It is three weeks until the annual Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park, open on two days for the first time May 13/14. This is a really special fair and a lovely day out. Read my blogpost about the treasure filled stands and my beautiful buys from this special event two years ago.
I invited my lovely sister-in law and event organiser Caroline Zoob for an insight into this year’s fair:
I am very appreciative of the chance to contribute a post to Jessica’s blog about the fair my friend Hetty Purbrick and I have helped to organize for over a decade, and which Jessica has visited a few times.
So what makes the Decorative Living Fair so special? First, the spectacular venue with views across the Sussex Weald. It is such a lovely place to linger and spend the day. Secondly, I think that because the exhibitors enjoy being there, they make a huge effort with their stands and the result is a very beautiful and inspiring fair. The clue is in the name: the show is about making your home and garden beautiful, whether your idea of beautiful is pared back simplicity with one or two key salvaged pieces, or a colourful jumble of spongeware on a painted dresser. Anyone who enjoys browsing stalls for antique and vintage treasure for their home and garden will feel as though they have fallen into paradise. We have managed to retain the intimate atmosphere of the fair, while presenting a choice of exhibitors something for every pocket. Prices range from a few pounds for a humble but beautifully shaped paste pot, to thousands for authentic French and Swedish furniture. Interior designers come to source unusual pieces, and we know that the exhibitors hoard their best finds for Eridge.
While most of the stallholders sell decorative antiques and vintage, there is some contemporary fashion and jewellery, as well as a couple of exhibitors who sell contemporary homewares. We are very keen on finding designer – makers whose work incorporates vintage or recycled materials, and we love to support brand new businesses such as Nancy Meiland Parfums and Bodie and the Nomad, both businesses which have launched at the fair.
How Green Nursery, suppliers of plants to many a Chelsea Gold Medallist, create a fabulous display of plants on the terrace – and many exhibitors sell garden pots and statuary, as well as pretty French garden furniture. The Blackbird Café is renowned for delicious cakes and lunches, and if the weather is nice tables and chairs are set up on the lawns to enjoy the far reaching views. People tend to stay for most of the day, alternating between shopping and browsing and exploring the gardens.
I once overheard a customer confiding in her friend that ‘it is the fair I look forward to all year’, and that suddenly made all the work seem worthwhile. It certainly has an intimate and special atmosphere which people return to enjoy year after year.
Win tickets to the years fair. Easy entry here
For more information on the Decorative Living Fair and to buy tickets visit the website
Friday 13 May 9.30* – 4
Early Bird Tickets £11
Standard Tickets £7.50 (11.30 – 4pm)
Saturday 14 May 10-5
Friday Early Bird ticket holders can come back on Saturday for no extra charge (not transferable).
Under 18s free
Plenty of free parking
All tickets available on the door on the day