Friday, 23 March 2012

Best of The Country Living Fair

I went to the Country Living Fair in London yesterday for the first time in a couple of years ~ can I be brutally honest without offending anyone? I think I can probably count on the fingers of 2 hands; stands that were unique, British made or hand~made. I thought that those were the values of Country Living magazine or am I missing something?

There were more fashion/clothing stalls than I remember from last time; I started to lose the will to live after one too many rails of scarves ~ many of which were made overseas, and quite a bit of bought in product that actually was repeated on a few of the stalls. Hmm, so that was the bad....

Now here is the good...

There were some exceptional sellers there, with beautiful displays of lovingly handmade wares and from them, I took home lots of inspiration and a few purchases!

Wonderful handmade cushions, bunnies and lavender sachets from Chloe Vintage, handmade ceramics from Amanda Mercer, vintage ribbons from Rosie's Armoire. The Sea Garden had created once again a fantastic stand, with so much detail in it you didn't know where to start! Kitty's had a glorious, colourful display of Easter decorations and vintage treasures and Caroline Zoob's stand was so perfect I could have just moved in!

I didn't manage to take photos of very much due to the crowds of people and the lack of space, but I did quickly snap Chloe's stall and some photos of the goodies I found.

I also bought a copy of Country Living's new book, called 'Create Your Own Country Home' which is a sort of compilation of all the best bits from the magazine ~ and I love it!

In case you hadn't heard ~ The Vintage Jumble takes place tomorrow (Saturday 24th) at Rangeworthy Village Hall, Glos. Organised by Jayne & Michelle from the legendary Vintage & Handmade Fairs, it promises to be a perfect opportunity to have a good old fashioned rummage. I shall be having a stall ~ look out, I am having a workroom clearing out session!

Hopefully see some familiar faces there...

Until next time
Ali x


  1. I agree with you, we should be supporting British crafts people...what a pity. The photos are lovely though and the Country Life book looks like a worthwhile buy. Have a lovely weekend, lets hope the sunshine holds! Sharon

  2. Lovely finds Ali. It is such a shame there were so many mass produced items at the CL fair. I will admit I am surprised too as I always thought they championed British made and hand made goods. Chloe's stand looked fabulous, her look is so pretty. My copy of 'Create Your Own Country Home' arrived this morning but I've yet to sit down with a cuppa and read it! See you tomorrow.
    Jo xx

  3. Such a gorgeous stand, I love the little rabbits :) I bought this book and love it, have a wonderful weekend sweetie

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  4. I didn't get chance to visit the Country Living fair this year, I was so looking forward to it - the stands you've snapped look beautiful!

    Jem xXx

  5. I don't think there are enough items made in Britain anymore have you been watching Mary's bottom line on channel 4? its interesting to see her bring back knickers made from all English lace etc. Have a great time at the jumble sale. dee x

  6. I would love to get over to the CL fair to see for myself. I guess a lot is French inspired which, in turn, was Swedish inspired...(thanks Gustav!) Incidentally, the ribbon spools in the last photo are French - can't get away from us that quickly :)

    The book is going on my 'if you fancy buying me a pressie' list...looks to be just gorgeous.

  7. Hi Ali,
    I've never once visited the CL Fair, but suspect if I did I would love the exact same stands as you...It is sad that there is so little British handmade merchandise there, but then I have heard that the stands are very expensive, making it prohibitive for many small businesses? (I stopped buying the magazine actually, several years ago, as I thought they'd lost their way when they constantly promoted 'CK'! - Goods made in China!!
    Chloe will be selling at The Dairy House Fair next month - I love the little bunnies she makes - adorable!

    SOOO looking forward to seeing you stall tomorrow,
    Niki x

  8. Your comments on the Country Living Fair were almost exactly the same as mine last time I went, there must be so many creative people out there and it is such a shame that the stalls are taken up with such Tat!! I think they should lower the price of the stands and maybe it would change. I have decided to not go for a couple of years, such a shame.
    Caroline Zoob holds a decorative fair just outside Tunbridge Wells so I have decided to give that Fair a visit this year.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  9. I felt the same about C.L. after a visit to their marquee at Hampton Court Flower Show.
    The books looks interesting, thanks for following

  10. Hi Ali....Thank you for following my blog....Fell in love with blog land some time ago and decided to join the fun!!You meet such nice folks!!Your blog is lovely....Happy Monday!Mariax

  11. Hi there, I am so sorry to hear you were disappointed in the Fair.. I was at the show with my fledgling business "My Aunt Agatha" and everything is handmade by me and handembroidered - and made in the UK- we were all the way up the stairs in the " New Exhibitors" corner ( G 42 ).I really enjoyed the show.It was my first time as a stand holder,and next to me stood a girl with her own little company, Whinberry&Antler - handmade screenprints and cushions, all handmade too!(And British).I think the fair is maybe a bit too big and the standholders in the Mezzanine floor bit have mass produced things.. but there are certainly some gems to discover.
    You can check both of us out here if you want :
    My Aunt Agatha:

    ( My handembroidered hearts and cafetiere holders sold very well )

    Whinberry and Antler :

    You can also check out my latest blogpost if you want abouyt the show as I have a craft blog called Modern Country Lady.
    The post about the Country Living Fair is on this link :

    Have a great week !!
    My Aunt Agatha

  12. Your blog is simply gorgeous!! I am now following along!! Gorgeous photos too!
    Have a lovely evening.

  13. Absolutely gorgeous pictures!!!
    Greetings from Poland ✿ܓ

  14. I agree with you about the Country Living Fairs. I used to attend every other year but have not been lately as the last visit was a little disappointing. Still many beautiful and creative items, but a little less than before.

    I like the look of this book though - and it is now on my to' have' list! Thank you for sharing. Your posts are always inspirational.

  15. That's too bad about the fair. Variety is important at a craft fair. How disappointing to have certain expectations for an event and then have it fall short.

    Hope you had a successful day with your booth.

  16. The reason many makers (including myself) have recently left Country Living fairs is that there are now very few customers there who appreciate or buy beautiful handmade things. British makers are unable to compete with mass produced imported products.


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