When Butterfield and French (otherwise known as The Antiques Emporium) opened in Kendal in November 2014, its rentable stalls and glass cabinets were snapped up by traders, and it has been a delight to visit ever since.
If you’re a bit of a collector, or just like to find something a little different for the home, the Emporium is a must to add to your list. I’ve always been a big fan of second hand ‘bits and bobs’ (you may prefer the terms ‘preloved’ or ‘upcycled’…) and charity shops because, let’s face it, the choice when you buy new in some of the big name shops just isn’t what it used to be, and nor is the quality – it’s amazing what you can find when you look at the alternatives instead, and I like something that is a bit unusual or perhaps even unique.
Butterfield and French was set up by two cousins, John Butterfield and Chris French, and their families – John’s son Tony and wife Amanda, and Chris’s wife Clare and son Ollie all play a role in the business. Inside, there are around 40 stalls filled with antiques and collectibles, vintage and retro items, books, furniture and decorative pieces for the garden. There are also walls of glass cabinets which are filled with some of the smaller and more delicate items on display.
Butterfield and French won’t be obvious to visitors to the area, because it is hidden away on a small trading estate called Dockray Hall Mill, just off Burneside Road – you get to this easily though as you finish descending the hill into Kendal from the Plumgarth’s roundabout. It’s the ideal place to spend some time on a rainy day, perhaps in combination with some shopping in the town itself or a visit to one of Kendal’s many tourist attractions such as Abbot Hall Art Gallery and the Quaker Tapestry.
I keep visiting from time to time, as you just never know what’s going to turn up – and if you’re a fan of second hand too, you’ll know that’s half the fun of it!
Visit Butterfield and French online for opening times.
Where else is on your ‘must do’ list when visiting Kendal and the surrounding area? Let us know by leaving a comment below.