Last week I ventured to the big smoke to take a peek around the Country Living Spring Fair, held at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Having exhibited here years ago during my degree show, I knew how large the exhibition space was however, I still had that “Wow!” feeling when I walked in and saw the sea of colourful stalls.
We first ventured to the Producers Village on the ground floor, having been quickly enticed by the delicious smells of freshly cooked sausage samples, home made cheeses and of course chocolate.
Having been my first visit to a Country Living Fair, I hadn’t really expected to see Food & Drink stalls for some reason however, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the various brands and trying their wonderful samples. Here are a few that got my tastebuds going:
I don’t eat sausages very often (although Conrad does!) and I’ve sampled a few at fairs before, but these guys had some really lovely flavours that certainly grabbed my attention.
Having sampled “The Family Favourite”, “Plump Pork & Apple” and “Smoky Chorizo-Style” sausages, I’ve bookmarked their website and will be adding them to my monthly shop… yum! Every batch of sausages is mixed by hand to give that farmers’ market touch, and most are gluten free too.
Having a lot of chicken in my diet at the moment, I’m particularly excited to try their Chicken Italia sausages. Mediterranean inspired and low in fat, sounds perfect.
Quirky and colourful branding first caught my eye on this stall but after munching on some of their Choccy Apricot seeds (sunflower, pumpkin seeds and dried apricot coated in Belgian milk and dark chocolate), I found reason to hang around a little longer.
The sweet silky chocolate and crunchy seeds was a lovely mix, as was their Honey Seeds mix. Due to the sugar content I’d have to save these as treats, but they’re wonderful treats all the same and a great alternative to boring crisps – with more vitamins and fibre too.
Another chocolatey treat, but this time they’re super cute treats in the form of “Dreamy Chocolate Hippos”…
Who wouldn’t enjoy these little guys?
So as you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed our journey through the Food & Drink stalls! Following on from this, we journeyed up into the main craft stalls. With the mix of exhibitor types on show (from makers to boutiques), there was a really strong shopping feel to the event. Whilst I was expecting to meet more makers, it was interesting to discover some lovely looking galleries and craft shops.
I was particularly excited to find Heidi Rhodes’ work. Her beautiful and whimsical textile pieces set the eyes jumping all over the surface, discovering little hidden gems and textures. Using cute and familiar themes such as The Magic Roundabout and Alice in Wonderland, her pictures excite your inner child whilst also impressing the keen eye with her use of fabric and thread.