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Art, food and fashion in the heart of Barnsley

February 16, 2017 | 1 Comment

Rita Britton in the gallery at Nomad Atelier at the Tobacco Warehouse in Barnsley.

I made the trip to Barnsley last week to interview Rita Britton about her clothing brand Nomad Atelier.
Rita was for many years the owner, designer and muse of the legendary Pollyanna shop in Barnsley, bringing labels such as  Jean Muir, Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto to the North, although customers came from all over the UK and indeed the globe.

At the Tobacco Warehouse gallery, a peaceful and beautiful space in the heart of Barnsley.

She closed Pollyanna in 2014 after having both a stroke and a heart attack, and you’d have thought that was that, but it seems you really can’t expect Rita to retire.
So she soon returned to high fashion retail, now concentrating solely on Nomad Atelier, in the Tobacco Warehouse just around the corner in George Yard, restoring a dilapidated Georgian storage house into a beautiful contemporary space, with a cafe on the ground floor, then on the upper floors a showroom for Nomad Atelier and a gallery for contemporary artists and craftspeople.

The gallery, in fact, the whole building, is exactly the sort of place I could live in permanently.

Currently exhibiting there is Dyehouse, the Huddersfield based design company which offers statement furniture and homewares evolving from the residential projects of ONE17 Architects and Interior Designers. The fire pit that Rita is sitting beside is £595, which I think is a brilliant price for a such a striking and useful work of art. Prices for the log stores start at £300 and the wooden tree trunk stools from £350.
There are also paintings in the gallery at very affordable prices, and plenty other beautiful home accessories and objets. Well worth a visit.

The log stores are by Dyehouse, like the firepit. They start at £300.

As is the cafe, called Quintessential Kitchen, where Rita and I had lunch. The food is amazing, beautifully sourced, cooked and presented (I had goat’s cheese tart and salad) and it’s a lovely place. It’s clearly become a much-loved meeting place in Barnsley, and no wonder.

The Tobacco Warehouse is on the left, in George Yard, Barnsley, right around the corner from Rita Britton’s former shop Pollyanna.

Nomad Atelier clothes are, quite simply, wonderful. But I’ll write about them another time, once I’ve written my fashion feature for the paper.
Meanwhile, find out all about the gallery, Quintessential Kitchen and Nomad Atelier here: http://www.nomadatelier.co.uk/


One thought on “Art, food and fashion in the heart of Barnsley

  1. Meike

    Barnsley! Now, that was a trip down memory lane for me… My late husband lived in Wath upon Dearne when we first met, and he proposed to me at a pub in Barnsley, where we also bought the engagement ring (not at the pub, but in Barnsley).

    Hats off to Rita Britton! Going strong (again) after a stroke and a heart attack… wow!


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