Monday, 28 February 2011


Our new live entertainment area, Buskers' Den, launches this Sunday at the Retro Rooms Show and our Entertainment Manager Rosie Moore aka Della Storm has lined up some wonderful talent for our enjoyment. Here's what Rosie has to say about the musicians who will be performing.

Tracy Dempsey will be crooning an eclectic mix of songs about love, loss and hope. From Elliot Smith to Adele via Jacques Brel and Mazzy Star, she'll soothe weary hearts and still fevered minds. Stop by, chill out, and feel free to hum along.

Ellen Turley and Geoff Hatt have been musical comrades for many a year, and this Sunday they will be delighting the audience with a medley of old and new songs in two part harmony accompanied by the sweet sounds of the ukulele.

Mike Donaghy will be Della's co-host at Retro Rooms. An exceptional musician, songwriter and teacher, his guitar playing rrrrocks!

Robyn Farah is our exotic South African songbird and is involved in all sorts of sound work, from interactive music installations to editing music for film. She is now delving herself into the realms of performance and song. Robyn's greatest joys are friends, family and the wonders of music/sound and she has the richest life she could possibly hope for. Robyn is also the creative hand behind Flours Bakery.

Paul Olphert will be accompanying Robyn Farah on guitar. Paul has performed at the Queens Festival, the V festival and Glastonbury Festival and has played supporting many popular groups including Snow Patrol, Razorlight, Maximo Park and The View.

Amanda Agnew is a singer songwriter who plays many instruments including guitar, mandolin, banjo and glockenspiel! She will be accompanied by her brother on guitar and hopes her folk/acoustic music will make us feel happy and uplifted.

Steve McCann fuses folk, blues and jazz in the manner of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn whilst bringing his own twist. And don't we just love a good twist!

Andy John Bradford has been writing songs for over 30 years. His blend of music has a feel of poetry mixed with strong melody. His style has been compared with the likes of Bob Dylan to Old Cat Stevens. He has written for many around the world and has even had a spot of gold in certain countries!

And of course Della herself will be hosting the Buskers' Den where she will be performing a mix of retro songs from the 60’s and 70’s as well as a few of her own. Rosie describes Della as 'a bit of a chameleon and describes her music as rocky pop with a bite'.

You can catch all this talent at the Retro Rooms Show which takes place on Sunday 6th March at the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast from 11am - 4.30pm.

Friday, 25 February 2011


If you came along to our first Vintage Sunday at the Empire event last March you will remember Retrorumage who had travelled from Dublin with some fabulous retro furniture and homewares. We are really pleased that one year later they are returning, this time to take part in the Retro Rooms Show on 6th March at the Holiday Inn.

Paul Byrne, the man behind Retrorumage has a passion for 1950s, 60s and 70s furniture and collectables and we just love drooling over the latest finds on his stylish blog.

You can visit the Retrorumage blog here and also follow them on Twitter.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


I found and fell in love with Lulabelle's House when browsing the internet one evening and just had to get in touch with owner Natasha to ask if she would take part in the Retro Rooms Show. I was delighted that she said yes, and I'm sure that visitors to our vintage home and interiors fair will be delighted too. This is an example of what you can expect to find Natasha selling on 6th March.

With over ten years buying and selling experience in the antiques trade, Lulabelle's House are able to source furniture and accessories from around the globe, and with their passion for interior design offer a range of colours, finishes, handles and appliques to add vintage chic to their restyled furniture, creating unique pieces to complement the personality and home of their customers.

Lulabelle's House also hold workshops from Re:store on Main Street, Larne most Saturdays. At these fun one-day workshops which cost £55 you can learn a range of painting and decorating techniques to transform a piece of furniture from Shabby to Chic which you can then take home and treasure. The cost includes lunch, a piece of furniture and all the materials you need to transform your chosen piece! We love the idea of this bargain day out - not only can you have fun and learn some new skills but you get your very own future heirloom to add to your beautiful home! Here are some examples of before and after pieces to inspire you.

You can visit Lulabelle's House at and now at The Retro Rooms Show on 6th March. Hope to see you there!

Monday, 21 February 2011


Now we are on the countdown to the first Retro Rooms Show on 6th March it is time for me to start blogging about our exhibitors in the lead up to the event. As Retro Rooms is the first vintage fair exclusively for vintage furniture and homewares we have quite a few new exhibitors who will be coming along on the day.

One of our first-timers is the collective ReFound - a group of creative individuals, a collection of reclaimed furniture and an inspired 'agent of change', Jill O’Neill. Using unwanted and past-its-prime furniture as the canvas, the ReFound artists transform reclaimed pieces into unique and functional artworks.

The list of ReFound artists is extensive and the ReFounds that they have produced even more so, but I have picked out a couple of my favourite pieces for the blog and sheerly by coincidence the artists are friends of mine.

ReFound piece #034 is by Jude Fenton. Initially she picked the boxes because of their homemade charm and practicality. Says Jude 'I like the mix of functional and non-functional, everyone can do with extra storage so I wanted to create a piece that would be able to house a few loved treasures but also that would be able to stand as a piece of art in its own right. The sketches, text and collages were mostly inspired by textile designs from the 1950’s in particular the work of one of my favourite designers Lucienne Day. I have tried to create a scrapbook effect as if each section has a story to tell. I left the three pieces separate so that they can be arranged in a variety of poses'.

ReFound #044 the 'Masquerade Chair' is by Rachel Hutchinson. Rachel’s work is influenced by the combination of old and new and representing the perpetual motion of generations. Using layered textures with vintage fabrics, papers, paints and hand-embroidered stitching in contemporary compositions to suggest an undercurrent of contained history, narrative and identity. Fascinated by the association between people and objects, concealment and absorption; things left behind, narrative contained, resonance and transference of ownership, the'Masquerade Chair' is a small journey into how fabrics can contain narrative and evoke memory.

Incidentally one of Rachel's ReFound chairs can be seen in the window of Best Vintage on Ann Street Belfast at the moment.

You can visit the ReFound website at or find them at The Retro Rooms Show on Sunday 6th March.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Our lovely friend Melita at Bespoke Belfast has tailored some fabulous short breaks in Belfast with a vintage theme; perfect for a getaway with the girls, birthday treats or hen parties.

Melita will plan your super-stylish and individual trip around Belfast's booming vintage scene, including the best specialist boutiques, urban designed funky eateries, alternative activities, buzzing nightlife and beautiful boutique hotel.

And if staying in a luxury hotel and travelling in chauffeur-driven limousines alone weren't enough of a treat you will also receive a personalised itinerary which will take you around some of Belfast's hidden vintage treasure troves, the option of a private showing of your favourite classic film in a 1950s cinema, vintage hair and beauty styling with our very own Frock Around The Clock beauty team Kelly and Claire, burlesque tuition with the fabulous Pixie of the Whistle Bait Babies, and a night on the town in Belfast's bijou cafe bars and retro-themed clubs.

Of course the Pièce de résistance is a Sunday outing to one of our famous Vintage Fairs. Time your trip to coincide with Frock Around The Clock, The Retro Rooms Show, Totally Bazaar or the Decadence Vintage Bridal Fair and you are promised a journey to vintage heaven. For a taster of what to expect here are some images from our last vintage fair on 6th February.

To take a journey beyond expectation you can visit Bespoke Belfast at their website for more details on their vintage weekends and all other short breaks.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Our February Frock Around The Clock vintage fair was jumpin' and jivin' with folks eager to get their hands on vintage bargains and soak up the glamorous atmosphere that goes along with our events.

It has taken me four days to recover and get all the photos uploaded to my computer and over the next couple of days I will be putting some of my favourites up on the blog, but today I had to show off some of my own personal finds from the fair.

I bought this gorgeous blue and gold china Colclough teaset from Norma Jean Vintage to add to my beloved china collection. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it, and because I don't have anything else in this colour I was over the moon to also find this beautiful turquoise blue polka dotted Grafton teaset from Sandra Crawford Antiques. I think you will agree that they go perfectly together.

In fact I thought that they were so beautiful that I had to go out and buy a 'new' china cabinet for them the very next day! I already have six vintage china cabinets but when I saw this one in the Action Cancer Shop in Bangor I just knew I couldn't live without it!

It was black with decades of dust but for only £5 it was a complete bargain and after a couple of hours of TLC and elbow grease it is gleaming and taking pride of place in my hall.

Friday, 4 February 2011


Our regulars will be familiar with our Frock Around The Clock beauty team Kelly and Claire who offer vintage hair and make-up services at our fairs, but this Sunday for the first time we will be offering a full range of beauty and styling services to make that alluring vintage look attainable. Forget the London look, get the Belfast look! Here's what we have in store for you.

Vintage hairstyling by Kelly McLean of Ashby Hair Lounge - quiffs for the guys and elegant updos, glamorous curls and beehives for the gals.

Make-up application by top Northern Ireland make-up artist Claire McEvoy.

Super sexy starlet nails by Debbie Hughes of Dazzle Me With Your Tips.

Vintage styling by Lynsey Hakin of Image Confident who will be showing us how to incorporate vintage into a modern wardrobe and put together vintage outfits without looking like we have stepped off the set of a costume drama.

Yours truly (also known as) The Wardrobe Mistress will be on hand to give advice on vintage clothing repairs, alterations and restyling so if you have found a fabulous frock but it is a little too tight or a little too big or has damage bring it along to me to see if the problem can be resolved.

Vintage boudoir photography by Trazanne Norwood of X-perience Boudoir Photography. Trazanne will be selling vouchers for her boudoir x-perience packages at a discounted rate to Frock Around The Clock visitors.