Winchester is a gorgeous Cathedral City with many very ancient buildings. As with all ancient cities in the UK the city centre was never designed for modern day traffic. Winchester council have a very efficient Park and Ride scheme where you leave your car in one of 4 large out of the city car parks and hop onto a bus for the ride into town. Normally this service is only Monday to Saturday but for the Christmas Fair this was extended to run on a Sunday.
When we arrived at the Park and Ride we were delighted to see a fleet of the old Route Master green double decker buses waiting to take us into the city. These had been specially commissioned to provide transport just for the Christmas period. This sight took me back to the memories of the buses I used to take as a child (in London where I used to live though they were red. Green buses were classed as "country buses").
We clambered up the stairs to the top deck to get a better view for our journey.
Just look a the old seats. We even had a conductor who shouted "hold on tight" and rang the bell twice before we trundled our way into the city. We saw the effect the recent heavy rain has had on the river, as we passed.
I snapped this photo from the top of the bus. You can see how the river was pounding under the building across the bridge at such a height. It was swollen to flood levels. Let's hope not too much rain falls as this could be very serious. Many parts of the UK are flooded at the moment and even in the normally dryer south and south east the ground is saturated and flooding.
The fair is held in the grounds of the cathedral and opened at 10 am. When we arrived, around 10.30, it was already very busy.
We joined the line of people walking through to the cathedral grounds which opened up into a large courtyard where the fair had been set up. All the exhibitors were in wonderful wooden huts, similar to those seen in German Christmas fairs.
The first thing we noticed was the amazing aroma, a combination of mulled wine and fruits.
This seller had the most amazing wreathes made of fruits and pine cones. The fruits included lime, orange, lemon and even cinnamon sticks and chillies. The smell was gorgeous.
Of course we also had a cup of mulled wine each to warm us up.
We spent a very pleasurable few hours looking around. There were some really quality goods being sold there. As lunchtime approached the weather deteriorated and we made our way into the city centre again to find somewhere to eat. We found a great restaurant where we enjoyed roast beef with all the trimmings.
It was then time to walk back to the
Guildhall and wait for our bus back to the Park and Ride. The buses ran every 10 minutes and we were so pleased when ours drew up that we could get out of the rain. It was a really lovely day and we missed most of the bad weather.
I bought a couple of things which I am sure you would like to see. The first was one of those amazing fruit wreathes which I have already tied to my front door.
We also found a very talented small business who make all sorts of cast pewter spoons, knives, pots etc. I snapped this photo inside their hut of some of the spoons they made.
I had a hard time choosing just one thing as I could have bought so many but we decided in the end to buy a wonderful cheese knife as we don't own one.
My photo of our knife does not do it justice. It features a mouse with a piece of cheese. It is superb quality and very cute. What I love is that it is a hand made, not mass produced piece. Whenever we hold gatherings at our house we always serve a cheese board and it will be fun use this special knife. We will first use it on Christmas day in the evening with our Christmas buffet.
Today's card obviously needs to be a really festive one and I have chosen this one.
I have used one of my new LOTV stamps called Christmas Angel Oval bauble. I love this stamp and have made several colour variations. This one is a really traditional red, golds and greens.
I coloured the image with Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. I added some glamour dust to the wings for extra sparkle and little snow flake pearl using a Viva pearl pen. My ribbon is a lovely gold sparkly organza.
Speaking of ribbons can I mention the giveaway over on the Ribbon Girls blog. They have some super new rustic ones I hope to win!
The papers are from my stash and I have used a Martha Stewart punch to pattern the edges. The sentiment is a Whimsy one. I even added 2 little bells which actually ring!
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Stamping for the weekend #22 use some texture
Forever Friends Fortnightly challenge Glitter and sparkle #50
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes #96
2 Sisters winter wonderland #119
Hooked on Craft #27 Christmas
Stamp Sensations Traditional Christmas
There are now only 28 days left until the big day. Yes it is exactly 4 weeks today that we will be waking up on Christmas morning. I am sure that most of you are stepping up a gear with all your preparations. I have bought quite a few of my presents and the next thing I need to get going with are my annual hand made Christmas crackers. I hope to start those on my day off on Thursday.
I really hope my fellow bloggers in the UK are keeping safe with the terrible flooding we have seen across the country. After such a wet summer the last thing we need is more rain and yet it keeps on coming. Even this morning it is pouring again.
Remember that you have until 5pm this Thursday 29 November to enter my giveaway here Everyone is welcome but you need to enter a comment on that post to join the fun.
I will be back at the weekend to announce the winner of my bag charm. Until then keep dry and for those of you who are abroad, keep warm and enjoy the run up to my favourite time for the year. Thank you to everyone who left such kind comments on my previous, 200th post, it was fun to have shared that special occasion with you all over a virtual cup of tea ;0)
Bye for now,