Montpelier is one of my favourite areas of Bristol and at its heart is Picton Street, a narrow road full of colourful terraced houses, cafés, delis and the annual Picton Street Christmas Fair. It’s also home to Bohemia, a tiny tardis of a shop packed full with vintage and retro clothes, jewellery and homewares.
With its bright pink doors and a turquoise front, Bohemia is hard to miss. Run by Jan and Siobhan, the shop is a magpie’s dream, with rails of glitter, silk and sequinned clothes slotted between cabinets overflowing with beaded necklaces, gemstone costume jewellery and the occasional flamenco dancer doll. This is the second reincarnation of Bohemia, as Jan used to run a shop of the same name on the same street six years ago.
The back of the shop is home to local artists and designers who sell secondhand books, painted portraits and quirky jewellery. Renting out part of the shop this way means that each seller takes turns running the shop, leaving Siobhan and Jan free to source new china tea sets and items of clothing.
The thing I love most about Bohemia is how colourful and kitsch it is. The window dressing and styling is cheerful, busy and, perhaps most importantly, fun. There’s no stuffiness or standing on ceremony here – displays are well thought out but never dull. The overall aesthetic is pleasing to a magpie like me, and if I didn’t own so much vintage crockery already, I’d snap up one of their vintage tea or coffee sets in an instant.
In celebration of its first birthday on Picton Street, Bohemia will be hosting a party next Saturday, 5th April. From 11am the boutique will be offering free up cycled jewellery demonstrations, cupcakes, portraits by resident artist Grace Engel, plus a 10% discount on all purchases. See you there?
Bohemia, 52 Picton Street, Bristol BS6 5QA. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.
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