Come down to the Annapolis Valley any weekend between now and Christmas and you’ll have a down to earth experience of locally sourced meat, fruit and vegetables at our Farmers’ Markets, our produce stands and our specialty food shops. You’ll lunch at delicious cafe style or pub style eateries on local and fresh seasonal food in many cases sourced less than 5 kilometers from their doors, and you will be able to select gifts for giving, and treasures for yourself from a variety of handcraft, vintage and artisan shops.
This weekend, I’m featuring a variety of vintage French imports I’ve collected over the years. The first photo – at the top of this post – is a grouping of nine tiny nativity figures. These are the tiny “feves” meant to be wrapped in a twist of waxed paper and stirred into the batter of the ‘King’s Cake” for the feast of the Epiphany. They are made – a different set each year – by Quimper in Brittany, and are eagerly collected as they are a limited edition and not available as open stock from year to year.
The second photo above, is of a pair of simple and lovely candlesticks, also made by Quimper, under contract to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which for a brief space of time in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s commissioned well known manufacturers to make beautiful reproduction furniture, rugs and housewares for sale under their brand. These now vintage items have become very sought after. You will find my prices on these, as on all my items, is well below market value and the items are in excellent condition. Contact me if you can’t come by in person.
Two sweet items above: the first is a darling French vintage sheet for a baby’s bed – it is woven of ‘metis’ – a mix of flax and hemp and has woven blue floral decoration all around. Sized at 46×60 inches, it is practical to use on baby’s bed, as it was intended, or would make a lovely table topper, or even a single curtain – delicate looks belie how very tough this textile is – made to withstand washing after washing in hot water with strong laundry soap – you can’t go wrong!
The little shirt is a toddler’s size 3 or 4 made of 100% cotton sourced in Provence and manufactured by the highly sought after Les Olivades firm, it is brand new vintage stock – your little girl or boy will look sweet in this!
And below: a stylish and ageless diaper bag – again brand new old stock – made by the loved and respected firm of Pierre Deux (now out of business after a very long and successful run in France and the United States) it opens to function as a changing pad and has all the internal fittings expected in a diaper bag. Timeless, and very casual chic.
SOLD on May 21/13!!
For those of you who love the Pierre Deux fabric handbags I have a small selection of these too at very attractive prices, and in very nice used condition – just ask!
Finally, to pique your interest – I have a set of three books on design and French living put out Pierre Deux – featuring life in Brittany, Normandy, Provence which have for the last 35 years been sourcebooks of design and style for many people who want a traditional and at the same time stylish home. I am pricing these, plus a couple of other books I have on French Country style, at well below the going market price. In looking through online booksellers I am seeing these books at anywhere up to $75 – try $10 each instead at my pop-up shop! They won’t last long.
Now, as a little reward for folks who’ve read all the way through, if you’d like to make a day of it when you come down to the valley and want to plan a pleasant itinerary, here are a few suggestions: I’m assuming you will be using Highway 101.
Get off it at the Avonport exit so that you can include a visit to Just us! Coffee Roasters – I buy all my coffee there and grind beans daily for my coffee press – yum!http://www.justuscoffee.com/locations/grand-pre-coffeehouse – there is a fully stocked retail store as well as a small roastery museum, and a busy cafe where you can pick up a light snack and your favourite beverage to eat in or take back to your car.
Carry on into Wolfville, which is a busy University and retirement town with many attractions, including the Saturday morning Farmers Market – http://www.wolfvillefarmersmarket.ca/ where you will find over 40 vendors – artisanal, food and produce – you’re sure to take home some treats!
Check out the many boutiques and specialty shops, and then go over the bridge to Port Williams and take in brunch at the Port Pub – http://www.theportpub.com/ – there is something to please everyone any time of day, but the 11AM to 2PM bruch menu seems like a great idea to me! Again, locally sourced food, fine ambience and value pricing – can’t be beaten! http://www.foxhillcheesehouse.com/index.htm is the website of nearby Fox Hill Cheese shop – if you miss them at the Farmers’ Market, pop in to their Farm Shop near Port Williams – lots of signs to point the way.
If you are a knitter or hand spinner, before youi head to Port Williams you will want to make a special trip up to Gaspereau Valley Fibres – a different kind of Farm Shop. Straight up Gaspereau Avenue in Wolfville will bring you to http://www.gaspereauvalleyfibres.ca/ where you will find yarns spun from the flock of sheep there and lots of other imported yarns and knitting and spinning supplies. I especially enjoy their Plain and Simple line of knitting leaflets – classics that are clearly written and easy to follow.
I hope you picked up some maple syrup, farm fresh milk and eggs to bring home with you, because a blogger friend of mine, Jenna at Cold Antler Farm in upstate New York posted a ‘don’t miss it’ recipe for pancakes yesterday http://www.coldantlerfarm.blogspot.ca/2012/11/back-by-popular-demand-caf-pancakes.html#links – is your mouth watering as much as mine? I’m going to add a few frozen blueberries to my batch, but dried cranberries would be good too. Give it a try!
See you this weekend or maybe next, but if you can’t make it in person, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your wish list. (I’m sure to have something you’ll love!