Housekeeping is much more enjoyable in Stoneygate, Leicester
The only problem with loving shopping – assuming you can afford what you buy – is that you end up with a lot of stuff. One day, you have plenty of cupboard space and several clear surfaces. The next, you have loads of pairs of this, several types of that, all the latest whatchamacallits and a thingummy that’s the same as your other thingummies, but with a blue light on it.
Frankly, it can get a bit much, so it’s not surprising there comes a time when many a seasoned shopper thinks: “Enough. I need some space. Be gone, plethora of modern gubbins. I want to go back to basics’’.
At times like that, you need a shop such as Housekeeping, which has recently brought a stylish slice of yesteryear to Leicestershire.
It sells traditional household cleaning equipment – the type of your great-grandma would have proudly wielded around her spotless scullery – and sturdy-looking tableware and cookware in classic designs that have been around for generations (and, therefore, brim with vintage appeal without even trying).
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There isn’t a plug and cable to be seen among Housekeeping’s wares; no electronic display panels, no unfathomable buttons nor hi-tech challenges of any description. Even the price tickets haven’t been near anything so modern as a printer; they’re handwritten on brown luggage tags.
There’s iconic blue-and-white enamelware by Falcon, a British brand established in 1920, and robust-looking glasses by Duralex, which began in France nearly 70 years ago.
Housekeeping sells a range of stoneware for the table by Swedish company Hoganas Keramik, established for more than 100 years.
But that’s nothing compared to fellow Swedish tableware company Rorstrand, which was established in 1726. Housekeeping stocks its Swedish Grace design, which was first unveiled at the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930, and conveys “the sensation of ears of wheat swaying in the summer breeze”.
The wooden scrubbing brushes which look so robust they could be left as heirlooms are by Redecker (established 1935), and the blankets and cushions are handwoven in Wales by Melin Tregwynt (established, ooh, yonks ago).
There are wooden dolly pegs, traditional brooms and feather dusters, glass orange-squeezers, linen cloths for glass and Le Parfait jars.
For the organised house-spouse, there are notepads and pencils by American company Field Notes, whose no-frills designs are perfect for no- nonsense notes about broken light bulbs and when the front step was last scrubbed.
There are a few smellies too – handcream and candles by award-winning English company Bailey’s and Savon de Marseille soap among them,
Our favourite thing was the pastel enamelware by Austrian company Riess (established, ooh, aeons ago). We’d be cooking non-stop if we had a collection of its adorable dinky pink saucepans on our shelves. And purchases are wrapped in brown paper – of course.
If you want some old-fashioned charm in your home, or if you just love proper cleaning tools, Housekeeping is a must-visit. Find it in Francis Street, Stoneygate, Leicester. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am until 5pm.
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