Sunday, January 05, 2014

Vintage Shops and Tea Stops...

Hubby and I have been out and about recently, combining my necessary buying trips with some time spent together...It can be easy to stay indoors during these colder months, but making the effort to go out, especially when combined with a little vintage shopping and regular tea drinking breaks, the days can become very enjoyable! ;-))
I thought I'd recommend a few of the places we've been to, and share their websites with you - Perhaps you'll find yourself in the areas we've been visiting and want to check them out too...
1st Dorchester:
Above is the Dorchester Curiosity Centre. If you were to arrive at the town and not know of its existence, you'd be unlikely to find it, as it is in the middle of an industrial estate on the outskirts. Inside are masses of individual units - When we visited, some were a lot better than others. A few have second-hand items that I wouldn't consider as 'vintage', but there was a fairly good mix, with just a few high-end antiques, but mostly 'collectables'. I bought a beautiful antique headboard, which I'll show at the end of the post. 
The Cafe at the centre was quirky, with all the tables and chairs being for sale. 
£3 for a large pot of tea for two :)
We also visited the De Danann Antiques Centre in Dorchester, where I bought a red velvet and satin lined box. (The cafe (fabulous retro caravan) was closed on the day we visited.)
2nd Exeter:
Fore Street, Exeter is the home of Hangar 124 - A vintage clothing shop for men. Fantastic displays and a good selection of stock, with friendly owner, makes it a treat to visit. Hubby bought a pair of cuff-links to add to his growing collection.
Close-by is Relevant, a vintage clothing boutique, owned by bubbly owner Willow, who dresses the part in 40's fashion.
Here I bought a bag full of French parcel handles (originally from an old pharmacy) and a fur collar. All very affordable.
We also paid a visit to Otto's, which I've mentioned on my blog before, but since our last visit, their stock seems to have changed to mostly 'mantiques'...Not so much my style anymore, but perhaps it may be yours?...

Since the last visit though, a cafe had opened up next door (previously an empty shop in need of renovation - they must have worked so hard!)...Time for another tea break in The Hidden Treasure Tea Rooms. There are some brilliant photos which give a feel for the place, here
Lastly we walked down the hill to Exeter Quay, where we called in at the Antique Centre there. I bought several old postcards. 
Here are some of the fruits of our expeditions!...
Here's the antique headboard that I mentioned...
I thought it would make a great pinboard and place to display some of my handmade fairy dolls.
The silk padding has just enough wear to make it extra interesting and I love the painted carved details. 

Several mohair scarves/shawls came from the charity shops on Fore Street, Exeter.
Love this red velvet box with satin lining...I shall use it to display small pieces of jewellery.

My own shop will be back open again towards the end of next week. After a de-Christmas of the displays, I shall be looking towards Valentine's Day and making some special keepsake gifts and handmade cards over the coming weeks.
Looking forward to longer days full of adventure...
Keep Warm! (Tea breaks are particularly good for this! ;-))
Niki x


  1. Happy New Year Niki!
    Sounds like a wonderful time was had while treasure hunting!I LOVE your antique headboard it is so dreamy beautiful! and red velvet for jewellery display well what more could a girl want? ;)

  2. Oh you can't beat a nice day out looking for treasure! I wondered if you've discovered the Vintage Trading Co on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate just outside Exeter? I've not been there myself yet, but may be worth checking out next time you're in the area. Also not far away is Topsham with a good antiques centre on three floors. I always seem to come away with something, and there are several nice tea rooms too. Happy New Year Niki! x

  3. Great days out treasure hunting and tea shops.
    I love the headboard, it is such a pretty shape. Great idea for a display board.

  4. Well done on finding some lovely things Niki. It is certainly worth getting out there to brave the elements! Have a good week. Liz x

  5. Hi Christine,
    Happy New Year!
    Yes, have visited the Vintage Trading Co before, but ran out of time to visit on Saturday... Blogged about it here:
    Been to Topsham too...usually get to Devon for a foray at least once a year...Now youngest daughter is at uni in Exeter, we find ourselves there more than anywhere though...

    See you at a fair soon,
    Niki x

  6. Lovely post I like to combine treasure hunting and cups of tea too. I also agree that it is easier to stay warm and cosy instead of going out and about. I cant resist saying that on one shot of the head board it looks like a cheeky face poking out its tongue. It is very pretty though and great idea for a display.

  7. What a fruitful trip and the tearoom looked lovely,vintiquing and vintage teashopping are my favourite things!'bye for now Pam.

  8. Hi Niki,
    Happy New year. Andy and I went to Exeter for Valentines last year and really enjoyed the city. We're fans of Relevant as you know. I understand that Otto Retro is now run by Willow's boyfriend so that may explain the change in stock. We've been to the curiosity centre in Dorchester, I thought it was awful personally, but there's always a treasure to be found and your headboard does look great as a fairy pin board. Well done you for thinking laterally!
    Hen x

  9. Hi Hen,
    Happy New Year! :)
    Thanks for your comment and I welcome your thoughts about the Curiosity Center...I felt maybe because we had visited just after Christmas, that stocks may have been a bit low, so I felt I needed to give a fair mention of it...there were a lot of secondhand items that could not be classed as vintage...Some dealers had tried hard (I always like Linda Clift's stock for example - Lots of French fabrics and notions.) On our visit I also bought some antique braid from her, some beaded flower corsages and from another unit a Grimwades salt & pepper beehive set - but that's a pressie for a friend, so I didn't want to show it on my blog incase she saw it! ;-))
    Knowing myself, how hard it can be to keep a shop 'well' stocked, I agree with you about Relevant...Brilliant stock, welcoming owner and great prices...what more could one want? It takes a lot of work to keep it up, constantly finding great stuff, and Willow is doing this in a city, so good on her!

    Hope to see you sometime in 2014,
    Niki x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx