Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Day in Greenwich!

When we Vintage fans normally think of hitting the vintage hotspots of London, Greenwich doesn't immediately come to mind, it's seen as Maritime Greenwich, with very little to do here, but take another look, there are some real vintage attractions here!!!

The Clock Tower Market:
I've only visited this place twice now, and to be very honest, it doesn't offer much, unless you're interested in 'junk' but if so, I would visit The Junk Shop which is just opposite Greenwich Station. In this weird and wonderful building you can find pretty much anything, for those who have been to Brighton, it's like The Emporium in The Lanes.

Anyway, the Clock Tower market offers some very strange things besides vintage jewellery and retro housewares, and sometimes you can find something very special at a very cheap price. On my round of the market, I didn't find anything.

Greenwich Market:
I am not a food snob, generally, but in some markets I feel very uncomfortable. This cannot be said of Greenwich Market, which has such a diverse range of stalls, it's impossible to see everything at once. Tucked away in one of the rows of shops is a wonderful vintage shop, filled to the brim with goodies.

360 Degrees Vintage stocks fashions from 1920s-1980s, with more emphasis on classical military uniforms and high quality vintage. Most of the stock is generally donated by local residents, and the owner takes really good care of each item, you'll find no snags or tears here!
They can always be relied upon to have a beautiful window display, showcasing the very best of the stock, on my visit I found two incredible 50s dresses with very unusual patterns, one patterned with 'The language of flowers' in delicate squares (designer unknown) and the other in gentle grey with pretty orange and yellow flowers. Both were shirtwaisters priced at £120 each!!!!

Obviously, I didn't buy them, although I did try on the square patterned one but it was too big for me (sad face) I did however purchase a gorgeous 50s skirt in pink check and two scarves, which I found after raiding and ransacking the entire scarf trunk. If anybody can help to identify who designed these scarves please leave a comment.

The label attached to one reads 'Nylon Made in Italy' but apart from that they are completely anonymous. The print on them is very unusual, depicting scenes of almost cartoon like people doing various things (see pictures)

My next stop was a knick knack shop on the other side of the market, which sells Radley and other designer goods, including some sweet retro accessories, from little clutch bags to purses.

After browsing around the olde sweet shoppe in the corner and grabbing a sandwich at the cute Red Door Cafe, which I really recommend as a good independent snack shop, I turned my attentions to Greenwich's best known vintage shops, Beehive (now UMI and CO) and The Emporium at Greenwich.

The Emporium at Greenwich is a fairly reasonable shop, double fronted with lots of interesting items, but generally very high quality, here you'll find Barbie cases from 1959, which are on display yet not price marked, an area for women's couture and a rail filled with rental items. The rail does have some really unique items however they are not easily visible. 

Next door but one is Beehive, run by a lovely lady who is ever so helpful at finding the right items. The shop also stocks some of the finest working radios and record players in London, the neighbouring shop, which is part of Beehive but run by a separate manager stocks records of all eras, including some of the best bands in excellent condition vinyls.

Beehive is a hub of exciting clothes, bags and accessories and generally everything is fairly priced, making it a great place to shop in Greenwich.

So those are my tips for shopping in this lovely little London town, do make a visit if you are intending to attend the Olympic Games!


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