A fair favourite makes its debut in the Big Smoke
Last Wednesday for the first time, The Decorative Living Fair
left its picturesque rural home at Eridge Park
near Tunbridge Wells and offered up its renowned selection of must-have decorative wares to a city crowd in Chelsea.
Several lavish halls boasted everything from textiles and fashion to painted furniture and stylish lighting - all stalls individually selected to sit harmoniously side-by-side.
The Old Rectory Sale's stand with its unusual finds was gorgeous, especially the blue bottles, found abandoned in a garden in Belgium and being used as vases for hydrangea heads. Co-owner of the business Madeleine Tomlinson revealed that her rose bouquet, created by her daughter Hannah especially for the fair, was in fact made of little cakes and not roses at all!
On the way back from trying this dove-grey crochet knit dress on, Melanie Kirk from Aylesbury dropped by the Wild Willow stand
and bought a charming little French canvas painting. The canvas was stretched over an old wooden fruit crate panel, which gave it a wonderful sense of homemade charm.
French history, and an understandable love of champagne, are very much at the heart of No 1 Lewes
' business, with almost all of its stock being regional vineyard paraphernalia. In addition to the grape pickers' baskets and crates, this pair of 1880s 'his and hers' chairs, recently updated with a fresh strip of vintage linen, was very eye-catching.
Pi Truckel, from London, is a maker who runs The Woolly Dog
, a company specialising in handcrafts using wool, linen, silk and vintage textiles. ‘I’ve bought this little 1950s deckchair as a prop for displaying my stock and some vintage Sanderson fabric from the H&A
stand, which was just too irresistible,’ she said.
Diana Fenton and Cathy Timms came especially from Surrey for the day and were very pleased with their finds. ‘I bought this 1950s vintage push-along elephant from Lois Pinnock, which I think is fairly unusual. It will make a lovely present for my granddaughters, Lucie and Izzy,’ said Cathy.
As always, it was lovely to meet so many interesting people, especially those who’d travelled a long way for this fair (as far as Norway in one case!). Midge Fowlie, a loyal H&A
reader, had come all the way from Inverness and was delighted to finally treat herself to a subscription, which came with a handy Woven Oak
shopping bag as a gift.
Do come and visit H&A at a fair near you to buy great homewares, textiles, magazines and subscriptions. Here’s where we’ll be during the remaining weeks of September and throughout October.
Saturday 28th September, 10.30am-4.30pm - Hexham Vintage Fair
, The Trinity Centre, Hexham, Northumberland
Saturday 5th October, 12pm-12am - Retro Revival Festival
, Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
Saturday 19th October, 9am-3pm - The Vintage Bazaar
, The Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Frome, Somerset