Crikey! Christmas is Coming at Exeter’s Thistle Hotel

Alice Roberton enjoys a lively day of retro festivities in Devon

Alice Roberton enjoys a lively day of retro festivities in Devon

The spirit of Christmas was in full flow at Crikey! Christmas is Coming in the maze of plush rooms and corridors of The Thistle Hotel, Exeter last Sunday. There was much merriment, with live music, dancing, fashion shows and lots of fabulous gifts on offer. Karen Bennett, pictured, of Karen's Curios said: 'I love the kitsch element of a retro Christmas!'

Walkabout band Blitz and Peaces popped up at various intervals to entertain the troops. Here they were playing a jolly 1942 tune called Jingle Jangle Jingle.

I caught up with Mark & Cleo Butterfield, owners of one of the largest vintage clothing collections in Europe, chatting to Alison Jagger Cane of Hangar 124. I asked them if they had any hot tips for vintage clothing in Devon. ‘Fore Street in Exeter is fast becoming quite a hotbed for quality vintage, it’s where you’ll find Hangar 124 and Relevant, both great shops,’ said Cleo.

Many of the traders had the opportunity to show their clothes off in the fashion shows throughout the day. Alongside vintage clothing there were some fun upcycled outfits on the catwalk.

I spotted Kate Hunt of Aloha Lounge Designs buying herself a little treat from the Missy Lil’s stand. It’s very hard to trade at a fair without indulging in a little shopping of one’s own!

Philippa Potts Vintage was selling this colourful crochet blanket, which looks like the perfect gift for someone with a cosy vintage-inspired home. Philippa has a unit at nearby Marsh Barton where a new antiques and curios centre, The Vintage Trading Company, recently opened.

I was selling some lovely bits and pieces on the Homes & Antiques stand, including these gorgeous vintage bark cloth, feather-filled cushions that featured in our Vintage & Antique Gift Guide in the December issue.

Homes & Antiques is visiting the following fairs in the run-up to Christmas.


Sunday 25th November 9.30am-4pm, Bath Vintage & Antiques Christmas Market, Green Park Station, Bath


Saturday 1st December 10am-3pm, Vintage & Handmade Christmas, The Old Town Hall, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire

Friday 30th November-Sunday 2nd December (Fri 11am-5pm, Sat & Sun 10am-5pm), Made By Hand, Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales

Saturday 8th December 11am-4.30pm, Magpies & I Vintage & Handmade Christmas Market, The Spiegeltent, Waterfront Square, Bristol Harbourside, Bristol

Saturday 15th December 9am-3pm, The Christmas Vintage Bazaar, Cheese & Grain, Frome, Somerset

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