Nestled in the town of Midhurst on the Cowdray Estate in West Sussex was the Country Summer Brocante - what can be better than the English countryside day out? a vintage fair?
In the marquees a carefully curated selection of artisans had set up with textiles, handmade items, decorative antiques, haberdashery, country garden wares, wild living and so much more! This event is organised and the brain child of the talented Lucy (pictured on the right, this is not a photo taken by me but Cowdray) who also owns the Country Brocante Store in Midhurt and it has just celebrated its first Birthday.
There were talks with Sophie Conran and hand stitching workshops with Caroline Zoob. The
very talented Hector and Fox provided the catering and the stunning setting with access to the grounds to explore .. This promised to be a great day!
The weather at first looked like it might let us all down, after such gorgeous weather there were very dark ominous clouds hovering around but it did not at all. It was not cold and in the afternoon the sun shone brightly, but it was not so hot as it had been for the week, which I think was slightly refreshing. ( gorgeous refreshing salads by Ian and Paulo of Hector and Fox)
If I had only one word to describe this event it would be WOW it really was such a wonderful day.
The setting for a start and then when you walk in through the first marquee the atmosphere alone gets you smiling.... I had my list and purse plus basket and a woman on a mission to capture the day and enjoy it as I have not been to a fair for ages. The last one I attended, I did not get to report on for you with all that has been going on, I was determined this time but it is going to be a little different.
I am recently finding I can not take photos of everyone there and also chat and of course shop and enjoy my day all at the same time. These events are very busy and there is so much to see and do at a vintage fair of this size and magnitude it is impossible, so I decided that I would put a list of every stall holder that was there and take lots of different photos to show you and to try to capture the essence of this magnificent fair in this blog .... I hope that I will achieve it for you.
We left home with what we thought was slightly cutting it fine to get there when it opened but not at
When I first arrived I went straight to find Clare of Lou Lou Retro because she had some fabrics there for me to pick up and I also knew that there would be lots of other gorgeous ones on offer too, and as it turned out there was so much to choose from because she had restocked that morning! Clare actually found me as she knew from my photo that it was me, I however did not know what she looked like because she stays away from the camera and the limelight if at all possible. It was me in fact that encouraged her to be there and I can tell you all now she actually enjoyed it because it is a social event as well.... I picked up some rather fine stunningly beautiful fabrics and quilt pieces of which you will see tomorrow but oh my! It was
lovely to finally meet and we both said that is was like we have known each other for years and years. I am now hoping that she will do a few more fairs in the future and you will be able to meet this wonderful lady and have a chance to purchase some of the most gorgeous fabrics I have ever seen as well..... watch this space.
Clare and Rosa Blue had shared a stall and the handmade fabrics dolls and vintage children's nursery items perfectly nestled in with the gorgeous fabrics!
Wandering around I saw some familiar faces and caught up with friends, actually in the afternoon I sat in the most comfortable chair ever and had ice cream with Emma of Little Wren Vintage and Lisa
Giles vintage ... There were a pair of the chairs and truly if I had room for them they would have come home with me. I sat there and chatted eating an tub of scrummy ice cream and they both had the same as my husband had gone off and bought us all some .... We laughed and caught up it was great. I did buy some bits as well but I so wanted those chairs ....
There was a cake and coffee tent and it was Miranda Gore-Brown and she was there with her book as well. We went in to sample a little ,mid morning, well it had to be done. Everything looked gorgeous as you can imagine but we only tried two cakes between us as in the warm weather not even my cake munching hubby could manage more. We tried the courgette and chocolate and the rather spectacular carrot cake ... two of our five a day so it did not seem too naughty! Both were gorgeous but the hands down winner of the both was the courgette and chocolate it was sublime!
All of the stalls were so well stocked and laid out everyone there had gone that extra mile it seemed to make everything look so beautiful. The little Red Robin was there selling their iron garden items. You may remember we bought shepherd crooks from them before with garden lights and some poppy head seeds as well. So we decided that we needed more of the poppy seed heads and bought 6 more.
Although it had been a cloudy morning (although still very warm) the sun came out fully in the afternoon and it shone throughout the ruins and made all the flowers that were everywhere give off such a beautiful scent in the air it was really a most beautiful way to spend a summer day and surrounded by treasure untold.
Helen Morris - Clarke with her exquisite hand made jewellery was there and there and with each design featuring individually selected pearls, Swarovski crystals and precious and semi - precious
stones and my husband bought me gorgeous necklace for my Birthday in December so you will have to wait until then to see it because its been put away already! I am also going to the Ballet in London for my Birthday so Helen is making me a necklace for that as well ... I have to get my dress by August so she can guide me as to which colour I should have my choker.
I caught up with Sonia of The Old Haberdashery and Suzi of Hearts n Kisses as well and met some lovely people for the very first time .
I have to tell you that Suzi practically ran out of items on her gorgeous stall. Her work is unmistakable and people flock to own a bit of it. One lady Suzi reported nearly cleared her out on the Saturday afternoon. This is a
testament to her talent and expertise. There is such a beautiful naive quality to her work that makes it unique and collectable ..
Then I met Alfie who was the star of the show. Alfie had sat in this bucket with a cosy quilt for the
two days only getting out to stretch his legs and have some water. He did not bark at other dogs, enjoyed all the attention you wanted to lavish on him and he was there with Karen of Ostrich and Silkworm. The stall was amazing as well and so were Karen and Alfie....
I have never met such a laid back doggy in all my life and so very handsome and friendly I had to go back several times to say hello it had to be done he was such a handsome fella with a nature like no other!
A vintage caravan was there all painted and done up so pretty in the sun, then I spied it was selling
gin! Pink gin, lemon fizz and all sorts of gin based drinks. It would have been rude not to indulge so I did.. after all my husband had supported the Wiston champagne tent so I felt it was not just for refreshment purposes but for a report for you guys .. and it was gorgeous! there don't say I do not throw myself into reporting every last thing for you all > grin!
Simone of Ayres & Grace was there and this lady is another shy behind the camera lady but the talent that she has is outstanding, as you know I have a few of her pieces and they way that she captures animals and then puts her unique whimsical twist to her creations is beautiful. In addition to that she is a very accomplished embroider as well and as usual her stall was so very pretty and you could see people in awe of her work. You just want to stroke the animals and it took all my effort not to come home with the hedgehog!
There was a florist Wild and Willow outside with such wonderful flowers and bouquets for sale I
took a card. This very talented florist specialises in bespoke wedding flowers across West Sussex, Hampshire and London. Not only was it visually gorgeous but you can imagine the scent!
There were stalls with gorgeous candles and room scents, handmade items, dresses, jewellery, pottery, fabrics, home decoration and French antiques There were over a 100 stalls to look around and so I have decided to name everyone that was there for you so that you know for the future Brocante which is in August this year, who you might expect to be there plus others we are all yet to meet ..
Wild Planet products.
VAGABOND ANTIQUES * AUGUSTUS BRANDT * BENNETT & BARNES * BELLE EPOQUE * PAINTED HOUSE * GOOSE HOME & GARDEN * SPLENDID TED * DOVE DECORATIVE * TARA FRANKLIN * VELVET RIBBON * OTTOCENCO * ROSEBUD & VIOLET * LOIS PINNCOCK * FABULOUS VINTAGE FINDS * ALEXANDRA GUHA * CHRISTA DAVIS * CHEZ CHIC * DB-D * SU MASON * FOLKSGLOVE * FORAGE SOMERSET * HANNAH WATCHORN * WILD PLANET PRODUCTS * BONE INTERIORS * HEART AND DAISY * REBECCA CLARKE INTERIORS * ROSEMARY & FERN * THE OLD HABERDASHERY * SUGAR AND SPICE * FRENCH COTTAGE INSPIRED LIVING * PINK FRAZADA * SNOW JEWELS * GABRIELLE IZEN * JUSTINE JENNER * THE UPHOLSTERER * LIFE ENGLAND * B &R ANTIQUES * WHAT KATE LOVES *JUNO SKINCARE * PARKMINSTER * RAH & CO * BERBEROUCHE * LUCY BRADSHAW JEWELLERY * GIL FOX HATS * AYRES & GRACE * JULIANNA HEALE * PAGODA ANTIQUES * SUITABLY VINTAGE * SUSIE PETROU & FLEURIE * AMELIE EN PROVENCE * CACHEPOT * THE BOTANICAL CANDLE COMPANY * MERCER AND ROSE * HEARTS & KISSES * GROW & GATHER * A THREADBEAR PRODUCTION * WHITES & VIOLETS * MIMI VINTAGE *ROSIEBUD VINTAGE * ROSA BLUE * LOU LOU RETRO * NOW AND FOREVER * THE WOVEN AGENCY * HONEYSUCKLE & ROSES * OSTRICH & THE SILK WORM * DRIFT JEWELLERY * POUND COUNTRY ANTIQUES * DUNTISBOURNE * NANCY MEILAND * ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR * ETOILE BROCANTE * WILD WILLOW * HOMAGE * THREE ANGELS * TINWORTH * THE LITTLE RED ROBIN * THE KING AND I * WILL AND BEA * COUNTRY CHIC * BELLE MAISON * PILLO LONDON * CHAPMAN HOUSE * LISA GILES * LITTLE WREN VINTAGE * REC N RUN * MAISON BLEU LIN *********
The above is all the stall holders that were named in The Country Brocante Brochure so I really hope
that I have not missed anyone or there were last minute changes that I did not know about.
I would like to thank Lucy and all her dedicated team who made this weekend a really special one, it was such a great day out meeting up with friend old and new, enjoying the fresh West Sussex air and shopping for treasure in what was the best shopping in a field I have ever come across.
Thank you to all the Artisan stall holders too for being there and making the two days really special as well. Thank you all for the visual beauty and your talent that your brought to this amazing event.
Lou Lou Retro fabrics ..... <3
Well that is it for today I hope you have enjoyed your little tour. With so many stall holders it was not easy for me to think how to do this but I felt name everyone and and take a few photos ... Do not forget to come back here on Thursday and see what treasures I did find ...
Have a wonderful day all and as always Happy Stitching! XX
And yes of course I did ... had to buy a few of these threads!!