Kingshill Farmhouse | Elmley Nature Reserve

Kingshill Farmhouse Elmley Nature Reserve

Last year, I had my first visit to Elmley Nature Reserve a very special place on the Isle of Sheppey, about an hour from London. You can read about that first visit here

As that event was focusing on something else, I didn’t mention too much about the Farmhouse. At the time, accommodation at Elmley was predominately the huts and a house you could rent out, however plans were underway to renovate the dilapidated plot into something spectacular.

These images are from last year when we had a little look inside the farmhouse…

The transformation was complete when we visited in early June, and I’ll let Georgina & Gareth (who run Elmley) tell you a little about it…

“The 18th Century Farmhouse sits at the heart of the 3,300 Elmley National Nature Reserve, in 1688 King James II was locked up here and subsequently the site had falling into a state of disrepair.

The project has been in the planning for over 7 years and has been a project of passion for the Fulton/Merricks families along with the design team, which includes Dunn Architects and Francesca Rowan-Plowden Interior Designer (Battle Hall at Leeds Castle and Goodnestone Park, Kent)

The aim was to restore the house to an incredibly comfortable and special house, but keeping unique character of the house and its surroundings. As with all at Elmley the views are the priority with reinstatement of large Georgian sash windows and even windows in the showers! The house has been designed to have a comfortable, homely yet eclectic feel with vintage finds and bespoke pieces.

Along with large gardens which flow onto the Reserve, it has a large hi spec kitchen, dining room, 3 separate reception rooms, 4 ensuite bedrooms on the first floor and the second floor features a family suite of two bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

The house can be hired as a whole or taken with the other accommodation on site for private events and for limited nights a year it is available on a B&B basis.”

Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Bedroom
Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Bedroom

One of the beautiful bedrooms in the farmhouse, possibly my favourite one!

Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Reception Room

One of the reception rooms

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Details from the Whiskey Room (reception room 3)

Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Kitchen
Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Kitchen
Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Kitchen

The kitchen is stunning, full of light, all the storage you could want, I loved everything about it especially the tiles used behind the stove.

The Cottage

Elmley’s cottage has been renovated into a beautifully light, open plan space with uninterrupted views of the reserve. It’s a peaceful, tranquil space with a real sense of seclusion.

Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse The Cottage
Elmley The Cottage
Elmley The Cottage
Elmley The Cottage

The Barn

My favourite space at Elmley is the barn, the light here is beautiful, it’s somehow vast and intimate at the same time and we were lucky enough to be treated to dinner.

Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn
Elmley The Barn

A Nights Stay

We were very lucky to be offered a stay in the Farmhouse, waking up here was beautiful! Of course the Shepherd huts are also available if you want to really immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.

Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Bedroom
Elmley Kingshill Farmhouse Bedroom
Elmley Shepherds Huts
Elmley Shepherds Huts
Elmley Shepherds Huts

I can’t recommend a stay at Elmley enough, it’s not often you get to be off grid, within a nature reserve, with hens and hares scuttling past you whenever you venture outside and it’s just an hour from London!

Elmley Nature Reserve website

My stay was gifted but all thoughts my own.

Nomadic | Woodland Event

Another great shoot with Nomadic who provide an immersive woodland dining experience, in Buckinghamshire. This time the food was prepared by Chef Eyal Jagermann (of Barbary fame) and assisted by Joel Braham from the brilliant The Good Egg.

This was a private corporate event and the food was incredible, the highlight being the vegetarian arayes, pitta bread sandwiches stuffed with cheese and spinach. It was beautiful! Some of my favourite images from the day below.

Punch Needle Book | Published!

Punch Needle Craft Book by Arounna Khounnoraj photography Catherine Frawley

So delighted to hold in my hands this lovely book that I photographed last summer. A beautiful craft book filled with lifestyle images featuring the incredible work of talented artist Arounna Khounnoraj. We shot the book at my home and I’ve been so excited to finally see a copy. This craft is so easy, Eden was punch needling like a pro after a few short sessions. He absolutely loved it.

The book is really inspiring, published by Quadrille and available now at all good book stockists.

Here’s a little peak at what you will find inside.

Yvonne Coomber | An Artists Stay in Devon

A few weeks back a group of utterly charming and talented women gathered together at artists Yvonne Coomber’s invitation. A very generous ‘artist in residence’ stay, we gathered at Pip Farm in Totnes, Devon. The farm had been filled with Yvonne’s work, each wall adorned with her joyful, happy paintings. Each window sill, ledge, infact most flat surfaces where filled with vases of flowers. You couldn’t walk into a more happier space.

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Yvonne’s trademark paint splattered boots.

Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat

Bex from @botanical_tales  led a miniature dried flower wreath making workshop. Which was so fun and bonding and thankfully Bex fixed mine as my wreath making skills are pretty shocking!

We had a wander through Totnes and visited Yvonne’s shop!

Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat
Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat

Then incredibly, Yvonne, generously invited us (all!) into her home for afternoon tea, with free reign to explore and photograph her house and garden. I absolutely loved this part of our experience, Yvonne’s home is like her paintings, eclectic and full of joy! And so much cake and how much tea cosy envy do you have? (I’ve already asked where the tea cosy was from and it’s a one off wedding gift made by a friend. I’m a bit gutted too.)

Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat
Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat
Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat
Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat

Yvonne’s studio, the last stop of our day in around Totnes was to see where Yvonne worked. Her studio is in a valley surrounded by fields and nature, exactly what you see in her paintings. She paints outside in the elements and the day’s weather affects the painting, wind, heat or even quiet stillness. It was very special to be invited into someone’s work space, see their tools, their half finished work and hear their story. Yvonne’s journey to becoming an artist wasn’t a straightforward path but it was inspiring and humbling to hear it in her own words.

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Yvonne Coomber Artist in Devon Retreat

Below is a list of everyone involved in the retreat, Yvonne as well as all the guests and those who looked after us. Do have a look through you’ll find some beautiful people and accounts to follow.

Yvonne @yvonnecoomber

Julia @humphreyandgrace 

Janne @jannelford 

Bex @botanical_tales 

Miranda @mirandasnotebook

Lulu @acupfullofdreams 

Tamsyn @tamsynmorgans 

DÖrte @lewesmap

Elizabeth  @blowyinthewind 

Catherine  @catherine_frawley 

Katie @ceramicmagpie 

Georgie  @georgiestclair 

Kyla @kylamagrathinteriors   

Jeannett  @pippiandmeceramics 

Georgie @acitygirlatheart

Djamila @djamilasfreshfeasts

Marta  @marta.matson

I can’t thank Yvonne enough for having me, I’m stunned I got to experience these few days. I left feeling inspired, hopeful and so lucky having been part of such a beautiful group of people. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: I was very kindly invited to this event, but under no obligation to share. However as a photographer the whole experience was a visual treat and I can’t help but share the images. I hope you like them! All thoughts and images my own.

Amsterdam | 48 Hours

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Amsterdam in April, there was still blossom in the trees and tulips starting to fill bicycles and flower beds and boxes. We were celebrating both our wedding anniversary and 48 hours child free, we clocked up 60,000 steps, ate pancakes, the best ever apple pie, walked up and down nearly every canal, crossed all the bridges, visited the Botanical Gardens, peered into various hotels, found the plant and globe house and sat watching sunrise by the pool atop of Soho House Amsterdam. Here are our favourite images from our trip and our recommendations….

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WINKEL 43   I’d read about the apple pie being epic and we weren’t disappointed. It’s huge, with generous chunks of apple, layered high with copious amounts of cinnamon. The crust is brick thick and delicious. If you are going to eat a slab of pie this big you might as well accept the offer of cream too.

WINKEL 43

I’d read about the apple pie being epic and we weren’t disappointed. It’s huge, with generous chunks of apple, layered high with copious amounts of cinnamon. The crust is brick thick and delicious. If you are going to eat a slab of pie this big you might as well accept the offer of cream too.

DE WELDAAD   Just a few doors down from Winkel 43 is De Weldaad a stunning interiors shop which is just prop heaven. I found some lovely little ceramics that just fit in my carry on. Loved this find.

DE WELDAAD

Just a few doors down from Winkel 43 is De Weldaad a stunning interiors shop which is just prop heaven. I found some lovely little ceramics that just fit in my carry on. Loved this find.

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WILDERNIS   Plants, coffee and cake… what’s not to love. The interiors of Wildernis, is far more lovely than I’ve seen on Instagram. It’s filled with beautiful ceramics, plant books, gift ideas and of course plants - I wish there had been some way to transport most of this shop home.

WILDERNIS

Plants, coffee and cake… what’s not to love. The interiors of Wildernis, is far more lovely than I’ve seen on Instagram. It’s filled with beautiful ceramics, plant books, gift ideas and of course plants - I wish there had been some way to transport most of this shop home.

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SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM   We stayed at Soho House Amsterdam. As with all their houses, it’s more than a home away from home, no need to pack toiletries or hair straightners, the bedroom was delightful, the sheets and pillows as always so luxurious and waiting for you is the nespresso coffee machine and House Cookies in the cookie tin.  This site opened last year in the 1930s Bungehuis building, a huge art deco site, that until Soho House took it over, was inhabited by squatters. (I was told they have moved next door) The art deco touches are evident throughout, the members area is relaxing and stylish. The roof has fantastic views plenty of seating areas and a pool if you fancy doing some lengths! Cecconis is on the ground floor, if you don’t want to venture too far, I can recommended the Aubergine parmigiana!  *Our stay here was gifted as part of some work I did for Soho House last year.

SOHO HOUSE AMSTERDAM

We stayed at Soho House Amsterdam. As with all their houses, it’s more than a home away from home, no need to pack toiletries or hair straightners, the bedroom was delightful, the sheets and pillows as always so luxurious and waiting for you is the nespresso coffee machine and House Cookies in the cookie tin.

This site opened last year in the 1930s Bungehuis building, a huge art deco site, that until Soho House took it over, was inhabited by squatters. (I was told they have moved next door) The art deco touches are evident throughout, the members area is relaxing and stylish. The roof has fantastic views plenty of seating areas and a pool if you fancy doing some lengths! Cecconis is on the ground floor, if you don’t want to venture too far, I can recommended the Aubergine parmigiana!

*Our stay here was gifted as part of some work I did for Soho House last year.

street scenes

street scenes

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PULITZER   25 Canal houses have been woven together to create this unique collection of guest rooms, inner courtyard gardens, meeting rooms, cafe, restaurant and event space. We had a little peek and look around it is indeed lovely, you can feel the history and the past lives the houses have had.

PULITZER

25 Canal houses have been woven together to create this unique collection of guest rooms, inner courtyard gardens, meeting rooms, cafe, restaurant and event space. We had a little peek and look around it is indeed lovely, you can feel the history and the past lives the houses have had.

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The Dutch House with Globes and Plants!  This one pops up on Instagram all the time. Apparently the plants and globes have been here for 20 years, I couldn’t find out why or who owns it but I’m so glad it’s here. If you are looking for it, it’s on the way to the Botanical Gardens near Cafe t’ Hooischip.

The Dutch House with Globes and Plants!

This one pops up on Instagram all the time. Apparently the plants and globes have been here for 20 years, I couldn’t find out why or who owns it but I’m so glad it’s here. If you are looking for it, it’s on the way to the Botanical Gardens near Cafe t’ Hooischip.

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street scenes

street scenes

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HORTUS BOTANICUS   About a 30 min walk from our hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the botanical gardens, it’s fairly small so it was easy to fit into our limited time in Amsterdam. The orangery style green house is gorgeous and the gardens were just coming into bloom when we visited. The more traditional style green house is the hot house, exceptionally hot and filled with tropical plants and flowers.  ENTRANCE 9.75 EURO  Other   THE PANCAKE BAKERY   Huge sweet and savoury pancakes served in an old converted warehouse, we were advised to get their at 9am (we got there at 915am and there was a queue already) when we left the queue was so long! The interiors is bare brick walls, and as many dark wood tables they could fit in, it’s very dark so unless you fancy squeezing through the queue of hungry people to get outside to find some light, I’d suggest you enjoy your pancake and take pictures of other things. Good quality ingredients, interesting, extensive menu, quite expensive.   PLUK   A cafe and interiors shop, there were some very pretty ceramics and gift ideas in this lovely curated shop, we couldn’t stay to eat as the little restaurant was completely full but worth popping in if you are passing.

HORTUS BOTANICUS

About a 30 min walk from our hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the botanical gardens, it’s fairly small so it was easy to fit into our limited time in Amsterdam. The orangery style green house is gorgeous and the gardens were just coming into bloom when we visited. The more traditional style green house is the hot house, exceptionally hot and filled with tropical plants and flowers.

ENTRANCE 9.75 EURO

Other

THE PANCAKE BAKERY

Huge sweet and savoury pancakes served in an old converted warehouse, we were advised to get their at 9am (we got there at 915am and there was a queue already) when we left the queue was so long! The interiors is bare brick walls, and as many dark wood tables they could fit in, it’s very dark so unless you fancy squeezing through the queue of hungry people to get outside to find some light, I’d suggest you enjoy your pancake and take pictures of other things. Good quality ingredients, interesting, extensive menu, quite expensive.

PLUK

A cafe and interiors shop, there were some very pretty ceramics and gift ideas in this lovely curated shop, we couldn’t stay to eat as the little restaurant was completely full but worth popping in if you are passing.

Nomadic | A Woodland Dining Experience

On Saturday I was hired to photograph an outdoor event in Buckinghamshire, a private wood is host to Nomadic’s unique dining experience. Guests experience an immersive foraged feast surrounded by nature with dinner cooked by a talented chef. Each event differs, depending on the time of year, the chef and the weather. The chef creating Saturday’s feast was Chris Hruskova, a Danish michelin starred chef who now runs a bakery in London. It was a joy to photograph, something I just love shooting observationally, capturing events as they happen and this event gave me so much to capture. Thanks for having me Noah!

Disclosure, I was hired to photograph the event, I was not asked or paid to blog about the event. All thoughts my own I just wanted to share something I enjoyed here.

Venice | A Photo Essay

My recent visit to Venice was an incredible 48 hours out of reality just me, my good friend Julia and our cameras. We were up at 5am seeking the perfect Venetian sunrise, followed by coffee at my favourite coffee shop in Venice (Bar da Gino’s Cale Nova Sant Agnese) we explored, drank more coffee, visited the island of Burano and were in bed by 9pm! Photographing for pleasure was so, so good for the soul. These are my favourites from our trip.

Daylesford Farm | A Foraging Day

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This post was originally featured on 91 Magazine, posting it here with some more imagery from the day

Daylesford farm began its organic journey 35 years ago. Now, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK, its 2350 acres in the Cotswolds is also home to a beautiful farm shop, restaurant, café, a spa, cottages and a cookery school.

There’s a huge amount of social interest at the moment in slow living and home cooking with edible flowers (according to my online world), which seemingly has never been more popular. Elderflower season is starting and Instagram and Pinterest are full of images of foraged finds being turned into cordial, cakes and more. So it was hugely inspiring to spend the day at Daylesford on the Wild Food & Foraging Course to find out more about the plants and flowers that we pass by everyday that can be added to make simple meals more interesting and visually more stunning.

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Tim (pictured above) is Daylesford’s resident forager and we were lucky enough on this day to have Garry Eveleigh AKA The Wild Cook join us adding his expertise in what can be eaten in the woodlands of the Daylesford estate.

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We spent a good two hours walking through the woods, fields and by the lake, stopping along the way to collect or avoid certain plants, taste what was being picked. This included wood sorrel, ground ivy, yellow celandine and pretty purple honesty flowers. At the time I visited, wild garlic was in abundance and we all collected huge bunches of it, some to be used when we returned to the school but plenty to take home with us too.

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Back at the school we snacked on Anzac biscuits from the farm shop and drank Bloody Marys with wild Horseradish that the chef had prepared before making our own Foragers Butter. (find the recipe at the end of this post)

With our baskets of plants and flowers we made our own salads; creating salad dressings and choosing from an array of vinegars, mustards and oils from the larder to suit our own palettes. Added to our salads, chef served venison carpaccio and raw asparagus in a simple dressing.

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Nettles were used to make a nettle ice cream, which was served with forced rhubarb. There was a huge amount of knowledge being shared and lots of tasting and simple recipes being whipped up, like homemade mayonnaise, to show us how quick and easy it is and also how much better it tastes than shop bought.

The whole day was a wonderful experience, a great introduction into foraging and simple ways you can implement it into a busy life. When lunch was over we all had a browse in the farm shop, I bought the cider vinegar and those Anzac biscuits and there may have been a few other things that made it into my basket too!

Three interesting things I discovered:

1. Washing stinging nettles will take out the sting

2. Buttercups are poisonous(!)

3. Raw asparagus in a simple dressing are delicious.

Making your own butter

- 900ml of cream will make around 400g of butter

  • Beat the cream with an electric whisk until it peaks and starts to clump and then white liquid starts to appear. The cream has now separated into curds of butter and buttermilk. It takes about 10 minutes. Strain the curds out of the buttermilk

  • In a bowl of very cold water drop in the curds to draw out any further milk. Squeeze the butter together to form a ball and then add your foraged flowers and a little salt (if you want a salted butter). Work the butter so your added ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll the butter into a sausage shape and wrap tightly in cling film.

The butter will keep for a week in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.

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