On November 30th we bumbled over to Harrogate to the Country Living Christmas Fair. It was a spur of the moment decision. We bought our tickets online and hoped to spend the day looking at some of the lovely crafts, foods and other assorted things on display. Maybe even be tempted to buy something. Not sure what to expect we entered the International center into the bustle. Having not thought about Christmas at all, being occupied with putting together the equivelant of a dissertation Christmas firmly tapped me on the shoulder and said “I’m here”.
It was busy, people laden with all sorts of bags. Items spilling over the top giving a sneeky peek at what they’d bought. We wandered about trying to get our bearings and not get too lost, our first port of call being at Gillies and Jones stand. Kate was displaying their lovely range of bowls and glassware. It’s at times like these you wish you had more money because I could have happily bought a number of items without hesitation. Maybe if I keep hinting long enough someone else (chiefly partner) might get the hint and buy a bowl. My favourite, though it’s hard to choose, had to be red berries which was on display. Very seasonal. Their workshop is well worth visiting which can be found in Rosedale Abbey in the North York Moors, also worth visiting. A warm welcome is guaranteed.
We happened upon a stand with a wonderful array of colourful pictures on display. These belonged to Chequered Chicken. An array of images hand-drawn but created digitally. Beautifully, striking pictures quite different to things we’d seen before. Unable to resit we bought a picture of Roseberry Topping which is a place to the North West in the North York Moors. This was a Christmas present for my partner’s parents as the view from their lounge window looks out over the moors to Roseberry Topping. After chatting for a while to these lovely people we mooched along with the strains of Christmas music in our ears.
Our attention was caught by more glass items but this time it was jewellery. These were earrings and other items made by Ruth Lyne. I bought a pair of earrings which have pink sparkly glitter in them. Can anyone resist glitter? I also bought one of those glass birds too, a purple one. Something else irresistable. Lovely handmade products by creative people.
Another interesting stand contained wonderful paper. The patterns are created by hand then printed using oil-based vegetable inks. These are by Cambridge Imprint. I can’t resist printed, patterned papers. They are wonderful to use as colourful posters on a wall if your so inclined, wrapping gifts or to use in collage or with other media. Which is how I normally use them. Either way there is a wonderful range of bright, colourful offerings which are fab and I’ve no doubt I’ll buy more.
Kate recommended we visited Snowdonia cheese’s stand as there were some tasty morsels to sample. Being the obliging types we are and enjoying a free sample now and then we sauntered over. There were a number of interesting varieties and after having a small sample we bought Red Devil with fiery chillie. (To be eaten with care but tasty) Green Thunder with garlic and herbs and Ginger Spice with stem ginger. That won’t last long there’s a ginger fanatic in the house and it isn’t me. Sorry there’s no picture here. The one I took came out blurry and of no use. “Sigh’s disappointedly”.
This is a small selection of the many people we talked to. All selling wonderful products produced in the UK most of which were handmade and created by the people selling them. An enjoyable day and a great way to meet new business’ and talented folks. Well worth visiting, maybe next year Christmas won’t quietly creep up on me, having said that it’s a nice way to be reminded.
Links to featured crafts people: