Festive market is back, and just in time for Christmas

SHE’S A KEEPER: Rachel Sprake, who runs the Christmas market and the A Keeper’s Wife hampers and preserves
SHE’S A KEEPER: Rachel Sprake, who runs the Christmas market and the A Keeper’s Wife hampers and preserves

A go-to place for Christmas gifts, where rural makers come together to offer a feast of wonderful items, is back in 3D this year, after covid forced the event online.

Distraught craftspeople and food and drink producers were thrown a lifeline last year, when the organiser of Making A Country Living @ Christmas Market Rachel Sprake swiftly created a website enabling them to trade, despite lockdown.

“Some sellers said it saved their businesses,” she said.

Rachel, who herself produces preserves and hampers under the name The Keeper’s Wife,  from her farmhouse kitchen near Sherborne, is continuing with the website all year round now.

But she is still very excited about the live event, which this year will be held from 10am-4pm on Sunday, December 5 at New Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne.

She said: “I am dedicated to promoting small, independent, rural businesses. The website was such a massive help for everyone, which inspired me to continue with it all year round.

“Making A Country Living now has an amazing following of over 17k members and hundreds of sellers who for a small fee can promote their own businesses to like-minded buyers looking to support small businesses.

“I also created an Online Directory makingacountryliving.co.uk which categorises the sellers.”

The market will be held on the same day as Sherborne’s Festive shopping event.

Rachel added: “We have gathered the most amazing group of talented people who will be selling local food, drink, crafts, gifts, clothing, decorations and jewellery plus lots more. Entry is free and so is the parking. It’s really important to support small businesses, now more than ever, it has obviously been a very difficult time for a lot of our makers so this is a fantastic opportunity for buyers and sellers alike.

“We are looking forward to welcoming back some of our long term stall holders including Helen from Longfield Designs with the most amazing jewellery, Anna Siltes with her gorgeous pottery and Sam from Higher Oborne Farm Shop with his delicious Barber’s cheeses, local meats and the zero food mile potatoes which are grown on his family farm just outside Sherborne.

“We are extremely lucky to have some very gifted makers in our area, we really do have something for everyone: chutneys, honey, handcrafted cider, hand painted ceramics, wooden chopping boards, hand knitted baby clothes and blankets, Christmas cards, wrap, flavoured oils & vinegars, cakes, notice boards, socks, ties, clothing, paper flowers, paintings and so much more”.

More information along with a list of stall holders can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, just search Making A Country Living @ Christmas.

By Miranda Robertson

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