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(Cottage) Industries and Icons

How cute is this cushion? The label says it all – someone is an entrepreneurial talent and she helped to inspire today’s blog. Her name is Ella, and she's only ten years old.


It was a last minute decision, and quite by chance, that we decided to take a visit to Walsingham.

Primarily on the recommendation of the Farm Shop and Riddle Restaurant, we made our way via the Little and Great Walshinghams, before making our entrance.Tah Dah! (not really).
Although a very good Farm Shop, this part of Norfolk holds a plentiful supply of quality food outlets, so we soon went exploring and discovered a lot more than we could have imagined the village held.
I feel slightly ashamed that I knew nothing of the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which is a daft thing to say, because why would I?

Religious or not, the centre opened out into an astonishing snapshot of an English village at its quirkiest and original best. Following an obligatory 'WoW!', we felt there was no other alternative but to rest and take it all in at the Bull Inn.

 Hand on heart, I couldn’t recommend the food but the service was friendly and welcoming and I was reliably informed that they served a good pint.  

As we sat and absorbed, we watched drifts of people wearing all manner of religious attire, stroll past with their wheelie cases. (The annual pilgramage takes place on the last Bank Holiday Monday in May).

 Refreshed and inquisitive, we discovered shops full of icons – amongst the pretty (and ancient) cottages and billowing flags. There was something medieval about it all.

And then I discovered a shop that I have to share with you: Shed Crafts Norfolk

Ok, I admit, I do get enthused when I see a venture that I believe in – and I loved both the quality and uniqueness of the stock and ethos of this business. 

Full of wonderfully original items, created by a collective cottage industry of locals – from the wood turning pensioner, via beautifully knitted alpaca jumpers to … a cushion made by Ella of course.
I would recommend a visit to Dave and Carol’s beautiful and friendly shop, Dave's enthusiasm for his suppliers was infectious and - as long as you consider pausing and soaking up the ancient eccentricity of this wonderful corner of our green and pleasant land too, I would suggest you won't be disappointed.

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