Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pottering

A couple of weeks ago I headed out to the heart of the Norfolk Broads to visit Wayside Pottery - a great little place of artistic wonder established by Clare Goodman. Clare relocated to Norfolk to pursue a more relaxed and creative lifestyle, and certainly seems to have found a perfect spot to make the dream of her very own artist studio very much a reality.

Clare designs and creates rather unique and original pottery animals, and I really like them. Fired using different techniques, each piece is truly one of a kind, with it's own personality.

Having never photographed pottery, it was a really interesting experience. Capturing the detail and colours of each work was a challenge, and also quite nerve wracking - delicate items always slightly scare me. The day was completed by the real life Basil the dog joining in and bringing his toys to the photo shoot.


Foxes

Crow

Chameleons

Chameleon detail

Hares

Fishies!

Super cute polar bears

I love their faces!

Clare is currently exhibiting with the Happy Potters at The Forum, Norwich, as part of the Open Studio Taster 2016. Clare and fellow artists Gwyn Durrand-Grace and Jenna Pritchard will be part of Open Studios from 28th May until the 10th June 2016.

I'll be heading back to Wayside Pottery when the new kiln is in place to spend a bit more time documenting how these curious creatures come to life, and I might even take a photo of Basil the dog for you too...


Friday, 25 March 2016

Olives Supper Club - reprise

Good Friday turned out to be a very good Friday, with a return to Olives Supper Club, this time as a diner again.

Yes, I was the annoying one taking photos of each course (we've all done it and don't try and tell me otherwise) but with food that looks and tastes this good, it would have been rude not to share it with you.

The menu was a Spring Has Sprung Easter themed treat. As usual my Supper Club buddy Katy and I chose to get one of each choice from the menu and share. This way we got to taste both the meaty and vegetarian dishes.

We had a trio of yummy dips (carrot and caraway, beetroot and walnut and pea and mint), potted rabbit, bread and salad for starter. This was followed by Lamb Kleftiko and Torta pasqualina, served with sauteed potatoes and a green salad, and finally hot cross bread and butter pudding with a most delightful proper custard.

It tasted totally as good as it looks, and a very nice evening was had by all.

If you haven't been yet, do go along to Olives Supper Club, a great dining experience not to be missed.






Iain and Freya

At the start of the year I launched a competition to win a free portrait session. Iain was the lucky winner. He chose a photo shoot for his beautiful daughter Freya, so, on 19th March I ventured out with Iain and Freya for a photo session in Eaton Park in Norwich.


I love Eaton Park as it is such a large and varied place. There is plenty of green space, gardens with a water fountain, a boating lake, miniature railway, bowling green, crazy golf, pitch and putt, a playground, football facilities AND a skate park - as well as a beautiful bandstand in the middle. We are so lucky to have such spaces in our fine city.

The session started with meeting our star of the day, Freya, and getting to know her a little. As it turned out, she was a very natural model and needed little direction from me on the day. A total delight to work with, and so enthusiastic and photogenic. I am one lucky photographer!

As we sat by the bandstand we noted all the works going on to the cafe, which is due to open under the management of the folk behind The Bicycle Shop. This will be a wonderful addition to the park, and I'm sure the new owners will act as a draw in themselves.

I've included some of the photos below. It was a total pleasure spending time with Iain and Freya, and proving to Iain that he is photogenic! If you would like any photos of your nearest and dearest, then please don't hesitate to contact me.

Also check out the Friends of Eaton Park, who help to keep the park the lovely place it is. 








Thursday, 10 March 2016

Olives Supper Club

On Thursday 3rd March I went to spend some time with the folks at Olives at one of their regular Supper Club nights. This time, it was to document the amazing atmosphere and experience, rather than to enjoy the fantastic food from a patron perspective.

Before Supper Club begins! A lovely space.

I became aware of the Supper Club around mid 2015, after the chatter about it reached me through friends that had been and experienced the many delights. Since then, I've visited many times and I have never left disappointed.

Open for business


It's a truly great evening, in a great venue, at a great price, with great service. What more could you want?

At the bottom of historic Elm Hill, Olives has a lovely laid back feel. Not too laid back of course, but enough to make you totally relax. It's rather like going home to an old friend and just feeling at one with your surroundings and host.

At the bottom of historic Elm Hill

Supper Clubs work something like this. Alys (head chef and all round champion) creates a set menu of mouth watering treats for both meat and vegetarian based diets, and the masses go and enjoy. A simple, yet very effective approach to dinner.

The photo wall - always of interest.

Each week has a different theme, in the last few months there has been a Persian feast, celebration of the Chinese New Year, a tour of Eastern Europe and Scandinavian Traditional Christmas menu.

I was there to document the Malaysian Supper Club. The menu was as follows:

To start
Spiced fishcake or tofu chilli and lime cake served in a banana leaf wrap, served with gado gado salad.




For main
Nasi lemak (coconut rice with egg, fried peanuts and sambal) served with acar pickled and served with either - beef rendang or devils curry




For pud
Banana pancakes with lemon coconut curd

Overlooked by Saint Anthony, the kitchen mascot and Patron Saint of Bacon and cooks in general, Alys gets to work preparing the orders that come in. It is always a pleasure to watch someone in their kitchen space, being creative and making something delicious. I particularly like that Alys is involved in all aspects of the evening - from welcoming guests, to serving them drinks, cooking their food and washing their plates. The whole customer experience during the evening is really important. This is how it should be, and quite different to some other places I have experienced, where the people running things don't seem to like getting involved at any level except to see the potential profits. This makes for yet another endearing feature of the Olives Supper Club, it is such a warm and friendly experience.

Saint Anthony, overlooking the kitchen.


Plenty of deliciously fragrant and amazing looking dishes pass out of the kitchen to the eager guests via the ever attentive Joe, and empty plate after empty plate is returned. Always a sure sign of a successful evening.
Many empty plates

The first time diners left making promises to return, and the regulars went away predictably satisfied.



You can find out more about upcoming Olives Supper Club events here. Don't miss out on one of the best evenings to be had in the City. The full set of photos can be found here.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

A book launch with the lovely Cressida McLaughlin

On Wednesday 4th November I had the pleasure of attending Waterstones, Norwich, for the launch of "A Christmas Tail", the new book by Cressida McLaughlin.

I've known Cressy for a long time now, and it was an absolute delight to share the evening with her celebrating the launch of her book, which is a full length paperback version of 4 ebooks released over the course of 2015. The series has received great reviews and demand on the night was absolutely huge. The room was packed and I was too late to get my hands on a copy!

Cressy proves that with passion, hard work and determination, dreams can indeed come true. HarperCollins snapped up the series, and I don't doubt that we will see much, much more from this hugely talented writer over the coming years.

If you'd like to check out Cressy's work, "A Christmas Tail" is available in all good book stores. You can also find all the ebooks and the new paperback on Amazon  Cressy has a Facebook page, and you can follow all her adventures on Twitter too. She is also part of the Novelicious team, a page very much worth checking out if you are in to books.

Thanks for having me along Cressy, you totally deserve all the success coming your way, and I look forward to reading your new book!














Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Rivergarden: The Full Service

Last weekend I returned to the kitchen at The Rivergarden in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. Having had a taste of the activities a week before, I was really looking forward to my evening of documenting a professional working kitchen.

Having never witnessed the happenings during a full service, can I say first of all what an amazing thing it was to watch and experience. It gave me such appreciation of the effort that goes into making good, tasty food for customers to enjoy. It will certainly make me think about how my food gets to the table in future too.

Chefs Jake Garwood and Charlie Wilson are the core of a great team during food service. They work seamlessly to create beautiful dishes, taking such care in their preparation and presentation. Watching them in detail for the first time, it is almost like they are telepathic. After working together for quite some time, they just *know* how the other does things, and it all comes together perfectly.

Each dish produced is a work of art. It was a total pleasure to watch. I also liked talking to Martyn, who kept things going by making sure all the things coming into the kitchen were cleaned again and ready to use.

I really, really enjoyed taking these photos, and I had a great time with Jake, Charlie and Martyn in the kitchen. In the restaurant the team worked tirelessly to ensure customers were satisfied with everything coming from the kitchen, and from the total lack of food scraps coming back on all the plates, the customers were indeed satisfied!