also buy special outside rugs which really make the space feel welcoming and cosy. They can stay outside in the summer and roll up into a shed for the dark, winter months. Throw some cushions down on them for a perfect spot to relax.

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Best kept secret shops for interiors?
There are too many to name!
Most recently we discovered midcentury furniture dealers Hutch Interiors and House of Twenty. They both have beautiful stock and would certainly be our first point of call for a statement chair or sofa.

We also regularly make the journey to Sunbury Antiques Market and Ardingly Antiques Market (Josie: Take me with you!). They can be hit or miss, but if you pick a sunny day when all of the traders have made the trip over from Europe, there is such a buzz. Get there for when the doors open before everything gets snapped up!

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Thank you so much, Denise and Hannah, for spending time with us and showing us your beautiful garden! Stay tuned for more coming from these talented women at Layer Home!

For more, visit http://layerhome.com/.

(Images by Layer Home)

A Trip to the Coast: Hastings

At the encouragement of Jeska (Lobster & Swan) and Cat (Take Courage), we finally made our way down to Hastings one rainy Saturday. We had heard quite a bit about the antiques/vintage treasures to be found, and about the venerable Hendy’s Home Store, so were pretty excited! What probably excited the husband more was the promise of adventure golf and fish+chips at the end of a day of rummaging and vintage-hunting.

Hastings Old Town is where all the treasure is. It’s a quirky, fun little place with independent shops housed in really (really!) old buildings. We didn’t have time to see everything (blame the husband and the golf) but here are some of our favourite finds:

Butlers Emporium | 70 George Street, Hastings TN34 3EE

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When we walked into this shop, the husband asked “are you about to pop with happiness?” Indeed I was about to – the store is set in an old house and has an incredibly charming exposed original wall in one corner of the floor. The shop fittings were beautiful and rustic, casually thrown together and filled with a mix of vintage and vintage-style stock. Ah. CHeck out the sign above, by the way, was our ABSOLUTE favourite sign ever.

Hendy’s Home Store | 36 High Street, Hastings TN34 3ER

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I heard about Hendy’s before I heard about the War of the Roses. No, only joking! But Hendy’s is pretty well-known, and for good reason. It’s hard to describe, but the broody interior is set out like a person’s house, and the stock fits the theme of each room, which is pretty fun. Feels a bit like Anthropologie meets industrial New York.

S Forrest (Herbs & Spices) | 17 George Street, Hastings TN34 3EG

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A random find, but we couldn’t help but be drawn to the reed baskets filled with bits of firewood filling the shop windows. We thought it might be an antiques shop selling wooden furniture, but it was a herb shop that smelled absolutely divine. Get herbs and spices for reasonable prices, and cooking tips from Sally Forrest, the owner of the shop (and another store-owner in a long heritage of retailers). She is passionate about cooking and eating well, as well as supporting local suppliers/growers. Can’t argue with that!

The Clockwork Crow | Westhill Arcade, George Street, Hastings TN34 3EA

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This was the first shop we stopped by and we loved it straightaway. A cozy little store filled with colourful vintage ceramic tiles, antique glassware, old hunting horns… A real treasure cave. There was also the sweetest (quite large) poodle/labradoodle type dog (not for sale though)! We left with a vintage hand embosser.

The Goods Depot | 86 High Street, Hastings TN34 3ES

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It was late in the day when we found The Goods Depot, and the door was locked, much to our disappointment! However, it was a good thing we hung around (I insisted on peering through the window to take in as much of the interior as I could), because the owner came back to let us in! Plenty of antique furniture, mid-century typewriters and telephones, iron-wrought bells, wooden boot lasts… Was wonderful! We didn’t have too much time in here, but do check out the website and photos of their current stock.

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We did get to play some mini-golf, although embarrassingly I turned out to be pretty bad despite actually being able to play golf. How does that work??

There are plenty of other shops we didn’t have time to visit; if you are planning a visit do tell us what you think or if you’ve found any other places worth a peek.

Images: Courage & Dash (apart from: photo of exterior of The Clockwork Crow, from http://www.theclockworkcrow.co.uk/; 2nd and 3rd photos of The Goods Depot from http://www.goodsdepot.co.uk/)

A Wander through Tynemouth Market

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Last Christmas, we were back up North for some much needed rest and family time. If you enjoy exploring markets, vintage shops, and antique bookshops, there are quite a few places worth a visit in the North-East; Barter Books, for example, where the famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” (we know, so overused now, zzzz, but the original was a pretty amazing wartime poster) was first discovered, is a beautiful antiques bookshop in an old railway station.

This time, we thought we would visit Tynemouth Market, a covered market in Tynemouth Station. It’s quite a pretty little place, and really handy to get to on the Metro system (it is also very close to the sea). There is a range of stalls, from tasty pies and coconut macaroons, to vintage signs and antique clocks. We had a fun morning rummaging and wandering before a lazy afternoon (feels so long ago now).

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Apparently, the sign above was from the Berlin Wall! Would have been a fun sign to hang outside your office door… The lady below loved it and managed to get it for a really good price. Shame there is no space left on our walls…

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Benny’s coconut macaroons, freshly baked, are not to be missed… I’m usually more a fan of French macarons, but these were yummy.

If you have a favourite market, please do send them our way (info@courageanddash.co.uk)! Would love to find out about new places for a weekend exploration and write about them here.

 

Images: Courage & Dash

Flea-market Love: Guide to the Braderie de Lille

This post is incredibly overdue! But first things first: are you enjoying the wintery autumn weather? Eeek! Boots and coats and scarves and snuggles and fireplaces. We LOVE autumn.

Back to the Braderie: if you haven’t been, and you are a flea market aficionado, then you must visit. Even if just once! The event takes place very year in Lille, France, on the first weekend of September. The whole city is transformed into a giant bazaar.

Before going, we read some comments on TripAdvisor that dismissed the Braderie as a giant tacky boot sale, which is categorically untrue. What it is, is a giant flea market, and there are different sections that feature different types of items, from modern, mass produced things (we saw SO MANY boxes of loom band materials and socks…), to traditional French vintage objects (lots of glassware, clothes, household items…), to salvage from all eras. There truly is something for everyone (I went with my husband, and although he did spend some of the time working in the hotel room 😦 , he really enjoyed wandering and bargain-hunting)! There are no restrictions (apart from the usual legal ones) on the types of wares that can be sold in the Braderie, hence the variety, but there are areas that you can go straight to if you have something specific in mind.

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The great thing about the Braderie, is that the entire city is filled with a festive vibe. While Northern France weather isn’t that much less gloomy vs. London’s (it’s so much further south than us, but you really need to keep going south for any decent sunshine, I’ve concluded!), there were a couple of days with blazing, glorious hot weather. Which, added to the bustle, the sound of stall-owner cries fighting to be heard over buyers haggling and booming street music and the sight of piles of mussels,really come together to lift the party spirit. Oh, and there’s also a half-marathon first thing in the morning. Fun!

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Here’s our quick guide to the Braderie, based on what we read/learned from being there.

International Transport:

From London, the quickest way is via the high-speed Eurostar (from St Pancras Station). It takes only ~1.5hours (that’s less time than to go to York!), and Eurostar only requires you to check-in 30mins before departure – less hassle than flying. Tickets are actually pretty affordable if you book in advance (we paid about £50/pp one way, but I booked a couple of months ahead).

Once you get into Lille, the station is pretty-much in the city centre. Lille is very walkable, so you can stay near the station and walk into the Braderie everyday (we got in late on Friday night so chose to stay at the Suites Novotel by the station).

The alternative is ferry to Calais, but we didn’t try that – since you only have a weekend, I’d recommend just taking the Eurostar!

Local Transport:

The Metro is the most efficient way of getting around, especially since the roads are closed off/generally pedestrianised both for the Braderie and the weekend’s half marathon. To be honest, though, I didn’t once step foot into the Metro – Lille is incredibly walkable. There were certain places nearer the canal that were too far to walk for the short time we had (we were there all weekend but it’s amazing how much time one can spend browsing in a small area), so in those cases, Metro is the answer! Most of the Braderie takes place between Gare Lille Flandres (near the international station, and right by a giant shopping mall), and the Porte des Postes station.

If you have a van, according to The Good Life France, you can park just outside the city and take a metro in. The car parks are at: CHR Calmette, Porte des Postes and Porte in Lille, Saint-Philibert in Lomme, and Cité Scientifique and 4 Cantons in Villeneuve d’Ascq.

Where to go for what:

First stop, definitely accept the maps that people working for the tourism office are handing out on the streets. The maps run out very quickly and they are golden!

Generally, we would recommend avoiding the main streets (Rue du Molinel, Rue Faidherbe, Rue Nationale, and the pedestrian areas – Rue Neuve, Rue de Béthune, Rue du Sec-Arembault). The main streets tend to be taken up by local shops selling their wares on their shop front on discount, or by stalls selling bric-a-brac/corner shop type things. Not the main attraction for you, I’m guessing!

Jean-Baptiste Lebas Boulevard, Boulevard Louis XIV, Rue Debierre and Rue du Réduit

This is the place to go to for vintage/antique homewares, books, trinkets. The roads are quieter, and sometimes there are large gaps between clusters of stalls, so you might think you’ve got to the end of the area or have made a wrong turning. Keep wandering! You’ll be rewarded with the contents of someone’s attic spread out across the road, good antique collections of silverware, copper pots, etc. We found an exquisite early 19th century piano chair that was in decent condition and only EUR60 starting price! Alas, taking the Eurostar does mean limited cargo 😦 There are couriers, apparently, but that’s something we haven’t figured out yet… any ideas let us know!

There are hundreds of stalls selling antiques – to be honest, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There is so much to see – the quality and variety of the wares were as good as what you’d get back in the UK, however, prices are much cheaper at the Braderie than back home, so take advantage! The sellers are professional dealers (as opposed to someone trying to empty out their loft), so expect quality and expect a slight premium. Some of the roads (esp. the Jean-Baptiste Lebas Boulevard) get pretty busy, so brace yourself.

Place Simon Vollant (around the old Paris Gate)

We couldn’t get enough of this area – not only is it beautiful, it’s also has plenty of vintage and second hand finds on offer. Good landmark, too, so you don’t get lost in the maze of the city streets.

Façade de l’Esplanade – near the canal

Sadly, we didn’t make it here! But this is apparently the place to go to for fine and larger sized antiques, e.g. furniture, paintings. The length of the canal is covered with dealers from all over the continent, with chairs and desks lining the walkway… quite a sight!

Other places

Markets:

Wazemmes area of Lille
Place de la Nouvelle Aventure

Boot Sale:

Boulevard Victor Hugo
Moulins (rues d’Arras, de Douai, de Cambrai and de Maubeuge)

Food & Drink

Wander around and you will not be disappointed. You’ve probably heard about the moules mountain competition amongst all the restaurants, where the restaurant with the biggest pile of mussel shells wins (great photos to be found on instagram, use #braderiedelille). However, I really liked Raptor Shack for a quick (and dirty!) burger and fries, if you don’t want to interrupt the antiques-hunting. Yum.

Accommodation:

The only problem with the Braderie predictably falling every first weekend of September, is that there is no way around the pricey accommodation then. The market attracts visitors from all over Europe/the world, so places on AirBnB (which we gave up on fairly quickly) and similar platforms tend to get booked up very early on, sometimes even a year in advance. We ended up staying at the Suites Novotel, which we would highly recommend. It was ~£130++/night for two sharers. Super comfy, clean, right by the Metro/Eurostar station, extremely friendly staff…

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One of our favourite things, by the way, were the random street bands – there was a fantastic student (?) brass band that was playing Michael Jackson hits. We couldn’t stop laughing!

The Braderie de Lille is one of the best flea markets I have been too, not just because of the sheer volume and variety of things (it was the salvage hunter’s dream, I wish I had a large van to take everything home with me), but also because of the feel of the place. Everyone was so friendly, and it didn’t matter that I did not speak any French. All round good fun, worth a visit!

Have you been? Any tips to share?

 

Images: Courage & Dash

Additional information from The Good Life France, and the Lille Tourist Office.

Sunday Style: Styling Ideas with Divinely Vintage

Hello! Did everyone enjoy the glorious sunshine? We went to bed on Friday evening think that we were going to wake up to a tropical thunderstorm on Saturday, but no! After a brief (torrential) shower, the sun came out and shone in all its glory all weekend.

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On Thursday, we hopped over to Newark for the IACF Antiques & Collectors fair. It was our first time, but it was a fantastic time. There are some photos on Instagram, but we decided to keep our cameras away while wandering around the hundreds and hundreds of stalls. Got some fantastic buys, but that’s not what today’s post is about. On the subject of old treasures, we’ve brought you some great ideas about styling with old fabrics, from Divinely Vintage.

homelifeBeautiful vintage floral prints from Home Life

liberty vintage fabricVintage Liberty fabrics from Gold on My Shoulders

Divinely Vintage sources and sells curtains and fabrics from bygone eras, when florals and detailed patterns featured heavily. These vintage fabrics are like hanging pieces of artwork, and not only can they be used as curtains but as furnishing fabrics too! Sue from Divinely Vintage kindly took some time to show us how you can use these fabulous fabrics to add a rustic charm to your home. Nadine from Spinney Cottage Flowers styled these beautiful images for your enjoyment! Take a look…

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Sue’s outdoor day bed in her garden – doesn’t that look so comfy? What a cosy place to retire to with a book. Even if you don’t have an outdoor space, these pillows and cushions can bring the outdoors in…

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A closer look at this beautiful, colourful, oriental style fabric, perfect for the outside with all its floral goodness. The fabric has been cleverly turned into a French bolster; it can also be used on cushions and seating pads…

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Take the bolsters and pillows inside to brighten up your bedroom…

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Divinely Vintage is always on the look out for curtains and fabrics to add to their collection. They have recently started stocking their curtains in various shops, and are possibly coming to us in London! Hurrah!

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You can also use these colourful and bright textiles as throws for your sofas (Yes! No more dull, rental furniture, instant cottage feel).

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2nd Blog 5Sue and Nadine of Spinney Cottage Flowers who styled these photos

Feeling inspired yet? If you don’t have any vintage or floral fabrics, visit the Vintage Fashion & Accessories Fair at Hammersmith Town Hall this Sunday, 15th June, from 10am.

Thank you so much, Sue and Nadine!

Images from Divinely Vintage