Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Fair-London Style

One of my favorite ways to bring on the Christmas spirit has traditionally been to attend the enormous, nationally known Nutcracker Market in Houston. Gathering up a group of friends, going for breakfast first to gather up our energy and then shopping from morning till night has always been the best way to kick off the Christmas season. This year found me in London on the Nutcracker market day, so I went in search of a substitute and found a great one. A group of girlfriends went arm in arm to the annual Country Living magazine's Christmas Fair. 

Almost 400 vendors participated from all over Britain, setting up their shops with unique goods to offer.

There were plenty of textiles,

and English chintz.

One of my favorite vendors was the Jan Constantine booth.

I adore all her pillows and pottery with the British flair. You can see more at her website.

As much as I love all her British pillows, my treat for myself that day was one with a French accent. Je t'aime=I love you.

Trinkets and ornaments of glass added sparkle.

There were fabric treats to choose from,

as well as the "real" goodies, both sweet

and savory.

We attended the fair on a very special day in Britain--Remembrance Day, when at 11:00 AM that morning around the country, everyone comes to a halt and stops in their tracks to observe a moment of silence in appreciation for the veterans who have died in duty since World War I. It commemorates the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" in 1918 when the Germans signed the armistice at the end of the first World War. It was a moving moment for me seeing such a busy venue come to silence as everyone remembered the lives lost.

And to end on a happy note, here was one of the more unique items I saw. Wellie warmers which take your boots right into the cold season. And since it's snowing today in London, I'm thinking these would be really practical!  How fun, but I guess I need to buy my wellies first.
The other piece of bright news is that Country Living magazine hosts this fair twice a year, so if you are in the London area this upcoming spring, mark  your calendars for March 23-27, 2011. I'll see you there!


  1. I would have LOVED to have gone to that. I also have been looking for some British pillows and the one you bought is FABULOUS. I am heading over to Jan's website now to check it out - thanks for the recommendation. What a lovely day, you must of had! xxoo :)

  2. Tempting post ... decisions, decisions ... to try and be in Houston in November with you or London in March again?!

  3. Oh Boy, I missed a great Christmas Market! I'll bet it put you in the holiday mood. Might as well stay inside and wrap presents...it is freezing here n London!

  4. A lot of pretty things to see, and did you accomplish any Christmas shopping?
    I truly like the idea of stopping to remember the end of WWI. Wish we would do that state side...might even be a way of teaching a little history, a subject that Americans seem to be lacking.

  5. ACK!!! uh,oh,excuse me....I am picking myself up from the floor...I was overcome with delightful holiday loveliness of it all. I love, love, love these types of markets (especially all Christmas-y) and notice that I rarely purchase all that I desire (I suddenly get thrifty) and yet I always walk away inspired with gift ideas and craft ideas. Oh, Debi, thank you for taking us along as it all looks so gorgeous and something I would not get a chance to do myself. Also I so admire the way the Brits remember their veterans and pay respect to their history. So, cool Debi thanks for sharing.

  6. Hello Debi.. Thank you for you lovely comment once again :-) .. I have not been to this fair for such a long time .. seems to me I will have to find new friends to attend these places, not many of my friends have time to go to these events.

  7. So much fun!
    I would love to go to this!

  8. This post was very interesting. The variety of the textiles is fantastic. I am looking forward for more photos and stories.

  9. Thanks for our trip around the market Deb.
    I love those pretty chintzy aprons with frills ~ one in every colour would be lovely. oh! and your little treat made me smile ~ some-thing French ~ that makes my heart sing.

  10. I always know when I see a new post from you that I'm in for a visual treat, a great history lesson and a vicarious wonderful afternoon. This certainly was all three – how I would love to shop at a Christmas market in London this year! And how wonderful that the moment of silence was observed. Thank you, as always, Debi. Wishing you a lovely weekend! – g

  11. that is an amazing editorial
    totally love

  12. Wonderful post! I always love Christmas markets especially in Europe & USA. There will be one coming up soon, over here too. Warm wishes from Tokyo, Japan!

  13. I love this post... I teared up when I read about the moment of silence... so moving. I want to shop in that area for all things British for my 16 yr old. She wants to go to London really badly, and she even wants to marry an Englishman! She cracks us up.