As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been on holiday this last week to make sure my mum has a really special 70th birthday. On the Monday I suggested we took a trip down to Bournemouth for the day to go shopping, most importantly vintage shopping. I’m very lucky as my mum loves nothing more than ferreting around in other people’s cast-offs just as much as I do!
Neither of us had been to Bournemouth in years, although I do remember going there a lot as a child. We were excited to see that they now have a vintage scene which has allowed for a number of vintage shops to spring up. This is mainly contained within the Christchurch Road area of Boscombe, a very long road that leads into the centre of Bournemouth itself.
On arriving we headed straight to Bournemouth’s Vintage Emporium because this was the one I had read quite a bit about on the internet. It is situated the furthest end away from Bournemouth town centre but you can’t miss it as it is huge! From the outside it looks like a rather odd warehouse all painted black with large wrought iron gates outside.
You also can’t help but notice the vintage tea rooms attached to the side of it! The decor in here was lovely and eclectic with mismatching Victorian arm chairs and sofas. From the ceiling there were loads of different shaped, sized and coloured vintage lampshades and there was an abundance of velvet curtains and odd little pictures on the walls to really give it a strange Victorian parlour feel. We didn’t stop for anything here as it was mainly just cakes and drinks and we were after something a bit more substantial after spending several hours inside the emporium!
Once we got inside the shop we were met with a cacophony of different eras, styles and pieces that were on offer. The emporium is basically like an antique arcade with lots of different sellers but, instead of feeling old-fashioned and like you just can’t touch anything, this is open, light and very welcoming. It’s more of a showroom where you can pick things up, try things on and generally have a good rummage without someone looking over your shoulder all the time in case you break something!
There was so much on offer from vintage clothing (mainly from the 50s upwards), furniture, home accessories and so much more. I loved this Singer sewing machine. I used to have one in a table but had to sell it due to not having anywhere to put it 🙁
There was a real mixture of those odd pieces you never knew you needed like these six vintage cinema seats in plush burgundy velvet. There was also a giant vintage traffic light, a barber shop pole, a lighter in the shape of a knight’s head in armour and an old school locker room bench with coat hooks above (I remember them!).
I particularly loved this red and white Chopper from the 70s. I always wanted one of these as a kid but was never allowed one as they were far too dangerous for a dainty little girl. One of my neighbours had a blue one which he let me go on, so I don’t know what the problem was.
This fab mid-century cocktail unit was just by the changing rooms. Unfortunately there were no drinks on offer though, which I’m sure my mum would’ve appreciated whilst waiting for me to try things on!
And I loved this gorgeous Lambretta. I used to be very much into the whole Mod thing back in my late 20s and I longed to have my very own Mod man in a sharp suit and parka to ride around with on such a beautiful scooter as this.
The vintage clothing was sparse, although of very good quality, but this was so much more than just a vintage clothing shop. Most of the clothing sections specialised in something particular, like this one who just did vintage wedding dresses. There was also one that did lingerie, nightwear and accessories, another that was all newly handmade clothing that was all in very loud colours and a rockabilly style and another which just did men’s clothing.
The furniture ranged from Victorian up to the 70s, with a lot of focus on mid-century. There were several G-Plan and Ercol pieces including a beautiful Ercol coffee table which I was very tempted by. Unfortunately due to having to pay for things in my kitchen at the moment I just couldn’t justify it, but the rather gorgeous, quiff-toting salesman did offer me a good price if I wanted it.
This was my favourite section because it had a real eclectic mix of clothing from 50s right through to the 90s, as well as loads of fabulous accessories like hats, gloves, sunglasses, jewellery and even roller skates! I spent a lot of time going through everything in here.
After spending about two hours in the Vintage Emporium we finally paid for our purchases and headed out for something to eat. There are quite a few little cafes up and down Christchurch Road, so you’ll always find something to satisfy you and, just a little tip, parking is free on the side of the road for two hours and apparently there never seems to be any traffic wardens around (yeah!).
Once we’d had a lovely lunch of huge homemade baguettes we had a look around Simply Home, which is just a few yards up from the Vintage Emporium. It was full of vintage furniture done up using Annie Sloan paint with lots of vintage style accessories like gingham bunting and cushions. My mum fell in love with a hall stand but there was no way it was going to fit in my Mini!
We then had a good look through two charity shops, Tenovus and The Dorset Childrens Foundation. Wherever there are vintage shops you can guarantee there’ll be charity shops, and there were plenty on Christchurch Road. However, don’t be fooled by the Vintage and Style sign on the Children’s Foundation shop as there was no vintage in it but it was still a good charity shop.
Next it was onto to Clobber. Brilliant name, absolutely amazing shop! This is what every vintage clothing shop should be like. It had two floors crammed full of every era from Victorian to 1920s to mid-century and 80s. Every nook and cranny was stuffed with some kind of clothing or accessory and I honestly could’ve spent all day in there. As it was we were in there nearly two hours!
I tried on two absolutely stunning 1940s dresses, both in very good condition (one just needed some beading replaced on it) and both were on sale for £42 each!!! Everything in there was incredibly reasonably priced. Unfortunately neither of the dresses fitted me. One of them was far too big and would’ve taken a lot of work to resize it and the other was just too small. The one that was tiny was possibly the most beautiful vintage dress I have ever seen and I nearly cried when I couldn’t do the zip up.
It was a beautiful silk taffeta in navy that had a slight grey look to it with tiny white squares embroidered all over it. It looked a bit like a shirtwaister dress but the front placket, which had matching white square buttons on it, was false. The fabric gathered across the bust into the placket and at the waistline there was a small peter pan shaped peplum detail. Looking back on it now I should’ve bought it. I really should’ve done. I could’ve created a dress pattern from it and graded it up to my size to make one similar. I could kick myself for walking away!
I had to show you this though. I think this is probably the most hideous dress I have ever seen at any vintage shop or fair. The only time I could ever imagine anyone purchasing this would be for an 80s fancy dress party.
Once we’d finished at Clobber my mum wanted to go into Bournemouth town centre to go to the high street shops and have a look around, so unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in any vintage shops. However, we’re already planning on another trip down there when we will definitely be going to Molly’s Den, yet another huge vintage warehouse of all different sellers. This one though is in Frances Avenue, which is the other side of Bournemouth, so we’ll need to plan our visit carefully.
And these are my purchases. The two tops are both 50s or 60s with the little yellow one being from Marks and Spencer. They were both from Clobber and the yellow one was £7 and the embroidered one was £8. Honestly I would’ve paid double or more for both as they are in immaculate condition.
The lovely Mexican style circle skirt was from the Vintage Emporium and, again, was very reasonably priced at £18. I think it is probably 80s, although it looks 50s, and is by a fashion designer called Adrienne Vittadini who was well known back in the 80s for her vibrant mix of colours. I’ve already worn it and love it so much. It’s just so bright and summery which is perfect now the days are beginning to get a little bit warmer.
The head scarf/band was from the handmade Rockabilly seller in the Vintage Emporium and just looks so cute on. It was only £4 and is really well made. I can see me wearing this a lot on bad hair days!
I also picked up this cute little cut glass trinket dish from the Vintage Emporium for £5. I have wanted something to keep my bobby pins in for a while now as they just end up all over the place. This is just perfectly shaped to hold them all and I’ll always be able to find them now!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and cannot wait to go back and explore more of the vintage shops in Christchurch Road, as well as Molly’s Den. I just think we need to plan it better next time so we don’t end up spending all of our time in just a few shops. And I’m sure I’ll be doing a post once I have been back so keep an eye out for part 2!