Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Last-Year Shops: Vintage Hart, Crystal Palace

Compared to some of my travels, I don't have to go far to write about Vintage Hart. It's only around the corner from my flat in Crystal Palace. At the moment, every vintage store seems to have its own cafe and club night, and every pub host its own vintage event, but Vintage Hart was the first store I knew to be a dedicated vintage shop within a pub. A vintage shop within a pub, just around the corner? Hum, it's not hard to find the driving factor behind my flat purchase.

The shop is a tiny wedge of a room, along one wall of the The White Hart pub. Because it's so tiny, the selection of clothes has to work harder: there's always a fantastically edited selection of wearable clothes appropriate to the time of year. Judging by their patterns, it must have have this time a couple of years ago, with spring finally beginning to blossom, that I bought my favourite peter pan collared floral blouse from there, along with a red Laura Ashley-style skirt. Meanwhile, my friend Sian paid a visit on a dark and snowy evening: she took away a coat so warm that she even stayed warm wearing it on a trip to the Arctic. Clearly a shop for all seasons.

The pub and shop are in a pretty imposing building, on one of the corners of the Crystal Palace Triangle (people genuinely say this, it's not just an estate agent term. Though of course the estate agents say this too). Vintage Hart makes the most of its position and its large windows through some fantastic displays. There's a whole load of florals going on there at the moment, much to my delight. They're also showing a selection from their new range Young@Hart: cute dresses for kids made from gorgeous vintage fabrics, alongside some gorgeous original things that somehow have survived the rough and tumble of childhood. There were some very adorable mini shoes with bows in the window when I last squeezed in: adorable enough to even satisfy the demands of the likes of Suri, I'd imagine.

It's wonderful having such a lovely shop at the heart/hart of my neighbourhood. If you pay it a visit, do pop and see me for a cup of tea, or maybe even a pint.

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