Cracking Shopping Sources No.5

Well it seems that all of you who tore yourselves away from the election coverage loved last night’s penultimate episode of Cracking Antiques – thank you for watching! Charlotte and David had the largest house and the largest budget of the series, so we could really go to town in equipping their Georgian dining room with suitable furniture and accessories. Following the ‘Cracking Antiques’ way, we weren’t slavish to the Georgian style, and added Victorian and Edwardian furniture to the mix, and we even managed to sneak in some 1950s-60s Italian glass display goblets and a Webb Art Deco decanter too! Thankfully, they were delighted with the overall look, which we think really works.
So for those of you who want to know where we went, here goes. The furniture was sourced from the excellent Bushwood Antiques near Hemel Hempstead, run by the incredible Tony Bush. Bushwood is one of the largest and best places to source antique furniture in the country, with literally thousands and thousands of pieces on offer across three huge warehouses. Make the journey, as you won’t be disappointed. And, if you’re not sure about what to do or if you have any question, my one tip would be to ask. Tony and his team are incredibly experienced, polite, helpful and friendly – I’m quite sure they’ll look after you just as well as they looked after us.
Moving north, we found the selection of prints, tea caddy, (sneaky) 1950s Italian glassware, Regency decanter and more from Hemswell Antiques Centres near Lincoln. Very much like Bygone Times last week, this wonderful shopping destination was somewhat of a secret of mine. I know that it’s a bit of an open secret, but I’ve been shopping there for years and have always come away with a car boot load of stuff and regrets about not having bought more. Check out their website by clicking here, but my best tip is to leave as much of a day to browse around and shop as you can – this place is huge! Located in an old military base, there are three different buildings containing over 300 different display areas – plus another two or three independent centres also set around the enormous car park. Hundreds of thousands of antiques and collectables all within 5 minutes walking distance!
Finally, we hoovered up a few more pieces – and tried to track down a historic portrait for Charlotte – with a few hours at the wonderful Lincolnshire Home & Antiques Show at the Lincolnshire showground. To answer the many questions on Kathryn’s BBC blog, we’d love to be able to show all the things we bought! But in 30minutes of telly, there sadly just isn’t time to show everything we bought and filmed – much as we’d love to. Tune in next week for a mid-century marvel in a bungalow in Surrey, and don’t forget to add a copy of our book to your library!

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