Friday 11 May 2018

The Dorset Brocante ...

Nestled so perfectly in the Dorset Countryside
is The Larmer Tree.  Within its grounds it
played host to The Dorset Brocante..... Stunning!

This most gorgeous event held yearly at this venue is so beautiful.  It is organised and run by Sally, who must be run off her feet with it.  It is such a lovely event and with lambs in the fields surrounding it and peacocks roaming around you as you walk the grounds and the extra stalls that were outside and Macaws flying around it is not only stunning it is magical in every way.  The weather was outstanding and there were shady bits amongst the trees outside and lots of vendors selling food and drinks for every bodies  taste and comfort.  The gardens takes its name from the magnificent landmark tree ( probably a Wych Elm) that stood on the site as early at the 10th Century. The singing theatre in the grounds had the Shaftesbury ukulele band playing and deck chairs were on the lawn.  There was a beautiful marquee where Alix Cake Smith had light lunches, drinks and her famous cakes on offer along with other vendors too which I will talk about later... Everything had been thought out carefully.

Buckets of freshly cut flowers were there to greet you when you walked in for purchase and what was so lovely you could buy them before they all went but they kept them for you in buckets of cool water in the shade with your name on to pick up when you left.  I bought some white lilacs and some lavender colour lilacs both with beautiful greenery and are in a huge antique enamel jug in my garden next to our table and
chairs, the bees are loving them ...

There were so many beautiful stalls both inside and out and it was such a warm and gorgeous English Summer Day .. it was perfect.  Then of course there was the truffling for treasure pleasure!  Off I sprang and started wandering around inside first where I knew there would be stitchery!  There is room to move about here and on a hot day that was key.  I would just like to add there was free parking with attendants that were quick and courteous and it really helped with the amount that was coming in hour after hour to this two day event.

In no particular order I was off on the hunt and trying to get some good photo's for you all to see.
Jenny Jones was there and I had seen Jenny at Cranborne fair.  Her set up was very different and in a theme of blue and white.  Jenny informed me that the next day of the event she was changing it to green and white and if that looked as beautiful as this one then the treasure hunters would not have been disappointed at all.

Tiddler and Fox were there with some gorgeous antique china on offer all again in blue and
white mainly.  In addition there was piles of old lace and some gorgeous old enamel ware as well.  It looked beautiful in the scorching sunshine that was streaming through the windows.

CoCo and George were inside as well and by now the place was happily filling up.  Not everyone goes the same way as the food vendors were outside on the lawn and some people were going straight there for coffee and Alix's gorgeous cakes.  So it was lovely with lots of people but not too many that I could not take photos.  This particular stall had quilted hears, cushions, china and vintage eiderdowns to name just a few of the treasures on offer.  Stunning!

Then I spied Lizzie Drake and Linda Clift and as always there was some outstanding
haberdashery along with the most beautiful pieces of vintage quilts.  Ribbons, lace, buttons and all sorts of stitchery heaven made just for us slow stitcher's out there.  I spent a long time here and actually later on I went back for a second truffle session .. It was a feast for a stitcher's soul...

The Apple Loft was next and this is Sally,s stall and Sally organises this fair.  Her daughter Becky was looking after it.  There are always some beautiful things here on offer.  French pots for the kitchen in blue and white, pictures, tureens along with the lovely aprons that Sally makes of which I am the proud owner of two as you know.

Painted Lady was in residence with some gorgeous pieces of furniture and home decor items
, it looked wonderful and if we had already moved I would have actually bought about 6 pieces I loved.  I was good and did not though.  It is where to keep it all.... But oh boy was I tempted.

Rescue and Revive had a beautiful display of not only stitching bits and bobs but also old spoons, forks, cake forks and pudding and sauce spoons.  All of which were silver plated and had been hand stamped with various words or sayings... It was such a beautiful stall and so colourful as well.  May have been tempted .. well I will show you what my husband bought us on there, in the show and tell.

My dear friend Jane was there and she is of Kiss the Book fame as you know.   With gorgeous
bundles of antique books with ribbons tied around them along with craft bundles of old book plates and old papers and envelops.  Great if you love mixed media and great if you journal.  It always looks so lovely and the book bundles are so beautiful always.

Now next to Jane was Parlour Plants and I have never come across them before and their work was really outstanding and so beautiful. Succulent plants and with some amazing displays.  On with a teacup in a book and it reminded me of a Victorian age ... I am sure that is what they set out to achieve and they did so beautifully....  All you have to do with these is just fine spray them with water and not
daily either.

Just outside the doors was Little Red Robbin with beautiful flower displays and the much
loved rusty garden art and trellis works.  We have lots of the poppy seed displays in our garden.. Five in a cluster in one border and the same in another.  We also have 10 of the shepherd hooks that hang lanterns on and of a evening they are full with fairy lights and thanks to this talented husband and wife team our garden looks magical all year round.

The King and I were opposite and there was so many wonderful things to look at and purchase.  It was a truly beautiful eclectic stall indeed, from furniture for inside and furniture for out along with some lovely home decor objects as well.

Le Shed was there just tucked inside by the doorway and I love this stall.  So much to look at and to tempt you with.  You can spend a good half hour or more truffling happily away.  If you remember I bought some great old seed packets from here at the Cranborne fair.  This stall here this day was double the size though with linens, enamel, china, little glass test tubes in stand with single flowers in and so much more besides.  A truly beautiful display.

Wandering around it was time for us to have a coffee and cake and we went to see Alix with her wonderful cakes.   Alix also served ciabatta filled rolls and there were wraps and coleslaw too. There were so many to choose from.  The pictures are at the top of this page as you probably have noticed.

 Also out there was Rosie's ice- cream van selling New Forest ice cream.  Then there was an Italian truck selling pizza and other Italian delights.  It was called MO and it sold Italian street food it said.  Theodore born 1970 was the name of this lovely green and white camper van.

In addition in two different parts of the ground was two Land Rovers selling coffees and cold drinks.
  This was a husband and wife team and they had done such a gorgeous job of them.  The coffee was so good as well - we found out later in the day.

Also there was the Cracking Rib Co.  And they had slow roast ribs and then it was served off the bone and on rice with sauce.  There was something for everyone

With all of this outside in such gorgeous weather it was wonderful to wander about.  The peacocks had their noses in the air too and one cheeky chap actually tried to get in to Alix and her her cakes .. They had to make a
barricade and he was not getting deterred either.  They did well in keeping him out of the cakes, whilst still serving all the people.

I have to tell you that the cream Land rover is a series 3 and is called Arthur and his brother  a 130 Defender is called George... if you see them going along give them a toot!

It was time to go back to truffling and I came across Faded inside, if you have never been to the larmer tree then the room inside is split from a glass almost like a very large conservatory to other rooms behind.. it flows and it makes walking around each turn an adventure... I digress ... Faded was opposite Le Shed at the back and there again was some most beautiful and unusual pieces on offer .. I fell in love with the large sign and the painted glass door dresser .

Artichoke was there and that is someone I had personally never come across them on the vintage circuit before.  They have a shop in  Sherborne if you are ever around there in Dorset.  They had such a wonderful display of beautiful and unusual things and I bought two things here ....

Wayward Rose was there in the front and I had seen her when I walked in but she was very busy so I came back a little later.  So many beautiful things there including so lovely monogrammed linen sheets but I was looking for one in particular for my Mother in Law and I was told she thought she may have what was needed but not with her.  I have to contact her later on... If you are reading this Mum you might just have your backing for your quilt very soon...

Marina Jane Wrix was there too and I had not seen Marina since before last Christmas at a
Dorset Brocante Christmas fair in fact.  We had a little catch up and I had a quick look around.  There were people trying to look to buy so I did not manage many photos I am afraid but you can see from what I did get .. there was treasure to be had!

The Dolls House was outside at the front and she had an enormous stall filled with so many goodies it was unreal.  I am so pleased I took photos earlier in the day because it was depleted when I actually went back to say hello... It was a warm day and people were not cold and loving the sun.  They took their time looking and they had been buying too.  I kept seeing men going to cars with hand fulls of goodies... well my husband always says that is why we bring them! Noooo ladies its not true is it :))

The Shed at Tenby was there and again I had not seen them since last Christmas and it was
so nice to chat and catch up.  Whilst browsing and taking photos along with a few little purchases as well...

Spools of cottons, linen nightdresses, hand stamps and so much more ... it was delicious.

It was coming to 3pm in the afternoon by now and we were about ready to leave the heat of the day and go back to our garden at home.  The last stall we visited was Black Dog Vintage and lots of  goodies to look at too.  Book plates with flowers, china, stitching bits and bobs, old maps, gorgeous butterfly prints and so much more.  Eclectic and charming and a great half an hour I had truffling here too.

Whilst this gorgeous fair had been going on and in the shade of the trees was a large table all set out with fabrics and linens, cottons and threads.  There was a lady giving sewing classes and I think her name was Nicki ... I am sorry if I have this wrong and I am sure someone will point it out to me if I have.  She was very busy and I did not get to have a chat with her.  Everyone there was smiling and stitching and it was the perfect day for stitching in such gorgeous surroundings...

Every little thing at this gorgeous vintage Brocante had been thought of and put together perfectly.  I would like to thank Sally and her team of helpers for bringing to us, on our doorstep such a wonderful vintage event.  I look forward to the next two that Sally is organising ....

Also in the gardens was the Shaftesbury ukulele band and they were playing and singing and going down a treat whilst people were sat on the huge lawn with ice-creams and there lunch... I managed to film a little and that is what I will leave you with.  I would also like to say thank you all for your messages about my Mum.  She is doing well after her little incident.  It was not any ones fault but the resident who grabbed her from behind startled her and Mum re-acted with a slap... oops.  When I got there she was dressed for summer and was sat on her sofa in her room.  I walked in and thought oh well she looks OK .. when she saw me however she jumped up and tried to tell me all about it.  I calmed her and we had a cuddle.  I gave her a kiss on the cheek and she asked if she could have another one!  She was OK and I spent a lovely day with her and my sister.  I had some stitching with me so all was well.

Well all that is left to say is have a wonderful weekend everyone and I will be back here on Monday with a show and tell.  I hope the weather stays beautiful for us all and as always...
Happy Stitching! XX

Take it away ... The Shaftesbury Ukulele Band 


  1. Amazing write up! Thank you. I would dearly love to go to this fair, maybe next year if I can arrange it. I think it is so much nicer when it is in an outdoor setting as I hate crowded places ( partly because some people at these events get extremely pushy). I used to go to the Country Living fairs in London (pre doggies) but gave up because I'm a lover not a fighter!!! 😂😂😂
    I'm glad your mum is ok after the incident. After my auntie had her stroke, which left her unable to speak or use one arm and was pretty much bed bound, she had an incident where she lashed out at the nurse who was trying to help her. My auntie was the sweetest gentlest lady you could wish to know but this is what happens when our brains are altered and life becomes frightening.
    Look forward to seeing your purchases. Love lilacs xxx

    1. Morning Dawn
      Oh pleased you liked the blog today! It took a few hours I can tell you!
      It is a lovely fair and the peaceful setting and peacocks roaming about .. stunning.
      You made me laugh ‘ lover not a fighter’! .. 😂
      I know what you mean though. I think there has to be a balance between success for the organiser of an event and the stall holders whom pay good money to be there and the comfort of those who visit.. the balance was struck here beautifully.
      Mum is shaken not stirred so all is well ..
      Had a lovely day with her in the end, bless her.

      Have a wonderful weekend and take care.

      Sarah xxx

  2. Good morning Sarah. I agree wioth Dawn a really lovely write up and I felt I was there too.
    I loved the film of the Ukulele Band, its stuck in my head now so as I am cleaning etc and wishing I was sewing, I will be humming this song and thinking of you.
    So glad you had such a lovely day.
    Thank you for looking for the backing for the old Quilt I am finishing off. Look forward to seeing it. Perhaps another lunch date before too long.??
    Will try and make the Lamar Tree Fayre next year.
    There are going to be 2 Artisan/Brocante/Vintage Markets in Portishead; May 27th and June 24th. to be held at Court House Farm.
    Its cold here today so have a good weekend with plenty of rest.
    Pleased to hear your Mum is feeling better.
    Love MumXX

    1. Good Afternoon,

      Thank you I am pleased you enjoyed the write up. The band did a couple of sets but this was the first set and first song... I tried to get in there before hoards of people stood there.
      We had a lovely day thank you and I will be touch with the lady about the linen sheet.

      Mum is better after her little scare thank you and all is well again. She is slipping more into this dreadful illness but still get little glimmers of my Mum...

      Not at a fair this weekend but again next weekend so hopping the weather will be good. Its a bit more cloudy now but this morning was hot and sunny and I got some stitching in, in the garden.

      Have a great weekend.

      Sarah xx

  3. So glad all is well with your Mom....scary for her.
    So descriptive are the booths and seller's wares that it makes you feel like you are there. Absolutely wonderful.
    A cold day in the 50's today....have a wonderful weekend Sarah. ❤❤

    1. Hello Lora

      Thank you so glad you enjoyed the read and thank you for your kind words... makes the work of these blogs so worth while.
      It is a bit more chilly here today although this morning it was very warm an sunny, what can I say but English weather!

      Mum is good thank you and settled again for now anyway. Have a wonderful weekend Lora.

      Sarah xx

  4. Oh how I wish I knew of a gathering here like that! I would be there as fast as I could get in the van! The Ukulele Band was the perfect ending! I love your posts! thank you so much for sharing with us less fortunate!!

    1. Hello Marlynne

      We are fortunate that the whole vintage and antique scene has taken off with a swirl here in England.
      Lots of fairs to choose from and we are very blessed with the locations in the gorgeous country side..

      So pleased to have shared it and so glad you enjoyed.

      Sarah xx