Thursday 30 November 2017

The Country Winter Brocante

Magical Winter Day
wandering around the grounds
of Cowdray House in West
Sussex, surrounded by vintage beauty.

I am hoping I can capture and relay to you the magic that was The Country Winter Brocante last  weekend, it was outstanding.  The amount of people that went through the marquee's was unbelievable, certainly on the Friday when we went.

Just wandering in the entrance marquee told you it was going to be like walking into wonderland.  As you can see from the photo here, the anticipation of what was to be inside.  With a coffee stall outside for those who had travelled and could have a warm drink in the queue whilst waiting.   There was a large Christmas tree inside as well and it smelt like Christmas as well.

It was bitterly cold day mind but with warm drinks on offer and a fabulous pop up restaurant that was run by the very talented The Hector and Fox who had made hot soup, sausage rolls, incredible bacon and brie brioche baps along with gorgeous cakes and so much more you could put fuel inside you and sit inside for a rest when needed.

Everyone had made such an effort when dressing their spaces and Christmas was everywhere.  I had my list in hand and a basket and I took as many photos as I possibly could.  This was not easy because at one point it was so crowed you could not move, literally.  Not forward, back or sides it
was heaving.  This is not good for some and a few people at the point just waited patiently to walk around until they could get outside and have a warm drink.  Everyone wanted to be there early but by 1.30pm it thinned down to a very pleasant and enjoyable pace and attendance.  By this time though most stall holders had sold so much and were not restocking until the next day.

I caught up with some wonderful friends whilst there and bumped into Lisa ( Vintage Dahling) and her sister Demon Shopper!  Look at Lisa's Dress she made and wore on the Friday she looked stunning and so full of Christmas spirit and the colour just suited her so well.  Then I bumped into a lovely friend Mo and her husband all the way from Scotland, we had a great catch up and coffee together.

At one point when it was so full my friend Jo who is here from Australia and who came with me, went outside and had coffee with the wonderful Nicki( Quilterdown) and Clare.  To say we laughed and laughed and we were crying with laughter as well.  So good for the soul. So many friends there
and so much laughter and of course looking at what each other had found in their own little treasure hunts inside.

Cosy Chris was there with a little stand selling her book Scandi Christmas and she was there talking and greeting people.  It was so lovely to see her.  She has some of her things that she made for her book there and it was the perfect place to buy a copy if you did not own one and of course you could go on the hunt for materials to make something from the pages of her very beautiful book.  All the photos were taken at her own home and it is such a beautiful visual book as well as having clear instructions on how to make some lovely bits for your home or as a gift.

Emma was there of Little Wren Vintage with some gorgeous goodies on offer, Quilts, stockings,
fabrics and quilt pieces as well as some beautiful vintage goodies.  Emma has an eye for how to dress her spot and the people were swarming around in there.  The amount of people certainly kept us all warm and toasty.

I was on trying to take photos and look at my list that was clutched in my hand. It was no mean feat I can tell you.  I wanted so badly to find some ballet shoes, really old and been danced in ballet shoes.  If they were red well that would have been the icing and cherry but pink would be good also.  Then like a beacon of light I saw a Christmas tree decorated with two things on my list.  Old sheet music and ballet shoes. .... This was Nicki Page Antiques.  Her stall was outstanding and again I was lucky to get some photos before it all went and I had the forethought to not wait to pick up a few bits for me as well ( show and tell soon)....

A celeb made an appearance and is well known at this event and that was Mr Richard E Grant and wife.  They were there walking about and buying.

Weathered and Worn were there and they had a corner spot which seemed a little bigger,
room to breathe and it was set out so beautifully lots of people just stood and staring at it all the vintage treasure that was on offer.  I was able to take a few photos for you and have a good old browse around which was lovely.

Hellish Designs were in attendance with some really beautifully covered lampshades to purchase Mr Grant was in there at the same time as me and was making a purchase.  Also on offer is some great vintage goodies it is a beautiful eclectic stall with something for  everyone.

There were candles, fairies, ceramics and so much more all beautifully displayed for people to look at.

Caroline Zoob was there and not only was she taking stitching classes but she also had a stall Turner & Zoob         it was really pretty with some wonderful baubles to purchase as well, again very eclectic and festive.  Caroline was teaching some techniques and there were stags and rose hips being stitched all the day.
as well and shared it with  Turner  and they called the stall

The lovely Simone was there Ayres and Graces and her most lifelike but whimsical animals, so wonderful.  Knitting or stitching hedgehogs and sleeping hares along with snowman and of course her hand stitched and embroidered cushions as well.  It was lovely to catch up and lovely to see her and her incredible work, such a talented lady.

Etoile Brocante were there and again so much diversity on items for sale with top hats, tutu,s,
angel wings and very old and loved teddy bears.  You just had to keep wandering and looking as I seemed to see something different each time I looked.  This was my friends Jo's observation as well.  She was having a wonderful time looking around and around.

It was time to meet up with Jo and get some of that wonderful hot garden soup that The Hector and Fox had made and a sausage roll.  Later there was some delicious orange and chocolate cake too.  Several warm drinks were consumed throughout the day and a bottle of fizzy water.  When sat you get joined by others and everyone is chatting excitably about what they have purchased and
seen whilst wandering around.

Rest over I went to see Nicholas and Steele and look around all the beautiful vintage and antique goodies that were laid out beautifully.  It was really lovely to be able by now to have a little more room to look and linger without feeling you were in others way.  Always but always I find a little something on this stall and this day was no exception either.

Maud was there Beyond France and she was very busy indeed and I only managed to get a few snaps for you.  Later in the day before I left did I get to catch up with this wonderful and busy lady with all of her stunning linens ...

Liz Jones was there and had made up some really lovely kits with fabrics in to do fabric art.  Everything you needed to complete a little project including thread and a colour photo of the made up peace.  Great for beginners and more advanced people alike.  Her stall was so pretty.  Each kit was in a buff coloured box with ribbon tied around it and I know lots of people were purchasing from her.

I caught up with Suzi of Hearts 'n' Kisses and as usual she was very busy indeed, her style of stitching is unmistakable and always a smile for everyone.  Again very busy day for Suzi and she had Christmas trees, pictures and all sorts of beautifully handmade goodies for sale.

Rosablue was next door to Suzi and there were some beautifully made dolls and fairies along with rabbits and other toys.  There were vintage soldiers and  and a wonderful blue tin train.  Some little boy ( or a big one for that matter) would have loved that if they like trains.

Joy of Joy Helen of Rosie's Armoire was there and I had not seen her since last Christmas at
a fair, our path had not crossed.  I knew she could fufill some of what I had on my list and I went a shopping happily.  I had missed her completely in the morning because it was so busy.  I did not think she was there.

Wild Willow was there with beautiful Christmas wreaths and displays and that is were part of the Christmas smell was coming from, pines and oranges with berries and scents.  You could order on the day and if you were a local then you could pick it up nearer in December.  I love looking around flower stalls it is like walking through the perfume department in a large stall the smell is divine!

Cachepot was there and there were some really beautiful things on offer with a real Christmas
tree covered in goodies to purchase too.  The smell again draws you near and the twinkling lights of the tree.  Teddies looking out of a painted antique cot, pottery and china and old painted boxes too.  Just a great visual beauty to look at.

Antiques and Interiors by Lisa Giles had the most pretty displays with some wonderful old furniture and hand made lavender pillow made from antique quilt.  It was so good to see Lisa and she was very busy indeed and no wonder.

Little Red Robin was inside a marquee and they are normally outside selling their flowers
and garden wear.  These are the people who made our shepherd crooks for the garden to hang lights on and the seed pod ornaments made from old rusty iron.  Such wonderful displays but they said they preferred being outside even in the cold as it was so very busy inside.....

Three Kings was there with beautiful home decor and furniture, these are the couple that we bought our dresser base from back in the summer that is now full of gorgeous old quilts in the guest room.  They also sometimes have really rare dolls houses as well.  Again beautifully laid out and they were remarking on how busy the day had been for them and the show in general.

Stuff and Co where there with some absolutely gorgeous things on offer, the stall was an eclectic treasure trove of all things vintage and it took a long time to look around everything.  This as you can imagine was a very busy stall indeed.  And that red robin you see, came home with my friend Jo x

It was time for one more coffee and a sit down and talk about how wonderful the day had been the side of the pop up marquee was open I could not resist the view.  The food had long been packed up but the warm drinks were still being served.  We sat looking at the sign that was also on the wall with a Christmas to do list on it.  It had a lot of attention that day and people loving the words and the
things to attend to before Christmas.

Myself and Jo were off to pick up my husband who was working in Worthing that day and then he was going to drive us to a great old pub and we were going to have a meal before heading home.  We stopped at the White Swan and it was very festive in there as well.  If today had not got people in the Christmas spirit then three ghosts would have visited them that night for sure.

We took a drive past Cowdray House that was all alight with red lights and the fire lanterns were all lit as well, it was quite a sight to behold.  It was such a wonderful day and if you have never been to one of the Love Lane Vintage Brocantes run by Lucy and her team then its a must for next year.  You will have such a wonderful time.

I hope you have had a lovely time with a peek at this amazing fair.

Have a great day and as always Happy Stitching! XX


  1. WOW! you had a grand time! Love that lady's dress. Did you buy lots of goodies?

    Julie xxxx

    1. Lots of goodies Julie! It was so easy to do!
      Will do a show & tell xxxx

  2. A great summation Sarah. I speak as a first time visitor and thought it was everything that I hoped it would be - and more. I've read your reviews of this fair before and it sounded magical - it was! Jimmy and I both bought lots of stuff, but there were so many wondrous stalls that I'm sure we missed as much again. We are so looking forward to the summer one now! Have a lovely day! Mo xx

    1. It is a very good fair with so much visual beauty and great treasures! Even Jimmy found man stuff!
      It was lovely to see you both.

      Sarah xx

  3. Oh it all looks so wonderful. Part of me would have been in heaven the other part would have found it hell to be in such a crowded place. I don't do crowds. Looking forward to seeing your goodies. Does the Heart and Kisses lady sell online anywhere? X

    1. Hi Dawn
      It was far to busy for a while, we escaped outside for coffee.
      Suzi of Hearts n kisses is on Instagram and sells from there on occasions so have a look for her and message her. She will help if she can.
      Have a great weekend!

      Sarah cxxx