If Halloween doesn't get you brimming with excitement, replace it with an early Yuletide celebration. Instead of spiders, ghosts, and ghouls, spend the days with reindeer, Santa, and pine trees. The Christmas Country Living Fair will be open between the 30th October - 3rd November, and offers everything you need for a traditional Christmas. When I think about a traditional Christmas, the images conjured up in my mind are that of a large Victorian country house with rustic features such as an open fires, homemade decorations, and the whole family gathered round a handcrafted oak table as the turkey is served. Admittedly that is a bit of a kitsch and fanciful interpretation, but with over four hundred retailers supplying unique gifts, it is achievable.
If you are already thinking about what presents to buy, you can find out exactly who to go to for what you need, with their online category planner. Whether you are looking for handmade jewellery, home decorations, clothing, or accessories, just click on the box and it will show you who sells what.
For example, at King Street Interiors you'll be able to style a home where 'country pursuits meet vintage furniture' and 'industrial retro' design. Children will love Alice Maud's unique rag dolls, and you can leave yourself smelling beautiful with the help of Caurine Soaperie.
No on will be going hungry with the banquet of goodies available in the food hall. Described as 'gastronomic heaven', there will be butchers, bakers, and chocolate makers. Buy regional produce such as gourmet sausages, artisan cheeses, indulgent Christmas puddings.
Once you've bought your food going to have to prepare it. If you have never been a dab hand in the kitchen, you can attend one of the Lifestyle Theatre demonstrations. Leiths School of Cookery will be at hand to show you how to cook fantastic food, while Sciolti Chocolates will show you how to make tasty treats.
If like me, you are useless at wrapping, a Simple Gift Wrapping lesson is a must. You will also learn crafts with Kirstie Allsopp. The Location, Location, Location presenter will be doing a book signing on the 1st November. Another TV personality you'll be able to meet is Jules Hudson from Escape to the Country and Countryfile, who will be giving a 'Rough Guide to the Country'.
Although 30th October is the grand opening, it is Thursday 31st that is the most exciting, with a Gala Night starting at 5.30pm. It will include a complementary drink and special performance by The Jersey Boys.
Standard tickets cost between £13-£18.50, but you can also get VIP entrance for £49.99-£59.99, which will give you fast track entry, access to the lounge, and an exclusive goody bag.