The fair is in an unrivalled setting, basically a country park with a beautiful house at its centre (some of the stalls are in here) and acres of rolling countryside. The backdrop to the outdoor marquees is breathtaking.
The house isn't bad, either!
The last time, I went to this fair, I remember there being one large marquee with stalls and another for the teas, with a few brave stall holders outside. Oh my, how this event has grown. Having spent a few of my pennies in what I thought was the main marquee, I ventured out into the sunshine to find a veritable shopping avenue had been created with a further two open-fronted marquees.
The stalls were of eye-wateringly super quality. The merchandise was mainly vintage with some handmade, too, and little in the way of new goods (some candles, a few clothes and garden plants and ornaments). The stall holders had pulled out all the stops and everything was beautifully and tantalisingly displayed, "The Old Haberdashery" being a case in point. (This is a shop based in Ticehurst which I think is a must-visit for the future.)
I confess to ransacking the fabrics, very reasonably priced, too.
Stall holders reliably informed me that they had kept much of their best stock for this fair. I could tell! There were swoon-worthy items for the home...
Sad-looking much-loved vintage toys begging to be given a new home...
Gorgeous old cotton reels and cards of beautiful buttons...
Fabulous fabric (as to be expected from The Washerwoman)...
Utterly beautiful displays on a floral theme from the lovely shop Living Vintage (based in Battersea, I have blogged previously about my visits there)...
More furry friends, of the sit-on push-along type. Woof!
Sarah Moore (who has recently published her fabulous "Vintage Home" book) had a stall full of items you wanted to take home.
Phew! Time to refuel. The catering at this fair is of a high standard too (even if, at only just after midday, a lot of things did seem to have run out), and a real effort is made with white linen cloths and posies of flowers in vintage vases on the tables of the bunting-decked marquee.
How could I refuse?
I can also say that the shoppers and stall holders were all really friendly and pleasant to chat with, no elbows out here! They were also very well dressed. When I admired this lady's jacket, who did it turn out to belong to but Sarah Jane down-the-lane. Having followed her blog for some time, it was the first time we'd bumped into each other. It was also nice to have a natter with fellow blogger The Vanilla Squirrel and her floral jacket was much admired! I realised I was trailing her round the fair as our photos of pretty much the same things kept cropping up on Instagram within minutes of each other!
Lizzie (The Washerwoman) was easily spotted in her fabulous patchwork coat.
I went for spots.
After a truly lovely few hours in splendid sunshine, I headed back to the car (the walk felt longer now my arms were somewhat longer), pleased with my booty.
More excitement was to come once I got home. Isn't it great when you get back and can "play" with all your newly-found goodies? I was eager to have a look at my new tin as it wasn't just the delightful anemones on the outside that tempted me but the price label attached which read "includes sewing bits".
It contained a veritable hoard of treasure from 1920's bakelite belt buckles through 1940's embroidery silks to 1970's cotton reels. Smashing!
Vying for first place as prize find, is this stunning hand-pieced hexagon patchwork quilt which I bought from Sarah Moore. It was only when I got home and opened it out fully that I appreciated how big it is; it easily covers the top of a king size bed. So many hours of painstaking work in it, the real delight for me are all the divine fabrics, all in my favourite shade and dating to around the 1930's. Love.
And sad knitted bunny? How could I resist? He has a home with all my other misfits but he doesn't look too happy about it!
All in all, a day to remember.