November 9, 2015

England......the goods......the bad.......and a recipe

                                                      The Goods.......

Antiquing in the UK is particularly noted for leathers, blisteringly shiny brass, transferware, great art, signage, and equestrian........, all with a masculine bent. I'm smitten!
My particular joy when overseas is the antiquing with my friend Sylvia. We have the same 'eye', and love for the hunt. As she graciously drives me here & yonder we take time for fairs and markets, antique shops and auctions. I never ever have time for auctions once home.

Here's a peek at a few of the finds, all destined for the shop.
My penchant for concrete and china is a dreadful mix. We named this one Humphrey, actually hand- crafted in stone, gloriously patinaed with moss and lichens. Humphrey stands about 2' tall and weighs a ton, his ocean cruise begins shortly.

Birds seemingly were the theme this year........this pair was spied across the room, excitement barely contained, I felt myself strolling /racing across the room. Temporarily perched on a panel, the pair was rescued from a Tudor home in Minehead England. They were part of a fireplace surround. The Tudor era was between 1485 to 1603, imagine!

The panel wall they are displayed on is also coming. This piece was one of many that once encircled a room
 Loving men in art, my collection is growing. Be it whimsical as the gentleman advertising Guinness beer

or pensive like the lad below in pencil. Male art dating from the 20's through the 50's, particularly, piques my interest

The young woman below is another pencil that captured my attention
Notice the lovely pencil rim encircling the gold edged mat

 Missed it!!  A charming chalk on craft paper
Then it occurred to me that artist Sandra Mehl, in the shop, can duplicate this little guy perfectly.
I have asked
 Those old brasses........nothing like what is found in the states or newly minted. These are chestnut toasters and suffice these days as decorative accents.
Real brass or plated, how to know? With a piece of metal, scratch an inconspicuous area. If the scratch stays yellow, it is brass, it a dark metal appears, it is plated. These are solid brass with rivets in copper.

Parisian Urns. I currently have the large version in the shop, this is the small and dainty size. Imagine these on a large harvest table in a tall-ceilinged room, chock full of stems, divine!
The British dislike of 'brown furniture' is experiencing a turn-around so when I can find a piece with interesting lines, and still reasonable, I pounce.
Slated for a clients project; a Scottish pub
If I were able to manufacture, this Victorian piece would definitely be reproduced. Did you guess a wine pourer? In the shaft are several holes, simply screw into the cork, open the spigot and pour. The spigot then closes to preserve the wine. Brilliant I say!
As an aficionado of an earthy, fruity red this was found in an English supermarket. My new favorite that I am busy sourcing here

The Bad.........
Look at what I did! Drats, hair oil in my luggage spilled and permanently stained this settee! That's the gratitude extended to Sylvia for letting me use her little cottage! A quick call to the shop asking for an emergency supply of Amy Howard paint to be sent.
Yep, this paint works beautifully on fabric, simply dilute a touch with water, paint, then wax over the painted portion and viola! Has the feel of fabric, not paint

The recipe........

The Bakery Cafe Mushroom Bruschetta

Should I include this I asked myself? My image is not exactly drool-worthy. I must, it is easy and remarkably me!

One thick slice of artisan bread
A splash of olive oil & sea salt, toast for a few minutes in the oven
Top with.........
Sauteed portobello mushrooms cooked with a few greens of choice
Crumbled stilton cheese
Dash of Olive oil
Broil until the cheese melts

                                               As always, thank you for visiting!


  1. For years I've 'stolen' British brown chests. Not as 'fine' as seen in client homes, but practically 'free'. Seriously, antique British brown chests under $100 at several various junk shops/thrift stores thru the years.

    Doing old- family- lake- house- interior- design is quite suitable for my 'steals'.

    And, thanks for your previous wallpaper post. Delicious.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  2. Oh my goodness! You have found some fabulous things. I wish I was closer to your shops! I always bring something home from them when I visit.

    I LOVE the Scottish pup sign! Please post the project when finished.

    How is your pup after all of his treatments? Hopefully on the mend and back to normal.

    Have a great week!

    P.S. I cannot remember but did you post the finished nook from the Christmas house?

  3. hi elizabeth!
    the scottish pub is going to be so cool, need about another 4 months.
    thank you my pup is eperiencing the fountain of youth....chemo, for dogs that is. we are told he will be competely cured :-)
    the finished nook? what did i mention that i no longer remember??? this years house is uber charming, cannot wait

  4. Debra,
    Wish I had been there with you, we could have arm wrestled for the birds...haha.
    I love your finds. The brass in England is always amazingly shiny, while still visibly antique. I remember coming home from a trip and trying to bring that shine to the pieces in my possession (back in the 90's), to no avail. Love the signs and the chalk drawing. I can't imagine the wonderful stone owl making the trip in a shipping crate, hope he's wrapped well.

  5. You have had some great finds and I love trawling through stuff like this. I go to auctions quite regularly but I do think I wish I could make time to go out of London because the prices can be better and you can get different finds. I also love just training the eye and playing an auction index like the dow jones and seeing where things are headed what gets left behind and what goes to bidding wars. Brown furniture is still under priced and I find a bargain. I tell my younger friends that auctions can be cheaper with Ikea and to be patient. Glad you enjoyed your time there.

  6. exactly CSW! brown furniture is so well made and will last another 75+ years vs ikea disposables......sounds like another post!
    yes, get out to the countryside, the prices are really good

  7. I am reading this from my cell phone in Napa. Crazy for those birds, checking out the wine, and yes you should have posted that recipe!! Yum !!

  8. What an inspiring post, Debra. Beauty throughout...and that recipe!

  9. Debra, Absolutely wonderful! I named my blog after Portobello Road, and it is a dream of mine to shop there someday, and to visit England. Your finds are just that, great finds! Lovely post as always... keep them coming. All the best, Rié

  10. Dear Debra, You must be having the best time ever. All of these great finds ....thank you so much for sharing with us!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Sandra Goroff

  11. O M G- my heart skipped a beat over the pair of birds!
    I can't believe the British don't like 'brown furniture' --huh? I'll take every piece off their hands, thank you very much! ; D
    Looks like you had another fabulous trip- lucky girl!

  12. Humphrey is adorable. I am smitten. :-)
    Sounds like a very good trip.


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