Alice Roberton reports on a day of vintage shopping in a beautiful setting
The magnificent Castle Hill in North Devon played host to the most memorable of vintage fairs last Sunday (1st July), organised by Country House Vintage which pairs the best of vintage with the most beautiful surroundings possible.
The house has been home to the Fortescue family for centuries and the Earl and Countess of Arran were delighted to welcome so many visitors to the event. 'It is so lovely to see so many people at Castle Hill thoroughly enjoying themselves,' said Lady Arran.
Lady Arran and fair organiser Fenela Sadler showed me some of the incredible gowns in the Fortescue dress collection, which is rarely shown to the public. This delicate lace dress was worn in 1915 by Lady Arran's grandmother (seen in the picture above), the 5th Countess of Fortescue, for a sitting with the painter De Laszlo (famed for his portraits of royalty and the aristocracy).
Traders were spread between garden marquees and the airy west wing, a former servants' quarters. The stands all looked fabulous with the sun streaming through the windows and I especially loved this summery display of South Molton trader, Source for the Goose.
The west wing was home to travelling tearoom Rosemary’s Vintage Teas and some fabulous textile traders along with the H&A stand. Charlotte Cook visited us and bought these 1950's cargo ship lights we were selling for Felix Lighting Specialists. They'll add the finishing touch to a renovation project she has just undertaken on the North Devon coast.
I spoke to Jan and John Mitchell from Somerset, who told me they have traditionally sold antique ceramics, porcelain and early factory pieces. Recently, however, having seen a shift in trend, they have started stocking vintage china and glass.
Louise Hancock of Cornwall Vintage had nothing but praise for this fair: ‘The setting is so lovely and it's been done so well, with so much attention to detail,' she said.
Organisers Alison Brookes, Fenela Sadler and Annaliitta Stretch are seen here celebrating what can only be described as a resounding success. ‘We wanted to host our dream fair, and we’ve done it!’ smiled Fenela.
Homes & Antiques will be attending the following fairs this summer:
Saturday 7th Village Vintage, Cuckfield Recreation Ground, Cuckfield, West Sussex
Saturday 14th Crikey! It's Vintage at the Seaside, Exmouth Pavillion, Exmouth, Devon
Fri - Sun 10th/11th/12th The Retro Festival, White Waltham Airfield, Maidenhead, Berkshire