Welcome to Thee Nook

bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Archive for the ‘Brighton Shopping’ Category

The Yard Vintage and Makers Fair

Posted by Sara on November 12, 2011

Fancy a rummage through some gifts with a vintage twist this Christmas? The Yard Vintage and Makers Market is open every 2nd & 4th Sunday in November and every Sunday in December in the run up to Christmas.

Diplocks Yard (73 North Road, Brighton) is just a few minutes walk from Brighton Station and is free!

Open from 11am – 5pm, The Yard is an all-weather, semi-covered venue with its own Cafe. Expect to find loads of vintage goodies from clothes, jewellery, china & homewares. There are loads of stalls selling unique and unusual gifts with a vintage twist, including our very own vintage book stall House of Secrets.

For up to the minute information check outThe Yard’s facebook page HERE. Hope to see you soon!

Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jellybean Queen

Posted by Sara on February 20, 2010

Window display in Fizziwiggs Finest Sweet Emporium, Brighton Lanes.

Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Shopping, Street Art and Random Ephemera | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Art Junky

Posted by Sara on January 24, 2010

If you’re looking for a jumble sale with a difference then you can do a lot worse than the Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market this Sunday 31st January. Last summer’s bazaar brought together a variety of affordable art and jewellery made by local artists as well an eclectic mix of stalls selling books, badges, buttons an’ bows and all things arty and junkalicious in between. For more information go to http://www.phoenixarts.org/

Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market, Sun 31 Jan 2010, 11am to 5pm

Posted in Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brighton Marina Car Boot Fair

Posted by Sara on January 6, 2010

With loads of stalls bursting with new and used bargains galore, the weekly Brighton Station car boot was one of our favourite places to shop on a Sunday morning. Last April we said our fond farewells as it was decamped from its location of twenty plus years and moved across town to the multi storey car park in the Marina.

Though we swore blind we wouldn’t ever go near Brighton Marina again, we couldn’t stay away for long, so last weekend we took advantage of a rare day of sunshine to trek across town to check out our beloved boot fair in its new home.

The Marina boot fair is open from 7am (5am for traders) till 1pm and it’s probably best to get there early for a chance at the real bargains. It’s a long way for us to walk so we get up extra early (for us anyway) and set out  from the West Pier at the crack of 10am. Ten minutes into our trek we’re half way down the promenade and the early morning exercise is taking its toll, so we stop for some well deserved sustenance at Jack and Linda’s Traditional Fish Smokers. Jack and Linda have been smoking locally caught fish fresh on the beach here for over 14 years and there is always a delicious range of  seafood snacks on offer.

Fortified by scrumptious fish soup and hot buttery kipper rolls, we continue our way along the seafront, past the crazy golf toward the Marina. Unfortunately it’s out of season so we can’t even cadge a lift off the Volks Electric railway. Undeterred we carry on down Madera Drive.

Half hour later and we’re still walking – past the nudist beach and on to Black Rock station. As we get to Black Rock we’re thankful the railway’s closed – the place is covered in poo! Yuk.

It’s now about 11.30am and we are nearly there. There’s just the traveller’s encampment to circumnavigate, where we are momentarily diverted from our mission while I play with a rather cute looking pony called Clyde, before the concrete loveliness that is Brighton Marina looms into view before us.

Through the car park and up however many flights of stairs later, we  have  at last arrived at the  boot sale, ready to start our browsing. It’s good to see some of my old favourites – the flower stall, the buttons ‘n’ bows ‘n’ religious souvenirs from Lourdes stall,  the stall run by the nice shouty lady that’s full of bargains from £1. But on the whole traders  seemed a bit thin on the ground today, though being the post Christmas / New Years weekend I guess you’d expect it to be a bit quieter than normal.

There’s still enough to keep us busy for an hour or so and, though there aren’t that many book traders in attendance,  I manage to find some nice vintage paperbacks to keep me going.

mermaid market - not quite as naff as the poster and plastic snowman might suggest...

One good thing about the Marina for a Sunday morning browse is you do get two markets for one.  Walk out the car park, past the gigantic ASDA and you will come upon the Mermaid Market located in the square and open Sundays 11am- 4pm. This comprises of about 50 stalls selling mainly new stuff like home made soaps, food, trinkets and exotic woody things from Thailand. There is also a good second hand book stall so it’s always worth a look.

We head home via Dukes Mound, pausing briefly to pay homage outside Sussex Square – according to D it was here Black Sabbath wrote Paranoid – before wandering down into Kemptown to finish our shopping experience in the eclectic pink wonderland that is The Brighton Flea Market –but more of that in a later post.

Incidently, if you’re the sort of person who likes to check out other peoples bargains almost as much as rummaging for your own, then pay a visit to the amazing The Usual Shop. This Brighton blogger  really knows her way around all the local flea markets, car boot fairs and jumble sales, faithfully recording her finds online for the rest of us to drool over.

So was Brighton Marina boot fair worth the walk? The blurb boasts of over 200 pitches but I say there were less than forty on our visit. To be fair it’s a quiet time of year but I have been here once before in October and found it similarly bereft of traders. Other people on the web seem to love this place so I’m holding off judgement to give it one more go in the spring / summer – third times a charm they say and maybe I’ll have more luck once the weather improves.

In any event, half the fun is watching other people and though it was quiet today there still seemed a fair few satisfied customers milling about…

from alarm clocks

... to shovels...

... to exotic prints....

there's something for everyone

even me!

Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Books and books and books and….

Posted by Sara on August 6, 2009

I’ve not been writing too much this past week but that’s because I have been reading loads – as the Gods of all Gifts Secondhand have been smiling down on me with some remarkable finds in my local charity shops.

spiralFirst up was Spiral off Western road, one of my favourite places for a Saturday morning browse. Spread out over three adjoining rooms trailing down Bedford Place and a veritable Santa’s Grotto for knick knacks and furniture, Spiral has an eclectic range of books and magazines – including a vast collection of National Geographics I am slowly making my way through – all stacked in big bookcases along the walls, one of them hiding a beautiful scenic mosaic behind it which is worth a visit to the shop alone.

sjacksonDuring my last Saturday Spiral excursion I stumbled apon The Masterpieces of Shirley Jackson, published by Raven Books. With an introduction by Donna Tartt, this edition contains The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Shirley Jackson and Donna Tartt are two of my favourite authors so the introduction alone was worth the £1 the book cost me. There are some writers you just never ever find in charity shops and Shirley Jackson is one of them. I have just finished We have Always Lived in The Castle and it has affected me deeply – what an amazing story, so funny and sad, bizarre and so true all at the same time.

Then on to Oxfam, Western Road for not one, not two but three Ray Bradbury paperbacks, all at a bargain 99p each.

RayBradburyRay Bradbury writes beautifully and I love his prose. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of my favourite books that I can read and reread time and time again. I’ve not read any of the stuff above but have just started on the short stories  compiled in Golden Apples of the Sun – two that stand out for me so far are The Great Wide World Over There and The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl.

If that wasn’t enough bargain busting for one day I wander down to the Lanes where I spy this hardback in the window of Sandpiper books:

lordofavisibleworldOk so this isn’t secondhand but at £6.99 is a bargain none the less. Sandpiper specialise in remainder and bargain books with loads of those big coffee table type tomes, so fun to flick through on rainy afternoons, choc full of photos of anything and everything from arty sailors to modern architecture and antique charm bracelets to Andalusian equines. They also stock a wide range of books in specialist subjects and are always worth a browse. I’ve not seen this one much cheaper than £20 secondhand so to find it new for £6.99 is a treat indeed. They still have copies in stock last time I looked so get there quick if you want one.

Though HP Lovecraft is another one of my favourite authors and was a prolific letter writer, I’ve avoided reading much of his personal correspondence as the less you know about your heroes the better I think. But since being given his biography for Christmas my curiousity has been piqued; a lot of people who know much better than I do rate his life as having been a pretty tragic one whereas it didn’t sound too bad at all to me. Seems he enjoyed a sheltered, secluded life living off the missus and a small family inheritence, fuelled by strong cheese and coffee, free from the vicissitudes of regular employment – an introverts dream no less! Maybe learning more about his life in his own words will add insight so I am looking forward to tackling this selection of his letters and essays, some of which have never been published before.

Just a couple of doors away from Sandpiper is another Oxfam, this one selling nothing but books and records and guaranteed Werewolfofparisto have something worth buying, though their prices can be a little steep – but what the hey, it’s all for charidee. I spotted this – The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore and, though I didn’t know anything about this book or the writer, I have a thing for pictures of teeth so I had to buy it just for the cover – even though it was kind of pricey at £1.99.

One thing I love about secondhand books is the pieces of paper you find in them and there is a library type slip glued into the inside cover of this one from a place called Reads + Beads, Sant Bartomeu, Sitges. It appears to be some kind of book rental  co-operative and coincidently the last date stamped for this book to be due back is my birthday!


Well if that wasn’t enough for a fun filled afternoon shopping what did I spy when made my way to pay at the counter? Holy Guacamole Batman can this be true? For £1.50?!

I guess this makes up for the time I spotted Teattro Grottesco in the very same shop tucked away in the foreign language section but decided not to buy it as I had a copy borrowed from the library and hadn’t made up my mind whether I wanted one to keep all to myself or not. So I left it there, foolishly thinking it would be safe for a week or two but alas by the time I realised how fine the stories were it had gone….

Ho Hum – too many books, too little time – I feel a poem coming on.

Posted in Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market

Posted by Sara on July 14, 2009

Art-Junky-frontSunday June 28th – Still trying to fill the Sunday morning browsing gap left by the relocation of our beloved boot fair it was fun checking out the one day flea market down at Phoenix Brighton. This summer bazaar brought together a variety of affordable art and jewellery made by local artists as well an eclectic mix of stalls selling books, badges, buttons an’ bows and all things arty and junkalicious in between. With loads of interesting stalls to look through, some yummy home made refreshments on offer and all indoors so sheltered from the British summer, this ticked all the right boxes in the rummaging stakes.

artjunkyBest buy was this beautiful bracelet made by Lux & Love. Check out her web page for more precious jewels, voodoo gems, vintage and reclaimed jewellery.

House Pics 079And speaking of all things gorgeously Mexican, Voodoo and Gothic, check out Brighton artist Mahni Dare’s awesome props, puppetry and much more at Mahni-Monsta.com.


Posted in Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Goodbye Brighton Station Car Boot Fair

Posted by Sara on April 12, 2009


Nestled atop of the car park overlooking the station, and trading (most) Sundays 6am -2pm, the Brighton car boot fair is a local institution and widely regarded as the best boot sale for miles. It’s a browser’s paradise, full to bursting with sellers and stalls, where one off private attic clearouts vie with market traders, antique dealers, book stalls, video, CD and DVD sellers.


From beautiful antiques and vintage clothes to glass parakeets and empty plastic bottles, you never know what you might find here and it’s this eclectic, mercurial mixture of the exotic and mundane that makes this bargain bazaar the perfect antidote to the bland, predictable homogeneity of high street shopping.


Apart from the fact nearly all our bookcases, and more than a few of our books, have been bought here, what I love most about the boot fair is the variety of stalls. Some are beautifully laid out and are works of art in themselves, while others look like they’ve just been thrown together, but are no less inviting for that.


However, this Sunday, our usual fun and frolics at the car boot has been tinged with sadness as, from Sunday 19th April, it will be moving to the multi storey car park in Brighton Marina. Apart from the fact the Marina has to be the ugliest, most soulless place imaginable, and nowhere near where we would want to spend our Sundays, the new opening times, which will be till 12pm and not 2pm, will make it difficult for us lazy bones to get all the way down there in time.


Nevertheless we wish it well – the traders have been messed around by engineering works for months now so maybe their new home will work out better for them, we hope so, but we will miss you!




Posted in Brighton Bits and Pieces, Brighton Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »