Nothing thrills us more than great friends starting new businesses, so when the uber-chic London stylist Liz Thody (above, with her shop) floated her idea of a pop-up shop in Norfolk, our immediate response was: “We’re in!”
Norfolk is a few hours drive up north from London. Rich agrarian land means the county has become a bit of a foodie hotspot, and, with its northern boundaries hitting the North Sea, Norfolk boasts some of England’s most beautiful beaches — notably the famed Holkham Beach (above) where the Queen is known to run her horses or, depending your reference preference, where the concluding scene of “Shakespeare in Love” was filmed.
The shop was positioned at , just outside of the little town of Holt. Wiveton Hall has a very popular restaurant which serves up some of the freshest food in the county (like my meal of grilled heirloom tomatoes on toast).
Liz called her shop Little Donkey Pop-Up, and her whimsical donkey logo was branded on bags (above), with neon tassels she sourced in Morocco. (If you speak fashion, then you might say Summer 2014 is all about a tassel.)
The shop itself was an ingenious piece of construction. A simple wheelbarrow shape, it held cashmere sweaters, children’s dresses, hand-embroidered beach bags, trays of bright summer bracelets — and, of course, J.Falkner cards.
Liz chose bright summery cards from our line to complement her product mix, and we love how our range of friendship cards sat among the pastel cashmeres and retro bathing caps (see above).
For us, Little Donkey Pop-Up provided a welcome chance to nose around a part of England we’d never visited. The tree-shaded country lanes, the happy cows, the sun slanting over fields of hay — Norfolk was picture-postcard English countryside.
I even found myself reconsidering pebble siding, which can go so very wrong in London suburbs. Here in Norfolk, however, it has an authenticity and simplicity that was actually rather beautiful. (For example, this cottage in Burnham Market below.)
Goodbye for now, Norfolk — hope to see you and your wide wind-swept beaches again!