Both my Grandmothers have amazing skills. My Gran can knit anything – clothes, toys, tea cosies, you name it. My Grannie is a baker. There are always boxes of fairy cakes or jars of homemade jam when we go to visit. Sadly neither of my Grandmothers live in Edinburgh and sometimes emergency situations arise when knitted or baked goods are required. Fortunately The Treasure Trove is in Edinburgh as the next best option.
The Royal Edinburgh Repository and Self Aid Society, who runs the shop, was formed in 1977 when two nineteenth-century organisations merged (The Repository for the Sale of Gentlewomen’s Work and The Self Aid for Gentlewoman Society). After a bit of googling I discovered that all those fancy words mean the society helps those of limited means support themselves through the sale of their handiworks. It’s a bit like a brick-and-mortar, charity-run, etsy.
The shop sells everything my Grandmothers would make. There’s every type of knitted good you can imagine along with homemade jam, cakes and – my favourite – tablet (the traditional Scottish kind, not the kind you get from the doctor or check your email on).
It’s a great place to get truly one-of-a-kind gifts, or when the cold sets in and you need a new hat, or – for that very British problem – when you need a new tea cosy to keep your tea warm. Of course, they will never be quite the same as my Grandmothers make but it’s the next best thing.