Last weekend Blanch and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend the day at the Handmade Fair at the lovely Bowood House near Chippenham. We had already been to the handmade fair at Hampton court so was super excited to hear that it was coming to the West Country for the first time this year. For those of you may not have heard about the Handmade Fair before, it is such a great way to spend a weekend packed full of inspiring talks by some of the industry’s experts (we went to an amazing one hosted by Liz Earle more on this later!), various different workshops where you can try your hand at practically any craft technique and huge shopping tents filled to the brim of lovely handmade wears locally sourced in the U.K.With the fair being held in the beautiful gardens of Bowood House and on a glorious sunny day it really was the perfect way to spend a weekend.
What’s really lovely about the ticket options available is that it is completely up to you how much you participate in or not. In previous years at Hampton court we have taken part in a fab chalk paint workshop with the wonderful Annie Sloan learning the wonders of up cycling furniture and learning the technique behind creating a pastel coloured macrame wall hanging which is currently proudly displayed at home.
As we were a little unorganised this year (lesson learnt would be book workshops well in advance!) we opted to attend a super theatre session instead with the lovely Liz Earle discovering plenty of wellness wisdom to help us look and feel great. Liz was such an inspiration to listen too, who knew she has been pioneering natural beauty and nutrition for over 30 years! It was so interesting learning about the importance of gut health, a subject rarely discussed in today’s media but crucial to overalll health and well being. She also spoke about her new book “the good menopause guide” again a subject that is still not openingly discussed and almost tabo in today’s society. It was fascinating to hear her thoughts on why this topic is still not taken seriously as it affects one in two of us.
We started the day at the local food market, sampling all of the delicious produce and of course gin! Some our favourites include a homemade granola company Rolla Granola whose cereals are 100% natural and perfect either with natural yogurt in the morning or a great pick me up snack in the afternoon. Being big gin fans we were in our element sampling all of the different flavours hand produced in the south west and ended up purchasing a delicious gin and raspberry jam.
We next way our way to the shopping tents where we spent a good couple of hours strolling round admiring all of the handmade goods and local wares. I have long been a fan of Annie Sloan and her wonderful chalk paints so was pleased with my purchase of one of her “starter kits” that feature 2 pots of chalk paint, 2 different types of wax and a Annie Sloan paint brush. I have been meaning to up cycled an old wooden desk for quite some time so cannot wait to get started with my lovely new chalk paints, one a French grey and the other a soft dusky pink.
We spent the rest of the day strolling round the rest of the lovely craft stalls stopping only to enjoy a glass of bubbly in the sun. There were so many delicious lunch time spots it was hard to choose a favourite, in the end we went for fresh pasta followed by fresh strawberries and cream.
Thank you to the Handmade Fair for having us and for such a wonderful day in the beautiful grounds of Bowood. I cannot wait to get started on my Annie Sloan paint set and finding a home for all our wares. Liz Earle was such an inspiring speak and it was lovely to hear discuss everything with her oldest daughter from the powers of walnuts to natural skin care and how to supply your gut with the goodness it craves. From listening to Liz speak I have actually purchased her book Skin sharing delicious well being recipes that nourish your skin from the inside out. I have long suffered with bad skin and am looking forward to trialling the recipes, I will of course share all here on the blog 😊