Ever so occasionally I’m accused of being city centre centric. Hey, the clue's in the name. Boutiques in Birmingham regularly get shout outs ‘cuz I’m basically a self-appointed B'ham indie cheerleader. But I’ve got nothing against the ‘burbs and there are gems to be found outside of B1 to B5, either a short drive away or a bit further afield. But all less than an hour from Grand Central. Pom-poms optional.
Liv, the founder of er, Liv's, grew up in Norway and her lifestyle store in Mell Square has got buckets of that Scandi, cosy thang that we're all busy falling over ourselves to recreate. They've got home accessories on lockdown and bigger, furniture items are available too. Oh and they're hosting a candle-making workshop tomorrow eve with Letterbox fave Latticia Organics.
If somewhere stocks American Vintage and Stine Goya, I'll probs want to make that place my second home. High ceilings and original coving make Stripes feel like you're in Paris rather than Worcester. As well as womenswear, some house bits and beauty products, they also have treatment rooms. Worcesterites (not their official name) are pretty darned lucky.
Hatton & Harding, Warwick
Over in Warwick, Hatton & Hardinghave got that opulent lifestyle aesthetic down to a lovely, expensive-looking T. Think Soho House with just a dash of country manor and you're on the right tracks. Their store sells soft furnishings and accessories as well as armchairs and upholstery. Be warned though that your house will feel a little less than fabulous on returning home.
With something of a cult following on Instagram, Olive has a strong folky/hipster aesthetic. Linen dresses, denim dungarees and gingham, checked jackets are the lewk and and I am here for it. Their flagship store in regency Cheltenham is selling the whole lifestyle, so purchase a beret at the same time as picking up the latest edition of Kinfolk.
Fable, Leamington Spa
You know that calming, fresh but lived-in interiors look? Ikat print cushions, woven throws and glazed ceramics and all that jazz? If not, it's all over my Pinterest boards. Fable’s got that going on IRL. They’ve been selling ethically sourced, fair trade gorgeousness in Leamo for over four years, so the locals obviously like it too.