Today was the first day of the fabulous Firle Vintage Fair 2017! We came along last year, grabbed a few vintage bargains and generally had a ball so we were very excited about returning again this year and of course it didn’t disappoint.
The fair opens for one weekend a year between 10am and 5pm. If you want to stay for the whole weekend there is also the option to take part in the ‘Night Garden‘ which allows you to camp in the stunning Firle Park. You receive cocktails on arrival and a three course meal provided by Wild Sussex as well as workshops, yoga sessions and live music all on offer (we are so doing this next year!)
This year however we arrived at about 10.30 and narrowly missed a rain shower which gave way to bright sunshine that stayed with us for the whole day. There is so much going on at Firle Vintage Fair: live music, lovely food and drink, antiques, classic cars, classic fair-ground rides and lots of people in their glad-rags having a brilliant vintage time. There is a such a good positive vibe.
Antiques at the Fair
I had in my mind that I was looking for a garden table and chairs, something fairly big so that all five of us plus a couple of friends could sit down to dinner around it. However I couldn’t help but get side-tracked by lots of other vintage and antique bargains for sale. Within half-an-hour we had bought a beautiful hand-made beech flower pot and two bedspreads (one dark blue velvet and another with a botanical pattern on it) all for £35 – I had already decided this was going to be a good day!
Toddler at the Fair
It was at this moment that our 16 month old son Albert came face-to-face with the classic car merry-go-round. We were a little anxious about putting him on the ride alone (it wasn’t big enough for one of his sisters to join him) but the friendly ride operator assured us he would be fine and the pure longing all over Albert’s face (ok, and his screaming rage at the prospect of not going on the ride) was enough to convince us to put him on it. Now, I cannot express to you how much little Albie loved this ride, his grin lasted for the duration and he clapped and waved his way around. It was unbelievably adorable, I know I’m his mum so I would say that but it just was(melt!)
Caffeine at the Fair
Next we went in search of coffee (enduring more tears and tantrums from the now heartbroken Albie). I knew that Lewes’s lovely Hannah’s Van was there somewhere and when I spotted her I was delighted to see that she had a huge queue of thirsty customers. If you know Hannah’s coffee then you won’t be surprised to read this. In fact, when I gave Will a cup of her coffee today (he had never tried it before) he remarked “Wow… this is the best coffee I have had in a very long time!” and he was so right, despite the pressure of queuing customers Hannah made each coffee with the same love and care as she always does. Delicious!
After coffee and a lovely Korean street-food lunch it was back to the rides and time for our daughters Sylvie and Vivienne to have a go on what I can only describe as the ‘flying-chair ride’. I feel like this ride is becoming an iconic part of Firle Vintage Fair as pictures and videos of it at the fair are shared all over social media. It is pretty magical and our girls loved it.
Of course Albie had another go on the classic car merry-go-round and it has to be said that as much as we all enjoyed Firle Vintage Fair, I don’t think anyone loved anything there as much as Albie loved that ride, honestly he was like a homing pigeon to that thing and every time he had the chance to walk freely he started running towards it and spent the rest of the day pointing towards it hopefully.
After rides and with a sleeping toddler we went is search of more goodies and ended up finding a huge (HUGE) mirror for our bedroom and a lovely “deconstructed” French leather armchair by seller Mark Chapman. Mark, from Yorkshire, has lived in France for the last 16 years with his wife Christelle and their 13 year old daughter. He has been selling antiques for the last 10 years, visiting huge trade fairs in France and bringing his finds over to England to various antiques fairs as well as to his section of the Lewes Flea Market (upstairs, in the corner so he tells me). Mark has a lovely selection of furniture which can be seen on his Instagramand Facebook pages.
By this point we were all tired and eager to get our new vintage belongings back home so we grabbed a bag of candy floss and made our way back to the car.
All in all, we had another great experience of Firle Vintage Fair and I can’t wait to go back next year – I’ll still be looking for that garden table and chair set no doubt!
If you went along and have any comments please do add them here, I’d love to hear what you think of this local event.