For those looking for special gifts and food this weekend there are Christmas events in and close to the town where they might be found.
The Skylark Inn on the Chelston roundabout is hosting a Christmas Market on Saturday 5th December to raise money for cancer charity, Hospicare. Organiser Steve Cook, a member of The Skylark’s management team, said, “There will be 24 stalls, Wellington’s Mayor is opening the event at 3pm and we have St John’s Primary School and Court Fields choirs singing from 3pm. We would love as many people as possible to come and have a look around the Market.” The Market closes at 8pm.
Cothay Manor will be holding its very first Christmas Fair also on Saturday 5 December from 11am to 5pm. All the stalls will be sited in the medieval Manor House’s beautifully preserved rooms including the Great Hall, Dining Room, Book Room, Georgian Hall and inside the Gate House.
Organisers said, “There are approximately 40 stands booked selling Christmas gifts. We’ve tried to put together stalls selling unique, quality goods – really interesting items such as handmade silk ties & scarves, handmade rugs, hand-turned wooden items, paintings, pottery, jewellery, home-made chutneys & cakes. We’ll have a roving musician playing Christmas carols inside the house and falconer Jonathan Marshall flying birds of prey in the grounds. Our tea room is open for Christmas fare such as home-made soup, mince pies, buns and stollen.”
Cothay’s owner, Mary-Anne Robb, is holding a raffle throughout the day. The prize will be a copy of a new book called ‘The Private Gardens of England’ in which Cothay is featured quite extensively. When it goes on sale it will retail at £75.
Proceeds from Cothay’s Christmas Fair will go towards the restoration of the Manor House’s 15th century wall paintings. Two of the world’s leading conservators, Stephen and Lisa Rickerby who are presently working on wall paintings in a church in Ethiopia, have already begun conservation and will be returning to Cothay Manor in the summer of 2016 to continue their work.
Another source of unusual presents is the affordable Gift Fair of prints, photographs, sculpture, jewellery at The Old Brick Workshop, Higher Poole, TA21 9HW. This gallery and workshop space only opened in October and is well worth a visit – and handy for getting rid of pre-Christmas clutter at Poole recycling centre.
Finally, it’s the regular Farmers’ Market in the town centre on Saturday.