If you follow me on Instagram you will already know that I spent my day on Wednesday in London at the Spring Country Living Fair held at the Business Design Centre, I've previously visited the Christmas version of this event but never the spring fair, so I was intrigued to discover what was in store.
Entering through the main doors and looking up I was greeted by the colourful rows of pastel bunting, strung from the ceiling, such a lovely sight. Lowering my gaze I was struck by the beauty of the gorgeous garden designed by Lucy Summers. The garden inspired by the beach, included pastel coloured beach huts, a beautiful bike and a small boat filled with beautiful flowers. Also planted within the garden was the introduction of 'Midnight Mystic' black hyacinths. I felt very privileged to be seeing them during their first day of public viewing. Thompson and Morgan started off the species with 3 bulbs costing £150,00 and have taken over seven years to get to the current stage of production, such a great achievement, it's very rare to be seeing such dark coloured blooms.
Located behind the garden was a small seating area which hosts a number of talks throughout the day. These talks vary from day to day, but definitely worth checking out if you are planning a visit. I stopped by to check out Georgie Newberry from Common Farm Flowers demonstration of garden floristry which was very inspiring. Talking through different materials available from our gardens to use in floristry displays all year round. Even after completing a floristry course a few years ago, it made me think twice about the materials that are available to us in our gardens.
From here I wandered around the stands. Taking a look at all the stunning works of art created by the designers. Seeing how much time and effort had been poured into their creations and seeing how proud they are of their wares. Being able to talk to them about their work, something you don't really get through the internet. One stand I spent a particularly long while at was Ashley Thomas. Such a lovely lady, I could of stood talking to her all day. I took a long time gazing at her stand, I honestly wanted to buy everything, her work is incredible. She painstakingly draws every tiny little detail even down to the repetition of her patterns, to then be transferred onto fabric for cushions, tea towels or wall hangings plus notebooks, greetings cards and mugs.
I also bumped into Jane Means who you may remember me taking a course with early last year. I admire her work so much, she is such a talented lady, and her ribbons are to die for. Such vibrant colours and fantastic quality. Her stand looked amazing, all the little details with the teeny tiny wrapped parcels dotted around were super cute, I loved it.
Another feature of the show is the Country Living Spring Theatre. On Wednesday it was host to some very inspiring speakers, including Liz Earle and Jan Constantine, talking about their journey in setting up their business and sharing some pointers with the audience. Hearing that with hard work and dedication anything is possible left me and I'm sure many others in the room, feeling pretty inspired. For the remainder of the week the talks include: capturing the good life, turning a hobby into a business, how to be self sufficient and designing and decorating a country home to name but a few.
One thing I didn't get round to trying was the craft workshops on offer, sadly I just ran out of time. But it was good to see that one free craft workshop was available to each visitor to the fair and there are some great workshops available to try out. I personally quite liked the sound of the block printing or the chocolate Easter bunny, maybe something for me to try at home perhaps. I'll have to do some investigating and YouTube watching I think.
It really was a great show. You could tell the organisers had worked really hard at putting it all together, but the hard work paid off. It is well worth a visit, if you are in or around London the fair is open until Sunday. It has certainly got me filled with the joys of spring.
~ Gem x