It’s been a while since I spent a Sunday afternoon at Tynemouth market, pressing pause on the pace of life and just wandering. The market always has such a buzz about it, full of families, friends and bargain hunters, it’s one of those lovely places you can just lose yourself in…
For anyone reading this who might not have been to Tynemouth market before, the stalls are clustered over both platforms in the metro station beneath a beautiful, ornate glass roof dating back to the late 18th century. Admittedly, I don’t get the metro along to the market, mainly because I refuse to pay the outrageous fares for one stop, so I drive myself along and park for free along one of the streets near the Broadway pub (a handy tip for those of you coming from further away!)
Rather than bore you by detailing each individual stall I went to, I thought I’d give you a whistlestop your of Tynemouth market – Prosecco and Pie style!
Step 1: Comfy footwear
My trusty converse are always a good idea as you end up doing a lot of walking and weaving throughout the day, not to mention running up and down stairs to cross platforms.
Step 2: Coffee
What would an easy, breezy Sunday morning be if not without a coffee in hand? Porters Coffee House is right inside the metro station and they do a rich filter coffee (with cream for those of us who prefer a little decadence), along with bacon sandwiches and other lovely brunch ideas, so fill up before you explore.
Step 3: Dogs!
I love the fact that dogs are allowed to join in the fun here at Tynemouth Market, you’ll find a fair few dog-orientated stalls here too, but be prepared anyone who is scared or dislikes dogs (how could you?!), as dogs are everywhere. Albeit kept on their leads, you do hear the occasional bark from across the way as a cheeky chihuahua asks a lolloping labradoodle to keep a respectable distance.
Step 4: Chit chat
I know if I was standing at a stall all day I’d want people to come and chat to me, so don’t be afraid to say hello to people. Ask questions, ask prices, enquire about their work… often, exhibiting at market stalls is one of the first ways somebody decides whether to turn their product/service into a business and market research/feedback is vital at this exciting stage.
Step 5: Photos
While I do snap a few photos of the general crowd/atmosphere, I will always ask a person if I can take photos of their products, especially artists. Most of the time it’s just to show a family member or upload on my blog to promote them, I know some people get upset about it and suspect you of ulterior motives!
While we’re on the subject of art, I absolutely have to introduce you to Art of Glass! Artist Carol paints the most beautiful motifs onto vases, hurricane lanterns, champagne flutes and lampshades, all usually inspired by the North East and its landscapes. I fell in love with pretty much everything and bought myself a hand painted bumble bee vase for just £19.
After chatting with Carol, I found out she not only takes commissions, but also puts on classes in the area – a great gift idea or day out with a difference, don’t you think?
There’s someone else I’d like you to meet; Kenspeckle Confectionery are a Northumbrian-based company who make the most amazing fudge/sinful treats. Now sold across the North East and Selfridges, London, Kenspeckle has grown from humble beginnings to fully-fledged confectioners. Armed with mountains of rocky road, dipped marshmallows and boxes of fudge, they’re regulars at Tynemouth Market. Their classic vanilla fudge is amazing, along with their amaretto and cappuccino varieties but today I picked up a ginormous salted peanut bar to gnaw on as I wandered.
It wasn’t long before I stumbled upon a stall much to my liking… and ladies, I think you’re going to love them too! Driftwood Bags sell the most incredible fringed clutches and leather ipad cases that will, I feel, instantly update my look and make me feel a lot more like Olivia Palermo. Who’s with me?!
The Land of Green Ginger is an entity in its own right, but in terms of traders, it’s not too dissimilar from the market. Wander along the cobbles, past Kings Priory school and you’ll spot a beautiful church on the horizon. Spanning two floors, the Land of Green Ginger is an iconic venue amongst us locals, filled with cute gift shops, antique hotspots, a kitsch café and an artisan soap company to name a few. I’m not normally a bath bomb kind of girl, but the gorgeous displays of Sienna Soap lured me in….
Five minutes later I had already bought three incredible scented bath melts and a couple of bath bombs to try. My favourite was the baby powder one, which smells amazing. I can’t get enough of it. It’s definitely one of those things I’ll have to keep coming back for/showering everyone I know with gifts.
Before heading back to the car, happy with my purchases in hand (I counted three pieces of pretty fabric which I’ll never get round to upcycling, a slab of salted peanut chocolate, a beautiful hand painted bumble bee vase, two books, bath bombs and a birthday card) I nipped into what is in my opinion, the most beautiful shop in Tynemouth…
Despite its crazy name, Fezziwigs is actually an oasis of calm. Soothing greys, crisp whites and creamy beige home accessories artfully arranged on dressers, adorning side tables and tucked into drawers are strangely comforting. Naturally I want to buy everything in the shop, but skulk out with a birthday card and lots of ideas for my own home.