This weekend is the annual City Hall Craft & Design Fair this weekend. Over 80 exhibitors with thoughtfully designed pottery, sparkling jewelry, exquisite artwork, hand-crafted toys, gourmet food and drink products, and much more grace the interior of the hall. There is even a small meal selection (including vegetarian, celiac-friendly organic soup) for reasonable prices in the main hall on-stage. Admission is €7 per person.
Though tempted by any beautiful items, there were a few stalls that became fast favorites:
Belinda Northcote’s detailed and vibrant prints are being sold as well as her husband’s photography. Based in Ballycotton, her watercolor paintings offer an intensity not often found with such serene elegance. A perfect gift for anyone seeking to build a local artist collection. Prints start at just €10 and her note cards are affordably priced, making you want to start letter writing again.
Gwen Bainbridge has a fun, quirky, and deliciously darling artistic sense. I fell in love with her ceramics the moment I saw the little cupcakes that are actually little boxes. Sigh. Even the swirls of icing are mimicked in the ceramic pieces. Jewelry, tableware, and collectables all in one cheery stall.
Alphabet Jigsaws made me long for my nephew to be a year older so I could get him one of their imaginative and fun-yet-educational puzzles. My favorites are the numbers that piece together to be a dog and the ever-popular alphabet that is made of separate creatures to be played with but fits together A to Z.
Wood’n is back again with hand-crafted wood pens and other lovely pieces made of Irish Yew and other woods as well as imported Mahogany. A lasting gift for your favorite student, scribe, father, or colleague.
Indigo Craft has luxuriously soft real pashmina scarves in brilliant hues for reasonable prices as well as handbags and other accessories. The multi-colored woven scarf is a modern take on the classic pashmina fabrics and with so many hues it is bound to coordinate with something you already own.
Taste of the Caribbean is tasty and tangy with sauces, seasonings, and ready-to-make foods.
Pas De Probleme seems to be present at every Cork City fair I’ve attended and this is no exception. With new pieces of calming cream and blue shown alongside the usual bright fish and patterned pieces, it’s no wonder her stall is so memorable. She will be at the Cork City Grand Parade Christmas Fair for its final two weekends.
Hot Irish Coffee & Mulled Wine offers yummy samples and sells bottled mulled wine for a tenner as well as prepared Irish coffee (just add hot water). Tasty treats for a hostess over the holidays.
The fair started on Thursday (26 November) and runs through Sunday (29 November). As with most events in Cork City, it is poorly publicized and I would not have known about it had a friend not rang me up to say she had a spare ticket. A worthwhile experience with two rooms of tempting and lovely Christmas goodies.