I do a bit of hopping about when I can - and another of my favourite hopping grounds is around the Welsh Marches. Whenever I had to drive North from London when young, it was always via Ludlow. I am crazy about the geological anomaly that is the Craven Arms area near Church Stretton and love the mini Alpine feel of wandering in Carding Mill Valley. The Wye Valley is also close to my heart, having walked its length, enjoying castellated Chepstow, great-gated Monmouth, perched Ross on Wye, book-filled Hay on Wye and romantic Tintern Abbey en route. And it was to Chepstow I had a quick hop to renew old acquaintances. And do a little shopping it its character filled street leading down to the castle.
A new shop had sprung up selling the delightful Irish Avoca range of clothing but prominent in the window, the biggest lure to dash inside, was this fabulous bag range which was right up my street, down my valley, as it were.
Using vintage sacks, Tamara Fogle (sister of Ben who you may know from the telly) fashions rather special bags, exquisitely finished with superb leather.
And while I was looking, this new summer range was pointed out to me. I was told Tamara was using recycled saris - I took one look and said Kanthas! Oh, now, which to choose??? I needed a pot of tea and a sit down to get my brain back on its rational wave again. To see more of Tamara's bags, just click here.