Tag Archives: Bristol

The Ethicurean… Summer ’17

September 5, 2017

WANDER

Beautiful orange flowers in a rustic sink at The Ethicurean near BristolBlue sky above the walled garden at The Ethicurean, BristolBlue sky and sunflowers at The Ethicurean, Bristol

I always say one of my favourite things about Bristol is its proximity to a wealth of gorgeous countryside. We haven’t had a car for the last few years however (and I don’t cycle), and although there’s plenty of green spaces and walks reachable on foot it’s not the same at jumping in the car and escaping the city. With a little one on the way, we decided it was time to get a new motor and, aside from all the practical benefits, I’m beyond delighted that we can go on mini weekend adventures.

Instead of discovering somewhere new, for our first exertion we headed to one of our favourite places on the outskirts of Bristol, The Ethicurean. I sing the praises of this place to anyone who will listen and it is quite a regular feature on my Instagram feed. But for those who don’t know The Ethicurean is restaurant set within a beautiful victorian walled garden. The views are stunning, the seasonal dishes they serve taste and look incredible and there’s a signature toffee apple cake that’s nothing short of magical!

Tea and toffee apple cake at The Ethicurean, BristolRestaurant at The Ethicurean, BristolVeg for sale at The Ethicurean, Bristol

We left it a bit late to book a table for lunch but that didn’t stop us turning up for a wander around the lovely kitchen gardens and enjoying a slow afternoon in the sun with a pot of tea and a slice of the aforementioned amazing-toffee-apple-dream-cake! I’d recommend a trip at any time but this end of summer season seemed like a particularly beautiful time of year to visit, the gardens were luscious with gorgeous flowers in bloom and the trees abundant with fruit.

It’s sort of amazing to me that barely a 30 minutes drive away from the city centre we can find such a perfect slice of countryside paradise. That said, every visit at some point includes the inevitable musings on local property prices. But for now we’re content to head back to our town house with a full bellies, full camera rolls and a full veg box to boot!

Looking out at Mendips view at The Ethicurean, BristolVeg for sale at at The Ethicurean, Bristol Veg for sale at at The Ethicurean, BristolBright orange flowers in a rustic sink The Ethicurean, Bristol

More ‘adventures outside the city’ to follow! Where would you recommend for a day-trip jaunt?

An evening with Yoga Brunch Club

July 19, 2017

INTENTION / NOURISH

Yoga Brunch Club Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

As evening fell on a warm June day, I joined a group gathered to enjoy a yoga class with a difference. Yoga Brunch Club – as the name suggests – can usually be found popping up on a weekend morning, with brunch clubs held regularly in Bristol and London. Switching things up for this midsummer event, Yoga Brunch Club’s founder Clem Balfour hosted a yoga supper club which consisted of a vinyasa flow class, followed by a delicious Italian feast; all taking place in the beautiful setting of The Forge.

It was the day following the hottest of the year and with fans running and windows open wide, I think we were all grateful for the drop in temperature as we arrived and settled on our mats ready for an hour of yoga. Having not attended a yoga class for a good few years I was honestly a little anxious about my ability to keep up, not to mention being nearly four months pregnant obviously needing to be considered. However, Clem took the time to chat with me beforehand, mentioning a few poses I should adapt or skip, which put my mind at ease. She also made her way around the room before commencing the class, checking in with all the attendees.

As she led the class, Clem was sure to include options to adjust poses accordingly for the variety of abilities in the room along with providing gentle words of encouragement. I particularly remember her pointing out to the class that yoga is not about striving to attempt the perfect pose, but maintaining awareness of your own body during the practice. As my particular combination of tight hamstrings and little arms have a habit of making me feel like the least flexible girl in the room this felt like a very good reminder for me as a novice – plus I realise that pregnancy is probably not the time to lament not being able to touch my toes!

I really enjoyed the flowing nature of the class and as we rested in savasana at the end of the session I had that lovely satisfied feeling of an hour well spent.

Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola Food Yoga Brunch Club The Forge Yoga Brunch Club A Tavola FoodYoga Brunch Club The Forge

Having visited The Forge for all sorts of events I’m always impressed by the versatility of the space, which on this occasion seamlessly transitioned from yoga studio to dining room half way through the evening. Cocktails were served as mats and blocks were replaced by two long rustic tables, which looked so pretty decorated simply with flower stems in vintage bottles.

Bristol based caterers A Tavola had prepared a three-course Italian feast for the evening meal. As the sun set, we tucked into a delicious starter of spring broth, handmade ravioli main accompanied by two incredible salads followed by panna cotta with strawberries and pink peppercorns. Natural Italian wines were also available to enjoy with the meal. The food was so fresh and delicious, perfect for a midsummer’s evening and a lovely balance of hearty and wholesome which felt just right to follow our exercise.
Yoga Brunch ClubYoga Brunch Club

Having got into meditating regularly over the last year, I’ve been really wanting to give yoga another go as the two practices obviously compliment each other so well. Yoga Brunch Club was a lovely reintroduction for me and I’m definitely going to seek out a local pregnancy yoga class, although I may be disappointed in the lack of yummy food to follow!

Whether you’re also an absolute beginner or if unlike me you’re a seasoned yogini, I think you’ll find Yoga Brunch Club a beautiful way to spend a morning or evening.

The next Yoga Brunch Club in Bristol takes place on September 10th at The Forge with Vietnamese brunch menu from Uncle Ho’s. Early bird tickets are available for £30. Or you can catch Yoga Brunch Club in London with their next event in Brixton on August 13th.

Follow Yoga Brunch Club: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Website

All photos shot by the lovely and talented Kasia Kiliszek: InstagramPortfolio

* * *

I was invited to this event by Yoga Brunch Club but all opinions (and tight hamstrings) are my own.

Glimpses of a summer on film

June 3, 2017

INSPIRE

 Diana Mini Photography Glastonbury Festival Diana Mini Photography Glastonbury Festival  Diana Mini Photography Glastonbury Festival

I’ve had my Lomography Diana Mini a couple of years now but this is only the second film I have had developed from it. I go through phases of taking it with me on adventures and then forgetting about it all together for a while meaning that the shots I’ve got back span across a number of different occasions. This recent roll goes all the way back from Glastonbury 2015 to a friends wedding in August the following year!

The nature of the Diana mini brings lots of light leaks and double exposures, which with practice could surely use to greater effect, but for the most part I end up with happy accidents (plus a few disappointments) in the developed roll.

Regardless of the results it’s always fun to get a film back, discover what’s on there and take a little glimpse back in time. This little collection are the epitome of my summer – my favourite views at Glastonbury, cold drinks on hot days and friends looking dapper in summer wedding attire thrown in for good measure!

 Diana Mini Photography Glastonbury Festival  Diana Mini Photography  Diana Mini Photography  Diana Mini Photography

Farewell Number 36

September 19, 2016

NEST

Farewell Number 35, View of Feet in Bed, Striped Bed Sheets,

We moved house back in the middle of July so in some ways our previous place seems like a bit of a distant memory already, however I wanted to jot a few things down about our dear old flat for memory’s sake.

Farewell Number 36 New, mantelpiece, Vintage Glass Bottles,

Six years is a long time to live somewhere. Here are a few of the things – good and bad – that I’ll remember the most…

The small but lovely kitchen where I experimented with food, learnt new skills and my love for cooking truly grew. And the oven which I always accidentally set to grill.

So many dinner parties. Especially the ones that started out so civilised and ended with dancing on sofas.

Parties with people crammed into small rooms. Brilliant nights spent with best friends. Countless bottles of wine.

The often overgrown garden belonging to the downstairs flat but sometimes shared. It may have been filled with Japanese knotweed and a hideous amount of earwigs but that didn’t stop epic BBQ birthday parties.

The girl who lived downstairs who became one of my best friends.

Games nights on cosy evenings.

The wind howling down the chimneys and rattling the old wooden window frames.

Hours spent together planning and crafting a wedding.

Christmas trees.

Farewell Number 36, Bedroom, Unmade bed, Gallery WallFarewell Number 36, mantelpiece, Mirror Selfie,

 

Watching foxes from our windows.

The 2nd neighbours we didn’t get on with who managed to have fun far too loudly, even at 2am on a Tuesday.

A mouldy, mouldy bathroom.

The view across the city.

Sitting on the bay window drinking trying to make the most of summer evenings.

The afternoon light that filled the living room.

That time I came home to pumpkins and a marriage proposal. 

… Farewell Number 36 – you were pretty awesome.

 

Hello Number 14

Evening meals eaten in the garden. Washing hung out on the line. A lack of storage space that’ll take some getting used to. Vintage furniture purchases. New neighbourhood to discover. Spaces filling up with new plants. Magical morning light that makes patterns on the bedroom walls.

Yonder Collective Dinner – Encounters

June 7, 2016

INSPIRE / NOURISH

On a rather wet evening in May 2016 I joined a group of Bristol based creative-types who gathered for the third Yonder Collective dinner. The theme for the event was ‘Encounters – encountering ordinary things in unexpected ways’.

Yonder Collective Bristol laid tableYonder Collective Dinning Tablle

For me, the first encounter of the evening was discovering the hidden gem Salt Cafe Deli, whose beautiful, light space in Hotwells provided the perfect setting for the event. At the heart of Yonder Collective dinners is the idea of collaboration with a group of people coming together to curate each event from the food to the decor. Using the theme as inspiration two large dining tables were decorated simply and stylishly. Designer Lyzi (of Being Little) elevated the menus and place setting from the ordinary using geometric and 3D shapes. These cool designs were complemented by centrepieces of geometric terrariums – each one handmade especially for the evening by the oh-so-talented Palyglass.

Perhaps the most surprising encounter for me was how much I enjoyed the drawing workshop which saw us encountering our own features in an unexpected way. I was slightly apprehensive at first but quickly got into the fun self-portrait exercises lead by Elinor John.Yonder Collective Bristol Palyglass Yonder Collective Bristol Drawing Workshop

The food for this Yonder Collective dinner was provide by Griffet Catering, whose delicious seasonal menu perfectly captured the theme of the evening. The canapés which wound their way round the room were as intriguing as they were delicious. Fresh, crisp baby veg in smoked aubergine puree delivered on trowels, smoking boxes containing hops flavoured crisps, mackerel lolly pops and the prettiest morsels of edible flowers all provided the perfect talking point to break the ice with the first companions we found ourselves seated with. Not that the flow of conversation needed much encouragement!

Yonder Collective Bristol Edible Garden Yonder Collective Bristol CanpesYonder Collective Bristol Lamb Chops

Moving seats twice during the course of the evening was a great way to get a chance to meet a wider variety of people. As we enjoyed a fantastic main of Spring Lamb, a delightful dessert of Doughnut and rhubarb and a few glasses of wine I found myself sat next to designers, bloggers, teachers, makers, business owners and photographers. Topics of conversation were wide and varied ranging from creativity and business to our favourite spots to eat in Bristol and connecting through social media. In fact the latter was a topic that came up again and again as it became apparent that most people present had discovered and connected with Yonder Collective through Instagram. Social Media is my profession but also quite a passion of mine and being in a room full of wonderful people who had been brought together through its connective power brought joy to this Instagram addict’s soul! (You can see me snapping away in the photo below 😁)

Yonder Collective Bristol from aboveYonder Collective Bristol Place Setting

Forging new connections and feasting on amazing food was the most wonderful way to spend an evening at Yonder Collective and I left feeling energised and inspired by the creativity and the passion of the people I’d encountered.

Visit the Yonder Collective site for more information and to sign up to find out about future events.

The evening’s creative team

Yonder Collective founder Emma Chapman-Burnet
Photography by Kym Grimshaw
Illustration by Lyzi Unwin
Terrariums by Palyglass
Food by Griffet Catering
Drawing workshop with Elinor John
Creative Consultant – Rebecca Storey

All wonderful photos featured (apart from the last) by the awesome Kym Grimshaw who’s lovely food blog On The Plate should be added to your bookmarks post-haste!

So Fresh, So Green

May 15, 2016

INSPIRE

Montpellier Train Station In the Rain

I’m one of those annoying people that genuinely quite likes a rainy day. During the inevitable downpours which followed the recent glorious weather everyone seemed to be lamenting the change in weather like that was it for summer; whereas I was feeling pretty chirpy and especially marvelling at how the word suddenly seemed so green. And of course documenting the fact through my iPhone…

St Michael's Hill St Michael on the Mount Without, Bristol St Michael's on the Mount Without Front

Over the last few years I feel that I have been much more aware of the changing of the seasons than I used to be. I knew it was all going on of course but I’m sure I didn’t notice in the same way the signs of spring as they appeared… the bright daffodil blooms being followed by beautiful blossoms which in turn give way to all this luscious green.

Maybe it’s getting older or a stronger desire to seek out nature amongst city life, but in truth I think the shift in awareness is actually an interesting by-product of my ever increasing love of iPhonography and the desire to share snippets of my life in pretty little squares on Instagram. Like being more aware of the seasonal change in surroundings, I look at everything in a slightly different way these days – noticing the colours, the light and moments happening around me as I go about my daily life. If something catches my eye I may well get my phone out and snap away but also often I don’t. I understand where the argument that our constant craving to document can take one out of the moment is coming from but for me I disagree; I believe the potential for a perfect shot actually makes me more present.

Rainy Day King Square Bristol

What do you think my fellow insta-obssessed? I’d love to know if the #JustGoShoot mentality has had an effect on your world view.

Follow me on Insta at @_charlieswift or for more off-the-cuff snaps I’m on Snapchat as charlieswift.

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