Grace and I have promoted the Early, Early Christmas Fair for a few years now as it supports a great charity, ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity. The organiser, Caroline Cary, works exceptionally hard every year to find new and innovative stall holders as well as continuing to invite back the all-time favourites.
The fair always happens at the end of September usually at Tedworth Polo Ground next to Tedworth House, now a rehabilitation centre operated by Help for Heroes. However this year Covid-19 put paid to the event, which meant the Soldiers’ Charity was going to lose out on much needed funds. Caroline Cary is not someone who says, ‘Oh well a year off for me’. No she put her thinking hat on and decided to run a ‘virtual’ fair. It has been a real challenge for her but she has risen to it and, in her inimitable way, she has pulled it off.
For those of us who have been regular Early, Early Christmas Fair goers we will not want to miss out and will be logging on as soon as it goes live on 21st September. For those of you who have never been I am now going to tempt you with a review of some of the stall holders.
THE EARLY, EARLY (VIRTUAL) CHRISTMAS FAIR
The Early, Early Christmas Fair brings you a ten day, exclusive, online shopping extravaganza for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Their loyal stall holders have all come together and offered discounts many of which include free delivery, plus 10% of everything you buy is being donated to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. You will discover wonderful small businesses online, brimming over with fabulous inspiring gifts and treats for everyone, including: delicious food, fashion, personalised stationery, books, beauty products, pictures, stocking fillers, beautiful things for your home and garden, gifts for men, women, children and babies – and much more.
I have given links below to the relevant websites so that you can have a browse now. However wait until 21st September and click through to the EEC Fair website to benefit from the offers that will be available so that your sales will contribute to the charity.
ibbi is an online store of beautiful, practical, quirky homewares and found objects from around the world, all gathered together in one place.
The business is based in rural Northumberland but plenty of time is spent exploring further afield for inspiration. Anna, Claire and Eliza regularly travel to India and Africa to visit their suppliers, work on new product lines and search out the beautiful and unique.
Block printed textiles, vintage kanthas, old Rajasthani embroideries, whimsical gifts and delicate hand-painted ceramics all have a place in their collections. Life at ibbi is about mixing the old with the new, the bold with the subdued and finding super cool, delightful touches to give any home a distinctive style.
Click HERE for the Ibbi website.
SILVER PINK FASHION:
Grace and I have long been fans of this fashion website – they are renowned for their pretty prints and feminine knitwear and blouses. They have now branched out into dresses and, with this ‘Indian Summer’ that we are having, you can keep the pop of colour going.
Grace has found the perfect cardigan from Silver Pink which is fitted and also has a feminine edging that makes it a cut above any other cardigan. I love the Boyfriend cardigan and the blouse that I am wearing in this pic.
Go to Silver Pink website HERE
DEBORAH BLYTH JEWELLERY:
As you can see from many of these pictures I am wearing Deborah Blyth earrings and necklace. Her pieces are so unusual and individual. I will be sharing this website link with my husband as I have an October birthday!
Each piece of jewellery has a personality of its own, handcrafted in Deborah’s London studio, through the process of lost wax casting. Many pieces are embellished with semi precious stones for everyday luxury that can be worn from day to night. Deborah ensures the highest quality in all her creations.
Go to Deborah Blyth website HERE
Fabulous ceramic knife sets in a range of jewel colours and more. Using state of the art manufacturing processes that include the pressing and hardening of Ceramic to 400 tons per inch, it has led to a material that reaches 6 or higher on the Mohs Scale. It is not Diamond, but ceramic is much closer than steel.
These are amazing knives – each set comes with a set of plasters! You can select a multi coloured set or just buy them individually. Whatever you choose they would make a great gift for someone who loves to cook – I have my eye on them for one of my daughters who is about to buy her own house.
Go to the Rocknife website HERE
Addison Ross print and fit your photos when you order their beautiful silver and enamel frames. (You choose the colour of the enamel from a large range.) They offer this service for free, printed on high quality photo paper and it saves time and money. You can upload your photo, zoom in, crop and change the filter and then Addison Ross do the rest, it couldn’t be easier.
They also offer free shipping and everything is beautifully gift boxed. Such a beautiful and thoughtful gift especially nowadays when all photos are digital and so we rarely get the time to print of a picture and get a frame. Their prices start at £20.
Go to the Addison Ross website HERE
If you love macarons and have not tasted these ones then you have not lived fully. They melt in your mouth and come in a variety of flavours. Hilton kindly sent me a mixed box and I served them at our Pinksters and Curry party and they went down a wow. I am always looking for fun foodie things to gift friends at Christmas and this year it is definitely going to be these. However they better send them direct to the recipients as, if they come via me, they may not make it onto their final destination!
They come in 17 flavours including the current on-trend Salted Caramel.
From the makers, James and Andrea:
“The perfect macaron should have a crunchy outer shell, a slightly chewy centre that is not too sweet and a generous filling with a flavour that seamlessly fills the whole macaron. To create a meringue-based moment of perfect pleasure, of all our macarons are hand-made with Italian meringue and use only the finest ingredients, all natural fillings and free range eggs. They are all are gluten-free and vegetarian.”
Bliss in a box is how I would describe them!
Go to the Hilton website HERE
THE REAL FLOWER COMPANY:
The Real Flower Company is all about luxury bouquets created from exquisitely scented roses, English flowers, herbs and foliage grown on our own English and Fairtrade sustainable farms.
Since 1995 when founding director, Rosebie Morton first started growing scented garden roses in the walled garden at her family farm in Hampshire, the team at The Real Flower Company has stayed true to its mission to bring exquisitely scented natural roses, flowers, herbs and foliage back into the floristry and cut flower market.
A large box arrived from The Real Flower Company for my Gin and Curry party and when I opened it I realised how special these flowers are. The roses were such a delicate shade of pale peach, the arrangement included wild blackberries and the fragrance wafted up. Fragrant roses in a bouquet are so rare as most commercially grown flowers have had their scent gene genetically removed to increase their durability and longevity.
They promote provenance and sustainability so this is a company name to keep in your address book for the next time you want to send flowers.
THE PINK PHEASANT:
Gifts galore and for all is how I would describe this website. I chose some glass vases which are perfect for your table centre or beside a bed, in a loo or anywhere that requires a little uplift.
The Pink Pheasant has evolved to become an online boutique offering the founder, Louisa’s, own collection of interior accessories as well as her hand picked collection of beautiful gifts and accessories for you and your home – ranging from personalised jewellery, hair accessories, beautiful leather bags, scarves, clothing and lighting. She also still produces their personalised fabric lined keepsake boxes, which is where it all started for The Pink Pheasant journey in 2017.
The Pink Pheasant is based in the wonderful Wiltshire countryside – where they are surrounded by lots of beautiful flora and fauna, particularly pheasants, but I think Louisa is the only pink one!
An absolute favourite of Grace and I for their very individual, often quirky and always colourful shoes and boots. Maybe now is the time to pop a pair of these in your basket as a gift to yourself.
For the men in your life. I had to add this company which is run by two charming young men and they produce mens’ and womens’ socks and also mens’ boxers all made out of bamboo. Another very colourful company – not for them black and grey socks!
I have bought so many of these as gifts but men can never have too many socks or boxers can they?
I hope I have now tempted you to log onto the Early, Early (virtual) Christmas Fair some time between 21st September and 1st October and get your Christmas shopping done early, knowing that every time you buy something a donation is being made to ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity.