Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Decorative Living Fair

What a treat for me today, bloggers, a trip to the Decorative Living Fair, near Tunbridge Wells, a rather lovely part of the world. I've read about this fair in magazines before and always fancied going but this had not been possible until I passed my driving test last year. Caroline Zoob gave me a leaflet for this fair whilst I was at the Country Living Fair in March (she could spot a die-hard vintage shopper a mile off!) So, off I set with my friend from my crochet class, intent on indulging in lots of vintage goodies.

A more picturesque setting I do not think you could find. The fair is set in Eridge Park in the green fields of Kent. There is a lovely house (dated 1939 but built to Georgian proportions) surrounded by glorious countryside with breathtaking views. Judge for yourself...

There was a pair of these quaint cottages on the way into the fair.

In we go...

Looking decidedly posh...

Ah, this is the view I remember from the magazine article. I think they must purposely hold the fair at this time of year to take advantage of that fabby Wisteria.

Some garden goodies to mooch at whilst queuing to get in...

The gardens are immaculately kept.

So it was no surprise to find a plant stall inside.

Ah, that view. I wouldn't mind waking up to that each day.

Even better when this yummy stall has been set up in the foreground!

The fair was partly held outside in the open air, partly in a marquee and also in some (very grand) rooms inside. I think it is the setting that really makes this fair. However, it did mean that some areas were decidedly crowded inside the house. Worth it though. There were many more stalls than the photos suggest but because it was so busy, it was impossible to photograph many of them (and yes, I did ask permission for the photos!)

There was a lovely stall with a large selection of vintage buttons, fabrics, millinery flowers, ribbons, clothing and bedding/linen. There was a fair bit of jostling to get to this one!

In another room, there was a very attractive display of vintage items.

Caroline Zoob's stall was in the marquee and there was not a huge selection but what was available was very nice and beautifully displayed.

There was a separate marquee for refreshments. The tables were laid with lovely faded floral cloths and there was a beautiful flower arrangement on each one, like this...

Shame the service was deathly slow!

All in all, I had a lovely day. I was quite restrained on the purchase front, I feel. I finally found a towel rail for the kitchen at the cottage (thank you very much to those of you who had tipped me off about various ones already which I had not yet managed to follow up). We couldn't resist the artificial sweet peas and I also bought quite a bit of ribbon/tape for my crafty projects. I indulged in quite a few cards of vintage buttons which worked out to be very reasonably priced and then I treated myself to that lovely curtain panel. I love the colours; I'm imagining it made into luscious bags, comfy cushions or maybe even a skirt? You know, I think it could take me some time to cut into that one!


  1. what a lovely day out :-)

    and fantastic photos!

    Rose XXX

  2. Thanks for a lovely time, I really enjoyed the photos. You are obviously well disciplined on the spending front, although your goodies look tempting.. The venue looks a beautiful place to be. Looking forward to the V&H Fair, may see you there.
    Warm Wishes

  3. Looks lovely! I didn't even know about that or I would have popped along. How funny, now that you have shown me a pic of her stand I know that I have been to Caroline zoobs shop!! It is a bit pricey, but good for ideas. If you do get to Lewes I recommend the Flea market - it's like her stuff, but without the lick of paint so you can pick things up for much cheaper. :-)

  4. You lucky girl being able to go to so many wonderful fairs. Guernsey holds a few throughout the year but has nowhere the selection and frequency of England. What a wonderful day – thankyou for sharing it; I almost felt like jostling to get to that vintage millinery myself.

  5. What beauty! My eyes are popping out trying to take it all in! You found some lovely treasures!

  6. Wow! What a wonderful day!

  7. What a lovely fair..very restrained purchasing..I'm not sure I would have been so good!!

  8. What lovely day out you had.

  9. What a lovely day out, thanks for sharing :) x

  10. I love those deck chairs - I rescued a load from a skip about two years ago and still haven't painted or covered them - but this has inspired me! About time!


  11. That really is my kind of day out,Hen! ;-)

  12. The fair looks like it had a wonderful atmosphere and sun!!!!

    Michele x

  13. Thank you for sharing your day. I was invited to have a stand at the fair this year, but sadly had other obligations that I could not squirm out of!!!
    Lizzie x

  14. My kind of day out too Hen! How lovely!
    Rachel x

  15. What a great day out. xxx

  16. Looks like you had a wonderful day out.
    Linda O xx

  17. Looks like a perfect day, Hen...a beautiful venue and delicious stalls...I would have been tempted by the red (TG Green?) storage jars. Lovely!

  18. That looks like a wonderful day out. The sun was shining too! I bet if you had a stall there it would have gone down a treat!

  19. Thank you Hen, I really enjoyed that day out. I've just come home from working in a hot kitchen so I enjoyed seeing all that lovely greenary and sunshine.

    Love Fi x

  20. Thank you for this Hen, it's great to see these photos, as I couldn't get to the fair myself, though I would have loved to if I didn't live the other end of the country! I'm a huge fan of Caroline Zoob, her house and embroidery, you lucky thing to meet her.
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  21. Hello Hen
    What a lovely day out. Pity that was not closer. I would love to have gone there. I really like the deck chairs. One of them matches a cushion that I have made by Niki (Nostalgia at the Stone House). The fabric that you bought is lovely. You have a good idea for lovely things. One of the reasons I like your blog so much is that you buy things which I know I would have gone for.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  22. Hi Hen
    thank you for the lovely coat hanger, its gorgeous! I cant bring myself to hang anything on it!! he he!!

    Your day out looks lovely, you always seem to find such lovely things, I've been after a folding tray table like yours for a while now, You'll have to start a personal shopper service when your at the car boot sales!!

    I've got that little smocking booklet too, I really want to learn how to do it!

    Thanks again, Felicity (JoshyandBelle)

  23. Thank you for such a lovely post! Did you come to this year's fair? Take a look at our Facebook page - we are DecorativeLivingFair, the one with the green picture of the view from the lawns. There are lots of pictures! Last year we changed the caterers, so the service is better and we now have 50+ exhibitors.....follow us on twitter (declivingfair) and keep in touch about 2012's fair.
    Thanks again!


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