It’s always fun to tell you about really cool places that might be slightly off your beaten track and Secret Messages Emporium in Buckingham is right at the top of the list.
These guys won Best Interior Store in the Muddy Awards this year and you can see why.
It’s a three-floor emporium with a modern, quirky, retro and upcycled feel to it – very Muddy! And beautifully designed inside – each floor has its own personality and it’s all just superlovely to browse around.
The Secret Messages Emporium has only been open for a year and has been going like the clappers, run by Krys (who’s also an upholsterer and runs that side of the business from the shop too) and partner Rob. It started as more of an antiquey-style shop but has now definitely into a mix of new buys, upcycling and collectable retro.
It’s off the main drag of shops, next to the lovely At Home (another former Muddy Awards winner), and around the corner from another decent interiors shop The Courtyard at No6, and together with other businesses in that end of town they’ve renamed their bit of Buckingham ‘The Hidden Quarter’ as well as brought out a natty map guide to their area (below). So you get the sense that these guys have a lot of energy and drive for what they do.
Always a good sign when I go into a shop to review and end up buying stuff, and I snapped up a very cool teak nibbles holder and a clock. Not bad for a casual mooch, and I am definitely absolutely snapping up the funfair alphabet letters
On a broader note, it’s worth giving Buckingham a pat on the back. It’s one of those towns that is slightly isolated – Milton Keynes to the north sucks a lot of business that way or Oxford to the east – and the businesses that thrive in Buckingham work really hard, and for that reason are generally cool independents. Buckingham also has its fair share of charity shops and uninspiring chains but I’d say that there feels like there’s a real entrepreneunial spirit knocking around this rural town.
So if you’re passing Buckingham – Stowe Landscape Gardens and Claydon House are both close and massively worth a visit – take a little detour to visit Secret Messages Emporium then add on At Home, Gyre & Gimble cafe, Moss flower shop and Nelson St restaurant (review to come in a few weeks but an early heads up – it was fab) , plus Vibin’s, a brand new cafe and grill that’s just opened (am reviewing next month if you want to wait until the verdict.)
As ever, if you visit Secret Messsages Emporium or any of the other shops, let me know what you think. Knowledge is power, peeps, knowledge is power.
Secret Messages Emporium, 8 Bridge St, Buckingham MK18 1EL. Tel: 01280 814409. scrtmsgs.com