Early February found the EuropeanMarket team in the UK for a week of scouting and new product searches. After arriving in London and checking into the fantastical MyHotel Chelsea (ideal location), we were off to Birmingham and Spring Fair International, the UK’s largest homewares and gifts show.
The show allows retailers to visit over 3,000 exhibitors and see 300,000 new products. In one whirlwind day, I think we talked to 2,999 exhibitors and saw 250,000 new items. Attending a show makes for long days, but we find shows are a time-saving way for us to cover a lot of territory while looking for the next “it” product to share with our customers.
We’re thrilled to share two exciting finds from the show that we’re bringing to EuropeanMarket. First, the enormously creative (and fun) homewares of British design studio, Victoria Eggs. Next, the colorful, beachy-vibe totes and bags of French studio, Artiga.
There also was time to check out the fresh interpretation on bone china at WeLoveKaoru Adore these serving items made in the UK at family-owned potteries. Plus, our favorite all-natural candles from Pure Light. Perfectly lovely and made with locally-sourced botanicals. (click here for buying info on the items below)
Back in London
…we faced the Tube strike with determination and sensible walking shoes. The antiques markets were on our list of must-stops, so off we went to the Portabello Road Flea Market and Covent Garden Antiques Market (great boutique shopping in the area). We also made our way out to Camden Passage for more antiquing. Now, I know some folks love it, but it’s not what it used to be. Many of the dealers have closed their little shops due to lack of shoppers and high rents. It’s too bad because the area is on the rise and charming.
Not far from our hotel (and close to Harrods, an excellent place for chocolate purchases) we stepped into Skandium. If you like Scandinavian design stop into this store. I could have wandered the place for hours drooling over furniture.
London never disappoints. There always is something new to see, but there also is something so exciting about seeing all the familiar, historical sites. And, fingers always crossed for a Royal encounter (material for a Facebook posting). We’re looking forward to our next visit.
Our London Picks
Delish Italian food in Chelsea
Near Camden Passage. Family-run, fresh European food
Enjoy a cocktail and fresh oysters—Bibendum
Located in the restored HQ of French-tire company, Michelin