I still haven't had the time to get into Christchurch for a good nose around all the lovely independent shops that have been calling to me each time we pass (en route to somewhere glamourous like the DIY shop or the tip) but yesterday - amazingly - it was Simon who stopped the car outside one of them, after spotting some vintage blue and white French house numbers in the window.
Thomas and Lucia is on Bargates, Christchurch and is packed full of gorgeous vintage style home accessories, ticking fabric, Annie Sloan paint, shabby chic furniture, cute door knobs, lighting... and all the other stylish little bits that allow me to dream, just for a few minutes, that I too might have a house straight out of a Country Living shoot.
Even better, the price tags are extremely sensible - unlike so many 'saw you coming' type of home shops - so I'm still thinking that I might have to go back for the beautiful set of antique looking embroidered linen napkins, that seemed a snip at just £13.
The shop is owned by the lovely Matthew and his garden designer wife Sue, who (we discovered as we ordered our new number plate) live in the house at the end of our back garden. So not only have we now met our first neighbours, they are also hand delivering my new house number plate too - result!
Click here to take a peep at the Thomas and Lucia website.