Surprisingly fabulous Frome!

2 Sep

I have to admit to being a tad depressed this weekend as my brocanting chums began posting photos of heaps of vintage wonderment at this year’s Braderie de Lille. However, on Sunday I picked myself up, wound on my scarf (it was the 1st of September after all) and drove over to Frome where the monthly Super Market was in full swing.

Now, growing up a Westcountry girl, it has to be said that Frome used to have a reputation as, well, a bit of a dive. Recently though, I keep hearing people I know to have impeccable taste talking about Frome wherever I turn, so it was high time I cast my preconceptions aside and checked out the transformation for myself.

And I am so glad I did!

Frome flea vintage market

vintage stall at Frome Flea market

vintage enamel Frome flea market

vintage telephone and kitchen storage jars Frome Flea

vintage antiques From Flea market Somerset

Frome Super Market is actually six mini markets wrapped up into one on the first Sunday of each month. I’m afraid I was dashing around so excitedly that I was overcome by a huge case of #bloggerfail and didn’t take any pictures of much beyond the first few stalls of the Frome Flea, but you’ll have to trust me that the Artisan Market and Farmer’s Market were also brimming with creative and tasty wares. While some towns might’ve been tempted to eek out all their events over the course of the month, the stroke of brilliance here is that instead they all happen on the same day with the whole town centre overtaken with stalls, live music and special Sunday opening of the many independent shops so there’s a definite festival atmosphere in the air.

Talking of shops…

St Catherines Hill shops Frome

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

The cobbled streets around St Catherine’s Hill have gained a reputation as Frome’s artisan quarter and drawn a wonderful array of independent vintage and craft shops with hipster levels to rival the coolest parts of Shoreditch (and thankfully much higher friendliness levels too). I didn’t have time to visit everyone, but here are some highlights from my first visit.

Frome’s Top Shops…

Make & Mend Vintage: a beautifully curated and displayed vintage clothing boutique with everything from ’30s crepe flapper dresses to lace wedding gowns. The colour blocked rails are especially pleasing.

Assembly: an intriguing mix of men’s clothing and homeware… although as a girl who loves utilitarian style, the Welsh floor rugs and Duralex glasses could have easily found their way home with me.

Owl: a contemporary art gallery run by six artists working in paint, ceramics, wire, felt, glass and printmaking. Gladys Paulus’s stunning sculpted felt animal headdresses have to be seen to be believed.

Millie Moon: haberdashery heaven – this gorgeous little shop will make you want to fill your pockets with buttons and ribbon and instantly dust off your sewing machine.

Seed: between the Frome Flea and St Catherine’s Hill, Black Swan Arts Centre is home to this lovely collection of work by British designer makers. If you’re into handmade jewellery, you’ll definitely want to stop here.

Have you been to Frome recently too? If so please do jump into the comments and let me know what I’ve forgotten or missed. I’m already looking forward to a return visit – can’t believe the transformation of this creative little town!

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8 Responses to “Surprisingly fabulous Frome!”

  1. Donna Grand Brown September 4, 2013 at 08:54 #

    After hearing such fab reviews from other traders I decided to bite the bullet and apply to trade myself in the Artisan Market. I’m SO glad I did – it’s definately the best of its kind around with such a friendly atmosphere. Only trouble is, I’m just itching to abandon my stall to take a good look around at all the fabulous items on offer on the other stalls. Frome is just lovely – I even found myself looking through the Estate Agents window!! Looking forward to going back October :-)

  2. Chris September 3, 2013 at 19:24 #

    Next time you visit come into the Cheese and Grain too, The Totally Craft and Make it Market is on the same day. Lots of beautiful hand made crafts of every discription.

  3. susan September 3, 2013 at 14:20 #

    It was my first time trading there and yes it was great…very upmarket market lol better than some of the Bath markets actually ,,,,,. I will go again

  4. Flowerbeds September 2, 2013 at 21:10 #

    I visited Frome a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Lovely honey coloured cottages, lovely chilled people, pedestrianized shopping area with the nice twist of a stream running down the centre of the road! Fab! And of course the cider. Worth travelling for. Want to live there!

  5. susan September 2, 2013 at 14:38 #

    omg…I would have gone insane with all the great stuff!!! love the rugs!!!

  6. katyduke September 2, 2013 at 11:41 #

    Glad you loved it. I’ve created a Shop in Frome App, Facebook page & two types of shopping guide as I love the town so much & want everyone to know about it too! See http://bit.ly/ShopinFrome for the App, or http://www.facebook.com/ShopinFrome for Facebook & shopping guide downloads

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