Yesterday was my birthday and for a girly treat Mr B treated myself and our lovely daughter Amber to some birthday cake. This let me tell you was both a visual and gourmet treat. As a gluten allergy sufferer, much to the amusement of my friends, who refer to me as having special needs, it’s not often you get to go out to a tea room and partake in the treats on offer, unless there are meringues on the menu. The Sweet tooth cupcakery in Chorlton, Manchester makes the most delicous cupcakes and specialises in vegan, vegaterian and gluten free cakes, with no compromise on taste at all. The small cafe is a wonderful retro experience with mis- matched china plates and cups, cakes stands and kitsch diner style furniture, it is one of the lovliest cafes I have been in and as a professional tea drinker, I do not say this lightly! The cakes are presented in a vintage shop fitting cabinet and have names such as Jonny Cash, Blondie and Kylie. If you can’t get to Chorlton, they also have another cafe in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.
I’ve just had a visit to The Old Mill Antiques in Failsworth Oldham and found the most incredible selection of European Industrial Salvage. I have been looking for some textile factory machinists chairs for around our kitchen table for about a year now but have been constantly been outbid on ebay and refuse to pay the prices at Baileys Homes & Gardens where I tracked some down.
The purveyor of all this treasure is a lovely guy called Andy who makes regular trips to Eastern Europe where he sources all things Factory from clocks to benches and everything in between. He also has the most amazing selection of industrial lighting and his prices are so reasonable. Obviously most of the things he has have been well used and show their age but that is the beauty of them and the original colours such as the dull green cabinets he has are hard to replicate. There’s quite a few things there with my name all over them and I’ll be back next week with my van to load up.
I had a fantastic day out on Saturday with Mr B. We visited Salts Mill in Saltaire village near Bradford. The village was built by the mill owner Mr Titus Salt for the well being of his workers and is now a UNESCO world heritage site and quite rightly so. It is a fantastic example of the victorian industrial revolution with beautifully preserved workers houses, shops, a church and the spectacular Victoria Hall, as well as the vast mill itself. The mill is home to a permanent exhibition of one of Bradford’s most famous sons, the artist David Hockney and is well worth a visit if you are a fan of his work. The smell of fresh lilies hits you before you enter, they are apparently David Hockneys favourite flowers and are there in abundance at his insistence. Further up on the next two floors the mill houses 2 cafes, a fabulous book shop with some of the best art, interior and fashion books you will find anywhere and The Home store which has a vast collection of furniture and interior items, many mid 20th Century design classics and quirky pottery and gifts. The top floor is an Aladdin’s cave of collectables and vintage clothes, there is generally something for everyone there.
As well as the retail and dining facilities, there is currently a small exhibition in collaboration with Leeds University, showcasing a collection of 20th Century clothes and information regarding their origins, in the form of photographs and memoirs . The clothes have all been donated along with their personal history from the women of Yorkshire who wore them and it’s a fascinating insight into our social history.
Within the small row of shops in the village opposite the mill is The House of Rose & Brown, a tiny vintage clothes boutique which is definitely worth a visit for it’s great mix of vintage home wares and clothes at incredibly reasonable prices. It is also worth registering on their website for information regarding the vintage fairs and fashion shows that they regularly host.
I am currently working on a period property in a conservation area and am keen to keep the design fresh, calm and restful and true to the architecture of the property. The samples of the wallpapers popped through my letter box this morning and I was not disappointed with Ms Croslands new offerings. Each of the colours were inspired by her personal early memories such as gold tipped cocktail cigarettes and her grandmothers little espresso spoons and the names given to the colours are just as evocative. Green tea, milk and parma violet conjure up images of a more glamorous age.
The 6 geometric designs are inspired by North African architecture and crafts, a recurring theme of Neisha’s and the 2 large scale florals take inspiration from 1920’s embroidery and jacobean paisley work.
My only problem now is which ones to use, I love them all! The image below is a favourite of mine and the colour combo of mauve and grey is both feminine and timeless, perfect for the master bedroom. Maybe I have found my inspiration?