Sunday, 24 April 2011

Brighton Belle

 Hello and a Happy Easter to you all! We're making the most of the sunshine this weekend and going to a BBQ at my sister's this afternoon. Not traditional Easter fare I agree but why waste this glorious sunshine? I've been busy with some Easter makes that I will share with you later in the week; some biscuits, bunting and baking. And an Easter tree! It has become a little dishevelled by the baby and the cat so it's not as pretty as when I created it on Thursday. I also bought some beautiful Easter decorations from Paperchase. Oh how I love Paperchase. More on that soon I promise.

On Sunday last we made the short journey from Ghyll Manor to Brighton. I was fortunate enough to be a student in Brighton, oh many moons ago now. Almost ten years ago since I made my journey away from my folks down to the Sussex coast and the best three years a girl could ask for. I still love the town but rarely get down there.  The shopping is amazing- and it's so creative and inspirational. I didn't spend a penny myself but loved rifling through the vintage shops, thrift stores and flea markets. 
 We parked up and made our way down through the North Laine area where I discovered the most beautiful shop. Bluebelle & Co is heaven- all lovely children's clothes, gorgeous homewares and beautiful gifts. And the the merchandising was so inspirational!
 I am now determined to make a little navy and white 'mademoiselle' cape, like a crochet one they were selling, but I've yet to find a good pattern. 
 We came away with a Pip studio cup and saucer, which I am currently enjoying a new Twinings Royal Wedding celebration tea from. Delicious! I love the Pip china, so beautiful. D was sent the tea and a blue Pip cup and saucer as a promotion and bought it home for me last week, so when we saw the range at Bluebelle, D decided to buy the grey version for a more masculine brew.

We wandered through the North Laine, visiting my favourite haunts, including Snooper's Paradise- a fab flea market full to the rafter with STUFF. I was looking for some china to build my collections, but I found nothing. I think Snooper's Paradise is more expensive than it used to be, and the collection of stuff is not so good. There was a brilliant stand called Kitch n Sink which was 1950s homewares and reproductions. D picked up a Potting Shed Tea mug which he is has taken down to the garden today. I fell in love with EVERYTHING including a formica table. However, with a car full of luggage etc. it was no time to buy furniture. I searched for fabrics, but the fabric bit is smaller than it used to be. Bums.
 We wandered yet further through the North Laine, rifling through vintage rails, peering through windows and traversing the tables and chairs in the street outside cafes. We finally reached Bond Street with my two favourites Lavender Room and Velvet. You only have to look at the website to notice their amazingness. But due to being brassic and my dedication to The Challenge of the Utmost Kind I avoided purchasing. It took a LOT of courage to walk away!

We then had lunch with a friend of D's at Bill's organic cafe, amazing as always, before wandering down to the front to join the throngs of tourists and beach-goers. 

 I love the mix of old and new, with galleries tucked behind the King's Road arches amongst the bars and clubs.
There's something about an old-fashioned seaside town that is just so sweet and charming. Brighton and Hove is a city now, so has lost that rickety feel. But I still love little touches like these deck chairs, and the destroyed West Pier. I remember the night it caught fire, both times. It's beyond repair now but still looks hauntingly beautiful standing proudly in the waves.
I ♥ Brighton!

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