Ripley was astonishingly busy last weekend, thanks to hosting two major homes fairs – the Summer Homes and Garden Fair at Ripley Castle and the annual Decorative Home and Salvage Fair.
I went along to both, the Summer Homes and Garden Fair on the Saturday and the Decorative Home and Salvage Fair on the Sunday, taking my mum along with me to each – perhaps not the smartest combination as we are both the sort of shoppers who get carried away at the mere sight of an antiqued wooden jar carrier, even if it does have “Property of Hogwarts” stamped in authentic manner across its side.
The Summer Homes and Garden Fair ran for four whole days – exhausting for the exhibitors, I should think – from Thursday to Sunday, in a huge marquee at the back of Ripley Castle in beautiful grounds beside the lake.
On the approach to the marquee there were lots of intriguing garden objects, wooden boxes and planters, decorative garden ornaments, and also these incredible driftwood horses, above, see top of post. So clever and such beautiful works of art.
On to the inside exhibitors, and a surprising amount of clothing and accessories. If you had a sun-filled holiday planned, this was the perfect place to find floaty and embellished dresses and scarves, cashmere pashminas, plus sandals and hats galore. We’d been in less than five minutes before Mum bought a pair of lovely beaded flat sandals for £20. Then she bought about three metres of some stunning orange and green fabric also for £20 (no idea where she will put it). I bought a gold chain and jade necklace for £12 – a bargain, I reckon.
I popped in to see our friends at Umpie, who were exhibiting (and selling, of course) their lovely handmade bags and also their ponchos. Both Alison and Ruth were wearing one each and looking fab-u-lous.
Then we hit the food hall and bought Heck sausages, some simply amazing pork pies from Farmhouse Direct (wish I’d taken a pic though – we had them for tea that night) and for some reason lots of liquorice from Allsorts of Liquorice.
The next day we set off for the Decorative Home and Salvage Fair, situated in a big field on the way in to Ripley, its rows of peaked marquee stalls clearly visible from the main road.
The excitement started almost as soon as we parked the car (fortunately a big car, as you will see). There were lots of those Hogwarts wooden box carrier things for a start, which we had by now decided was a good omen. I was drawn to the statues, especially the antique classical ones, and I can tell you now I do regret not buying the £70 nearly five foot stone Grecian woman with an urn. On a plinth. What a bargain.
It probably wouldn’t have fit in the car, however, as Mum bought a large stone urn and I bought, on a whim, an antique blue dining set. Tres shabby chic and, I reckon, a bit of a bargain for £150. Here’s a picture of it, above, in situ in my back yard.
The Shepherd’s Hut that Sharon wrote about last week was there too, of course, creating bags of interest and looking especially enticing on what was a very cold and windy day. Mum wanted it.
The Decorative Home and Salvage Fair comes every year to Ripley. I am going to make sure that next year, I save up and buy a statue (or two). And maybe hire a van. Run by Arthur Swallow, there’s another one in Lincolnshire next week, June 1 and 2. See http://www.asfairs.com/antiques-home-show/about.aspx
For the Summer Homes & Garden Fair at Ripley Castle, see http://www.ukgrandsales.co.uk/ for details of other similar fairs in the UK and check out http://www.ripleycastle.co.uk/ for more on the beautiful Ripley Castle and all the events there.