Archives for posts with tag: fair
Pepparkakor

Pepparkakor

On the weekend we went to three different Christmas fairs (plus one other food fair) in one day – and came back with a whole haul of sweets, treats, and other delicious edibles.

We’d gone to the Finnish fair at the Finnish Church in London two years ago, so we knew exactly what we wanted to buy: licorice!  We got a fair amount of that, including some licorice-filled chocolate (surprisingly tasty).  We also got some other great items, which I loved even more for their packaging than for the taste novelty.  European packaging is always so funny!  I guess someone looking at a squeeze bottle of Aunt Jemima might think it was pretty weird too, but I think the teddy bear with the cast on his leg and the sling on his arm on this package of ginger cookies takes the cake.  I also loved the wholesome-looking country girl on our instant porridge box.

Elovena instant porridge

Elovena instant porridge

After purchasing our items we went across the street to where they’d set up a sausage grill, and ate some pretty good, very large hot-dog type sausages with lingonberry sauce.  When we came out the queue for the Finnish fair was even longer than it had been when we’d arrived.  It’s extremely popular – I had no idea there were so many people from Finland or of Finnish descent in London.  Everyone there seemed to be speaking Finnish.

We had a good time at the Norwegian bazaar at the church down the street from there, too.  We’d already filled our backpacks with purchases but we managed to cram in a few more chocolate bars, including Kvikk Lunsj, a KitKat-type confection.  The ladies in the church were wearing beautiful hand-embroidered traditional clothing.  For the second time during the day, I wished I’d brought a camera (the first time was for when a person in a Moomin costume came by the checkout line in the Finnish church.  His costume had no holes for eyes so someone had to be leading him by the hand the whole time!)

By the time we got to the German Christmas fair from Cologne at the South Bank, we were all so tired and full from eating so many treats that we just couldn’t force ourselves to get any of the edibles.  We just walked around and looked at the Christmas decorations and other German handicrafts on offer.

We did manage to eat a pork sandwich and a few other savouries at the Slow Food fair, which was also going on at South Bank.  The Slow Food market is something I love going to for its organic delicacies.  They had a special tent for exhibitors from Romania this time, with lovely rugs and some nice jam.

Four food fairs in one day is too much, though, even for me.  There’s a smorgasbord of candy on our couch and I don’t know where I’m going to put it all!

Ceramic cup by James and Tilla Waters

Ceramic cup by James and Tilla Waters

I went to Origin – the London Craft Fair at Somerset House yesterday, for the second time in as many weeks.  I knew as soon as I stepped in the door on October 9th that I’d want to come back for the second round of artisans, so I bought the special two-visit ticket, and I’m glad I did.  Yesterday’s visit was every bit as good as the first.  I brought my sister this time and she enjoyed it too.

Walking into a space filled with beautiful work of every description made me feel giddy for the first few minutes; after half an hour I felt glutted with loveliness.  It’s actually quite difficult to look at so much beauty all at once.  My usual method is to walk round the space quickly, making a mental note about what I’d like to go back and look at more thoroughly.  Then I go around again, spending more time touching things and talking with the artisans.  My sister and I both admired a gorgeous hand-woven hemp shawl by Tazuko Saitoh and talked to Eloise Grey about her wonderfully tactile organic Scottish tweed coats.

I came away with some goodies for other people and a cup by James and Tilla Waters for myself.  Its minimalist gray and red design is perfect for calm weekend mornings.

I also got an advance copy of Ruth Singer‘s new book, Sew It Up – a modern manual of practical and decorative sewing techniques.  I’m really looking forward to working with some of the quilting techniques!  The book is published on 30 October.