We took a camera along and hope our snaps capture the atmosphere.
Todmorden sits in in a steep-sided valley so you could stand above the town and watch the parade as it meandered through the streets which was very pretty.
We then moved in for a closer look at the creations and their operators, listen to the drummers and view the more stationary installations.
The festival seems to combine quite an ancient tradition with a futuristic feel too – a bit Blade Runner!
It’s only the festival’s second year, but we think it’s got real potential for a long term future. It’s perfect for a dark winter evening and seems to suit the winding streets and old stone buildings of Todmorden.
Both kids & adults were having fun. In addition to the parade, there were various food stalls and the local bars were doing a roaring trade.
We have a wonderful new addition to Todmorden’s culinary & social scene.
Following a few soft launches & dry runs, Site Pizzeria officially opened for business on Friday evening.
We had an early timeslot booked, which gave us the opportunity to take photographs of the restaurant – pristine & untouched.
The décor is perfectly judged – paintwork in shades of grey & cream, industrial touches, an eclectic mix of seating with striking contemporary artwork. There’s a small courtyard at the back, the tables shaded by three beautiful umbrella-shaped plane trees. It will be the perfect place to eat on a hot, sunny day. Winter dining will be a warm, cosy experience too – with a real fire, atmospheric lighting and orange glow from the pizza oven.
We pass the building most days on the way to town centre shops or our antiques centre space – or walking the dog of course. We’ve seen it miraculously transform from a long-disused shop with bedsits above to this wonderful place…
…and much of the hard graft done by owners Natalie & Olly themselves. Every time we passed they were digging, sawing, lifting, or hammering. They’ve done a remarkable job.
And so on to the food – the freshly-made, traditional wood-fired oven pizzas which we love.
Takeaways or supermarket offerings just can’t replicate the delicious flavours & texture of an authentic pizza.
We had some delicious olives & spiced nuts as an appetiser – followed by two of the best pizzas we’d ever eaten – all washed down with a lovely bottle of crisp, dry rose wine. Perfect!
It’s congratulations to Natalie & Olly on what they’ve achieved so far. We wish them every success with their future business and hope to see them there on a regular basis!!
Update: We’ve taken a photo of the Site Pizzeria menu in case you want a preview before you visit! Click on the image for a magnified view.
Ancoats is an interesting part of Manchester – the steady process of regeneration is ongoing. There are some wonderful buildings – unspoilt, Victorian gems – brick terraces, old pubs, churches and former industrial sites.
Hallé St Peter’s is one such building with it’s magnificent sense of space & light.
It really came to life with all the amazing homewares on display – and exhibitors were the perfect mix of familiar faces and new talent.
Heather Linnitt aka Eclectic Chair is someone whose work we highlighted at last year’s Independent Interiors Show. We love her soft furnishings & upholstery work – using coffee sacks, vintage and retro fabrics. The Stig Lindberg-style fabric chair was a stunner – and we’d happily give house room to the Papua New Guinea coffee sack sofa too!
We also saw the mosaic art of Amanda McCrann at that same event last year. Her stall was very eye-catching once more. The artwork is available in the form of original pieces or alternatively, prints & stationery incorporating her distinctive designs.
Her fabric designs are a real joy – full of life, colour & vintage charm.
Anthony Hughes‘ work was new to us. We had a nice chat with him about the influence of industrial architecture & detailing on his work – finding beauty in the mundane & neglected… and our shared love of a good pylon!
His range of stationery, wallpaper & fabric uses the photographs & artwork he produces at his Leeds base.
The cotton fabric is made in Edinburgh & cushions feather-filled – temptation was rising!
Blooming Balconies was a very friendly & approachable team – and their display provided a real blast of colour in the hall.
They design a range of containers & tubs, some with clever fittings for railings & drainpipes. Their stall looked perfect next to a sunny window.
Her work incorporates braiding, crochet, paper-cut & collage. She had some very striking mirrors, artwork & lighting on view. She’s fresh out of university, so we hope her future is as bright as her creations!
Grey Moose Designs only had a small display, but their vintage industrial lights grabbed your attention from all over the large church space.
Skill, imagination & high quality craftsmanship were clear to see on Richard’s recycled & re-purposed lighting.
One of our favourite exhibitors on the day was Kate Bufton.
She manipulates the shape & form of old books to produce her artwork – framed pictures and these stunning glass domes.
Katherine Lees also had a very photogenic display. Her exquisite, hand-decorated ceramics in the form of old bottles & keys to form vessels & jewellery were getting lots of attention.
It was very hard to walk away from the orange & grey quilt produced by Lisa Watson and pictured below. She incorporates traditional Harris Tweed & sumptuous velvet fabrics into her creations. Gorgeous!
This time it was the bold, monochrome, graphic quality of pieces that made the display stand out.
We loved this table produced by Oh, Bother. It’s made from recycled wooden palettes. They had all kinds of interesting, quirky pieces to buy.
Rachel Britch is another recent graduate – her lighting surprised us when we touched it. We thought it was soft & fluffy from a distance, but it actually had a stiff, bristly feel.
Rachel Johns is a near-neighbour from the Calder Valley – Hebden Bridge to be precise. She uses ink & thread – producing much of her artwork with a big stick. Yes, that’s a big stick. It’s very distinctive – whimsical & playful.
There were practical workshops taking place throughout the day…
…with sewing machines whirring and paintbrushes twitching.
They had the perfect cushions for Justin & Fudge. In addition to their ready to buy products, handmade fabric items can be custom made to capture favourite buildings, street scenes, people or pets.
This has been quite a lengthy post and we’ve only mentioned about half the exhibitors! Keep an eye out for the next event – whether you’re a potential exhibitor or customer. Hopefully we’ve given a flavour of this well run & well attended show. We have a camper van fund that we’re trying really hard to build up, otherwise we would have left Home is in the North with a car packed with goodies. Tripod light, eight cushions, large quilt, table, glass dome, some tea towels, two pictures, box of stationery, set of mugs, three flower tubs – and a sofa!
We went along to the inaugural Independent Interiors Show this Saturday and judging by this event, it certainly won’t be the last. Rachel and Victoria of The Social Butterfly who organised the event will be very pleased with the huge success of the day.
It was held at 2022NQ in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The choice of venue and quality of exhibitors were excellent.
A wide variety of independent designer/makers & shops were present. Their stands looked great set against the industrial fabric of the building and Justin really enjoyed photographing them. Here’s a run-down of those present.