© Jess Graham
The Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair
Since it was launched in 1985, international decorators have used this fair to source “statement” pieces such as fine furniture, dramatic lighting, unusual accessories and special works of art for residential, public and retail projects. But the 140 dealers also welcome private buyers seeking a “one-off” item to distinguish their homes – prices start at well under £50.
A special show in the foyer features mirrors and lamps to bring light into dull January days. These include traditional and 20th-century period mirrors of all shape and sizes, from over-mantels and pier glasses to sunbursts and Venetians. Also admire romantic chandeliers and modernist ceiling lights, together with wall-mounted illumination in French gilt or Murano glass.
And admire candle sconces, cantilevered arm-lights, fashionable floor lamps and creative table lamps “up-cycled” from vintage and antique decorative objects. Pick up a free Renault shuttle bus from Sloane Square tube (outside the Sloane Square Hotel, running around every 15 minutes. Tickets cost £10 and include a catalogue (which allows free return to Fair throughout the week).
The Marquee, Battersea Park, London SW11; 020 7616 9327; decorativefair.com
Urban Upholstery design show
Open now until 31 January
To celebrate their second birthday, Urban Upholstery has assembled a stunning line-up of top design talent for London interiors, including wallpapers, ceramics, fabrics, lighting, sculpture and furniture.
See the charming wallpapers of Elli Popp, the edgy urban chic of ATA Designs and the charming chandeliers of Madeliene Boulesteix. Also taking part are Woosa Woosa, Secondnature, and Bird In The Hand. Urban Upholstery themselves recover vintage sofas, chair, stools and so on with rescued fabrics – such as ends-of-lines and sample lengths.
21 De Beauvoir Road, London; 020 7275 9436; urbanupholstery.com
The Kensington Antiques Fair
Fine Georgian furniture, English porcelain, entrancing Art Deco bronze figurines, nostalgic Hollywood movie posters, sparkling Georgian drinking glasses and colourful Persian carpets are among rare treasures at London's first major antiques fair of the New Year, where you can meet more than 50 specialist dealers from all over Britain. Organiser Caroline Penman (from Penman Fairs) invites you to “come and see how antiques fairs have evolved in the past ten years. Today's home furnishers and collectors seek pieces with flair and designer individuality – and this is the place to find them.” Tickets cost £5.
Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8; 01825 744074; penman-fairs.co.uk
The France Show
This is the nearest you’ll get to France without leaving London – with everything for a French lifestyle under one roof. Explore a huge selection of French property on offer from leading agents. Sample and shop for specialist foods and products from French artisans. Get to know your wines at tastings hosted by experts. Parlez-vous – non? Practise your French in the language theatre, then plan a holiday, and benefit from special offers. Tickets are £10 in advance or £13 on the door.
Reader offer: two tickets for £12 booked in advance – quote code AB34.
Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5; thefranceshow.com
The Stitch & Creative Crafts Show
Make it yourself in 2011…a new year’s resolution that ticks both money-saving and eco boxes. And this vibrant show could be the place to get started, with crafts that include sewing, card making, embroidery, knitting, patchwork, quilting, scrap-booking, ribbon- and paper-craft, stamping, beading, painting, dressmaking, tapestry, decoupage, crochet and more. Discover all the latest tools and materials, stock up on specialist supplies, watch demos and enjoy workshops. Tickets cost £7.50 (adults) and £6.50 (concessions) with free entrance for accompanied children under 16.
Sandown Park Exhibition Centre, Esher; 01822 617744; sccshows.co.uk
The Boat Show
The London boat show is a marvelous marine adventure with “everything to do with activity on, in and under the water.” Explore all types of small craft and floating homes – there will be roughly 1,000 boats ranging from kayaks and dinghies, to sail boats and motor yachts that will be open to climb aboard.
You can also try out adventurous water sports, and much more, with activities for all the family. Tickets booked in advance are £13; tickets on the door are £18. Each ticket admits one adult and two children under the age of 15; ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16; 0871 230 7140; londonboatshow.com
Tickets to the Boat Show also admit to two other events on the same dates:
The Outdoors Show; theoutdoorsshow.co.uk – “outdoor adventures, advanced equipment and celebrities”.
The London Bike Show; thelondonbikeshow.co.uk – a new show for London cyclists with top quality equipment and expert advice.
Sandown Park Antique and Vintage Fair
This family-run fair is one of a regular series held on the racecourse at Sandown with a free bus from Esher station (35 minutes from Waterloo). Explore hundred of stalls and chat with knowledgeable traders, offering well-priced antiques.Tickets cost £5 each (concessions £3).
Sandown Park Race Course, Esher, Surrey; 020 7249 4050; wonderwhistle.co.uk
Anniversary Show for The American Museum in Britain
To celebrate it's 50th birthday, the Museum is bringing the best of its sumptuous treasures from their Georgian home at Claverton Manor in Bath, to London. See elegantly-carved “highboys”, boldly-coloured costumes, folk art, and of the Museum’s world famous American quilts.
Christies, 8 King Street, SW1; 01225 460503; americanmuseum.org
Exclusive January evening tours
Tours with an experienced guide last around two hours, and include a copy of the official guidebook, a 20 per cent discount on shop purchases, and a glass of champagne in the Bow Room. Places are limited to 20, and tickets cost £65. Dates are 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, 16, 22, 23, 28 and 30 January. Call 020 7766 7322 to book. royalcollection.org.uk