Just opened off the High Street in Brake Shear House is Nightingales Emporium, the brainchild of East Barnet-based Natasha Spyrou, using this distinctive space for a “collaboration of unique artists”.
Brake Shear House was recently earmarked for demolition and redevelopment, but this has been brought to a temporary halt as the soil was discovered to be contaminated after decades of industrial use. Brake Shear House dates from Victorian times and businesses based there have included photo-engravers, gas works, recording studios and car repairers. According to the Barnet Society, Elton John, The Buzzcocks and The Spice Girls have recorded here.
Nightingales Emporium opened last weekend having taken a two-year lease. As well as selling a brilliantly quirky range of individually crafted items, vintage furniture and clothes, it offers the chance to nose around this fascinating building. The emporium meanders through a series of rooms on different levels – mind your head and take care on the stairs – and includes a therapy room and pottery studio. Spyrou’s partner is a tree surgeon and a number of the pieces are made from local wood (including magic wands). There are lots of eye-catching pieces at competitive prices and it’s great to see this building being used so creatively, rather than boarded up while its future hangs in the balance.
Nightingales Emporium is open until 4pm on Christmas Eve before closing for the festive period, so ideal for some last-minute gift shopping. Keep an eye on their Facebook pages it sounds like they have exciting plans for next year.