Homespun Christmas Fair, Portscatho, Cornwall

Alice Roberton enjoys a welcome breath of Cornish sea air and a spot of festive shopping

Alice Roberton enjoys a welcome breath of Cornish sea air and a spot of festive shopping

I had heard great things about Homespun handmade and vintage fairs, located on the slopes of picture-postcard Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, and the Christmas installment last Sunday (17th November) didn’t disappoint.

With its carefully selected traders, the fair offered up a charming mix of handmade treats, vintage-inspired gifts and delightful bits for the home, along with more curious items to fire the imagination. 

It was lovely to chat with Marianne Barratt from Deja-Vu Antiques in Lostwithiel whose shop is listed among the 50 best boutiques in H&A's Ultimate Guide to Christmas. ‘Our shop is a random mix of unusual things that have caught our eye, just like these old Price’s candles. They’ll look great alongside a range of new candles we sell,’ she said.

Homes & Antiques subscriber Lynne Burke is an avid textiles collector who has a special love for French fabrics featuring pink and red florals, so she was delighted with her finds at the fair. She also picked up a copy of H&A’s Christmas special edition for some festive inspiration.

Anne Hooper from nearby Coombe bought these irresistible hand-knitted rabbits from Liz Lynch. Local artist Liz shrinks down old cashmere jumpers to make the cosy little clothes for the rabbits and gives each one a story. Billy (middle, in the red jumper) plays in an Elvis tribute band!

Vintiquing enthusiasts Mandy Lambart and Simon Stevens are regulars at Homespun and love picking up unusual items for their London and Lanhay homes. They bought this fabulous three-storey Georgian doll's house for their grandchildren from fair co-organiser Jane Winton. ‘It'll be fun watching the children collect the furnishings,’ said Mandy.

On the way home, Simon certainly turned some heads with his stylish approach to house moving!

With the party season upon us, it was thrilling to find Jane Webb at the Angelica’s Table stand buying this 1920s dress for a festive visit to the art deco Burgh Island Hotel in Devon. ‘I don’t dress up that often but this feels great. All I need now are a few Twenties-style accessories and I’ll be ready,’ she said.

Visitor Ted Warren (right) was happy to find a gift for 'the friend who has everything'. 'He grows potatoes in Sussex but he doesn’t have any original sacks, so these will be perfect,' Ted told me. 'I purposefully chose the ones Jack Van Hasselt (left) was selling with the most mends as they have more charm about them.' This fair really did have something for everyone!

Here’s where we’ll be throughout the coming weeks. Do visit us for fabulous homewares, magazines and great subscription offers.


Saturday 30th, 9am-4pm - Bows & Braces Vintage Fair, The Masonic Hall, High Street, Lymington, Hampshire

Saturday 30th, 11am - 4pm Stratford upon Avon Vintage Fair, The Town Hall, Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon


Sunday 1st, 11am-3pm - Hancock & Smith Vintage Fair, Star & Garter Ballroom, 4 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London

Friday 6th, 2pm-7pm - Christmas @ Dairy House, Dairy House Antiques, Station Road, Semley, Shaftesbury

Saturday 7th, 10am-3pm - Original Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair, The Town Hall, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire

Saturday 7th, 11am-4pm - Market Harborough Christmas Vintage Fair, Three Swans Hotel, 21 High Street, Market Harborough 

Sunday 8th, 10am-4pm - Handmade & Vintage Fair, Town Hall, Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Saturday 14th, 10am-3pm - Kitsch & Stitch Vintage & Makers Christmas Fair, The Vestry Hall, Cranbrook, Kent

Saturday 14th, 10am-3pm - Dee Dee’s Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair, Trull Memorial Hall, Church Road, Trull, nr Taunton, Somerset

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