Do you have those ‘the grass is greener’ job moments? Those moments when someone else’s occupation seems so much more glamorous, interesting or fun than your own? I had one the other morning when I went to the bi-monthly Sunbury Antique Market near London. The abundance of bric a brac, genuine antiques, furniture and joyful ‘tut’ made me smile with delight – I want to be a trader!
I was looking for some antique textiles. Textured linens and vintage table cloths would be perfect as a base for some contemporary embroideries. You can never guarantee what you’ll be able to buy, but there are always gems to be had. I found a long wide taupe table runner with a deep red woven edge. I love the fact that it has fine mended patches.
I was very tempted by all the wonderful vintage kitchen ware. Stacks of beautiful plates from pretty floral fine china to bold handmade ceramics. Maybe I won’t be a trader, I’ll hire out vintage china!
Stacked in a crate on a faded white wooden chair were small china tea pots. A chalkboard sign, ‘1950s P & O teapots £6’ declared their provenance. It is as much the ambience and atmosphere you’re buying (or maybe that’s just me) as the goodie you bring home.
After rummaging through the textiles and china, oh and buying a small garden table, it was time for breakfast. A very British tea van serves hot drinks and snacks to the queues that form all morning. Tea and delicious fresh crispy cheese and tomato toasties all round. It was still only 7.45am.
You have to be quite methodical walking round this fair. The dealers are out in force early on so, so it’s tempting to dart from stall to stall after or, preferably, before them. However it is also possible to get lost. Yes, on a good week it really is that big and if you go in the winter you need to be armed with a torch as the outside stalls aren’t lit. There is something quite thrilling about shopping by flashlight.
Now that I think I’ll hire out vintage china (ha ha!) I’ll have to go to the market every month to check it out and I’d better brush up on some of Angel Adoree’s Vintage Tea Party recipes and hosting tips too.
Sunbury Antique Market opens at 6.30am entrance and parking free.