London Life Shops

aladdins cave

September 3, 2012

Picture the scenario. It’s friday afternoon. I just finished a lengthy meeting in Bromley. I’m looking forward to the weekend. The weather is still nice for this time of year. I’m riding around on my vespa and feeling free as a bird. I’m plotting what to have for dinner when i pass something on my right that makes me stop in my tracks. I turn the scooter round and, out of sheer excitement, drove right into the courtyard.
‘Do you mind putting your scooter outside on the road please’, i heard someone say….

That was my first encounter with aladdins cave.

You are greeted by a cornucopia of stuff. Initially, you’re not quite sure what exactly this place is. Quickly you realise it’s a salvage/reclamation yard! I don’t think i’ve been to something quite like it before. It’s huge, it’s unique and best of all, it’s quirky. Christine, who has been there for the past 11 years, right from the start, has this to say: ‘we have roof to floor and so much more, old to new, come and view.’ Yep, I assure you she’s right. It’s bonkers and fabulous all in one!

Remember, I just stumbled across this place so didn’t have anything particular in mind. You might have a shopping list or just want to browse. Make sure you allow for lots of time. Have a good rummage through. It’s fun and worth it!

And now for some more familiar objects.

It’s really an aladdins cave and although i went back yesterday I still feel i haven’t seen everything. What i loved is how christine and her team are constantly changing stock around. I suppose that’s part of the charm but also necessary as new stock comes in daily.

And this below is what i came away with. A car drive and two strong male helpers later, the water fountain is now firmly installed on my roof terrace. I’m enjoying the soothing trickling water. Now let’s hope for a sunny september. This week certainly started well:)

Do you like rummaging around salvage yards? Have you been to aladdins cave? Happy september everyone! Anyone else looking forward to london design festival?

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  • Reply Igor September 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    These are the best encounters – unplanned, unseen, unpredicted. Always a great deal of excitement!! Love the photography as usual!

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Yep. Totally. I was carefree and that’s when it often happens:)) Thanks Igor!

  • Reply Anya Adores September 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    OHH I am in heaven looking at these pics Tina. I am thinking a visit is in order – I totally want that Spitalfields sign:) Brilliant find, love it when that happens. And yes here we are feeling Autumn lurking. I love Autumn, but please Summer stay a bit longer 😉

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      Yes, you must visit!! Shame you cannot come for the London Design Festival. Maybe towards Christmas and we go and have hot chocolate xx
      Oh, it’s really autumn now. I have resigned myself to it…… xx

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily September 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Now this place is a jewel-totally gorgeous-I’m going to have to go, but god knows where I’d actually store any more junk-although, who cares…!! Fab place, gorgeous shots, brilliant find my lovely. London Design Festival-most definitely-let’s meet up. xx

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Ha. I know what you mean… too much junk already? Yes, who cares, blow all caution to the wind!!
      Yes, will be at LDF most of the time I reckon, that is if I can find a couple of flats I’m hunting for until then xx

  • Reply Chi@106 September 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    *Gasp!* Oh, be still my beating heart – your fountain is absolutely breathtaking, Tina! I would LOVE to see it in situ. What an incredible place and it will now be a great resource for your clients, too.

    There’s a place along vaguely similar lines where we live although it’s much more Nightmare On Elm street than Aladdin’s Cave! 😀
    The Hubster and I were driving past it one night and I was convinced that someone had hanged himself on the premises but no, it was just another bizarre piece of theirs dangling from the trees. :/

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks Chi. I’m sure the fountain isn’t everyone’s taste. It’s rather romantic and bonkers and I LOVE IT!
      I had no idea it would fit so perfectly on my terrace. All luck…

      You can come round anytime and view:))

      That made made me laugh out loud when I read you describing the place near you more like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. I know what you mean.
      In one of my photos you’ll see some figures. I really wanted the Indian with the pearl necklaces but then thought that I would die of fear
      every time I would see his shadow in the dark…. crazy no?? x

      Checked. Subscriptions working. Thanks for alerting me though…

  • Reply Chi@106 September 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    P.S. I subscribed recently to your blog but it doesn’t seem to have worked. 🙁

  • Reply Catherine Bedson September 4, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Wow, what a find!!! My first thoughts were it looks like a place where they rehouse props from movie sets. This place is a gem, enjoy your fountain Tina. Do you know where it came from, any history behind it? Enjoy your peaks of Autumn..we came home from Adelaide to a trees that have just started to blossom..ahh Spring is nigh! Catherine xxx

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Ha. Yes, they have all sorts. It’s huge… I didn’t really show the lenght of it because wanted to keep something back so people would be pleasantly surprised when visiting. I’ve been to various salvage yards, but none as ‘bonkers’ as this one. I also got on well with the woman who overseas it so can imagine myself taking regular trips down there.

      It’s funny when I look at yours and Leah’s blog… spring is just happening for you guys while we’re getting ready to hibernate! xx

  • Reply Holly September 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I’m so delighted that you got that amazing fountain! I was hoping you would show us something you bought but I wasn’t expecting something so fabulous. Then again, you are Tina, so I don’t know why I’m surprised 🙂

    Super cool place you found. I love the name, Aladdins Cave. Yet another exciting adventure, and another place we must check out when I visit 😉 Thank you for sharing Xx.

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      Fabulous or mad as a hatter? Do you really like it? It must be the anti-christ to your taste, no?

      It’s a little decadent and over the top but yes, I love it. The one thing I didn’t plan very well was how big and heavy it was and that I needed two bulky guys to carry it up to the terrace. Thank God Christine let me poach her guys after they finished work on Sunday. They came back with me in the car and did the deed!!!

      At this rate, young lady, you need to come for a fortnight!!!! I’m waiting:)) xx

  • Reply geraldine September 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    What a treasure trove! Will be going to 100% Design, Tent and Decorex. Which ones are you off to? See you Saturday 🙂

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:27 pm

      Defo 100%, Tent and Geraldine, top of the list is designjunction. Not to be missed!!
      We can chat about this on Saturday x

  • Reply leah of sang the bird September 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

    unplanned encounters are always the most awesome! and boy, did you stumble across (or scoot right into) an amazing treasure trove!
    and i adore rummaging through ‘junk”!! xx

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Ha. I literally scootet right into it… you should have seen Christine’s face. She’s a very cool cucumber so simply politely asked me to park outside. I think though she was shocked at my ‘entrance’. I was just very overwhelmed by what I saw so didn’t think:)

      Yes, guessed you would love that. Good old rummage is quite therapeutic. I also really enjoy finding quirky objects that were actually meant for a different usage. I will go back with a little more time…. x

  • Reply Theresa September 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve never visited a rummage yard, but I’ve heard/read that there are some good ones in Los Angeles. Your post is reminding me that I should pay them a visit. Who knows what I might discover. Your new fountain is lovely, Tina. Gosh, what a nice addition to your roof terrace. Grab yourself a tea, some reading material, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a tranquil getaway. Enjoy, T!

    • Reply tina September 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Ha. Rummage yard! I like that. Here in Britain, they call it Salvage Yard or Reclamation yard. You know, posh talk:))

      To be honest, I can’t quite imagine you going to one of these:) somehow I can’t picture it!

      Only I manage to find a water fountain at the beginning of September. For the moment we still have sunny days but cooler evenings. One of the reasons I bought it is for the trickling water. I can just sit inside, listen to the water while reading .. magic!!! Ta T.

  • Reply parisbreakfast September 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Wild and fabulous!
    What fun!

    • Reply tina September 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Merci Carol xx wild indeed!!

  • Reply annie September 6, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I kinda love this place but it’s also making me itch! What an amazing place though.

    I can’t believe you bought that fountain! how on earth did you get it up the stairs? Sam and I had enough trouble with the dog.

    • Reply tina September 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      I know. Mad eh? I had an ingenious idea. Look at my response back to Holly.

      You know, I will always gladly adopt your dog!

  • Reply Nicola September 6, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Just love the thought of your dramatic entrance! How could you ever be forgotten!!

    It’s always the unplanned that makes the unexpected finds, when your mind is open and not searching for one particular thing.

    On a practical note, how on earth do they price everything?

    • Reply tina September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Dramatic or what??? Haha. Exactly!! I’m not sure she’s recovered yet:)

      Not sure, I think kinda how the mood takes them. However, prices are really good, you’ll be surprised and they are a generous lot if you come with patience and good will. x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey September 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Ok darlin’… it’s like a little shop of horrors. I would run a mile. This is definitely where you and I differ. Had I been riding past I’d have kept on going. It’s chaos. Total chaos. I may need to lie down after seeing the (great) pics.

    Enjoy your fountain xx

    • Reply tina September 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Hahahahahahahaha. That’s so funny! I’m just trying to imagine you in that place. I think you’ll die from dust and mites and mess! Mr Roventa toilet blogger. Guys go and check out that post on Gerard’s blog. You will not believe it until you read it!!!

      I hope you have recovered now. xx

  • Reply Kelly September 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    What a fabulous find! I thought it looked amazing when I saw your instagram shots and it’s wonderful that you just stumbled across it.

    So brilliant that you bought that huge fountain and managed to get them to help you home with it. Wish I had a house old enough for those gorgeous radiators.

    I need to go now! xxx

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