"So what is this Barboot?"

I talk about Barboot a lot. Because I talk about Barboot a lot, I get asked about Barboot a lot. I might make myself a badge saying "self proclaimed biggest fan of Barboot", however that is a lot of text for one badge. I digress (as usual).

Let's talk about BARBOOT!

On the First Friday of each month, lots of the incredible independent shops in Crouch End re-open at 7.30pm to let local artists / craftspeople / vintage sellers come in and have a stall. The shops are all really close, and it's sort of like a little shopping pub crawl. Hence Barboot! Each of the shops curate their own sellers, and many offer complimentary wine and nibbles. On my pre-Oh Squirrel days, I loved coming to Barboot, having a few drinks and a saunter round never knowing what treasures I was going to collect.

It finishes at around 10.30pm, however everyone is invited to The King's Head for a bit of a boogie and to listen to some vinyl, courtesy of Crouch End Record Club

This month (Friday 6th) is going to be even better than usual as it's the opening night of Crouch End Festival, and so many of the shops are going to be hosting free gigs in addition to the usual fun antics.

For those new to Barboot, whether local or not, I've put together a little map of the shops taking part (note this is for June 2013 and may vary for future events, check the flyers) and also a FAQ section. Hooray!

(Please note this map isn't perfectly to scale, I just mocked it up quickly on the ABM app so I could help y'all plan your Barboot, I'd love to do a proper (non pixelated) one and will when I get a bit more time!)

1. Painted Black Vintage - http://www.paintedblack.co.uk

2. Junk N8 Disorderly 

3. Change of Heart

4. Scarecrow Boutique - http://www.scarecrowboutique.com

5. Bottle Apostle - http://www.bottleapostle.com/crouchend

6. Of Special Interest - http://www.ofspecialinterest.co.uk

7. Little Paris - http://www.littleparis.co.uk

8. Rhoda

9. Pickled Pepper Books

10. The Haberdashery - http://www.the-haberdashery.com

11. Middle Lane News

12. The King's Head - http://www.thekingsheadcrouchend.co.uk

Where should I start?

Well, it depends where you live! Let's pretend you're not based in Crouch End and have come via the W7 Bus (see below). A suggested route would be to off the Bus at 'Wolesely Road' which is the stop after Crouch End. Broadway. Cross the road and start off at Painted Black Vintage (don't forget to say hi to Rose the shop dog!) and to Junk N8 Disorderly. Then follow back where the bus came up Park Road, where you will go past Change of Heart, Scarecrow, Bottle Apostle, Little Paris (come and say hi to me then, don't pat me like you might pat shop dog Rose though!) Of Special Interest and Rhoda.

Then, turn left on to Middle Lane where Pickled Pepper Books, The Haberdashery and Middle Lane News are. If you're anything like me, you'll want to go back to the first shop to buy something you were dithering over, however have no fear as the shops are merely minutes apart. Don't forget to go to The King's Head too, which is on Crouch End Broadway. They will have stalls as well as a good place to sit down and survey your purchases.

How do I get to Crouch End?

On public transport the best way is to take the W7 Bus from Finsbury Park Underground Station, exit via Wells Terrace and the bus stop is just there. The bus takes about 10 minutes and they're really frequent. If it's a really nice day you could walk from Finsbury Park or Highgate, but be warned, t'is hilly!

What can I expect to find at Barboot?

Don't expect! Have an open mind and you will find so much treasure. My favourite finds have been a beautiful leather doctors bag, old records and handmade jewellery. Forget any negative preconceptions you may have about handmade as there are some wonderful things to be found. If you have a birthday or wedding coming up it's a great place to find an original gift, and what more you will be supporting local businesses too. 

Is Barboot something you can go to on your own?

Yes! When I moved to Crouch End I had just one friend living around here so I happily took myself along to Barboot. People are nice, and it's a really good way to meet people too. On the other side of things, it's a really social event and a great way to get people together so if you've friends you've not seen in a while it's a nice event to bring them to.

How do I go about getting a stall?

My honest advice is to come along and see which shop you think you'd fit best in, and then approach them, maybe even have a chat that night if it isn't too busy. 

If you'd like to know any more, there is a twitter account which is @BarbootN8 and there are regular facebook events to be found. The Haberdashery are to thank for creating and organising the Barboot, and their page has lots of great press about the event. Try and grab a cocktail at the Hab once you're there, or a Flat White if you're being good. 


Katie x

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