There are two major interests in the Brown household – collecting old things (me) and gardening (Lee). Imagine if there was some sort of magical place, not far from Brownton, that catered to both of our interests… Well, there is!
Not long after we moved to the area, a quick bit of research on Jeff Google unearthed Garrion Bridges, a garden and antiques centre about 10 miles away from home. (Their website is terrible, but click to see where it is, if nothing else.) Based in what I’m told is an old Fyffes banana packing facility, it’s a good afternoon out. Yes, I know how old that makes me sound, but I genuinely love it!
Aside from the gardening bit, which is small but well-stocked with gardening essentials, there’s a large range of giftware, an old-fashioned sweetie shop, a Yankee candle concession, a wool shop, and a pet shop which sells all sorts of dried-out offal that Max adores.
There’s also a large cafe, which I haven’t sampled yet myself, but looks to be fairly decent, with a wide range of cake (and let’s face it, that’s what you were waiting for).
The best bit though, for me, are the antiques halls – one large and one smaller one. You can do a nice big S-shaped route through the two and take in all manner of delights. Here’s a few snaps from my recent visits:
Ahhh, the trunks! I wish I had room/funds to snap all of these up. I’m a sucker for a trunk, I have a big old one that we used to use as a laundry basket, which sits at the foot of our bed. Lee had to be restrained from buying the gong.
Well, I do need a desk… (I didn’t, though).
I was really taken with that Nellie brooch! If only I knew a Nellie. Those owls are part of a whole shelf of owls at one of the stands. There are dozens of different independent traders with booths and you pay the centre and they divvy it all up. Good idea.
I do like the idea that in the olden days, there was a necessity to label your baby with a silver pin.
More trunks! Umm, that big earthenware flagon might now be in my dining room… There’s a lot of collectables as well as antiques – the football shirt stand was just opening up last week when I was there.
And yes, I did try that top hat on. It fitted a treat.
The only problem I find with Garrion Bridges is that I don’t have enough room or money to buy everything I like! But I have picked up some great gifts there, and some cool stuff for the house, and my American cousins loved it, too. Hoorah!
If you’re in the area, do check it out. There’s a whole bunch of other garden centres and a nice farm shop just along the road in Rosebank, too, which also has a weekly car boot sale and monthly farmer’s market.