On the third day of Syawal (Monday), a friend called up...
A: Hari ni buat apa? Cuti kan...
N: A'aah... kenapa?
A: Jom pi carik kilang Queen Anne kat Birm tuh?!
N: Waaaa... menarik jugak kan. Kejap eh.. tanya B dia nak pi tak
And so after much coaxing (on B's part), we headed to Birmingham in our quest to search for the Queen Anne factory. Pusing punya pusing, berapa kali ntah buat u-turn kat roundabout, I felt the ray of hope diminishing slowly. Man! We're never gonna find this factory when suddenly... Voila!! There it was right infront of our very own eyes and we've drove past it TWICE!!! Aiyarkkk... buta sungguh co-pilot sorang nih but can't blame me though. I didn't have directions to this place. We were merely following the lead.
Hehehhe... adrenaline started coarsing through my veins and I feel right down giddy plus I couldn't help but smile gleefully. I had a glint in my eye. The palms of my hand started to sweat and itch at the same time. Yeah baby!! Shopping time!!! Nothing could or can stop me now. B's constant reminder of not to buy too many was unheeded.
The factory looked very old. In fact, it looked so factory-like that we weren't convinced that there's a shop concealed behind the old, ugly and smoky facade. There were no factory shops out front. There were no indications what so ever hinting us of the whereabouts of the gleaming polished silverware. There was only the sign of 'WORK ENTRANCE' right smack in the middle of the factory. B started to give me the look.
'Betul ke nih? Takde rupa cam ada kedai pun... Buat habis minyak je datang jauh2'.
My heart started to sink. Images of the silverware was starting to vaporize slowly.
'Tak pe Nora. Jom kita press doorbell kat Work Entrance tu and tanya' My friend said in an attempt to lift my spirit.
She pressed while all of us waited. A young lady appeared and said '
Are you here for the shop?'
Hell yes! but I politely said 'Yes please. Do you know where it is?'
'Follow me please'
Those three words right then were music to my ears. Yiehaaa... our time and effort weren't wasted after all. We followed her into the factory and straight through several doors before reaching a room filled with boxes after boxes of Queen Anne. When I went in and looked around, I felt like the room was spinning. Every nook and cranny, every inch of space on the table, every shelves and every gap under the table was filled with the silverware.
'These are all seconds. The price are half of the RRP in the shops. If you pay by cash, you won't have to pay the VAT but if you're using a credit card, then the VAT will be included'
I quickly scoured my purse and saw that I have £55. That's a relief. The prices are not bad at all. There's a file listing all silverwares available with their RRPs, second's price with and without VAT included. What you see below is what I bought for myself. The total came to a quid short of sixty. Yeah... B and I terpaksa menyeluk segala poket yg ada and came up with the balance in coins. The good thing is... since we spent quite an exorbitable amount of money (there were three of us), the young lady let us have quite a few of our small items come free. I got to have 3 freebies - the toast holder, the letter opener and the serviette holder. My friend spent treble of my amount and got a large oval silverware free! How lucky of her!!
Llah... this is the price breakdown of the items I bought above...
1. Double rectangular casserole £16. RRP is £32
2. Single oval casserole with warmer £11. RRP is £22
3. Single rectangular casserole with warmer £10. RRP is £20
4. Sandwich tray with holder £6
5. Bon Bon tray with holder £3
Ada banyak lagi. Round, Oval, Oblong Trays with and without legs (amat sesuai utk letak kek dan barang hantaran), tempat letak kuih (4,6 and 8 places), butter tray, jam tray etc. Lemme know...