Hello and welcome, we're back with your favourite Monday read! That's right, 'Blog Post Monday'!
Some of you will know that I took a trip south last week for a friend's wedding and to visit my family who I've not seen for almost two years! I based myself in Hampshire, visited Wiltshire and dragged my family across to Berkshire so that I could have have a look around the massive selection of antique shops in Hungerford.
With family in toe, I couldn't spend too much time looking, so it was a very rapid run around. But I was very impressed with what I saw and what I found, and this week's post is all about that.
So, as always, get that kettle on and strap yourselves in for my antiques road trip to Hungerford!
There are something like nine or ten antique shops in Hungerford and it's a frequent stop for many of the TV shows. As you can imagine, I was rather excited to get there. But, with my family not sharing the same passion and with them insistent on having a blimmin' great big breakfast, it was a slow start. Not only that, but I was informed a table had been booked at a pub for some lunch so we only had a very small window of opportunity!
We finally set off on our way to the wonderful Hungerford. But then Mother realised she'd forgotten her turmeric capsules, "I need them", she said. So we span the car around and headed back to where we came from. Capsules collected, this time we were set! We were just pulling away and then everyone, bar me, decided they needed the toilet... With my head in my hands, I waited in the car for everyone to drop their loads. It's was so nice to see my family again, I'd missed all this faffing! Finally, we were on our way!
We arrived at Hungerford and entered a car park. Now, with none of us being the most knowledgable when it comes to technology, our minds were blown by what we had to do with getting a ticket. It was one of those ANPR car parks, all to do with numberplate recognition. After a further 30 minutes of faffing, asking fellow customers, who I might add were just as confused as us, we solved the parking ticket mystery! With that, I bolted like a horse from a stable, hearing my Mother screaming to me, "remember we've got that table booked for lunch, you've got an hour!"
A blimmin' hour is all I had!
I ran straight to the 'Hungerford Arcade' which was absolutely enormous! Hyperventilating with excitement, I began my rapid search for interesting treasures. I was very impressed with the pieces they had on show, a superb variety and some real unusual novelty items. It is an absolute rabbit warren though!
I ended up finding an unusual piece of Victorian hallmarked Chester silver. It was in the shape of a finger tip. I'm still unsure as to what it is. But, I'd say it is either a banjo thimble, an adjustable sewing thimble or a prosthetic finger tip! All the same, I bought it because it was just so unusual. It caused quite a debate when I posted it on social media and it got snapped up, and is now on its way to America.
But it was not only the odd finger I took, it was also this fabulous pair of miniature silver and glass whisky noggins, fully hallmarked Sheffield 1908 and with fabulous engravings of bees to the lids.
I'm a sucker for a noggin and with a quick call made to the dealer, a reasonable discount was secured. These beauties were coming home with me!
With 20 minutes of my allotted time left, I sprinted over to 'The Emporium', which was just across the road. Not quite as daunting as 'Hungerford Arcade', but still a reasonable size and with a fantastic array of beautiful pieces, which were right up my street!
I managed to look at one piece, but I didn't end up buying it and subsequently ran out of time to look any further. My hour was up! I was gutted!
Overall, if these two centres set the standard of antiques in Hungerford, then I'll be returning as soon as I can to re-visit them and to see the other shops on the high street. A fabulous place if you're as passionate about antiques and collectibles as I am. Just make sure you leave your family at home, because an hour is just not enough time!
If you're interested, after Hungerford we headed to a pub in a place called... wait for it... Faccombe! Yes, that's right, Faccombe! And, just down from Faccombe 'all, is a pub called 'The Jack Russell Inn'. I'd never been to Faccombe, I'd never heard of Faccombe, but now I've found I can't stop saying it...!!
I grew up in Hampshire and have been obsessed with the River Test that runs through it. I tell anyone who'll listen about the River and the incredible trout in it. So, when I saw River Test trout on the menu, I just had to have it!
I was hoping my antiques road trip would continue in Salisbury on the Sunday, after the wedding, however, their one and only antiques shop, which is a centre called 'Salisbury Antiques Market', was blimmin' closed!
So, there you have it! That was my antiques road trip down south, via Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and back to Hampshire. I hope you enjoyed it. If you've been to any of these antique shops before then let me know how you got on in the comments section below. But even better, if you can recommend any other places to visit when I'm next down that way, then please do hit me up!
Remember, if you enjoy my posts, please show your support by subscribing to my 'Source Social' membership, which you can do via the 'Home' page. It's free and gives you a weekly blog post and a fortnightly YouTube video delivered directly to your inbox, as well as exclusive discounts and first dibs on new items before they are added to our website.
And, speaking of my YouTube channel, if you're into antiques and haven't seen any of my videos yet, you can find them HERE. Head on over and subscribe to that too for your dose of finds, fairs, stories and reviews.
So, until next week, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!
Owner Source Vintage
Shop from Source Vintage here