However, these wonderful things come at a price, a very fair price might I add, for such marvellous shops, but not the prices that I long to discover again from squirrelling in charity shops and car boot fairs and house clearance shops. London, I'm afraid in my opinion, you fail in this department.
Thus, the idea was born, to take a week off work, borrow a car, and scour the South for vintage treasures. I'm pretty sure we must have averaged fifteen shops a day...we were on a mission to kit our houses out with lovely things, at a very low cost. Lymington served us well, and Brockenhurst surprised us with Pineapple Retro, a fabulous charity shop in Milford on Sea, Highcliffe had many many charity shops and Pokesdown blew us away with an amazing number of vintage clothing shops.
The real surprise however, was our final trip to Margate. It had everything we could have ever dreamed of. Some of the very finest vintage shops I have ever come across at very reasonable prices. Incredibly low prices at the British Heart Foundation furniture shop, we were almost crying that we didn't have a van with us. There were so, so many great vintage/junk/antique shops but the best were Showtime Retro Furniture, Junk Deluxe, Hunkydory-24, and the very best charity shop EVER on Market Street in between Madam Popoff and 20th Century Frocks. I shall be revisiting Margate frequently just to visit these shops, they were that good.
I picked up some absolute steals that I shall cherish forever, filled my car boot to the brim of secondhand/vintage homewares and came back with change from £50. When most things are under £1, my money went a very long way. We finished our trip with an ice cream sundae at the art deco Morelli's Icecream Parlour and returned, very cramped back to London.
Hooray for other peoples things, and hooray for all the lovely shop owners who we chatted to and helped us along the way!