Do you have a passion for Vintage?

In November 2012 Loveone and Betty Blue Hat produced the first Vintage Shopping Map of Ipswich. The map has a wealth of treasures waiting to be discovered including books, records, homeware, fashion and food.


MapFront MapRear


Loveone has always championed the quirky and eclectic and has dabbled with vintage and retro products for a while now. Most notably by joining forces with I Make Fun Stuff and bringing the Vintage and Craft Markets to our Street and recently to the Town Hall. For the last 18 months Betty Blue Hat Vintage has been in residence upstairs at Loveone, offering a great range of homeware and kitchenalia.


Loveone was involved in a similar project about 3 years earlier with a map to promote independent business in the town. It proved a very successful way of linking the small business community in view of the pressures now facing retail.


The Vintage map came about as it was becoming more and more obvious to Jessica Bradley (Betty Blue Hat) and Loveone’s owner Cathy that there were a number of great little businesses popping up within the town, offering products and services that were either vintage or retro inspired. Many of them are our neighbours on St Peters Street but some you really need to search for…hence the map was born.


 Map out front

Photo thanks to Alex Potter Photography


So we suggest invite a friend and make a day of it (just like Cathy and Jess are doing above!) Start at either end of the town with your map in hand.

There are 3 refreshment stops on the way:

Arlingtons – a café with a french Twist housed in the original Ipswich Museum

Snobs Coffee – an independent pop up in Galleryone of the Town Hall

The Tea Boutique on St Nicholas Street for a traditional afternoon tea.

For the best vintage fashion head to Fairweather Vintage which also offers an In House Tailoring service.

fariweather vintage


Wander down St Peter’s street and you will find some of Loveone’s neighbours including:

Claude Cox – rare and vintage books,

 claude cox


Myrtle and Mint – beautiful florist inspired by English country gardens

murtle and mint


And Mauds Attic  – if you like a good old browse, this really is a treasure trove of delight!


One of Cathy’s favourite stops on the map is Out of Time Records on Fore Street. It has been serving the world with vinyl and cds for 25 years, making it the perfect place to replace or revisit your vinyl memories.


This map has proved as successful as the earlier maps and has been a great way of getting the local business community to pull together.

It will be reprinted very soon with some new editions including a new independent coffee shop and a vintage hairdresser.

The maps are available from all the shops on the map, The Town Hall and the Tourist Information Centre.

We will be walking the map in May to celebrate National Walking Month so watch this space for further reports and news.

Keep walking and keep shopping!




Sam Barker

Morning, today we thought we’d bring you an interview from the very lovely and talented photographer Sam Barker.

Sam is currently exhibiting his ‘Along the Way’ Photographic Collection in Galleryone of the Town Hall. The collection is a great mixture of sights which Sam has seen on his travels,  everyday images, friends and local sights.

Make sure you pop along as Sam is definitely one to watch for the future.




A bit about Sam the person

There is nothing not to like about Sam. His life revolves around his three main passions: photography, music and skateboarding. He can talk about these with so much energy and enthusiasm that it is envigorating.

From Holbrook, Sam had his first disposable camera at the age of 10 and then by the age of 12/13 had a 35ml panoramic. He was destined to be interested in photography in some way -his Dad was a Wedding photographer and he would often go along to help him out. He then went onto study media and photography at Suffolk college – but failed by 1 point on the written side!

He gets his inspiration from everything around him. Photographically – he admires the work of celebrity photographer Rankin, who Sam believes can really capture the moment between the photographer and its subject.

Sam always has his camera in his bag. He assures me he can switch off. But equally he will stop the car and shoot something if he sees a certain angle or image. He believes this ability to really look at things has come from his skateboarding, where he developed a different set of eyes to work out new tricks.




The exhibition

The exhibition is based on images which Sam has collected over the last 4 years both in film and digital. The collection is based on his travels, random moments which he was lucky to be part of, inspiring and special people  and  images from his roots in Suffolk.

Images are for sale and prices range between £30 – £200.




The collection first came together when he was asked by his friend Cindy Frey to exhibit at her art gallery in Kortrijk, Belgium. He was then asked by his friends Abby Curtis and Steph Larkin (owners of Snobs Coffee) to showcase on their wall in Galleryone. Sam then became known to ourselves and Atrium Studios and it was decided that Sam’s work was so fantastic that he should become the first artist to showcase on all three walls.

When asked about his favourite image in the exhibition, Sam didn’t hesitate. His favourite image is the ‘Girl with the Red Lipstick’. For him it is the focus which really makes this image stand out and the fact that everything is so natural – no flash, not edited.  It was taken on his Dad’s old wedding film camera and he only had three shots to get it right! He knew as soon as he’d shot it that he was going to love it and rushed it off to the developers straight away!




Sam’s desire is that people will gain inspiration from the exhibition. Rather than staying at home and watching tv, he hopes it will inspire them to  go out there, travel and do stuff.

The exhibition is already proving a great success and has really got people looking.  Sam is already in discussions with a friend about a possible joint exhibition later in the year.

The exhibition is on until the 8th April. So pop along to Galleryone and check it out. You can even treat yourself to a coffee at Snobs whilst you are there!


If you want to know more or contact Sam – then find him on:


Facebook: Sam Barker Photography

Email: sambarker1234@aol.com


xx p.s thanks to all of you who came and supported the indoor vintage and craft market. It was a great day and so fantastic to have so many of the regions talented designers and makers all under one roof.

Sunday 17th March Indoor Market

This Sunday in collaboration with I Make Fun Stuff we will be bringing an Indoor Market to the Town Hall in Ipswich. To say we are excited is an understatement!



Do not miss this – with over 50 stalls from the regions talented artists and designers. It will be shopping heaven!

Entry is free and stalls will be there from 10am – 4pm.

The very exciting and unusual thing is – we have divided the market into two. There will be a Vintage Market selling anything Vintage from clothes, homeware, accessories and artwork which can be found in the Council Chambers of the Town Hall. Plus a craft market which will be full of lovely and unusual crafts – this will be in the Great Hall of the Corn Exchange. There will be so much to see – make sure you allow plenty of time :-)




To give you a sneak preview – here are some of the great names which you can expect to find:

Betty Blue Hat – vintage retro furniture and homeware

Eclectic Eccentricity – EE go offline by bringing their online jewellery boutique specialising in vintage jewellery to the market

Anna Burbidge – Textile Designer/Illustrator creating prints for fashion and interiors

Holly Trill – illustrations, jewellery and stationery

Lovertron- unique, handmade statement jewellery, textiles and accessories

House of Handmade – vintage fashion accessories

Fairweather Vintage – local vintage shop!

Polly’s Textiles – hand printed and handmade accessories and homewares

Plus many many more fantastic names. Some will be favourites from our St Peter’s Street Markets and others will be showcasing for the first time.




As usual with our markets – you can guarantee everything will be ‘Handmade and Timeless’. So if you like a bit of quirk and are looking for a fun day out come across to the Town Hall. Come rain or shine we will be there and happy indoors!




The indoor market is part of the ‘Access all arts events’ being held monthly at the Town Hall. This means there will be lots of other activities happening on the day such as; poetry readings, art exhibitions and a business music workshop.

You will also find Jenny Wrens Yarns, who will be holding a Big Blanket Sew up Day in aid of Breakthrough for Breast Cancer. All are welcome to join in.

This indoor market promises to be a great start to the year. Watch this space for info later in the year about the St Peter’s Street outdoor market.




xx p.s Check out Sam Barker’s photographic exhibition @ Galleryone in the Town Hall from tomorrow. More to follow on Sam in a future Blog.

Curious County

32_St_Peters_St_Alex_PotterMorning Readers, Hope this Monday finds you bright and cheery? Today we thought we’d look at the newly launched Visit Suffolk campaign which labels Suffolk as a ‘Curious County’.

Launched primarily as a social media campaign, it is designed to attract visitors to Suffolk from London, the Midlands and Cambridge. By looking at the website  www.thecuriouscounty.com or their facebook or twitter page – you will see that the campaign is not designed to be traditional in any sense! It uses quirky illustrated characters with names such as Roger Frobisher and Ruby Hegarty to appeal to different visitor groups. These characters are then ‘photographed’ at different Suffolk gems which potential visitors can view online. However it is the controversy over the word ‘Curious’ which has really raised its profile – the campaign has even gained national coverage over the debate. But the controversy is great for the campaign as it meant they have had a staggering 200,000 hits on Twitter. It certainly has piqued people’s interest and if that draws visitors into Suffolk then great!


Is Suffolk curious? Well we certainly have lots to offer tourists – read on for Cathy’s views and in particular her suggestions about what is so great about Suffolk’s Hometown: Ipswich.




Thoughts from Cathy:

Personally I’m not sure about the word “Curious”, I like the idea of being curious and inspiring people to look a bit deeper and further but for me curious can also conjure up oddness, slightly weird associations. However I hope the campaign will inspire and encourage visitors and residents alike to go out and visit Suffolk. In the spirit of this I wanted to  be a little bit more curious about Ipswich – the place where I live and work. In particular how would I sell Ipswich to the visitor and its residents.

Here’s a few suggestions:

The Waterfront – a beautiful mix of old and new. Its celebrates our Maritime heritage and also reflects a new cosmopolitan feel to the town. I had a friend visit last year from New Zealand who hadn’t been in town for at least 15 years and said the Waterfront reminded him of home….Auckland. That’s praise indeed!



Vintage walking Map – The joining up  and celebration of the quirkier side of independent shopping in Ipswich. Watch out for further blogs on this!

IpArt Festival – Our annual Arts festival held in June/July is an amazing celebration of art and culture and attracts large numbers of visitors. It includes a Music Day, Opera and Proms in the Park, Vintage and Craft Market on St Peters Street, Comedy, poetry and dance.

Magnificent parks – Ipswich is blessed with several beautiful parks. My favourite is Christchurch Park and I am lucky enough to walk through it most days. It is a home to the beautiful Christchurch Mansion – there is plenty to be curious about in this building!

Amazing Architecture – We have it all…..Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and Modern. Just go for a wander and look up!!! In summary, my thoughts are Suffolk is a beautiful county but it is so much more than seaside and country. It has an edgy, gritty, artistic, culturally diverse and interesting county town waiting to be given another chance.



A big thank you to Alex Potter for our amazing photos of Ipswich today. If you want to look more at Alex’s work then find her at: www.alexpotter.co.uk or facebook: Alex Potter Photography. Alternatively she can be contacted on 07885 238282. Alex can be booked for weddings, family groups, individuals and events.


xx p.s Watch out for Thursday’s Blog when we will be panel testing the range of candles from True Grace. A great gift idea for Mother’s Day.

Mmmmmm Coffee

Imagine my delight when Cathy suggested we write today’s Blog about one of her favourite coffee shops in Ipswich: Snobs Coffee. I had never been to Snobs Coffee before, but I do love my coffee so was looking forward to trying somewhere new. I never expected to come away so in love with a place and its coffee and immediately texted my friends to ask why we had never been!




Snobs Coffee is all about providing great tasting coffee. Its unique because everything is sourced locally – the coffee beans, the blend of coffee, even the milk. Alongside your coffee – try one of their heavenly cakes (again all produced locally) It even has a great new chef who rustles up their very tasty lunches – making it the perfect place to meet friends, or have a bit of personal restbite. It is the type of place which appeals to a wide mixture of ages. It is child friendly and has a really relaxed ambience.


Snobs Coffee is the creation of friends Abby Curtis and Steph Larkin, who started selling their blend of local coffee at farmers markets about a year ago. It has now been resident at the Town Hall for about 8 months (following its success at the Switch Fringe Festival), making it the first pop up cafe for the county.

Located in Galleryone (basically just head up the townhall steps and then go straight!), Snobs Coffee offers customers a large open space – tables are well spaced apart and so you definitely aren’t subjected to other peoples conversations! It is also really light – thanks to the glass domed roof which reminds people what a historical building they are in. It is decked out in a colourful array of retro vintage furniture which is supplied by Betty Blue Hat. In the majority of cases, the furniture can be brought – so customers really can try before they buy!




As well as housing Snobs Coffee, Galleryone also provides art space for local artists and designers. In a collaboration between ourselves, Ipswich Borough Council, Atrium Studios and Snobs Coffee there is a mixture of styles which is regularly updated. If you are interested in showcasing your work on the Loveone wall – then please drop Cathy an email.


Snobs is open Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 4.45pm. It stays open until 9pm on Fridays when it hosts DJ’s and open mic nights. It is also licensed for these evenings.

For more information on Snobs Coffee, check out their website: www.snobscoffee.com or find them on facebook



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Dates for your diary
  • Now - Victoria Hall Exhibition @ Galleryone until 27/4
  • 10/05 Vintage Vinyl Night @ Snobs Coffee
  • 24/05 Clothes Swish @ Galleryone
  • 19/05 Access all Arts @ Town Hall
  • 23/06 - St Peter's Street Summer Market
  • 17/11 - St Peter's Street Festive Street Market
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