Continuing our occasional series on shops and shopping, Brit takes us to a rather unusual ‘garden centre’…
The best shop in the Bristol area, and by extension the world, is Chief Trading Post, in Oldland Common. It is, I suppose, a Garden Centre; but Chief Trading Post is a ‘Garden Centre’ in the sense that Salvador Dali is a ‘landscape painter’.
It consists of a series of vast greenhouses, some of which contain heaped junk, rejects and broken things; and some of which (and the boundaries are fuzzy) contain many hundreds of items for sale, grouped into categories all of which seem to be ‘Misc’.
There is also a very good café. The food and drink is relatively normal but the seating is not. For example, inside the main building we have The Satanic Table:
And then just outside in the greenhouse is a bewildering range of themed seating, such as the giant clay pot containing circular benches and a table, and guarded by this sort of African warrior…
…or this one, below, which we call the ‘Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Table’, for the very good reason that next to it is a model of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a big wobbly head. Above the table is a big blue glass ball, a birdy thing and a heater with the sign: “Touch Button Every Twenty Minutes For Continuous Heat.”
You can buy many things at Chief Trading Post. Here are a just a few:
A cabinet, some dusty glass bottles and bowls, cartwheels, a large Hindu frieze, some windchimes.
A variety of rocking horses.
A full-size tart in bronze, reclining (price £12,312.86 exactly).
A frightening statue.
You can see many more items for sale at Chief Trading Post – including a 5-foot winking Jeff Koons-style Manga boy, an obscene CD rack and a handful of dust and pebbles – on my old Think of England blog.