Rouge Boutique: a little corner of France in the High Street Arcade

Last week I popped into the delightful Rouge Boutique after chatting with the lovely owner Frederique a few days before on email.The boutique is a little corner of loveliness in the High Street Arcade, near to other fashion treats like Looby Loo’s boutique and Hobo’s Vintage just round the corner.

Rouge hasn’t always been in the High Street Arcade though, having moved from the Morgan Arcade around a year ago. If you pop into a Vintage Affair, you’ll notice some very similar wallpaper (there’s pics coming up on the blog soon, don’t worry).

Frederique tells me there’s a slightly different clientele in the High Street Arcade, although there’s some loyal customers that have followed the shop. Here she finds the customers to be slightly younger, perhaps a bit more trendy, although there is probably a smaller amount of footfall.

As you might have guessed from the name Rouge, the owner’s name and the Parisien influences in the shop’s decoration, Frederique is French. Making the (slightly mad?) decision to leave Paris for Wales some 30 years ago, up until fairly recently she was a French teacher in a school in the Valleys. Realising that she didn’t want to do it until retirement, and always having a fondness for clothes and fashion, she decided to set up Rouge around 2 years ago.

Drawing on designer and vintage influence, the clothes are sources from clothes fayres and so on, and most of the designers are European. Prices are varied, with some of the accessories ranging from as little as £8, so there’s something in here for most price points.

Also working in the shop you’ll find Frederique’s daughter, Sophie who is also training to be a teacher. The duo also live together, but Sophie tells me they’ve managed to maintain a great relationship.

Another great relationship is between the shop and the arcades themselves. Both Sophie and Frederique tell me how much they love the arcades, and how they couldn’t imagine their shop being anywhere else. A common (and nice to hear) theme for many of the shop owners I visit.

There’s more photos from the delightful Rouge below, and if you want more, please look in this Flickr set. And don’t forget to visit the Rouge website to find out more information.

Cardiff Arcades Bargains: April 2011

The last time I posted a round-up of great little Arcade bargains I had a positive response, so, with that in mind I’ve decided to make it a (semi) regular feature.

I rounded these up in about an hour, so imagine how much more you could find if you devoted your Saturday afternoon spending trip to it?

I’ll be posting any bargains I find as often as I can muster the energy, and promise to do a full-round up at least once a month.

In the meantime, if you see any bargains that you want to share, please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment!

Prices in this post range from £1 to £1100. If you’re thinking £1100 and bargain don’t really go very well together, when you consider that the item in question should be worth around £5000, you might begin to think differently.

In this issue you’ll find accessories, jewellery, shoes and clothing and crockery – enjoy!

Vintage Bag, Looby Loos, High Street Arcade, £6

Hand-made earrings, Looby Loos, High Street Arcade, £5

Purses, Bejewelled, High Street Arcade, £10

Converse trainers, Buzz Shoes, High Street Arcade, £25

Army shirt, Hobos, High Street Arcade, £12

Green belt with star detail, Hobos, High Street Arcade, £5

Butterfly trinket box, Rossiters, Royal Arcade, £5

Owl ring (also available in other colours), Rossiters, Royal Arcade, £7.50

Various singles, Folk Farm, Castle Arcade, £1

Engagement ring, Jonathan David, Morgan Arcade, £1100 .... its supposed to be £5000!

Mix n match teacups and saucers, A Vintage Affair, Morgan Arcade, £2

Teapot, A Vintage Affair, Morgan Arcade, £8

Arcade Bargains: February 2011

I thought I’d do a very quick post to share a few of the bargains I picked up yesterday on my arcades birthday.

Now that I’ve done it though I’m wondering if this would be good as a regular feature? Obviously I won’t always have the cash to buy all of the bargains I find, but a post every couple of weeks or so with a round-up of some great finds might be a welcome addition for Cardiff shoppers out there – let me know what you think!

Doing this project has certainly made me stop and think twice about visiting a high street chain for something, as Ben from Hobo’s pointed out when I interviewed him – in his shop you can pick up a whole outfit for £35. Even though we’re in a recession, we’re never going to stop shopping, but if we can think of ways to still treat ourselves while saving a few quid (and helping out independents!) then all the better.

There are obviously some expensive things in the arcades, but these bargains that I picked up show you that you can get something for a few pounds that not only are you likely to pay more for elsewhere, but they are also more likely to be a bit special.

Enjoy the pictures and any feedback welcome!

Thick shiny black belt from Hobo's Vintage, High Street Arcade: £5

Retro sunglasses from Hobo's Vinage: High Street Arcade: £10

Flower ring from Bejewelled, High Street Arcade: £5

Bracelet from Bejewelled, High Street Arcade: £7.50

Teaset, including teapot, cup and saucer, sugar bowl and milk jug from A Vintage Affair, Morgan Arcade: £8

Silver evening bag from A Vintage Affair: £6

Butterfly ring from Rossiter's, Royal Arcade: £4.75