In the same week as our anniversary trip to Brighton, we finally managed to make our way to the wonderful Hepwrights in Southampton – considering it’s mere minutes down the motorway, we never seemed to be able to find the time to get there; in-law lunches, bad weather and working overtime all conspired against us, and I’d pretty much given up, when we finally managed to find a day to go and get our vintage fill.
I’d spent time chatting to Catherine, the owner, on Twitter, so I already felt like I knew her – when we wandered in, complete with shouty toddler, she enveloped me in a bear hug and cried, “you MADE it!” If every shop welcomed their customers that way, I guarantee they’d do a roaring trade.
Catherine couldn’t have made us feel more welcome if she’d rolled out a red carpet – there were offers of tea and coffee, lengthy chats, toys to keep the Boy entertained…. and even the donation of a changing room to hide the Boy’s modesty when he required a quick nappy change.
While we were there, several other customers came and went, and while Catherine chatted to them, I wandered around, trying on hats and running my hands over the dresses and blouses.
I knew there was no way I’d be able to leave without buying at least one thing, and while I umm-ed and ahh-ed over several dresses, I finally chose the most delightful cardigan. Hand knitted, multi-coloured, and with a gorgeous little fifties style neck tie. A winner!
The whole shop is simply marvelous – the displays, retro shop-fittings…. Hepwright’s is a veritable treasure trove, and I highly recommend a visit, whether you live in Southampton or not.
Vintage shopping is hungry work, and Catherine suggested we wander down the road to one of the numerous cafes that sit on Bedford Place – the first one that caught my eye was The Lounge, a newly opened cafe which had the best decor (totally stealing the table covering ideas!), and some pretty fantastic food. Simple but tasty, even the Boy wolfed down his cheese and ham wrap, and had a good portion of the homemade chocolate cake as well (which was gluten free, and made with ground almonds rather than flour – which made it utterly, irresistibly moist and lovely). The Lounge also hosts sewing and craft evenings, and for more information visit their website.