Belfast Vintage Shopping

Last weekend I hopped over to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a long weekend staying with a friend who works across there. I really enjoyed seeing the sights (a highlight was City Halls lit up with rainbow colours for Gay Pride!), exploring the bustling nightlife scene, and even going to a music festival for the day, Sunflower Fest!  But most of all, I adored the cluster of unique vintage shops. From rare retro finds like 80’s high tops and sports jackets, to classic vintage accessories and libraries full of second hand books, Belfast really had it all. My friend and I spent a good few hours browsing various stores, and of course came home with a few pieces, so I decided to compile a list of our top three favourites here, in no particular order, for anyone visiting Belfast who loves a good rummage around in rails of gorgeous one-off clothing.

Young Savage

24 Church Lane

This cosy little shop – with a super central location and the loveliest staff- was our first stop-off on the vintage shopping spree.

Young Savage is packed full of hidden gems,  from retro badges, buttons and pins, to quirky knitwear and beautiful shoes.

We came away with some Penguin Classics, and a big old smile after some great chats with the shopkeeper. The opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.

2. Octopus’s Garden

Octopus’s Garden is Belfast’s newest vintage fashion store, and decorated in spectacular colours and patterns; ilike walking into another world, I adore their branding. 

Once inside, you are met with expertly styled outfits, complete with every details, even tights, sunglasses and hair accessories. 

We had a great time rummaging through the t-shirts and sweaters, and loved the vintage leather handbags, silk scarves and retro trainers.

You’ll fine stunning menswear and beautiful coats and jackets from every decade. The 

opening hours are 10am-6pm  from Monday to Saturday.

3. Yellow Submarine

44 Botanic Avenue

BT7 1JR 

Yellow Submarine has several floors connected with winding stairwells filled with old nik-naks, and sells a huge selection of vintage, retro & modern clothing, furniture, records & furnishings

This quirky wee shop in the Botanic Quarter is like a maze, shoppers must hunt far and wide for their hidden treasure. It felt kind of like I was in an elderly hoarder’s house, in a good way. 

I came away with a beautiful pleated skirt for £6 and an oversized black grandpa-style shirt for £3! Bargains galore. Opening hours are 11-6 Monday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Blow Shawlands Launch and other Glasgow Adventures

I’ve just returned from a wee day trip to one of my favourite cities, Glasgow, which ended in the most fabulous way- the launch party of the brand new Blow on Kilmarnock road, the second branch to open after Blow Finnieston back in 2014.  

What is Blow? It’s a Colour Asylum/Hair Salon/Training Academy/Cult Blogger Hang-out/Selfie Spot/ Braid Bar/ Coffee and Cocktail Club/ Blow Dry Heaven/ Rainbow and Glitter Paradise.  Yup.

I’ve booked myself in for later this summer for a cut and colour treatment using their exclusive, cruelty-free, vibrant vegan hair dye product range, Manic Panic, and I’ll be sure to show you the results!

Why not check it out for yourself at or follow their Instagram @blowcolourasylum for some unique hair creations. Read on to see my snaps of their fabulous new store, which have given me some serious  interiors envy, and inspiration for decorating my new flat!


So what else did I get up to on my rare weekend off work? Well, after a stressful train journey due to the Scotrail Strikes, I needed fooooooooooooood! So I took myself (yes, a solo dinner date. no regrets.) to Bill’s. I’ve never been here before but it looked  and smelled really lovely so I thought I’d give it a try. Food was brilliant: a hallumi, red pepper, rocket , sweet chilli and hummus  burger with skin-on fries and a freshly squeezed orange juice. The Bill’s staff were super friendly, I love the decor, and the cocktails menu looked good too, so I will have to return again!  After lunch, I visited the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. I was blown away by the beautiful building and enjoyed the exhibitions; if I’d had more time I could stay there for hours!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Argyll Escapes

I have just come back from a wonderful ‘staycation’ up in the north of Scotland (yes, nowhere near as exciting as last Summer’s adventures in New York and Norway, but stay with me!). 

Argyll is a beautiful area full of breathtaking lochs (thats Scottish lakes!), huge mountains, spooky forests and twee seaside villages, as well as so much history, culture and nature. It rained non-stop and the midges were out in full force, but we had a wonderful week.

My family and I have been here countless times, as its the original home of our Clan, but this was our first time by Loch Awe, in a Scandavian-style log cabin called Dalriada Lodge (which you can see on Air BnB here!)

On the first day, the other half and I tootled up from Edinburgh  in Tom, the trustworthy wee car, and settled in to our new residence. A huge 6-person bungalow, with a beautiful garden full of birds and trees and even a bustling brook, Dalriada lodge had everything from a sauna to a ping pong table, as well as the world’s comfiest beds and, the highlight of our mornings to come, a waffle machine! We went on to explore the area (closest named village being Dalmally) and take a look at the loch and the surrounding forest. 

The rest of the week was filled with cute little day trips, including to Oban, the nearest big town, where we ate several delicious seaside meals, indulged our sweet tooth at the chocolate company, acted like wee kids in the adventure playground, and admired the views. 

Another highlight was a hilariously rainy motorboat tour of the Loch  Awe and its surrounding secluded islands and historic castles. We loved trying our hand at driving the tiny boat  around the cold, dark mysterious waters, and comically tying it to any random trees we could find whilst we nibbled on cold pizza in the woods. However, the best part of this whole trip was simply chilling out with the people I love in beside the toasty fire with endless cups of tea, early morning yoga, late night scrabble, good books and a guitar.

 Overall, it has been a much-needed break from my hectic life and I’m already dreading going back to work, but it has motivated me to put more time and effort into the blog again, so stay tuned!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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March Round-Up

March- you’ve been great so far! I wanted to write a post about my favourite things from this month, and the highlights include Edinburgh Fashion Week, free hair treatments, a trip to Glasgow, a magazine feature, a great charity concert, a witchy photoshoot and some fantastic shopping (yes, I’m afraid my Buy Nothing Challenge took a hit or two!). Photo of the FROW I sat in at #EdFashionWeek by Dominic Martin.

A press release from Edinburgh Fashion Week’s organisers yesterday confirmed what a fantastic success it was: 
“The Mound was once again transformed into a buzzing style hub, proving it to be a must-attend event for Scottish fashion fans. Over 11,500 people attended the launch weekend on the 5th and 6th of March, an impressive 15 percent increase from last year. Created to celebrate Edinburgh’s varied and unique shopping culture, the weekend showcased exciting collaborations with over 25 of the city’s top fashion retailers and stylish boutiques. Over £1400 was raised on the night for charity”
This photo  shows beautiful model Sarah Ewen backstage before the show!

Next up, the oddest thing happened to me a couple of weeks back: I was sitting in Starbucks when two gorgeous hairdressers came up and offered me a free hair cut and colour in exchange for some modelling and social media at Vidal Sassoon on Multrees Walk. Of course I said yes! 

My hair was dyed an ashy-blonde with greys and purples, by expert colourist Martin Collins and was cut into a shorter, choppier style and dressed into a (his words) ‘fashion shape’ by Sassoon salon Creative Director Bruce Masefield!

 On the 10th, I attended (and made hundreds of cupcakes and brownies for!) a fantastic gig at Studio 24 to celebrate the launch of a new single by female-fronted rock band No Quarter. 

All in aid of deserving charities Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre and Pancreatic Cancer, all the musical acts were phenomenal, including Noah-Noah and Our Smallest Adventures.

The highlights for me were dancing like a proper fangirl to music from my boyfriend  Jack Hinks, and winning a bottle of wine in the tombola! Fantastic photo here of Rebecca Pilcher by Perry Jonsson.

I also cannot wait to show you the pictures from an amazing photoshoot project I modelled for with Creative Director and good friend Daina Renton!

I was transformed into a pagan beauty for an American Horror Story: Coven themed editorial for Witch Way Magazine.

Look out for a full blog post about the results very soon! Photography by the talented Marisa Bruce.

Last but not least, this weekend a friend and I went on a wee road trip to Glasgow, for girly shopping, hangover-curing meals and to see one of our favourite musical geniuses, Grimes, at the O2 Academy. We even took the sunny weather with us!

Also, check out the brand new issue of local online fashion magazine FF Mag Scotland to read a fantastic feature about the project I’ve been involved in at The Scottish Design Exchange!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Adventures in Brighton

Dangerously Good Vintage Shopping, Amazing Vegan Brunches, Windy Coastal Walks and some Banging Nightlife…..

I just spent a long weekend in one of my favourite cities, Brighton, and thought I’d do a quick post with some must-do activities that everyone should do there.

Despite Storm Imogen raging her way through the town and not to mention a 10 hour megabus journey, I had the most fantastic time with friends and will never stop revisiting this seaside mecca.

Vintage shopping

Snooper’s Paradise is exactly what is says on the tin. If you love searching for retro bargains, antiques, unique fashion, records and homewares, this is the place for you.


We ate a hell of a lot of fantastic breakfasts on our wee holiday, from full Vegan fry-ups to delicious avocado toast and of course pancake day!

Coast walks

As previously mentioned, the weather was quite horrendous, but that didn’t stop Skye, Toni and I from yomping down the pebbled beaches of Brighton. The Pier is a must see too, for your traditional fish n chips, ice creams , rides and arcade games.


 Most nights we stayed in and drunk wine together with some great music, to catch up with old friends, but also went out to explore the pubs, bars, nightclubs and music venues of the city. The Laines are full of exciting new night-time territory for young people.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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