Best Of Britannia

BoB In it’s second year, Best of Britannia is a showcase for the increasing number of people who make things in the UK. Be it hand crafted footwear, chocolate, motor bikes or music and films, the show brings together the very best British artisans, designers, crafts people and manufacturers.

Located in the George Farmiloe building in Clerkenwell the event was part retail, part wholesale, plus a series of talks, films and live music.

The vast industrial space is a Clerkenwell landmark and one the finest examples of Victorian architecture, featuring four warehouse floors, a spectacular glazed atrium, aged paintwork and wood panelled offices, as well as an extensive basement, 1930s warehouse block and standalone 2,500 sq ft shed.

BoB 2

A pop up barbers shop fitted looked at home in the wood panelled offices

Featuring a wide array of exhibitors, selling a great cross section of products, from taxidermy (how much do I want that Highland cows head?) to wood burning stoves, handbags, jewellery and sofas, all of whom passionately believe in what they are producing. This feels like the kind of event the government should be getting behind, rather than concentrating on what Mary Portas has to to say – or not!

BoB 4 BoB 3Stand out brands for me included, G Plan, Dawson DenimCheaney footwear and of course our mate Rachel’s Buckitt Bags.

Dawson Denim used the show to soft launch their new unisex jeans, which will retail at £220. Made from Japanese red selvedge denim, if you are a fan of HiutMargaret Howell or APC jeans, you will love these. They will be available from November online.

G plan & DawsonThe Cheaney Footwear range had a small selection of women’s brogues and the most perfect pair of Chelsea Boots (below right) I have ever seen – and believe me I know my brogues/boots – which unfortunately they don’t sell in any of their three London shops or online (but they can make you a bespoke pair for £400!).

I tried to persuade the very nice men in charge of the brand that women would love them and they ended up inviting me to visit their Northampton factory – so watch this space, perhaps we will end up selling them in the Women’s Room online shop!

BoB CheanyThere were lots of people watching opportunities, as well as lots of cute dogs, which is always a bonus!

BoB6 BoB dogsAlthough I didn’t get a chance to attend any of the evening talks or events, they looked really interesting and there were lots of delicious food options such as B.O.B.S Lobster and Disappearing Dining Club.

BoB 5Best of Britannia was definitely worth visiting and is a great idea, but the organisers really need to increase their PR and social media presence to create more PR ahead of the event.  They might even want to consider moving it to November – when people are in Christmas shopping mode.

I really hope this event continues to grow and by this time next year they’ve created enough online noise to make it a complete sell out – as it deserves to succeed – and hopefully we can let you know in advance of it happening, so that you can go too!


  • Monix says:

    I went on Saturday – loved the venue, the concept and the exhibitors, but by golly (B.O.B did you see what I did there?) do they need help with the presentation and styling of the whole exhibition without losing that eccentric British vibe.
    Job for you ladies me thinks….


  • bee sharp says:

    Love G Plan, all my parents furniture is from them and I have kept it all because it is wonderful…and styled properly is timeless..great article….good to know.

  • jane says:

    Monix – I agree, they need help with curation of the exhibitors and press and PR – nearly offered my services. I love the idea of it, but tend to think the venue is partly what makes it so special……!


  • Monix says:

    Oh please, please do offer your services – you and Amanda could really make it sing!
    The venue is totally what makes it special (though perhaps November when it’s cold and dark – not so appealing) along with the exhibitors, but these were either new or resuscitated brands that needed help with presentation.
    As soon as one entered the venue it looked disparate (and slightly desperate), I think it lacked cohesion and passion on the behalf on the organisers- but it was so nearly there which is why I’m so frustrated by it.
    If you had anything to do with it I’d exhibit as it’s a truly fabulous idea.

  • Hello Ladies,

    Nice round up. I’ve been also wondering what needs improving. For me it was definitely the PR and Social Media angle. A LOT of people didn’t know about it. I went early on Thursday to blog about it and hopefully give it some exposure in my little way:-)

    I think this kind of event can be huge if promoted properly.
    In terms of October, think of the Chelsea Crafts Fair. That’s in October and people flock to it to buy early Xmas presents. BOB, once established could have the same impact.

    Loved many products there (had friends exhibit too) but my absolute favourite was the vintage taxidermy. I LOVED the Highland Cows head but was delighted that Owen sold my the very stylish and very unique crested 1900 Grebe with her beautiful stola. Tricia of Volpe and Volpe (same stand) named her ‘Marian’ so I’ve kept the name:-)

    She’s on my blog post review of the event:

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