Indie Retail Month, Hove Actually
The final week of Indie Retail Month is upon us! It goes without saying that there are numerous places that I just love and haven't had the time to mention and I vow to try and fit them all in to the upcoming blogs over the next few months. However, this week is all about Hove!
Art Shop and Pottery
Top of the list is my favourite little artist's haven. If you're in need of great quality art supplies then Art Shop and Pottery really is your place. However that's not all they do! Upstairs you can take part in painting classes, everything from watercolour to oils.
Downstairs is the clay room, where I spent a few hours once a week making some beautiful pottery. The classes here are so reasonably priced and absolutely loads of fun, it's great being able to be as creative as you like under an expert's watchful eye (who can let you know when things just might not work out as you'd planned!)
Taking a total detour from the arts for a moment, Unithai is one of Hove's real hidden gems. With the frontage appearing as nothing more than an oriental supermarket, hidden at the back of the shop is a really great little Thai restaurant.
Everyone eats on long benches and the food is simple, delicious and really affordable. Whilst this is enough for a tick in most people's books, the thing that sets this place apart is the fact that once you're done eating, you can make a shopping list and buy all of the things to recreate the dish that you just ate at home. Genius.
Sticking on the food theme for the moment, as if I've learnt nothing else doing this countdown, it's that I really love food! The Connaught is one of my favourite places for an evening drink. The garden here is a properly English affair, with wizened old apple trees dotted around a neat lawn. At night fairy lights and candles illuminate the outdoors, giving the whole place a sense of magic.
Oh and as well as having the prettiest garden in Hove, they do totally great Sunday roasts.
Oh Sew Ditsy
This little shop is tucked away in the run of shops along Portland Road. I know I don't need to tempt you sewing enthusiasts too much, so I'll keep it brief! Oh Sew Ditsy sell absolutely loads of really beautiful, high quality fabrics, particularly printed cottons.
For those amongst us who could do with brushing up on our sewing skills, or even just meeting other people that love to create, they also offer 'Sewcials' which run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for a couple of hours.
It wouldn't be an indie countdown without the largest independent bookshop in the city! City Books has an absolutely enormous selection of everything from children's books to travel books and a good range of local books too.
If writing this countdown week by week has taught me anything (other than my aforementioned love of food) then it's the importance of not just supporting indie retailers, but particularly those local to you.
It's wonderful that people like City Books are stocking from local authors, brilliant that places like Snoopers have opened up the attic for local makers, brilliant that Seed n Sprout buy from local farms. Keeping things local boosts the economy directly around us and what could be better than that?