Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Fair

On Saturday we went to stay with our daughter in Southampton. We had planned to visit the Winchester Cathedral Christmas fair on the Saturday but the rain was so torrential  we decided to leave it until the Sunday morning because the forecast was for a brief respite until more torrential rain in the afternoon. We were so pleased we chose the Sunday morning as the sun actually made a brief appearance.

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.

I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma that this gives off. When you enter my porch now it smells like Christmas ;0) The seller told us that the fruit will stay fine for 3 months so as I only need this to last until 12th night (5 January) I am very pleased.

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)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x


  1. What a wonderful Christmas market and such a beautiful setting in the grounds of the Cathedral.
    I remember those old buses too, buses just aren't the same anymore!
    Your wreath is gorgeous with all it's jewel colours and I just love your little cheese knife.
    Another pretty little card, I love the cute little bells.
    We have another beautiful clear, sunny but very chilly morning here and I think it's much the same for the rest of the week.
    Happy Tuesday Jane,
    V xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. It was such a lovely setting Vivienne. I have just finished my class and I hope I am not speaking too soon but it's stopped raining for the moment. Have a sunny week.
    Jane x

  3. I love Winchester during the festive season!
    Victoria xx

  4. It became so wet that we did not explore the centre Victoria. We will return as it looked so pretty. Roll on summer,
    Jane x

  5. Blogger seems to be playing up Jane and not showing any photos on the last few blogs, so you will have to forgive me if I just say thank you for joining us at Stamping Sensations challenge again.

    B x if

  6. Goodness me Brenda what a pain! Thanks for visiting...if you get a chance pop back and take a peep.
    Jane x

  7. Brilliant take on our challenge, love your card. Thanks for joining us at Stamping Sensations.

  8. Gorgeous photo's and thank you for sharing them also love your card and thanks for joining in our challenge over at Forever Friends good luck and hope to see you again DT Member Sandra H x

  9. Once again Jane, you had me walking along with you through the markets with your fabulous story. I love reading of your outings. Great fun!

    Your festive card is gorgeous, such a cute image.

    Kasey ~ in Oz

  10. Good to see you here Sandra,
    Jane x

  11. I'm delighted that you enjoy coming along with me Kasey, it's a virtual Christmas fair today! Have a great week,
    Jane x

  12. What a lovely trip you had, Jane, even the weather wasn't behaving all the time. And those finds! I can almost smell the wreath, it looks lovely, and I've always thought that the scents have a huge part on our Christmas: the gingerbread men, the tree, hyacinths... So the wreath is just perfect! And the mouse-knife is just so "you" too, it'll be prefect with Billy next to it on Christmas Day!

    I wish you a lovely days before Christmas, dear friend, and hope the weather will be getting better and flooding will be over soon!


  13. Every time I open my porch door I can smell Christmas Mia, it's magical. It has finally stopped raining this evening, the first evening for many nights but it has now turned quite chilly. Not long now my friend until our favourite time of the year. Happy Tuesday,
    Jane x

  14. Hi Jane, So enjoyed seeing the Winchester Cathedral fair. Love your wreath and it looks fabulous on your door! The cheese knife is so unique and will definitely be a great conversation piece! Your cards are just getting better and better! This one tops them all, love the bells and colors.
    Hope you have sun on Wednesday, xoRobin❤ : )

  15. Thanks for taking us along with you to that fabulous fair. That wreath looks and I am sure smells just like Christmas! I wish I could get one like that. Love the cheese knife.. a great item to get from a fair like that. Good choices! Your card is another award-winner!

    *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  16. Good morning Robin, the rain has held off overnight and I think that here in the south that may be the last of it thank goodness. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to the fair with me ;0) You are very sweet about my cards, bless you. Happy Wednesday.
    Jane x

  17. Good morning Teresa, yes the smell of the fair was just pure Christmas. My wreath is perfect hanging in my porch. Enjoy the build up to this wonderful time of the year,
    Jane x

  18. I do love your journal Jane x I remember those buses, the green ones, I might be part Londoner but my mother was a country bumpkin girl and those green buses ran in Kings Lynn and around. It was a real treat to go on the bus with my grandmother and see the conductor ring his bell shout 'all aboard' like out of a Carry On film. I was in Europe for most of my early youth so it was a taste of home :D Looks like a fantastic fair, what a shame the weather has spoiled so many events this year. Gorgeous wreath and knife though, I have seen that style of cheese knife before I wonder if its the same person, we have some big craft fairs around here, could well be. x

  19. It's always lovely to see you here Laney. We just missed the rain as we jumped on the bus..such fun to ride one of them again.
    Jane x

  20. always love your Photo's Jane and wow what a striking Xmas card fabulous image and colours
    Hugs Kate xx

  21. What a wonderful outing you had to the Winchester Cathedral fair! I can just imagine the wonderful festive scent of that amazing Christmas wreath on your door! Love the little card with the pretty colours and the jingle bells too :)
    Have a great weekend!
    Helen x

  22. Gorgeous card. Love the rich colours and beautiful image. Thank you for joining us at 2 Sisters this week. Good luck. Hugs, Jill A x

  23. stunning card thanks for sharing with us at 2 sisters this week good luck with the challenge Tracy x

  24. Thanks Helen, I am feeling very festive tonight..1 December in the morning...yipeeee! x

  25. Thanks Jane for taking us along to the Christmas market. The wreath looks lovely on your green door.

    What a pretty card....it looks like it has its own frame.

    Happy December!!

  26. Hi Jane,

    Your day at in Winchester looks like it was great. I haven't bought a door wreath yet, but I feel inspired byt your choice especially the idea of the citrus smells, must be lovely to stand there opening the door! How cute is your mouse/cheese knife.

    I am so behind with my reading I missed your 200th post. Happy Postanniversary! I do love reading all your news and seeing your wonderful makes and look forward to the next 200 (no pressure;) )



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Jane x