On 17th March 2016 Bookastall headed down to London to check out the Country Living Spring Fair. A fantastic day was had all around, with copious handmade gifts purchased on the way round (and lots of tasty samples tried!!).
We can’t mention everyone, but here are a few of the cool people we met and awesome things we saw.
Julie’s jewellery was truly exquisite. She had travelled all they way from Cornwall for the Country Living Spring Fair and I could have spent hours at her stall, looking at all the beautiful jewellery. Everything is hand made, and everything is a one-off. So there’s no possibility of someone else wearing the same piece as you. Julie Duggan Designs have even started creating pieces for men so you can match your partner when you go out!
Ladle & Larder make the most scrumptious chutneys that you will ever taste. The verdict from my own dad when I gave him some of their Piccalilli was “wow that’s good!”. And the spicy Scotch Bonnet Chilli Chutney got the thumbs up from Mr Bookastall when he tried it on some crackers. He’s notoriously hard to please when it comes to spicy things (“they said it would be spicy but it wasn’t” is a typical reaction) so when he reached for some milk after having some of this, I knew it must have been good.
Everything they make is made at home, from scratch. And you can almost taste the effort and love they put into it. Even the labels feel lovely to touch! The Bookastall family loved everything about these chutneys.
Hawhorn & Rose’s selection of soaps and body butters were absolutely to die for. Not only did they look so good we wanted to eat them, we absolutely adored the packaging which was simple yet beautiful. Elaine had come all the way from the West of Ireland to sell her lovely products at the Country Living Spring Fair. I adored chatting to her and hearing her talk so passionately about everything she made.
Nothing she makes has any Palm Oil in it, making them good for the environment, as well as bodies. They contain no artificial chemicals or preservatives, and some of the body butters didn’t even have any essential oils or anything smelly in it, making it excellent for sensitive skin.
All of the ingredients are listed out on her website, meaning that there won’t be any nasty surprises when that pretty little box arrives in the post. Hopefully Hawthorn & Rose will look into selling at craft and gift shops so that more people can try out and see these gorgeous products.
One of our purchases at the Country Living Spring Fair, we loved these dainty little spoons, adorned with funny captions and sweet sayings. They would make perfect wedding presents or gifts to someone who is difficult to buy for. They personalise vintage cutlery, and I bought one of their Peanut Butter spoons for Mr Bookastall because he’s a little bit addicted to peanut butter! (And his nickname for me is Peanut, but that’s another story!).
(La De Da Living – if you are reading this, we are sorry that we had to steal a photo from your website but the one we took on the day got accidentally deleted..)
These little seedboms were utterly fabulous. When we attended the Country Living fair, it was just before Easter and people were buying them up to give to their children instead of eggs. The concept is recycled paper, filled with organic compost and seeds. You give it a bit of water and take them outside to somewhere that needs a little brightening up. Throw it on the ground and then go back a few weeks later and see lots of beautiful flowers! They come in different types – ones with flowers that bees like, ones with flowers that butterflies like, etc. They are so much fun, and will teach kids about growing flowers in their area. I can see these being fantastic stocking fillers over Christmas. At just £3.50 each, we gave them a big thumbs up.
We really hope loads of people buy these because it will mean that there will be loads more flowers growing everywhere.
If you are looking for some exquisite candles that smell divine, look no further than Spry Candles. I was actually rather surprised at the luxuriousness of these candles when we found out that they are all made by hand. They are exceptional-looking, and genuinely wouldn’t look out of place in a shop like Harrods. There was a whole range of candles and diffusers in a wide range of amazing smells. We would seriously recommend buying some of these candles now before they end up in Harrods for 6 times the price!
The wax is all natural so they don’t contain any nasty chemicals like some high street brands. We have since found out they Spry make soaps too, which are just as pretty and are also made using natural ingredients.
Matin Lapin made the cutest brooches and earrings. We have even asked them if they could commission some with the Bookastall logo on (we are super excited about seeing what they come up with!). Our favourite one was a teeny tiny brooch with a fox on it. Their whole range is available from Not on the High Street and if you ask then nicely, they will work with you to make a custom piece with whatever you want on it.
I loved chatting to them, and adored all of their products. The packaging was simple but very cute and we think they would sell really, really well at local craft and gift shops.
There were so many other stalls and people we saw at the Country Living Spring Fair so we are super sorry if you haven’t been mentioned here. There really were too many to be able to write about you all.
We tried home made hot cross buns and home brewed whisky, we saw fantastic pictures of the New York skyline and local landscapes, we smelled more candles than we have ever smelled before, and we tried on more jewellery than one would think possible in one day.
We didn’t see a single stall that we didn’t love at the Country Living Spring Fair and we look forward to going to the next one! If you were there, please comment below on how you got on, and include links to your websites so we can go and have a look.
Thank you to everyone we saw and spoke to for being absolutely lovely and ensuring that we had a fabulous day.
Much love, from Yvette and my lovely friend Isabel x