In The Dining Room
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The Magical World of The Imaginarium, York

Curiouser and curiouser! During my last visit to York I walked into a shop which had me captivated from the moment I walked in. The Imaginarium has a beautiful window display, complete with a golden ‘merry go round’ horse, I can’t imagine how anyone could walk past and not venture inside!



The gentleman in the shop, Lewis, was incredibly helpful and was keen to tell us the stories behind many of the items on sale in this Victorian style curiosity shop.


I was shopping with my Mum, who was particularly taken with the fox artwork; some tongue in cheek pieces featuring the animals in human (and very un fox-like!) poses. And as you can imagine, the reason I loved the shop was due to all of the fabulous items for teas and dinner parties, including a wide range of animal milk jugs and salt and pepper sets.


Mum bought a fantastic goat milk jug for Tim and I, as we realised we didn’t have one recently while hosting lunch and I awkwardly had to serve custard from the pan, eek! (sorry Pops and Pete!) I just love the goat as it reminds me of Cyprus! The question is whether I’ll bring myself to use him or whether he’ll become a decorative feature of the kitchen/dining room!

Lewis explained that the shop was set up by two guys, Marcus and Warren, who also own the place next door, The Yorkshire Soap Company. This is another place to behold, and perhaps even more stunning than The Imaginarium. It houses hundreds of beautiful soaps, many disguised as cupcakes, smelling absolutely divine even from the street outside. Marcus and Warren combined their experience in cooking and retail to create the shop, and the rest is history.  I won’t go into depth on it, as this is a food not a beauty blog after all, but I just had to mention it.


These two shops are incredibly clever and you can tell that the owners have a background in retail design. Especially in The Curiosity Shop, it felt like stepping into a novel, some kind of odd mix of something Dickensian and Roald Dahl! The music was enchanting (I believe it was a playlist of scores from fantasy films), it was almost like being in a dream. Fine, it might sound more like a nightmare to some people depending on personal tastes. But I love anything a bit quirky yet traditional, especially involving animals, so it was right up my street!

Sadly they don’t sell online, but if you’re ever in York, you must pop in and have a look! They’re on Blake Street in the centre of the city, and you can find out more on their Facebook page here. I think what Marcus and Warren are doing with these shops is fantastic and I can’t wait to return the next time I’m home to add to my collection!

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