Friday, 18 March 2016

Eastern Promise - A Day Trip To Leicester



Even though we'd only planned it a fortnight ago, yesterday took an age to arrive and I was beyond excited when the alarm went off.


 I wore a 1970s corduroy maxi dress by the Dove Clothing Company (bought from Vintage Village on Sunday), an insane sleeved vintage velvet jacket and massive sheepskin hat over full-on thermal undies. The taste we had of Spring last weekend was but a dim and distant memory but at least the sun was shining.


After taking the train from Walsall to Birmingham I stood at New Street Station waiting for my connection and rejoiced in the fact that I'm no longer one of these drably clad workers on the crushing daily commute. 


Less than an hour later I reached the East Midlands city of Leicester and within minutes these two fabulous women, Curtise and Tania, had joined me.


Despite it being less than 50 miles up the road I hadn't visited Leicester since the 1980s when, 30-odd years ago, it was the place to go for vintage Levis imported from the US. Back then I'd catch a coach with some girlfriends, buy the jeans I wanted (usually the grubbiest and most oil-stained) and spend the rest of the day in Yates' Wine Lodge drinking Strongbow Cider before taking the coach back home.


I had no idea how attractive the city was.


Leicester is stuffed with fascinating buildings.


With loads of interesting architectural details.


Between charity shops we drooled over imposing doorways, ornate pillars, opulent tiles and gorgeous moldings dating from Medieval to Mid-Century.


 Leicester offered a vast array of Champagne bars but being classy chicks we held out for Wetherspoons.


We paid homage to the city's most famous son, soccer god Gary Linekar, and photographed the family fruit and veg stall.


We spent at least an hour in the wonderful Dollymix Vintage, a gorgeously decorated shop with rooms filled with the most glorious clothing. My favourite section contained 1960s & 1970s ethnic dresses, velvet jackets and bejeweled waistcoats. I almost died when I spotted this 19th Century Indian cloak (but didn't dare ask the price).


There are three Wetherspoons in Leicester city centre and we chose to eat lunch in the biggest and most beautiful, The Corn Exchange, a Grade II listed building built in 1850.


As is now tradition we ordered Mexican gourmet vegeburgers with salsa, onion rings and chunky chips.


I wasn't pissed, I'd just forgotten to put the flash on.


Gifts were exchanged. A Barbie pink 1960s maxi and tasseled earrings from Curtise and a groovy 1970s sundress pattern and a bottle of rum (that won't last long) from Tania.



With the exception of ludicrously optimistic Sue Ryder Vintage which had a 1970s coat priced at £110 and a badly stained Crimplene dress for £20 which, according to the label was priced due to condition (it was fit for the bin) the charity shops were great, well laid out, affordable with a good variety of interesting stock. 


 Shops fully investigated we thought we'd take in a bit of culture and visited the cathedral, which dates back to Norman times.


We visited Richard III's tomb, pondered over some interesting memorial stones one of which referred to a the subject "Mouldering here along with his ancestors", charming! 



The volunteer guides were welcoming and friendly, much like everyone else we met in Leicester. There were quite a few strange folk and several of them seemed to think they knew me. Nothing new there.


After a bottle of house Chardonnay in The Last Plantagenet (another Wetherspoons) we walked back to the station. Tania's train was already in so after waving her off Curtise and I attempted the usual crap train station selfie before heading home.


 What did I buy? 


A boxed jabot, velvet bow tie and pocket square from the 1970s, some bindis, a 1960s fringed scarf and a pair of Mid-century Soviet workers boots. A mix of eras, cultures and rather surprising, sums up Leicester perfectly.

We're trading in Clapham with Judy's this Sunday (details HERE). We've got tomorrow off so we're going to the pub in a bit.

See you soon!

Updated to link to The Style Crone's Hat Attack.

104 comments:

  1. Hello lovely lady. Looking fabulous as ever. Have a wonderful weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear from you, Lou! x

      Delete
  2. How fun!! I like the architecture! The price of that vintage is ludicrous!!!!Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was some really gorgeously quirky buildings, Kezzie. xxx

      Delete
  3. That cordry dress is beautiful , I dont frequent pubs but am really glad Witherspoon have saved some beautiful buildings around the country xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Wetherspoons have saved some fantastic old buildings, such a shame more companies aren't as clever. x

      Delete
  4. Looks like you had another fab day out. It does look like Leicester has some interesting buildings. Glad to hear that as well as being classy you were also cultured! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Classy and cultured, we can but dream! x

      Delete
  5. You ladies are as fab as always. I bet you brought the platform to life amdidst so much grey.
    Love the turkeys in the architecure and that display of vintage tastiness.
    Have a great weekend.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We kept pointing at things and saying "Em would love that!" Dollymix was full of stuff you'd love, loads of plaster heads, stuffed creatures and bits off mannequins. xxx

      Delete
  6. What's a better day trip then spending with friends? I love your descriptions of shops and architecture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A fab day, Sam. So much fun discovering new places with friends. x

      Delete
  7. I so wish I could join you on one of your trips, they look like a blast! Your outfit is marvelous of course. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! What a shame you're an ocean away, Laurie. x

      Delete
  8. Oh, you look like you all had a lovely day! I love Leicester. I used to go there regularly for meetings when I worked at De Monfort in Bedford. I always made time for a hunt around the charity shops and the market is fab.

    Love your outfit too and that jacket is just so gorgeous....

    Have a great weekend

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vronnie! the market was great especially as it had a massive 'Spoons plonked in the middle of it. x

      Delete
  9. Oh, Vix, I also want spend a day trip with you!
    Linekar! I bet that town is so excited w/being on the top of the Premier League.
    And of course my beady little eyes went right for those boots - wowza.
    Have a great weekend, love! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Foxes are having a cracking season, aren't they?
      Get yourself over here, we'd have so much fun. xxx

      Delete
  10. AHA - proof that you wore jeans once upon a time lol. Sounds like an amazing day with good friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did, along with Doc Martens and 1950s dresses hacked off to mini length with nail scissors. Anything to avoid 1980s fashion! x

      Delete
  11. I'm jealous. Thanks for all the photos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lila, hope you enjoyed coming with us virtually! xxx

      Delete
  12. I'm jealous. Thanks for all the photos

    ReplyDelete
  13. Isn't it funny going back somewhere as a 'grown up' because completely different things are on your radar. Looks like you had a lovely day. Great hat! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe i'd never noticed the architecture before, I thought I was a fairly cultured youth but no, it was all cheap cider and second-hand shopping! x

      Delete
  14. My husband just commented "That's a hell of a hat! And amazing cheekbones". Looks like you had a fun day out! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I like it! This hat gets so much love. xxx

      Delete
  15. Oh what fun!

    Seeing what you were eating made me hungry.

    I'm dying over that 1970's purple velvet bow tie!

    Your train station selfie turned out great!

    Sending you good vibes for your show this weekend.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne!!!
      Isn't that bow tie set fab? Englebert Humperdink's from Leicester, I wonder if he donated it! xxx

      Delete
  16. That looks like a fun time was had by all.

    That hat! That coat! That woman wearing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fabulous day. That hat is one of the few things that makes the English winter bearable! xxx

      Delete
  17. Thanks for the new insight!
    I haven't been back to Leicester either properly since the 80s,too, when I did my nurse training.
    Don't remember the architecture!
    I occasionally had a vintage clothes stall on the market, I didnt know who Gary Lineker was at the time!
    Do you remember the club in the centre that had that huge 60s mod girl face in the foyer? Loved that picture, you could see it when you walked past.
    Loved your corduroy dress. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How did we miss the architecture? I really don't remember it being that grand back in the day.
      God, yes! That club! I do remember that picture. xxx

      Delete
  18. within 50 miles of my house, cotton fields and small run down towns. Nothing as awesome as The Turkey Café. I visit just for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't get over The Turkey Café, shame it didn't open until late. x

      Delete
  19. The other day I took one of clients to a thrift store for his birthday, gave him $10 to shop with. He found all sort of neat toys he collects. I like the pirate ship he got.
    I found a Raggedy Ann doll for $1.79 or $2.79 although not vintage. But my grand daughter should love it.

    I remember maxi, medi, and mini for length. But never heard of Dove Clothing Company. But do like corduroy. Coffee is on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Dove Clothing Company was a bit like Laura Ashley, a British company specialising in hand printed dressed. It only lasted for a few years in the 1970s.x

      Delete
  20. Hi Vix, love your outfit; beautiful. Those old buildings and architecture are a feast for the eyes. I have a soft spot for turkeys, so I was so excited to see The Turkey Cafe and turkey sculptures. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post the amazing buildings!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Leave it to our Ms Vix to rock a gloriously boho chic sheepskin hat in the most glamorous Julie Christie in Dr Zhivago way! Looks like you ladies had a fabulous time & deservedly so. being a native Californian I wished I could have partaken of that Chardonnay you ladies split.
    Calmly currying on,
    Bibi xox
    http://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/03/greetings-salutations.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We haven't got your warm Nepali weather here in the UK yet, that hat has been a permanent fixture on my head for weeks! xxx

      Delete
  22. Hi Vix, love your outfit; beautiful. Those old buildings and architecture are a feast for the eyes. I have a soft spot for turkeys, so I was so excited to see The Turkey Cafe and turkey sculptures. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post the amazing buildings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cherre! Isn't it a fascinating building? I'd have loved one of those carved turkeys in my garden. x

      Delete
  23. I love these newsy posts...Curtise does them to perfection, just like yours! I can practically feel myself part of the outing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue! Glad you could join us virtually! xxx

      Delete
  24. Didn't we have a good time? As always, you were treated like a celebrity by assorted locals and weirdos - it wouldn't be a day trip without The Vix Effect! I was surprised by Leicester, although I'm not quite sure what I was expecting; there were all sorts of interesting details to please the eye, and Dollymix was really fantastic. Sue Ryder, not so much... I was working with a woman from Leicester yesterday who pointed out that Cardinal Wolsey is also buried there, just outide the city centre - he for whom Wolsey knitwear was named, your thermal undies modelling gig!
    Great photos - I daren't even look at mine, they'll probably be shocking! You looked an absolute beauty in your corduroy maxi and bastard massive hat - what with that and Tan's pink tights, at least I was never going to lose you!
    However busy life gets, lets always make time for meeting up; the chat, the chips, the shopping, the gossip keeps me going!
    Love you! Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You seem to have as much fun every time you meet. I imagine that your conversations are probably more exciting than other conversations between women in different TV series

      Delete
    2. It's that hat, love. It attracts them from far and wide.
      So we need to go back and visit the tomb of the cardinal of thermal knickers.
      What a great day it was, already looking forward to the next one. xxx

      Delete
  25. You seem to have as much fun every time you meet. I imagine that your conversations are probably more exciting than other conversations between women in different TV series

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do, Ulla-Marie! We never stop chatting and cackling away. xxx

      Delete
  26. Looks great, Leicester definitely going on my list of places to visit. You should come to Tunbridge Wells some time, girls, as there are some great charity shops and the Wetherspoons is in the old Opera House. You would love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never been to Tunbridge Wells, Amanda. That could be a plan. If it's got a posh 'Spoons it's going down on the list! xxx

      Delete
  27. Your charity shopping trips sound amazing! I need to dedicate a day to charity shops and lunch soon. As always looking fantastic. I especially love the sleeves on that jacket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charity shops and pub lunches with good friends is my idea of the perfect day out. xxx

      Delete
  28. I'm a sketcher of architectural detail, so had I been fortunate enough to join in this hunting and gathering/drinking and sight-seeing expedition, I'd still be parked 'neath the turkeys. Thanks for the multiple photos of them!

    Excellent photography all around on this trip, Vix. We do enjoy perching on your shoulder for these outings to exotic locations such as Goa and the Midlands' Wetherspoons. Not too long ago you considered clothing worn -- or not -- as mementoes of experiences: hope The Hat and the graceful jacket and cozy maxi will always wrap you in warm memories of a beautiful day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the trip, Beth! I do love an architectural detail or two.
      The outfit has definitely got happy vibes embedded in the fibres after our day out. xxx

      Delete
  29. I've been surprised by Leicester, I don't know why but I had always thought it was an unexciting place...how wrong I was. It's awash with history (so glad Richard III is out of the Pay & Display) and amazing architectural details. Seriously loving your needlecord frock and hat and that snap of your Spoons lunch is making me feel hungry. How on earth did you tear yourselves away from Dollymix?
    Hope Clapham goes well, perhaps you could give me your London dates?...I'd love to pop up and see you. xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! I don't remember it being that attractive all those years ago, so much original architecture, No wonder poor old Richard III lay there undisturbed for centuries.
      We're in Bethnal Green on 3rd April, be ace to see you. xxx

      Delete
    2. Bugger, working....any other London dates?

      Delete
  30. Brilliant day! So many treasures, new and old and the best treasure of all - friends. Isn't a bottle of rum always a splendid gift? xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fab! The thought of drinking that rum tomorrow night will make getting up at 4am a little easier! x

      Delete
  31. Seems you had a wonderful day out, and Leicester really looks like a great city to visit, even if only for Dollymix Vintage ... Must add it to my endless list of places to visit in the UK. Love the sheepskin hat! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd love Dollymix Vintage! I wanted to live there! xxx

      Delete
  32. As your first photo downloaded onto my iPad I got a beautiful shot of your furry hat and amazing blue eyes. So very Doctor Zhivago, Dahlink. Leicester is such a beautiful town, made even prettier with the presence of Vix, Curtise and Tania. XXOO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Connie!! We loved Leicester. Great architecture, fab shopping and an abundance of cheap booze. A winner in our eyes! x

      Delete
  33. You look lovely in that outfit and, Lady you can *wear* a hat! You look fabulous in it. Leicester look brilliant. I love all the buildings and the adorable turkey. Sounds like all you lovely ladies had a wonderful day. I am very taken with your bow tie. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The hat is a permanent fixture lately.
      Aren't the turkeys sweet? xxx

      Delete
  34. Fabulous hat! What has happened to spring?

    You're right about Sue Ryder shops they're all ludicrously expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so cold at the moment. I'm so fed up with wearing so many layers every time I have to leave the house! xxx

      Delete
  35. You look straight out of Dr. Zhivago in that hat!! How lovely you were able to have a girl's day out with Tania and Curtise. Leicester has some fabulous architecture for sure - I had no idea it was that interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neither had we, Shelley. Curtise hadn't been before but Tania and I must have had our beer googles on in the past! xxx

      Delete
  36. I had such a happy day yesterday thinking about our big adventure in Leicester. It was excellent. It's made me think we need to strike out and discover more cities. I know you do it as sellers, but that's like being an air hostess, you don't actually get to see anything. You looked stunning in your outfit. I know the population of Leicester agree with me. I'm looking at beige in an entirely different light now.
    Dolly Mix 1 Sue Ryder 0. They don't get it, do they? I love my boots so much, they fit perfectly and will go with everything. I really enjoyed the cultural bit too. So next time we need to go and see Cardinal Wolsey's vest then? Cool. Can't wait. Enjoy your day out in the Big Smoke tomorrow. Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't it fabulous and so odd not to have noticed how attractive Leicester was when I visited in the past?
      My Dad always used to say that he traveled the world on business but rarely saw more than a hotel and a conference room.
      Sue Ryder's prices were shocking. They need to visit Dollymix and see quality vintage at a fraction of the price. Cheeky so and so's!
      Where next? The Damart factory? We could visit the undie makers of the UK. xxx

      Delete
  37. Nothing beats a day out with girl friends exploring and having fun together. You 3 obviously get on so well and all look so funky, no surprises that people noticed you! Is Curtsie tall or are you and Tanya petite? Thx for another great post Vix and introducing Leicester to me. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fabulous day, JP and was over far too quickly!
      I'm 5 foot 3 and a half and Tania's teeny tiny. Curtise is tall! xxx

      Delete
  38. Whoops- Tania not Tanya!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Sounds like a perfect day out - history, vintage shopping and Mexican burgers! I assure you - I've taken much worse selfies than that with friends - looks pretty great to me xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a perfect day, Trees, just over far too quickly. x

      Delete
  40. Well I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Leicester with you gals even though it was only virtual.
    I'm hankering after a trip out somewhere myself now. A trip upto the curryvan is always good as we call in to chazzer shops on the way up then dive in the hospice shop in Grange once we've dumped our stuff at the van. A saunter along the prom and high street with some good grub involved is the start of our wind down time.
    I'm determined to get my clobber right for the Lakes this year. I don't do walking boots, anoraks and waterproof pants - boring, boring boring
    Hope you sell plenty this weekend xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope you'll be joining us on a trip out before too long, Lynn.
      When our American friends Krista & Chris came to the UK we took them to the Lake District. Our outlandish, unconventional rambling gear caused so much of a stir we ended up on a rambling website!! Not a pair of waterproof trousers or khaki cagoul in sight! xxx

      Delete
    2. I am desperate for a day out with you gals. Let me know where you are planning next xxx

      Delete
    3. We will, I promise you! xxx

      Delete
  41. you look stunning vix. i can't believe how cold it is there still. it's quite warm and sunny here but not as beautiful as the gorgeous towns surrounding your home. i adore the architecture! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm longing for Spring, Juanita. Walked into town this morning in a fake fur, hat and gloves with thermal leggings under my maxi. Brrrrr! xxx

      Delete
  42. Another class day out for you ladies!

    You should have seen the Spoons we went to in Newcastle, it had a huge sweeping staircase and rather than being knocked through it had lots of individual, gorgeously decorated rooms you could just take up residence in, bliss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always classy, that's us!
      That 'Spoons sounds fantastic and I've never been to Newcastle. One for the list, maybe. x

      Delete
  43. Leicester looks realyl nice in your photos. I've only ever driven through it.

    I love seeing the three of you on your adventures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We loved it, such a pretty place and great shopping, too. xxx

      Delete
  44. Goodness, what fabulous architecture! I would have been giddy with excitement!

    You look absolutely beautiful and that outfit is incredible! Glad you had fun xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melanie. I bet you'd love Leicester. You'll have to go for a pootle now you've got those wonderful vintage Welsh wheels. xxx

      Delete
  45. wouuu, love you, ladies!!
    and Leicester looks amazing, such magnificent buildings!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magnificent day, Senora - both the company and the architecture. xxx

      Delete
  46. you had a meet up! maaahh! it looks like soo much fun - all the cool old stuff in the shops, the beautiful city and the tasty food in the pub! i want to drink chardonnay with you girls!!!
    love your czarina outfit!
    hugs! xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We want to drink Chadonnay with you, Beate! We saw some cool lace-up boots in one of the vintage shops and squealed that Beate would look amazing in these. You were there in spirit. xxx

      Delete
  47. The architecture is amazing! And you girls look as happy as you always are on your wonderful thrifting trips. Your outfit is soooo much more interesting than the crowd's ones, look at that hat! Much love!

    ReplyDelete
  48. The architecture is amazing! And you girls look as happy as you always are on your wonderful thrifting trips. Your outfit is soooo much more interesting than the crowd's ones, look at that hat! Much love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what I'd do without that hat, Natalia! Its like having a portable eco system. xxx

      Delete
  49. What a great day out you all had! I've never been to Leicester but it looks lovely. Sorry to have missed you in Clapham over the weekend, I was away at Hep Cats otherwise I would have popped over! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd love Dolly Mix, Sarah! Hope Hep Cats was fun. We're at Bethnal Green next weekend (3rd April, I think!) xxx

      Delete
  50. Sellers always include bindis as free gifts when you order belly dance costuming from eBay. I hove tons but never wear them. Crazy! I love how detailed everything is over there. American structures are often so plain. Yeah, we're still pretty new but sheesh 'Merica. Get get with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Belly dancing and bindis? That's an odd combination but its free and that's all that matters! xxx

      Delete
  51. Blogger meetups are the bee's knees and then some! Vintage bloggers are rarer than hen's teeth in this part of the world, but even so, I've been able to connect in person with a tiny number of others from around Western Canada and those days truly stand out as some of the best and most enjoyable I've had so far as a blogger.

    Your purchases are terrific! I just love that velvet bow tie. So beautiful!

    Many hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Living in the UK is definitely an advantage when it comes to meeting up with lovely bloggers. xxx

      Delete
  52. I can't believe how long I've been out of the loop! I had to looking for this post. I glanced through when it went up and wished so bad I could be there. Stellar! Blogger meetups are the best. I'm so happy you guys could connect again.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Your photos of Leicester are absolutely stunning. As are you in your ensemble! How fun to meet up with Curtise and Tania. I can feel the energy from here!!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful massive sheepskin hat with Hat Attack! And yes, the sleeves are magnificent!

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx