Bargain hunting in Hay On Wye

I am having to resist indulging my waffle-ability here and not chat away about how perfectly picturesque Hay On Wye is. So you know where we were talking about, Hay On Wye is a market town nestled in the Powys (Wales) countryside next to the place we call the orchard of England (Herefordshire). It’s in easy distance of the breathtaking Brecon Beacons National Park and while it’s not exactly the most accessible of places, the effort to get there is well rewarded. Hereford train station is the nearest railway stop and there isn’t a motorway for miles. You’ll even struggle to get a mobile signal, unless you are on T-Mobile/Orange. (Being a self-confessed iPhone junkie on O2 I won’t deny I found this exceptionally hard.)

Hay On Wye is most famous for the annual Hay Festival of Literature & Arts and it’s definitely the place to massage your intellectual ego with it’s wall to wall second hand book shops. In short it’s quirky, windy, spectacularly beautiful and most importantly full of antique and curiosity shops. My mecca!

We had come to Hay for our annual end of season camping trip with our best friends. I had done a photography course the day before so was rather snap happy. Where better than to practice what I had learnt. So, without further ado…. let me share with you the little trinkets we procured.

I clapped eyes on the below 1920’s Salter kitchen scales in the Hay Antique Market on Market Street. It was £10 and for some reason I found it irresistible. It’s now on proud display in my kitchen.

Also, from the Hay Antique Market is this collection of dressing table accessories. No idea the era they are from but I love them all the same and they look fab on the dressing table in the spare room. My Mum has a set of solid silver which I adore. They bring back some happy childhood memories. These are not silver but they were only £12 for the three so a little bargain I figured.

Finally, I have saved the best for last…. my sister and I popped into the Bull Ring Antiques shop on Bear Street over the road from where we were having a drink only to discover a vintage clothes section tucked away at the back of the shop. It was mostly tweed (rah!) but hidden at the end of the rail was a vintage blue leather biker jacket. It was love at first sight. She gasped in delight! “I have wanted one of these forever!” £35 later it was hers. I wouldn’t say it’s charity chic – more biker chick but it’s still a top vintage find. She can pull something as funky as this off! We also bought some retro old cravats for our respective other halves… watch this space for these. I just need a little more time to persuade them to model so I can show you.

We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the baking September sun drinking delicious chilled white wine and chatting to the friendly locals. Bliss.

Next years Hay Festival is on Thursday 31 May to Sunday 10 June 2012. See you there!

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