In the heart of Shoreditch is a quirky, quintessentially English take on the Continental lifestyle aesthetic of places such as 10 Corso Como in Milan and Merci in Paris. Located in a 1930s building, this café-shop-gallery is crammed with a tantalising mix of vintage curios, bespoke designs and reworked salvage.
“Totally integrating the café and shop creates a buzzy atmosphere,” says Shaun Clarkson, who co-owns Pitfield with his partner, Paul Brewster. Popping in for a coffee before browsing is certainly a relaxing way to shop. A design-savvy clientele has repeatedly returned to enjoy the experience since Pitfield opened last December.
“Decorating with vintage pieces is our forte,” says Clarkson, whose interior-design business is upstairs. “But we didn’t just want to sell antiques. Our philosophy is to contemporise the designs.”
As a result, brass candlestick chandeliers (from £285) hang from the ceiling, while over-sized metal keys (from £45) are used as wall decorations. An old rocking horse (£195) is stabled alongside a pair of 1950s rattan chairs (£90 each), and an Arco lamp (£490) hovers over a pink glass bowl (£26).
Smaller wares in this curiosity shop are displayed in old-fashioned cabinets; traditional enamelware fills a distressed dresser, while a bench (£260) is piled high with fringed silk cushions (£28.50 each). Cut-glass decanters (£18) and Perigord flutes (£4.95) are displayed on rustic trestle shelving along with a Willow-pattern place-setting (£22).
Not everything is vintage, but the contemporary pieces are chosen for their similar aesthetic. These include Piet Hein Eek’s Scrapwood wallpaper (£195 per roll) and Black & Blum’s stacking lunch boxes (£15.95). There are Iittala ceramics designed by Klaus Haapaniemi (side plate, £18; dinner plate, £28), which are also used in the café, and representing the lifestyle category is Jade Jagger jewellery (gold bangles, £750; cocktail rings, £375).
The bespoke furniture options include Chesterfield sofas (£1,200) and wingback chairs (from £850). One-off pieces – such as funky chairs with Victorian frames sandwiched in coloured Perspex (£1,800) – have sold instantly. Other bestsellers include cushions made from Christian Dior scarves (from £140) and vintage table lamps with new shades (from £320). The mix is pieced together from Clarkson’s scouring of salerooms and antiques fairs, plus sourcing from emerging designers.
The gallery area features a rolling programme. Among the talents in forthcoming shows are street artist Jo Peel, photographer Alexander James and a Christmas collaboration with London creative collective Designersblock.