Sunday, April 28, 2013

An Awards Evening

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend the Homes & Antiques Magazine National Antiques Week Awards for 2013, to be held at Battersea, London.
Last Thursday hubby and I travelled to the capital to spend a gloriously sunny day taking them up on their invite! 
The awards ceremony was scheduled to start at 6pm, which meant we had the day leading up to it, all to ourselves...
Our first stop after driving into the city, was to this pretty shop. 
Nicholas & Steele
I used to follow their blog regularly, but when Holly hadn't updated for a while, I was worried that the shop may have had to close, particularly as Holly had outlined the problems they were facing on the last blog entry...But with a message received on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago from Nicholas & Steele, I knew that the courageous duo had made it, and were still trading on Durham Rd, West Wimbledon. 
What can I say about the welcome we received as we walked through the doors of this delightful vintage emporium? Holly and Steve are two of the nicest people you could wish to meet - Just like talking to old friends - We could have stayed all day! 
Within minutes, tea was freshly brewing in the pink polka dot tea pot and Holly talked of their survival in the suburbs of London. 
Their pretty shop is full of vintage treasures and china tea sets carefully chosen by Holly, and all displayed on the furniture that Steve paints and renovates. They make a great team! :) 

If you happen to be in the Wimbledon area, perhaps visiting the trendy Wimbledon Village, I'd recommend taking the short five minute walk to Durham Road and to visit Nicholas & Steele, where I know a very warm welcome awaits!

Thanks again Holly and Steve for your very kind hospitality x

(A handmade card is winging its way to you... ;-))

Two military crowns given to me by Holly, which I shall use on two fairy dolls that I make in the future - In exchange, I've promised to name one of them Holly! 
After leaving our car near a friend's flat, we headed off by tube to another shop I have wanted to visit for some time. Having found this blog a couple(?) of years ago, I have been intrigued by this creative couple...
We visited Jessie Chorley and Buddug Humphrey's adorable little shop J&B The Shop on  Columbia Road.

What a gem! This quiet area of London is home to a very creative space that instantly transports you into another world far away from the commercialism of many of the retailing streets of the capital. (I understand, however, that the Flower Market that can be found outside on Sundays, gives the area a completely different atmosphere).
Inside, sweet young Jessie was sat working on one of her latest hand stitched, whimsical beauties. Her business partner Buddug is known for her enamelling work, which compliments the stitched creations beautifully. I do admire this gifted young pair who follow their hearts making unique pieces that showcase their artistic talents. 
The shop itself is magical. I wasn't disappointed. It was just like walking into one of their blog posts...

My recent lack of funds meant I could only buy a couple of handmade cards as souvenirs of the day, but one day I will return...
Time for a tea-stop on Columbia Road in the sunshine...
Then it was back on the tube to make a journey to Battersea and the awards ceremony.

This is probably the nearest I shall ever get to visiting the Chelsea Flower show!

The ceremony was to be held at the Battersea Evolution, as part of the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair...
So we gave ourselves an hour to look around the fair first...
I must admit I felt a little out of my depth! With high-end antiques at every turn and price tags which made the eyes water, I din't feel totally comfortable! Many items on sale by antiques experts as seen on TV - It was another world!

Do you happen to live in a castle whose ceilings could take the weight of this mighty beast? 
With the room filling up with antique/vintage dealers from far and wide, it was time for pink champagne, canap├ęs and the serious stuff of announcing the winners of each of the four awards!

Introduction from Mark Hill.
Judith Miller announced and presented the awards...

I am thrilled to say that my little shop was Highly Commended in the People's Choice Award!
Thank you to all who nominated Nostalgia at No.1. I REALLY DO appreciate it! 
I have worked very hard to create a welcoming little vintage oasis in Shepton Mallet, and so to have this recognition, is truly wonderful. 
Thank you x

Visit the Homes & Antiques blog to find out who the winners of each category were here.
And for more photos of the evening, here

As well as my certificate, which I've displayed in my shop's window, I also received a goodie bag containing a lovely hard backed book, H&A magazine and some retro sweets!  

After a long day, it was time to head back home...
No, not here...
or here! ;-))

Sunset on the Thames.
Niki x