Six quality products that we think you’d really like to know about from our day at the New Forest Show.
The New Forest Show, in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire, has become the premiere showcase for all things agricultural, sporting and family fun over a three day period in late July.
Unlike many county shows it retains its agricultural heritage with cattle, poultry, horses and other livestock forming a significant part but it’s broadened its appeal for the family to include children’s areas, live entertainment, traditional steam and vintage equipment and even duck racing!
This has enabled it to grow from a one-day show to three over the years and to become one of the south’s major summer attractions.
With numerous tented areas it’s even possible to enjoy the day if the weather isn’t kind but, that apart, we’d set ourselves the mission of finding half a dozen items that any luxury traveller would be keen to use – as The New Forest Show is a perfect venue for the esoteric and the exceptional.
Here’s our round-up of best in show for the discerning luxury traveller. All of the products are available online via the website links we’ve added at the end of each section.
We’ve chosen Burghley as our top tip for their individuality, environmental consciousness and the fact that it’s probably as close to bespoke as you can get.
Based in Wiltshire, Sarah Mallalieu imparts a pride and pleasure in her range of highly individual handbags, travel bags and holdalls that reflects the care and dedication that goes into their production.
All the soft leathers used in their production are vegetable tanned rather than chemical, which lends a patina and colour that echoes a vintage style and softens with use, ensuring that every product is truly unique.
It’s the first time we’ve walked up to a product and had no doubt that we’d love to own one.
Well done Sarah – and Burghley
Burghley Bags http://www.burghleybags.co.uk/
We were simply stunned by the quality of Langham’s sparkling wine – to the extent that we bought some Classic Cuvee Reserve 2011 immediately.
English wines have come on leaps and bounds since they were simply pretenders to the finer offerings of their long established French cousins. Langham pursues all of the traditional methods of champagne production – utilising a second, in bottle fermentation to produce the sparkle. Each bottle is then aged on yeast lees for at least 18 months before being disgorged and aged further under cork. The result – a small range of high quality sparkling wines that really do dispel the myth that only the French can make fizz of this standard..
If we hadn’t known that Langham’s are based in deepest Dorset in a champagne-like micro climate we’d never have been able to tell the French version and Langham’s apart. The flavours rival the best that Champagne has to offer. Small wonder then that Langham’s is highly awarded on the world stage with an array of medals for its range.
We highly recommend that you try it yourself.
Langham Wine Estate – http://langhamwine.co.uk/
John Halifax Hatters
Madness is supposed to be synonymous with hatters and to look at the array of colours in their own-brand Susquehana Hat Co. range you’d be forgiven for thinking that someone had gone crazy in the dyeing room!
With a cross section of Fedoras and Trilby’s in pinks, blues, reds and greens the hats are more than distinctive enough but the quality of this headwear is clear to see – and feel.
Hats tend to be associated with past times and to look at the John Halifax website you’d think we were still in them – its currently deplorable in terms of imparting their quality and range story and they’d do well to refer to the other product websites in this post – but be assured that, male or female, you’ll find a stylish up-to-the-minute hat to suit your personality or pastime from the numerous ranges they stock.
John Halifax Hatters – http://www.johnhalifax.co.uk/index.php
It’s difficult to visit any country or nautical event without being overloaded for choice in deck shoe choices – whether you’re a Primark or a Premium shopper. Ultimately, however, you get what you pay for and Chatham were keen to point out that most of their customers return time after time – not because the product has failed but because it’s so good.
With the addition of their ‘made in UK’ range Chatham have separated themselves distinctly from the mass produced Far-Eastern ‘me-too’ product and elevated their shoes into the genre of market where people buy because they only wish to wear quality.
Chatham Shoes https://www.chatham.co.uk/
Tom’s Place – Coastal Blue Clothing
At first glance, Tom’s Place was just another clothing retailer selling a motley selection of kit that did, however, include the high-end Sebago shoes, so we looked closer. Tom’s ‘own brand’ Coastal Blue range impressed us, not least because there were no labels in sight! It seems as though manufacturers and buyers alike delight in advertising the brand logos over and above championing the product for its own merits. We’re not lovers of flaunting brand overtly and prefer discrete quality – Coastal Blue ticks that box for us. Most of their labels are within and if they appear outside are modest and self-coloured with the fabric
Its slightly limited range includes Breton style t-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts for ladies , with sweatshirts and cotton pique polos for men in a variety of colours. Colours fade eventually to give the garments that shabby-chic look that suggests savoire faire in whatever arena you appear, as opposed to ‘all the gear and no idea’ with more colour-fast brands. We liked the range and felt Tom’s could/should make more of it and their website.
Tom’s Place http://www.tomsplace.co.uk/
There’s never any shortage of food, in all shapes, sizes and tastes, at any show – so it’s a particular compliment to the merits of Dockwoods that we stopped at all to sample. It might have been the fact that Thomas was almost reluctantly distributing miniscule samples of his outstanding Black Pepper & Honey Goat’s cheese on a knife tip that suggested it was either exquisite, or as rare as hen’s teeth, that drew us in.
Thomas’ stand was one of the smallest in the show and his obvious pride in his work made us linger to taste the smoked version of his cheese – in a similarly microscopic form. Even with cheese samples the size of a taste bud being offered it was obvious from the outset that this was a quality product and together with the little array of chutneys alongside made a perfect package.
Dockwoods are only sixth in our selection because we doubt they could cope with high demand – which although they undoubtedly deserve the popularity – would destroy the cachet of such a wonderfully rare commodity.
Do try it – they also sell online – but do insist on them sending you a full sized piece!
When you’ve finished availing yourself of some of the best products we could find from the show here’s a round-up of some of the other sights you’ll see on any year at the New Forest Show.
We loved our day out and couldn’t resist this one last photo that underlines how every aspect of life – and the one thereafter – is becoming green!
For more information on the New Forest Show – go to their website by following this link