The best of British rural life comes to Town
By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
There’s more than a hint of the Countryside in the London air at Fulham Palace, SW7 this weekend as the inaugural Country Life Fair comes to town, bringing with it over 200 rural inspired exhibitors and their stands to this Grade 1 Listed building with its 18th Century walled garden and history. Fulham Palace is the perfect setting for such an event, given that it has been the chosen ‘country’ residence of bishops since 700AD when the Manor of Fulham was bought by Waldhere, Bishop of London from Tyrhtilus, Bishop of Hereford. At the time the Manor’s land encompassed the entirety of Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing, Acton and Finchley and was one of several palaces inhabited by bishops keen to be within easy reach of Court and Parliament, but away from the over-crowded city (the last resident, Bishop Stopford didn’t retire until 1975).
Now the historic doors of Fulham Palace will be opening for visitors to the Country Life Fair this weekend on Saturday 27th September (10am-6pm) and Sunday 28th (10am -5pm). Nestled amongst the many stands straight from the pages of Country Life magazine, Tally Ho Farm and Ascot Park will be closely ridden off by Boodles , Tom Parker Bowles, Ben Fogle, Dick Stawbridge, Pip Howson and artist Jeremy Houghton, as whites and sticks enter a ‘throw in’ which includes ‘Tweed to town’ fashion shows and displays by The Kennel Club.
If all this should help you work up an appetite, that’s catered for too, as alongside the artists, artisans, antiques, cashmere, leather, equine apparel, bee keepers, bespoke countryside sports, falconry, ferrets, polo sticks, countryside family fun and properties on sale, there are best of British cookery displays, fine wines, seafood, champagne, chutneys & jams and traditional ales available to sup in the Brown Cow and Sands End pubs whilst you learn how to smoke salmon, perfect the art of cooking game and make an edible window box. Perfect tips for entertaining all your guests post your next country house polo match.
See you there