Independent Oxford and The Autumn Festival at Blenheim Palace
This Autumn, Blenheim Palace are hosting a brand new festival which celebrates all things Harvest and Michaelmas. The Autumn Festival is taking place over the two weekends of 24 th – 26 th September and 1 st – 3rd October. Independent Oxford have been working with the organisers CLW Event Design to involve local businesses in the programme and create a beautiful Independent Oxford Marketplace.
The Festival will be based in the Walled Garden in the Palace grounds, and the schedule is packed with amazing workshops, talks, demonstrations, live music, children’s theatre, outdoor games, and lots of other free activities! Admission to the Festival is free with a Blenheim Palace Annual Pass or with your Park & Gardens ticket.
Take a look below for some of the Indie Oxford highlights!
THE INDEPENDENT OXFORD MARKET
The market place will be right at the entrance to the festival so you can browse as soon as you arrive! There will be a great mixture of Indie Oxford businesses focusing on sustainability, craft, and handmade beauty and homewares.
The Oxford Soap Company is a local, family run business that designs and creates handmade soaps and cosmetics in Oxford’s iconic The Covered Market.
Gaia Botanics is a small, ethical, apothecary kitchen handcrafting nourishment for the skin in the historical city of Oxford, creating traditional artisan, palm free soaps, solid shampoo and conditioner bars, along with luxury bath salts.
Julie and her daughter, Neve, are beekeepers and the owners of Neve’s Bees! They make 100% natural skincare (using ingredients you can actually read!) with a little help from their bees.
The Herberowe Candle Co makes natural wax candles that are hand poured in small batches in Lower Heyford. Using a blend of sustainable rapeseed and coconut wax, Herberowe products contain essential oils and support wellbeing, as well as adding natural long-lasting aromas to our homes.
Littlemore Candle Company produces soy wax candles, hand poured in small batches, using natural essential oils. Each unique candle is decorated with botanicals and includes a healing crystal for you to keep, creating a little more than a candle.
Oxonbox is a discovery subscription box service that features a range of products from small businesses based in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area. They have monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly options, and also offer gift subscriptions.
SO Sustainable is an online and pop-up shop providing organic whole foods, household cleaning products and sustainable health and beauty alternatives.
Amy Surman runs the Oxford Bead Shop, a lovely friendly store tucked at the top of Cowley Road selling a fantastic array of jewellery making supplies. Amy also holds regular workshops from silver smithing to beaded jewellery for beginners as well as skilled jewellers, as well as selling her own handmade jewellery.
The Maker Space is a modern craft venue based online and in a beautiful but abandoned 17th century pub building near Henley-on-Thames where the team teach craft skills in their workrooms, stock gorgeous modern craft supplies and handmade goods in the store, and serve great food and drinks in their cosy cafe and garden.
The Oxford Weaving Studio is Oxfordshire’s first (and only!) community-minded creative studio dedicated to contemporary weaving. Offering studio membership, private tuition, group weaving workshops and creative weaving sessions for adults and children, Cass is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise of contemporary weaving and the fibre arts.
ronapainting gallery is a new space that exhibits a large selection of pieces from paintings and sculptures to prints, photography and illustration. All work displayed and sold is original, representing a few of Oxford’s talented artists.
Jessie and Olly, are the husband and wife duo behind Jessie’s Art Shed. They run an art shop in Eynsham, Oxfordshire where they host classes and workshops for all ages, stock a fantastic range of art products both in shop and online, and sell amazing creations by local artists.
Cranston Pickles offer home made, locally sourced pickled fruit & vegetables alongside free range pickled eggs. All Fiona’s ingredients are sourced locally from farms and markets around Oxfordshire, so she pickles what is in season and available locally.
Celia’s is a mobile cafe specialising in hot drinks and Dutch sweet treats, it’s the place to go to treat yourself to something Lekker!
The Wonky Food Company was started in 2017 by a team of passionate foodies, committed to tackling food waste. Their range of delicious relishes are made from imperfect and surplus fruit & veg, sourced from local farmers. Their mission: to tackle the global problem of food waste and encourage everyone to value more and waste less.
WORKSHOPS & TALKS
As well as the market, lots of Indie Oxford members are hosting workshops throughout the two weekends. Check out the schedule here for full details, highlights include:
Plus talks from Neve’s Bees, The Wonky Food Company, The Missing Bean, and Independent Oxford’s own Rosie in conversation with Kat from Oxonbox and Paul from Tap Social Movement, and loads of entertainment and music for the whole family!
See you there!