Following on from my interviews with Eli Ofir and Alexandra Woods earlier this week, I’ve had an opportunity to ask Country Living Magazine’s Head of Shows a few questions. Guy Foreman gives a heads up on what not to miss if you’re planning to head over to Islington for the Spring Fair next week.
LLO: As the Head of Show with all of the insider info on the Country Living Spring Fair, which five exhibitors, theatre, workshops events, etc would you say are definitely not to be missed?
GF: There’s loads going on, covering a huge variety of different subject matter, from biscuit decorating to beadwork and everything inbetween. After the success of our craft theatre at our Christmas Fair last year in Scotland, we’ve introduced an area specifically for craft demonstrations where visitors can follow experts as they make things by hand, and then take home a little piece of the fair with them.
There’s two theatres full of great stuff to see and do. It’s very difficult to choose, but two of the five talks I’ll definitely be down the front for are the two that our editorial team are running: Hester Page, our Houses Editor, will be talking about Creating the Country Living Style on Thursday at 2pm and Alison Walker, our Food Editor, will be running a workshop on Easter gifts on Wednesday at 1pm. Both Hester and Alison are instrumental in creating the fantastic editorial that makes the mag so beautiful, and I’m sure visitors will be flocking to each talk.
As for the other three I would choose, as I’m in the process of trying to build my own house, I’ll be interested to hear Hugo House of Green Energy talking about “How to go off Grid” on Friday at 10.45am, and for some Saturday afternoon entertainment, I’ll be watching our Charity of the Year – the Woodland Trust, run their take on “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” – “Who wants to be a Treeillionaire.”
Finally, just for some Easter inspiration, I’ll be looking for plenty of samples from the Auberge du Chocolat as they talk about Easter chocolate ideas – something that’s running everyday.
LLO: What is the most unique aspect of this year’s show?
GF: Every year the show is different – with plenty of new exhibitors to see. For me, it marks the passing of winter and the start of days getting longer and lighter. This year, I’m particularly excited about the magazine’s Silver Jubilee. We launched in 1985 and our June issue marks our 25th birthday, but celebrations are in full swing already; our main campaign is entitled “Your Countryside Needs You”, and is all about how people can get involved in local projects and initiatives that support communities on a local level. We’ll be talking about that a lot at the Spring Fair.
LLO: How about lunch? What’s on offer at the food hall this year?
GF: Loads. Plenty to try and sample, and far too many to list, but my recommendations would be the Handmade Scotch Egg company – a brilliant take on a British deli staple, biscuits and cakes from the Little Rose Bakery, washed down with a tipple from Chase Distillery – vodka from Herefordshire.