Having read a lovely article in Making magazine, and various blog posts of moochy trips, I wanted to visit Lewes in Sussex and as it was near to one of the boys' favourite jaunts, the Bluebell Railway, it seemed a perfect day out for all our family. Off we set then...
First we stopped by the Bluebell Railway, which I've posted about before. This steam railway is fantastically preserved as it became a preserved railway as soon as it was shut by British Railways years ago. As such, it has retained so many original features. This is the railway you will often see in period dramas on tv.
Despite the fairly gloomy weather, we were cheered by the sight of the coal fire which you will invariably find at steam railways.
One of the platforms is home to this splendid newsagent's kiosk...
When it gets too cold, there's a lovely bar which serves hot pasties and the fine local Harvey's ale.
Once the boys had had their fill and Mr HenHouse had bought out many of the railway shop's books, off we set for Lewes. It's a very attractive town with Harvey's Brewery's gorgeous factory building at its heart.
We didn't have long enough to explore Lewes to the full on this visit but you couldn't help but notice the pretty architecture.
There are quite a few vintage shops in Lewes including book shops which we love as we are a family of avid readers. This was a quaint shop; shame about the grumpy old owner, I wouldn't part with my money to him!
This little lane reminded me of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury (the hill in the Hovis advert).
The exciting bit for me was a visit to this shop. Oooooooh, let me at it! The Patchwork Dog and Basket was featured recently in Making magazine and is housed in a lovely old building called the Needleworks which also has a cafe and many moochy vintage and crafty shops. Delightful! Apologies that I had dumped the camera in the car by this stage, busily dodging the town's many traffic wardens, so the less-than-brilliant photos come courtesy of my 'phone.
What sets this shop apart is that it is beautifully laid out and so full of character. It carries everything you could wish for: oodles of fabric, buttons and trims, lots of quilting notions the likes of which it's generally difficult to find, batting, books and so on. But there are also beautiful vintage quilts, both on display to inspire you and to buy, vintage baskets and covetable mini wooden drawer units and downstairs, a whole shelf of little vintage sewing machines.
There are many examples around the shop of quilts made by the staff members and jolly good they are too.
This is a beauty, don't you think?
Inspiration surrounds you...
There was a whole dresser full of ready-cut fat quarters and half metres of fabrics as well as shelves lining the walls with fabrics on the bolt. There were many ranges by Moda, including quite a lot of the French General range, a good selection of reproduction 1930's prints and an equally good selection of Civil War fabrics as well as utility fabrics such as linen and felt.
Downstairs there was a selection of battings, both ready cut in packets and on the roll, and a selection of sale goods. Hooray! They also hold a range of classes down here.
I did not come away empty handed as I'm sure you will have guessed! We were still in the Needleworks as the doors were closing at home time so it is a certainty that we will return to Lewes - hopefully in better weather. How about bluebell season?!