I cant resist a haberdashery shop, so cadiz is an aladdins cave of ribbons, bindings, threads and trimmings – there are so many to choose from that I never fail to bring something home. I use the ribbons and bindings to repair tears in dresses, blouses, pillowcases, using the sashiko, Japanese repair method. I used to be so obsessed about perfection, and as I have grown older (and wiser), I find that the imperfect is what I am seeing – the oddity of a flash of colour or a sprig of gingham on an otherwise plain cotton summer dress brightens the item and makes it more individual and personal.


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 – I had never noticed this before, but i am guessing that to get the full experience you should come in the morning for the produce, but there are lots of food and tapas stalls around the outer edge that sell snacks and typical spanish delicacies.

Cadiz was 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 of 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, ham…..

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. another favourite shop is Ray Stitch in Islington, full of ideas and patterns, plus many gift ideas. Halesworth in Suffolk also has a useful haberdashery, selling everything from remnants to ribbons and buttons.

andalucia house is available to rent

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