You know how – in Hollywood – they have a pilot to gauge an audience’s response before a new sit com or series is aired or actually produced? Well, “Jewellery Road Trip” had great reactions, so ta da – here it is: “Jewellery Road Trip – the series”! Don’t worry, all your favourite characters will be there, great designers and great independent shops, it’s just the cast that changes with every episode.
Episode 2 “I can resist everything but temptation”
For our first road trip I asked you to bring an overnight bag – and I would advise you to do the same for this one. We wouldn’t want to be pushed for time…you can’t rush when it comes to jewellery!
n, pl -eries
1. foolish behaviour
2. utter nonsense; rubbish
Now I don’t believe for a minute that this great shop was given that name with “nonsense” in mind, they are too passionate about, and dedicated to wonderful jewellery. No, it can only be one thing: TOM FOOLERY IS COCKNEY SLANG FOR JEWELLERY!
tomfoolery first opened its doors in 1994 from tiny premises in Muswell Hill.
18 years later and two doors down, in a bright, spacious store, they are well established as
one of North London’s most popular contemporary jewellery stores. A family run business, with customers returning time and time again.
The majority of the cabinets showcase home grown British talent, however, the team of tomfoolery have always made seasonal buying trips to Paris, Munich and New York to bring their customers the latest trends.
tomfoolery was the first UK outlet to stock the now hugely established Alexis Bittar (2010 Accessory Designer of the Year in the States) and they continue to display one of the most comprehensive collections of his work in the country.
The team have always been passionate about exhibiting a broad range of contemporary, fine and bespoke jewellery and pride themselves on offering a personal and informed service to customers whatever they may be looking for – whether it is an engagement ring, a special birthday gift or a treat for themselves.
Ranges include an eclectic variety of rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and cufflinks from the very best contemporary designer jewellery brands in the world. As long as you like contemporary designer jewellery, you are bound to find the perfect item within our range.
All of tomfoolery’s designers are enthusiastic about innovative design and mixed media materials. Alongside the luxurious precious stones and metals you will find designs in materials such as resins, glass and acrylics. From simple and classic with a twist to truly eye catching and bold designs, there is a piece to suit every taste among their selection. Each item has been carefully selected both from well-established names and up and coming designers working throughout Britain, the USA and Europe, each with their own distinctive style.
An engagement ring is one of the most important jewellery purchases we will ever make during our lifetimes. From the classic diamond on a gold band, to more unusual and offbeat designs, you will be able to select a ring that encapsulates that perfect mixture of romance and style for your fiancée. At tomfoolery you get a personal bespoke service, helping you achieve your ideal design within your requirements.
Leaving London behind us, we don’t need to travel far for our next stop:
“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Oscar Wilde
Asked about the choice of name for her shop, Dutch born Ieneke explains that it was her husband’s idea – not only is it a bow to one of their favourite writers, flamboyant and eccentric Oscar, but it is “just a great word!” W I L D E is an independent contemporary jewellery boutique and on-line shop, mixing established brands with talented but less-known designers.
This makes for a fresh, new and exciting shopping experience. Committed to providing quality and value to their customers through the range of products and services on offer and to making shopping a pleasure – WILDE is something to look forward to…
You can go wild over their carefully selected collections of beautiful and unusual contemporary jewellery – in silver, gold, palladium and platinum.
They also have their own busy jewellery workshop, designing and making their in-house collections of jewellery – including the W I L D E Wedding range. Ineke confesses to one perk of the job – her husband makes the rings in her size… merely for quality control purpose, of course! Mhmmm?
And in the true spirit of the great Oscar Wilde, himself not adverse to jewellery, at WILDE men are not forgotten!
There is only a minor problem – where to put all your purchases? Fret not, WILDE also sell a most gorgeous range of handbags (for him and her), so problem solved and great excuse for new handbag – not indulgence but necessity!!
Continuing our trip, we actually follow in the footsteps of the great master of words and wit – we’re headed to Cambridge, home of learning, culture, history and…
1. the hard, light-coloured timber of a Central American tree.
1. (of a pasta dish) made with lightly sautéed spring vegetables.
Well, it’s neither a timber warehouse nor a restaurant, I think “spring” is a much more appropriate meaning of the name of this great shop.
Primavera is situated opposite King’s College (with a spectacular view of the College from their window) in the heart of the University and cultural City of Cambridge. A small sister gallery can be found on the corner of Magdalene Street and Northampton Street, opposite the Folk Museum.
The gallery and shop, located over three floors, bring together a refined and well-researched exploration into some of the finest art and crafts in Britain today.
Just like it’s current location, Primavera has quite a bit of history to it. Founded by Henry Rothschild, it first opened it’s doors in 1946 at 149, Sloane Street, London.
In the 1940s Primavera stocked crafts such as stoneware, moving onto tableware in 1948. In 1949 Primavera brought in fabrics, and by the mid 1950s was an artistic centre for fine textiles. Around the same time it began stocking furniture, both bought-in, and exclusively designed for Primavera.
A new location opened in Cambridge at 10, Kings Parade and was purchased by Jeremy Waller in 1999.
Primavera has seen many changes in the world of Art and Crafts over the years. Now the gallery shows work exclusively by British artists, continuing the well-researched exploration into contemporary arts and crafts begun in 1945.
Primavera offers a wide selection of contemporary jewellery pieces using a large variety of materials designed by leading British artists, crafts people and master jewellers.
The range boasts a wearable selection of gems, glass and semi-precious stones, as well as intricate and exquisite works in gold and silver. rimavera guarantees that all jewellery items are unique and truly bespoke, giving you the peace of mind that you have a one off original work of art.
For the perfect gift or a special treat for yourself there will be something that catches your eye in this fascinating collection. Be daring with something you wouldn’t normally consider or go for the classically elegant – either way it’s bound to draw attention.
Heading north, you’re in for a treat, and something very different – situated in lovely rural surroundings is this little gem:
ARTIFEX Sutton Coldfield
1. a master of an art, professional man, artist, artificer (used of a sculptor, musician, actor, etc.)
2. a maker, builder, author, contriver
3. a trickster, cunning deceiver, cheat
4. [appositive]a master, skilled, clever, ingenious, dexterous
Artifex is definitely true to its name – a stunning gallery selling the very best in contemporary British art & craft.
Situated in the Mitchell Centre, the 3000 square foot gallery specialises in designer/craftsman made furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, sculpture, original painting and most importantly for us – jewellery. The emphasis is on originality and quality. The atmosphere at ARTIFEX is welcoming and their staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
Have a good look around if you have the time, the furniture gallery specialises in ‘one-off’ contemporary pieces made by Britain’s leading makers. But you are really here for the jewellery, and they offer a lovely selection for every taste and budget.
And the great thing is – after all the excitement of jewellery shopping, sit down, have a cuppa and enjoy the view…
Ok, that should have put life back into you, and we’re off on the final leg of this trip, heading back south again to another cathedral city.
FISHERTON MILL Salisbury
A stone’s throw from Stonehenge and Old Sarum, Fisherton Mill is a beautiful example of a more recent period in Salisbury’s history. Built for W. Main & Sons Ltd in 1880, this impressive Victorian mill kept the family’s shop stocked up with animal feed, seeds and fertilisers, as well as processing grain.
Workhorses were used to transport the goods into the market square (now the Portman building society) – the stables were situated where our workshops are today.
During WW1, the Mill was used as warehouse space for the Australian army, but after the war, it was business as usual With the 1960s came the onset of mechanisation and the end of intensive manual labour.
Following the introduction of purpose-built mills and storage silos, Fisherton Mill couldn’t compete. In 1984, after much soul searching, the business was closed. The historic building has since been a carpet warehouse and an illegal rave venue, but in 1994 Michael Main, the grandson of the original owner, rescued it and opened The Gallery.
The Cafe was established the following year and, since then, studio spaces have sprung up to give talented artists and designers the space to create and add another dimension to this ever-evolving history. And evolving it is, Fisherton Mill has come a long way since its milling days – it’s a vibrant place with a fabulous selection of jewellery. And like all the other galleries and shops of this episode of the Road Trip, Fisherton Mill shows the great variety of British talent.
So, there we are… great places to visit again and again, if you feel like it, do a bit of culture and sightseeing too. And I’m all with Mr. Wilde – don’t even try and resist temptation!