Review: Dotty Delightful’s Handmade, Vintage and Music Fair

This truly delightful event took place at the Winter Gardens on 12th and 13th October. Many craft fares seem to have the same tired old stalls displaying badly made tat. Not this one! High quality abounded among the eclectic mix of stalls.

There were too many stalls to mention each individually, so I have tried to mention those which stood out from the rest for me. On entering the hall, I noticed a fantastic memorabilia stall displaying colourful water crystals, 3D pictures and, my favourite, retro prints. My attention was then caught by The Cheese Shop at Botany Bay which was crammed with varieties of cheese I’ve never heard of.  One in particular caught my eye.  It was called Flamin EckUpon sampling this, I noticed that it was initially mild and creamy with a spicy flavour, however a few seconds later I realise where the name came from, it packed quite a chilli kick, but was delicious.

Strolling along the aisles, I observed stalls over-flowing with winter hats, vintage clothes, all kinds of bric a brac, and then a wonderful aroma wafted into my nasal passages as I discovered a wonderful handmade candle stall. In addition to the lovely perfume emanating from the stall, there were also novelty candles including a glass of champagne, martini and a pint of beer, a novel gift idea with Christmas just a few weeks away. The stallholder advised me that he made them as a hobby rather than for profit and at prices mostly between £2 and £3 they represented great value for money.

I then spoke to Danielle from Yappers Chappers, who was displaying some fantastic handmade jewellery.  As someone with sensitive skin, I was particularly interested to hear that all the jewellery was nickel free.

Another fantastic jewellery stall was ChellebevilleThis featured dainty pieces made from porcelain and cut glass.

Okeycokey featured chunky necklaces which are unique as the owner only ever makes one of each design.

Oh You Pretty Things displayed handmade jewellery which is made from shrinking plastic. This is very dainty and also different. I particularly liked the cocktail bracelet and gave a big ‘thumbs up’ to a gin and tonic necklace.

Another interesting stall held various Indian bowls and ornaments. I particularly liked the Specs Stand which, as the name suggested, was designed for those who lose their glasses and need a place to put them. Although not made locally, all of the products were Fairtrade.

I was delighted by the next stall as it sold retro sweets.  Childhood memories came rushing back as my eyes savoured delights such as ABC’s, Sherbet Fizzers and Pogs. I had to move on quickly as I was very tempted to buy them all.

At the back of the hall were two equally delightful stalls, Pretty in Punk displayed unusual bath products such as skull shaped soaps and a body cream called Sexy Mother Scrubber. The adjacent stall Owl & Heartflower featured handmade gifts from recycled fabric.  These included owls and angel wings to name but a couple.

Another vintage stall caught my attention as it had several cameras including a Brownie Box camera from the early 1950s, many other collectable cameras and boxes of vinyl records. Around the corner from this were two more delightful stalls.  One displayed handmade Christmas candles and a candle chess set, really well crafted, and the next stall was Nappy Cakes By Sheena which contained a wide selection of gifts suitable for baby showers/Christening presents.

Wright Vintage took me back to when I used to visit an elderly aunt with glass dressing table sets and decorative brush sets from the 1920s.  These were very pretty and sat alongside a highly patterned coffee pot from the 1970s.  Not so pretty but very collectable.

Thirty Five featured beautiful pencil drawings contrasting with quirky voodoo dolls.

Cake Tin Delights displayed yummy looking cupcakes which were selling out quickly, and also large celebration cakes for weddings and other celebrations, which the Layton-based owner makes to order.

Diddy Dapper Dogs primarily make personalised dog collars which are very stylish.

More edibles next with handmade chocolates from Vanilla, which included really pretty, girly, white chocolate lollipops. Whilst Mahogany displayed delicious looking handmade chocolates, my favourite being the Amaretto liqueur.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the many stalls present this weekend, but unfortunately I can’t mention everyone. Live entertainment kept everyone merry throughout the day and there was a selection of clothing, furniture, bric a brac and so much more. My final visit of the day was back to Botany Bay Cheese, where I just had to buy a chunk of Flamin Eck.

My only criticism would be the poor signposting inside the complex. To someone unfamiliar with the area the fair would have been easy to miss. These fairs are regular events at The Winter GardensIt was a fun and enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. I will certainly look out for the next one.

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Dennis Owen

    I do agree the signage inside was a little poor, but there were small posters from the entrances on Church st and Coronation st that said vintage fair this way with arrow’s on them.
    I am the person who rides the Advertising Trike around and always direct people to the event,but this one was different being held in the Olympia whereas the other Truly,Scrumptious fair’s are held in The Horseshoe bar or Pavillion as it is known and that is a lot easier to find, so hopefully you will visit the fair again on the 30th November/1stDecember.

  • Danny Clegg

    Nice review, makes me want to try a piece of Flamin Eck!!

  • Jacqui Holden

    A great weekend as always, posters were lacking with no thanks to the council who have problems when it comes to the advertising of such events but the Ad Trike certainly did its job. Well done to Dotty who not only organized the fair but ran the Vintage Tea Room and had her own stall for Eclectic, Dotty’s Delightful Emporium and Handmade Heaven which is now located at 277 Church Street (plug, plug).
    I look forward to the next fair in on 30th November & 1st December which is not to be missed

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