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.
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!
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 Hiut, Margaret Howell or APC jeans, you will love these. They will be available from November online.
The 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!
Although 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.
Best 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!