Field Trip!

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that Amy and I had a field trip to Bristol on Wednesday. We asked you all for suggestions on where to go to find our kind of shop - indie shops run by fabulous people.

We started the day by collecting a bookcase/cabinet type thing we nabbed on ebay, from a really cool building:

Amy was a bit scared by the lift, but there was no way we were taking the stairs with our 60's cabinet as it's jolly heavy! We'll photograph it once it's installed in the shop and covered in pretty stock. We might paint the shelves with some amazing paint we picked up on the next leg of our journey.

 Crazy window cleaners.

We headed over to Cheltenham Road and visited Cox and Baloney, they run craft workshops - including a nipple tassel making class! Do you think Leamington is ready for that? They have a beautiful tea room and a cellar where Juliet lives with her lovely paint. Amy is itching to use the tester pots we bought...

We walked from there up Gloucester Road and found ample vintage clothes shops and indie craft stores. Highlights for us include Portabella for well chosen vintage clothes, they manage to avoid what we call the 'jumble sale trap'.  7th Sea for a mixture of quirky hand made items. A proper, old-fashioned toy shop called Playfull (not a spelling error and I can't find a website for them).  Flo - Jo Boutique whose knicker making kit can be found in Liberty - although the ladies weren't around for us to say hello to.

Our last stop before heading back in to the city centre was Iota. It's great. We bought several things which I can't write about as they're birthday presents, but I know their recipients will be more than pleased with them! The lady behind the counter was so friendly and helpful, everything you want from an indie shop owner. She helped us out with suppliers of a couple of ranges and was interested in our shop. We recognised a lot of what they stock, but somehow they managed to display everything in a way that felt fresh and inviting - it was busy without being over cluttered. Well done.

Next stop was St Nicholas Market for a late lunch at Pie Minister.

We followed some more advice and wondered up Christmas Steps (thanks Fay!). Again, a wealth of indie shops with hand made and interesting offerings. Our favourite two were conveniently right next to each other:

We popped in to a cafe across the road, on the corner of St Michael's Hill and Perry Road, but I failed to get the name. They served us both hot chocolates with coconut syrup and a free side order of where to head next. Amy's friend Sam dropped in and joined us for a hot drink. Goodness he's tall.

We headed off in search of Park Street. We were hoping we would find a cool shop with the same address as us, but number 45 turned out to be this:
Oh well.

We enjoyed the rest of Park Street nonetheless. Our favourite shop was Love From Random. It has an upstairs filled with our kind of vintage - tins, games, accessories, small bits of furniture, china, glass etc. Amy bought a knitted tie for Matt the flat-mate-carpenter. Lucky boy!

On our way back to the car, we spied some Banksy - sorry, there is some truly brilliant street art in Bristol, but this is the one we managed to take a picture of:

Banksy, splatted with paint balls.
 A little sit by the docks before we headed home.

We spent a day in Bristol, but we're nowhere near done! We managed to have a quick look at The Birdcage, but didn't have time to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee. I look forward to going back soon.

Berylune, 45 Park Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4QN.