Wednesday, 7 August 2013
The greatest of joys befell me on Saturday morning. I'd just had a very contented time prowling round the farmers markets at Camberwell and Oval (I'm a sarf Londoner. Can you guess!) and, since I was up that way, decided to wander home via Clapham Road to eyeball a flat I'd looked at a couple of years ago.
It was the best decision I could possibly have made. Partly because I got the immense satisfaction of knowing that my current flat is much better, and enormously because I came across a New Favourite Shop: Max and Melia.
I was lured in by a sale sign, but there were so many flowers by the entrance that I went in thinking it was some kind of florist. So wrong! All those beautiful flowers were fake - and very well done. What Max and Melia really is, is a treasure trove. It's like walking into a flea market of dreams, all laid out just for you. I LOVE the angel candlesticks at the top of this picture - a lot of the stock is available to browse on the website.
From elaborate candlesticks to sweet little kilner jars, birthday cards I hadn't seen anywhere else (and I see a lot of birthday cards) to doctors' trunks and tiny editions of Shakespeare, I haven't felt so happy looking through a shop in ages.
In fact I ended up dropping my shopping in a corner and doing circuits. Prices vary but are wildly reasonable for what they are. Immaculate decanters for maybe £18 or £28, huge stunning candlesticks for £40, and gorgeous tea sets that you can just buy bits and pieces from. Everything here is sourced from markets, antique fairs and French flea markets that you would love to go to if you could be bothered to cart everything back to England.
The owners are a mother and daughter team, the former of which used to be a buyer for all sorts of wonderful places which I have unhelpfully forgotten about due to being too busy going "Oh my God! I LOVE THIS!"
I met the daughter half, a lovely blonde who wrapped the milk jug and then the giant blue flowers I bought so beautifully, and then gave me a raffle ticket that if I won would give me a discount.
"Oh, I never win these things," I sighed.
"See, everyone says that," she said, "And then they get a lovely surprise when they win."
(I didn't win. But what a nice idea.)
Max and Melia is just down from Oval station at 16 Clapham Road, London, SW9 0JG 020 7820 9649 and is a MAGICAL PLACE.