A treasure trove of crockery

On a recent visit to Norfolk dad told me about a place he thought I'd like, but would say no more. On Sunday morning instead of pottering around the garden we got in the car and headed down to Snettisham, a few miles along the A149. We stopped at an old industrial building which I knew previously used to be a carpet shop, and had then turned into a cafe and I was intrigued.

Even more so as we headed to the cafe, and hoping for a large iced bun, my hopes were high. There wasn't an iced bun, and instead of going into the cafe we headed upstairs and into a space full of curiosities and no doubt lots of families own histories.

The place was full of bays of all manner of items, big and small, but what stood out for me was the amount of crockery and kitchenware they had. Today I'm sharing some of those photos, most of the items are what would be classed as mid-century modern and I'm sure it's the kind of place where new stock is arriving all the time, so for me it's definitely a place to keep an eye on.

colourfully patterned tea cups, saucers and plates

I was amazed by how many different sets they had, as well as how many different designs. The jewelled coloured cups, and black saucers, caught my eye, but I wasn't sure about the circular patterns on the side plates. Black featured quite a lot I discovered, in roses too.

A stack of china with a black rose

It was absolutely the type of place to be inspired, and somewhere I'll be heading back to when I hope next time I'll be less overwhelmed and more prepared, and perhaps pop in with something in mind. I mean, this colander, apart from being used in the normal way would be ripe for an upcycling project, wouldn't it?

An old-fashioned colander

And then I saw these mixing bowls and almost squealed. They just remind me of cooking at school and were just as heavy as I remembered.

old-style mixing bowls which instantly reminded me of cooking at school

Next I discovered a dinner service whose simplicity appealed to me. I spent a bit of time trying to consider and convince myself that the serving dishes would match our Greenwich Denby set and would be perfectly fine to buy as some extra crockery for those dishwasher-is-full-there's-no-plates-left kind of days.

blue patterned serving bowls
milk jugs and more bold patterned crockery
A bold patterned coffee set

But I failed at the time and looking at them again I think they might, well apart from the mustardy coloured lids (the same colour as the saucers above), but now I've given it more thought they'd tone with the chairs wouldn't they?  

So I think I've convinced myself and might well be leaving with them if they're still there on my next visit - thanks for your help, that's much appreciated.

Next up was a tray of old cutlery, which is always an interest, and I'm always on the lookout for old teaspoons and cake forks. Because that's normal, right? Well, ok maybe not, but I've got this idea that if I collect pretty vintage tea sets then at some point I can hire them out, but for that I'll need teaspoons, cake forks, tea strainers and cake stands too. It makes perfect sense now doesn't it...

A trayful of cutlery

This next set reminded me of an aunt and uncle, who I'm sure had their front room decorated in very similar colours. All blues and purples and all very seventies, and perfectly normal at the time. Unless, like us, you went for the brown, orange and yellow colour scheme instead.

tea cups and saucers galore

Ah, yes, more serving dishes. I've clearly a need for more in my life. These have a more natural look to them, and definitely won't match in the same way the ones earlier will, but I quite liked the tulip design. 

Tulip patterned dinnerware

I'd clearly found the more sedate end of the display as these were up next and I think have a timeless quality to them and would easily slip into everyday use.  Although with just one side plate to the four bowls and four dinner plates I feel it's a little unbalanced.

A stack of neutral dinnerware that has a timeless feel to it

But moving onto some more classics, bone handled cutlery. I loved these, just look at the detail on the blades of the fish knives, and the presentation box. Definitely swoon-worthy, and *almost* enough for be to be less fish-phobic, but not quite. Now if they'd have been teaspoons and cake forks, it would have been a different story!

a set of bone handled cutlery

And to finish, a design that I was very taken with. At first glance I saw Christmas trees, I think it's the shape, but looking closer it's clearly not Christmas-related at all, and is the type of design I could stare at for ages trying to work out where it was and imagining all the times we've sat on the side of a river and watched the world go by.

A pretty scene on a couple of side plates

As I said before, definitely somewhere I'm going back to. I've been back once already so far, to show MOH something completely different, a wooden chest that I've got my eye on for our spare bedroom. Before we got to Norfolk again I'll be measuring the space I have in mind for it and trying much harder to bargain with them, as by then if it's still there they'll have had it a while. And if it's gone, I'm sure there'll be something equally lovely to consider instead.

If you're near Snettisham on the A149, stop off at The Granary and prepare to be amazed.  But don't buy a wooden chest, or I'll be after you!

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