Make sure you visit these stands at the Country Life Fair for the best in clothing, food, drink and interiors

From beautiful animal bronzes to a pair of Purdeys, the inaugural COUNTRY LIFE Fair, held in association with Boodles on September 27–28 in London, has everything the field sportsman needs to eat, drink, wear and wield on riverbank or peg, plus much more besides. Read ten highlights to look out for from the standholders you will see there

** READ OUR FULL LIST OF STANDHOLDERS AT THE COUNTRY LIFE FAIR

Pickering’s Gin
(0131–290 2901; www.pickeringsgin.com)
What we do
Old friends Marcus Pickering (once a senior butler at Skibo Castle) and Matthew Gammell hand-blend their smallbatch gin in a copper still called Gert, following a recipe handed down by Marcus’s grandfather. ‘We’ve now fine-tuned the recipe, perfecting its balance of botanicals and tweaking it to appeal to the contemporary palate’
How we started ‘
If you can’t find what you want, make it yourself’ USP ‘Summerhall, Pickering’s HQ, is Edinburgh’s first gin distillery for more than 150 years. The smoothness comes from our customdesigned bain-marie heating system. It means the botanicals enjoy a slow, luxurious simmer, which coaxes out the their subtle, soft flavours’
How much?
£29.50 for a 70cl bottle
If you buy nothing else
Take a bottle home and mix a Churchill’s Choice: drop twists of lemon and lime peel into a glass and add a generous measure of Pickering’s. Stir for 40 seconds, then serve garnished with grapefruit peel

Just Bee
(07779 118249; www.justbeepure.co.uk)
What we do
Natural skincare products and scented candles (above), made in Stogumber, west Somerset, using wax from the family’s bees
How we started
‘It began very lowkey and, a year ago, I’d never have dreamed we’d have a stand at The COUNTRY LIFE Fair,’ says founder Harriet Scott-Bolton. Her in-laws have been beekeeping for almost 60 years and father-in-law Richard tends 125 hives dotted around the Quantock hills. ‘I used to be a little bit scared of bees, but the more I do this, the more I want my own hives’
USP
Just Bee candles contain no harmful chemicals or paraffins, which means they have a longer burn time and throw out a cheeringly warm glow
How much?
From £4 for a beeswax  lip balm to £80 for a set of five candles in jars
If you buy nothing else
A Wild Fennel candle (£24)—men love them, apparently

Penmayne of London
(020–3397 9772; www.penmayne.com)
What I do
‘It’s always struck me that hats as an everyday accessory need more attention,’ says Claire Howeson who creates stylish women’s fedoras and trilbies  in her Battersea studio
How I started
‘I was a qualified solicitor, but, in 2013, waved goodbye to the law to focus on my millinery. Within months, my hats were in Harrods’
How much?
£249 to £289
USP
Each hat is made entirely from rabbit-fur felt, which is naturally breathable and water resistant
If you buy nothing else
The classic Amber trilby  (£265 to £285) goes with everything

The Shot Box
(0844 504 4054; www.theshotbox.co.uk)
What we do
Stackable, acacia-wood boxes for storing bottles, glasses and shooting accessories (below). Never again will you find Champagne flutes rolling around the boot of the car
How we started
Kenya’s Lewa Downs, one of the country’s poorest regions, is the centre of production—Samburu tribespeople gather wood on their land, before passing it on to skilled Meru and Kikuyu woodworkers. Profits are ploughed back into the community
USP
No living trees are felled to make the boxes—the wood is from those that have already died
How much? £300 to £545
If you buy nothing else
The Bullshot  Box (£540) is big enough to hold a Thermos, mugs, bottles and spices, plus a couple of slices of cake

Dido & Bendigo
(01424 772520; www.shopdidoandbendigo.com)
What we do British country clothing for children of all ages
How we started
Founder Eleasha Sallis’s background is in eventing and her husband is MFH of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt, ‘so we understand the market, but running the business has been a real eye-opener. Ignorance is bliss!’
USP
No grown-ups allowed. ‘There are a lot of adult brands who’ll do a child’s jacket as an afterthought I design all our cloth patterns and colourways specifically with children in mind, so everything is scaled down and a bit more fun’
How much?
£35 to £135
If you buy nothing else
The Owl Snowsuit (£120)

Jeremy Houghton
(07803 813668; www.jeremyhoughton.co.uk)
What I do
‘Abstract and figurative works, often of animals and wildlife, from my studio in Broadway, Gloucestershire.’ Mr Houghton was official artist for the London Olympic Games, artist-in-residence at Highgrove and tour artist for the Aston Martin Centenary Tour of Europe
How I started
Through teaching art, including in Cape Town, and he began full-time painting from about 2005
USP
‘My primary aim is the study of movement, how to portray it on a two-dimensional frame. My flamingo paintings bare particularly well known’
How much?
£1,000 to £15,000
If you buy nothing else
Buy a work that speaks to you

Alex Pole Iron Work
(07947 184016; www.alexpoleironwork.co.uk)
What I do
Contemporary ironwork— curtain poles, doorstops, pokers—from a forge in south Somerset, plus courses in blacksmithing. A new lighting range will be showcased at the Fair
How I started
‘I first trained as a jeweller, switching to blacksmithing in 1994. I set up the business in 2006, with the aim of promoting British blacksmithing and rural crafts’
USP
Much of the material used is salvaged, reused or recyled
How much?
From a wall hook  with beeswax finish at £9 to bespoke commissions
If you buy nothing else
Individual ‘upcycled’ vintage lawn bowl doorstop, £35

Bluebell Vineyard Estates
(www.bluebellvineyard.co.uk; 01825 791561)
What we do
Produce award-winning English sparkling wines (below) handcrafted from the classic Champagne grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier How we started The vineyard was first planted in 2005 by the owners Barry and Joyce Tay on the site of a former pig farm and its wines were winning awards within two years of their first release
USP
‘All Bluebell wines are vintage, exclusively from our own grapes grown in a single year. This means that every Bluebell vintage is unique’
How much?
From £22.99 for the Hindleap Seyval Blanc to £24.99 for the Hindleap Brut Rosé
If you buy nothing else
‘A bottle of our Hindleap Classic Cuvée sparkling wine, which won gold in the United Kingdom Vineyard Association Awards 2014’

Chris Ward Custom Rods
(023–9259 8714; www.rodcraftsman.com)
What I do
Make custom-built fishing rods for coarse, sea and game angling and run coaching courses
How I started Mr Ward built his  first surf rod aged 14 while competitively fishing the East Anglian coast between Folkestone and Felixstowe. In 2007, he was nominated as a Legend of Rod Builders by his peers in the Custom Rod Builders Guild
USP
Rods are to made to individual physical dimensions, such as size of hand or length of arm, as well as potential weight of quarry. Mr Ward also creates miniature fishing rods as artwork
How much?
From bait bags at £6.99 to rod prices on application
If you buy nothing else

Brown-trout hatpin, £16.50

Ian Greensitt
(01661 842186; www.iangreensitt.com)
What I do

Limited-edition bronze  sculptures (below right), using the lost wax method, of game birds and fish, plus hallmarked sterlingsilver figures, produced from a Northumberland studio near the moors.
The CLA commissioned a bronze salmon for its Arthur Oglesby Award at the Game Fair
How I started
He completed his first commission at the age of nine— a brown trout for his prep-school headmaster’s study—and trained in sculpture at Northumbria University
USP
No two bronzes are the same—each has its own unique patina colouration
How much?
Silver pheasant, £950, to diving otter, £4,500 If you buy nothing else Kingfisher or nuthatch, £1,850

BEYOND THE SHOPS

For families
Ferrets, falconry and Kennel Club dog displays in the showring, plus rural crafts including edible windowbox-making in the Kids Zone. Under 12s go free when accompanied by an adult (two child tickets available per adult ticket).

For foodies
A full programme of demonstrations and talks in the Country Kitchen Theatre from Tom Parker Bowles, Rachel Green, Mike Robinson, Ralph Skripek, Jose Souto and others.

For gardeners
Expert advice in the Grand Marquee Theatre and Walled Garden from Chelsea gold medallists Cleve West and Ann Marie Powell and a host of other gardening experts, including James Alexander-Sinclair, Val Bourne, Tiffany Daneff, Laetitia Maklouf and the National Gardens Scheme’s George Plumptre. Elsewhere, Dick Strawbridge will share his tips for living more sustainably and James ‘The Bee Whisperer’ Hamill will be answering your beekeeping questions.

For fashion-lovers
The ‘tweed to town’ fashion show will feature everything from country clothing to evening dresses, with jewellery supplied by sponsor Boodles.

For refuelling
The Brown Cow and Sands End pubs will both have outposts at the fair or you can sample a bespoke COUNTRY LIFE cocktail made by Mr Fogg’s of Mayfair. Hardier souls can try their luck with the Ginkhana™ gin-tasting experience. There’ll be delicious lunches and afternoon teas supplied by top London caterer Blue Strawberry and seafood and Champagne courtesy of Caviar House & Prunier.

** READ OUR FULL LIST OF STANDHOLDERS AT THE COUNTRY LIFE FAIR

For more information about what’s on at The COUNTRY LIFE Fair, which will be held at Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London SW6, and to buy advance tickets, which start at £23, telephone 0844 453 9268 or visit www. countrylifefair.co.uk