Monday, 22 August 2016

BRISTOL VINTAGE IS FOR SALE!!!

Nearly nine years ago, my friend Katie was getting married and asked if I'd help her  collect vintage crockery for her wedding - and so began the start of our joint business venture, Bristol Vintage.


Initially we thought it might just be a one-off for Katie's wedding as we're both vintage geeks but we hadn't realised that there's a whole community of us out there!

Over the next two years, we had masses of fun collecting crockery and props and making lots of new contacts in the vintage and wedding worlds; we learnt about marketing ourselves on-line and we discovered how to pack and deliver crockery unbroken and how sometimes we can't sleep when we're worrying about doing the best job for our clients.


In the third year Katie had the joy of becoming pregnant and having a beautiful baby daughter, now nearly six years old!  


Although Katie had to leave Bristol Vintage to focus on her family, she's still very much a part of the company, often helping me brainstorm ideas and always there if I need support or just a sounding board.  



It's been an amazing journey, including staging the first vintage wedding fair in the South-West, which has gone on to be an annual event, our crockery appearing in lots of magazines, TV shows, and supplying crockery for hundreds of weddings, parties, funerals and other events.  Our clients have included Pieminister, Goldbrick House, Hotel du Vin, Aardman Animations, Riverstation, The Clifton Club to name a few as well as scores of wonderful couples and individuals and we've loved working with them all. 


We've co-organised a shop launch, been involved in photo shoots and held an annual wedding fair with the most fantastic exhibitors, many of whom have become friends.


We've loved every minute of it but, sadly, it's time for a HUGE life change and time for me to part with Bristol Vintage.  


So, Bristol Vintage, one of the longest running vintage crockery and events companies in the South West is on the market. The business includes afternoon tea crockery for nearly 300, including cups & saucers, tea plates, cake stands, teapots, milk jugs and sugar bowls.  We also have crockery for 160 for dinner AND we have mismatched cutlery too and mismatched napkins and linens!  We have some amazing props including our bike, Mabel, a sledge, working gramophones and a typewriter, suitcases, vintage and much more.  Alongside this we have our website, the company name, our popular blog, the wedding fair contacts, Facebook and Twitter sites and, above all, a faultless reputation and some wonderful friends in the industry.


I would love for someone to continue the company as we've built up a great reputation and a fabulous collection of crockery, which will be very hard to part with but, if that's not possible then I will be selling the crockery and props off separately.


If you would like further information on our stock and to have a chat about the business, please do call me on email: ali@bristolvintage.co.uk and we can arrange to have a chat.


With love to all our followers and past clients for many happy moments!



















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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

DE WINTON PAPER CO - BEAUTIFUL HAND PAINTED STATIONERY

Earlier this year I met up with a fabulous lady called Harriet de Winton who had been recommended to me by my friend Kirsten (aka The Little Wedding Helper) to talk about rebranding my other business as a massage therapist, which I’ll be blogging about soon.



It was so great to sit and chat with Harriet  - I felt like I’d known her for years as she has such an easy manner, but she’s also really professional and totally ‘got’ my vision for the business.  To be honest with you, I was dreading the branding process.  I’m not good at getting across what’s in my mind and I really did wonder what on earth Harriet would make of my ramblings about how I wanted it to look.  This lady is so talented though, I knew I was in safe hands as soon as we started chatting and I am so incredibly pleased with the results I really want to tell the world about her.


An illustrator and designer, Harriet set up her design studio, The de Winton Paper Co specialising in elegant watercolour hand painted stationery for weddings and every day.  Her inspiration comes from a unique wedding gift to her parents which hangs in their family home - a guest used their wedding invitation as the canvas for a watercolour landscape.  Recognising what a beautiful and unusual idea this was Harriet began creating for family weddings and The de Winton Paper Co was born.



With a broad range of gorgeous styles pre-designed by Harriet, choosing your wedding invitation couldn't be easier but if you want something unique to you Harriet  offers a bespoke service and can transform your wedding invitation into a beautiful and original artwork. A talented calligrapher, Harriet's stunning lettering can elevate your stationery into something truly magical.  And, just for fun, she also offers on the day accessories such as 'Wedding Speech Bingo' and guest comment cards.

But her work isn't just for weddings - a hand painted card for any occasion or just a special message can be kept, framed and cherished forever.


Offering a service that will help you every step of the way, even with wording tips for your wedding and a printing and delivery service, you know you're in safe hands with The de Winton Paper Co.

And, of course, the amazing thing about stationery is that you can now order anywhere in the world - whether you're getting married in Borneo or Bristol!

As Harriet herself says ... "Based in Devon, going global".



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Thursday, 4 August 2016

A GIRLS NIGHT OUT AT THE IVY!

Last night Kirsten Butler (aka The Little Wedding Helper), Emma Norton and I had a fabulous girls night out at The Ivy Clifton Brasserie.

I've always wanted to eat at The Ivy in London but it's still on my 'wish' list so I was very excited to see whether Bristol's newest addition to it's thriving restaurant scene would live up to my expectations.


In the heart of Clifton Village, the restaurant is based in the old Bank building on Caledonia Place.  The entrance is quite impressive but it's the inside that has the real 'Wow' factor.  With lots of beautiful dark wood, amazing Art Deco light fixtures and a stunning bar area, it's really quite breathtaking when you walk in.  

I have to mention the staff - all immaculately dressed, they were welcoming, friendly and attentive and I was really impressed that every member of staff who dealt with us seemed to know who was having which dish at our table.


We all started with a cocktail and I had the beautiful 'Lavender Lady' which was delicious with quite a delicate flavour.

The menu is really extensive and we loved the fact that along with some unusual dishes there were also some great comfort dishes like their signature hamburger and fish and chips.  Our starters were superb - I had one of my all time favourites, the classic Prawn Cocktail, and was really pleased that it was fresh with a great tomato flavour - not at all sickly or over creamy, but my companions' dishes looked wonderful too, with Kirsten choosing the seared scallops and Emma the Mozzarella di Bufala - which I think I want to try next time!  The ladies decided on steak and fat chips and I went for one of the days specials which was two different types of lamb, incredibly tender and tasty.


In the past I've not been able to resist the dessert menu but these days I find that so many things are too sweet or sickly that it takes a really good pudding to tempt me but I have to say EVERYTHING on the dessert menu appealed to me.  I was a bit worried as Kirsten and Emma chose the Creme Brûlée which is one of my ultimate favourites and I thought I was going to be jealous but I HAD to try the Chocolate Bombe with an ice cream centre and warm salted caramel sauce, which our waitress poured over the Bombe.  I can happily report that it was divine!  Our only regret was that Kirsten didn't video it melting under the sauce.  All washed down with a delicate bottle of rose and finished off with coffee.

We all felt it was a real dining experience - wonderful surroundings, great service and a fabulous menu, beautifully cooked and presented!

We ate in a room off the main dining area, which we all thought would be wonderful for a smaller wedding party as it had a garden area too and the whole experience was really rather special.

It's also worth mentioning that they serve afternoon tea so once you've done your wedding dress shopping you could pop in to rest your weary feet and treat yourselves!

I'll definitely be going back - hopefully might surprise my husband and treat him for a special occasion!


Saturday, 2 July 2016

HOTEL DU VIN WEDDING SHOOT


On a rainy October day last year a wonderful group of creative people joined us to collaborate on a photoshoot at one of our favourite Bristol Venues - Hotel du Vin, and I can happily report we had so much fun, resulting in these stunning photos from Matt & Joe of Always You Photography

Hyder Syed & Charlotte Felski with flowers from The Pink Peony 
A few months before, myself and Siobhan Thomas, joint owner of Queenie the Cocktail Caravan were wondering how we could promote our photo wall for weddings and parties and we came up with the idea of a photoshoot.  We started talking to some of our wonderful friends  about working together to showcase our talents and approached Helen at Hotel du Vin, Bristol and all was set!

Charlotte Felski models bridal wear from Lisa Keating Bridal with flowers from The Pink Peony
If you regularly read this blog, you'll know I'm a massive fan of Lisa Keating Bridal, an independent designer whose work is handcrafted and made to measure to couture standards.  Lisa's beautiful work is featured here and it was lovely to have her with us on the day to dress the bride - she's great fun and passionate about everything she does and her attention to detail and styling is superb.

Hair accessory from Vintage Button Bridal Designs

Accessories were loaned by Clare Lloyd of Vintage Button Bridal Designs.  Clare is an absolute delight to work with and loves what she does.  It was such a treat for me to visit her workshop in Frome.  I literally cannot walk past Clare's work without feeling like a kid in a sweet shop and found it so hard to choose accessories for the shoot that Clare really kindly indulged me, letting me take a whole box full!

Make up by Rashida Foy
Our friend Rashida Foy is a great make-up artist - able to create beautiful subtle bridal make-up, as she did for this shoot - as well as amazing creative work on alternative shoots.  We love her flexibility and her laid back attitude

Hyder Syed modelling a waistcoat by Mark Keating

We were so lucky to have two really incredible models for the day.  Hyder Sayed came from London for the shoot and was so professional, gave loads of input and was such an all round good guy.  Tall, dark & handsome, he was the perfect foil to Bristol based Charlotte Felski, our beautiful pale-skinned natural red-head!  Both have lots of modelling experience and we felt really spoilt to have them as part of the team!

Charlotte Felski models Lisa Keating Bridal design
Charlotte's hair by Bonominihair
Charlotte's stunning hair was styled by Bonominihair, a brilliant salon in Clifton who have a great reputation and a very loyal clientele.  


Flowers by The Pink Peony
The flowers are the creation of Laura Connelly from The Pink Peony.  Laura's lovely to work with and has the most wonderful eye for colour and shape.  Her designs literally brought everything to life, drawing the eye and completing every picture. 

Hair accessory by Vintage Button Bridal Designs

Vintage wear - Bristol Vintage
We hadn't worked with Matt & Joe before, but they made the day so easy.  We had a shot list which they ran with and made their own - covering everything and more with so little fuss.  I'm thrilled with the pics of my vintage crockery & props and it was great fun working with them.

Props - Bristol vintage
Cake - Chocolate Delores Cakes
A wedding shoot wouldn't be complete without cake and WHAT cake! Chocolate Delores is queen of the chocolate wedding cake and her creations always bring a  real magic to any shoot.  She also TOTALLY spoilt us by bringing some of her hand made chocolates for us to share and her work seriously is not only some of the most beautiful but also the most delicious!

Charlotte & Hyder model the photo wall & props 



Beautiful bridal shoes from The White Collection Bridal Boutique
Hyder models suit and accessories by Mens Hire.  Working gramophone - Bristol Vintage
Mens Hire, Bristol, loaned us Hyder's vintage-style groom's wear.  They did a brilliant job as we had to work from measurements alone - and he looked great!






We have to thank Hotel du Vin for letting us use their fabulous venue for the day.  Hotel du Vin has been my favourite Bristol Hotel since it first opened over 16 years ago and it was the first place I thought of.  It has a wonderful, relaxed feel and the staff are so professional yet somehow manage to be friendly and laid-back - we didn't really want to leave!

Bristol Vintage's 'Mabel' modelling The Pink Peony's flowers!



Props from Bristol Vintage
Chocolate Delores Seashell cake with Bristol Vintage props

Chocolate Delores white chocolate cake
Thanks are also due to Sarah Daly - our styling assistant.  Sarah has been working in the wedding industry for the last year learning her trade as a Wedding Planner.

Also thank you to Catherine, Lisa Keating's gorgeous daughter, who also helped us on the day!

Thanks to everyone who was involved  - we LOVED the day and the results and we'd love to do it all over again!!!

If you're interested in booking the photo wall & chaise, do email (ali@bristolvintage.co.uk) or call on 07791 898650.

Supplier list:
Venue: Hotel Du Vin, Bristol
Photography - Always You Photography
Bridal Wear - Lisa Keating Bridal
Bride's Shoes - The White Collection Bridal
Grooms Outfit - Mens Hire Bristol
Accessories - Vintage Button Bridal Designs
MUA - Rashida Foy
Hair - Bonomini Hair
Cakes - Chocolate Delores Cakes
Flowers - The Pink Peony
Photo Wall - Queen the Cocktail Caravan & Bristol Vintage
Crockery & Props - Bristol Vintage
Photo Shoot Assistant - Sarah Daly