Before one even enters the Cabinet of Curiosities the senses are assailed by the aroma of exotic oils and bath powders. The visitor is unsure – is it a shop or museum? It seems a little of both, with a hint of witchcraft, a glimmer of goth and more than a suggestion of theatre.
Inspired by the wonder-rooms of Renaissance Europe, it showcases artifacts that are refined and visually appealing, flamboyant and tantalising, leaving the customer bemused and in awe. The packed mahogany cabinets (salvaged – no reproductions here) display handmade soaps and candles, traditional potions, extraordinary curios and remarkable gifts in what once the Haworth village apothecary where Branwell Brontë almost certainly obtained the drugs which contributed to his untimely demise. Adding to the atmosphere is subtle lighting, courtesy of glass globes and chandeliers which reflect a soft light in mirror-backed shelves.
The displays are quite fabulous and I am still wondering who on earth cleans the place. It must be like painting the Forth Bridge. And stocktaking – what a nightmare!