You may have noticed recently that my Instagram page has slowly changed from a constant stream of shoe pictures to hundreds of interiors images as my love of all things home-deco grows and grows. Having my own house to fill with things has left me addicted to home ware shopping and my favourite place to find unique pieces for great prices is the bi-monthly antiques market at Kempton Park Racecourse. A world of reclaimed wooden furniture and mid century pieces that make West Elm look like Ikea - it really is the place to pick up an amazing find.
I thought I'd share some images of my most recent visit so you can see what it's all about, and then share with you a guide to getting the most out of a visit to Kempton.
So here it is, my guide to getting to most out of Kempton Antiques Market - and don't forget to share with me what you buy! (@rachelingram14)
- Hire a van if you plan on buying any furniture - although if you know anyone with a 4x4 car then butter them up because you could probably get away with going in that.
- Get there early. It starts at 6.30am and I strongly suggest you are there for opening. I know it's a horrible time to be awake but there are hundreds of regulars who rush around the market at opening, so by as early as 8am all the best items are already gone.
- Know what you are looking for. I write a list and keep it in my pocket because there is so much there it's easy to be overwhelmed and side tracked.
- Head for the 'trend' items first. Things like bevelled mirrors or antique silver trays are really popular at the moment so dealers rush around picking them up from every stall. This means you have to get in there early.
- Dont hesitate. If you wait, it will go. Im still mourning the mid century side table I missed out on in May.
- Haggle. If they say £25 and you hand them a £20 note and say 'do it for £20?' they generally will. Dont be afraid to haggle down on big items as well. Some dealers won't budge on price, especially early in the morning, but they will expect you to ask so don't feel embarrassed.
- Take cash. Very few dealers take cards and you will get better bargains with cash.
- If you have a sack trolley, it is worth taking with you in case you buy heavy furniture. If you don't have one you can buy one there (for £30) or pay a man with one to bring things to your car/van.
On this recent visit to Kempton I bought a reclaimed wood and metal coffee table for our kitchen - and after persuading two nice men to carry it to the car and another two to carry it out again, it fit perfectly into the space. Phew! Now all we need is an armchair, and side table, and lamp, and rug, and cushions, and throw, and .... the list goes on!
Have you been to any great antiques markets in the UK you can recommend? Or experienced Kempton Park? Would love to hear from you....