Debbie Green
19th January 2024

Shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or wardrobe is always better when you go local, independent, and - if you look in the right places - pre-loved! 

Our Whitstable woman on the ground Debbie Green has been researching the perfect places for pre-loved goods down by the sea. Get inspiration for your next shopping trip in her guest blog below... 

There is something special about shopping for pre-loved gifts. Bringing something back to life, wondering about its previous owners, where it has come from, and of course, there is also the fact that it’s going to be unique!

Whether your looking for charity shops or vintage & antique emporiums, you are spoilt for choice in Whitstable & Tankerton.  My favourite festive gift this year was a beautiful lamp from Valentines Vintage in Oxford Street, and that made me think about writing this blog. It currently resides on our coffee table and it may go outside in the summer though I am feeling a little precious over it having something so beautiful with its own special history.

What makes these businesses stand out are the owners who can tell you all about the pieces in their shops, so set some time aside to enjoy a good chat whilst you browse.

Valentines is a fabulous shop to wander around, Mick is a great collector so it’s all quite eclectic and there are always some fabulous pieces of furniture, pop art and so much more.

Memories & Moonbeams, 5 Oxford Street is also a cornucopia of wonderful finds owned by Beverley, crystal glassware, jewellery, vintage clothing and so many wonderful trinkets in this tiny little store.

Anchors Aweigh Vintage, 63 Harbour Street, is the perfect seaside vintage shop, full of vintage toys, nick nacks, knits, patterns, clothing, fabrics and more, every Christmas they sell fabulous vintage Christmas decorations and there may still be some to buy now and pop away!

Warehams specialises in antique garden ornaments, Gustavian furniture and collectibles, with a great online website as well as the store at 68 Oxford St.

If you want some inspiration on upcycling or a unique piece of furniture be sure to visit Brits Love Vintage at 45 Oxford Street, Jacqui is incredibly talented and you can see her transformations on Instagram & Facebook  She also sells Frenchic paints to get you started and everything else you need for your project.

These days charity shops offer far more than clothes and books. In Tankerton Sue Ryder Furniture & Homeware Emporium has some great furniture, glassware, mirrors and other homewares, there are currently some pieces with very famous donators! The shop is large and beautifully laid out, like any good furniture showroom.

In Whitstable, the Pilgrim’s Hospice Furniture shop is at 107-9 High St and offers a similar experience, the constantly evolving stock means you never know what you will find, even if you visit every day.

Also in Whitstable Demelza 113 High Street, with its new bright signage offers a large display of homewares amongst clothing and accessories.

Of course, whatever style of shopping you are doing does require refreshments and we have that covered too!. But, in these businesses, you can still find that special piece whilst replenishing energy.  Newly opened in December 2023 Fable & Green, 67 Oxford Street, a fabulous chilled licensed café and antique shop. Serving breakfast, lunch, cakes, great coffee & daily specials, with live music every other Sunday, its founders Joni & Chris loved collecting antiques and the stories behind them and with a career in hospitality Fable & Green was born.

In Tankerton, Ales & Antiques, 136 Tankerton Rd, is open from late afternoon so you can enjoy a lovely glass of wine or ale whilst browsing the antiques both on display in the beautiful bar, in the conservatory or out in the garden - a perfect way to complete the day. Always take a good look at the window display before going in! Jo has created a really atmospheric space where ever you sit and whatever the weather.

So just imagine going home rested, refreshed and laden with unique pieces to find a new home for and create a new story. Enjoy exploring!