We’re going to let you in on one of Jo’s little secrets.
For the past few years, she’s done much of her gift-shopping at a Christmas fair organized by a local Kent-and-Sussex glossy called The Wealden Times.
Why? Because in several (heated) marquees, erected in a walled garden at Bedgebury Pinetum (just off the A21), you’ll find all manner of covetable goodies: antique, vintage, hand-made – but all super-stylish. Basically, it’s like the Country Living Fair used to be, in its early days, before so many well-known names muscled in.
The only challenge, in fact, is not buying one gift for yourself for every present you snap up for someone on your list. (Ahem. This is a challenge Jo has so far failed to rise to…)
There are some delectable beauty stands, including a ‘pop-up’ of beauty editor Karena Callen’s Violetta boutique, which is worth a visit in itself.
Of course, on our own site right now you’ll find a run-down of all the beauty goodies we’re coveting ourselves. (Find it here.) But we do know that (strange as it seems) not everyone thrills to a bath oil, or a body cream, or a lipgloss trio – and would instead prefer a worthy-of-Mr. McGregor garden trowel, a ‘pre’-loved’ book, a crisp white nightie, a gourmet indulgence or a cuddlesome cushion. (Plus: there’s always something very heart-warming about supporting local producers and ‘makers’.)
So if the Weald’s local to you, make a date: from the 24th-26th November.
Just be prepared to wrangle Jo for the silver dessert spoons she’s got her eye on.
The Wealden Times Midwinter Fair - admission £7.50 on the gate or £6.50 via advanced booking (see website below or call 0800-294 9011 to book)
Thursday 24th November – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 25th November – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 26th November – 9.30 – 4.30 p.m.