I know it’s only the beginning of December, and I know that as an adult I shouldn’t get excited that it’s nearly Christmas. I know both of these things, but I can’t help myself. I love Christmas, admittedly I probably love it for all the wrong reasons but I can’t help it, I love everything about it. I’m a sucker for Christmas films, Christmas songs, mince pies and mulled wine. Simply put, as soon as baubles and tinsel start appearing, I’m beside my self with pure unadulterated joy. Bearing all of this in mind, you can no doubt imagine how excited I got when I realised this weekend, the 6th and 7th of December, was like the perfect storm of Christmas happenings. There seemed to be events and markets popping up all over Walthamstow, I was like a kid in a sweet shop as I read through all the event listings.
There was no way we were going to make it to everything that was happening on Saturday, so we selected two events and headed out in to the cold to start getting festive. Our first stop of the day was a pop up shop near the Bell. I should point out that this wasn’t just any old pop up shop, this was Tray bake Queens pop up shop. Lucy, the genius behind the tray bakes, has built up a substantial and well deserved reputation. As well as brownies, flapjacks and peanut butter blondies, she also makes the famed florenteenies. These small bites of sweet loveliness are so addictive they should probably be made illegal. We surveyed the baked offerings with eyes as wide as saucers, we purchased a mince pie tray bake, peanut butter blondie and a bag of the fabled florenteenies. Within minutes of leaving the pop up shop we had already opened the florenteenies. Munching on the most addictive cake known to human kind, we headed to our next stop of the day, thew Blitz Factory Christmas Fair.
The Blitz Factory is part of the ever expanding group of businesses based on Ravenswood industrial estate. It’s associated with Gods Own Junkyard, so the presence of neon and light was pretty much guaranteed. The event promised food, gifts and festivities along with mince pies and mulled wine, it didn’t disappoint. Walking in to the former industrial unit, the first thing I spotted was the giant mirror ball, the second thing was the bar, which was my first point of call. Sipping our first my first cup of mulled wine, we had a wander around and looked at the stalls. The variety was good, ranging from vintage, Christmas wreaths, jams, and hula hoops.
The space at the Blitz Factory isn’t that big, but the variety of stalls packed in to the white washed space was impressive. We bought a wreath from a local florist to hang on the front door, and then found ourselves back at the bar, not sure how we got there so quickly but it seemed an appropriate time to buy another cup of mulled wine. Drinking the second cup of wine we both commented on how busy the Christmas Fair was, the adults, kids and dogs of Walthamstow were out in force supporting the independent traders. It was as busy outside the Blitz factory as it was inside, a hog roast and chips with dips were providing food, and the wall outside the venue was being painted in a very festive theme.
As I’ve already said, I know its only early December, and Christmas is still a few weeks off, but this weekend was a nice start to the festive season. Importantly, events like this give local traders and makers a chance to sell their goods and strengthen their business. It’s easy to presume that a journey to Westfield or the West End is needed in order to complete Christmas shopping, but these local events mean that everything you need can be found close to home. And by buying local, you are also supporting local. The Blitz Factory Christmas Fair is also open today (7th December), as is the Georgian Village and Wood Street Market on Wood Street, and the E17 Designers pop up at Hoe Street Central.