Grow-buys: A bang-on handbag


I didn’t actually buy my best October thing in October – I bought this fantastic handbag at Chelsea Flower Show FOUR MONTHS AGO, but it looks as good in October as it did in May despite being my constant companion (it’s coped better than my husband in this respect).

The sort of handbag that can easily accommodate a couple of plants and still have room for the Bolly!

Picture the scene if you will. I was being supervised by my sister Laura as we trawled the trade stands on the final day at Chelsea looking for something with legacy to give big sister Elaine’s new grandson, Stanley, born just hours earlier – (pretty sure a Peter Rabbit eggcup fitted the bill). That’s when we came across the Twool stand.

If you don’t know them already Twool are based in the West Country and produce hats, bags and yarn from rare Dartmoor sheep.

Now bear with me if you assume this is one of those niche family firms which charge a small fortune for a touching backstory to their products, no, no, you’ll find the3growbags are all about price and performance.

I loved the look of this handbag and when I felt how light it was (you don’t want your bag to add to the weight of your purse, perfume, brolly etc right?), I was interested. The lovely stallholder showed me her own one – three years on. It looked immaculate. But, I thought, she probably doesn’t overload hers with her laptop, bottle of Cab Sauv and tubs of RockyRoads from M & S etc.

She assured that, in fact, she did, and given that the handbag has lovely soft leather handles big enough to go over my shoulder (a must in a handbag for me), I dared to look at the price. £40 – could that be right*? Chelsea price labels are normally the sort of thing you covertly show your sister with the unspoken agreement that neither of you will audibly scream.

Who wouldn’t love having a handbag that could boast this?

It was a clincher and even my Little Miss Sensible sibling didn’t try to dissuade me. I snapped it up, took it back to Scotland and after that important first week when you discover whether your purchase was a prosecco-fuelled moment of madness or the best thing you ever did – I emailed Twool to tell them it was the latter with bells on. That handbag has been my best buy of the month and possibly of the year.

It isn’t lined so if you leave the lid off your Irn  Bru bottle it will harmlessly diffuse the contents through its wool fibre, leaving your iPhone unharmed. A consideration for some, the purse bit inside does not have a zip but it is impossible for any thieving hands to get in the bag when both handles are on your shoulder.

And, by the way, please don’t think we’ve no time for provenance. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown its admirers the chatty little label inside this smashing handbag!

*There was a £5 show discount. It retails online for £45.

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