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
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!