Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Lots of catching up to do! So here's a belated write up of our Handmade Winchester weekend. We set off from Waterloo on Saturday for a day at the hat fair before Handmade. The hat fair is a collection of street performers, the hat refers to the hat passed round to collect money. We had a lovely afternoon, starting with lunch in the Cathedral cafe - a lovely spot with lots of outdoor space and a little orchard. We sipped beers on the cathedral green surrounded by performing artists and took a little trip around the amazing insect circus - we were astounded by the snail harness and gasped at the antics of ladybirds and butterflies.

We spied this house and wondered if this is where the insect performers live...

We slipped into the cathedral which is just beautiful, so vast and calm and full of sound from the organ. Deep in the crypt is an Anthony Gormley. I liked the rows of chairs with little shelves for books (this would be handy at home) and handmade cushions - each one different.

Winchester was buzzing - no recession here! I guess that may have something to do with the public school population. The place is full of amazing buildings and hidden courtyards, but feels a little unreal and privileged. Reading about the buildings, it's clear this place has a powerful relationship with church and state. And is also ideal for picking up charity shop treasure! I managed to pop into a few and picked up some ladybird books, including the 'What to look for in Summer' series and Swallows and Amazon stories. I love these illustrations.

Best of all were the water meadows. Towards the end of the afternoon we wandered out of the town, down a pretty lane into the water meadows. We walked along rivers, across bridges, through fields and deep into rushes to listen to birds and watch flurries of butterflies. Also attempted some nature spotting with our new ladybird books. Blissful.

On the way back to our b&b we stopped off for supper at the Wykeham Arms (bonkers link to 'ladies who lunch in hampshire'!!). Full of old school artifacts, including little school desks for tables. Not sure how we managed to pack that all in! And in need of a good nights sleep before Handmade. Sunday Handmade stories to follow...

1 comment:

Fabric Nation said...

Just picked up the new Patrick Gale which is set in Winchester - looking forward to a rainy afternoon reading this. And feeling like a poodle brain as completely overlooked all the King Arthur references in Winchester!