Now don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of John Lewis as much as the next person- who doesn’t love wandering around the home & garden section imagining you could press reset on your house and kit it out all over again. However when it comes to accessories, artwork & general house completing accoutrements you simply cannot beat checking out your local independent stores. You’ll pick up one offs, unique pieces & something to wow your friends!
Speaking of friend’s mine often ask where we get some of the pieces we have at home & whilst a few of ours are vintage (butterflies in frames- some of which are over 100 years old), I always end up sending them to Great Missenden- it is the best town around when it comes to gorgeous stores. It has a positive plethora of indie home shops bursting with yummy things to add those finishing touches to your boudoir or living room.
Fair Lilly sells hand painted furniture, chalk paints & beautiful glass door/cabinet knobs. I purchased this table from there for my kitchen and whilst they offered to paint it I loved it just as it was rustic & well used. Whilst there I also picked up some fun purple glass knobs for Millie’s cream chest of drawers- she loves purple & anything sparkly so they were of course a hit!
Alphabet Soup is a great place to pick up fun cards, quirky books, jewellery and knick knacks plus some truly awesome artwork. This Bold & Noble print was a gift from my parent’s when we moved back from Cornwall to Bucks and features one of my fave colours- duck egg.
The lovely owner of Alphabet Soup is one extremely talented lady- she can hand cut paper maps and has done an amazing one of Great Missenden that is gorgeous definitely next on my “to buy” list.
But hands down my favourite shop in the whole world (other than my own of course!) is Big Sky. You seriously couldn’t meet two more lovely ladies than sisters Kim and Karen. If anyone wants to buy me a Birthday or Christmas gift they know to go here as these guys know exactly what I’ll love. They have the perfect mix of country chic, mild industrial, ethereal floral and luxe cushions to tempt any tastes.
There are too many pieces dotted around the house to show you everything but here are a few of my absolute favourites:
Whilst they don’t all sell online (Alphabet Soup is the only one) if you are in or near Bucks you’d be mad not to make a visit to Great Missenden! Have the kids with you? Take them to Roald Dahl Museum and then bribe them with a slice of Bogtrotters Chocolate Cake at Cafe Twit for being good in the shops. Out with friends for the day? Book a table at Origins At The White Lion– modern worldwide tapas- the chicken gyoza and tempura vegetables are to die for- I’m drooling just thinking about it, oh and don’t forget to finish off the meal with their white chocolate & pistachio cheesecake on millionaires shortbread base!!!
Pps: I can’t forget Elizabeth Wintgens– they do some amazing framing in there, sell super cute baby gifts (ones baby can NEVER have too many Jelly Cat toys!) but they also sell a fab little range of books. For my husband’s Xmas pressie I found this one “Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving Of A Wider Audience” featuring a range of unusual or inspiring letters.
My favourite 2 are Queen Elizabeth II’s letter to Eisenhower featuring a recipe for drop scones & one from Pete Docter the screenwriter/director of ‘Monster’s Inc’ who even though he was in the middle of making Pixar’s ‘Up’ took the time to write (and illustrate) a letter to a fan- a great gift for a loved one (or to yourself!)