Thursday, 17 February 2011

LONDON CALLING


London called last week so off I went for a 2 day jaunt in the capital. It was a great trip and I got to spend some time indulging in one of my favourite pastimes; wandering around antiques markets and shops. I made my way up to the legendary Marylebone antiques district which is located at the eastern end of Church Street, NW8. It is here that the famous Alfie's Indoor Antiques Market was founded in 1976. It was, and still is, the largest indoor antiques market in the UK. Alfie's is home to over 100 dealers spread over 3 floors selling anything and everything from retro furniture and accessories, beautiful vintage lace and jewellery to 19th century furniture and antique paintings. Even hair and beauty are covered  thanks to Nina's Hair Palour which specialises in vintage half and make-up.

Church Street plays host to a number of other antiques dealers and traders, some of whom started life in Alfie's - click here for a useful list. Among my favourites on this road are Tara Antiques at No 6. The proprietor Gerald is a lovely friendly chap who was very happy to chat and talk about the different pieces he was selling. He has a great selection of decorative antiques and ornaments - definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. 

Angell Antiques at No 22 Church Street is an absolute must. In addition to a vast range of antique furniture and objects, they also have the most incredible selection of industrial and mechanical pieces; in some cases transformed for modern living. One fantastic example of this is the Aircraft Galley Kitchen - taken from an actual plane. This would make a very cool, and frankly unique, addition to a London bachelor pad - click here to take a look. If you're into vintage advertising signs then look no further. I love these old chemist shop display showcards - "Head Powders: Perfectly Pure and Safe to Take"

Even more daring and unexpected are the treasures available at Andrew Nebbett Antiques located at 35-37 Church Street. From the Olympic Sign - 5 Rings c1920/1930 to this nickel plated Railway Lantern c1890 I think you'd be hard pushed to find a more exciting selection of antiques and vintage pieces in London.

If you plan on visiting Church Street, the closest tube is Marylebone. A useful tip for those who drive is that there is no traffic permitted in Church Street on Saturdays due to the street market - you can still park in the surrounding streets though. Happy wandering!

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