I just started to write about ‘day two at the fair’, and then remembered that we most definitely were only there for one day. It just feels as though it were a two day-jolly, since there were so many things to see and do! So, Saturday afternoon… Continue reading
This Saturday was a glorious one! In the way that I kind of like to imagine that people who live in Spain have tapas for every meal and Australians spend all day every day on the beach and New Yorkers spend at least three hours each day eating brunch (thank you Sex and the City), I think that this Saturday was spent in the way that people from outside the UK imagine everyone in the UK spends their days. Fish and chips were eaten. Market stalls were browsed. Slices of cake were purchased and their varying degrees of moistness discussed. Flowers were sniffed, lemon curds tasted, and fruit cordials sipped. Oh, and many, many photographs were taken. So many that I’m splitting the day down into two posts, or else you’d be staring down a post containing over 45 photos right now. Not even kidding.
The lovely folk at the Wealden Times invited me along to their Midsummer Fair this year (after I’d gone to the Midwinter one back in November), and after a quick phone call with my Mum that went a little something like this ‘Want to go to the summer version of that lovely winter fair in Kent next month?’ ‘Uhhh…yeah!!’, off to Kent we went! We’d prepared ourselves for the day being kind of a wash out (I was woken up by a huge storm raging at about 6am), but by the time we arrived at the fair in Kent around midday I was so warm I had to make finding somewhere to discreetly strip off my tights number 1 priority! ;)
So, let me walk you through the day! We started off with a stop by Henrietta Donovan’s stand, to buy cups of the most delicious cordial I’ve ever tasted (though at £12.50 a bottle, I guess it kind of should be!). Mum had the wild elderflower, and I had rhubarb, orange & ginger. Both insanely delicious, but the rhubarb flavour had my heart.
It was light and refreshing and not too sweet, and I really truly was tempted to buy a whole bottle. I might actually have a go at making some cordial myself this summer…
After our cordial-pitstop, we headed into the first tent and let the ‘I’ll treat you to that/No I’m treating *you* this time!’ battle commence- standard Mum procedure, right? The tents were full of lots of the same beautiful vendors as were at the Midwinter fair (with different produce and items for sale, of course!), with plenty of lovely new ones mixed in. We spent ages in particular at the Kentish Soap Company stand, buying up soaps that smelled wonderfully nostalgic and cocoa butter-based bath bombs that looked good enough to eat. The floral scents (lavender, rose, and geranium) were my absolute favourites. The owner of the shop told us that she’d begun to make plain, natural soaps after struggling with her skin being so sensitive to commercial ingredients, and then found herself completely hooked on the process of combining ingredients and scents. And I’m so very glad she did! Don’t the soaps below look almost like slabs of fancy chocolate?
^^ Hurray for spaniel tea towels (from Bottle Green Homes)! I’m not sure captivating is the word that springs most quickly to mind when I think of cocker spaniels, but you know… ;) ^^
^^ That blue/pink combination is my favourite right now. Kind of wanting to redecorate our whole house to the tune of this colour combo…^^
^^The Wild Planet stand was a favourite of mine from the day. It was beautifully styled, with so many metal milk urns (is that the term?) full of silk flowers and rows of scented candles. Kind of like walking into a Pinterest board! And that’s never a bad thing, right? ^^
^^ How gorgeous are these bright satchels, from N’Damus? The yellow one especially! I just managed to track them down online too! Dangerous, very dangerous…^^
Next up we headed outside for a little wander around the outdoor displays, to browse the gardenware and horticulture. Even though I’ve not ridden a bike for at least a decade (if not more!) and am not *too* sure that I remember how, I did really want to take that gorgeous bicycle home with me. It’s just too perfect! We spent ages browsing a lovely stand full of knick knacks and vintage collections (cut crystal glasses, furniture) and beautiful linens. I picked up a striped linen table covering to go on our little dining table, and tried to think of reasons why buying a real vintage red Royal Mail postbox was a great way to spend my money. (Answer: There aren’t any.)
Lastly (for today anyway), let’s talk about Morgan Penn! He was displaying some of his incredible work at the fair, and Mum and I just fell in love with it. He’s an artist who specialises in capturing a person’s energy, spirit and personality through his brightly coloured, dynamic portraits. I’m usually far more drawn towards photographs than I am towards artwork and portraits, but both my Mum and I agreed that we could’ve stood forever marvelling at how incredible Morgan’s work was. He uses colour in the most beautiful way (flecks of bright blue to bring life to his subjects’ faces) and the portraits seemed more real and life-like and vibrant than even the sharpest photograph. Commissioning a piece from Morgan is now firmly on my bucket list!
And that’s it for part one! Part II (coming tomorrow!) will be far more food-centric, so don’t forget to stop back for a plateful of fish & chips, and a slice of the tastiest gluten-free apple cake around!
* Thanks again to the wonderful Esme (from the Wealden Times) who providing my Mum and I with tickets to the fair this summer. It was the loveliest day! *
Do you remember that fair in Kent I went to last November, the one that ended up being so gorgeous it warranted having two full posts written about it? The one with so many stands full of unique clothing, gourmet food, artisinal produce, and gorgeous homeware I could have happily drained my entire bank account five times over and come home with a lorry-load of purchases? Where I ate that Christmas pudding truffle that blew my mind? Well, this June, I’m going to that fair’s twin sister, the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair! And it’s going to be awesome! And you can come too! For free! (So many exclamation marks!) Phewph. I feel like I need to take a moment to breathe after finishing that paragraph!
The lovely folk at the Wealden Times have been kind enough to offer me FIVE pairs of Midsummer Fair tickets to give away to Cider with Rosie readers! The winners will need to be available to come along to the fair at Hole Park in Cranbrook, Kent, on Saturday 7th June. I’ll admit that last year (when I was invited along to the Midwinter fair) I wasn’t sure if the event would be worth making the 1 and a half hour journey from home over to Kent, but was proved so happily wrong! There were so many wonderful exhibitors there that my Mum and I spent hours and hours (at least four, I’d say!) wandering round the different tents, and that’s without factoring in lunch and coffee and cake from one of the food trucks! And the Midsummer Fair will be just the same, I’m sure! So if you’re based in the South of England and fancy coming along for the day (I’ll be at the fair on the 7th too!) then enter below to win a pair of tickets!
- Five pairs of tickets are available to win, for the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair on Saturday 7th June 2014. Car parking at the fair is free, and there is a train station with a service direct to Charing Cross approximately 20 minutes away from the event.
- To enter, just make sure that you follow Cider with Rosie via Bloglovin‘ and Twitter, and just pop a comment (saying anything you like!) at the end of this post! The winners will be picked 2 weeks from today, on the 30th April!
- The 5 winners’ details (name & email addresses) will passed on to the sweet folk at the Wealden Times, who will then contact each winner directly and get tickets sent out in the post!
Good luck! And if you win, I’ll see you on June 7th! :)
Like I said before, there was just too much loveliness at the fair on Saturday to fit into one post, so here are the rest of my photos from the day! Special mention must go to those Christmas pudding chocolate truffles from the 1066 Bakery, photographed below. They were mindblowingly awesome, all rich and stodgy and chocolatey and fruity, with a big wodge of soft dark chocolate ganache inside. I think my eyes rolled back into my head when I first bit into it. Seriously.
^^ That candle above, Pomegranate + Spruce? Amazing. It smelt like the very essence of Christmas, and then some. And isn’t the red jar so lovely? I can only imagine how beautiful it would look all lit up! ^^
Pompom garland above and colourful lights below by Pompom & Twiddle, one of my favourite discoveries from the fair.
^^ In love with these embellished cashmere sweaters. You can’t quite tell from the photograph, but the patches on tops of the shoulders on certain sweaters were in the shape of giant stars! Awesome! ^^
^^ That truffle. Still dreaming about it… ^^
For lunch we had venison burgers from the Wild Food Company, which were good, but definitely not great. I majorly regretted not picking up a mix ‘n match salad bowl from Chicks that Chop instead. Don’t those bean salads look great?
Toffee apple cider! It was tasty, and mild enough even for me! My Mum teased me for making a thimble-sized taster cup last a full lap of the food tent. What can I say, I’m just terrible at drinking! Oh, the irony of my blog name!
And now I’m well and truly in the festive spirit! Merry-only-two-days-until-December everyone!