I’m Going To Let You Into A Little Secret

Today I’ve been to Derry, formerly also known as Londonderry, and I have to admit to being very pleasantly surprised at what I found there.

I only recently learnt that it is a walled city, not only that, but it is regarded as among the best preserved walled cities in Europe. Isn’t that surprising? Well, to someone of my generation or older, it may well be a surprise because of memories of the Troubles. It also boasts a stunning Guildhall: the architecture and stained glass were amazingly beautiful. You must visit Derry and whilst you’re there, you must go inside the Guildhall.

The other place you must visit while you’re in Derry is the Craft Village just off Shipquay Street. It is a selection of mainly independent shops and cafes. We began our visit with a light lunch in Mollie’s Cafe. We were given a friendly welcome and upon asking for a scone I was offered “fruit, plain, or helicopter”. My brain was on a go-slow so I had to ask for an explanation. ** I asked a chap in Mollie’s to point me in the direction of the best artisan/craft shops in the Village. He said I should go into Craft Village Collective and Walled City Crafters. Both stores sell goods made by local crafters.

I went first to Walled City Crafters and was immediately warmly greeted by a lovely lady who was keeping a watchful eye on the window display whilst a young woman was adding items to the display. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me so I can’t show all the lovely items that were on show. I saw a beautiful pair of diamond-shaped pendant earrings which made me wish I didn’t have an allergy which turns my ears into beaming red beacons if I dare to wear earrings of any type.

There was a variety of craft items displayed in the window and it certainly enticed me into the shop. The first thing I noticed as I entered the shop, apart from the welcome, was how bright and clean it was. The lighting in the store seemed to highlight the quality of the hand-crafted pieces.

My eyes fell upon some gorgeous hand-woven woollen scarves and wraps. Interesting colours were used in each scarf and they complemented each other beautifully. The prices being asked for them were extremely reasonable, as were all of the prices that I saw in the shop. I think this is because the shop is run on a non-profit basis in order that the crafters receive a reasonable sum or their labours.

Some of the loveliness for sale included ceramic brooches, handmade make-up bags, miniature wire sculpture pictures, decorative glass plaques, jewellery, soap, keyrings and fabric brooches. There was a wonderful range of crafts with prices to suit all pockets.

I bought three things whilst I was in there: a ceramic brooch for myself made by Michelle 
Butler Ceramics, some soap from The Pink House Company and a pretty decorated box. I don’t know who made the box and, as it was so carefully wrapped in the shop for me, to protect it during my homeward journey, I don’t want to unwrap it!

I am so pleased to have found Walled City Crafters. It is a fabulous shop, with beautiful items at good prices. It’s a secret I am happy to share because I really hope that the shop and its makers have a successful future. Please, please support them if you visit Derry.

As for the second shop that was recommended, when I went there it was unexpectedly closed for a short while and I didn’t have time to return later. I shall have to hope that I visit Derry again very soon.

** Plain = plane so ‘helicopter’ is simply a play on words. Corny, but fun.


6 thoughts on “I’m Going To Let You Into A Little Secret

  1. Thank you for your lovely comments about our little shop. I am Carol one of the crafters involved in the shop and the decorated box you bought today was by fellow crafter Pauline the lovely lady who served you today


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