Thursday 4 May 2017

The Larmer Tree Vintage Fair .... such a wonderful way to spend May Day.

“May, queen of blossoms, and fulfilling flowers, 
With what pretty music Shall we charm the hours?
 Wilt thou have pipe and reed, Blown in the open mead? 
Or to the lute give heed In the green bowers.”

 Lord Edward Thurlow

As you know I received a wonderful surprise through the post, a VIP ticket to The Larmer Tree Vintage Fair for May Day.  Going along to be there a 10am and I kept hoping the weather would hold because the weather forecast the day before had been terrible... the sun was shining and I was so pleased.  It was a gorgeous drive to Tollard Royal where the Larmer Tree is and there were lambs in the fields all the way around the country lanes playing in the sun.  It was a beautiful drive ( I was being driven so I could look all about the fields and at all the blue bell woods we passed along the way.  It was just lovely to be out and invited to such a wonderful vintage fair.

We were greeted by the most wonderful sight, a peacock who was displaying his gorgeous plumage and happy to keep turning around and about for photos to be taken.

As you can see, he was a handsome one indeed and I had not realised the noise the feathers make when they shake them to attract a mate ........

There was so much to see and do here as the gardens are all open as well for you to wander about in.

In no particular order I came across the lovely Lisa Giles Antiques and Little Wren Vintage who were sharing a stall outside in the
entrance.  They had all the home wares there and the fabrics were inside ( just in case of inclement weather!  As always everything looked beautiful with such gorgeous displays.

Next door was the wonderful Sprout and Flower who always comes with the most amazing of garden displays.  Old vintage gardenalia all planted out and oh my I could have bought a few bits.  I did settle for one beauty but you will have to wait to see which one I did decide on for the garden ...

I loved it all and when you have to stand and decide it can be very tricky!!

Going inside the place was buzzing, all the stalls had been set up awaiting the public that would come through the gates in half an hour.  I had a chance to snap some great photos before that happened.  It was to become so busy, indeed more busy than had been anticipated by the lovely organisers but right now it was really calm and I was able to start taking the photos without hands and bodies that I normally have to dodge.

Right by the door was the lovely Nicholas and Steele with such a beautifully display area.  It was a real show stopper of a display with lots of gorgeous treasure to tempt everyone.  I decided not to buy anything straight away but to use the time only for taking photos .... I felt it would be unfair of me so I was just happy to snap away and chat to lots of people I knew....

Mercer and Rose were there as well and there is always something gorgeous on this stall.
 Today was no different with lots of things all set out beautifully.  Last minute tidying of stalls and the odd move about was happening it was lovely also to see other stall holders wandering around looking at other traders stalls and taking photos as well.  Mutual admiration for others artist talents is so lovely to see.

There is a larger front hall then there is a door way to another hall and its like an L shape and then another little bit to one side.  It is hard to explain and may sound bitty but it just flows and the way the organisers had set out the tables was just right.

Then I spied the very talented Nicki Fretwell who had the most lovely stall and with lots of her own design and makes .... I have two of Nicki's dolls at home and love her talent.   She will also be at the Kirsty Allsop handmade show, which you have to be invited to attend as a stall holder.

The Little Green Door was there as well and I had first seen this talented lady at the Love Lane Vintage fair the weekend before.  She had set up partly in a corner and it looked really pretty with vintage goodies and her hand embroidery all there displayed for people to purchase ....  As you can see it was so beautifully set out.  Good job I got there early as there were swarms of people starting to arrive by now.

Vintage Pink was there with some most outstanding vintage quilts and quilt pieces on display.  I did resist buying further quilts as I think I need to go through what I have really.  Yes still sorting my sewing room a few hours a week so I need to take stock but oh my! as you will see.

Because I was so busy taking photo's I did not stop to really look as I did not want to be tempted until I have had a kind of stock take....

Vintage Jane was there with lots of gorgeous vintage goodies displayed it was a great eclectic
array of temptation.  It looked really beautiful.  It was lovely to see M as I have not seen her to talk to for ages it seemed to me.  We had a very quick catch up as by now the doors had opened to everyone else and so it became suddenly extremely busy indeed....

The lovely Jack and Liz who have become such lovely friends of ours were there of The Washerwoman fame and as always with the table lamps aglow and the array of outstanding vintage French goodies along with beautiful fabrics.  It is always lovely to see them and catch up a little.  There were fabrics, buttons, books, 1950 fabric flowers, French fabric stamps and lots lots more to tempt.

Just around the corner from Jack and Liz was my lovely friend Jenny of Tilly-D fame and we
were able to have some time to chat as the swarms of people had started to come in.  I am really not sure I have ever seen it so busy before.  My husband had said the car park (fields) was getting packed with cars parking.  At this point I did see a couple of bits that Jenny had and did make a purchase as everyone else was coming in now.

As you can see from the photo is was every fabric lovers dream .......

Then right next door was the lovely Jane of Kiss the Book with all her beautiful antique books and craft empherma packs ..... Jane had made me up a beautiful pack of bits and had wrapped them as a gift for me! I couldn't believe it.  Such a beautiful and generous thing to do.  It was so lovely of her and she is such a warm and gentle lady that I am proud to call a friend...... Thank you again Jane xx

Who did I spy opposite but Clare of Daisy Darling and her family, it always lovely to see them and her youngest daughter always gives me the best cuddles in the world!  I get a few throughout the day and this day was no exception. (wonderful)  Clare had made some beautiful cloche hats and her milliners skills are outstanding.  I was so busy looking and snapping away I forget to say to her that I am in need of a summer hat so if you are reading this Clare ... now you know!

Right next door to Clare was Teresa of Cherub Antiques with lots of really beautiful antique jewellery.  It looked just like a grown ups sweet shop! with rows of bead necklaces and gorgeous brooches along with bangles and rings .... just so beautiful to see.

Then I heard someone say hello Sarah and it was Sue and her husband of Suitably Vintage.
Always with some wonderful haberdashery and fabrics the stall looked beautiful.  By now people were everywhere and it was time for my husband and I to go and get a cup of coffee and some cake.  Well I had a piece of cake and my husband throughout the afternoon sampled a few bits as you can imagine ... yes Nicki he did not let you down.  Its a dirty job but someone has to do it!!! his words.

As we wandered down through the gardens there was a ukulele band singing and playing on the beautiful stage by the big lawn.  People had started to get deck chairs and picnic rugs out and were happily clapping and singing along.

There was the vintage ice cream van Rosies was parked by the side and already a queue had formed to buy some.
The sun was warm and the grass was dry and very green and inviting to sit on and with the music in the air and children playing and happy.

In addition was a coffee and tea vendor selling from a beautiful old horse box in cream that had been made so pretty with hanging lights and I asked about and it was really good coffee I was told as well.  This was for people who did not want to have cake of any kind of food and just sit with a warm drink and watch the singing and of course the peacocks that were wandering around with their distinctive cries ....

The planning and the thought that had gone into this wonderful vintage fair was outstanding and it is in my must attend calendar every year.  I would love to go to them all but I can not, although I do go to many .... There are some though I always do attend.

The Big Bang Pizza Company had fired up the pizza oven and you could smell the aroma of logs burning
which was gorgeous ....  I was to visit them later for a pizza which was delicious.  The queue was long and the pizza worth it.  The only trouble was they ran out because no one had thought that so many people would be there.  I believe there must have been over 1000 people went through that day.  All the food vendors ran out, it was a very well attended event that was well thought out and was in such a wonderful setting in Tollard Royal a gorgeous Dorset village ....

We had finally made it to the marque for coffee and cake.  As you will see it was outstanding! There was chocolate cake, coffee cake, rose and pistachio shortbread, raspberry and earl grey cake, apple cake, peanut and banana cake.  There was sausage rolls, soup and bread a filo tart and ploughmans just to name a few.  All lovingly made with such passion and talent by Alix-Fauvel- Cakesmith.  Alix is the organiser and maker  of this gorgeous pop up cafe and helps Sally organise the event as well so you can imagine how busy her day was .....

My husband tried some Apple cake with his tea and I had a piece of chocolate cake with my coffee ... it was outstanding.  Later we came back to the marquee and I had a ginger beer and my husband bless him had another tea and some soup along with more apple cake and banana and peanut butter cake, raspberry and earl grey along with some shortbread ( which I had to have a couple of bites of as it was divine!  Andrew said that the peanut butter and banana was a great iconic blend a true classic and he loved the apple cake which he still maintains is the best!!  He tried most things as his job as tester and did a fine job at it .... where he puts it I am astounded and so was Alix !!

There was a b b q going on in the grounds as well offering sausages and burgers with coleslaw but I just could not get close enough to take a photo I am afraid.

It was time now to see a few more stalls before closing  and we came across The Little Red Robin who was selling the garden Shepherd hooks that we have with lights on in our garden along with some fine wrought iron poppy seed heads as well .... we might have!!

I am a collector of these bits for the garden and they will come with us where ever we eventually end up living but for now they adorn our garden here by the sea.....

Tiddler and Fox were there with some beautiful vintage treasures all displayed with thought and care and with so much temptation.!

As you can see from the photo there was vintage china, glass and handmade cushions from delicious vintage fabrics along with vintage terracotta plant pots made into candles .... with the flowers that were there too it smelt beautiful.


Honeysuckle and Rose were inside and as always everything was laid out and displayed beautifully. Everyone at this fair had gone that extra mile it seemed to make everything look every bit a Dorset Brocante.  I always seem to find something I neeeeeed on this stall ...

As I had said Little Wren Vintage had some fabrics inside in case of rain and some really beautiful quilts ... it was a great decision because about an hour before the end of the show the heavens opened and the hail came down... The food vendors had sold out in time it seemed but then the inside became really busy again ...

It was time for us to head on home now and I was pleased that Andrew had taken my purchases already to the car so it was a case of run and get a bit wet !!

What a beautiful fair and so much work and planning goes into these events.  I would like to thank the organiser of this must go to vintage fair Sally for all her hard work and planning.  In addition, for
sending me a ticket to be able to get in earlier to bring some great photos for you to see of some talented makers and sellers of all things antique and vintage .....

I will leave you with one fella that was not bothered by the storm and was watching I am sure with amusement at everyone getting wet and running to cars or inside to do a last bit of treasure hunting ...

Hoping you enjoyed a little peek and as always Happy Stitching! XX


  1. Looks like you had a lovely time

    Julie xxx

  2. It was a lovely day Jule .. one worth travelling for.

    Sarah xxxxx

  3. Thank you for your lovely mention & pix. As always it was lovely to see you both. x

    1. Thank you Lizzie ... so good to see you and Jack.
      See you soon xxx

  4. I would love to have been there, just looks so beautiful and all the lovely items. Hope all is well with you Sarah! Always admiring your wrork! xxx

    1. Hi Diane
      How lovely to hear from you! Not too bad here, how are you and lovely Boston! My second home!!!
      Thank you so much.
      Take Care
      Sarah xxxx

  5. This sounds wonderful but would have to leave the doggies at home. Wonder why they are not allowed? I have been here in the past and it is such a pretty place.

    1. Hi Dawn
      It is beautiful, I think it's because of all the peacocks that dogs are not allowed but I did see a sign ' dogs strictly on leads' so It might be because inside the rooms it can be crowded....

      Sarah xxx