Markets for Fleas & Fillies

For fellow vintage and antique lovers I thought I’d pop a little post up to mention a couple of delightful happenings I’m looking forward to around Dublin this weekend. Tomorrow morning will see me visiting the glorious Airfield farm, an oasis in the ever-changing landscape that is South Dublin. Besides the wonderful piglets and Shetland ponies that usually draw the crowds to the Kilmacud grounds, the last Saturday of every month is Sustainable Saturday … a charming assortment of vintage goods, homemade crafts and book swaps, the atmosphere is more church fete than regular market (think Midsomer … minus all that ugly murder business). On the beautifully maintained grounds, many of the traders set up under a canopy where they interact, over paper cups of hot tea, like old friends.

Besides the setting, the joy of this fair for me is its intimate feel. The smaller layout means visitors can take time to enjoy each of the stands without feeling overwhelmed by all they have yet to discover. I am always particularly charmed by those selling their own creations. It is one such trader that runs my favorite stand, selling delightful floral cushions along with, among other things, adorable aprons for little girls. Her pieces were particularly popular at the last fair and I was intrigued to watch designer Michelle’s reaction to selling yet another item. After the evident initial buzz she became almost deflated. ‘It’s the leaving you see’ she explained ‘I spent so long making each of them – and now they’re gone… not to mention what their removal does to my display!’ she added.

This is exactly what I love about this sort of bazaar; regardless of weather, targets, or footfall, these traders do their job with utter love. They delight in telling you the origins of their pieces. They are thrilled to share how they began making their products and why the craft is special to them. The enjoyment of such exchanges can never be matched on the high street. Of course there is a place for the Topshops of this world, and Lord knows I’d have been nude at many a music festival without them, but I must admit to buy directly from the designer/ creator of much loved fare, goes a long way to creating what I believe is known as ‘shopper’s adrenaline’ for this particular patron.

What I’d REALLY love to find this weekend!

Another market worth mentioning is the Newmarket Flea Market, taking place on Sunday – fabulous for very different reasons to Airfield. Although you’ll spot many of the same faces that you may have seen behind tables in Airfiled, this event is an unashamed jumble sale with everything from Wham! cassettes to  Sodastreams (from the first time round of course) on offer. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of great fashion and accessories to be found too, just that you’ll have to get stuck in and persevere in order to find your perfect bargain. This is far from a chore however, with a fabulous DJ treating our ears from his extensive vinyl collection and one of the finest darn falafel makers in town, there’s so much to enjoy and take in that it’s worth the trip even if the purse is slightly light on gold this month. Last month’s market enjoyed an extended spell of sun so the trading spilt onto the street and created very much a party vibe, enjoyed by all that visited…. even the many babies and dogs joined in the mass head bopping and inevitable toe-tapping.

The flea market takes place the last Sunday of every month but unfortunately I can’t guarantee the presence of sunshine or availability of falafels … particularly if I’ve gotten there before you 🙂

For those of you that can’t seem to get past the Dundrum Town Centre to make it up to Airfield, you’ll be happy to know that A Room in the Cottage’s delightful website allows you to order directly

If you do fancy venturing to the country side by the M50, Airfield also offers a yummy coffee shop, some great climbing trees and a wooden cow for you to milk … really.

Maybe see you by the gramophone…

Irene xxx