|Cheryl making the candles|
If I tried to explain to you that Backridge is a complex of shops in the middle of nowhere in what, by all rights, should be a farm yard, I bet you would think I am exaggerating. When I said that some Valley treasures are hard to come across unless you know where they are I wasn't kidding. Melt is one of these treasures.
I remember when it opened. My yummy-mummy mother-in-law, the queen of "alternative" discoveries, could not stop talking about some amazing hand-made candles that I must go check for myself. So I did and in the middle of fields in between the villages of Waddington and Barshall Eaves I found this workshop and this little shop selling these gorgeous fragrant candles. It is not just the smell that wins you over, is the entire look of them. Because they are hand-made and beautifully finished with a single beaded line tied around them, they have this organic rustic look. In an era where more and more products are mass produced that level of uniqueness becomes a luxury.
This was a few years ago. Now Melt is a quirky gift shop full of hand-made or otherwise organic treats sourced from all over the world: French parfum, Italian handbags, organic beauty products, hand painted mugs and cups, interesting books, hand-made cards and jewelry and much more. Though time has passed and success has come, the candles remain the same. The only difference being that the range is now bigger and better and no longer only sold in this little shop but also in a series of boutique retailers around the country including department store Liberty. You know what I like the most about it, though? Even though as a business Melt has achieved great success, you can still find Cheryl, the owner, serving behind the counter most days and that woman knows her stock like you would not believe.
So it is really no surprise that this little treasure trove has become part of my holy grail for any gift hunting as well as spoil-myself moments. I must warn you, however, that Melt is a very dangerous place. You pockets will feel definitely lighter once you walk out of the doors. Not because things are expensive - to be honest I think you get what you paid for and all the items in this shop are well worth the money - but because I doubt you will be able to walk out without having found something to buy or to come back to buy. Enter at your own risk. I should know!