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City Shop-hop: Sophie’s Antique and Plant Shop Paradise, Bilbao

City Shop-hop

City Shop-hop: Sophie’s Antique and Plant Shop Paradise, Bilbao

Our City Shop-hop feature travels to a new place each time, to reveal a one-off shop a little off the high street. This time Sophie, 33 and working in Marketing, takes us to the the backstreets of the San Francisco neighbourhood in Bilbao, northern Spain. 

  1. What does this shop sell?

The Market sells a selection of carefully hand-picked antiques from old maps to hand painted opium pots. It’s interwoven with a jungle load of plants; towering cacti, bright, fresh blooms and hanging orchids. You’ll also find racks of multi-coloured silk Kimonos.

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  1. Why have you picked this shop as your favourite in Bilbao?

It’s situated in the heart of San Francisco, a neighbourhood which has traditionally seen higher crime rates and unemployment than the rest of the city and I had been advised to avoid it! But when I first moved here, I wanted to explore and found a lively, mixed community with 3 or 4 quirky and creative shops dotted through it. It reminded me a little bit of Hackney, where I lived for 10 years before moving to this part of the world.

  1. What would you buy from here today?

I came to this shop when I first moved to the Basque Country and I was looking for work. I found a beautiful set of hand-painted ceramic plates, bowls and a gravy boat all in the shape of a fish. It was only 60 euros for the full set but I couldn’t justify it at the time. I hope now it’s still there and I can buy it!!

  1. What display feature do you like?

Because this shop has a little bit of everything, they can be really creative with the displays. It feels like you have walked into someone’s bohemian apartment with a table dripping in succulents and mis-matched colourful crockery, shelves stacked with pictures and pots, all sitting under hanging ferns and soft, antique lamp light.

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  1. What one thing would you change?

On a Saturday, by the time I have got up, had a leisurely breakfasted and done a few chores, I am ready to hit the shops early afternoon. This shop closes from 2pm – 6pm, which is normal here, but coming from England, it seemed strange to me at first. I’ve often arrived disappointed to find it closed and wish on the weekends it would stay open for the best part of the day.

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