[Emma Langschied | Design Sub Editor]
Rain did not dampen shoppers’ spirits at Hatfield House’s Frost Fair last weekend. The Stable Yard, marquees and some of Hatfield House itself, provided a festive sanctuary for visitors from Hertfordshire and surrounding counties.
200 stands adorned with Christmas gifts filled the area with a sweet Christmas scent to accompany the busy browsing of everything from ornaments, to cheese boards and fluffy hats to Indian scarves. One stall featured “smoke your own snowball” with e-cigarettes.
Choirs sang outside as well as entertainers, whilst visitors enjoyed mulled wine and Hatfield House gift shop. Festive fast food on offer included popular turkey and cranberry sauce baps among other hot food, and of course, as many cheese samples as visitors could handle.
Indoor places to dine included The Coach House Restaurant and the Coach House Marquee, and also the Fine Food Fair marquee which hosted teas, coffees and an assortment of festive alcohol and Christmas treats.
There were workshops throughout the three days, including creative Christmas decorating with flowers and other plants. Father Christmas even came to town thanks to the Hatfield Rotary Club.
Next to the Christmas tree, inside the main room in Hatfield House was David Millman, who is becoming a regular stall holder at the Frost Fairs. “We’re very happy in this spot,” said Millman. “It’s lovely, and Cliff is a very nice organiser.”
Millman has been in the fashion business since 1970. “I spent many years in India doing tie-dyes and I got fed up of getting my hands dirty,” said Millman. “So now we do all of our own printing.”
The weather raised concerns over the number of visitors who may be put off of attending the event. By Sunday, a message was posted on the Hatfield House website saying, “Due to the recent weather conditions parking for the Frost Fair may involve a walk which is approximately 15 minutes from the car park. Suitable footwear would be advised.” However, the vast amount of smiling faces alone suggested that it was yet another Frost Fair success.
If you missed the Frost Fair this year don’t panic, there are plenty more Christmas events throughout December: Christmas banquets, a vintage collectors’ market, a farmers ’ market and Christmas “battles of the decades,” to name a few. To find out more visit hatfield-house.co.uk/events