My Fair England – An English Antiques Fair and a Wine Fair at Waddesdon Manor

very time I turn around it seems that one fair or another is calling itself “the largest antiques fair in Europe.” Personally, I don’t care which one is the biggest, as long as the fairs touting this phrase are fabulous and full of great finds! With over 4,000 stalls selling everything from sports memorabilia to antique maps, vendors from around the world will be gathering in Nottinghamshire for the Newark International Antiques and Collectors fair on Dec 6 & 7, 2007. The entrance fee is a hefty £20. Fortunately, this fee does cover admission for both days of the fair, where for two short days you’re practically guaranteed to find last minute Christmas gifts for even the most difficult and discerning of your recipients. Better yet, why don’t you do as my friend The English Rose did a few years ago when she was visiting Paris for some pre-Christmas shopping? She decided that rather than stocking up on presents for her new husband, The Cambridge Man, she would buy herself presents from him. Then on Christmas morning, rather than her opening the gifts she bought herself on behalf of her husband, she had him open her presents to find out what he had bought her!

Of course, The English Rose isn’t completely shameless! I believe this could have been the same year that she offered CM an early Christmas present of tickets to the Waddesdon Wine Fair held on the world-famous grounds of Waddesdon Manor, which happens to be one of my favorite English country estates. If you are planning a trip to England, then a trip to Waddesdon should be included as a “must see”. Vogue readers will recognize it from the legendary photo shoot of Nicole Kidman draped in it’s elegantly appointed interiors.

Waddesdon Manor has been in the Rothschild family for years, but the present Lord Rothschild who inherited the estate in 1988 is maintaining the family’s long-standing association as purveyors of the world’s finest wines. Thus, each year the manor hosts 2 days of wine tastings of more than 50 wines from around the world, including selection of wines from the Rothschild Wineries. This year’s fair will be held in Buckinghamshire on Dec 1st and 2nd. Representatives from the two famous Rothschild wineries, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild, will talk about the range of wines they are showing. Wines will vary in price from around £5 to about £30 a bottle, making a perfect Christmas “cadeau” for the Oenephile in your life.

Cheers Mate!

The Antiques Diva ™