SJ revisits The Vintage Event

We made our first visit to The Vintage Event since November and it made for a fun afternoon browsing. Making an appearance every second Sunday of the month at the Balham Bowls Club, February’s slot saw a wedding themed fair that went down very well. This month’s didn’t seem to have a particular theme but was chock-full of the usual clothing, accessories, furniture and miscellaneous items, plenty of which had good deals – £10 each, ‘2 for £15’ on items of clothing. Personally we’re more partial to home products and handbags – we’re not built for most vintage items – we could spend hours browsing items that are much easier to store/wear.

Particular favourite stalls include one held by a lovely lady named Barbara. She has spent the last few years cultivating a collection of brooches (above) and household items (she didn’t name her sources, fair play) to sell on. Among her collection we spotted a lot of glamourous gaming fare – Patience cards set, two packs of cards presented in an ornate box, poker dice, olive forks, fancy teaspoons and sweetie tins. Our little buy from this stall? This floral tea caddy, £6. No, we don’t need it, but that’s hardly the point.

The other notable stall this time is Joanie’s Junk, particularly the bags. Lots of detailing and handles featured; nothing you’ll really find on the high street.

The prices err on the higher end but don’t let that put you off – these bags will be earning you compliments for ages.

For more vintage delights, see our first review of The Vintage Event and our peek into Annie In The Attic.

Resolutions you’ll want to keep

Hands up who’s wanted to sneak under their desk for a nap at work this week? We’ve been so used to the Christmas break and its acceptance of afternoon drinking/grazing that going back to work is difficult enough, let alone having to stick to restrictive new year’s resolutions that are mostly misery-inducing (6am runs, no carbs for a month? No thanks).

We love healthy eating and we love keeping fit but all in moderation, please, which is why we’ve been on the hunt for fun resolutions to keep that don’t require starving yourself. We’re talking low-maintenance, high satisfaction.


Chalk The Sun is a team of two teachers who run a series of writing workshops in the evenings and at weekends at the Balham Bowls Club (that place again. Seriously, they have everything there). Whether you’re a beginner or looking to further your skills, whether it’s a novel or script-writing, there’s a class tailored to it. Buy a batch of five classes and attend a class at anytime – you’re not restricted to certain times. If you don’t want to commit, you can buy a ‘taster’ class for £20. The chilled out surroundings of the BBC make these classes feel more laid back than the chilly atmosphere of a conventional classroom.


If the domestic life is more your thing, the recently-opened Dee’s Bakery features Dee’s Academy, which will offer baking classes and workshops from cupcake decorating to more elaborate cakes that’ll look too good to eat (well, almost), like the one below. Starting on 14th January you can sign up for the ‘covering a cake and modelling’ class to learn tricks like getting your icing smooth, and making models to sit on top (£120, 5 hours). For a kid friendly option, Dee is starting to hold children’s parties (2 hours 30 mins, £25 per child – private studio hire) where kids can learn how to make pizza bases and make decorations for cupcakes. We wish we were kids again!


Sometimes sprucing up your home is as good as moving, which is where the London Property Makeover comes in. They run afternoon sessions most Saturdays in different locations including the BBC and Lavish Habit, which focus on giving your home a new lease of life. You’ll be given tips on colour matching, fabric mixing, lighting and other ideas to help you on your way. A ticket costs £60 and classes run from 1:30pm-4pm.

SwishJunction visits The Vintage Event

The Vintage Event came back to town yesterday and didn’t disappoint. Dotted around the pub and taking over the upstairs room were stalls boasting items spanning several decades from the 40s right up to the 80s (how old will we all feel when the 90s eventually becomes ‘vintage’?). It’s not just clothing either; browsers could find soft furnishings and other homeware too. Everything was authentic; we got very excited when we spotted some Mary Quant hoisery. A cute extra was the Mother’s Ruin Gin & Tea room on offer; the cakes were not modest in size and the tea (naturally) served in vintage cup and saucers. As well as all this, one redeeming feature that stood out for us was the price. We find many vintage items have rather hefty (and off-putting) price tags but there was a fantastic range of prices that didn’t alienate the budget conscious. What did we get? A beautiful mini cake stand at £4.50 (from Tea-licious) and two small glass decanters for £5.

Result. There aren’t many places where you can shop and drink at the same time, after all.

(Ps really wish we’d purchased that GORGEOUS clutch on the top left of the main pic…sigh)

The Vintage Event is back at the Balham Bowls Club on 11th December, 12pm-6pm, free entry.

Reviewed: Musical Bingo comes to Balham

It’s bingo, but not as you know it.

This Friday 18th November sees Musical Bingo make its second appearance in Balham, taking residence in the upstairs room at the Balham Bowls Club, reopened about two months ago in all its splendour (very keen on the birdcage lighting). We went to the first one there last month and we came away with a t-shirt, free dinner voucher and a hangover….

Host Jess Indeedy (really hope that’s her name, how very cool) and her hubby DJ Helix are the brains behind this classic game with a twist. Don’t expect this to be a hush-hush game with eyes down; you’re actively encouraged to dance and sing along to the tunes being belted out, running up to the stage once you’ve achieve a line/full house. We had three rounds; 80s, ‘Punch Drunk’ and dance classics. Team SwishJunction did very well indeed, scoring a dinner for two at the BBC (more on that later), a bottle of wine and a money-can’t-buy (oh alright, you can on their website, but still!) Musical Bingo t-shirt, as modelled by the lovely Liz of Balham.

Jess Indeedy’s enthusiasm becomes more infectious as the night continues and certainly works the crowd. They’re back at the BBC this Friday. Don’t miss it.

Enq. Tickets: £5 online, £7 on the door.