Interiors gems in Burnham Market

Burnham Market is one of those pretty, traditional Norfolk villages, with a green and plenty of shops ideal for browsing but few parking spaces and plenty of visitors. Even this weekend it took a little while to get a space on the green, which is somewhere I rarely get to park, especially in the summer months. As we arrived the blue skies turned dark, the rain that was threatening arrived and luckily a space materialised almost right outside the hat shop, which was the purpose of our visit.

This pretty village has one of the best hat shops I know, and the plan was to take a look to see what they had to get inspiration for my niece’s wedding in May. As it turned out, as you’ll have seen yesterday, I ended up buying one because it seems even wedding guests have a moment when they know it’s the one. We made quite an entrance into the shop as when the rain paused for a moment, that was so it could turn to hailstones instead. You’d never know it from the photo below though, taken not that much after.

A view of Burnham Market after the hailstones

With the unexpected hat purchase safely stowed in the dry of the car, we had a wander around the village to see what’s changed since our last visit, and to see what’s hot in Norfolk interiors. So off we went up an alley and into a small courtyard just off the main street where we found Boudicca Designs, with plenty of cushions and mugs which caught my eye.



While you might think those mugs are out of place, there was plenty of stylish and matching homewares. These orange background matching mugs and lampshade were a favourite, initially I thought they were foxes but looking again I think they’re more dog-like.

orange foxes mugs and a matching lampshade

It was the settle though behind these that really drew my attention - which thanks to my new Salvage Hunters’ obsession, I know it’s a settle - isn’t it great? The colours, the material and while not authentic, it’s something that would work well in many country and even city properties.

Cushions and a padded settle

In one of the newer shops, which I don’t seem to be able to find the name of now, there were plenty of muted colours with white prints and some light hearted quotes, bringing a smile to my face as surely life is better in flip flops? I’ve always said Norfolk has big skies and those cards would look great in a frame, I think.

Norfolk's big skies quote and patterned homewares

I’m not sure about the wetsuit card though.

the only good suit is a wetsuit and matching cushions

I’m sure though that there’s definitely Norfolk time. There’s most certainly Norfolk speed on the roads, it’s about 22mph and is quite alien coming from London where everything moves much faster than the speed limit, it’s hard to readjust and so you find yourself waiting where you could have pulled out.

This house runs on norfolk time print

I’ve found another Norfolk shop with some fabulous candles, who’d have thought Norfolk would be so candle rich?

dark grey candles

Another shop that’s always worth a visit is Uttings of Burnham, it’s deceptively large and has a mix of functional and frivolous. From the outside it looks a traditional hardware shop, fronted with a fruit and vegetable shop. It’s full of wonders though, on this visit while we were looking at these gorgeous plates there was another lady in the shop was in there looking for loo rolls.

Fish plates in Uttings of Burnham
More of the fish plates - including the octopus one - at Uttings

I fell for the Octopus plate, and it would look fabulous on my dresser. I didn’t even get as far as looking at the price before MOH chipped in with, where wouldI put it, I wouldn’t mind - but he liked it too!

On crockery watch at Jarrold in Norwich

I have a bit of a thing for crockery. That sentence felt like it was prompted by some kind of confession at a self-help group. It wasn’t meant to, and I suspect you already know about my crockery thing, or some of it at least as I’ve shared a few crockery posts here in the past, and use my own mini-collection comes out for styling posts at times. It’s not really a mini-collection either, as I have complete tea sets but let’s keep that just between you and I, ok?

In Norwich recently I was keen to take a look around the city’s independent department store, Jarrold and as we wandered around the Lanes I spotted it in the distance and steered MOH towards it and inside before he could work out quite what was happening. We headed straight to the Lower Ground floor where the homeware department was. I wasn’t expecting to be bowled over (sorry!) by the dishes that called my name, but I was.

bowls of every colour and pattern in Jarrolds in Norwich

You can see why, can’t you?

I had more time than I thought I would to peruse, and wish and wonder and plot and plan for their use and future purchases as MOH had landed in front of the gin section, and was doing his own extensive research.

crockery with bold geometric patterns

While the bold geometric patterns above are great, it’s the smaller repetitive patterns that I’m much more attracted to. My problem, as ever, is choice. Too much of it appears to paralyse me, rendering me almost unable to make an informed decision. Quite often, the choice becomes much simpler, if I can’t choose then it becomes I’ll have all or nothing. And that quite often helps the decision making process, I mean, buying all of these just because I couldn’t choose would be silly, so the answer was none. For now.

More bowls, more patterns

There will come a time I’m sure when following that decision tree, I’ll think it perfectly sensible to buy the lot, perhaps then narrowing it down further will become more realistic. Or maybe, I’ll change tack completely and go for the bees…

buzzy bee mugs and plates

Or other small patterned insect, bird or animal patterned crockery.

small repeating patterns, yellow butterflies, teal birds

Who knows.

A cup and saucer labelled gin, with a jug for tonic

But all those decisions, or almost decisions, made for thirsty work and so this Gin and Tonic set were actually the most likely to leave the shop as purchases, but by then it was time to prise MOH out of the wine section before we ended up with a serious discussion on how many bottles we should buy.

And it was definitely time for tea and cake…


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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