Winter Market

We have been out and about this past week, at a Winter Market down on the Kent/Sussex border. There was a huge freeze on, and further north snow was falling thickly. Not ideal circumstances to be showing paper products outside. Having just seen the new Napoleon film (which looks wonderful, and is otherwise completely pointless) we couldn’t help feeling that this might end up as a Retreat From Moscow-type situation: ill-conceived plan; inadequately provisioned; wrong kind of boots and coats; ultimately forced to flee, leaving behind frost-bitten limbs or even corpses. In fact although it was indeed perishingly cold, it was very jolly, like the frost fairs on the frozen river Thames in the seventeenth century, with all sorts of delightful things to buy, a brass band playing carols, fire pits to huddle around when the cold was too much, tiny twinkling lights everywhere, and delicious things to eat and drink. It was very inspiring. We are determined to raise our game for our own Studio Sale which will be taking place next week.

The market was at Water Lane in Hawkhurst, and they have three events like this every year, as well as running an outdoor restaurant and nursery in their lovely old crumbling walled Victorian kitchen garden. The food was unbelievably delicious. Our fellow stall holders sold unusual, beautiful things that we madly coveted. Every penny we made was immediately disbursed, and this is absolutely not a viable business model. Nevertheless, impossible to recommend highly enough: visit the next fair if you can. Here are some images of the market to whet your appetite.

On to our own event which takes place next week. Lots of orphaned old stock and forgotten items were unearthed when we moved warehouses in the summer. We’ve been sorting through heaps, bundles and boxes of experiments, disasters, slightly dinged-up trays and boxes, damaged patterned paper, mislabelled notebooks, discontinued printing blocks, redundant lampshades and other treasures. You can see the glorious jumble we’re sorting through below. None of it can be sold in the ordinary way (apologies to those who cannot attend in person — we just aren’t able to run this event online, as every item is different) but it all has potential and can’t possibly be allowed to end up in a skip. We’ll be selling it all off at bargain prices next Tuesday, December 12th, in the Unitarian Church Hall just off Emmanuel Road in the centre of Cambridge, from noon until 6 pm.

Inspired by the Hawkhurst market, we’ll be working a bit harder than usual on the lights and decorations to make it all as magical as possible. We can’t compete with Water Lane on the food front, but we think we make pretty good mince pies and spiffing mulled wine and these will be served in lavish quantities to all who choose to attend. If you are in the vicinity, we hope you’ll come.


Tuesday 12th December 2023

Noon – 6 pm

Unitarian Church Hall

5 Emmanuel Road

Cambridge CB1 1JW

If you can’t attend and are still in need of Christmas items, we’ll be staying open online for a couple more weeks and will continue to send out parcels until Wednesday 20th December. This year so far there have been none of the courier and postal disruptions of the past few years, and all seems to be running smoothly. We are sending everything out on an overnight service within the UK, and we now have a new overnight FedEx service for overseas customers which has improved our service to what is known in the postage trade as ROW (Rest Of World). Please bear in mind though that it does still take a couple of days at this time of year to get the items packed up and into the box before the courier collects it: we are not magicians like Amazon. So you need to assume a three-day delivery time, wherever you are.  Thank you so much for your business, and keep the orders coming.