We haven't been to Ragley Hall for quite some time, and we've never been to the Craft and Gift Fayre.
When we arrived the choir were performing on the staircase with the large trompe l'oeil mural in the background. They were fantastic and despite the large cramped crowd, the feeling was very festive.
We went through to the Great Hall to visit Santa who was sitting by a large real Christmas Tree decorated with paper chains and Christmas card pictures. The Small Person sat and coloured Santa a picture whilst I kept our place in line.
Zachary was absolutely fascinated by the high ceiling covered in plaster moulds.
He was not however a huge fan of Santa agiain. When it got to be our turn, he cried and cried and cried! Poor little man. He did like the slinky that Santa gave him though.
Alexandra said "Santa's got grey eyebrows. Is he the real Santa?"
"Ofcourse he's the real Santa. There's only one Santa".
"Well Santa hasn't got grey eyebrows. His eyebrows are white."
Ooops. We may have to explain about how at this time of year, often they are santa's helpers and messengers 'cos Santa's so busy getting ready, and that all of these helpers pass all of the information on to Santa.
We went back downstairs and followed the stalls around. Oh there was such lovliness! I didn't take any pictures of the stalls because I didn't want to appear nosey/rude/weird (delete as you find appropriate) and there really wasn't enough space in the crowds anyway.
There was a lovely salt dough stall (Handmade Saltdough by Bev Wareing) with all sorts of lovely decorations, models, lettering and decorated spoons and rolling pins. The small people each had a gingerbread tree decoration from this stall. Unfortunately there is no web site listed on the business card.
There was Mostly Hearts teamed with Bical Socks on a stall. I would have liked to have bought some of these little sock/shoes as gifts (I love the giraffe and frog ones). They also sell cute hats and organic cotton babygrows.
Pretty Beautiful gifts and cards and also PB Dried Fruit had some lovely festive gifts ideas. There were some pretty tea cup candles and dried fruit wreathes and tree decorations.
We had a little food break in the catering marquee before moving on. We had bacon butties and hot sweet tea, whilst the Small Person chose a salad batch and water. Zacky decided he wasn't hungry because he was far too busy playing with his slinky.
Aneata Boote had some beautiful jewelry. There was an absolutely lovely turquoise ring. Just lovely.
Bluebell Cottage Gifts had ladies accessories and gifts. I was especially attracted to their collection of scarves.
The Sheppard's Flock had the most adorable soft dolls. My favourites were the angels, the Small Person was desperate for a mermaid, and they really were lovely. We'd already bought quite a few things though and I thought, well at least they have a web site.
The stalls that we bought from didn't seem to have any business cards or company name signs. It was pretty much now or never, which is a shame because now I'll never be able to find them again. Alexandra bought some charity colouring sheets, I bought myself a lovely bookmark and some packets of buttons. I saw so many things that I would have loved to buy, especially as gifts for other people for Christmas.
We went past a homemade fudge stall and Mr Bogert said that he wouldn't try any. I moved on to a jewelry stall, and when I went back to show him 'the' perfect gift for me for Christmas, he was in the process of buying 2 bags of fudge! Amazing willpower there! It's very yummy though.
We went across to the jewelry stall where I had seen a pendant watch. I mentioned just a few weeks ago how much I would like one and had added it to my list. I just needed to find the right one. And there it was sitting on the stall. Mr Bogert was not overly impressed. Not because he didn't want to buy it for me, he just hates me to know what any of my gifts are. It's all about surprises. He has threatened in the past to return gifts where I have guessed what they are. He did however relent, and I have promised to try as hard as possible to forget what it looks like before December 25th!
There was also a lovely little stall that had all different sorts of bears including some Steiff ones. Oh I fell in love with nearly every one of those little furry faces! So did the small person. She took a particular fancy to the tiny bears in boxes. She had already spent all of her spending money, so I sent Mr Bogert back to the stall when she wasn't looking to get one to keep for Christmas. It's so sweet with a bow on top of it's head.
|(must remember to take things out of my hoodie pocket when having pictures taken. It really isn't very flattering!)|
I really could have spent a fortune, and a great deal more time there. We will definitely be returning next year (with more money!) I will try and remember to include some pics of our goodies in a future post.
A member of staff (in Victorian dress) offered to take our photo as a family outside afterwards. It's not often we all get to be in a picture. I love how they've dressed the stairway with foliage and berries. It makes me wish we had railings at our house.
We finished with Sunday lunch at Mr Bogert's mum's house.
This is going to be an incredibly busy week. Tomorrow is Alexandra's school trip followed by dancing, toddler group and the Small Person's birthday on Tuesday, finished off with her birthday dinner on Tuesday evening. Mr Bogert is off on a business trip on Wednesday and the school is closed because of strike, Thursday my next assignment is due in at midday (on the subject of boyhood in some nineteenth century children's novels. I haven't even finished all of the reading, have no essay plan and am nowhere near a starting point for the assignment), Mr Bogert returns on Friday and then it is the Wonderland party on Saturday. Somewhere inbetween all of that, I need to finish our costumes for Saturday, the goody bags, the cake, the games etc and sort out all of our Advent Activity Countdown things.
You will forgive me if I don't get chance to stop by? (but you can look forward to a full account with many photos as soon as I get a minute to breathe!)