Le Chariot Express
47 South Clerk Street
Tel: 0131 667 3456
They say that one man’s treasure is another man’s junk, and in some cases (Cliff Richard back catalogue; royal family memorabilia; complete Subbuteo collection) they’re right. In Le Chariot Express however, one man’s junk is never more than an impulse buy away from being another man’s junk. Trinkets, gewgaws, gimcracks and baubles – whatever your word processor’s inbuilt thesaurus may care to call it, it’s all in Le Chariot Express, just waiting to be discovered. Prior to entering this emporium of tat, it is possible to be completely unaware that you were hitherto bereft of a punctured Raleigh Chopper, or that your life would be incomplete without acquiring a one-string 12-string guitar. After an hour’s hearty browsing however, you’re certain to see the light.
If this shop were in Camden, it would be staffed by thick-spectacled scenesters in loafers with no socks. And more importantly, everything would cost twice as much. Thankfully, this is Auld Reekie, and we don’t tolerate such ponceyness round here. No one visits Le Chariot Express seeking to be seen; this place is cool alright, just not in that way. If you’re willing to browse (and by browse we mean wade through the detritus of 1000 church jumble sales), there are some serious bargains to be had. To feel that pinprick of excitement, all you gotta do is demolish the haystack that obfuscates your treasure. Good luck and godspeed; rumour has it that a couple of students wandered in here back in ‘86 seeking refuge from a particularly ferocious storm. Last we heard, their remains were still being hunted somewhere between the broken Soda Stream fountains and the Rupert annuals.
Try: Haggling. The only feeling better than buying an obsolete Betamax recorder for £15 is buying it for £10.
Avoid: Showing up when the proprietors are conducting their stock check. The last one they attempted took five years to complete.
Useless information: If you stacked all the broken cameras in Le Chariot Express on top of each other, they would stretch to the moon.