Friday 1 September 2017

The Dorset Brocante.

Deans Court in Wimborne
Dorset, lends itself to such
an event.  It was such a gorgeous
setting for a wonderful fair.

Bank Holiday Monday and still the most gorgeous weather, it was such a perfect  day in such an idyllic setting.  Deans Court played host to The Dorset Brocante and you could tell that Alix and Sally had worked very hard indeed to bring it all together.  These ladies run The Dorset Brocante at The Larmer Tree in Dorset but this year they have branched out to run a few more, I really hope this one was a success to them and will continue to be a yearly event.

It started at 11.00am and as we were just up the road from it, the start of our day was a lot more civilised to say the least.  The sun was out and the grounds of Deans Court our really stunning.  There is a river that runs through it and just by the side of that river was a huge marquee's filled with Vintage Treasure.  There was also little gazebos and food vendors dotted around along with a marquee and tables and chairs by the river in the shade of the trees with Alix and her team offering wonderful refreshments as well.

There were some of the vendors that were at Wisborough including The Washerwoman, Suitably Vintage, Little Red Robbin, Little Wren Vintage and more so I have tried to mix it up a little by finding others that were happy for me to photograph them for you to look at as well as some familiar faces.  In no particular order .......

The first person that I found who I have not seen for simply ages it seems was the lovely Nicki of Quilterdown  fame and her beautiful hand made quilts from vintage fabrics and antique quilt tops she has made into quilts by adding some vintage fabrics.  There was a quilt made from vintage shirts as well as the most beautiful log cabin quilt all made from vintage Liberty fabrics and it was amazing!!! It was so lovely to catch up with Nicki and I did a spot of stalling whilst she took a quick break that day too.....
Nicki is a very talented patchwork and quilter and you know patchwork and quilting take such a huge amount of hours to complete and to get right.  Her prices are so keen and I wonder how many of us would work for little or no money per hour?

I have several of Nicki's quilts and the most famous to you all is the one made of old paisley fabrics, it is like she made it just for me.   Happy was I the day I met this lovely and talented lady....  Look at the quilt above that she made from all vintage Liberty fabrics, and all hand cut for a log cabin design the hours and hours that were spent on that .....

Next door to Nicki was the very talented Sprout and flower and the gorgeous blooms, bouquets and displays that were there for all to purchase.  The smell of the flowers in the heat of the
day was beautiful and a light heady smell of Summer was in the air.  She remarked how wonderful the setting was and what a pleasure it would be to sit there and stare at the surroundings even if she was not very busy that day, as it happened she was but there were moments when I saw her sat with a smile on her face looking about the wonderful grounds of Deans Court.

I met for the first time Faded who had set up a beautiful vintage furniture stall in the main
marquee and the things that were on offer were so beautiful.  If we had moved some of it would have come home with us I can tell you.  Beautifully displayed with room to move it really was a pleasure to look around.

The two very old chairs you see in the photo left where sold very quickly and no wonder they were stunning!

Now take a look at this what an amazing thing, I met this lady Sarah who knits socks on the oldest sock making machine I have ever seen, in point of fact the only one I have ever seen in my life.

She was so kind to let me take a photo of her at work.  Her socks are all gorgeous colours, different sizes and lengths and men and women's socks were on offer.  Her gorgeous dogs were asleep in their baskets with the marquee opened up for breeze happy and content were they.  Sarah's business is called Cottage Socks
and I really hope she does well.

She is very talented and knowledgeable and it was pure pleasure to meet her and watch her at work.  Yes Ladies and Gents I did purchase a pair of her wonderful socks and you will see a photo of them next week when I do a show and tell of the treasures that I
purchased over the Bank Holiday weekend.

I loved watching Sarah work counting on what I gather were the amount of stitches and there were little pieces of metal like hooks that she swapped about, if she is reading this I would imagine her laughing at my oh so technical way of explaining this process to you!

Another Sarah was present in that marquee too and she owns The Blueberry Patch.  Sarah
makes beautiful brooches, pillows, ornaments to hang and so much more.  She photo copies old images of sewing button cards, seed packets, trade cards that sort of thing on to fabrics and then makes beautiful things with delightful old images on them.  It is always a pleasure to see Sarah and her beautiful work.

There are images of old sewing and dressmaking patterns on lavender filled pillows or rose and
lots of gorgeous things to choose from.

I was tempted and did purchase a few bits from Sarah and put them in my basket which was steadily filling with some gorgeous vintage treasure and thus far nothing from my list! .. Shocker!

Again another first for me was Painted and they had some most beautiful furniture and home
decor.  Lots of French pieces and painted chairs.  There were some old chapel or School chairs painted in grey and had one of them been just wood I would have purchased it.  I would like one very much with the little book box on the back.  Everything was so lovely and again had we have already been moved I may have needed some deliveries because there really was some top quality bits here to purchase.

The Little Red Robbin were there and had been at Wisborough Green as well, they had
sold out of iron work there so there were a lot of hours put in on Saturday Night and Sunday to be able to have stock for this Bank Holiday Fair.  Again the displays were outstanding and different again so I wanted to show you how talented this husband and wife team are both at their respective crafts and display.

The Dolls House was attending Deans Court and I met them for the very first time this year Cranborne.  Their stall and their vintage goodies need lots of time to look around it was so wonderful.  Lots of stitchery things but there was old furniture and garden items it was a eclectic vintage heaven.
at the Spring Vintage Fair at

So much to see and truffle through it was wonderful.  They were outside with their own gazebo and area around it so lots of space to display and have lots of people looking at all the treasure.

The Shed at Tenby were there and I had heard of them but never come across them so it was
a utter pleasure to look about all the lovely things they had brought along with them.  No mean feat either because they came from Wales as you can imagine with a name like that.  It was so lovely to meet them and to be able to look around their wonderful stock.

Vintage Pink was there too what a happy surprise, they were at The Cotswolds vintage fair and
if you remember my gorgeous Hubby bought me the Dresden Plate Quilt from them.  We had a talk about that because we had not had a chance in the Cotswolds.  They said that he had said to them 'I was worth it' when they had said your wife was trying to be good but he wanted so much to get it for me.  Made me blush, I am a lucky lady!

I had told them this particular day I was looking for a Bears Paw quilt ( very old and faded one) and they did have one but it was not in the colours I had been after but we talked quilts and our mutual love of them and how they could part with them to sell .....

Lisa Giles Antiques was there with no Mr Hudson as again he was being spoilt by his Grandparents.. Its a dogs life! ...

There were different bits on over again lovely lavender filled little pillows/cushions made from old and I mean very old French quilt pieces and fabrics.  I did sit a while and chat here and next to her was ......

Little Wren Vintage ... happy days.  Now the lovely Emma was sat with us and unpicking some of that 1920 Suffolk Puff Quilt .. She said I could take a photo for you.  It is a pain staking process with an un picker and you have to be precise and careful not to fray the fabric on the puffs then they would be no good at all.

Emma had baskets of lovely fabrics and old patchwork pieces for sale along with old clock faces.

There was the most lovely of paisley old eiderdowns for purchasing old done up in a ribbon along with old glass bottles, china and pillows.  It looked beautiful and inviting....

Now it was time for me to get a little something to eat, My husband had come with me for half an hour then he had to go and do a couple or errands and was coming back later in the day which he did and did the cake stall proud!  Anyway I went and got myself one of Alix's handmade sausage rolls which are legendary and a scoop of her Greek salad and a cold drink.  I found a nice little table in the shade and sat there watching all the people enjoying themselves. Alix is co organiser of this event and with so much prep and cooking to do on top as well....

Then I heard a voice say did I mind if she joined me, finding somewhere to put down her food and drink.  We had never met before but started chatting.  It was so lovely to meet Helen and we had a really lovely chat like we had known one another for years.  She remarked on how beautiful Deans Court was and how many gorgeous vendors were here with the most tempting stock....  If you are reading this Helen thank you for your company and for our great chat. XX

We said our farewells and went off in our different directions as I wanted to take photos of the the rest rooms... I know you may think me mad but they were housed in Shepherd huts and they were so pretty and so plush I wanted you to see them for yourself, outside only, I am not that bad!!

Little wooden steps up with box trees to each entrance they were so pretty under all the beautiful trees ...

For people to eat there were so many choices, not only quiches, sausage rolls, sandwiches and salads with Alix Fauvel - Cakesmith but there was also a Hog Roast going and then an ice-cream van called Super Scoops and the pizza guy was there who owns and runs The Big Bang Pizza ... But what caught my eye was the   Crumpets and  Tea van and serving exactly what it said but with such great and unusual toppings to the crumpets.  Run by two lovely ladies .

As you can see it went down very well on this particular hot summers day and the people kept coming.

What caught my eye and made me laugh out loud was their

sign and I did ask them about it before taking the photo.  The stories they could tell Ladies and Gents but its a bit of fun and goes down well at all the events that they attend.  Just look at this....

The sign reads ' If you like our crumpets, squeeze our trumpets' and there are trumpets hanging from the sign to squeeze and signal you liked your feast!

It was time to continue looking around and I came across Now and Forever which was an  Aladdin's cave of vintage beauty, so much to see and look at.  It was set out beautifully and they had utilised the wall of the marquee too.  Every time you looked you saw another treasure you had missed first time.  Wonderful!

There were chairs hanging on the marquee wall, jugs, bowls, rolling pins, tables, cushions, clogs,
boxes and old iron tables and chairs to name just a few bits.  I loved this stall and hope to see these guys again on my travels .....

 I visited the Grey to Green Home stall and there were some beautiful threads, glass bottles,
old shop tags, glass wares and all sorts of wonderful treasure on display again this was a beautifully set out stall with an eclectic mixture of things and yes I came away with some lovely bits and bobs....
I have seen this great stall before at The Larmer Tree but it was so good to see them again.

The lovely Sally was there not only does she help organise The Dorset Brocante but she also has a stall called The Apple Loft and she had some wonderful things on offer.  Some more of the old wool loom spools with wool wound around but also linen pinnies with the cross over backs and in some stunning colours, yes I did and I wills show you in the show and tell, I am thrilled with it.

Last of all but not least there was Poachers Pocket and I had never come across them before.
 There were some gorgeous hand made hares,  hand made sewing needle cases, cushions and other vintage goodies.  Very pretty stall and laid out beautifully as they all were .. everyone had flowers on their tables and this stall was no exception.  Such beautifully made things and a great selection of vintage treasure.

It was such a wonderful fair to visit I loved every moment of my day and especially when my husband came back to eat lots of cakes and we sat in the shade of the trees by the river.  We were joined by Lizzie of The Washerwoman for a little while to catch up on her break, she had left Jack to man the stall for a while.  The fair was in its last hour and the numbers of people had gone down so it was not as frantic for those stalling at that point of the day but in those temperatures I think they all deserved a medal.
Andrew loves Alix's cakes and she is a very talented patisserie, her cakes are beautiful to look at so visual and they taste as good as they look.  They got an A* from my husband and do every time ...

The birds were singing and the trees had a slight rustling sound with the welcome addition of a little
breeze.  It was a lovely end to a gorgeous day.

We left there and went home and sat in our garden in the sun and then watched the sun set over the sea behind our house.  We poured some wine and I made some salads for our supper with some Focaccia bread it was a lovely end to a great weekend, the weather was amazing and the fairs and meeting up with friends .. perfect.

I hope you have enjoyed your little look around this great fair. I will leave you with a candid photo of a couple sat at the end of the day with  a wooden rabbit treasure perched on their table enjoying the shade and the little breeze at the end of a great event held in. the Dorset town of Wimborne at the wonderful Deans Court.  Thank you Sally and Alix for all your hard work, It paid off

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and as always Happy Stitching! XX


  1. Wow! you had the most wonderful weekend

    Julie xxxxxxxx

    1. I did Julie it was a great way to spend Bank Holiday! The sock machine enthralled me! Weather was amazing too!

      Sarah xxxxx

  2. Another lovely fair. Well those were charming toilet facilities! My husband will tell you that I always give an inspection report on the toilets....I loathe public toilets....horrific at times...enough said!
    Crumpets and trumpets...such a brilliant idea. I can't wait for our garden to be finished so we will have free weekends again.
    I will have to look up bear's claw, sounds amazing and very American.
    Thank you for the lovely blog.

    1. Thank you Dawn so pleased you enjoyed the read. Toilets! .. I am the same! Enough said.

      Bear's paw quilts are stunning especially the very old ones! Dawn , in muted colours...
      enjoy looking .. but wear a bib! 😂

      Sarah xxxx

  3. Lovely write up of a fab event Sarah. xx

  4. Thank you for including me in your lovely write up of the brocante. Wasn't it a great day? Look forward to seeing you again soon. Sarah. Xx

    1. Hi Sarah
      Thank you! It was lovely to see you. You will feature Monday too, so take a peek
      Sarah xx

  5. Hi. This is Sara of Cottage Socks. Thanks so much for the mention. By the way the metal hooky things are the needles - each stitch needs a needle! If anyone wants to see more then please do head over to my Etsy shop alternatively go to (that's me too) and my blog where I bang on quite a bit about naturally dyeing (it's addictive), sock making and cake.

    1. Hi Sara
      It was wonderful to meet you and you antique sock machine! Ah needles ( you can see tech, even v old tech! Is not my thing) of course ! Needles.. 😂

      Will join your blog.. Sara.

      I have done lots of natural dying and blogged about it .. love dying vintage linen.

      Hope to see you on the vintage circuit Sara.

      Kind Regards

      Sarah xxx

  6. Your day sounds utterly delightful Sarah. I agree with you about Nicki's quilt - quite stunning and a work of art. Mo xxx

    1. Hi Mo
      It was a lovely day and I am looking forward to their Christmas one in December!
      Niki' quilts is beautiful and a labour of love ..
      it takes hours and hours but people expect it to be £70 ! The fabric costs more than that!

      So pleased I got to see it. She is so talented.

      Sarah xxx