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5 hyggelig fairs for stress-free Christmas shopping!

On the count down to Christmas designer-makers are preparing for fairs and markets (including me!) Feeling "hyggelig" is not generally something I associate with present shopping! But fear not! I have some comforting solutions for you! Buying your gifts locally is a great way to find individual handmade gifts that haven't already travelled half way around the world (and that don't involve you doing the same looking for them!) Here's my run-down of 5 "cosy" East-end markets to inspire your shopping in the coming weeks in Leytonstone, Hackney Wick, (Islington), Walthamstow and Bow. Take your pick of the wonderful makers hygge-delights and give some small businesses that same feeling back by buying local from them this Christmas! (I'll be having a stall at each one, do come and say hello!) Firstly, I'll be jingling along to.......

1> Leyton and Stone Makers Market - Leytonstone Library Sat 2 December 11 - 4.00pm

With mulled wine, Santa and a wide variety of local designers and makers, you can expect to find the perfect Xmas gift right here in Leytonstone! Makers include: EsDes - colourful handmade clothes, Unity Jewels beautiful handmade jewellery, Caroline Wong Jewellery Bags and Gifts, Charlotte Harker's wonderful prints, Joumana Medlej's beautiful Kufic script art creations, All in an original Art Deco Library Building very close to the tube in Leytonstone. Now that's style!

Next on the shopping list will be....

2> Local Makers Market - Hackney Wick - Stour Space Sun 3 December 11 - 4.00pm

Hosted by Stour Space this is the first Local Makers Market in Hackney Wick. You can expect to find screen prints, ceramics, jewellery, homewares and textiles, all perfect for gifts. Mulled wine at the bar with festive treats. Traders include Edie Rose flowers, who is running a wreath making workshop on the day! See the gallery for more examples of all the loveliness on offer - there will be so many ways to tick your present list here! See the Gallery of Makers

(Well I know I said 5 "East End" Fairs, this one has slipped through from N1, but still within easy reach of either Angel or Highbury and Islington Tubes!)

3> St Mary's Church Christmas Fair - Upper Street N1 2TX. Sat 9 December 11 - 4.30

A traditional welcome awaits with the choir singing, cafe, home made cakes and jams, 20 designer craft stalls, carols, children's activities, Cards for Good Causes (a huge variety of charities to choose from). Just come and spend time with us to get you in festive mood! The church at the heart of Upper Street Islington, opposite the Kings Head Pub. Designers include: Florica Fine Art prints EK Bakery, (Seasonal treats and Queen of the brownies) Designs Eleanor (glass, porcelain and jewellery) I want Candy, (for those with a sweet tooth or two!) Leah Rose Designs (beautiful embroidered textiles and home furnishings) EnFair Nuni (Fairly traded goods), Silver Scribbles, Kina Handcraft knitted wear, Love Sycamore lifestyle goods, Imrana and Clare's upcycled jewellery, MC Chocolatier (oh yes please!) along with local potters, florists, poets, and hand made stationers! A proper family friendly affair!

Follow the star to the east of Walthamstow for......

4> Hoe Street Market - Trades Hall, Hoe Street Sun 10 December 11 - 5.00pm

Run by the lovely Kate, this ever-expanding monthly market is held in the Trades Hall on Hoe Street. There's a cheap bar (open til 10.30pm!), DJ and lots of craft stalls, cakes and delicious food, including Walthamstow Dogs (hot-dogs and vegan sausages) the the very inventive Crafty Glass , and Tim Reedy's wonderful cartoons. With Purple pots (both beautiful and useful in true William Morris style) and Mamiluk (gifts for small people). Loads more stalls besides, this community fair is pleased for you to bring the whole family, prams and all! A friendly welcome awaits!

And last but by no means least.....

5> Roman Road Christmas Fair 2017 Roman Road Car Park E3 5NS 11 - 4.00pm

The wonderful Christmas fair in Bow the very heart of the East End and we'll be setting up on the old "barrers". (I can't wait to have a stall here, I'm so excited I have to show you a picture!) A proper community affair where local residents, businesses and community groups are integral to festivities in contributing to Santa’s sack, volunteering to set up the site and running the event. Bow’s "big annual jolly" that revels in neighbourliness! See their web-page for details...I think there will even be hot chestnuts roasting on a open fire - now what could be more hygge than that? Fun for all the family! (I'll be on one of the old barrows! Come and say hello!)

Traditional East-End market barrow

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