Down a winding country lane in a series of traditional black barns is a surprising place to find the ‘idea laboratory’ of a bastion of the fashion accessories market. Osprey has been an influencer and innovator since the 80s and this pretty enclave is the culmination of thirty years of design and Innovation.
The barns surround a delightful courtyard which in the summer would make a perfect place to while away the afternoon, in between shopping in the Osprey Home and Outlet Stores. An accumulation of previous season stock, new developments and one off pieces that may not be available in any of their other stores or retailers.
Opening onto the courtyard is a cafe, large rough wood tables, an eclectic mix of bench seats and designer chairs, glass beaded lighting and an old fashioned cowboy style wood burning stove, part vintage tea room and part mountain cabin in decor. An old dresser displays olive oils, chutneys, jams, Charbonel And Walker truffles and specialised coffees and teas. This is a spot for a light lunch or tea and cake.
Fat teapots and vintage cups accompany traditional bakes. Lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake and ginger coconut sponge. Lunch is an individual quiche or egg muffin with salad. Not a wide choice but good quality. The egg muffins were delicious enough for me to make my own for a light supper one evening. Facing the cafe across the courtyard is Osprey Home.
An emporium of hand picked fashion, beautiful leather accessories, jewellery, curios and home interiors.
Fine supple leathers and soft cashmeres alongside home fragrances. Bright cushions and tactile petrified wood are displayed on shelves with handmade porcelain and vintage style glass dishes.
Statement pieces of South east asian carving and modern sculpture punctuate the slightly masculine feel of vintage display cabinets. Gifts and household items, each carefully chosen, line shelves with beautiful detailed leather belts, this is a place to find gems at all prices. Vintage playing card art at £5 to a fabulous doorway and architrave at several thousands. This was a wonderful find and I will be visiting again.
Osprey St. Albans. Woodcock Hill. Coopers Green Lane. St Albans Herts. AL4 9HJ
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