Detling Antiques Fair

March 2, 2010

You sacrifice your lie-in and get up at crack of dawn in the dark. You lug around bags of heavy coins. You have to endure cold wellies, freezing fingerless gloves and muddy burger-van coffee. And let’s face it, it’ll probably rain. But bargain hunting at an antiques fair is well worth the effort if you want to pick up some quirky one-off items to make your home look extra special…

At Detling IACF over the weekend I spotted so many lovely things. Check out these gorgeous vintage sewing storage drawers (sadly a bit out of my price range!) and pretty ceramic lids for tooth paste and anchovy paste. How amazing would the sewing drawers look in a craft room? And the lids would make cute coasters…

Haberdashery fans beware: there was a great range of vintage fabrics, old buttons, lace and needlework tools. I bought a delicate tape measure for styling purposes (it only has inches on it!) and some pretty buttons to add to my collection.

There were plenty of wooden printer’s blocks, and lots of elegant bottles and jars, and I spotted a beautiful vintage paint-box. I was really impressed by the range of stalls (although in addition to the vintage stalls there were a lot of traders selling collectable china dolls, lobsters, Disney characters etc which weren’t really my thang) and it only took an hour to get to Detling from London by car. I came home with: a pair of wonky antlers, some Observers books, a bag of pretty stamps (for craft purposes!), some buttons, and an old milk bottle with ELBOW FARM written on it to use as a vase. The boyfriend was delighted as always (NOT) with the latest batch of vintage tat, but I managed to smuggle most of it in except for the antlers. He just doesn’t GET it. I showed him the antlers trend page in the March issue of Ideal Home, and pointed out that antlers are everywhere now, even in high-street shops he’s heard of like M&S:

But he still doesn’t seem to appreciate One-Horn-Big, and says he’s not living in ‘a trophy-filled hunting lodge’. We’ll see. Remember, he said he wasn’t going to live in ‘a 1950s flipping village fete’ but that Union Jack bunting’s been up for almost a year now… – Ellie