Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A Day at the Fair

If you were reading along a few days ago, I mentioned that today was going to be an exciting day, for today, I went here:

Yes, the Country Living magazine Spring fair.

Ready to shop 'til you drop? Let's go in then.

(Just inside main entrance, ground floor.)

(Looking down on the ground floor.)

(Looking down on the first floor; you can also see the second floor mezzanine round the sides.)

Quite daunting hey? Quite exciting though - OH YES!!!  

Well, the fair certainly lived up to the "Spring" in its title. There were lovely displays of seasonal flowers all around.

This post is going to be quite photo heavy rather than word heavy (hooray, I hear you cry) because I'm too tired to write! Let's wander round the stalls and ogle the goodies...

Ah, vintage Union Jacks...

A fabulous stall selling wildly coloured deckchair canvas and the most marvellous multi-coloured pom-pom trim.  Yes, some of that certainly did make it back to the HenHouse.

Here, you can sit a while and watch the demonstrations taking place.

Sponsored by our old friend...

Now, this picture is for my sister, Queen of the Scrapbook (hello sis!)  The items on this stall were all really pretty, and handmade, but what caught my eye were the lovely collages which remind me so much of the scrapbooks my sister and I keep.

Time to head upstairs.  What's this at the very front?  Oooh my, a Vanessa Arbuthnott stand. I just love her fabrics and dived eagerly on the "patchwork packs" filled with remnant pieces of her divine fabrics.  Can't wait to get going with those.  I also picked up her catalogue, the roomsets are to die-for (real rooms I understand in Vanessa Arbuthnott's home and barn).  I must mention that all the proceeds from this stall were going towards bowel cancer research at the Royal Marsden Hospital, such a good thing to do.  I also noted from the catalogue that all Vanessa Arbuthnott's products are made in Britain.  Good stuff indeed.

Just love, love, loved this stall full of vintage prettiness. Feast thy eyes, bloggers...

Golly, feeling a bit jaded now, arms getting longer by the minute. Time for a cup of tea and slice of fruit loaf at this rather nicely done "Yorkshire Tea" cafe.

Believe it or not, about this time, I bumped into a lady who said to me: "Are you Hen?"  Err, yes. "I read your blog!"  How funny.  Hello, lady lurker, nice to meet you, thanks for saying hello.

Onto a stall with a fair spread of Greengate goodies, and a beautiful display of polyanthus, too.  It was difficult to take any more photos of the Greengate stand because it was so rammed with bodies!

Another gorgeous stall, one which I remember from the Christmas Fair, "Living Vintage". Look at those gorgeous doggies! There was also a lovely iron daybed piled high (and low) with vintage eiderdowns and the walls of the stall were adorned with vintage floral paintings.

Loved these!  These bird boxes (there were also some cages) appeared on the Selvedge magazine stand.  They were made from gorgeous Liberty fabrics.  I think I may have to try my hand at one for myself.  Tweet tweet!

(The large boxes were £150, the smaller ones £125.)

Ah, what a day.   It was great, I just loved it, in fact I thought it was better than the Christmas Fair.  Let's say just a few goodies made it back with me!

Hope you enjoyed the trip.


  1. Thanks for sharing your day with us Hen. I am hoping to go to the fair on Friday. I am always disappointed with the Country Living Christmas fair. I didn't go last time as on a previous occasion the fudge man had run out of most flavours, the pot pourri I bought lost its scent within days and everything looked 'samey'. I hope I will be inspired this time!

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful trip to the fair! I might have to mention this fair to my (like-minded & crafty) friend and make a trip to the Spring fair next year!

  3. oh im so gutted i cant get to the spring fair :-( but thank you for letting me "see" it on your blog :-)
    hubby in london at mo and when he rings later he will get me complaining for the upteenth time about not being able to go because of him LOL
    i do have plans to go to london in the next couple of months so fancy being my tour guide?!
    how funny you were spotted :-)

  4. My friend Jenny went today.....Jenny's fabric days, she went to see the new Vanessa Arbuthnott stall!

    Maybe it was she who said hi to you!LOL!

    Glad you had a super time!
    Looks wonderful!xx

  5. Thanks v much for showing us the fair, I had really wanted to go this year but I knew it wouldn't actually happen! I would have wanted to see the Caroline Zoob stand, she's my hero!

    How cool to have someone come up to you, you're almost a celebrity ;)

    Mel xxx

  6. Looks like a fab day - I wish I could have gone too!

  7. Thanks for 'sharing' the Fair, I can't get there this time so it's lovely to see the action and lots of the goodies, your photos are amazing.

    Sue xx

  8. Right - I need to know when I can buy tickets for next year's show - immediately! Oh Hen thanks for sharing, I'm ever so envious but very appreciative too.

    Wonder if they'll ever have one in Manchseter - somehow I think not!

  9. I'm exhausted! It looked absolutely fab, I'm surprised you didn't arrive home with many, many more bags!
    Thanks ever so....

  10. Lovely sneak preview Hen..
    I am off to the big smoke myself tomorrow... It will be at least 15 years since my last visit to the CL fair but I am on a mission.. will report back..
    Luckily I have a good blogging friend to keep me company and keep an eye on my purse strings!

    Michele xx

  11. That looks like Heaven to me!! What a beautiful place to spend the day. I have to confess, I'm terribly jealous.

  12. Wish I could have gone but this is the next best thing and much cheaper.

    Thanks for sharing


  13. Ah thanks for letting me know! If it's Childhood Treasures you've bought it's a wonderful book, I love it to bits! I think it's got quite a few pics from Vanessa Arbuthnott's house in too :)

    Mel xxx

  14. I am so jealous...i have always wanted to go...thanks for sharing...I think you were a very good girl...I know that I wouldnt have been able to walk for purchases if I had gone...greed takes over and the bank balance is forgotten....

  15. I'm so jealous! Looked a fab day, I could have spent a fortune, I hope we will get a peek at what you bought? :o) xxxx

  16. It looks fabulous! Miss Cottage & I are going on Saturday (hope it's not too crowded!)

  17. Thanks for the fab pictures - I am so jealous!!! I always buy Country Living here in Denmark, I love it.

  18. I will definitely have to go next year!!!! It looks like Shabby Chic/ Country heaven!!! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pics, and I bet you get loads of inspiration!!!!!!
    I think I will have to start saving now!!!!

    Sharon xx

  19. By the way, the kitchen bank with veg and granny blanket you commented on Live Bohemians flickr photostream - that´s my house ;-)

  20. Thanks for sharing! There was no Scottish Spring Fayre because we had a Christmas Fayre for the first time and it was fab (absolutely heaving with people but no where near the scale of the one down south) Looking forward to seeing what you have bought - jacqui x

  21. Ooh, looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

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  23. Hello,

    I've always wanted to go to a 'Country Living' fair, but have never had the chance, your pictures make it look even more lovely than I could imagine - maybe next year!!

    Also thank you for your lovely comment today, crochet is very addictive, despite having three children bombarding me constantly with requests I didn't do my normal thing and give up - I couldn't put it down!!

    Nina x

  24. Ooooh Hen ! I'm looking forward to it even more, now!!
    Glad you gave yourself a good day!!

  25. Hello!
    I was disappointed not to have been able to go myself this year but you did such a lovely job with your pictures, I feel like I kind of did...what tempting goodies...I would have been weighed down with bags, so happy you had a good day!

    Julia xxx

  26. Lucky you! We've decided not to go this spring - now I'm regretting that decision! Must show us your goodies!
    I have actually been in Vanessa Arbuthnotts house on a CL textiles course and I can confirm that it's probably the most gorgeous house I've ever been in, the kitchen is to die for, not to mention the swimming pool and tennis courts!
    Julia xx

  27. Hi Hen, looks like you had a wondeful day and I trust you are going to share your purchases with us all..pretty please?! Love the bird boxes..but the prices made my eyes water..I wonder if they sold many? Dev X

  28. OOOh thank you! i feel like i'm there! I'm not able to go to this one, but i'll go to the winter one. x

  29. Hi
    What a great day out!
    As I'm not able to go this year, it's really nice to have a peak at what is there. Lots of nice things!!!
    Isabelle x

  30. oh poop, i've been kinda dreading reading this post which I knew would surely come, been dreading the JEaLousy I knew would come!!! LOL!!
    I sSooooo wanted to visit the fair but was unable to get cheap train tickets this time, £80 was just beyond me.boohoo. Ah well, as ever Hen you've captured the show beautiuflly with your pics....lovely job.

  31. I was really not all that impressed when I went to one a couple of years ago. I might go to the next one though, looks good.

  32. thanx for showing.. all this nice picures..:) wonderful

    hugs from sweden..

  33. Oh my, I'm green with envy. If only I could hop across the pond and go... You're pictures are lovely though; lots of inspiration to be had!

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  35. I must go to the next one, really wanted to go to this one but didn't get it sorted. I'm loving.... the union jack cushions (what company is that??), the dogs (do you think I could have one or do you need children?), Vanessa's fabrics(just ordered some samples), the yorshire tea cafe
    (my fav) and so much more... thanks for sharing. I think we should all meet up for the next one & have a bloggers day out. I had trouble finding someone who wanted to go :(

  36. Wow, thanks for the photos. It looks great.

  37. You gotta love the CL fairs. The last one I was at was Christmas and it had a lovely cosy feel to it. It's really good to get creative juices flowing by seeing all the wonderful people and artisans out there and peddling their wares.

    Cherry x

  38. Hi hen, I'm so glad you went, I knew you would share your visit with us! it looks a gorgeous fair I think i would prefer the spring one...ooh those union jacks and all that vintage loveliness! Just wish they would hold one at the nec for us midlanders!

  39. Golly, what would I do without you Hen? I never can get to these events, but I feel I have been because of your blog. When are we going to see what you bought? xx

  40. Oh Hen we have spent the whole of our dinner break making the pictures bigger and oohing and aahing what fab stalls.

  41. Thank you for the lovely insight to the Fair. Mr P and I are going on Saturday so I now know which stalls we'll (more like I'll!) be making bee-line towards! Did they have any lambs on show this year?

    I hope we get to see the contents of your shopping bags soon! x

  42. Looks like a great day out Hen. Thanks for sharing the photos - I'd love to go one day.
    Hope you've recovered now from all that shopping.
    Take care.

  43. It was fun to see your report of a day at the fair. Back when I used to be able to travel frequently to the UK, I did manage to visit a few CL fairs, and remember the 1996 fair as particularly good.

    My question, though, dean Hen, is when will you be an exhibitor at one of these fairs? I think that you would do fantastically well!


  44. Hi Hen,
    I really enjoyed your tour - thank you for taking the time to snap all of those certainly looks the place to buy cushions!
    Loved the vintagey stand with the lovely painted furniture...
    Such a shame that the stalls are so expensive (that's without staying/travelling to London)...I can't work out how some of these ladies can be making any profit...

    Lets hope that the V&H fair can give CL a run for their money!

    Niki x

  45. Oh goodness, I don't think I could have coped with so many goodies around me! xx

  46. Thanks for letting me 'live' the Country Living Fair through you, Hen. Totally lovely photos. How thrilling it must be to have really been there!!!

  47. Hi Hen,thanks for the fantastic tour!Love the phtos,what a wonderful day!
    Rachel x

  48. Oh Hen what a gorgeous day out, and such lovely things. Its enough to drive a girl into a shopping frenzy. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Lucy xxxx

  49. Thank you Hen. That was a real treat. I'm going back for a second look!

  50. Thanks for sharing your day at the Fair. I've never been, but your post has described it so well, and with such great photos, I've really got a feel for it, and I'm determined I will go to one now - they look fab.

    Hope you enjoyed it, and are happy with your goodies.

  51. Well I am dead jealous! Have only been to the christmas fairs! Must make it too the spring one. I got with Kirsty of Rubys mamma makes it. She is my neice x


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