Monday, 10 November 2014

A Christmas jaunt

Why hello Christmas! It may only be November, but the juggernaut of spending sprees is upon us. In recent years I have felt distinctly Bah! Humbug! about the whole affair. From my humble mummy perspective, it has been a bit too much work and not enough play. This year, however, I am trying to be less moany and more #MontyThePenguin in my attitude towards the yuletide. In that vein, I actually ventured up to Kensington Olympia last week with my friend, Emma, to visit the Spirit of Christmas fair. 

Spirit of Christmas fair
Tasting the delights of Xmas with my friend Emma
My goodness, what an adventure it was! Olympia may be in central London, but reaching the North Pole might have been simpler. One train and two bus journeys later, we finally arrived, along with a herd of disgruntled fair-goers. It was only thanks to the intervention of a hearty bus driver ("Everyone for Olympia, get off now!") that we managed to get there at all. 


Relieved to have finally arrived, we all gamely trotted into the exhibition centre to be greeted by the interior of a country house. Oh lovely, we thought, Christmas had gone all Downton this year, only to discover that we had trundled in through the wrong door. This was the Olympia venue for an Art and Antiques show. Spirit of Christmas was around the corner in the 'grand' hall. Reverse and exit. Where was our helpful bus driver now?

Glass xmas decorations
Glass baubles are all the rage
When we finally got there, we were not disappointed, however. Just the sight of all those stalls, decked out with glass baubles, ribbons and vintage crockery, was enough to lift our flagging Christmas spirits. Inside the door, there was even a Labrador Company for all those Pickle-themed stocking fillers! Right on, Father Christmas! Further along, there was jewellery, ponchos, toys, cosmetics, children's clothes, china, kitchenware and a feast of food stalls.

Two hours later, we stumbled out into bright sunshine, laden with bags and fliers. For the first time in years, I felt that little fizz of Christmas cheer. It's early days, but maybe this year I really will put Ebenezer Scrooge behind me and enter wholeheartedly into the spirit of it all. Those twinkly Christmas lights might just get me through the winter.



Stalls that caught our eye:



Tins of SteamCream SteamCream 
A light, lavender-scented moisturiser for the face, body or hands, with ingredients fused together by steam (rather than chemicals). The 2010 winner of Beauty Insiders' Choice.


Atlas and I
Framed vintage maps of any location in the UK with personalised silhouette artwork superimposed on top.

Thornback & Peel
Hand screen-printed products for the home with innovative designs, such as pink jelly and pigeons. Goods include tea towels, napkins, stationary and cushions.

Godminster
Organic, vintage cheese, along with biscuits and chutney. Yum! I also happen to buy their cheddar from Riverford!

Pomegranate
Eclectic silver and gold-plated jewellery set with natural gemstones.


Thank you to Emma for inviting me along! If you missed out on the fair and are looking for some Christmas treats, you could always try my friend Sara's online shop.



FURTHER READING

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy
A re-working of the Victorian Christmas classic. In this atmospheric poem, a young girl creeps down the stairs determined to find out if Father Christmas is real...