December is my absolute favourite time of year, and I try to do as many festive activities as I can in the run-up to Christmas. One of my favourite things to do with the family is visiting some of the fabulous Christmas craft and food fairs that pop up all over Gwynedd from late November all the way up to Christmas.
Not only are the craft fairs an excellent opportunity to get the kids out of the house and get into the Christmas spirit, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to support the local businesses and crafters that run the stalls and stands.
What I love about craft fairs (at any time of year, but at Christmas especially) is that you can often find really beautiful Christmas gifts for your friends and family that you can’t buy in the shops.
I went to several craft fairs this year, but my favourite by far was the Portmeirion Christmas fair. I was particularly looking forward to this fair, as I knew it was going to be a big one, not to mention the fact that I absolutely love Portmeirion at the best of times, let alone at Christmas! The tickets were very fairly priced as well; usually it’s about £10 per ticket to visit Portmeirion, but for the fair it was £5 admission on the day or £4 online – so instantly there was a bargain to be had in getting to visit Portmeirion at half the price, with the added bonus of getting to look at all the wonderful stalls there.
It’s definitely safe to say that we were spoilt for choice – especially when it came to food. There were so many lovely food stalls; not only were there vans for hot food (both meat and vegetarian), all locally sourced and prepared; but there were also numerous stalls of sweets and savouries, jars of condiments, and others with chocolate and fudge etc.
Then in the Town Hall were the majority of the craft stalls. There were so many beautiful stalls, I was in my element wandering around looking at all the beautiful things for sale. There were so many prints and paintings, home decor like cushions and candles, items carved out of wood, hand stitched things, ceramics and much more.
I was instantly drawn to stalls that sold a lot of ceramics, as I am a huge fan. I also love anything a bit different and quirky and so I was incredibly excited when I came across Miss Marple Makes – a fabulous little business that makes and sells the most wonderful and quirky badges and other small ceramic pieces. I bought a little cactus badge and a fir tree one, although I pretty much wanted everything! My partner also bought me something for Christmas from this stall so I was very happy!
We visited many stalls and I bought one or two bits and pieces for myself while I was there, but I honestly could have bought so much more; it never fails to amaze me just how many wonderfully talented people we have in Gwynedd!
By the end of the day we were all so tired and were more than ready to get home, but we all felt good as we drove away with our bellies full of lovely food and knowing we’d bought some lovely stuff from our excellent local businesses.
About the author
Emily Prowse is a mother of two young boys who lives with her partner and sons in Talysarn. Originally from London, Emily has lived in Gwynedd since she was 10 years old. She is a fluent Welsh speaker and is raising her children bilingually. Both Emily and her partner are self-employed; he as a translator and she as a blogger and crafter. Emily writes about eco-parenting at her blog, Nature-Loving Mama, and sells her hand-crafted products through her Facebook page, The Happy Little Pie.