A while ago (quite a long while ago, to be honest – I’ve not blogged for a month, and it was quite a long time before that!), we spent a pretty nice Saturday exploring Lewes; I’d never been before, and there were a tonne of lovely shops I was dying to have a rummage in, so off we went.
Just the other side of Brighton, Lewes has just as many lovely places to visit, but with less crowds and cheaper parking! We only had a few hours, so I didn’t get to quite as many places as I’d have liked – but I still managed to go home with a full belly and a loaded car!
I’d planned to go and visit The Needlemakers after Jeska told me how amazing it was (and she was right – more on that in a bit!), but we actually stumbled across it by accident on the way out of the car park, when I saw the front of The Good Times Home Store. Well, when faced with lovely kitchenware, handprinted cards and exquisite cushions, what can you do other than run inside?
Based on the lower floor of The Needlemakers, I spent too long in this shop – but the lovely lady who owns it let me potter up and down happily, stroking the beautiful fabrics and trying desperately to decide whether I needed one wooden spoon or two (it turns out I needed two. Surprise!) The good news is they have an online store as well, so even if you’re miles away, you can still have a thorough look around.
Louise Harding, The Needlemakers, West Street
Tucked away in the corner on the second floor of The Needlemakers, is a tiny gem of a shop absolutely packed with beautiful things for the home. Louise Harding’s space is full of wonderful ceramics, heady scented candles and a huge selection of lighting, prints and other goodies. I came away with some candlesticks, a card and some lovely decorative feathers.
From Victoria, The Needlemakers, West Street
Directly opposite Louise Harding, is From Victoria, which I can only possibly describe as UTTER PLANT HEAVEN. I stood outside for ages, picking pots up and putting them down again, pondering over beautiful woven bags and marvelling at the loveliest vintage tiles. Inside, giant old windows filled the space with light, bathing everything in a gentle golden glow; plump linen cushions jostled for space with beautiful ceramics, hand illustrated cards sat neatly on small shelves and surfaces were filled with string, scissors, candles, clay pots and organic body products. I spent far too long pottering around, but finally left with a few vintage tiles and a Pilea plant (I’ve been looking for one for absolutely ages) – although I do keep thinking about the terrariums!
Closet and Botts, 196 High Street
Out on the main high street lies Closet and Botts, a beautiful lifestyle store which is the perfect combination of old and new. One of those wonderful shops that covers pretty much everything, there were racks of vintage seed packets, artisan soaps, teetering stacks of tableware, piles of gorgeous linens, woven baskets and the most glorious collection of haberdashery I’ve ever seen. I bought a basket and some candles, but could have quite happily taken home most of the shop!
The Flint Owl Bakery, 209 High Street
I don’t really know where to start with the Flint Owl Bakery – I’m not much of a foodie, but this place really made me swoon. Directly in front of the door was a huge rack with handmade, artisan, glorious-smelling loaves of bread; dusted lightly with flour and piled high, sourdough rounds nestled next to spelt loaves, and crusty white baguettes teetered on the top. While we queued for our lunch, we eyed up the shelves laden with cakes; impossibly huge gateaux, featherlight sponges and exquisite patisserie all made me consider skipping lunch and heading straight for desert. In the end I had a vegetarian tart (there was goats cheese, but I can’t remember what else, other than it was incredible!) and Ali had some handmade sausage rolls. There are no pictures, because I couldn’t wait long enough to take any!