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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

Country Living Spring Fair

The weather has taken a turn for the worse, but S and I are not giving up on the summer yet.

Since we can't do actual spring and summer things, we headed up to Alexandra Palace for the Country Living Spring Fair. S is something of a connoisseur of all things Country Living, having designed much of

her house inspired by the magazine. But this was a first for me.

The whole place is like someone took an Oscar Wilde pastoral scene and brought it to life. The colourful, ornate interior of Alexandra Palace, or 'Ally Pally' as those in the know call it, is a perfect backdrop. Pastels compliment pastels and all seems right with the world. In a delightfully simple and English way.

S was loving life and I can't pretend I didn't feel very at home.

Food and drink were first up. That meant a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the Thompson's Tea Room. How could the afternoon begin any other way?

Fully fuelled we headed out - and straight into more food and drink. This time in the shape of liquors made to taste like Kendall mint cake and Bakewell Tart. They were both very good, but the Bakewell just took the biscuit as a post-dinner aperitif option. Purchase #1 for the day.

Check out the guys at Kendall Mint Cake Liquer. They are a small artisan brewery set up by a bar owner in the Lake District. They've got a range of cool flavours and products.

Purchase #2 wasn't far behind. In fact it was just a step away, as we found the most brilliant peanut butter. Both S and I are peanut butter fiends. It goes on toast(obviously) or in foo and sometimes in sandwiches for a snack.

A quick taste test and two pots later we were on our way. The Nut Butter Company is another artisan company, creating organic flavours and varieties on peanut butter. Yes it is one of the greatest foods ever created.

We also nipped by the booze section for a bottle of chocolate wine for S and some salted caramel tequila for me. Both delightful, despite what you may assume.

Final stop of the day was with with Norse, a UK-based start-up which focuses on male grooming products. After a display of the best type of razor to use - and why - I settled on their citrus beard oil. It smells awesome and any hirsute readers out there will appreciate the joys of a beard which doesn't bristle.

Then, fully stocked, it was home for a cup of tea and then...

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