Never ones to miss an opportunity for a bit of vintage dress up, we set off for the marvellous Firle Vintage Fair, held at Firle Place in East Sussex, nestled at the foot of the South Downs – a chance to catch up with old friends and enjoy some excellent food.
We found lots of great stock for the shop, ate fresh wood fired pizzas and loved the variety of vintage outfits on show – not to mention the amazing classic cars and the Charleston demonstrations, all bathed in glorious sunshine. If you get the chance next year, it’s highly recommended. We retired sun-kissed to the Ram Inn in the heart of Firle village, for delish local beer, crab, clams and lamb. After a night with very high thread count and the biggest bath I’ve ever seen, we walked out from Firle towards Charleston, home of Vanessa Bell and epicentre of the Bloomsbury Group in the early C20th, which was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
Next stop, Monk’s House in nearby Rodmell, home of her sister, Virginia Woolf. Modest and inspirational, it’s full of exquisite paintings and fascinating things, including the shelves of books re-covered by Woolf in one of her manic phases. The studio in the gardens where she penned classics such as Orlando felt like a snapshot into the past. Nearby is the river she walked into with her pockets full of stones. Quite a place.
Our last morning was spent mooching around lovely Lewes, before a blissful picnic on top of the downs with my oldest friend (I was 2, she was 1 when we met) and (later!) fish and chips at Bosham as the sun went down, where King Canute tried to hold back the waves.
The new stock has arrived at the shop, including a great selection of vintage French glass – facet cut champagne glasses, gilded C19th wine glasses, cocktail/ aperitif glasses, a gilded dome…plus all sorts of other goodies. Come a take a peek!