Monday, 21 July 2008

Adventures in the West - Part 1

Hello bloggers!  What a lovely weekend I just had, hope you did too.  Not only was I in the West Country, not only did I spend Saturday mooching around in Bridport but the sun shone too.  And I found some goodies.  I have oodles of stuff to share about the West country, hence today's post is entitled "Part 1".

Bridport is in the west of the county of Dorset, which is one of the most heavenly places on earth.   It retains a lovely old world feel where hand crafted and vintage goods are still prized, good quality locally produced food is the norm and people actually speak to each other (if you've lived in London you'll understand why this is so mind-blowing!)  I always thoroughly look forward to a day in Bridport because it epitomises everything that is good in a place in this modern age (and I usually make some exciting finds).  Bridport is an intoxicating mix of shops, the odd high street shop like Woolies but lots of lovely individual shops too and a fair few charity shops; markets, of the street, flea, farmers and WI variety; cafes, pubs and hotels (the oldey worldey The George or the old but modernised The Bull, it's good we've stayed there pre-holiday home); and basically lots of culture all set against a beautiful backdrop of hills and general country loveliness!

Our first stop is usually the W.I. market.  In these days of political correctness, they seem to have started referring to it as the "Country Market".  Sorry, I just don't like this name and it will always be a W.I. market to me!  Aswell as all the home-cooked or home-grown goodies and homemade crafts inside, they have a wonderful array of plants and flowers for sale in a little yard at the back:

There is a street market every Wednesday and Saturday. In the main street, the market is a mix of mainly plants, food and goods but the real jewel is the market in South Street behind the clock tower where there is a great line of stalls, mainly selling vintage and second-hand goods. This is one of my favourite stalls and we've bought a few things from here in the past including a gorgeous eiderdown and this week, Andy was very chuffed to find a vintage railway book.




We bought a little bamboo bookcase and a towel rail from here:


From another stall, I bought this cute little sandwich set.  It was begging me to buy it...



On the second Saturday of the month, there is also a farmers' market in the arts centre, yum yum.  Here, we recently bought the best strawberries I've ever tasted, there is a dapper old gent selling divine honey, proper free-range chicken and lots more besides (I'll post about this in future). 

As I mentioned, Bridport has quite a few charity shops too.  
I thought these aprons were very cute (but I did resist):


If you are lucky enough, your pleasurable browsing may take place against a background of rousing sounds courtesy of one of the local brass bands playing in the marvellously named Buckydoo Square (honestly!)  This was just such a lucky day.




I am also rather partial to this shop which carries a good line of Greengate and other vintage and retro goodies:


The home of the owner of this shop was featured in Country Living mag a few months ago.

If you saw a couple with a 6 year-old boy struggling onto the number 40 bus complete with a towel rail, bookcase, folding occasional table (more of that once it's had its makeover), scabious plant, sweet peas, fresh lavender and loads of other bags full of yummy food, that was us!

Next I need to introduce you to our little cottage in the country and you can see Marmalade the Stuffed Cat's new home. Please come back...


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