Oh it's come around ever so quick! I'm very excited that this Saturday 2nd March I'm going to be taking part in the North London Vintage Market. Hard at work on having new bits ready, I showed a few sneaky bits of what I had in store for Mother's day in a post yesterday - Here if you missed it
Now I know North London Vintage Market very well because it's somewhere I've been plenty of times. I'm very lucky, because it's actually just five minutes from my house, although even if it was further away I surely would still make the trip.
So even if your postcode doesn't have an N in it, I would recommend a trip - the market itself is inside a sweet little church hall, and has fantastic fashion and home sellers, with some amazing finds to be had. My list of purchases over the years includes 1980s Roller Boots (which coincidentally are to blame for bruises on my knees), a sweet stuffed penguin (not real of course), jewellery, tins, emphera, magazines and just general gloriousness. I'm a gal who knows her vintage markets and this one definitely scores highly (which is why I'm so bloody excited to be part of it!) - the two images below are taken from their site and are not my own photographs
Going back to the "if your postcode doesn't have an N in it point" - if you are coming up to Crouch End especially for the market, or looking for further reasons to tempt you into our pretty little London valley, I've put together a Crouch End Vintage Trail, with some lovely things to do if you come along.
Getting to Crouch End
For non North London folk, the easiest way to get to Crouch End is to catch the W7 bus from Finsbury Park station, taking the Wells Terrace exit. Get off the bus at Crouch End Broadway for Crouch End shops, or if you're going straight to the market then get off three stops after at Alexandra Park. For the purpose of the Vintage Trail, I'm imagining you're all getting off at Alexandra Park and coming straight to the market to bag the best find first!
After having a splendid time at the market, cross Park Road and starting walking back into Crouch End. You'll go past lots of houses with amazing architecture (watch your step though as the pavements are pretty uneven!) and then you'll pass Hornsey Healthy Centre and Park Road Leisure Centre (if ya don't, then you've probably gone in the wrong direction!)!
You will soon reach a small parade of shops below some flats - this is the first destination! Here you'll find Painted Black and Junk N8 Disorderly - which are both fantastic little shops full of reasonably priced vintage treasure.
Painted Black has been here for just over a year, and Amelia being a Haringey born and bred lady has really thrown herself into being part of the Crouch End community, which is why it feels like Painted Black has been here much longer. The shop has so much character, and sells reasonably priced vintage clothing, home decor, accessories... & a really awesome dog (not for sale though)! The shop is decorated with old sewing patterns, and although it's small it is just like a treasure trove. A very good find with a really eclectic and well put together range.
Next door but one (or two?) is Junk N8 Disorderly which sells furniture and general treasure. I've bought a couple of bits of furniture in here and they've been very good finds at great prices. It's a family run business and each time I walk past there is always something new outside so it's very popular. It seems to be a hot spot for old chests and suitcases... and every time I've set my heart on one it's always gone when I go back!
After you've had a little wander into these too, continue down Park Road as you are, and cross the zebra crossing outside the Maynard (which is a great pub, especially in the summer as the beer garden is huuuuge). I feel I should mention at this stage you will also see a small stupidly place bollard that lost me the £300 deposit on the van from when I initially moved to Crouch End, which always makes me angry!!!!
There's a great little dress agency called Change of Heart which is worth a look in, and then a stunning lighting shop to gasp at. Scarecrow boutique is on this road which is a popular local business selling clothes & jewellery, so that's worth a look too.
You'll walk past Urban Flower Co. which is a BEAUTIFUL florist. If there's an occasion which you need flowers I recommend this shop, but it is a premium florist and priced accordingly. They sell amazing trees too... I haven't been in for a while as I get tempted far too easily...
A few shops down and you are at my favourite shop in London - Little Paris. I adore this shop, I really really do. When I moved here, I'd pop in most weekends and lust overly the furniture, and make token purchases of candles and accessories just to buy into the lifestyle. Little Paris were the first place I did a market, and I am so very thankful to them for that opportunity - they are very nice folk indeed.
The furniture is sourced in France by Helene who has an brilliant eye for industrial yet classic pieces. Home & fashion accessories fill the store and add amazing colour - the shop is curated just beautifully with the most distinct handwriting. I could talk about how much I adore is shop for hours, but it's probably better use of your time if you just pop along. You may see some familiar looking cards in there too...
(PS, Little Paris is the best place to buy candles - I highly recommend the Durance range stocked here as the fragrance lingers for days)
You may possibly need a pot of tea by now, and I can direct you to one or two places of interest. There's a bit of a joke about Crouch End having a coffee shop for every 5 people, and it could almost be true.
Two eateries Crouch End is famous for are Banners and The Haberdashery. If you fancy brunch then you could head to either, but if tea and cake is on the menu then the Haberdashery is just perfect. Turn left on to Middle Lane at the crossing just further down Park Road, walk past (or go into) the lovely Pickled Pepper Book shop and then you'll be there. Tea is served on a vintage tea set, although their flat white comes highly recommended by my coffee expert friend. Their cake does not require an expert to tell you it is amazing, the only difficulty is choosing. The Haberdashery is another great community supporter, and they regularly run charity music events and Supper Clubs - when I first moved to Crouch End and didn't know many folk I would go and sit there and sketch and make plans, so now I'm so much busier, I really do miss it!
Once refuelled, you must stop by Scarlet Rage Vintage which is on the crossing by the famous clocktower. If you have a wedding to go to and have a fair budget for a vintage dress, Scarlet Rage is brilliant. I purchased a fantastic dress from there in the Summer, and am dying for a reason to go back there (although my busting at the seams wardrobe says that'd be naughty). The shop is spacious and light, and magpie that I am, I always gravitate to the rail of super sparkly tops (photographed, they are AMAZING!). The accessories are really stand out in here too, as is the styling.
There is a further vintage shop in Crouch End which is at the very end of Middle Lane, called Mishka. I didn't get there in time to photograph it for the Vintage Trail, but it is a bit of a gem.
Now, you're at the clocktower! If you still have foraging energy, there are plenty of charity shops in the area to have a gander in (not forgetting the Oxfam Book & Record store you'll have walked past already... although I sort of don't want to tell you because you might get there and buy the good records before me!) and a great second hand record store at the bottom of Crouch Hill too.
If it's evening by this point, then I'll probably see you in the pub! I recommend the King's Head or the Queens - both lively quirky places with really nice friendly staff too.
Please feel free to leave comments adding other shops you feel would fit well into this Vintage trail (Crouch End is a brilliant shopping destination and I could have mentioned even more, but I don't want to completely lose your interest!) Everything I've wrote is from my opinion and experience and by no means influenced by anything else.
References & Addresses
North London Vintage Market - St Mary's Parish Hall, Cranley Gardens, Crouch End, London N10 (10am-4pm Saturday 3rd May, and every first Saturday of the month) - http://northlondonvintagemarket.blogspot.co.uk/
Painted Black - 22 Veryan Court, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.paintedblack.co.uk/
Junk N8 Disorderly - 25/26 Veryan Court, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.junkn8disorderly.com/
The Urban Flower Company - 47 Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.urbanflowercompany.co.uk/
Little Paris - 39 Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.littleparis.co.uk/
The Haberdashery - 22 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.the-haberdashery.com/Home.html
Mishka - 212a Middle Lane, Crouch End, London N8 - http://incrouchend.com/mishka/
Scarlet Rage Vintage - 11 Topsfield Parade, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.scarletragevintage.com/
Oxfam Books & Music - 22 Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 - http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/local-shops/oxfam-books-music-crouch-end
Flashback Records - 144 Crouch Hill, Crouch End, London N8 - http://flashback.co.uk/
PS - after writing this, the next day (today!) I went to the haberdashery as I realised how much I missed it, Almond tea is now my favourite thing.