cadiz and ribbons

i cant resist a haberdashery shop, so visiting some of Cadiz’s shops is like entering an aladdins cave of ribbons, bindings, threads and trimmings –  it is also a great opportunity to buy yet another beautiful set of ribbons to add to my collection- the collection that is designated for when i have time to sew myself a beautiful dress, or make that quilt of vintage and found fabrics!  I also use ribbons to reinforce tears in dresses – they work well as they are not only pretty, but have bound edges – use the sashiko stitch to patch the tears.

if you have never been to cadiz, then you must – its a charming old city, especially around the fruit and fish market, which now re-opens in the evening ; to get the full experience you should come in the morning for the produce, and then stroll the edge of the market where there are lots of food and tapas stalls  that sell snacks – we decided on amazing freshly squeezed fruit juices and tortilla for lunch.

Cadiz is one of the least well known of the spanish cities -built on the Atlantic coast, its crumbling buildings are reminiscent of Havana.  fishermen line the coastal walls to catch their daily fish ; wander through the many stalls of the fish market and see the locals selling their freshly picked home grown herbs and veg – anything from camomile flowers, chestnuts, sage flowers to wild asparagus.  its great to see that market life is still in abundance, when in many cities, the growth of the supermarkets has killed local trading.  i love the fact that spain still has shops that solely sell one thing – scissors and knives, tobacco and cigarettes, ribbons and trimmings.  its also a great place to buy the typical flat soled espadrilles – nowadays everyone seems to make them with high wedges. our favourite restaurant is el faro – faded old school tradition and a bit more sophisticated, its your chance to dress up and leave behind the flip flops.  on your way out of cadiz, stop at their sister branch, el chato but purely to take a late afternoon swim. another interesting restaurant is el  Balandro.

wander around ‘El Callejon del Duende’, the streets dedicated to flamenco singers past and present;  bars that look interesting are Circo Duende and Cafe Teatro.

we recently discovered the beautiful botanical gardens, Park Genoves just near to the city beach area – and next to the  Alameda walkways and old trees, its a peaceful haven in what is a busy port city.

there is also the site of the old amphitheatre, which has been recently restored to visit too, so lots of interesting things to see.

in london, i love to browse in V W Rouleaux –  you can choose beautiful ribbons, trimmings and lots of other interesting flowers and tassels – everything and anything to make your hat or costume pretty, or just to simply find the  essential tie backs for your curtains.

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