I’ll always love to remember the adventures my eldest son and I had when he had not long turned one, it was just the two of us and we had days and days to ourselves. Going out and about with a baby is often so easy (compared to going and and about with a toddler that is!) and I could just pop him in his carrier and we could go anywhere. One such day last year when he woke up very early led us to being first at the gate at the very first Dorset Brocante at the Larmer Tree Gardens, near Shaftesbury.
A year on, I was lucky enough to receive a VIP ticket, and a morning to myself soaking in what still is the most beautiful vintage fair I’ve ever been to.
There were quite a few more stalls this year, and one of the first to greet me through the gate was the amazing Sprout and Flower who had really gone with a gypsy vibe, with vintage jars filled with the most vibrant posies, planted tins, watering cans and colanders. The red watering can filled with purple Erysimum is now brightening up my front doorstep!
Inside, I came across Nicholas and Steele vintage and their beautiful antiques and salvaged items. I love the way the stallholders at the brocante present their finds – making me wonder where in my home I could find a space for them! Nicholas and Steele vintage have an Etsy shop here, which is well worth a visit. I’ve actually placed an order with them since I visited the brocante, and their packaging and service was as good as their range of pretty unique decorative pieces.
I was happy to find Sarah Benning and her stall The Blueberry Patch. I have a little collection of her handmade items, including the Easter cushion I mentioned in my Easter Gifts post. Sarah also has an Etsy shop here and seeing so many of her treasures together made her stall a riot of colour!
Another stall that really stood out to me was The Little Green Door by Niki Franklin. Niki makes the most beautiful embroidered pictures and cushions. She has a website here.
One of my favourite stalls – that I usually can’t resist a purchase from, and this time was no exception, is the Botanical Candle Co. They make soy wax candles, in delicious fragrances, in unique vintage vessels. As I write, I have one of their ‘Darjeeling and Tea Rose’ candles burning in a vintage green canning jar. You can visit their website here.
I absolutely love faded pink florals – and so this stall from Vintage Pink was one of my favourites. Ginny is a textile and mixed media artist who blogs at www.textileartpost.blogspot.co.uk
After spending a good hour or so browsing the stalls, I took myself out into the gardens and had a piece of amazing homemade chocolate cake and a cup of tea whilst sitting on the lawn watching the entertainment provided by the Shaftesbury Ukulele Band.
The Dorset Brocante is organised by Sally, who also has her own handmade and vintage business, The Apple Loft. Amongst other things, she makes the most amazing linen aprons – one of which I finally treated myself to at the Brocante. In pink of course!
I’m excited to see that the Dorset Brocante has two further events arranged for 2017. Firstly there’s the Deans Court Vintage Brocante in Wimborne on Monday 28th August, and then Kingston Maurward Vintage Brocante on Sunday 3rd December.
You can find out more, and sign up to the newsletter to be notified about future events at www.vintagebrocante.co.uk