From original buildings described as “gaudy” and life sized daleks, to original screen-printed clothing and cakes in jam jars, Penzance is a haven for shoppers who are drawn to the unconventional.
One of the furthest west towns of Cornwall, Penzance has attracted holidaymakers since the early 1800s. With a mild climate, healthy sea air and the “beauty of its natives” according to an early Cornwall travel guide book – amazingly published in 1824 – Penzance has everything the heart could surely desire.
Nowadays Penzance embraces its rich Cornish heritage along with a passion for the arts. As a result, there are a number of art galleries and cultural events that go hand-in-hand with an unrivalled, liberating feeling of being (almost) at the end of England. Due to all of this, locals have adopted a unique sense of style, which comes across in a number of quirky shops to be found in the town. Here are a few of our favourites…
This vintage shop is full of pre-loved furniture, vintage memorabilia and random bric-a-brac. Its ever-changing window display is a piece of art in itself, framed by ornate floor-to-ceiling windows. The items for sale spill out onto the street – so it’s not unusual to come across a deckchair propping up a vintage scooter on the pavement, before looking into the window display itself and coming face-to-face with the store’s famous life sized dalek.
10 Chapel Street | Facebook @Steckfensters
2. No. 56
A painstakingly designed store just a few doors along from Artist Residence Penzance, No. 56 has an amazing selection of homeware curated by the talented owner Carole Elsworth. Goods range from ceramic planters hung with natural leather cord, to sheep’s milk shaving soap. Everything reflects a design aesthetic embodying simple, natural materials. It’s a place that’s impossible to leave empty handed.
14 Chapel Street | www.no-56.com
3. Pure Nuff Stuff
This shop is found inside one of the most unusual buildings in Penzance: Egyptian House. The Grade I listed building is constructed in the Egyptian Revival architecture style and dates back to the 1830s. According to the first travel guide to Penzance, written in 1845, the building is “astonishing gaudy and eccentric.” Pure Nuff Stuff is the shop located inside and is well worth a look, for its natural toiletries that are hand made in Penzance. All are free from palm oil, parabens and are suitable for vegetarians.
6 Chapel Street | www.purenuffstuff.co.uk
A tiny shop of paper products and other arty goods, Endpaper has something new every time you visit. There are handmade cards, art for your wall and decorative paper for your own craft projects. Also unearth the likes of handmade pen pots, locally crafted planters and cool magazines. In the same building is Newlyn Books, a second-hand book store with some incredible classics.
Captain Cutters House, 52 Chapel Street | Facebook @endpaper and Facebook @newlynbookspenzance
5. Fishboy PZ
Run by artist Matt McIvor this unusual fashion store creates and screen-prints designs onto clothing on-site. The studio’s creative process is inspired by Cornish landscapes and local industries, from mining to farming. As well as selling its own designs, Fishboy also stocks innovative fashion products from local and international designers it has a synergy with. This shop is a fashionista’s fantasy just waiting to be explored – and you can also check out Matt’s work in the Gallery Loft at Artist Residence Cornwall!
64 Chapel Street | www.fishboypz.co.uk