My Ealing

Getting to know the locals

Related Links

Anmarie Bowler

My Ealing: Juliet Matthews

My Ealing: Amy Calver

My Ealing : Suzi Preece and Hannah Lane

My Ealing: Stephen Brooks

My Ealing : Catherine Gunnewicht



Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Anmarie Bowler is a freelance writer and works part-time at The National Theatre. Her husband John works for the Performing Right Society and sings in the blues band 'JB and The Wolfmen'.

For a number of years Anmarie owned and ran Crimson, a women's clothing shop near Marble Arch. In 2009 she closed the shop when offered an opportunity to study play writing at the University of Birmingham.

Along with several theatre projects, she also writes a style blog, Huntress London    

Where do you live and why did you move there?

My husband and I live across the street from the Ealing Cricket Club. We moved to Ealing when we married 6 years ago. The summer sound of weekend cricketers wafts through our windows like music. What's not to love?  

What are you favourite bits of Ealing?

I enjoy Walpole Park and will enjoy it even more once it's fully re-opened. Every time I pass Ealing Studios, I smile. I'm a fan of the Ealing comedies. Pitshanger Lane has a parade of terrific food shops. And I love a honey/ginger steamer from W5 Farm Shop on The Green as a treat after I've browsed a few charity shops.
Do you have any hidden gems? ?

We really like the Brentham Club, 38A Meadvale Road. Mainly a tennis and social club, you don't have to be a member to stop into its cafe that overlooks the lovely grounds. They also host excellent yoga classes.  

When did you get into the charity shops?

When I was a little girl, growing up in small town Ohio, my mom would wake me and my sister early on a Saturday morning and we'd head out to the weekend 'garage sales.' A great American tradition - selling stuff you no longer want from inside your garage. I'm sure that's when I fell for 2nd-hand treasure hunting. Charity shops offer that same kind of experience. 

Which ones do you think are the best?

Ealing has so many good charity shops. From posh ones like the Mary Portas Living & Giving Shop to little out-of-the-way places like the Cat Charity Shop on Pitshanger Lane. If they've a friendly staff, I'm a fan. With imagination and a little knowledge, you can find stylish stuff anywhere. 

Do you look for anything specific or do you just enjoy browsing?

I love browsing and I browse all the time, it's an exercise in training your eye. On my way into work, I build in time to stop at a few shops. I'm always on the hunt for interesting bangles, espadrilles, cashmere, denim, and shirt-waist dresses. But anything that's out-of-the-ordinary, possessing some degree of quality can win me over.   

What's the most interesting item you have found?

My latest find is always my new favourite. Last week I found a pair of Pepe high-waisted jeans at the Cancer Research charity shop for just £6. But my Ray Ban sunglasses bought several years ago from the Fara Charity Shop on Bond Street were a super-duper find. Just £20 including the case.    

Any top tips for other charity shop hunters?

Women should always peruse 2nd-hand menswear. Men's style, made feminine, is a great look. Denim is hard wearing so a perfect 2nd-hand buy. Pop in charity shops often as stock is constantly being added. Always do a bit of 2nd-hand hunting when on holiday; there's a brilliant Sunday market in Rome, for example, in an old bus depot. Become a label reader; inside tags that are nicely sewn may indicate quality as do the words 'Made in England.' 

Tell us a bit about the blog.

It's a fashion site that's both informational and inspirational. 'Never Buy New' is my motto. On a daily basis, I feature a 2nd-hand find and tell its story, outline its pedigree - think fashion forensics for fun. I provide information on brands to look out for when 2nd-hand-hunting and examples of the unique style you can unearth if you use a little imagination.  

What do you think could improve Ealing?

I'd like Ealing Broadway Station to be made more inviting, and I understand there are plans afoot.

Would you like to take part in My Ealing? Please email


15th July 2014