Hello. It’s been a long while, I won’t give it the usual apology, as there’s no need.
In fact I really dislike any blogger / social media addict who apologises for going awol…. a little secret, nobody really cares, there’s been plenty out there on the world wide web to keep them educated & entertained, so there’s no need to sweat that small stuff. Never apologise for not posting – it’s really not an issue for anyone.
So, what am I back with?!… Well. I’ve got so much blog content stored up for you, I don’t even know where to begin!
So let’s start with my latest fun find…
This weekend I joined my beautiful friend, Emma for a good old catch up in Newmarket, a fairly unassuming town in Suffolk. We enjoyed a coffee and a mini flower making workshop on a sunny Saturday morning, it was just lovely, just what the doctor ordered.
I actually work in Newmarket and have come to really like this little horse-racing town. I’m not big on the horses, in fact the traffic build up on a weekday morning to allow the horses to cross is beyond frustrating when you’re running late for work haha. But, the horses rule this place and it’s actually quite nice to watch them strutting around whilst you go about your daily business.
Not only does this town have a beautiful spa (Bedford Lodge Hotel), it is Home to lots of independent shops and restaurants, coffee shops and one of my all time fave shops… The Makers’ Shelf.
The Makers’ Shelf is run by Harriet & her partner Mikey, a place for independent crafters, makers, jewellers and the like to have their products and goods stocked on a shelf or in a cupboard without needing their own shop. It’s a fantastic place.
I like to think of it as a more physical version of Etsy. If I need a unique gift or want to treat myself to something unusual or beautiful, I head to The Makers’ Shelf to physically browse. It’s a fab shop and I’ve managed to source gifts and cards for birthdays, Christmas, a Christening, Mother’s Day and even found myself some beautiful bow ties & collars for my dog. There’s something here for every occasion and person in your life.
Harriet likes to support the “Just A Card” campaign here too – a national campaign to encourage you to simply buy just a card to support a local or independent business if there’s nothing else you can spot that you’d want to purchase.
We all need a stock of cards at home, I for one always buy a lovely card when I see it, as I know at some point soon I’ll always need one. It’s a great idea and one I try to do anywhere I go and see a cute card in an independent shop on my travels.
The Makers’ Shelf has now been in Newmarket an entire year (opened in June 2018), so this weekend they celebrated their first birthday by inviting their customers, stockists & social media followers to join them for some free crafting workshops to enjoy their new Makers’ Room at the back of the shop – very exciting indeed!
Emma & myself popped in to join in with a paper flower-making workshop, which was so much fun. I’m not much of a crafter myself and my hands aren’t too steady with all my arthritis medication, but I did it and I loved it. It was a little fiddly to get the flower made, but once I got the hang of it, I even found myself adding some more petals and fluffing it out a bit – “tongue poking out the side of my mouth style “ – it was really quite relaxing.
Harriet was so patient, she was a great crafting teacher and her calm nature is just perfect for these workshops, she’s brilliant. Her partner and her mum (who baked some beautiful chocolate brownies and a stunning homemade birthday cake for the day) joined us too and there were some really colourful creations being made around the table.
I love that Harriet’s family get involved with the shop, you can often meet Mikey and her mum in the shop when Harriet has a day off and her dad was keeping an eye out the front whilst she was in the workshop – this support is just so nice to see, it’s just lovely.
I truly hope that the workshops are a hit, I can see this really working for all of the stockists here at The Makers’ Shelf – it’s going to be a great way to celebrate a birthday or even a civilised hen party for private hire – throw in some cake and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome day!
If you want to make more of an event or day of visiting The Makers’ Shelf, I can highly recommend coffee at Cortado Espresso Bar, approx 100m away from the shop, or afternoon tea at Nancy’s Vintage Teashop next door.
There’s also some fantastic places for lunch nearby, I can personally recommend The Pantry for a tasty bite or Mangiare, a new Italian restaurant very close by.
The Tack Room is also a favourite spot for a stylish lunch within the new Horse Racing Museum, but it has recently been taken over, so I’m yet to sample their new offerings.