It's that time of year again, With Christmas around the corner I thought it would be the perfect time for us to go out on one final buying trip for 2017. And who better to go with than my wonderful friend Didi! And so to Belgium we set off!
We've been checking the weather reports for days, and snow seems to have spread across Europe, but somehow I still forgot to grab my thick wooly socks and warmer shoes. When we finally arrive in Brussels, having driven through snow dusted France, and Holland, we were so relieved to find nothing but Christmas cheer and cold weather.
Didi has never been to Brussels before, and I am so excited to show her around. Having been a few times this year, I feel at home in the city and manage to navigate us to the beautiful Grote Markt. The buildings are lit up and Christmas songs are being played through very loud speakers...so we duck into one of my favourite brasseries, Le Roy D'espagne. This restaurant has a reputation for traditional Belgium food, it's always very busy and full of tourists, but with a view onto the Grote Markt, its worth every moment, I promise.
With our bellies full and hearts brimming with excitement for tomorrows finds, we head to our home for the weekend, the Pentahotel for an early night.
Its finally the big day and I always start the day feeling a little bit anxious. You never know what you are going to find or how its going to play out. Its -1 degrees outside so we are layered up and I have my hot water bottle wrapped inside my coat.
We spend our morning going through beautiful vintage, and if it wasn't for the sudden drop in temperature, -4 I am sure we would have spent the entire day choosing new stock for the shop. It was so cold that my feet were numb and my hands were like ice, textiles always seem to be colder to the touch in the winter.
After an amazing buying morning, we head over to Rue Blaes in the Marolles area, which is one of my favourite streets in Brussels for some breakfast at the best little café "L'aubette".
Here's a little photo of our mouth watering food, and of the grumpy dogs sitting in one of the Antique shops.
I really feel that the best way to get to know a city is through its independent retailers. Rue Blaes is full of independent boutiques, artisanal shops and cafes, from antiques to giant cactus shops. It's the perfect way to spend the afternoon, and I always leave feeling inspired.
We end our day with one more little buying meeting, that we had organised that morning. I believe that its not about where you go, but about the people you meet along the way. And I feel so blessed to have made some wonderful contacts in Brussels, allowing me to come over and buy vintage.
With a car full of amazing vintage and delicious chocolates and cheeses, we begin our journey back to England. The buying part of the trip always becomes a little blurry for me, as I find it hard to remember all the beautiful pieces I bought, so the journey home always becomes a game of listing off the pieces purchased!
Look out for all the beautiful new stock heading to the shop during the festive period! We have started adding Provenances in the product descriptions so that you know exactly where the pieces have been sourced from.