So we’re just back from Leicester, where Ted was doing some research. I tagged along to see the Richard III stuff there, and was glad I did. It’s really well done – they’ve brought across the turbulence of the times, the bloodiness of the battles and the excitement of the discovery of his burial site.

statue of Richard III

Richard III

I was touched by the dignity and thoughtfulness that went into the presentation and curation of his burial site and his tomb, which is nearby in the cathedral. In particular, the volunteers are very friendly and knowledgeable – they made it a very special visit.

Stained glass of Richard, his wife Ann and his son, Edward

Stained glass of Richard, his wife Ann and his son, Edward

The cathedral is beautiful, and his resting place is made from Swaledale fossilized stone – to symbolize his link with Yorkshire – set on a plinth made from black marble, from Kilkenny, which is twinned with Leicester.

Leicester Cathedral: His final resting place

Leicester Cathedral: His final resting place

On the tomb, you can see a crocheted white rose, which was brought by a visitor from Yorkshire. She said that she’d wanted him to be reburied in York, but after seeing him in Leicester, couldn’t imagine him anywhere else, as they’ve done such a lovely job with the visitor centre and the cathedral. (I agree.)

Richard III's tomb

Richard III’s tomb

Thanks to Ruth and Julia, a couple of local crafty people, I also made time to explore some of Leicester’s crafty stalls and shops. (Links to their tips are below.) The market is great – there was one stall with a good range of nice polycotton plains and cotton prints from £2/metre.

Stuart’s Fabrics, a small shop in the market, has a good selection of quality stuff from around a fiver a metre:

Stuart's Fabrics

Stuart’s Fabrics

On Tuesdays, there are a couple of haberdashery stalls too – one focused more on wool, the other on trimmings. They had some fun stuff.

Trays of brightly coloured buttons on sale at Leicester Market

Buttons galore

More trimmings at nearby Button Boutique:

Button Boutique shop front

Ribbons, trims, small lengths of cottons – and of course, buttons

And some excellent fabric deals at , including some rather *ahem* familiar looking prints, “inspired” by Liberty, at Material Magic …


A little bit Wiltshire, a little bit Susanna?

Leicester’s charity shops are also worth a trawl – one was having a 25p book sale (!!!) so obviously my suitcase was rather heavier on the way back.

(As was I – for Leicester is also famed for excellent curry, and as we discovered, rightly so.)


plate of curry

Business lunch at Kayal. Because I’m on business. History business!

Leicester tips:
We stayed at the Premier Inn Leicester City Centre, which was modern, clean, spacious and run by very friendly folk. (In fact, all the people we met in Leicester were lovely.) It’s very central and right by the station.

Food and drink:
Kayal – their business lunch is a real steal
The Exchange – coffee, culture and happy-hour cocktails
Chutney Ivy – city-centre curry
The Ale Wagon – real-ale pub, very CAMRA, Hoskins local beer
Jamal’s – a little further out
West End Brewery – next door to Jamal’s, good microbrewed beer
And it’s worth popping to the covered food market in Market Place before you head home – the cheese shop has some lovely aged Red Leicester.

Crafty tips:
Ruth Singer’s list of Leicester sewing shops
Julia Claridge of Bobbins n Buttons on where to buy fabric in Leicester
Material Magic is right by the market
The charity shops on Granby Street are also definitely worth a trawl