Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Time in Munchen.

Puppet shop

Carta Pura - Papierladen

Marienplatz Christmas Market

I could not manage to finish the year without another little expedition, so I picked all the most festive places I could find, and picked the one with the cheapest flight (I'm not bitter at all, Lapland....) So off I flew to Munich. It was so beautiful and Christmassy, chalet huts everywhere, faux medieval castles, gluhwein, brass bands, sausages, lederhosen, it was just as my wildest dreams had imagined. And it snowed, yes it did.

Above is a little sneek peek of all my favourite places. Now, I know most of them are controversially touristy, but what Brit doesn't enjoy being served a litre of beer by a busty lady dressed as a milkmaid, whilst a group of men in lederhosen play Bavaria's greatest brass hits..? Other amusingly traditional haunts I enjoyed for a wiessbeer or two were the Oktoberfest Museum and Jodlerwirt, the latter of which was equipped with a charming accordion player.

Of the more design orientated places I visited, and I have to say they were few and far between, the Design Museum in Munich was a marvellous retreat form the snow, and absolutely vast, putting our London equivalent to shame. Papierladen was a beautiful bookbinding shop stocking the most through and stylish materials I have ever come across. Trachtenvogl and Jasmin Cafes kept us warm, with the former serving forty varieties of hot chocolate, and both turning into very swish places to hang out after dark.

I highly recommend a cheeky little visit, it is definitely on my list to visit for Octoberfest next year....

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Wish Wish Wish's Wishlist.

Hooray for me, my products are on somebody's Christmas wishlist! And not just anybody, the very stylish Carrie who writes the wonderful blog, Wish Wish Wish. Thank you very much nice lady.

Lovely Merchants.

What a lovely fair! Last Sunday I dragged my stock over to The Victoria Pub in Camden, to join a very thoughtfully selected little market, Lovely Merchants. The Victoria had a very grand upstairs area, where we all set up, and I had a lovely day meeting the fine people of Camden. There was a nice mix of vintage clothing, home ware and handmade skin care.
Lovely Merchants will return for a Valentine's Fair in February....

Amanda selling very fine things from None Such Things.
My stall full of paper goods.

The Long Table.

What a lovely surprise it was when I discovered that every Friday up until Christmas, a late night food market was opening up in my area. Unfortunately every time I went to visit, there was a queue a mile long.....but I decided this was an experience not to be missed and so last Friday I joined the masses and waited for......1 whole hour and forty minutes. While groups dropped out and headed to the McDonald's on the corner, it only made us more determined and, despite the icy wind willing us to do the same, we finally made it in.

Immediately warming ourselves with mulled wine, we sat and looked curiously around the dining tent. Unlike any other food market I had attended, long tables were set up, where everybody enjoyed their food together, lit by many candles in waxy empty bottles. It was an extremely lovely sight and we enjoyed a delicious Eastern pancake, piled high with cheese, cabbage and spring onions.

I have to say I would never queue again to go, but I think it was worth it just that once. There was a wonderful atmosphere of locals simply enjoying eachother's company, and some nice food, all together....

Here is what The Long Table have to say:

'The Long Table is all about conviviality and bringing people together. Grounded in the importance of local chefs, purveyors and producers, the Long Table celebrates all different types of foods and tastes. As visitors graze the wealth of dishes on offer, they will experience the sense of warmth inherent in a big gathering.

Markets are the heart of many communities, a place where people come together to eat and socialize. East London has a rich cultural diversity and with that comes an interesting mix of foodies, chefs, artists and musicians. We wanted a place that allowed locals to come together through the sharing of food.'

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Christmas Frolics at Columbia Road.

Wednesday saw the first of this year's late night shopping events at Columbia Road. As a relative local, I visit frequently on a Sunday for the stunning flower market, but this was really rather something lovely. With stylishly simple Christmas lights, children playing carols on their trumpets, and not a queue or crowd in sight, it was a perfect way to start getting into the festive mood. If you have visited the street before, you will be familiar with the very limited weekend only opening hours of the shops there, but every Wednesday until Christmas they will be opening 5pm-9pm for Christmas shoppers.

After exploring the shops, we sat in the cobbled courtyard and drank mulled cider, ate mince pies and listened to the lovely band below whilst little children danced around. It was a lovely sight, with some very amusing interpretive dance going on. For more information, click here.

The Pop Up Vintage Fair & Handmade and Bound.

A couple of weeks ago I took the liberty of having a day off to look at lovely things...

I was very pleasantly surprised at how well organised the Islington Pop Up Vintage Fair was. Like walking into a village hall in the blitz, there was fabulously nostalgic music, and a lovely array of very affordable vintage vendors. Up on the stage, there was a bustling tea room, well stocked with mismatching crocks and edible treats. After a while of hunting around, live music appeared in the form of the three lovely ladies above, and I really felt perfectly content. It is a rare feeling to find such a lovely atmosphere at a fair. For future events click here.

Next stop was to Handmade & Bound, the affordable book art fair. Despite my absolute hatred of the 'zine', the fair featured some interesting print work and book binding. It was outrageously busy though and I actually had to fight my way to buy some of Samantha Lippett's cards, which were worth it. Sadly I cannot name the artist above as he didn't have any cards, but his work was very fine indeed....