A jaunt to Greenwich with my parents for Dad’s birthday, led us to stumbling across two amazing shops side by side. Retrobates Vintage and Casbah Records share frontage, and all three of us were drawn to the windows.
On venturing in, Dad turned left to the records, and was soon engrossed in conversation with the owner about 60s music and his own collection. Mum wandered through the arch and found kindred spirits in the girl with 60s hair, selling a green minidress she wore when she very first knew Dad.
While they chatted, I mooched with my camera…
Note the wallpaper, and the leopard print faux fur ceiling. I didn’t think they made shops like this any more – I’ve not been into even a vintage shop with so much personality for a long time – and with both records and clothing reasonably priced (especially for London), I shall be back… probably with Louise Contrariety Rose in tow!
Places & Spaces is a new feature here on Ducking Fabulous, for me to share all my favourite places in the world with you. And to keep track of them for when I want to revisit, if they’re not local. To kick off, here is the (wonderfully local) gorgeous Tea & Sympathy shop in Crouch Street, Colchester.
Walking through the door is like stepping into another world. Jo and Melissa who own and run it have curated all manner of beautiful stock (and Ducking Fabulous jewellery is stocked here too – I’m honoured!) including handmade and vintage clothing, accessories and homeware. They also have beauty therapists on the first floor, and run all manner of workshops from Christmas wreaths to blending your own body lotions to nipple tassel making, and recently turned the whole shop into a speakeasy for the night.
My photographs don’t do the atmosphere justice, but here they are anyway…
Shelves of gorgeousness as you walk through the door:
The view from the counter on one side of the shop, and along the front of the shop:
Tea, coffee and workshop area in the front of the shop, surrounded with gorgeous things to buy:
Fabulous Jo, mistress of all she surveys: (and to the right of this picture, there is a rail of vintage clothing for sale that runs the entire length of the shop – it’s both exciting and lethal!
The first selection of Ducking Fabulous jewellery in situ – most of which has now been sold and replaced 🙂
I love going there to shop, to chat and sometimes just to chill out with a cup of tea. It’s a gorgeously inspiring space and the workshops I’ve done have been among my favourite ever evenings – there’s nothing like being creative with likeminded local people! I’d class it as Creative Space and Head Space as well as the Inspiration tag it has in the post title – it’s very quickly become a focal point for me in my quest to get to know the area and more people here better… and I bloody love it!
If you’re in Colchester, pop in and see Melissa & Jo, they’re at 113-115 Crouch Street (which is the fab independent part of Colchester). They can be found on Facebook (search for Tea Sympathy and friend them, much more info than the page!) and also on Twitter – @alittlesympathy.
With stock in the ever-fabulous Tea & Sympathy in Colchester, soon to be in the gorgeous Make, Do and Mend in Chelmsford, supplying goodies for a friend’s daughter’s pop up college shop and four fairs starting Wednesday evening, it has been a little manic here at Ducking Fabulous HQ for the last couple of weeks.
Some of my printed domino necklaces in progress – I’m very excited about this batch!
I’ve also been working hard on Ink Drops Boxes with Annastasia from Midorigreen, which has been lovely, and punctuated by hilarious Skype chats involving unintentional Lucozade highs. If you love all things handwritten, pop over and see the site and our blog, and if you’re struggling for presents, why not have a look at the shop – a surprise box of beautiful stationery might be the answer!
Christmas preparations are also starting – this weekend I will be at the Betty Blue Eyes vintage and handmade fair in Leigh-on-Sea (and visiting two lovely friends who live in the area at the same time) on Saturday, and at Mum & Dad’s sorting out Christmas trees and decorations on Sunday… they have bought a new tree for their new, higher-ceilinged abode, and I get the old one, which will fit beautifully into my flat… somewhere. I’m excited for sorting through decorations, most of ours have stories – will try and post about some of them nearer the time.
Right now I am mostly revelling in the incredible feeling of being surrounded by likeminded people and full of inspiration… it’s a feeling like no other!
Other things that have made me happy this week…
A rainbow on my way to work | Househunting | Tentative plans to borrow a greyhound | Dinner and Christmas decoration making at Mimi’s | A fabulous night with family for my aunt’s 40th birthday | puppy cuddles | the Free Range Festival | a festive Saturday in London with some of my uni girls | chocolate muffins | stories of my parents’ lives and travels before I arrived | starting on the overhaul of this site | getting my boudoir shoot photographs back | tassel making workshop and learning to twirl – the best Thursday evening I’ve had for ages! | Contrariety Rose’s mini-boutique in Creative Crafts in Reading | roof-down driving on a Tuesday evening | impromptu dinner and giggles with my parents | fairy lights | stocking up on Lush’s amazing seasonal soap | treating myself to a couple of books I’ve wanted for a while | MAC’s lip primer
So an all round fabulous couple of weeks! I am trying very hard to resume regular, twice a week posting – watch this space 🙂