Winner of ‘Best Vintage Fair’ at the National Awards for three years running, when you attend Lou Lou’s Vintage Fairs you’re know to expect good quality clothing, friendly traders and a lively atmosphere. Not to mention the irresistible cakes on offer by the Secret Cake Club, which are enough to tempt any vintage vixen and leave them bursting out of their wiggle dress!

On Sunday, my best friend and I headed down to the Albert Hall, Nottingham (it’s at the side of the Nottingham Playhouse, just up from the Market Square) to see the vintage goodies on offer and obviously spend every last penny we had. Unfortunately, this worked far too well and I ended up borrowing money to buy two jumpers I couldn’t leave without. Oops!

With entry fee set at £2, and under 12s going free, this is every vintage lover’s dream, featuring a pop-up vintage beauty parlour, the aforementioned tasty cakes, and, of course, stalls and stalls of vintage homeware, gifts, jewellery, bags, hats and clothes.

Downstairs tended to hold the more expensive stalls, featuring high quality designer and older clothing in pristine condition. One stall in particular caught my eye, as it was selling the most amazing array of 1940s and 50s vintage dresses, ranging from around £40 to upwards of £100. Eye-wateringly expensive for some pieces, but if you’re looking for a special dress for a special occasion – graduation, perhaps – this stall was a go-to!

“Ladies and gents, vintage most certainly pays off!”

Further along were stalls selling jewellery, where I couldn’t help but buy a cute little hand-painted brooch for a fiver (pictured). This was probably my favourite buy of the day, and one of my best bargains. Another gorgeous stall was selling 1930s vintage scarves, hats and designer clothing. I managed to come away, after a bit of bargaining with the glamorous stallholder, with an Oscar de la Renta vintage velvet top for just over £20. Ladies and gents, vintage most certainly pays off!

Upstairs were the more edgy and affordable stalls, where vintage Levis were selling for £10 and Ralph Lauren shirts were £25. My favourite stall featured a huge sale where everything was £5 – hence my intensive jumper buying!

After totting up the cash we’d spent and the items bought, we’d paid out over £100 between us, from rings to brooches, Ralph Lauren to 1960s bags, and we both came away feeling like we’d picked up some real vintage finds. The only fault I can find with Lou Lou’s is that you’re bound to find so many gems that you can’t resist buying them – I could easily have spent much, much more than I did!

A word to the wise, the cake is so in demand that the tables fill up super quick, so don’t eat during peak lunchtime hours or you’ll have nowhere to sit!

If you’re tempted by the sound of Lou Lou’s and you’re a vintage virgin, what are you waiting for? They’re next hitting Nottingham on Sunday 14th May at the same venue. See you there!

Amy Wilcockson

Image Credit: Amy Wilcockson 

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