A Saturday in Sheffield
Hello there! How are you all on this rather warm, sunny, humid Sunday? According to the weather forecast it's going to get hot, hot, hot round these parts. I can't say that I'm looking forward to it all that much. Heat makes me cranky. Humidity makes my hair wild. I prefer the temperature to peak about 20 degrees, that way my looks and my temperament remain in check. If you cross me this week, you will know about it. So sorry, but I'm going to apologise for that in advance......
However, on to better, happier things! On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting a longtime virtual friend - Sharon from Modflowers. Sometimes you can feel nervous, almost apprehensive about meeting people you've only ever 'chatted' to online. But I wasn't at all worried this time. I had a feeling that she would be down to earth, funny, charming and be great company. And I was totally right. For those of you who don't know her, Modflowers is a maker of vintage fabric cushions, dolls and now purses. I've always admired her knack of teaming the most beautiful, vibrant fabrics with classic pieces of furniture. I have a few of her cushions in my home and I love them dearly. And where better to meet a real vintage Queen? As Sharon lives in Nottingham and I in Leeds, it seemed a good idea to meet in the middle. So that meant it had to be Sheffield and a trip out to the Antiques Quarter.
After meeting fairly early at the train station, it was a top priority to get breakfast. We headed to Norfolk Row (near the Crucible Theatre) for coffee at the beautiful, rustic style cafe deli Marmadukes. As the sun was shining we chose to sit outside and take in some rays and get to know each other a little better in person. The food was great, I had the scrambled egg on rye. Coffee was dark and strong and just the way I like it. When we were leaving they were bringing out the lunchtime salads and oh boy, they looked so good. Part of me wanted to stay there all day. I did manage a couple of snaps of the interior as it was pretty perfect - wooden vintage tables, industrial lighting, planters spilling over with wildflowers and succulents in concrete planters. I took away so much inspiration from their cafe and I can't wait to return and sample lunch - cauliflower cheese quiche? Warm pear, halloumi and walnut salad with honey and orange blossom? Yes please.
After breakfast we wandered down to try and catch a bus to the Antiques Quarter. That wasn't so easy - many buses went past us, none the number we wanted and truthfully we were a little lost until Sharon got out her phone and did some quick satnav work to get us to the right place. Eventually we found a bus with a super helpful driver to yell out when we reached our destination.
First stop was the beautiful, stuffed to the rafters vintage homewares store, Honeysuckle at Home. This was a store that was full of goodies - furniture, fabrics, kitchenalia, art, clothing, you name it, Jude sold it. We both absolutely loved it and Sharon found some real treasures in the fabric section. I also found something in the textiles section, but it needs a little work so Sharon has taken it home with her to fix it up. More on that later...... We also visited Vintedge, Jameson's Fine Things and several others I now can't remember the name of. But they were all good and the staff friendly and welcoming. At the Abbeydale Picture House they were holding their monthly food market where we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed some homemade lemonade, bought some artisan bread and chocolates. Most impressive was the building and I loved the sense of community that existed on Abbeydale Road. It looks like a great area to live in.
Top of my places to visit was Swallows and Damsons. Featured on DesignSponge on several occasions recently, Anna Potter's flower shop was everything I hoped it would be and more. As you walk in the door, the scent is utterly intoxicating and the interior is inspired - a real assault on the senses. Animal skulls, eclectic displays, vintage cabinets full of curios and the biggest peonies I've ever seen in zinc buckets. I had to buy some plants, pots and a big bunch of eucalyptus. It got to the point that I had to go and get a wicker shopping basket from a vintage shop as I couldn't carry anymore.....
Lunch was taken at the new kid on the block - Forge Bakehouse. We both enjoyed the pea, mint, courgette and feta pie with salad. The food was clean and fresh although we both would have liked a little more salad. We got lucky with a table as it's super busy and every time we passed the door there was a bit of a queue. Totally worth the wait though as it has a lovely vibe and I only wish I'd finished off lunch with some of the doughnuts that were on offer.
After some more vintage browsing and buying we headed back to the city centre and visited the design and lifestyle store Moonko. I've seen this shop turn up a lot on my Instagram feed and I've thought to myself that I really have to go there. They have a great range of ceramics, independent magazines, prints and even air plants. The staff were so friendly and welcoming, straight away spotting that we were weighed down with bags and offering to take them off our hands. I treated myself to a couple of bits but oh how I wish I'd bought that hanging ceramic planter, oh and the wooden one, the tiny handthrown one, the green coffee cup, the Rifle Paper Print, the ceramic bangles, the list goes on..........
We finished our day with a big old glass of wine before heading off to the train station. A day in the company of Sharon was an absolute delight, we laughed, we complained, we complimented, we chatted about the future, but most of all we just had a bloody brilliant time. Sheffield you totally rock.
All photographs taken on my iphone.