Pedlars - The day I went to Wales
I am going to do my very best to squeeze an extraordinary amount of photos into this post, because quite simply you need to see them all!
I was completely honoured to be invited by the team at Pedlars to visit their Central office and tour their warehouse, Charlie's studio, the farm on the estate and Farm Shop. I was giddy when I saw it was an overnight stay at no less than the only Prime Ministerial Library in the country, which the late Prime Minister (and Charlie's great great grandfather) Gladstone, lovingly founded with his own personal collection of over 20,000 books (with handwritten notes in the margins) and tried to contain my hysteria when we arrived for lunch to find who I was sharing the trip with.
The editor of Domestic Sluttery and her friend, the founder of Pretty Nostalgic, the well respected My Interior Stylist from London, the Entertainment Editor from Wallpaper Magazine and me. Me?! I felt like I was in blogging and journalistic royalty. And then, within seconds of sitting down for lunch, I realised that we all shared a common interest. A passion for vintage, alternative and creative ideas and instantly I was, too, a valued part of the group.
There were too many moments that I wanted to take a photograph of. Picking fruit straight from the trees and watching a bevy of pheasants fly by, brainstorming in Charlie's rustic barn studio complete with neon painted steps to what would have been a hay loft, and sat chatting, (almost without pausing for breath), with Nicole before we all met for dinner about a magazine I adore. To the founder!
It was a delight touring the beautifully and eclectically decorated Glynne Arms in the village, goldfish bowl glass of wine in hand, that is part of the Pedlars empire. A pub that is more like an interiors photo shoot set but with an atmosphere that makes you want to tease out your drink or dinner until closing time. The food was tremendous.
I even had to take a photo of my packed lunch we were all given for our train journey's home from the farm shop!
The best thing about the different facets of the business and the buildings they encompass is that the styling is all the team's own work. Their passion, their style. And the genuine and authentic purpose and love of each carefully selected and placed piece, shines through.
Pedlars is true to their word. They do indeed sell wonderful stuff for your home. And vintage. Bone fide (every piece comes with a guarantee of authenticity), hand picked by Charlie and beautiful packaged, their vintage collections available on line are like viewing the gallery pages of a museum. Charlie takes several buying trips each year across the globe, shipping container loads from America and India. He has little moles and has built relationships with selected suppliers who can source him the most wonderful range of pieces that makes Pedlars a unique shopping destination.
Every Friday morning they launch Pedlars Friday Vintage and on a number of occasions I've tried to click through and buy in the afternoon and someone has beaten me to it! There aren't hundreds of each product. These are genuine vintage items that need to be snapped up. To be saved and admired by their new owner.
I have never felt more inspired in a group of strangers.
And what was lovely, was it was obvious everyone felt the same.
If you are ever in the vicinity of Hawarden you must visit the Farm Shop and the Library. Two totally different experiences. One bustling with shoppers and families stocking up on their fruit and veg and buying speciality foods from local suppliers, perhaps stopping for lunch in the thriving cafe and the other a serene yet commanding venue with an air of understated grandeur and elegance. The Library will take your breath away when you prise open the heavy door. I felt like I wanted to tip toe around whilst running my fingers along the spines of the books but only recently the Library was full for a successful first ever literary festival Gladfest!
I came home to three Heath men waiting for me at the train station looking like a packhorse laden with goodies. The icing on the sweetest cake!