Sunday, 9 November 2014

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

When Halloween and Bonfire night are out of the way, it is time to focus on the build up to Christmas. Recently I've seen upcoming Christmas Fair events popping up here there and everywhere. It seems that everyone with a decent venue wants to get in on the festive spirit. When I was browsing twitter one day I came across a link for Living North's Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse. Although it cost £8 for a ticket (or £6 if you order online before) I thought this would be a good event to attend as it is a well known magazine that is organising it.

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse - Lots of Loveliness

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

Living North Christmas Fair at Newcastle Racecourse

We arrived about 10.30am on Saturday and it was already starting to get really busy. There was a map in the guide so that you could find out what was available to see and where it was. In the racecourse building there were many sections such as the food hall and floors of stalls for Christmas shopping. Lots of great small companies had piled into the fair to sell what they had on offer and promote the great businesses in the North. I even found Middlesbrough's own Lots of Loveliness with a stall packed full of people! They were loving her stock, so was I, I picked up a candle and some gingerbread men present tags.

In the food hall there was lots of lovely local food producers selling everything from pies, chutneys and bread, to flavoured fortune cookies, gourmet marshmallows and massive slabs of cake. I love finding local foodies that I can promote through my blog as I love showing off the North of England and the amazing businesses here on our doorstep.

Overall the event was good, packed with stalls and small businesses but I had two gripes about the day. Firstly there wasn't enough good quality food to eat on the day. Considering the amazing local businesses they had drafted in for the other parts of the day it would have been nice to see some local food vendors. The only food available from the racecourse itself which was expensive and didn't look appetising.

Then there was the amount of people. Now don't get me wrong I know I probably went on the busiest day but I almost feel there should have been a cap on the amount of people that were allowed in. It was so hard to look at anything in the stalls for the amount of people already crammed in to it. Then there was the hassle of trying to walk through the aisles, you either got stuck behind someone in the middle of the aisle trying to look at a stall or people just stopping to have a general chat. I get very raged in these situations so I can tell you I wasn't very happy. One more thing that bugged me on the day was that when I got my email through for the tickets it said that because the weekend would be so busy, pushchairs and buggies wouldn't be allowed in and yet I saw plenty of people with these on the day. It reduces the space in the aisles more and then I felt bad for the people who'd obviously got this memo and were carrying around their young babies. They may as well have brought their buggy!

This was a great event with some amazing things to buy. I picked up quite a bit of stuff, that I plan to put in a separate post, so I was very happy that I went because I discovered more local shops that I'd love to visit in the future. If Living North could just have a look at food and the amount of people I'd definitely be grappling to get back next year.

P.s the York version of this is on 14th-16th November at York Racecourse.
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