Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>The county of Sussex, in the South East of England, is in my humble opinion one of the most beautiful places in the country to visit, and therefore a perfect location to base an Antiques Tour. When locally-based UK Diva Guide Alys Dobbie recently took a client named Shannon on a buying tour, she had such a ball with our client that she though it would be interesting for you, dear Diva Readers, to read about the tour from a guide’s perspective!
Diva Guide Alys writes:
“I met Shannon at the Lewes train station – how very strange it is to meet someone you’ve never clapped eyes on before. It feels like a blind date when meeting a client for the first time – we’d even told each other what we would be wearing (Purple coat for one and green tights on the other)!
Once safely into the right side of the car, Shannon told me her wants and her needs for antiquing in England. She’d already emailed a superb list ahead so I could really research and find the ideal dealers to visit in the South East. Upon hopping in the car we were fast friends – it usually works this way on tour with the guide and client as automatically you have so much in common with the shared interest of antiquing. Plus, our clients tend to be the most interesting people. Shannon is American but lives in Amsterdam and I was fascinated by her fabulous expat life.
Our first stop was a humble little town on the south coast where you wouldn’t expect to have an exceptional array of buildings all owned by one dealer…. of course that’s why you’ve booked a buying tour with us… to take you those places you wouldn’t find on your own!
Shannon wanted a statement dining table for her kitchen that would house her and her family comfortably. There were lots and lots of lovely reclaimed railway sleeper tables and others with centuries of history. We were in our element! She also found a beautiful Jacobean chest of drawers – not particularly her style admittedly but it’s hard to find anything better than a piece of furniture that’s over 300 years old (at a reasonable price!). We spent an hour or so here and then moved onto our next appointment.
Meeting our next dealer was a funny one – he had just moved into a new warehouse that had been newly built that week! But he was friendly and helpful. Shannon fell in love with a French baguette trolley – she told me herself that she has a real weakness for anything on wheels.
After which we carried on to Brighton passing over The National Park that is The South Downs. It was a typical British day – drizzle and wind, but the great hills still looked fantastic. Shannon was delighted we were going to Brighton for our next visit – seeing the pier even from the comfort of a car was a great treat.
We next dropped off to a friend of mine’s shop – he had just been on a buying trip to France so the timing was perfect – he had lots of lovely weird and wacky decorative pieces as well as some great tambour fronted storage solutions .
After a quick spot of lunch (no rest for the wicked! we often eat on the run when on a buying tour), we moseyed on out and followed the coast west to Worthing.
I had been recommended a place by my good friend Henry Nicholls and he came up trumps – the second we walked into the door, Shannon was in her element. She was grinning ear to ear – it’s always so great to meet another furniture enthusiast. She in particular fell in love with a huge gorgeous French grain store – the paint hadn’t been touched and it was in lovely condition.
I was certainly saving the best until last and we visited a very well known dealer at the next location and were shown around personally. It really was an incredible experience for me, too – as a young dealer, this man has always been something of an inspiration. Shannon fell in love with a lot of his stock! Especially a very large 12′ table which would have been ideal for her kitchen. The patina and condition was beautiful.
After 8 hours our tour was complete…. sometimes the days go longer because you’re buying on the road so it’s easy to lose track of time! I love this job – I got to take a very nice woman shopping in my home county!”
The Antiques Diva®