This weeks sees the return of one of my favourite events. The Olympia Art and Antiques Fair, brings together some of the worlds finest antiques dealers, with some truly show-stopping items for sale. Olympia pays hosts to the event for the second time this year with the event running from 31st October until 6th November.

I popped along to the preview evening to take a look around and feast my eyes on what can only be described as treasure. If like me you love history and antiques, you’ll appreciate the museum quality of some of the pieces on display. Will items prices from the hundreds to tens of thousands there really is a broad mix of items on offer. Items range in date from the early 20th century all the way back to ancient times.

Here are a few pictures of some of my favourite pieces from this years fair.

olympia-art-and-antiques-art-nouveau-tilesA stunning selection of art nouveaux tiles from Richard Hoppe

olympia-art-and-antiques-art-deco-bronze-nude-sculptureAn art deco bronze sculpture by Josef Lorenzl circa 1930 from Jeroen Markies

olympia-art-and-antiques-fair-embroidered-stoolA pair of embroidered stools from Peter Bunting

glass-vases-solo-antiquesSome beautiful glassware from my favourite stall Solo Antiques

olympia-art-and-antiques-japanese-tangarinesJapanese fruit sculpture from Marina Oriental Art

olympia-art-and-antiques-wooden-cherubsOne of a pair of cherubs, that I spotted at the last fair and absolutely loved. 

If you’re looking to make a big purchase, or if you’d just like to look around and appreciate all the beautiful things, I’d definitely recommend a visit to the fair.

Find out more on the Olympia Art and Antiques Fair website.

A few weeks ago we went on a little family trip to Pagham near Chichester for a few days. The area holds so many special memories for me. When I was a child my Grandparents lived in Chichester and had a beach hut at a nearby beach. We spend so much of our summer holidays in the area and I will always love it just as much as I love London. As well as our days on the beach I can remember going antique shopping quite a lot. When they closed their antique shop in London they opened a new one nearer to Chichester and were still working there into their 80s. Being in the area now makes me feels both happy and sad, it’s lovely to bring back happy memories but also makes me really miss them.

St Wilfreds Hospice Retro and VintageSt Wilfrid’s Hospice Vintage and Retro Shop

Although we were going for a few days of family time, we couldn’t resists popping into a few antiques, vintage and charity shops while we were there. Looking through my phone I found a few photos of shops we’d been to and I thought I’d share them with you. Chichester is a really amazing area to go shopping if you love old things, I hardly went to any of the amazing shops on offer but I’d really recommend a few days exploring the area and picking up lots of amazing bargains.

Just outside Chichester we visited Mangan Antiques which can be found in a barn down a very bumpy side road. The selection of antiques is absolutely mind blowing from beautiful furniture to chandeliers to smaller items like perfume bottles there is something for every antique lover here. They also have the cutest dog who the girls had fun playing with!

Mangan AntiquesMangan Antiques

In Chichester town centre I found the St Wilfrid’s Hospice Vintage and Retro shop. I’m familiar with the hospice because it’s located on my Grandparent’s old road and my Grandma used to go in and do flowers for them. I even went to help her a few times. It’s really nice to know where my money is going. I was so impressed with everything about the shop. The displays were absolutely beautiful, as a trained visual merchandiser I really appreciate charity shops with amazing displays, it makes all the difference. Everything looked beautiful and the shop was so spacious and pleasant to shop in. The selection of vintage on offer was amazing. No horrible 80s bits the shop had clothing accessories dating from the 1930s-70s and everything was clean and in great condition. The best thing was the prices, no over inflated prices for vintage here, everything was so reasonable. Very very impressed.

St Wilfreds Vintage Shop ChichesterSt Wilfrid’s Hospice Vintage and Retro Shop

Chichester St Wilfreds Hospice ShopSt Wilfrid’s Hospice Vintage and Retro Shop

I also had a look round all the other charity shops in Chichester, they all had great stuff and I did spot a few more vintage pieces. I was so busy bargain hunting that I didn’t take that many more pictures except for these lovely vintage tumblers and jug which were a complete set for only £15 and some pretty china. These were in St Wilfrid’s Hospice’s other charity shop.

Chichester Charity ShopsRetro tableware in St Wilfrid’s Hospice 

We also popped to East Wittering as there’s a lovely little vintage shop in a shopping arcade in the town. I have been there twice and I’m still not sure of the shop’s name! It’s full of beautifully displayed vintage clothing and accessories. The hats are particularly special. I left with a lovely 1950s dress which I will show you soon. The lady who runs the shop was so helpful and very nice to my children!

Vintage Shop East WitteringVintage Shop in East Wittering.

Someone recommended  that while I was in Chichester I should visit Squirrel Antiques, a little shop on a road full of vintage and antique shops. Sadly as it was a bank holiday they were all closed. I did spot these amazing shoes in the window and an amazing 1930s dress inside so I really need to go back!

Vintage Shoes Squirrel AntiquesSquirrel Antiques

Have you been to the area? What are your favourite shops?

Last week I was invited to preview the incredible Olympia Arts and Antiques Fair, one of the most prestigious shows in the antiques calendar. Having grown up with an antique dealer grandmother and having a love of old things myself this was an event I was really excited about.

Amazing Art Deco Ceramics and Bar items, including cocktail items from Matthew Foster 20th Century Design and Clarice Cliff ceramics from Andrew Muir.

The calibre of dealers was very high and some of the most prestigious antiques sellers from across Europe were there selling an eclectic mix from the ancient to the art deco. There was so much to see it was a real treat, with prices ranging from the hundreds to the millions this was not somewhere I was looking to buy but more like wandering through a museum. This is well worth a visit if you’re a fan of vintage interiors.

One of my very favourite stands featured antique wooden curiosities from David Levi Antiques, which are also available at Portobello Market. I loved the quirky items and the amazing displays.

I took absolutely loads of pictures on the day, and as there was so much to see I mostly concentrated on early 20th Century items as I think these are the ones that would most appeal to vintage fans. Living in a 1930s house myself I especially love items from this era and saw plenty I would use to furnish my dream home.

Fabulous Art Deco furniture was a strong feature at the fair, alongside much older items.

I loved these decorative Art Deco pieces.

Another fair highlight was a delightful collection of 50s and 60s tin robots from Fallen Stars.

Amazing Mantiques from Hatchwell Antiques.

Other highlights for me included carved wooden cherubs, four-poster beds, gorgeous jewellery, ancient skeletons and this gorgeous 1950s model train.

The Fair is running until 15th June so go and check it out while you can, it’s the most incredible mix of wonderful objects you could ever imagine. Think V&A but for sale! There are also an amazing array of talks to check out so don’t miss a chance to find out about these amazing pieces of history.

Visit the website here.

I recently picked up these beautiful haberdashery items at a car boot sale for £2. I’m always on the lookout for bits and bobs to use when making dresses. These are some of the oldest I’ve seen dating from the Edwardian period to mid century. Most of it is too old to use and the beauty is in the vintage packaging.

My plan is to frame the ones I like best with a fabric background to hang in my room. I’d already planned to frame some of my older vintage sewing patterns so I think these would go perfectly with the frame. I may also add a few vintage fashion illustrations to finish the look. Watch this space!

So I’ve already conquered the world of carboots, charity shops and vintage fairs but my thirst for thrift has taken me in a new direction – salvage. Since completely renovating our new house at the beginning of the year we were left with a very blank canvas and slowly we’ve been buying nice little bits for the house and bigger bits in the form of vintage furniture. But for those ever special features like door handles, light fittings and exterior items architectural salvage is the way to go.

Programmes like Channel Four’s Kirstie’s Homemade Home and History Channel’s Salvage Seekers have brought reclamation to our attention a little more recently and I’ve certainly become aware of a few places nearby.

Today we visited for the second time an architectural salvage shop in Wimbledon. The shop is a little out-of-the-way but is one of Wimbledon’s best kept secrets. The shop is jam-packed with Victorian fireplaces and doors, but there are also some smaller bits and pieces too. Highlights included enamel sinks, over fireplace mirrors and a fabulous Victorian cash register.

We came away with an incredible Victorian etched glass window, which would have been taken from a pub. These are so hard to find now as they were all stripped out of pubs mid twentieth century but have now become very popular again so any pubs that still have them are keeping them. Our plan is to clean it as best we can and have a new door made to incorporate it. The glass was priced at £50 but we managed to get it for £40 as we were buying other things. This is an absolutely amazing price for such a rare item with so much character.

We also got a set of antique glass door knobs which we will be using on all the upstairs door of the house. These were prices at £25 per pair. I can’t wait to use our purchases in the house, they are so unique and interesting.

It’s also really important to support small local businesses and with the rise of Ebay smaller companies like this one really suffer. Nothing beats going to look and touch things before buying them and you often end up getting things at a better price.

I’m going to share the things I bought in a separate post as they’re packed away in protective paper until I’m ready to get them cleaned up.

Here are a few sneaky pics that I took in the shop…

Has anyone else found any amazing vintage and antu=ique items lately. I’d love to hear about them. If your stuck for something to do today why not visit your local salvage or reclamation yard?

You can find the shop we went to at; 83 Haydons Road, Wimbledon, SW19 1HH.

If your looking for something particular you can call the shop on 020 8543 4450