Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
The Garden of Gifts
Walking through Kingston, I heard a lively Christmas song coming from the grounds of All Saints Church. There stood the familiar sight of the Eden Craft Fair marquee, which pops-up every year to provide visitors with a garden of gifts to peruse. I expected to see a busker by the entrance, but instead, found the jolly face of Santa Claus. A sack of presents hung over his shoulder, his face lit up bright, and although no lips were moving, his singing was a delight.
Many of the stallholders are the same as that have appeared in previous years, so I must admit my interest had wained slightly as I felt I'd seen it all before. If you have not been to Eden Craft Fair before though, it is a wonderland of intriguing gifts.
Whether you are buying for a fashion princess, foodie, kids, or wanting to decorate your home for Christmas, there is an exhibitor for you. The first stall I cam to specialised in hair accessories. They had knitted headbands, floral clips, etc. One of my favourite designers at the fair is Sally Shibori , who makes spiky tops that look doll size when flat, but cleverly stretch out to fit your whole body when worn. This means that the same top will fit multiple sized figures.
Another quirky fashion stall makes vintage/retro style tunics and leggings. While the tunics could be worn any time of the year, the leggings are something you would probably wouldn't be caught dead in unless it was Christmas time. They are the equivalent of the dreaded Christmas jumper.
In the jewellery department, a new stall holder showed up, selling equestrian themed silver jewellery. Silver Steed has presented at prestigious equestrian events such as the Windsor Horse Show, Badminton Horse Trials, Olympia Horse Show, and Horse of The Year in Birmingham.
Amber Affair returned with its gorgeous range of rings, necklaces, bracelets, and glassware. The fiery resin amber gem is inset into silver to create stunning pieces. The Spirit of Amber, on the other hand, does something completely unexpected, and uses amber to make exquisite artworks. They do portraits of people and animals, as well as landscapes of nature and cities. They even had and Amber Tower Bridge scene on sale for £20, which is spectacular value.
Other items for the home can be found at Bowbrook Studios, who creates fine bronze figurines. I have amassed a fair hare collection from Bowbrook, but this year the two standout pieces were large sculptures of an Orangutan and a barn owl in flight.
Although there are plenty of food stalls, surprisingly, there was only one that was particularly Christmas themed, and they were selling mulled wine syrup. It sounded like an interesting concept, and one I have never seen before, but she did not have anything available to taste, so I don't know what it is like, or exactly what it is meant to go with.
The food stalls that I remember from previous years are Lymn Bank Farm, who make artisan cheeses and hampers with oat biscuits, and MedFood, who make tasty Baklava, Turkish Delight, and have a range of dried fruits and nuts. If you can't wait to get your treats home stop by at the Tagine cafe, which make various wraps, including lamb, halloumi, and falafel.
Before you go, don't forget the kids. Pixie and Punk are a children's gifts brand from Twickenham, aimed those six months to seven years old. They make character picture books, jigsaws, and clothing. Then there is Pixie Dixie, who specialise in pyjamas for kids one to twelve years old. I only baby clothes at the stall though.