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Fantabulous Shops in the Glorious New Forest – Lulu’s Boutique Lymington

This is epside two about the gorgeous shops  we’ve recently come across on we’ve our doorstep – Lulu’s Boutique in Lymington.

Lu Lus 2

To be honest we did know about Lulu’s before having visited their pretty erstwhile shop in Salisbury and used their web-site but this little treasure house is a step up in gorgeousness from that and has the advantage of being in a place where you can combine a fantastic cuppa or a walk by the sea with a touch of retail therapy.  Any men stuck for last minute present ideas for the lovely lady in their life should really pop down this weekend!

Check out this beautiful front window – who doesn’t need a pink Christmas tree in their life?  I bought some of the traditional paper decorations – they take me straight back to my childhood!

Lu Lus 5

The shop stocks all of the best in girly kitch including my favourite Tatty Devine jewellery

Tatty Devine!

Tatty Devine!

and all things Cath Kidston and Pip Studio and also fabbo items from Danish homewhere brand Rice who I love especially for kids and for camping.   My flamingo obsession would be happily appeased by these party forks.

There’s loads of unusual ideas for kids as well like this cool colouring book

The homeware is fantastic too – If I had the cash knocking about I’d be replacing the boring spotlights in my hall with these pretty lights

Lymington is such a pretty little town combining the best of the New Forest and the Hampshire Coast and has a nice selection of  shops, bars and cafes so it’s really worth a visit.

 We especially like the style of the Stanwell House Hotel  in the centre of town which we really nearly hired for our wedding.

Stanwell House Hotel

 But you are not far here from the  Pig Hotel

The Pig Hotel

which is top of my current wish list for a visit or at least a home grown dinner!

Lu Lus 4

Even if you don’t need any last minute Christmas pressies, this is a perfect bracing New Year treat.

One last thing, as my 4 year old is saying this year “Merry Christmas to All!”

Keep the Vintage Love xx


Fantabulous New Shops in the Glorious New Forest

In our quest to entertain the children and attempt to shop for Christmas (I’m in denial about Christmas by the way!)  we have recently come across some gorgeous shops on our doorstep.  In the first of a (very) mini-series we look at The Fox in the Forest which is absolutely brand new in Ringwood.

Ringwood  is a pretty market town on the edge of the New Forest within easy striking distance of Salisbury, Bournemouth and Southampton.  It has a range of premium fashion shops around the Furlong area with a rather less hurried atmosphere than you would find in a big shopping mall but if you head away from this and a take a couple of minutes walk down to the market square and along the high street to Fridays Cross you will find some great unusual and non-chain shops and cafe’s including an amazing Chocolate Shop and beautiful lingerie shop Lolie and Bella.  Not to mention my favourite book shop Paperview.

fox in the forest 2

The Fox in the Forest has evolved from successful Web-business of the same name and showcases beautiful things made by the owner and other local craftspeople.  The aim of the shop “is eventually to become a gallery/workshop where artists/craftspeople that are local to the New Forest can showcase their work”  and the lady has exciting plans to create a workshop space as well. We bought some brilliant bits for my eldest boy’s lovely girlfriend but obviously they’re top secret until after the big day!  The shop is near to Smiths as you head towards the market square.  Do pop in if you get a chance, there are even handmade soaps from Frome.  Here are some photos that I took on Saturday, I’m desperate for a knitted animal head for my hall!

fox in the forest 5

fox in the forest 4

fox in the forest 1

Lovely puppy Indiana

Keep the Vintage Love xx


Some  of my favourite things have been obsessing me over the last few days! It started with a relaxed and delicious breakfast out and flowed on blissfully from there on a wave of sunshine and family.  Here’s a few photos.

Gorgeous Breakfast in lovely surroundings at Framptons on Ringwood High Street

The Furlong Open Day with scarecrows, coloured sheep and live music

Fantabulous Wedding Car in Ringwood

Cheers Tommy!

We Cornwalled up our Living Room complete with vintage map, art from Heartlands and 70s photo from Love from Hetty and Dave in Pokesdown

Took on my Dad’s ancient welsh Grandmother Clock

and chilled in the garden to enjoy the sunshine (with a sneaky gin and elderflower cocktail obviously!)

Latterly we’ve been baking a new Cherry cake recipe to share with friends.

Delia’s non sinking Cherry Cake


4 oz butter (115 g)

4 oz caster sugar (115 g)

2 large eggs (2 oz each cracked weight)

4 1/2 oz plain flour (130 g)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 oz ground almonds (40 g)

8 oz glace cherries (230 g)


Quarter the glace cherries then wash them well in warm water.  Dry well with kitchen paper and set aside for a few minutes to further air-dry.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, flour and baking powder, fold together gently until well combined.

Toss the dry glace cherries in the ground almonds then fold this into the cake mixture by hand, stirring gently to avoid breaking the cherries up.

Spoon the mixture into a lined tin and bake at 140C for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the cake is light golden on top and springs back when lightly pressed in the centre.

It is delicious eaten straight away but improves on keeping for a few days.

If you like a strong almond flavour (I personally don’t) you could add a few drops of almond extract to the mixture when creaming.

Cherry Cake

Found new blogs like this beautiful gentle knitting blog  One Sheepish Girl (thanks to my friend Jo!) where I found these amazing amazingly expensive shoes!

and to the shoes website where I found these even more gorgeous shoes, in fact all of the shoes are gorgeous but who doesn’t want shoes with fabulous eye makeup!

Chie Mihara

and been junk modelling and attending Village craft club.

Tommy and the Alderholt Frieze local children have made over the Summer holidays at craft club.


Keep the Vintage Love xx

Fab Places to Stay – Belgium

Shhh, another brilliant secret getaway…..Ghent and the Belgian Coast.   Belgium is SO cool for so many reasons, not least that it’s so unexpected!  Everyone will know about the canals of medieval Bruges and the Grand Place of Brussels, possibly even Antwerp for it’s diamonds but few will know of the beautiful and relaxed city of Ghent, the fantastic Art Nouveau architecture found across Flanders or the love of vintage and design that you will find here.  In fact the 70s bird fabric that is our title design was bought here – a massive piece for just 10 euros – a fraction of what it would have cost in the uk!

We set ourselves a task every time we think about going away to find the most unusual and often cheap places to stay that we can possibly find.  In fact at least half the fun of any trip is the searching out some new and exciting place to stay!  Ghent saw us in possibly my favourite ever find, the Ecohostel Andremeda.  

Ecohostel Andromeda

The Barge Andremeda complete with water treatment reed bed on deck

Mainly a floating hostel with dorms we did manage to bag the only private double room which was literally 70s heaven for me! Here’s some of my favourite photos of the decor on board.


They take the Eco element very seriously on this boat – all of the toilet and shower water is recycled by the reed bed on the main deck and as well as the extensive repurposing on board there is also a fab organic breakfast available in the kitchen.  The place could not be more welcoming and friendly. An all round win!

Ghent itself is a gem of a place. It’s an ancient university town with a castle and lots of stunning buildings.  The food is good (especially the rib house next to the castle) but don’t ask for rice with your local chicken soup,  Waterzooi!  The great things here are the gin bars which are absolutely amazing and often with lovely views over the canals, and also the local elderflower aperitif called Roomer.  This comes in a beautiful bottle, is a pretty golden colour and has tiny flowers in it.  It’s to die for and even better with gin of course, my favourite  tipple!

Historic Market Hall – great place to buy local specialties and have lunch



There is also the fantastic Gent Design Museum which covers design of all periods including a fantastic teapot exhibition and also a complete art deco room moved from a local home that just has to be seen to be believed it’s so beautiful.

checking out the design museum ceramics exhibits

After a couple of brilliant days in Ghent we headed off to Westende on the coast to a truly remarkable hotel called De Rotonde which purely by chance was run by a family from Ghent and so was stocked up with Roomer.

Hotel De Rotonde

The most remarkable thing about this hotel is that it is still here at all after being almost totally destroyed by the bombardments of two wars.   Our favourite thing about it though (apart from the great dinner!) was the sea view from every room as it’s right on the vast unspoilt beach.  It is also right be the Belgian Coastal Tram (De Kusttram) which is not only cheap and easy to use but takes you through some fantastic windswept scenery.

A fantastic spot for any winter beach lover

You can stop off where you like and see more of the Belgian coast than just the port at Ostende.  Including the toy town seaside resort of De Haan, the prize resort of King Leopold and a prime example of the faded grandeur of the area.


De Haan Station on the Tramway

If you get to Belgium also check out Antwerp for some amazing architecture ranging from renaissance squares to fabulous modernist and art deco.


Not to mention diamonds and amazing shopping due to the students of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts with its large fashion department.  Shopping ranges from high price tag to new young designer and extensive vintage shopping.

All in all Belgium is a fantastic short break destination and one of my favourite places to visit full of surprises and hidden gems!

Keep the vintage love xx




Magazine Review – Pretty Nostalgic

The Eagle Eyed among you may have noticed that we recently enjoyed a brilliant weekend at the Vintage Nostalgia Show near Salisbury.   One of the most fun parts of this was meeting the girls from Pretty Nostalgic Magazine who were there to promote their beautiful new magazine and their book!

The Pretty Nostalgic girls rocking the parasol look!

Obviously I’m a sucker for a lovely magazine! My shelves are already groaning with piles of Mollie Makes and Handmade Living not to mention countless Knitting Magazines, but this one is different.   The photography and design is as beautiful as Mollie Makes and it’s in more of a softback book format so easy to keep and treasure.   The big thing though is that it’s more like a fanzine in a way, for the vintage, handmade and eco lover and made by vintage and handmade devotees directly.  There are contributions from all sorts of people on a really diverse range of interests and it’s full of practical ideas and inspiration as well as interesting information on collectibles and antiques.  I love old glass so the Art Deco Glass article is right up my street and full of buying tips.


What a fabulous strap line this is for a magazine! As well as a focus on local producers and their products and homes there is also a focus on community and sharing resources.  I hadn’t heard of the new online community called Camp in My Garden but what a fantastic idea in these straightened times.  Do check out their website, it’s full of people in the UK and Europe who are opening up their space to like minded campers.   Advertisers include Permaculture Magazine and Neal’s Yard Remedies and there are articles about developing a community garden or growing your own plants for traditional remedies.  Mr was really interested in the history and recipe for the scotch egg (he dreams of making a Cornish version!) and the focus on Star Wars Toys.

Another favourite of mine was The Bottom Draw Project which was a series of mini items on people’s most treasured possessions and the, often affecting, stories behind them linked to memories and people no longer around.   It’s especially nice to hear from a range of people from Vintage Writers to a Forest Schools leader.  I think that the Magazine would genuinely welcome contributions from anyone to this and in fact in general.


I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now – starting from financial necessity after giving up work to spend time at home with my small boy.  Basically the idea is to choose what you buy more carefully with a view to it lasting longer, and also on making use of second hand items or on repurposing items that you already have.  I have a skirt made from some 1950s curtains picked up at a local Give and Take Day (bring and buy without the buy – everything is free!) and a much loved velvet jacket I owned that became too threadbare to wear.

My repurposed skirt

It get’s so many positive comments when I wear it and you’ll never bump into anyone wearing the same thing when you’re out in your very own handmade original!  The magazine is full of inspiration to help us to find our way out of the horribly resource wasting throw away fashion culture.


Pretty Nostalgic is a bi-monthly magazine and something beautiful to keep and refer to.  The £8 price tag may look steep but this is a self-published magazine and two months worth of Mollie Makes would cost almost £10! In a major coup Pretty Nostalgic will now be available in over 600 WH Smith stores across the UK or if you live locally I’ll happily lend you mine to tempt you in to subscribing (at 25% off!).  Click here for subscription information.  I know that the editors are always keen to find contributors and advertisers so do get in touch!.  For July and August there is a Seaside and Beach Hut theme – JOY – can’t wait for mine to arrive!

Keep the Vintage Love xx

Beach Huts (by Kay Smith)

Favourite Shops – Foxtrot Vintage

Fantastic Foxtrot Vintage

Look at this beautiful shop front!  Foxtrot Vintage have taken possession of one of the most historic shop fronts in Salisbury and it really does look amazing.  Equally as wonderful is the friendly welcome in this very special shop and the lovely range of beautiful things.  As well as extra special vintage items (I bought my fab 50s dress for the fair here)

love my 50s dress

there is also a range of handmade vintage inspired dresses that are really to die for.  We bought Tommy a very cool 70s shirt last time we were there that gets a lot of positive comments wherever we go and there is plenty of menswear and accessories too!

They also stock a big range of vintage vinyl and even offer an evening appointment service for special occasions, perhaps a unique vintage wedding outfit and everything in the store can also be hired.  The clothes and props are so special that they even number film and tv companies amongst their customers.

Of course Salisbury is also home to a wonderful medieval Cathedral and Mompesson House,

Mompesson House

Salisbury Cathedral

countless other beautiful buildings, an indoor antique market and a great fabric shop as well as lots of pubs, cafes and boutiques.  Not to mention an international arts festival and annual food festival.

Go. Enjoy!

keep the vintage love xx

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