A flying visit into The Pantiles, in Tunbridge Wells, specifically to get a present for a football-mad friend. With its nationwide reputation for all that’s genteel in life, Tunbridge Wells may seem an unlikely place to shop for football related gifts, but I was there for half an hour this morning and came away successful….
Amongst the elegant Georgian colonnades are shops selling a very English mix of quality kitchens and cookware; beautiful dresses for children and brides; cameras and curtain poles and lots of covetable vintage. First up was Barnett Fry in the Corn Exchange (no website, call them on 01892 525929): this tiny shop is filled with collectable books, toys, children’s books and masses of football memorabilia:
Whilst the Pantiles Bookshop sells bargain priced secondhand paperbacks, plus toys and good quality secondhand hardbacks in store:
But I’d come here for a different reason, so I had to turn away from the beautiful plants and decorative garden accessories at Gardener & Cook:
And also from this delicate, patterned, colourful antique Chinese porcelain at Yiju
At the The Spa Galleries (01892 542647) I loved this contemporary butterfly print, and these original black and white original etchings from the 1950s – 1960s:
But this whirlwind shopping trip had another purpose: to shop for a PASSIONATE Everton supporter’s birthday: so this is what I came home with…. I hope he’s pleased!
You can discover more about The Pantiles here – regular weekend markets take place along its length, with even more stalls selling vintage buys; there are also food festivals, where stalls sell local produce grown and/or created in Kent and Sussex (I’m heading back soon….)