Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Snoopin’ At Snooper’s Paradise: Brighton Thriftathon Part 1

Were you a bright young thing the 90s? Does any word beginning with ‘sn’ end in ‘Snoop Daw-gy Daaawwwg…’ in your head? No? Oh well, just me again.

Today’s posts cover second hand and vintage in Brighton, both at the famed Snooper’s Paradise and in some newer, less well known venues. I even have hot news about a secret squirrel of a new boutique that’s not widely known online… shhhhh…

For those of you who don’t know what Snooper’s is, it’s a giant indoor flea market in Brighton’s North Laines (7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1, to be exact). All the stands are unmanned, and you pay at a central till, so the name of the game is to ‘snoop’ (or rummage, or dig, or sniff, or indeed have a neb) to your heart’s content. Although slightly (very slightly) more expensive than out-of-town charity shops and flea markets, to be fair, prices are pretty decent for the South East of England. You are forbidden to photograph inside, but imagine the mothership of all village junk shops, running an annual jumble sale- then mess it up a bit.

The range is vast; everything from furniture to retro computer games consoles (thank you so much Mr Till Assistant, for mentioning that to His Lordship. That’s 20 minutes of my life I won't get back), from vintage clothing to 80s Kinder toys to cookware to ornaments to back copies of The Chap. There is something for everyone (even brand new alternative clothing), and part of the joy of exploring is discovering items you never knew you needed! Whilst visiting this time, I found a fantastic book on post-war rationing- not vintage but a bargain and incredibly valuable for dating the actual 40s-50s pamphlets I bought later in the weekend.

One of the former disadvantages of Snooper’s for vintage clothing was its unsupervised, higgledy-piggledy nature. Going to find an assistant and waiting for a key to a (usually dusty) changing booth was a major hassle. Additionally, clothes were sometimes jumbled up with some in an unwearable condition, in no date, size, colour or size order- an 80s babygrow could be next to a delicate Victorian blouse! Thankfully, whilst there is still scope for jumble rummaging, a new discovery on this trip answered my prayers in terms of organised, clean clothing I don’t have to strip in the corridor to try on…

…SNOOPER’S ATTIC! Shhh… it’s secret squirrel. At this point, it has no website and is not widely known (or at least, no-one seems to have heard of it bar one  Brighton Fashion Week review – which has some authorised pictures, too!) so you might well get a bargain if you nip in quick! It’s a delightful, airy attic above the main shop, stocked with pressed and neatly hung men-and-women’s vintage (and a small selection of new handcrafted items). The décor is whitewashed ‘shabby chic’ and there are three changing booths, helpful and informative assistants who clearly know their clothing. An additional advantage is the alteration service, which starts at £10.

I was most excited and skipped right up those steps. As is the way of things, I left with a £1 silk scarf and His Lordship with a £35 wool jacket. I will most certainly visit again!

More soon on my other thrifty experiences, including further North Laine flea-market action and Pease Pottage bootsale...


  1. I am long overdue another trip there. I generally spend time in the Brighton flea market - same deal, one till - and the Trading post as I have family in Kemptown. Thanks for the heads up on the attic shop...sounds great.

  2. Oh and thanks for the earworm - Snoop bloody dog!

  3. I dont know why you can't take pics inside. What is the deal with that? But I have to say that this is one of my fave places in Brighton - in fact it is the main reason I go there. There is another similar place - the name of which I don't actually know - and I don't know where it is either (big fat help I am, eh!) but I DO know that it is not far from SP and it leads from street level, through a door and down into a basement. But then there are stairs that up too. I have made that sound like some sort of weird dream. I only ever come across it by accident.

  4. Oh I might have to pay it a visit. Need a Brighton day out fix.

    Your sister is right - Pippa shone!

  5. So where's this scarf and jacket? I demand you share and stop keeping us in suspense. xxx

  6. I need to go there, yeah we want to see a pic of scarf and you darling.

  7. I have weekend photos to post tomorrow, folks! :) I will even get a snap of His Lordship at some point.

  8. I've never been to Snoopers, but have heard loads about it. Next trip to Brighton I am IN there! x

  9. If you fancy a Snoop around Snoopers from the comfort of your own PC, then check out these youtube videos:


Let me know what you think!