Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Breakfast at Cox and Baloneys

In Breakfast at Tiffany's Holly Gollightly say her cure for the "mean reds" is to jumps in a taxi and head to the eponymous jewellers for some quality time among the diamonds.
"It calms me right down," she tells Paul Varjak, "The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there".
I've never felt that a jewellery shop is a particulalry soothing or uplifting place - full as they are of items that cost more than my yearly salary and assistants who look at you (or me, anyway) as though you're going to nick the lot.
But I think I've found my alternative.
I first came across Cox and Baloney when they had a stall upstairs at the Woolies Indoor Market on Whiteladies Road, and I thought they had something good going on then.
I knew they'd moved to a shop on Cheltenham Road, but hadn't had a chance to visit until this weekend. But once I'd finally made my way there it was difficult to drag myself away.
It was as though someone had reached into my mind, taken out all the vague ideas I've ever had about what my perfect shop would be like, stitched them all together and made them reality.
It didn't even feel like a shop, but more like the quirky, cluttered home of someone who I definitely wanted to become my new best friend. I was in heaven.
As well as vintage clothes and accessories, they also stock vintage and retro homeware. There's a seamstress downstairs who makes and alters clothes to order. And the shop includes a bookspace selling old and new books, and a gorgeous, comfy tea room whioch serves homemade cake.
In short, once you're inside, there's absolutely no reason ever to leave. If I could have set up home there, I would have done.
So the next time I get the mean reds, I know where I'll be heading.

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