haven’t been for a while, but as one of my friends is just moving into a new flat and she needed lots of stuff, i offered to drive there; so it was a very early start to get there, and fortunately it was a beautifully sunny morning. kempton was originally aimed at dealers, who buy their wares for their lovely shops and posh stalls in london – but increasingly people like myself go there to find a good deal on anything from storage boxes, fabric, vintage jewellery or china wear. i actually think its become more of a tourist event, just like portobello and camden. think portobello market times by 30 times its size!!! it can be a bit daunting, a bit frustrating, a bit aladdins cave, but as i have been a few times now i arrived much more prepared – comfortable walking shoes, sandwich in my bag. literally, vans open their back doors and sell their wares – they come from all over, manchester, france, belgium, the english countryside…. i take a strict budget of cash – when this runs out, thats it, spending finished – its the only way to control your spending. make a short list of what you are actually looking for, so that you bypass the stalls that appear to not stock what you are looking for. i noted a couple of items that i was looking for, but quickly bought them – if you are not careful you can ponder, then lose your way trying to find the stall again, and then after all that, the item is gone!! kempton is on the 2nd and last tuesday of the month.
there is only one van selling tea and not so healthy sandwiches, but if you like a toastie it fills a gap! then on your way home, make a diversion to maids of honour or head towards petersham nurseries which is not too far away.
i always buy some blue bottles for my flowers – its an addiction that i can’t seem to beat…..
kemptom market is still a brilliant place to pick up chairs, coat hooks etc. all the accessories you need for setting up a flat, especially if you are on a tight budget – there is so much choice, but dont make the mistake that i do, i always think about it and when i go back, its been sold. at kemptom things are sold quickly, so you have to make quick decisions. the next one is 12th November. i love these rows and rows of glass storage jars.
old bottles make great displays, dried stems of flowers always look pretty.
robert bought me a lovely vanity case from globetrotter for xmas – it was much coveted, and highly impractical – but it looks great in your bedroom and especially made me feel stylish boarding the eurostar a couple of weekends ago!
we have always had globetrotter suitcases and i never noticed how expensive they have become; they do look great, and last for years and if they break, globetrotter offer a great repair service. i did notice at kempton market that you can pick up used globetrotters for a fraction of the price – so this is a good way to build up your collection of luggage.
if you noticed in madmen, Joan carries a similar one to the office to touch up her make up during breaks – incidentally, i have watched over 40 episodes of madmen since xmas, just at the end of series 3, but unfortunately still not caught up to watch the new series starting soon; the question is, is it worth me catching up with the missing episodes, or shall i just start watching with the new series!
my mother had net curtains, cheap and tacky and i vowed that i would never have anything similar; must be something about getting older, as i now have lace on 2 of my windows ; i bought a couple of hand made pieces on my travels to belgium years ago and a friend hand sewed them into silk chiffon larger panel to fit the window. its not easy to find good quality lace curtains, but thought that these look very pretty –rose’s mill where you can also buy by the metre; for fun bright colour try not on the high street or finest of scotland seem to have more affordable ones that you could hand dye yourself. another idea is to scour kemptom market for antique curtains and adapt them with other panels to form the size that you wish. i know that ikea also does a cheap alternative, perfect for kids’ rooms.