After a lazy Sunday lie in on the Halloween weekend I hopped in my car and headed 20 minutes down the road to check out the Secret Vintage Fair which was taking place at Peterborough’s Thorpe Hall. The Secret Vintage Fair is so called because the exact location isn’t revealed until a few weeks before the event, although they do give a big clue as to what area it will be in so that you can make travel plans!
The event hosted an eclectic mix of stalls ranging from jewellery to homeware to toys and everything else in between and I spent a relaxed hour and half browsing the tables and chatting to the vendors, some of whom had genuine vintage items on offer and others featured vintage inspired crafts.
Anna, of Dimocky Art who had brought along some of her beautiful illustrations. I especially like the deers that she’d drawn especially for the fair whom she’d adorned with flower crowns (you can just about spot them at the back in the picture below!).
Another stall offered all sorts of authentic vintage homeware, including the above twine. It looked too good to unravel so I liked their suggestion of using it as a doorstop instead!
It’s worth noting that shortly after beginning to browse it dawned on me that I had very little cash with me. Therefore my top tip (with the benefit of hindsight!) is that if you go to a craft or vintage fair don’t rely on your debit card, most stalls will only take cash!
I moved onto a stand which offered these beautifully presented pieces which wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Downton Abbey…
…but for those of us with slightly less palatial pads they had some beautiful copper and glassware too.
Whilst there was clothing there (and plenty of it!) I don’t really enjoy rummaging through clothes rails. I’m only 5 foot so the likelihood of finding a vintage wonder that would actually fit me are rare! However my magpie tendencies set in and I quickly gravitated to the jewellery displays.
I came across one stand which I couldn’t tear myself away from. It was a treasure trove, each piece different to the next. The vendor explained that she travels all over the world collecting the most unusual and beautiful pieces that she can find.
Every single piece I picked up had a story behind it and I was told it’s date, where it came from and even who had owned it! This particularly beautiful brooch turned out to be Balmain. You know Balmain, the latest fashion house to team up with H&M? Well this is the real thing – pure vintage 1950’s! (I very carefully replaced it before I could break it!)
I know I’m old enough to have grown out of cuddly toys, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with these. They were properly heavy to pick up and handmade with such care. I think I loved them so much because they made me think of my own childhood and that one toy that I still can’t bear (no pun intended) to part with.
I couldn’t resist the chance to try all the goodies on offer at Lillibets Larder but had to make do with taking one of their business cards instead of being able to buy any of it there and then. I’ll be placing an order for their spiced cider and apple jelly before Christmas though because it was delicious and I may have sneaked several tasters of it!
One of my favourite parts of the whole fair was going inside the Time Capsule Caravans parked in the grounds. The Vintage Travelling Tea Caravan can be hired out for mobile catering at events and if I wasn’t already married I’d want to host an afternoon tea in one of these for my hen do. Maybe I can find another suitable excuse to do it at some point… does ‘because I really like afternoon tea’ count?
…I mean, just look at it!
The retro gadgets were just perfect…
…and they had a very retro cocktail caravan too, where you can serve drinks via the window hatch!
Finally, I couldn’t finish this post without sharing this beautiful hairpiece (which I just had to try on of course!). I don’t think my obsession with peacocks will ever end.
50% of the door proceeds went to the Sue Ryder Hospice, who do incredible work for those diagnosed with life changing or terminal illnesses. You can find out more about the work that they do and their Lights of Love campaign here.
This post is not sponsored or in partnership with any of the stalls or the charity, I just wanted to share all the little treasures I found with you! Views and love of all things shiny and delicious are all my own.
If you want to hear first about the Secret Vintage Fair coming to your area you can sign up to their mailing list here.