One of the advantages of living out in the country (and there are many disadvantages) is that this time of year we can choose how much or little we can join the pre-Christmas "shopping madness". When you live in a city or a large town, it is difficult to avoid the Christmas hype, which very often starts as early as the end of September.
Here in the country it is different, Christmas arrives more slowly. It is only now that many villages have their Christmas fairs, with local produce and crafts (some better quality then others).
It would be hard to beat the setting for a Christmas fair to the one of Barrington Court Mistletoe Fayre, which we visited yesterday. Most of the National Trust house have closed for the winter, but Barrington Court opened its doors this weekend, the first weekend of Advent.
Enter through the shop please.
Many of the stallholders were wearing period costumes in tune with the atmosphere of this beautiful Tudor house.
Even some Tudor ladies came to do their shopping here and very kindly allowed me to take a photograph. The one on the left made these wonderful dresses.
The stalls were very varied. You could buy anything from jewellery, to hand made soaps,
lovely local food, from sausages and pork pies, a fresh duck or a goose, beautiful Christmas cakes and puddings, drinks made from the local apples and fruits.
We could even enjoy some entertainment.
This area is close to the Devon and its sheep and there were lots of wool products, but the find of the day for me was
Sharon and her wonderful Five Moons wools, hand dyed in Devon.
This was a real "sweet shop" for me
and of course I could not resist.
This is a beautifully soft 2ply, a mixture of extra fine merino wool and silk, with a touch of silver sparkle, an addition to my knitting stash.
Outside in the apple orchard the trees are full of mistletoe ready for Christmas.
But away from the Christmas market it is a little difficult to think about Christmas just yet, as the nature still insists on hanging on to some wonderful autumn colours.
Have a very good week!