When I first moved to London three years ago there wasn’t a lot happening on Redchurch Street … but my, how things have changed. With the opening of Terence Conran’s traditional British caff Albion at Boundary Project, as well as a slew of pop-up shops, boutiques and galleries, not to mention its proximity to Shoreditch House and Tea, Redchurch Street has evolved into East London’s latest destination for hipsters and cool kids.
But don’t let that put you off. Especially when there are so many delights to be discovered at Caravan, which moved from its Spitalfields Market location 18 months ago. The brainchild of interiors stylist Emily Chalmers, this cosy and welcoming boutique is filled with the kind of lovely stuff you never knew you really wanted (or so desperately needed), like angel wings for candles, toadstool lamps and white ceramic owl money boxes.
It’s superbly edited and excellent for last-minute gifts, especially for those who love their stuff feminine and quirky with a vintage edge. And you can pick up some exceptionally well-priced things and get change from a tenner, like ceramic animal jugs (£8.50 each), small furry deers (£9.95) and hare snowdomes (£8.50).
Caravan is also the main retail outlet for Deborah Bowness’ distinctive hand-printed wallpaper, as well as the main UK stockist for iconic Jielde lamps. There’s also a variety of glass display domes from £29 – perfect for showcasing your favourite pieces Victorian-style (see what I mean about things you never knew you wanted?).
The online shop is equally lovely, with a good selection of some of the shop’s best-sellers, as well as a new
sy and inspirational blog.
Keep an eye out for super-friendly shop-cat Bagpuss, who may just come and rub his head on your shins as you consider your purchases.
Because of my total lack of Christmas posts this year I’m doing a last minute round up and have collected some of my favourite things from some of my favourite blogs. I hope you enjoy them, and maybe they’ll lead you somewhere new, or back to an old fave.
Dos Family. There is a tutorial for this fab bauble on the Dos Family blog… maybe if I finally learn to crochet in 2010 I’ll be able to make this and the many other crochet projects I’ve been coveting this year.
I also love the festive simplicity of this rose hip and ivy wreath. The last delivery before Christmas is Wednesday 23rd December – perfect for a lovely (and unexpected) last-minute gift as well as
a welcoming door decoration. They also offer same-day delivery to any
London postcode from their Selfridges concession.
One Boutique A relatively new addition to the online shopping landscape, One Boutique allows you to shop for clothes and accessories from some of the UK’s best independent boutiques, like Mya Rosa in Somerset, Prettyful Things in Norton and Chameleon in Carlisle. Keep an eye out for quirky finds by small designers, as well as pieces by the likes of Alex Monroe, Vivienne Westwood for Melissa and By Marlene Birger.
Bbel Every single element of UK-based independent jewellery label Bbel is made by hand, right down to the hand-formed clasps. Inspired by the natural world, there’s an abundance of flora and fauna and in the current collection, including a charming ‘fox stole’ necklace and delicate lily necklace. The prices are also very good, with a silver personalised heart necklace with 14kt gold for £39.
Scribble House Boasting
a wide collection of luxe leather gifts and stationery, UK-based
Scribble House is a family-run business – and a great place to shop for
gifts. Look out for their luxury leather-bound notebooks that come in a myriad shades (and start at a very reasonable £24), as well as the London A-Z books, which features an underground map insert. Perfect gift for London newcomers and visitors.
Makers Online Bringing
together a raft of small designer-makers in the UK, Makers Online is a
new online boutique for hand-crafted products. Unique contemporary
jewellery is its forte, with a wide range of bracelets, brooches,
earrings and necklaces. Keep an eye out for the very affordable
delicate silver jewellery, like these sweet silver daisy earrings for £8.99 and oxidised sterling flower studs for £39.
I owe you, all my lovely readers, a very big thank you. I’ve had such a great time here on my blog this year and I really do appreciate all your comments, ideas, encouragement and friendship. Thanks for making it fun and interesting for me. Thanks to those of you who’ve introduced yourselves to me at the markets – it’s been lovely to meet you and to have a chat in person. I’m still so flattered to think that you’re out there reading along. I know there are many of you who drop in here without leaving a comment – and that’s OK too ;0 – my little blog recently hit a new high of over 5,000 visitors in one day. So I know you’re out there!
By way of thanks this is my biggest giveaway to date. There will be 6 winners who will each be able to choose which prize they’d like. Each prize is valued between $35 and $40.
A set of 5 cards hand printed on timber.
A yet-to-be-finally-named softie doll/pillow (probably called Sweetie Beans, but possibly Cuddle Bundles). Winner to choose one.
3 handprinted notebooks and a set of little deer tags.
2 Vintage Face fabric panels (one with auburn hair and one with black). Fabric panel only, not the cushion. Plus one Sweetie Petite kit of your choice.
I’ll draw 6 winners at random on Tuesday 22nd December. Each of the winners can choose the prize they’d like and I’ll post anywhere in the world. I’ll even post to my “real life” friends, who I notice hardly ever enter my giveaways! (You know who you are… go on, enter!) All you have to do is go to my website and tell me in a comment on this post what your favourite item is and why. Your favourite could also be something like the Beans or notebooks that aren’t on my website yet. If you have more than one fave you can enter as many times as you like by leaving more than one comment. Just make sure your name links to your blog or leave an email address so I can contact you if you win.
The way things are going here I may not get to post the prizes off before Christmas – it will probably be more like the week after. .