I often buy antiques in London. I get a kick out of pitting my wits against the London dealers, finding a profit in even the most chic of galleries. I have my favourite dealers too; dealers with a great eye and a cup of tea, some I’ve known for years.

London is blessed with some amazing hotels and restaurants and here’s a secret, I’ve spent more than a year of my life in one of them when I add up all the nights. When I say London, it’s on the fringe but you could just as easily be anywhere in Britain looking out the windows. For the same price as a Travelodge in London, I can have The Grimsdyke.

It has appeared as the backdrop to a myriad of iconic TV series, including The Saint, Dr Who, Eastenders and films such as Endless Night. Even Vincent Price and Boris Karloff have walked its corridors.

It was built during the arts and crafts era, designed by architect Richard Norman Shaw and it later became the home of W S Gilbert, of Gilbert & Sullivan opera fame. For the last 15 years, it’s been my home from home. I go down to breakfast at about 9am when most have left, and sit overlooking the gardens planning my day buying and dropping off stock.

Salisbury Journal: Andrew Blackall

By lunchtime, I’ve dropped off a few 19th-century toleware wall lamps to a client in Kensington and a pair of Swiss back stools to a designer in King’s Cross. Lacquer Chest next!

One of my favourite antique shops; it’s been a fixture of Kensington Church Street for decades. It mostly sells smalls which to the uninitiated are things like antique cups and plates, curious and fascinating items, mirrors, glassware and pictures. The shop has an ever-changing window display and the stock inside has a time-out-of-mind quality all of its own.

The traffic wardens are gathering and it’s time to leave.

My tip for today is arts and crafts, look up Liberty & Co, Lutyens, Shaw the Grimsdyke architect too, he was prolific and had furniture made for his houses too. Think turquoise cabochons and copper mirrors, think dresser. An era of fabulous design that took its influences from Augustus Pugin, nature as opposed to the classical world and to a degree folk art.

They took Pugin’s gothic revival designs and created something alternative to Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton.

Go and view it in Edinburgh and at the V&A and look for the architectural designs that became known as Jacobethan too. It was a design movement different to the Art Nouveau yet to come. It was a movement inspired by John Ruskin and William Morris.

Look for mirrors and teapots. Go for names like Tudric and Jesson, Birkett & Co and look for designs like Celtic knits and shields.

Visit: Court Barn Chipping Camden, the V&A London, National Museum of Scotland, Kelvin Grove Museum, Glasgow. National Library of Cardiff.

Dealers: Helmswell Antique Centre, The Table Gallery, Corsham

One thing about the arts & crafts movement is that it’s gaining in popularity. It’s going up in value and it’s still affordable. You can still pick up pewter, ceramics and small examples of furniture; single chairs, small tables and smokers' cupboards at boot fairs, in charity shops and online marketplaces with a good eye and turn a profit. I know this because I’ve done just that. You can too!

Andrew Blackall is an English antique dealer with more than 30 years of experience selling period furniture and quirky collectors items to clients across the globe. He has written and produced award-winning film and television productions. He was born in St John’s Wood, London and he grew up in and around London. He currently lives in Avebury, Wiltshire. His love of antiques stems from an early fascination with history and from visiting country homes throughout old England and the British Isles. Many of Andrew’s clients are well known on both sides of the pond, patronising his ability to source antiquities with provenance and appeal. His stock has appeared in a number of films and TV shows. Andrew has two styles of business: one selling high-end decorative antiques at The Blanchard Collective, the other selling affordable collectables at The Malthouse Collective.