I've always felt that it's rather childish to have a "favourite" shop, as it's sort of like admitting you have a favourite dish, a favourite city or a favourite suit, and while I obviously do have all three I'd never dream of admitting so in a national newspaper (although if you twisted my arm I'd admit to having a penchant for San Francisco). And as for favourite shops, well, please don't tell anyone but over the years I've had many: Corso Como in Milan, Colette in Paris, the Strand Bookstore in New York (before the renovation, of course), Powell's in Portland (not only the best second-hand bookshop in Oregon but probably the best in the world) and various outposts of Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill Gate.
My current favourite, however, is in the wilds of Herefordshire, just outside Ross-on-Wye, and is without doubt – in at Number One with a reclaimed Boer War bullet! – the best home and garden store in Britain.
Bailey's, in Bridstow, is the place that the current foodie favourite Daylesford longs to be, the place the Conran Shop once was. Unlike both those places, however, the emphasis here is on recycling – turning old spades into door handles, old boat fenders into doorstops, bobbins into egg timers, driftwood into coffee tables. This is where salvage comes for gentrification; it's almost as though they've reinvented the home and what we expect to find in it. And if you occasionally have a sense of the "I Saw You Comings" – especially when you spot an old plank that has been washed and given a thin cardboard price sticker that broadly translates as "Let's see what we can get away with" – even this is done with charm and a genuine sense of the experimental. So if you're doing up a house and you want your new kitchen to look like a corner shop in an Ealing comedy, then this is the place for you.
I'm actually loath to recommend it as I hate the idea of having to circle the car park behind an army of credit-worthy Independent readers, but if you've never been to Bailey's, you've never really been shopping.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'Reuse content