Sunday 31 October 2010

Black Country Woman

If you didn't already know, I'm from an area in the West Midlands known as the Black Country. Pretty, posh or trendy it ain't but it is friendly, down-to-earth with no pretentions, incredibly cheap and I love it, besides local band, Led Zeppelin even wrote a song about me and my ilk (clue's in today's blog title).

Yesterday we went charity shopping in Bilston, a nearby town once famous for steelworks and coal mining both sadly now defunct and also home of legendary pub, The Trumpet, owned by local rock god, Noddy Holder of Slade.

Here's some of my findings:
1960's Kitty Copeland cocktail dress £4.50

Vintage 1970's unworn Slix bikini, perfect for Goa 50p
Christian Dior silk neck scarf 69p

Huge statement brooch by "Miracle" a Birmingham-based jewellery company trading since 1946 £2.50
Vintage viking ship pendant £1
Insane vinyl to add to our ridiculously large and ecclectic collection £1.49 each

 Last night we met some of our friends in one of the town centre pubs, The Black Country Arms.

We love this pub, it's been a inn since 1707 and now serves a choice of sixteen hand pulls as well as the usual wines, spirits and continental bottled beers, lagers and cider.

Look closely and you'll see the traditional attire of a Black Countryman, a flat cap. Can you see the fine array of locally made Pork Scratchings by the till? No good for me but Jon loves them...yuk!

It's recently been awarded The Campaign For Real Ale's Pub of the Year. We drank £2.50 a pint Swedish Nightingale.

I love a dark and dingy pub but unfortunately the camera doesn't. I'm sitting on the balcony with a pint of ale in my hand if you can't quite make it out.

 After a few pints we walked to our favourite balti house buying wine on the way. Most Indian restaurants are unlicensed but you are welcome to bring your own.

I had mushroom dansak - a hot and sour dish of mushrooms, fresh pineapple and split yellow peas (£4.30) with a coriander nan and spicy Gujarati-style chips to share.

 I'm all spent out now! No more shopping until Thursday's car boot sale (weather permitting).
 Hope you've had equally good weekends.


  1. you're a midlander! i do think the vintage shopping is great there x

  2. Oh my goodness, I love that dress, it is absolutely gorgeous and looks magnificent with your jewellery.

    We spent last night in our London post football 'local' - the Bricklayers Arms in Putney. As well as consistently winning CAMRA's London pub of the year award, they also regularly have beer festivals on. This weekend's was a cider festival - 20 different ciders! It was fantastic but my poor head is paying for it today

  3. Yum I love a dhanksak, I usually have a veggie option at the curry house, it's always yum. Love a fish thali though.

    I LOVE that brooch!! And the necklace. Both fab. And the dress looks lovely on you.


    p.s I like the look of that pub, much prefer a proper local pub to trendy wine bar. :)

  4. that ship pendant *dies* I love it x

  5. wow gorgeous dress. My parents and most of my family are from Birmingham and my dad has talked about the 'Black Country'. Their accent is slightly different to Birmingham a bit like Noddy Holder's lol
    That dress look stunning on you x

  6. Amazing dress I love it will you be ebaying it or is it a keeper and the brooch - love that too!!
    Your pub view is fab and I spotted that flat cap wearer was he attempting to purchase the pork scratchings! xx

  7. great dress I love those mid 60s single front pleat numbers; such a lovely shape. And Dior for 69p!! Way to go.

  8. I don't like beer but I love CAMRA pubs, they're always so much more interesting and characterful than souless chain pubs. That one looks fab!

    And I adore that dress - such a beautiful colour and the ruching is a lovely feature.

  9. Oh Vix ,I went to the Black Coutry museumn a couple of years ago ,and loved it a really great place Jan xx

  10. merci du partage ta robe est a tomber !

  11. Whoa,that frock is super sexy,you look divine in that colour darling!!!Turquoise blue is a fantastic foil for your magnificent jewellery!!
    That pendant and brooch are to freaking die for!!Love them!
    I know the Zepplin song well,but didn't know anything about the Black Country!I will have to listen to the song today in homage to you!!
    I do prefer a pub over a shitty pretentious bar any day of the week,and The Black Country Arms looks like a splendid dark example!I', not much for beer,but love cider.
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx !!!

  12. Fabulous dress and you look divine.

    Mmmmm that dansak looks rather divine too.

  13. Gorgeous dress and what a lot of great finds ... I bet the 'Hammond a go-go' album has some really groovy tunes. I love the sound of a hammond organ; reminds me of the name of a friend of a friend: Seymour Organ. Honest. xxx

  14. I'm a Midlander too, it's great ;) x

  15. Looks like you had a fabulous weekend! I particularly love the look of that bikini, and the curry. Indian food is delicious.

    I've taken you up on that challenge by the way... albeit with a SLIGHT alteration... full post tomorrow! :) x

  16. It is always such a pleasure to watch your finds. I see you had a super evening.
    We stayed home: the new black he, he, he
    Un abrazo my friend.

  17. Great finds as per ever, particularly keen on that Dior scarf! Can't wait for my next visit to the UK when you mention cheap pints and great Indian food!
    xx Comtesse xx

  18. Black Country? I still have so much to discover on this wonderful Island. Great to see you're getting ready for Goa with the Itsy-Bitsy... xxx

  19. Vix, this dress is just beautiful !
    You look so so pretty !

  20. Vix, I loved seeing a slice of real life in the West Midlands! Thanks for taking us on atour of the Black Country Arms - 1707! what history!

    Apologies for being MIA, real life has intruded! I am catching up on all of your posts that I've missed. Love every blessed thing you managed to find at jumbles and charity shopping. You have an eye for the fabulous!

    You look great in that dress! Bonnie

  21. The dress is gorgeous and so is the bikini :)
    I didn't know this part of the country, but then again, I don't know much of England, I've only been there once for a little less than a week to go to a wedding in Liverpool, and didn't see much :(
    But now that I'm living so much closer to it, I intend to visit.
    I loved the tips about jumble sales on the last post, hopefully, I'll see one or two whenever I go!
    Have a lovely week,

    Jungle World Citizen

    Jungle World Citizen

  22. Gorgeous dress, I love the detail on the front! I also love your local. Lord Cherry isn't a pub goer, but every now and then I persuade him to go to ours. I love that old brewing smell and open fires. x

  23. Love the dress, beautiful colour. I would totally wear it too.

  24. GREAT dress - style & color...And your description of the places you live & visit reminds me of Dr. Seuss!

    Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

    You’ll be on your way up!
    You’ll be seeing great sights!
    You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

    You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

  25. Oh vix, what a great post. As always, constantly amazed with your finds! That dress is beautiful as is the stag brooch.

    Love learning a bit about you post by post. x

  26. Love this post Vix, Gorgeous dress! xxx

  27. Gorgeous dress, love the waist detail. This sounds like such a great night - I love dark, atmospheric pubs too. A big fan of candles in wine bottles still - I'm such an 80s chick! xx

  28. I am going to break into your house tonight and rob everything that you just bought. Everything.

    x x x

  29. You always find nice things!:D

    I like the dress you are wearing and how the color pops with the black tights.:D

    ***** Marie *****

  30. The dress is such a lovely colour, once again great finds. That pub looks like my kind of thing, save me a pint! (ooh and a packet of pork scratchings ;) xxx

  31. where are you shoes from in this post please?? they are lovely!

  32. Dear Vix, you look absolutely stunning in that dress, I love it. I'm really liking your hair on the side again too.

    I've never been to the Black Country but the pubs look good! I've been out for a drink with Noddy Holder a few times and he is hilarious and lovely. A friend of mine was in the Grimleys with him. I love the accent! xx

  33. wHAT A BEAUTIFUL DRESS, VIX !!!!!!!!!
    oops, all in caps :)
    My Blog-o-versity is Nov. 15th (ish)
    Can i send some questions your way this week?
    And the clogs are a size 71/2 US, but I believe they will fit .
    I'm a 9 and they are a tad too short.
    If not, I still have some things to send your way. Will u still be there?

    I'd love to visit the Black Country.
    Sounds a lot like Western KY. Very country, not a big "hub" area, but warm and cozy :)

  34. Someone has an eye for a label - the sandals are indeed St Michael!

  35. HAHA NICE bikini, lady!! :D
    Oh and that pendant... I could die for it!!

  36. The dress is just lovely! The color is one, and the second would be the draping(I hope this is the right term) that really makes a difference :)

    Pumpkins bumping on the streets,

  37. That silk bikini is hawtt!!! Love the dress and the detail on the waist line! :) Hope you had a good week!

  38. The bikini is fab and I love Kitty Copeland dresses. And I'm with Jon, love my pork scratchings! It is how I know I was meant to live in this country ;) x

  39. Hi there-the Kitty Copeland dress is a big wow, it looks stunning on and what fab bargains you found, the Dior scarf and bikini are gorgeous too! Hope you have a great week ahead my dear! xx

  40. Brilliant finds and a fantastic night out. Glad you're having a great weekend! ... :0)

    Shirl xxx

  41. Interesting to learn about the rock and roll history of the Midlands. Your blue dress is lovely and the stag brooch is amazing! I do hope that that sort of English pub survives - they are being tarted up all over London and for me losing their essential English character.

  42. LOVE your gorgeous dress, the color is awesome on you....and that brooch? no words.....:)

    Stop by and say Hello ♥
    Statements in Fashion Blog


  44. Hi Anonymous! Glad you like them. They were in this years' TopShop summer sale reduced from £80 to £20. The style is "Alexus". I loved them when I first saw them and kept popping back in waiting for them to be marked down. Patience pays off. If you want a close up check out "Suits You" in the October blog post archive. xxx

  45. The cocktail dress is stunning, the colour is so beautiful on you.
    Christian Dior for 69p is quite a fabulous price xx

  46. Ah that dress looks perfect on you, great find! :)

  47. Dear Vix,
    that Kitty Copeland dress is lush & that's another great colour on you.
    The brooch is amazing, love the gorgeous green stones & the Viking pendant is also right up my street ;)
    I love explaining what pork scratcings are to tourist at work, somehow I always manage to make them sound horrible (which of course they are) and the customer usually settles for a packet of plain crisps instead.

  48. Love the color and the nipped waist really showcases ur curves:-)

  49. Wow that dress is incredible! Looking for something similar myself for a friends party of 'posh vintage' theme!

    Had no idea you were a West Midlander! I live in Birmingham :)


  50. i'm a maniac for indian food. i think having a indian dish in GB is much more traditionall than it is in germany. when you had indian food in india once - you feel quite bored of the german version of indian restaurants.

    your kitty copeland dress is soooo beautiful. it's colour looks so great with your black hair!

  51. blue is definately tu color mi your long hair..I always manage to go back to long hair in the end..great find! love your poms poms...delish I love spicy Indian food and a good pub.


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Lots of love, Vix