Wealden Times, although it sounds like it ought to be a newspaper, is actually a magazine that bills itself as the 'lifestyle magazine for the Weald', whatever that means. The Weald, for the uninitiated, refers to that area of high ground between the North and South Downs in Kent and part of East Sussex. They do say that a man born in Kent is a Kentish man, but a man born in the Weald of Kent is a Man Of Kent. I am happy to say that I am the latter. The magazine is all about houses, interioirs, gardening, recipes, food, health & beauty, fitness, green issues and local events. It is a glossy mag, laid out a bit like Better Homes or Country Living.
The fair itself was a large affair, with a group of outdoorsy-type stalls in the first area, such as David Hall, who makes croquet sets and wooden outdoor furniture as well as paintings that he does himself. I particularly enjoyed Paul Drewett, whose stand incidentally won best in show, with his random collection of retro toys, pond yachts, decorative and marine antiques and a rather nice child-sized biplane standing proudly in front. After passing Paul I noticed that there was a hog roasting on a spit, which was due to be ready at 2pm. Right - mental note made. We then looked at Wellingham Herb Garden and Usual and Unusual Plants whose names are pretty self-explanatory - lots of lovely herbs and plants. Next was Happy Hampers, who specialize in, well, hampers. Not the modern meaning of the word hamper as in "gift basket" - the older meaning, as in, a hamper. A case containing all the stuff you'd need for a picnic - plates, cups, Thermos flasks, cutlery... and these are originals from the '50s and '60s. They also had a retro caravan at the back that you can go in and there's more stuff on display. Neat-o!
We had a good look round at the first three Marquees, A & B, full of exhibitors purveying their wares. Here's a link to the complete list as there were too many good ones to mention: List of exhibitors
After the first two marquees we were getting a bit thirsty and headed over to the Tea Tent for some refreshments. The Tea Tent was gorgeous, all the cups, saucers and plates were eclectic retro china, and along with our teas and coffees we bought something to nibble on. Sis and Mum had a slice each of some amazing chocolate cake with strawberries and cream in the middle, while I plumped for a Chelsea Bun (it was massive!) The tablecloths and all the decor were very 1950's inspired, too.
|Hosanna In Ex Chelsea Bun!|
|Yes - lavender & chilli!|
By this time everyone was getting a little weary so we made to leave, saying hi to our friends from Silcocks as we did, purchasing some huge meringues from Judges' Bakery, and stopping by Omlet on the way to the exit to say hello to all the chickens in their amazing chicken condominiums. All in all it was a grand day out, if a little on the pricey side. Lots of lovely things to buy and consume, especially if you have a ton of money. I'd probably go to next year's Fair providing I have a lot more money by then.
Oh, and in case you're wondering - the hog was delicious.