Yesterday I made a spur of the moment trip to Glasgow to have walk around the Country Living Country Fair. It’s not often that I spoil myself with a treat such as this, and I have to say, strange as it seemed to be doing something for me, without my children or husband in tow, I had a thoroughly fabulous time! The first hour was spent in a rapturous daze, surrounded by pretty, shiny things – trinkets, jewellery, home wares and accessories – not to mention delicious titbits and morsels to tempt my tastebuds!
I had gone with the intention of doing a little Christmas shopping, and managed to succeed in some, if not all of what I went for. There were various workshops and demonstrations to watch, which were very interesting and well run. I would like to have been able to join in with one of the craft and create workshops – the Creative Gift Wrapping and Styling class looked particularly good, and I am always perusing Pinterest for budget-friendly wrapping ideas, that look amazing, so it would have been perfect for me! Sadly all the classes were full, so I had to watch from the sidelines, and I’m just hoping that some of the hints and tips sunk in and I remember them next month.
The Country Living Christmas Fair was bigger that I had expected. I had hoped to go to the Ideal Home Show in Manchester last weekend, but couldn’t make it, so I had sort of viewed this as a consolation prize, but it was anything but. I loved finding new small businesses, and chatting with the owners – it brought back happy memories of my SnugBaby days of doing shoes, and the happy exhaustion that goes with spending four days talking to customers. The enthusiasm that small business owners have for their product knows no bounds, and is incredibly infectious. I loved meeting Vanessa who was running the Miss IntegriTea stand, touting herbal teas and doing a marvellous job of demonstrating the various flavours and imparting her knowledge of the benefits of each. I left feeling like I had been chatting to a new friend, and very excited to try my Citrus Zing Sunshine in a Mug (which I did this morning, and it was fab). On Vanessa’s recommendation I refilled my pot with extra water and let it stand all day, so I enjoyed a tasty glass of flavoured water this afternoon too – so refreshing after a long day at work, and have me the extra boost I needed. I really hope Cindy and Vanessa succeed in their aim to become stocked by local tea emporiums because they really ought to be.
There were several stands featuring jewellery designers, but my favourites were Genna Design and Anakin Silver. The attention to detail that these ladies put into the jewellery designs is breathtaking, and the care and precision in making their pieces is simply wonderful. They both produce classic yet contemporary items that will last a lifetime and can be worn for all occasions. Beautiful.
Being the kind of organised girl that I am, I had done my research of the exhibitors before I went, and I knew I wanted to seek out Amanda Mercer. Her home wares are stunning, as is the jewellery she makes, and her stand certainly did not disappoint. I have definitely added a few of her items on to my letter to Father Christmas this year, and will be waiting with baited breath to see if I am on his nice list.
Naturally a trip to a Christmas fair wouldn’t be complete without a purchase of a bottle of gin, and it’s so nice to be able to get something a little out of the ordinary, so I was thrilled to pick up a bottle of Heather Rose gin which, according to reports, has hints of champagne – two of my favourite things rolled in to one… I’m looking forward to a snifter in the not too distant future.
And of course, at shows such as this, there are always the “Why haven’t I thought of that before?!” stands… one that stood out for me in Glasgow was the Wrapper – a reusable sandwich wrap, which fastens securely around your sandwiches, wraps, pastries or panini, keeping it fresh until lunchtime, and doubling as a mini tablecloth to prevent crumbs over your workspace. It’s such a simple and effective idea, yet most people who take their lunch to work still use disposable wrapping! A no-brainer really. The other real “But of course!” product for me, was the Pinny Pockets. As a bit of a kitchen addict, I am also a renowned clutz when it comes to all things hot (or sharp) and regularly injure myself making dinner. The Pinny Pockets is a pinny with individual attachable oven gloves (no more throwing them over your shoulder) and the gloves also double as pockets. They look pretty funky too. Ingenious!
Overall I was seriously impressed with my fine day out north of the border, even if my feet disagreed by the end. If you went, I’d love to hear what your particular favourites were, and if you have any thing on your list for Santa…