Turns out quite hard. Some intensive Googling gave me Time Out’s best vintage shops – almost universally in East London (you damn hipsters) and I live in SW18. Now I don’t mind a schlep up across London (I’m new, the tube still excites me) but I only had approximately one morning to search. The second problem was that the vintage shops I was planning on visiting were full-scale emporiums with multiple floors, and if memory serves, vintage browsing is not something one can do quickly. Despite my extensive training in stress-shopping – I live for sales and my first job was in TK Maxx – sifting through old vinyl and granny shoes in a warehouse that smells of damp is more than I can handle. Thus, on the verge of getting some random artefacts from Amazon, I was almost defeated.
Until someone at work suggested the Imperial War Museum. This idea had many merits; it’s my side of the river (a miracle), it specialises only in retro products, it has long weekend opening hours and you can order online in case the shop’s looking a bit sparse. And it didn’t disappoint. There’s prints, frames, cushions, jewellery, clothes, novelty books, enamel tins and kitchen utensils, films and inexplicably, bouncy eggs. The museum itself is undergoing some renovations but there’s still some great exhibitions open if you want to make a day of it. Here’s some bits from the IWM shop:
The Imperial War Museum London is open daily 10am – 6pm. Admission is free, and the nearest tube is Lambeth North. For more information, see http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-london