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

Images: Sarah Kingston


Curious Shop: Fresh Produce and Vintage Kitchenwares


Right. Put me on a train to Oxford now, please. How delicious does the food at 2 North Parade look?? The husband and I are often moaning about the lack of greengrocers/fishmongers/butchers around us… you know, traditional small specialist businesses which provided fresh food that hasn’t travelled hundreds/thousands of miles. We are surrounded by about 5 supermarkets, and sadly, I admit that’s where we do most of our shopping. It’s very convenient, but doesn’t stop us from being slightly jealous of Oxford for having 2 North Parade!!

If you have been following Courage & Dash for a while, you would know that in addition to a (healthy) love of antiques/vintage, I also have a great soft spot for food. Fresh, homely food, good produce… makes me all warm and fuzzy (I know that sounds a bit sad, but it’s the simple things, is it not?).

2 North Parade is a neighbourhood produce store run by Peter Slade and Jojo Goodfellow. The business works closely with local farmers, producers and suppliers, which is great if you are concerned about the provenance of your ingredients. You can also get recipe ideas for cooking with the seasonal stock available – I’m a big advocate of eating seasonal as food tends to be tastier when grown during the time of the year it is supposed to! Even better, Peter and Jojo are developing their own courtyard kitchen garden to offer cut-to-order herbs. Yes, please.

If you like your kitchenware to be stylish (of course you do, that’s why you are here!), 2 North Parade now also stocks Old Made Shop items, specially curated for the store. Old Made is an Oxford-based online store which carries vintage and handmade homewares… check out their old measuring spoons and wooden pizza boards.


For more foodie/kitchen goodness, check out 2 North Parade at or visit them at 2 North Parade Avenue, Oxford, OX2 6LX; see Old Made Shop at


Images: 2 North Parade (via Peter Slade)

Still Looking? Festive Gold+Bombay Duck Giveaway!


We are having a massive thing for glossy metallics at the moment – it’s most certainly been brought on by tinsel and glitter and sequins that are traditional for this time of year, but for some reason, we can’t seem to get enough! Can you gold foil everything? WE WANT TO.

So… now that you know we are obsessed with shiny things, take a look at the latest Bombay Duck collection, which we absolutely adore. We spotted them at Top Drawer London this year, and could not help but wander over (multiple times) to pick up various bits of crockery and homewares.


Bombay Duck was founded by two sisters, Laura and Steph, who love shopping and travelling. The brand is well known for its vivacious colours and bold print, inspired by time spent by both of them in the Far East. Bombay Ducks’ style has changed since we first discovered it – the new designs work for both lovers of pattern as well as of block colours. However, our favourite thing about the business, is that it started as a sisterly dream and has now grown into a large, global lifestyle name.

The site has everything you could possibly need to kit out your home (esp. your rented home!) with – from soft furnishings to kitchenware to picture frames, there is something for every home. And most definitely something for everyone, especially if like us you are not done with your Christmas shopping yet, eek!


Doesn’t the tea set above look so chic?

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To celebrate the season, and since it is nearly Christmas after all, we are giving away a Besotted mug from the new Bombay Duck collection. Simply follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and get more chances to win: click here
for details!
Competition closes on Dec. 21, 2014, and we will select a winner at random.

Visit Bombay Duck for more homely goodness and inspiration:


Images via Bombay Duck

The Curious Shop: Love French markets? Meet Maison Brocante

We’ve been meaning to post all kinds of goodies, from our trip through time in Rome to our weekend salvage-hunting in Lille. And more moodboards. And interviews. And real homes. Ahhh! However, time is zooming by and work is manic, and 24 hours is not enough, so we APOLOGISE for not being able to post as often as we would like to 😦 The aim is still to write interesting, relevant and helpful posts, however. Bear with us!

Today, we bring you one of our favourite Curious Shops, Maison Brocante, an online homewares store featuring French vintage. If you have a thing for French markets, but like me, can’t take the time to travel to the deep south of France where the best ones are (if I didn’t work, I think I’d be gone every week), this could be the answer!

Beautiful images by Ellen Tobin

As the name suggests, Maison Brocante features French vintage/flea market finds. The lovely Nicole Milligan spends her time scouring all corners of France for the best in kitchenalia, furnishings, homewares. So eye-catching are the items she stocks, that Homes & Antiques has featured the shop!


“It was an easy decision to create Maison Brocante,” Nicole tells us. ” I have always loved French markets and I have a passion for beautiful interiors (who doesn’t?!) so it made perfect sense to put the two together.”

“French Brocantes are pretty amazing – there, they are a part of daily life there and quite often an exciting annual event – like a massive treasure hunt where you never know what you are going to get!”


“When you find that special something, it makes all the walking and early starts worth it!”


“French vintage is perfect for injecting a bit of character and personality into the home – I love the quality of an original piece of French enamelware or the stunning look of an original porcelain or ironstone tureen – the variation is endless making these markets pretty addictive,” says Nicole.


Nicole founded Maison Brocante in 2012, with the mission to bring unique and beautiful homeware at affordable prices. Her love of antiques and “old stuff!”, combined with her appreciation for new trends have led to a range that is current, fresh, and filled with that have enduring appeal.

“I just found an amazing French Faience plate with a picture of an old man’s face on it – it’s big and bold and I just love the blue and white colours,” shares Nicole. “Very on trend and very French!”


Maison Brocante will soon be stocking a range of French fabrics, after Nicole returns from sourcing French Linen, Hemp and French Ticking from Provence.

“I am also launching the Maison Brocante blog, whichwill follow my trips to the Brocantes and my latest treasures and projects. I hope it will be an interesting read to those who love all things French or are intrigued by these amazing markets.”


Last we spoke to Nicole, she was about to head back off to the continent on another shopping trip – best job, or what? Do visit the store and let us know what your favourite items are. We would love a whole set of enamel pots and pile of linen, we think!

To keep up with Nicole’s adventures, or to visit the shop, go to Maison Brocante at


Images: Ellen Tobin (via Nicole Milligan)

The Curious Shop: Closet & Botts

Nestled in a row of shop-houses in charming Lewes, East Sussex, is an unassuming homewares shop. From the outside, it looks like an old style sundry store – the name Closet & Botts gives nothing away, apart from making one think of two gentlemen from decades gone peddling finest wares (you know the feel we are describing: “purveyors of” and “finest goods” and “mother knows best”, that type of mid-century feel..!).


Step inside and your initial suspicions will be proved fairly accurate. Closet & Botts is beautifully styled, tastefully mixing reclaimed, vintage pieces with modern items. It’s like walking into someone’s home, and being encouraged to pick out whatever catches your fancy… fun!


Closet & Botts was founded by school friends Chloe Shearing and Harriet Maxwell. Chloe originally worked in a French patisserie in Brighton, whilst Harriet was, unsurprising to us, a display artist for Anthropologie in London! A hint of the Anthro style can be felt throughout the store – the bazaar sense, the use of of merchandise as display (who doesn’t love realising they can buy the cabinet stocking the pretty glassware in the store?), the seamless blend of old and new…

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Chloe and Harriet have a shared love and history for hunting down well-crafted, attractive objects, while dreaming about one day displaying their finds in a shop of their own. It took a particularly inspiring holiday in Paris to convince them to take the plunge: before long, they had both left their jobs, bought a van, and were off around the country and continent hunting down the treasures that they so longed to stock their shop with.

Their dream of opening a shop soon came to be when they discovered an old pharmacy on Lewes High Street. It was what they had been hoping for,  with aged wooden floorboards, disused fireplaces and feature stained glass windows. It even had a beautiful garden through French doors, adding to the feel of wandering through someone’s home, when browsing in the shop.

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Closet & Botts will soon be launching a new website and online store  – we cannot wait!

Have you been to the store before? Or visited the pretty town of Lewes?

Closet & Botts
196 High Street

Images: Closet & Botts

The Curious Shop Revisits The Hambledon… in Cowley!

Remember one of our earlier Curious Shop finds, The Hambledon? Well, they recently set up shop in Cowley, Gloucestershire! It’s a permanent store, carrying specially chosen lines and cleverly displayed to maintain the feel of its winning original store in Winchester. You can never have too much of a good thing, we think!

The store is located within Cowley Manor, stunning country house hotel and spa in the heart of the Cotswolds. Located in the stable block, between the Main House and C-Side Spa, the shop is open to hotel guests and non-residents Monday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

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Have you been yet? Will you be going soon? Do pop in for a visit, and let us know what you think! Tweet your photos to @couragedash, or Instagram at @courageanddash.

The Hambledon at Cowley Manor
Cowley Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NL
01242 870509


Images: The Hambledon

Favourite Find: The Foodie Bugle

One of the things we would love to do (if the day job wasn’t 12-15hrs/day!) is to spend more time in the kitchen – baking, cooking, experimenting, making… We’ve always thought that it would be brilliant to live in the countryside, go on many long foraging walks, then return home with all the ingredients for delicious, refuelling food. The idyllic dreams of urban munchkins!

Given those dreams will remain such for now, it was to our great delight that we discovered The Foodie Bugle. You might be able to recognise our eclectic love of pretty includes elements of the reclaimed and the old; The Foodie Bugle (TFB) is a journal and shop that combines that feel, as it showcases artisans, places, food, drink, books and crafts… Wanderlust-stirring finds.

Foodie Bugle Lookbook (18th May 2013)

TFB is the work of Silvana de Soissons and  John-Paul de Soissons, who have inspiring stories: Silvana spent 10 years in the City trading money market products (very short term debt-type financial instruments – for more, see Investopedia), before moving to an entirely different career in cooking, catering, food writing and styling; John-Paul similarly worked in the City, gathering 27 years of experience in originating (issuing) and structuring leveraged finance transactions (again, Investopedia to the rescue!) for famous names like Pret a Manger. There really is life after the City…! (:

Foodie Bugle Lookbook (18th May 2013)

For now, Silvana and John-Paul are running the Journal and the Shop, with great and exciting plans for a high street shop and kitchen coming soon (we cannot wait). Meanwhile, TFB offers courses (breadmaking, how to set up an online shop) in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside – a great escape from the rush of city life, especially if you dream of rural idyll.

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Have you bought anything from TFB shop, or attended any of their courses? What is your favourite find in the shop?


For more information and Foodie Bugle treats, visit:

Images: Jason Ingram via The Foodie Bugle