Saturday, 20 December 2014

Hidden Treasures

I think it's only fair to warn you about this post. Mr K has recently treated me to a new camera and today was it's first outing. Needless to say I was particularly snap happy so if you fancy some eye candy (where on earth did that phrase come from?) rather than my customary poignant and inspiring writings (!) go ahead. 

Just saying.

Some time ago I wrote about Leek - a nearby market town with a wealth of history set among beautiful Staffordshire scenery. So when they advertised a Dickensian market Mr K and I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate the start of the Christmas holidays. The weather was predicted to be fine and bright but - as we drove across in heavy sleet and rain - my expectations were considerably lowered. The market was still on but the weather had obviously taken it's toll. Some treasures still caught my eye however.

Sadly the rain was coming down too hard to have a proper mooch so we quick stepped it around the wild mallards to the indoor market.

Fortunately the nativity scene was under shelter.

And at last we felt a touch of Christmas past.

Although this little chap had clearly had enough!

Not sure what was going on outside Boots but it was all very jolly.

In a valiant effort to keep warm and dry we ducked into places hitherto unexplored.
Friends from my knitting group have often mentioned the store Bibelot and  I expected it to be a small town style wool shop. 

How wrong I was!

As we entered Mr K immediately recognised the proprietors as two of his old students. As he was waxing lyrical about the 'old days' I decided to have a peek upstairs. 

Look what I found.

And although I like Cath Kidston to a degree I couldn't help but be bowled over by this display of loveliness.

It just carried on.

Where to look? What to do? Where to buy? I was actually so totally phased by the amount of stuff in there that I came away with nothing - apart the firmest of intentions to attend one of their friendly craft courses in the New Year.

Next stop was a cafe called Spout

We were immediately greeted by young friendly staff and invited to choose from a fantastic range of goodies from the menu. Settling for the simple teacake option (!) we explored the rest of the rather large, rather quirky, rather beautiful old building.

Even the toilet had a distinct personality!

Upstairs there was a fantastically well stocked ale store called The Bottle Lab.

Needless to say quite some time was spent in perusal mode.

By the time we left it was dark.The way home across the moors and hills was speckled with fairy lights of various  colours, shapes and sizes - notably one that was in the shape of a bus. 

Who knows? 

Looking back the weather did us a favour. We explored indoors rather than out and in doing so were treated with a wealth of treasures.

And of course we couldn't resist bringing this little chap home.

Hope you are keeping warm and well.



  1. The toilet looks like my brother's bedroom in the 70s. He just kept sticking more and more magazine photos on his walls. I'm sure it was a real pain to get it off when my mum and dad sold the house!

  2. It looks like a wonderful day out! So much to see and do. Definitely a lot of CK things for sale - more than in one of their shops I reckon!! Glad that you are enjoying your new camera! Happy Christmas!! xx

  3. I have to say I would never have thought of Leek as such a lovely place to visit! I will definitely put it on my to visit list.


  4. A lovely visit and hope you enjoyed a play with your new camera, hard in the rain for a first outing but your shots are wonderful.
    Gosh that was Cath Kidston overload, so pretty though.
    Your teacake looked scrummy! gorgeous pottery in the cafe.

  5. What a great place to test out the new camera. I love that loo!! Have a great Christmas xx

  6. I've never been to Leek, and will have to consult a map to actually get an idea of where it is. Your excellent photographs have now encouraged me to want to visit there some day, some year.

    Too bad about the wet weather on the fair day, but it surely looks as if you all found many silver linings.


  7. The Dickensian market has been running for some years, but I've never been! I've not yet sample Spout either, though the tea and cake for 2 for £5 is always tempting! Glad you had a good day in Leek :) Bibelot do lots of courses / classes / workshops you know.

  8. My My, what an excursion such loveliness everywhere. Jo x

  9. It looks like you had a good day. I think Leek is quite a good town to mooch round, with lots of individual shops.

  10. My dear Plain Jane - I have enjoyed visiting the shops with your good self. I too would have scarpered at the sleet - what a nasty business sleet is. I do not know Leek - I will have to investigate that town of Leek I will.
    I hope that you are fully prepared for the Festive Season and may all you leaks be Leek ones (what on earth am I going on about!)
    Best wishes

  11. I loved seeing your visit to Leek, what an interesting place. The shop with all the CK, wow! It's like a CK warehouse in there. Your photos are very nice, I'm glad you're enjoying your new toy!

  12. Lovely pictures Jane,I ADORE the way CATH KIDSTON arranges her shops that one looks especially gorgeous!!! Regards Pam.

  13. Great that your day wasn't spoilt by the weather. Have a lovely Christmas.

  14. I am glad you did not let the rain ruin your lovely day. It looks wonderful and I think I would love that red polka dot bag in the store.

  15. What a lovely day out, despite the weather! I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year ...
    M x


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