Things are getting busy round here at 91 HQ – it’s all hands on deck as we bring together our S/S 17 issue – pre-ordering will open soon, so make sure you are on our mailing list to be the first to hear about that! Our team has still managed to fit in some leisure time, and today we are sharing what we’ve all been up to of late. Don’t forget, you can also share the things you’ve been discovering, making, eating, reading, visiting etc, using our hashtag #seekinspirecreate on Instagram. (find us on IG here)
Learning pottery – Lucy Davidson (designer)
I have recently been really enjoying learning how to throw pots at Finola Maynard’s pottery studio. I find learning a craft that is just for me a real treat, it makes such a difference not having the pressure of making to sell. I am addicted and can’t wait to make more! I have even taken on the task of making all the table arrangements for my wedding! Find out more about Finola’s ceramics and her workshops here: www.finolamaynard.com
Listening to creative podcasts – Olivia Williams (brand and advertising manager)
Who knew just a few years back, that our lives could become so enriched by the wonderful world of podcasting? Tuning into thoughtful, inspiring content and tuning out of daily life – such a magical combination! For me, that fix starts with the relief of silencing my chattering mind and instantly being in the company of aspirational people.
I’m rationing Sara Tasker’s (aka @me_and_orla) new podcast series, Hashtag Authentic which struck such a cord with me whilst I was whirling round the house busting the dust. Plus, thanks to tip-offs from Instagram buddies, I’m now tuned into ‘Magic Lessons’ with Elizabeth Gilbert, and ‘Being Boss’ with Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon. These, along with some Radio 4 favourites, make me seek out time to run errands to plug into my podcasts. I wish I could listen whilst I work, but for those times it’s the soothing and melancholic melodies of my Icelandic hero Olafur Arnalds that accompany me instead.
Essex Book Festival – Kath Webber (sub editor)
The annual month-long Essex Book Festival makes its triumphant return this March with more than 90 events in 45 venues across the county. This year is set to be a bumper year for women writers, with the author of best-selling historical novel The Essex Serpent as the festival’s writer in residence. Budding authors can attend one of Sarah Perry’s workshops or listen to author Will Ashon talk about the sometimes chequered history of Epping Forest. World-renowned bookshop Foyles in Chelmsford hosts a night of Women in Fiction with Beth Underdown and Syd Moore, exploring the themes of witchcraft and women’s writing on March 15th, 6.30pm. If you can’t make it then read the authors’ respective books The Witchfinder’s Sister and Strange Magic for taste of what an Essex girl’s reputation ought to be… More details here: www.essexbookfestival.org.uk
A break in the Cotswolds – Laura Pashby (deputy editor)
I recently escaped with my husband for a child-free break to The Kings Head, a boutique hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds. The Kings Head is a beautiful former coaching inn that dates right back to the fourteenth century, located in the centre of pretty market town Cirencester. Our room had a set of the most elegant sash windows with a view of the town. The en-suite bathroom was pretty much my dream: all metro tiles, walk-in shower, and a huge shuttered window that bathed it in cool winter light.
On our way home, we stopped off at Newark Park, a 16th Century Manor House perched on the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment. Newark Park’s grounds are a favourite haunt of ours, particularly at this time of year when they are carpeted with bobbing white snowdrops, intermingled with cheerful yellow aconite. We rounded off a wander through the gardens and a visit to the resident peacock with a cup of tea and a generous slice of cake.
Shopping in Hastings – Caroline Rowland (editor)
On what felt like the first day of spring a few weeks back, my family and I took a drive to the south coast for fish and chips, fresh air and a spot of shopping. If you haven’t been, put Hastings on your list of day trips to make this summer – it really is charming and highly underrated.
Pictured above is one of my favourite stores to explore – Butler’s Emporium on George Street. It is filled with vintage finds, and handmade objects from around the world. Beautifully displayed, it is hard to come away without a little brown paper bag of goodies! Further along George Street, I fed my plant obsession with a browse around Simply Garden, finally bagging that cheese plant I’d been searching for. Last stop was AG Hendy and Co Homestore – where I was lucky to squeeze through the door – it was packed! If possible, a mid week (quieter!) visit might be advisable to really absorb the unique shopping experience of this shop, but it is well worth the visit either way!
Autumn by Ali Smith – Catherine (marketing and distribution manager)
I’ve just finished reading this and I’m tempted to read it all over again. Ali Smith is a genius. Autumn is, ‘wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories… a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves.’ It’s totally wonderful, plus it has cover design by David Hockney, which is always pleasing. I also caught up with Ali Smith’s interview on Desert Island Discs – turns out she’s not just a genius, but a fascinating, funny one to boot. Buy the book.