Hot in the city!
We chose the hottest day of the year for our summer An Oasis In The City out in Bowdon on Saturday. While the city was melting – we were chilling in our vintage tea garden and eating the best ice creams I’ve had in a long while.
I was incredibly proud of all our exhibitors – the standard was amazing and the room looked beautiful. It was a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by our visitors who all seemed to leave weighed down with bags and bags of beautiful things.
But don’t take my word for it, one of our visitors enjoyed herself so much she felt inspired to write a review!
Sweltering under an unrelenting sun, we pushed onwards through sizzling Sale, humid Hale and blistering Bowdon.
All the way up to the A56, when we realised to our horror that we’d taken a wrong turn. We were running out of time!
Quick, I urged my husband, turn round before it’s too late!
But, just as we thought we were beaten, there it was. An oasis. An Oasis in the City. Trembling lest this mirage vanish, we parked up, saluted a newly married couple (and their dog) in the adjacent church…..and made a beeline for the door.
Happily, this was no mirage. It was a very real and absolutely splendid collection of delights all under one roof – and outside too. Having paid our £2.00 entry fee and promised the children ice cream from a real vintage ice-cream trike, we hit the room. In fact, two rooms.
After a whistle-stop tour with family in tow, my husband and I swiftly decided that the best course of action was to pacify our 6 and 3 year old boys with huge ice creams whilst we took turns to do some serious spending.
We tracked Ice Cream the ‘Pop Up Project‘ down to the front of the church where they were doing a roaring trade with the wedding guests, and procured what I can honestly say were probably the most delicious ice-creams we’d ever tasted – the toffee/chocolate Kurly Wurly one was to die for!
The combination of the ice creams and a most exciting (and conveniently fenced in) outside area with lots of bushes to hide in kept our two – and several others who joined in – amused for ages.
This meant that we had plenty of opportunity to sit and partake of Vintage Afternoon Teas’ home-made cakes and tea, served on the sort of beautiful vintage china that always makes it taste better, chat to friends and have a proper nose round all the stalls.
Suffice to say I had to pop over to the pub opposite to get more cash so that I could buy all the presents I needed for friends’ kids’ upcoming birthdays, a 9-day overdue baby, and plenty for myself.
Bags! More bags! Gorgeous wooden toys! Craft! Handmade cards! Jewellery! Baby clothes! Eco-friendly garden ideas and plants!
Meanwhile, my husband, who’s a bit of a foodie, was delighted with the chutneys, cured sausages and other posh deli foods that adorned epicerie Ludo, Fat Jax and I Heart Jam’s stalls.
I’m just waiting to see if I’ve won him the macaron-making masterclass offered by The Real Macaron Company to complement his already finely honed bread baking skills.
All in all it was a fabulous afternoon and the perfect place to pick up that special gift for someone, or simply to treat yourself.
There was also a raffle for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital so a good cause included too.
I was made up to hear that another is being planned for November – think I’ll just empty the pub cashpoint and do all my Christmas shopping under one roof, finding really gorgeous, unusual gifts whilst also supporting our local businesses. And in case you’re in any doubt about joining me, below is the selection of lovely things we came away with today.
Photographs: Cat Dodsworth, Alison Staples
This is not a sponsored blog post.