Wednesday 9 June 2010

Blue Linen Cupboard

In order to avert the risk of becoming like a neighbour who insists on showing each and every one of their hundreds of holiday or new baby photo's to you. Despite the fact that you're not at all interested and they all look the same. I have determined to be a little more selective when it comes to those from last Friday in Portobello Road. So rather than give you an image overload, I'm going to publish a few gems every so often.

I just had to begin with Blue Linen Cupboard. Tucked away in a little corner by Portobello Green, along with all the other lovely stalls, I was drawn to shelves holding bundles of antique quilts, checked blankets, hemp sheets, cotton night-shirt, floral fabric and lace. They are all carefully selected by the proprietor Su Mason. The sight of such a cornucopia of textiles brought-on one of my 'Little House on the Prairie' Moment's, all that beautiful fabric.
But as I looked through the adjacent rails of vintage clothing dating from the 1890's to the 1950' became less Laura Ingalls Wilder and more Madam Bovary. The selected clothes ranged from lovely old French linen utility wear dresses and lace trimmed petticoats which come from the trousseaux of early 20th century ladies, to flimsy voile delicate that you may be afraid to wear them...but that doesn't matter, you could just hang them on the wall.....
Juxtaposed next to all this feminine loveliness was what looked like the contents of a 1940's haberdashery shop (I do just love that petticoat or bumble bee!)
An amazing assortment of lace and ribbon and cards of buttons.....

The last time that I had a similar experience was when I stumbled across Darn It and Stitch on the Oxford Antique Market.
Which instantly gave me a flash-back to the discovery of yet another treasure box, Fleur de Lin, a tiny little shop on the Rue du Petit Fort in Dinan, France, a couple of years ago. It was packed with old wooden display cases and glass fronted drawers full of similar vintage goodies. I was like a child in a sweetshop.
To continue the confectionary analogy, discovering Fleur de Lin was less like stepping into a sweetshop and more like into a scene from Chocolate! Especially as the owner not only had a striking resemblance to Juliette Binoche, she was also wearing a fifties style white cotton dress with a fitted bodice and full skirt.

The helpful proprietor of Blue Linen Cupboard was similarly styled with appropriate French elegence I wasn't at all surprised to discover that not only do all her wares originate in France but there is also a French equivalent run by Jill Dymock in Etrigny, France. You can check out all the details on and discover where you can find Blue Linen next.


  1. Lovely! Although we have some great markets in Melbourne we don't have anything that's a patch on Portabello Road. Perhaps I'll drag out'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' over the weekend and watch it just for the Portabello Road song.

  2. That's funny, I almost used a still from Bedknobs and Broomsticks for the top image! That's where I first heard of Portobello Road and had been wanting to go ever since. I went there for the first time this year and love it......there are so many interesting characters to meet there......and with all the beautiful old things it's just like another world......