The Norse Baker, aka Rune Wold, is at Faversham Market on Saturdays and I make a beeline for him. I confess his crispy, buttery almond cake, developed from Tosca Cake, a recipe he learnt from his Norwegian grandmother, is my immediate draw. My daughter’s is his cinnamon buns. They are very heaven and very Scandinavian.
Yet with that greed sated, how much more there is. Elegant French wine glasses and crockery, blue French workmen’s jackets, linen aprons, stacks of old records from Roxy Music to Frank Sinatra, neatly-ironed piles of vintage French tea towels, a yellow metal table, industrial wire baskets, softly patina-ed with age, and more. Each week, Rune brings different things and, on the first Sunday of the month, a great deal more for Faversham’s Antiques & Vintage Market.
With his Scandinavian baking and French vintage homewares, Rune Wold has introduced something different to Faversham Market. He collects vanfuls of original and covetable delights on thrilling trips to markets in the South of France. ‘It feels like Christmas when I arrive,’ he says.
Rune looks for the unusual. ‘I think people are now buying stuff they want to use every day, not just saving for best. But I think they want to have something unique.’ He says: ‘I see a growing interest in industrial design – lights and metal baskets. I like the feel of different textures – hard industrial design, cold materials like glass, metal and zinc against aged linens and woollen fabrics.’
Rune grew up on the west coast of Norway in a tiny village called Tjelta. His grandmother was an ardent baker and set aside one day a week for baking. All day long, she took out of her oven steaming waffles, aromatic pepper cookies and gingerbread thins. In 1994, he crossed the North Sea and landed in Aberdeen. Then there was a stint working in banking in London. In 2011, he looked to Kent, crossed the Medway, saw Rochester Castle and the Cathedral and thought: ‘I could live here’.
A more creative life followed. Perusing an Art Deco fair in Battersea, Rune’s eye was nostalgically caught by two bowls on a teak stand from the Figgjo factory near his village in Norway. This ignited a passion for collecting mid 20th century Scandinavian pottery and glass. ‘Then I found I had collected more stuff than I could ever use and it seemed unfair to keep it all in boxes so I started to sell it.’ And so the idea of Norse Vintage came about.
Rune was one of the first stallholders of Faversham’s now hugely successful monthly Antiques & Vintage Market and remembers the early days when there were just a few stalls, huddled together at the end of Court Street. Rune says: ‘I’ve noticed that a lot more people are starting to visit Faversham specifically to look for antiques and vintage. I see new faces every week.’
As Christmas looms, Norse Vintage is a great destination for unusual Christmas presents. Rune is selling French olive oil liquid soap delicately scented with lavender, and taking orders for his exquisite range of macaroons.
Text: Posy Photographs: Lisa