At the Assembly House in Norwich

It’s almost two months since our short-stay in Norwich, and I’m not sure where the time in between has gone. I shared a few pictures of The Assembly House, where we stayed while we were there, but nothing since. Our room was pretty special, in fact all the rooms are - and what’s even better is you can see each of the rooms on their website, before you book. Each has a different vibe and colour theme, and ours was blue and yellow.

A four poster bed and homely decor
cushions on the bed at the Assembly House

The colour scheme may have influenced my choice. And maybe the four poster bed did too. Truth is it was one of the available rooms in our price range, so that helped quite a bit too. What’s strange though is even though we knew what the room would look like before we stepped in, when we did, it still took our breath away. MOH was suitably impressed saying something like “it’s like someone’s house.” And what a complement to any hotel, and it really did.

cushions on the bed

Although not many homes we know of have grandiose lights like this, let alone in the bedroom.

quite a chandelier in our room at the assembly house
the same light a different view

And I couldn’t help have an arty shot or two.

it was great to have a room that was big enough to have space for some decent sized armchairs, winged at that. And we made good use of them, much better than having to camp out on the bed, which isn’t ideal and is often why we choose apartments when we go away over hotels. Not this time though.

a winged arm chair
A free standing wardrobe

The old fashioned armoire was authentic as it was stylish. It needed some persuasion to open and shut, but that’s all part of the charm n’est pas?

A fireplace with a mirror above

While MOH made good use of the Nespresso machine, I admired the pom poms on the curtains. I know, a new and stylish way for those pom poms. MOH is already braced for the onslaught of pom poms in our house, they’ve made it as far as the cushions, but will they make it onto the curtains?

pom poms on the curtains

The artwork was pretty eclectic too, and I admired the mix of modern and traditional. I’m a gallery wall fan, but always struggle to line pictures up just as I want them. I resisted the strong urge to check the back of the pictures, as I’m pretty sure that if these are anything like mine, there’s often some blu tak, and sheer goodwill keeping them where they should be, and that’s not something you need to put right in a very well put together hotel room is it?

a very well thought out and comfortable room

And there was plenty of wall art - even between the curtains; this yellow butterfly arrangement may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it.

butterflies on the wall
oh the pom poms on the curtains

The breakfasts at The Assembly House were pretty special too, and it’s fair to say it was probably just as well we were only there two nights, or otherwise I’m sure we wouldn’t have been able to move.

PoCoLo

Tempted by some Norfolk antiques

On our trip to Norfolk at the start of the year we headed off in a different direction than normal and headed across the county to Hingham. It’s more central Norfolk than the North Norfolk coast which we’re used to, and while it was nice and just as picturesque it didn’t really feel like Norfolk to us. To us it had more of a feeling of Suffolk, which we also like. But without the coast close by, it was strange how different it felt.

We stopped for a look around, and somehow found ourselves having a nose around an antique shop. In fact I think it was this peacock-like chair that drew us down the alley. There were a pair and I think MOH knew we were on dodgy ground. While we didn’t have his bike in the back of the car, it was in Norfolk and so getting them home would have been tricky.

A peacock chair

That’s likely to have been the saving grace, which is a shame really as they’ve got a fantastic shape. It would have meant more cushion sewing again, and before that some fabric hunting, but it wasn’t to be. But aren’t they great?

And while we were in the courtyard, it seemed rude not to have a closer look.

A tree bench

Next up was the tree bench above. I’ve always wondered where you’d buy one, and now I know. None of our trees are suitable for such a beauty, as most are on the border and are snug up against the fence. But wouldn’t it be great to have a bench like this?

Heading inside, we did well to make it out without any purchases. Though I thought MOH might crack when faced with this display cabinet full of old tools.

Trays of old tools

And that’s even before we saw these brass spirit levels. I’ll admit I’m not sure I’d have put up much resistance to these. They’re stunning and show real craftsmanship, don’t they? It’s a shame that we’re so programmed to think of spirit levels as the plastic variety. While they’re functional and practical, I can’t see anyone coveting the more modern versions. Tools like these would encourage care and pride in the items they helped make, I’m sure.

So many Brass spirit levels

Leaving the tools behind, we moved onto crockery. I was happy to dawdle and admire but MOH sensing a weak point was keen to chivvy me along as usual.

vintage rose tea set
more tea sets

But that could have misfired, as we found ourselves poring over a table of antique tins. Recognising some and pondering others, I mean what on earth is desiccated soup? Maye, I don’t want to know…

vintage tins

Pretty tablecloths and crisp white linens were also worth a stop. Like the crockery, I could sort through piles and piles of these and leave with almost as many. My favourite here was the colourful, what looks to be, cross-stitched decorated tablecloth at the top of the picture. Such work, and for it to be discarded like this.

vintage linen
A pretty vintage sewing machine, shame the case was damaged

Upstairs we stumbled across a room of old machinery, of all types. An old runner bean slicer, and at least three old sewing machines. This was the most decorative one, again another world away from the modern day versions.

I’d forgotten just how much time you can easily lose in a well stocked antique shop…

Truly awesome creations

Just next door to Smug is Loop, and if I thought Smug was a dangerous enough shop, then Loop takes that and doubles it. Its website tagline of “Gorgeous knitting supplies” does not lie. And their shop window is one that intrigues, delights and draws you in through the peculiarly small double shop doors.

Loop Islington Shop Window
EXQUISITE CREATIONS IN THE SHOP WINDOW, I HAD TO GO IN

EXQUISITE CREATIONS IN THE SHOP WINDOW, I HAD TO GO IN

Having spent the day at the Garden Media event and collecting goodies along the way, I arrived in the shop through the original half size doors none too elegantly. I’m sure I’m not the only one that makes such an arrival!

Once in the shop I was mesmerised. So many lovely colours, so much gorgeous wool. It was hard to know where to start. And once I’d worked that out, I learnt there was an upstairs too, and I really was smitten.

BASKETS OF WOOL
WOOL FOR SOCKS AT LOOP LONDON

Throughout the shop there were the most exquisite and awesome creations, which inspired and wowed as well as slightly scaring me at the same time. The level of work is stunning, and the throws were the perfect way to show off what’s possible.

THROWS IN AUTUMN COLOURS
THROWS WITH FLOWERS AND HEXIES.jpg

Just like their neighbour they are masters of the display, I mean a rainbow of ribbons by the till. It seems almost criminal for anyone to buy anything quite so pretty.

A RAINBOW  OF RIBBONS

But this was the shop I cracked in, I knew that I would leave with some wool. It was just a matter of which, and how much. And if I’d manage to get out of those doors again. You might remember that gorgeous wool I wound a few weeks back, yes it was here that it came from. If you’re wondering what’s happening with that, then I’m currently in a bit of a dilemma, but more on that another day.

In the meantime here’s a reminder of how gorgeous it was.

Beautiful+wool+-+the+colour+is+Aspen+Tree.jpeg

Sigh. So much gorgeousness. Let’s hope I can do justice to my own piece of gorgeousness.