Discover the best antique stores across the East, complete with a tea stop!
I don’t know about you but I love a trip to an antique centre or fair followed by afternoon tea or lunch out. To me shopping for antiques and collectables feels like treasure hunting, you just never know what you are going to find. If I can find a nearby vintage style tearoom, all the better. So here is a round-up of my favourite places to shop (and have afternoon tea) in and around the region…
Antique stores in Blakeney, Norfolk
I live in North Norfolk so we’re going to start here. When we were looking for furniture for Gardeners Cottage in Blakeney, we found lots of wonderful painted furniture at the fabulous Bayfield Hall Antique Centre, which is about a five-minute drive from Blakeney, and five minutes from the Georgian market town of Holt, well-known for its antique shops and centres. Situated in the fabulous Old Stables at Bayfield Hall this is a very special antique centre and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Antique shopping in Holt, Norfolk
Afterwards, pop into Holt and pick up a leaflet from the wonderful Shirehall Plains Antique Centre opposite Byfords, which has an excellent selection of good quality antique furniture, jewellery and collectables. The leaflet will guide you to all the other antique centres and shops in Holt so you can do the full tour. Holt has a wonderful selection of antique shops to keep you amused and also several lovely tearooms including Byfords of Holt and The Folly Tearoom. Both do great afternoon teas and light lunches.
Just outside Holt is the large Holt Antiques and Interiors Centre, which is a great place to source painted furniture, architectural salvage and reclamation, industrial, vintage and retro furniture. There is limited parking outside the centre but we have always managed to get a space!
Antique Fairs in Norwich, Norfolk
If you are in Norwich city centre visit St Gregory’s Antiques & Collectables, housed in a medieval 14th-century church in the Norwich Lanes. Here you’ll find excellent value and a treasure trove of vintage and antiques. We nearly always find something in here. There are also regular antique fairs at the Norwich Showground.
Antiques shopping in Beccles, Suffolk
The busy Beccles Antiques Street Market in Beccles town centre in Suffolk has around 100 stalls selling small items of antique and vintage items & collectables. Entry is free. There is street food and a lovely buzzing atmosphere. The next event takes place on Sunday 12 August 2018.
Antique stores in Cambridgeshire
If you fancy a trip into Cambridgeshire then Waterside Antiques in Ely is well worth a visit followed by afternoon tea at the fantastic Peacocks Vintage Tearoom next door. We love this place! The tearoom is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am – 5pm. The antique centre is situated next to the river in Ely and there is a free NCP car park nearby. Afterwards, have a walk along the river or around the beautiful and historic city with its magnificent cathedral.
The Peterborough Festival of Antiques is held twice yearly at the East of England Showground and is now one of the largest antique fairs in the country. Catch the next event on Friday 28 September 2018.
Antiques in Nottinghamshire & Lincolnshire
If you fancy venturing further afield then the Newark Antique Fair is held every couple of months.. The pretty town of Newark on the river Trent in Nottinghamshire is also great for antique shopping and there are lots of lovely cafes, tearoom and restaurants. Gannets Day Cafe is our favourite (fantastic tasty homemade lunches) and the perfect place for a quick lunch in Newark in between your antique shopping . We go regularly and always come back with a car boot full.
Take a trip to Lincolnshire Helmswell Antique Centre; the UK’s largest antique centre, and probably the best antique centre I have ever been in, and I’ve been in quite a few!
I’m, sure there are lots of wonderful antique centres and fairs that I have missed off but these are just some of the favourites that we visit regularly.
Discover more monthly antique fairs at www.eastlife.co.uk/events
Kate lives in North Norfolk and is owner of a holiday cottage in Blakeney that she has renovated with her husband and now let’s out. She is passionate about vintage and antique furniture & china, upcycling and gardening and Norfolk. www.blakeney-cottage.co.uk