Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Workshop Update

I've only just realized how long it's been since I wrote a blog post! But here I am again now. We've packed a lot into these last weeks of summer. After my mom's visit, we went to Cornwall for a week, then after coming home just a few days, we went to San Francisco for two weeks and Baltimore for one week. I also managed to do a good bit of sewing before we left to go to the US. I made another pair of trousers and two dresses. But more on all those subjects later! Before it's a distant memory, I wanted to share some photos from the food styling and photography I assisted Béatrice Peltre with at Hawthbush Farm in June. We had a wonderful time, and all the students did as well. We could not have asked for better weather! I was soooo happy the weather was beautiful. And Hawthbush Farm is amazing. It's a beautiful glamping destination on an organic farm about an hour and a half from London in East Sussex.

Below is the kitchen in the Cowshed cottage where we ate most meals. I love this kitchen! 
I made goodie bags for the students. There were 9 students total who came from various places around the world! I'm so glad the workshop went well. I was a little nervous just the before the workshop started! My role was mostly taking care of logistical things such as arranging the accommodation, transportation, scouting outing locations, and a bit of prop styling shopping, which was really fun. I also decided to make the goodie bags because I wanted them to be a bit more special than a store bought paper bag. I made them with vintage linens and various floral fabric linings. We filled them with some fabrics and some fun things from Talking Tables, like paper plates and straws
We had fun checking out the rest of Hawthbush Farm before students arrived. I love the shepherd's huts! I'd like to have one. None of the students stayed in them for our workshop only because we didn't need more space, but it was fun to peek. 
For the first night's welcome dinner we made the table really pretty. I gathered up wildflowers and made vases for the table. I rented plates from Becky at Secret Teas. Hawthbush Farm has plates, of course, but I thought it would be fun and in keeping with Béa's style to have mis-matched vintage patterned plates. If you need to hire pretty vintage crockery anywhere near SE London, I highly recommend Becky's service
The light was perfect just before dinner. Some photos in this post are with my iPhone, like the one below. As usual I especially like some iPhone photos and found I reached for it more quickly than our Canon sometimes. 
Each day Béa would cover a certain topic and then have a photo styling session related to that topic, such as styling fish or styling vegetables, and in the meantime, when she didn't need anything from me, I was helping our amazing chef Alison in the kitchen. Alison really didn't need much help at all with the cooking, so I was primarily on cleaning and dish washing duty most of the time when I wasn't chopping or stirring. 
I'm not sure which student styled the veggies below, but I got a few quick snaps before clean up time. 
It was fun to watch students scatter about and style and photograph their set up, like Fran here below.
One day the session's topic was how to style a beach picnic. We went to Seven Sisters for the picnic and it was just stunning. Perfect scenery for a beautiful picnic!
The only problem was it was just so sunny most of the time, which isn't the best light as it creates so many shadows, so students had to do their best to block some of the light, with Béa assisting them here in this photo below. 
I love all the pretty colors of the paper plates, the wax papers and the jam jar covers, which I had made before we left. Alison made salads in jars for the picnic and they were so pretty and delicious! 
The group also went on a few outings, one day to a pick your own farm, and one day to a smokery
And I think everyone enjoyed simply spending time on the farm. They have two outdoor wood burning hot tubs, which we made sure to use and it was so relaxing. 
Alison did an amazing job on the food. She made many of Béa's recipesAll our meals were wonderful! If you're interested in food styling and photography, keep an eye on Béa's blog for updates on future workshops.  


Unknown said...

OMG your photos are just stunning, a kitchen to dream of!!
Made me laugh pictures of you taking pictures, I have a habit of standing on the dinning room table taking pictures of quilts!

mollymell said...

Hi Leigh, I kept coming here looking for your post about the workshop. Your photos are so beautiful, I just hope one day I'll take photos like these, simple and lovely shots.
You were indeed amazing at the workshop, I appreciated a lot your little details, the wild flowers in simple jars all around, the goodie bag. Your sweet little details made a difference.

Leigh said...

Hi Gigi! Thanks :) You DO take beautiful photos already! Yes, sorry it took so long to write the post. And of course I had about 200 photos to go through and choose from. Hard to pick just a few. Hope you're doing well!