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The Spirit of Summer Fair

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The nights are drawing out. The days are getting warmer. There's talk of holiday plans. The sun is starting to peak out from behind the clouds (on some days). Yep, summer is finally here again.

To really get in the mood, consider spending a day at the Spirit of Summer Fair at Olympia (it's indoors so it won't matter if it rains).

It starts on the 11th of May and runs for four days. Billed as a 'boutique shopping event', it could be just the place for those looking for a spot of summer inspiration.

Run in association with House & Garden magazine, the fair will give you the heads-up on what's trending in the summer of 2011. You'll have the chance to enjoy a whole raft of special events taking place under the banner of Summer Lifestyle Workshops.

You can, for example, go along to a cooking demo by top chef Tom Kerridge (Hand & Flowers) in which he'll share with you some valuable tricks of the cooking trade. Other chefs at the fair include Michelin-starred Claude Bosi of Hibiscus and Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House.

Alternatively, attend a session with colour and style consultants Red Leopard. They'll help give your summer style a fresh look, and guide you towards outfits perfect for you.

For those who like to make the most of summer weather by heading outdoors, throwing a blanket down and cracking open a bottle of cooled white wine, how about the Harvey Nichols Perfect Picnic workshop? Try some of their best drinks and accompanying food while your host advises you on how to create a picnic that'll be enjoyed by all.

New at this year's fair is the Interior & Garden Theatre where lots of design professionals will be on stage inspiring you with ideas on how to give your home and garden a fresh look for the summer.

You'll also find the Designers Gallery where you can find some unusual gift ideas crafted by some of the UK's newest and best creative talent.

One of the highlights of the show is the Celebrity Hat Auction with The London Ladies Club. Taking place on the 11th of May, Jeffrey Archer will be hosting the auction, selling off hats that used to perch on the bonces of the likes of the Duchess of Cornwall and Joanna Lumley.

Throughout the four-day event you'll have lots of opportunities to shop, with more than 100 exhibitors displaying their wares at the fair.

Of course, an event like this wouldn't be complete without some top class refreshments about the place. At this year's fair you can dine at Mosimann's Summer Restaurant, while the stylish Champagne Bar will see to your bubbly needs.

There are various ticket types available for the Spirit of Summer Fair - click here for more information.
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Why? It might be just the thing to kick-start the summer.
When: 11 - 14 May, 2011
Where: Olympia Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London SW5 9TA
Cost: Adult tickets from 15. Many ticket types available.
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