Heralded as the “Covent Garden of the Cotswolds” and “Notting Hill with wellies”, it’s easy to see why any artsy town mouse would come scurrying to the steep streets of Stroud. With its own fringe festival, artistic neighbourhood elite and a jaw-droppingly beautiful landscape, this bohemian enclave is every countryloving crafter’s paradise. Saturday setup year-round at The Farmers’ Market. Find a characteristic ‘live-off-the-fatof-the-land’ loveliness at almost every stall like at Anne Townley’s offering of homegrown flowers, fruit and pottery where blooms burst from prettily-painted pots, stopping people in their tracks. “That bunch has its own bumblebee,” Anne chuckles over the cheerful market ruckus. Stop by Claire Powell’s stall to lust over her artisan set of handcrafted bowls and vases. How would she describe the market? “Like it is!” she exclaims, motioning to the morning buzz. The positivity passes through the cobblestoned street, peaking at Davina Wynne Jones’ pop-up plot sprouting medicinal plants. “They can do everything,” Davina claims. “Pansies are great for eczema, rosemary that’s fab for memory, sage is good if you’re menopausal…” But it’s Davina’s homemade lotions and potions that cause a real stir. “Three people have made a pass at me – and it’s not even midday!” squeals one customer, heralding its “phenomenal” powers. “You mightn’t make it out of the market if you try some,” Davina warns. I don’t head off immediately but that’s down to Keith Willingale’s homegrown wine that complements the free-range feast on offer. “England makes the best rosé,” Keith says. Well of course, I needed proof.