I’d never heard of Radcliffe near Manchester before the other day, nor had I heard of Rose & Lee before I read a little article in the Sunday Times the other week, but today I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with both.
Middle Daughter had read the same article about this eclectic “vintage living” antiques business near Manchester, and was inspired enough to suggest a visit some time. A serendipitous suggestion, since I had been so taken by the images of old china teacups, I knew I would have to make the trip across the Pennines before too long. There is nothing quite like a floral teacup and the words “French furniture” to tempt me over the M62, or pretty much anywhere for that matter.
And so we found ourselves in Radcliffe at 10.15 this morning (see above) about to enter the Aladdin’s Cave of North Manchester.
We were not disappointed. I have written at length about my love of beauty and being surrounded by beauty as much as possible in the daily grind of life, and the joy of aesthetic experience and moments whether it’s the pleasure of a Sunshine Bakery tea time or ambling a Parisian street.
Rose & Lee ticked all the boxes. We spent two hours there, ferreting through the enticing spread of furniture and objets, clothing and books. And of course, the china, masses of it, so pretty and flowery, and the delightful Fiona who runs the business is happy to make us a bespoke cake stand from plates we selected. Since Middle Daughter and I have been searching for the perfect cake stand for at least three years, you can imagine just what happy bunnies we were when we eventually emerged clutching our goodies.
There’s shopping which I hate, and there’s shopping which I tolerate as evil necessity, and then there’s aesthetic delight which I don’t regard as shopping at all (although maybe Himself would beg to disagree with this) and I will most certainly be making another trip over the top to this amazing emporium of treasure.
If you decide to go, check in advance when they’re open. All these goodies are of course sourced and bought from far afield, and Fiona and her dad spend a lot of time travelling away from the premises.
But definitely vaut le voyage as the Michelin Guide would put it.