17 August 2011

The Vintage Event @ the Balham Bowls Club

Last Sunday I went along to the first ever Vintage Event. Organised by mother-and-daughter vintage experts Chanelle Ryan and Caroline Ray, the extravaganza is based at the Balham Bowls Club. This intimate venue lends itself perfectly to a vintage event – still bearing its original d├ęcor, the dimly-lit club’s faded carpet and higgledy-piggledy furniture make it a favourite with Balham’s trendsetters.

What made The Vintage Event so special was how well-balanced it was. Unlike other fairs that lump together stall after stall of generic goods with little or no variety, traders were carefully selected to transform the BBC into a nostalgic treasure trove of one-off finds.

And the fun didn’t end with the clothes and accessories. Pop-up gin and tea room Mother’s Ruin dished out lavish slices of home-baked cake and fluffy scones, accompanied by tea and gin fizzes served in delightfully mismatched crockery.

Cupcake connoisseur Kiss My Cake offered more sweet treats, delicately decorated and beautifully boxed. And a sizzling barbecue provided gourmet burgers, hotdogs and salad in the sunny garden space.

The relaxed atmosphere was perfectly complemented by live music from The Travellers and Chloe Ray, whose haunting vocals distracted quite a crowd from rummaging the rails. This event was so much more than just a vintage fair – it was a whole afternoon out.

I was unsurprised to hear that over 800 customers flocked through the doors, and hardly anyone left empty-handed. The venue stayed busy till after the clock chimed six, and there were few vintage bargains or cakes left at the end.

The next Vintage Event is on 11 September 2011 at the Balham Bowls Club. To find out more, email thevintageevent@live.co.uk, join the Facebook page or follow @thevintageevent on Twitter.

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