Is there anything more exciting than the anticipation of a Vintage Fair about to begin..? The almost sanctified silence of Shoreditch Town Hall on Old Street was like the proverbial calm before the storm when I arrived early morning. Traders excitedly set up their stalls in the beautiful main hall, and I managed to grab a few minutes with the fair organiser, Louise, before the madness began. I learned that The Vintage Fair pops up in 30 cities and festivals across Britain and the number is increasing all the time. The diary at www.thevintagefair.com lists one fair every few weeks so it won’t be hard to find an event near you. With around 30 stalls run by traders you won’t find anywhere else, this is a great place to have a rummage – I already bought 2 items before they’d even been hung on the rails! The stalls include Advintage, She Vamps and Holly & Olive – some are regulars and some come and go, so no two fairs are the same.
As soon as the music boomed over the speakers, the previously silent stalls erupted with life. Shoppers excitedly descended on them to seek out those unique finds to get all their friends jealous when they say ‘Ooh, where can I buy one of those?’ and the reply is, ‘You can’t…it’s vintage’ with a smug smile.
Shoreditch is one of the more recent venues added to their portfolio, and it’s such a great part of London it’s not difficult to see why. The best thing is that entry fee is only £2 with many a bargain hiding on rails or in boxes, so it won’t break the bank like some other vintage fairs around London. And once you have an attendance stamp you’re free to come and go as many times as you want, meaning you can take in some the other delights Shoreditch has to offer and return ready for the next round. The venue is beautiful and with renovations planned over the summer it can only get better for the next one.
After all that shopping, it’s fair to say you’ll deserve a rest and some TLC which is where the pop up tea room comes in handy. It’s run by Teaspoon Events and has some of the most delicious cupcakes you’ll ever taste. Even looking at them is satisfying. Wash them down with copious amounts of good old English Breakfast or Earl Grey sipped from vintage china. Then, maybe have a play on one of the retro games dotted about or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
After your second wind of shopping, the next way for you to get off those tired legs again is to sit down and be pampered by Lipstick and Curls, the retro styling specialists. You may have had rolls in the tea shop but now it’s time for rolls of a different kind – Victory Rolls or any other style you might fancy. Amanda the founder can be contacted via www.lipstickandcurls.net and if you like what you see on the site you can make yourself an appointment with her at the Vintage Fair.
I found myself going back round the hall over and over again as I kept seeing something new that I’d never noticed on a previous circuit. I even managed to find a vintage cosmetic case perfect for my other life as a retro Avon lady!
Look out for the next event on September 8th (12 til 5pm) and make sure you arrive early – if I’m there before you I can guarantee half of the best stuff will be gone!
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