I’ve moved to the country and stored my high heels away in my loft. But I love clothes and fashion. I also like living in the country. The two are not mutually exclusive. I haven’t abandoned my love of the whimsical just because I live in the countryside.
One of my favourite places to shop in Ludlow is the vintage store 55 Mill Street. The decor and layout are delightful and I love browsing the three floors of eclectic ‘stuff’ from fur coats through to furniture. Change and turnover ticks over regularly so there is always something new.
In my day, boy was I a bit of a show pony. New York and London were my virtual catwalks –places to promenade and to be theatrical. These days I tailor and tether my whimsy to the solidity of being practical. Of course, because I’m dressing for myself, I wear whatever I feel like, but there’s no way I galumph around the countryside like I danced around London. For one thing, I don’t like feeling cold and, for another, my feet are shod for driving and walking not prancing.
Still, sometimes I’m badly in need of a fashion fix and this shop does it for me. 55 Mill Street is a collective of traders housing their wares under one roof. Not only are the pieces unique, the prices are also fairly reasonable so there’s less guilt for indulging my showy side. [Tip: don’t be shy! do bargain, it doesn’t hurt to ask!]
Recently, I picked up a wonderful sixties midi skirt in bright green wool with an embroidered zip panel together with a black Emporio Armani gilet, both under £50. Another favourite find I discovered was a wonderful belted, cashmere, camel coat.
It’s not just my wardrobe that is full of vintage finds; my home is also decked out with a few quirky/eccentric pieces courtesy à la Mill Street and other charity shops. Second-hand and charity shops abound in the Ludlow area and they are wonderful places for up-cycling projects.
Speaking of vintage finds, I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention the neighbouring town of Leominster. My garden and home have also benefitted from a few of the myriad antique shops along Broad Street and in the town square.
If you do visit Leominster please drop in to my favourite deli/cafe Barber&Manuel. The food is great and I’m very partial to their roast beef with horseradish sandwich. The owners also have a lovely broad selection of pantry goods with many suitable for gift giving.