I don't know about you but I love looking at reclaimed items that have been revamped or can be given a new lease of life.
Last weekend we trotted along to Knebworth House in Hertfordshire for the annual SALVO fair.
I've never been either to a SALVO fair or to Knebworth House, so it was lovely to be able to have a day out with kids and go to a place that would keep everyone happy.
Fortunately it was an absolutely beautiful day (actually, it was a little too hot, but I'm not complaining ... honest !) When we arrived we were greeted by 3 stone lions in honour of England's poor efforts in the World Cup (although at the time, we hadn't crashed out to Germany !) Sadly I forgot to take a photo of them !!
But the range of exhibitors was just amazing - the first stand that caught my eye was this one: The Home Store.
It was full of fab retro type stuff including these brilliant original Coca-Cola bottles.
They also had the wire baskets that the milkmen used to use and in them, were empty milk bottles that had various advertising slogans on the front - think Kellog's Cornflakes, Kit Kat etc (again, in my excitement I forgot to take a photo - doh !)
Lots of the stands had really quirky stuff on - these Egyption looking stone statues (not the children, obviously !), real canon balls (Sam wanted to know if we could get a canon and fire them down our field !! Actually, he's got a point - it might get rid of the rabbits that are eating all of my flowers .... AGAIN !
Then we came to this stand, which specialised in garden stuff. I just love the Shepherd's Hut - what a fantastic hideaway that would make, or even a Wendy House for the kids and a mobile greenhouse (love it !)
Further down was this fantastic stand which again, specialised in gardening type stuff. I just loved the display of herbs in the brightly painted terracotta pots.
Next was a stand that seemed to sell absolutely everything - Sam & Grace were very interested in the old telephone !
A little further on was this stand - we did spend some money here on fantastic reclaimed fruit boxes which will be used as planters outside our back door. I returned to this stand later in the afternoon and there was complete pandamonium there - people almost fighting over the boxes ! Thank goodness we got ours early on.
Towards the top of the field was a really funky stand selling reclaimed London Underground signs. I just love anything quirky like this - I was keen to find one of the circular signs saying Piccadilly Circus which I was hoping to use as a splash back to our new AGA (yes, I'm getting one !! More about this in a future post though), but sadly he didn't have one. He did have an "Oxford Circus" sign though, but I nearly fell over when he told me the price. Maybe I'll go back to Plan A (again, more later) - sorry, no photo again !
We were sorely tempted to buy one of these tents !!
Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that the words "tent" and "Sarah" NEVER EVER feature in the same sentence ! But, we did seriously consider purchasing one of these particular tents (not to sleep in - urghh, I can't even bear the thought of it !) but to use for the kids when they have parties in the garden, maybe to use for Blooming Felt workshops ... again, in the garden. Or maybe just to hire out should someone fancy it. But, as it wasn't actually on our shopping list, we just settled for taking a brochure with a view to possibly looking at buying one at some time in the future.
However, just because something isn't on your shopping list, doesn't necessarily mean that you won't buy it. We were actually looking for a new front door - a lovely wooden planked one with a diamond glass bit in the middle, that I could paint in a beautiful grey/green Farrow & Ball paint . Did we come home with a door like this ? NO (but if you know where I can get one, please let me know !)
But we did come home with an 1800 cast iron French roll top bath - oops !!! This WAS NOT on our shopping list. We had no intention of replacing our bathroom - we're just about to start ripping our kitchen out, and work on the bathroom was most definitely not on our list. But you know when you see something and just know that you have to have it ?! It was one of those moments I'm afraid. I think the fact that it had been totally refurbished, re-enamelled and the outside was painted in ..... a beautiful grey/green Farrow & Ball paint, meant that I just had to have it !! I tried it out for size - with lots of very strange looks from other people at the fair. Well, you have to know that it's comfy and that you can stretch out in it, don't you ?! Unfortunately, because I was so totally bowled over by this bath and the poor chap who was selling it couldn't actually get a word in edgeways over my excitment, I totally forgot to take a photo ... again ! (I think I'm pretty rubbish at this "taking photos for my blog" lark - sorry). The bath was delivered by 2 strapping men the following day and now resides covered in bubble wrap and clingfilm and minus its feet ... in our garage :o(
As soon as it's installed in its new home, you will see photos of it in all its glory !!
After we'd finished looking at the fair and stuffing our faces with icecream, we decided it was time that the children had a little fun. After entering the gardens of Knebworth House, we came across one of those lovely old-fashioned box hedge mazes and after we made our way to the middle, found this little chap waiting for us.
On the way out of the maze garden we had to go through this beautiful gate. How lovely is this ? I shall hang on tightly to this particular photo because if we ever manage to beat a path through the trees and bushes at the end of our garden into our field, this is exactly the type of gate that I want.
Then, we came across this
some not so !!
But the kids had a fantastic time looking at them all.
Then, back towards the house and gardens, past secret doorways - I wonder where it goes to ?
Past beautiful walkways
Glimpsing the stunning house beyond the gardens
Enjoying the flowers
And finishing up with an hour at the adventure playground, scraping knees on very low swing things and getting dirty bottoms after flying off the bottom of the slide !
What a lovely, lovely day