Friday 15 December 2017

Interview with Gloucestershire stallholders showcasing at Bath Christmas Market

With Bath Christmas Market set to transform the city in a festive wonderland this winter, we chat to six Gloucestershire stallholders about exhibiting at the annual seasonal event.

One of the biggest and best festive events in the south west, Bath Christmas Market sees over 170 stallholders descend on the town for the annual seasonal extravaganza.

Taking place from Thursday 24 November to Sunday 11 December 2016, the market will see traditional chalets line the streets surrounding Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths, offering shoppers the chance to snap up gifts from a range of local producers, designers and makers.

SoGlos spoke to six Gloucestershire-based stallholders who will be exhibiting at the event to find out what it’s like to be part of the magical Christmas showcase.

Ridge & Furrow

Ridge and Furrow at Bath Christmas Market

Ridge & Furrow is a Stroud-based independent garden design, landscape and interior design business run by husband and wife team, Martin Gane and Eleanor Kemp, who have exhibited at the Bath Christmas Market for the past three years. Find the business at chalet number 85.

What can shoppers expect to find on your stall?

We specialise in great potting shed accessories and our customers’ favourite is our blackboard plant markers which people come back for year after year.

Our homeware has a cosy modern farmhouse aesthetic. We sell a large range of Welsh woollen blankets which are always popular. Our stall is usually a very tactile place with reindeer and sheepskins, woollens and amazing cow horn products.

What are you predicting to be a top seller?

We’ve a unique new blanket design in a beautiful creamy shade of pale grey.
Also our horn cups and tankards, as seen on Game of Thrones, have been gaining in popularity over recent seasons.

What do you enjoy most about exhibiting at Bath Christmas Market?

The atmosphere in the city is amazing during the Christmas Market, it’s a really vibrant place to be and you really do get into the Christmas spirit.

Purely Pickled Eggs

Purely Pickled Eggs at Bath Christmas Market

Purely Pickled Eggs is a small Stroud-based business run by Sue Tyley who has a passion for the Great British tradition of pickled eggs, with 2016 marking the fourth year as a stallholder at Bath Christmas Market. Find the business at chalet number 169.

What can shoppers expect to find on your stall at the Christmas Market?

It will be a veritable pickled egg grotto! Pickled eggs in all sorts of flavours to suit all kinds of tastes – from the very traditional ‘Old School’ pickled eggs in brown vinegar to exciting new flavours including a bright yellow pickled egg with Indian garam masala spices.

There are gift packs so you can mix and match the flavours, small jars, big jars and for the serious pickled egg lover, even party buckets.

What are you predicting to be a top seller?

We’re launching a new chilli lover’s pack of three different types of chilli- flavoured eggs and we think it might overtake last year’s best seller which was our Posh Bites – pickled quail eggs with Champagne-Ardenne vinegar.

What do you enjoy most about exhibiting at Bath Christmas Market?

The market is always wonderfully busy and Bath Street, where we have our pitch, has a wonderful mix of small producers with unique, hand-crafted products that we’re proud to be a part of. There’s a lot of camaraderie among the stall holders too and lots of banter that goes on with customers which makes the event good fun.

How would you sum up the atmosphere?

It just sums up Christmas. Everyone is in good spirits, you can smell roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, there are carol singers and the chalets all look so festive. I defy anyone not to feel Christmassy after a visit!

Kat Aromatherapy

 Kat Aromatherapy at Bath Christmas Market

Based in Frampton-on-Severn, Kat Aromatherapy specialises in creating boutique bath products spanning melts, essences, creams and soaps. Founder, Vanessa Kemp, has been exhibiting at the market for the past four Christmases, and will be located in chalet number 79 this year.

What can shoppers expect to find on your stall?

Handmade unique gifts for all ages, including bubble baths and soaps beautifully decorated with dried flowers, roses and fruits; Christmas fruit string decorations fragranced with pure essential oils; bath essences, pure rosewater and creams.

Can you tell our readers a bit more about your business?

I founded it in 2003 and now our bubble bath melts, bath essences and soaps are sold throughout Britain and internationally. However, they are still handmade in Gloucestershire in a small factory unit in converted farm buildings on the banks of the River Severn.

What do you enjoy most about exhibiting at Bath Christmas Market?

I love the buzz, the buskers, and the friendliness of the people who come from all over the country and in fact all over Europe. I love it when it’s really cold and you can smell the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, the woolly hats people are wearing, the lights of the market. I just love it all!

Combined Brewers Ltd

 Combined Brewers at Bath Christmas Market

Combined Brewers Ltd, a new partnership between Cotswold Spring Brewing Co. and Severn Vale Brewing Company, produces a large range of styles of real ale in both cask and bottles. The award-winning brewery, located in Wotton-under-Edge, will be exhibiting for the second time this year and can be found at chalet number 127.

What can shoppers expect to find on your stall?

As it is a Christmas Market, the focus will be mainly on gift packs of our bottled beers, which contain no artificial preservatives, flavourings or colourings, and are made using tradition brewing equipment and techniques.

What are you predicting to be a top seller?

Our three-pack of 500ml bottles makes an ideal present for a loved one at a modest price.

How would you sum up the atmosphere at the Christmas Market?

Vibrant, exciting and very positive. We enjoy meeting lots of people from all over the country.

The Potted Game Company

The Potted Game Company at Bath Christmas Market

Based in Gloucestershire village, The Camp, The Potted Game Company is owned by Rory Baxter and Jemima Palmer-Tomkinson. The independent business will be exhibiting at Bath Christmas Market for the fourth year and can be found at chalet number 63.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your business?

We make potted game which is roughly chopped game meat from the fields and woods of Gloucestershire that’s naturally preserved beneath clarified butter. It’s delicious on hot toast at Christmas, or any other time.

What are you predicting to be a top seller?

The potted venison with garlic and black pepper.

What do you enjoy most about exhibiting at Bath Christmas Market?

The chance to be in the glorious city of Bath for two weeks. The wonderful architecture and the people of Bath make the event so unique.

What keeps you returning to exhibit?

We love Bath and the atmosphere of Christmas Market is fantastic. We are building up a loyal customer base who continues to seek us out each year.

Dimkin’s Patisserie

The Potted Game Company at Bath Christmas Market

Cheltenham-based Dimkin’s Patisserie is an independent family-owned business run by Svetlin and Ilina Mollova-Dimkina who bring the authentic tastes of European pastry to Gloucestershire and beyond. Dimkin’s will be exhibiting at the Bath Christmas Market for the second time and can be found at chalet 132.

What can shoppers expect to find on your stall at the Christmas Market?

Delicious French macarons in a range of different flavours, including top sellers, salted caramel, nutella and Champagne.

How would you sum up the atmosphere at the Christmas Market?

It brings the festive feeling and has a great buzz.

Will you get chance to do much Christmas shopping yourself?

We hope so especially as we couldn’t do any at all last year as we were extremely busy.

For more information, see Bath Christmas Market, call 0906 711 2000, or visit directly.

© SoGlos
Tuesday 25 October 2016

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