This weekend I travelled up to London (something I don’t do as much as I would like!) for the Classic Carboot Sale at the Southbank Centre! I have been looking forward to this for months – I love vintage fairs as much as the next next retro gal, but I thought the idea of having vintage cars alongside the wares for sale was a fantastic idea! Whilst some vintage festivals have a car show as well as the stalls, it’s definitely something different to have dresses draped over car bonnets, trinkets spilling out of the boots and processing the sale with the drivers!
I got there pretty early, about half an hour after opening, and the atmosphere was already wonderful. The sun was yet to circle round the tall buildings shadowing the car park the car boot was parked in, but there was barley a cloud in the sky and the day was looking to be gorgeous. Overlooked by the ever watchful London Eye, the car boot was in full swing as I descended into vintage paradise. Instantly I fell in love with the old Routemaster bus, doubling up as both Bar and DJ, booming out retro music and odd snippets of old news stories which I thought was a nice touch.
Normally it’s traditional I suppose to draw out the suspense of what the best vehicle of the show was until the end, after listing countless beautiful cars and funky camper vans and not being able to possibly choose – but my favourite was so out there and so quirky and fantastic, I can’t hold it in! Whilst the cars parked up surrounded by all the beautiful clothes and people were stunning, there was simply no beating my winner – Gloria, The Crystal Vintage Dressing Up Box, as featured in Vintage Life Magazine and George Clark’s Amazing Spaces on Channel Four! I’d read about the Dressing Up Box in Vintage Life, and thought it was an absolutely fantastic idea, but had no idea it would be at the car boot! A revamped horse box, designed as a travelling vintage one stop shop, it was so much fun clambering up the steps and rummaging through the beautiful clothes, as well as enjoying the wonderful absurdity of shopping in a horse box! Crystal Vintage has some beautiful clothes, and I’m glad we settled the matter early on that it’s great to shop by colour, not by era! Personally I would rather rummage and find something beautiful, regardless of what era the piece is from – instead of restricting myself to only the forties and fifties, for example. Imagine the stunners you could be missing out on by not looking at the sixties and seventies rails! :0 But, each to their own, it’s all about what makes you happy 🙂
The atmosphere at the Car Boot simply magnified the longer I stayed. I wandered round once, being able to rummage and pick up a few beauties, and chatting to people a little more as there wasn’t so much of a crowd. I watched two spectacular Cadillacs turn up – I had no idea how long they really were! I couldn’t fit them into one photo! But they were so beautiful, I had to try! The a little later on, a whole gang of gorgeous vintage motorcycles turned up – very loudly. They drew an audience of basically everybody at the car boot who wasn’t halfway through paying for something, they were amazing to see! Especially seeing some fantastic looking lady riders as well as brilliant old geezers with awesome embellished jackets, it really was a sight to see and had me grinning for ages afterwards.
After my first circuit of the cars and stalls, the crowds really started to arrive in their droves, and it was getting to be a tighter squeeze to make my way from vendor to vendor. It was great to start people watching though, just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying seeing the people dressed up so fantastically, enjoying the day exactly the same as I was. After making a few purchases, I was beginning to get worn out by all this rummaging and decided to make my way up to the food platform, and was surprised to see even more amazing vehicles selling incredible food! I’m still not sure how I made my decision – having to choose between decadent italian rice balls from a cute turquoise truck, classic hot dogs and crispy onions from a bright red old fire engine, and tempting sugar sweet cupcakes from an equally candy coloured caravan! In the end the smell of smoking pulled pork drew me towards this cute little George-Jetson-looking trailer, and I was not disappointed!
Refreshed and revitalised, I dived back into to crowds for one last tour of the stalls. I did make a few more purchases, but this last time I really and truly was just enjoying being there, in the sunshine, surrounded by beautiful things and fantastic people. The friendliness at events like this always astounds me – a wonderful lady I bought a beret from was kind enough to show me how they should be worn, and instilled in me the confidence that I AM a hat person and can of course wear a beret whenever I want! Everyone was happy, enjoying themselves and each other’s company, and the passion in the air for the cars, the clothes, the homewards, the music and the food… it really was wonderful. I do apologise for the amount of superlatives in this post, but even the next evening I’m still buzzing from my day out 🙂
But, all this excitement can get tiring for even the most experience vintage enthusiast, and that certainly isn’t me! So I started to make my way back to London Victoria, taking a less direct route via St James’ Park. It was nice to be a bit of a tourist too – not that I’ve never seen the Houses of Parliament of the London Eye, but each time you visit London it’s a little bit different, and I like taking photos to preserve that. I decided to sit for a little while in the park – the day was simply too glorious not to. The sun on my face was something I haven’t felt in what feels like forever, and I wasn’t going to waste it. I sat surrounded by beautiful daffodils, and the smell was truly intoxicating. I could have easily drifted off in the sunshine, but I wanted to get home and properly look at my vintage finds!
Watch this space for a post on my gorgeous finds of the day!
The Vintage Housewife x