Saturday, 19 January 2013


I seem to have a thing for old coffee / teapots at the the two early examples above.

 One blue spongeware, the other blue transfer print. Both damaged, without lids, but still charming in a simple, naive way.

Another coffee pot which I bought in Portobello Market, London just after Christmas, was this 19th century silver plate beauty...

Lovely tankard shape, simple engraving and the name Constance in a cartouche.

And at the end of the handle a heart.

How I would love to know the story of Constance's coffee pot...naturally my mind is racing at the thought of a romantic gesture from an ardent admirer, but it was probably a loving gift from a family member.

A dinky, dinky teapot which is actually a tape measure when the knob on the lid is pulled up.

An extremely delicate tape inside that won't take much more pulling,....but it was just one of those things I had to buy. You know how it is....A sucker for the unusual!

Finally, a brilliant Christmas present from my Mum...An Emma Bridgewater teapot with old back stamp on the base.

Two messages..."drink more tea"...which is not a problem for me,

And..."love the giver"....which I certainly do.

Hope you are all coping with this winter weather....we are having our fair share here in Northumberland,

And more seems to be on the way apparently.

Off to Durham for the Antique and Vintage Fair tomorrow....Hope the skies are a little clearer.....

Bye for now,
Julie x

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Spitalfields....hidden gems...

Having been summoned to London between Christmas and New Year to see my son's new flat, ( and also to wield a paintbrush and roller ) I managed to fit in a little sightseeing in the East End.

Somewhere I have read about HERE and have always wanted to visit ....Spitalfields.

Fine 17th and 18th century town houses whose history spans the Hugenot and Irish silk weavers to the notorious slums of Victorian London inhabited by Jewish immigrants. 

Now modernised and enjoyed by a new generation.... save one... The Dennis Severs' House in Folgate Street.... where time has stood still.

Entering the house from the street requires adjustment, as your eyes accustom themselves to the darkness.

Lit only by candlelight and fires in the ten rooms...your journey starts in complete silence on the ground floor and cellar, winding your way to the top of the house, taking in the smell of wood smoke, food and musty damp in the attic.

As no photographs are allowed in the property, I have linked to The Dennis Severs flickr page so you can get the idea of life re created in an 18th century Spitalfields house. However, these well lit photographs do not do justice to the real experience in the gloomy candlelight.

Theatrical room sets of unmade beds, collapsed ceilings, chamber pots full of urine add to a magical and very different house tour. 
Certainly worth the queue on a Sunday afternoon....

After a quick visit to The Spitalfields Market, I ventured onto Fournier Street,

And directly opposite Christ Church,

I found a fabulous shop....Town House

Full of interesting, quirky, decorative and useful pieces...set in a classic Spitalfields house with logs burning in the stove, creating a warm welcome to those who enter.

Down the stairs and into the kitchen,

Cosy and inviting.....

Coffee and cake was on the menu,

Good coffee and homemade lemon drizzle cake served by a charming Scotsman... Murray, who told me about the shop, its talented owner who spends time between France and London and the history of the area.

It is also possible to stay at The Town House for weekend breaks or longer.....HERE
What a great base to explore London in an old building, surrounded by antiques yet with luxury, modern facilities.

Thank you Murray for your nice to meet you!

Julie x