Not so long ago, I had a little fantasy about running my own vintage store. It really was little more than a fantasy, though it didn’t stop me buying bucket-loads of Annie Sloan paint and sloshing it all over everything in sight.
You may feel less inclined than I to get messy with the paint, but that’s okay because there are some corkers of vintage stores tucked away in Surrey stocking all manner of vintage beauties. And because I’m nothing if not good to you, I’ve made it my mission to track down the best of them.
The Packhouse, near Farnham, is one which caught my beady eye (and my pocket!). There’s nothing not to like about this place. And if only I’d put down that flippin’ paintbrush, I might have discovered it sooner.
The Packhouse is more a lifestyle emporium than a simple store. And from the off you just know it’s going to be good. It’s set in a gorgeous 400-year-old, Grade II-listed former hop kiln just outside Farnham, and flows over three floors with more than 70 individual traders exhibiting their wares. There are more nooks and crannies here than your grannies attic.
This, people, is a treasure trove of of furniture, home accessories, lighting and soft furnishings, jewellery, artwork. There are authentic antiques, including a nice selection of grandfather clocks, if like Mr Muds you covet one of those (I know, right! *shrug*). If you can think of it, The Packhouse will mostly likely have it. Vintage fur coat, anyone?
Outside, a concrete balustrade, like something to be found in a Victorian garden, separates a courtyard from the carpark, and is stocked with all things outdoors – garden furniture, pots and statues, even window shutters.
The price points are pretty good too. Crockery for under a tenner, statues for under £30 and original artwork from £20 upwards.
And if you’re famished after all that shopping, Cafe Fig serves food all day from breakfast through to afternoon tea. Can’t argue with that!
If getting crafty is more your thing, there are regular workshops. A furniture painting workshop for 11 Feb is already sold out, but there are still spaces for the one on 25 Feb. There are also basket weaving and Italian bread making, among others. Check out what’s on offer here.