This summer I’ve enjoyed being commissioned to write and photograph several walks in Devon. My dog, Poppy, has enjoyed all of them immensely, other than this one, which saw me walk a Llama across Dartmoor. One ticked off my quirky bucket list for sure!
Archant’s Pure Weddings 2015/16 has hit the shelves and as well as my feature on cake painting (check it out here) I’m pleased to have also written one of their real wedding feature on Claire and Richard Down of Upton Barn. The couple converted their barn and walled garden, a renovation which took two years, so that they could marry at home and have since had it licensed – it’s now one of the most beautiful and exclusive venues in the South West. I do love a good wedding story!
I was commissioned by Best Western to write a holiday guide for dogs and their owners pinpointing the best hotels and holiday destinations in the UK to take our four legged friends. Poppy, my rescue pup, and I had a great time on our expedition around Great Britain, staying everywhere from a Scottish Lodge with sheep and cows for neighbours through to a grand Georgian mansion in beautiful Buxton. My guide features full, honest reviews of the hotels we visited, as well as a tips for safe and happy travels with your dog. If you’re determined to make your next adventure a dog-friendly one grab a cup of tea and be inspired by my guide, which you can read here.
To coincide with the launch of my guide last week, Best Western commissioned a survey of more than 1800 dog lovers, where over half said they plan their holidays around their four legged friend and one in seven said they opt to stay in a dog friendly hotel. Being chastised for having a dog is one of the great fears of most dog owners when on holiday with 40% saying that they avoid pubs and over 30% avoiding hotels because they felt their dog wouldn’t be welcome… Along with TV Vet Mark Evans I launched my guide and spoke about the survey finding to a number of different radio stations. A great experience!
Issue 2 of Inspired Bride hits the shops today. I had butterflies in my stomach when we sent Issue 1 of Inspired Bride to the printers last month and when I first saw it on the shelves of WH Smith! I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by all the positivity surrounding Issue 1 – thank you to everyone who bought the first issue and all of you who took the time to reach out and tell me how much you loved it!
Here are some sample spreads:
Issue 1 of Inspired Bride magazine hits the shops today. This new national wedding magazine is being stocked in WH Smith and a selection of independent retailers, priced at £3.95, with an initial print run of 10,000. The idea for Inspired Bride came about when I was planning my own wedding back in 2013 – I found lots of creative loveliness online but what I really wanted was a monthly magazine (sorry internet, but you can’t compete with the tactile permanence of print) to accompany me on my planning journey – one that celebrated uniqueness, was brimming with creativity and ultimately inspired me to go the extra mile for my big day. Fast-forward two years and a leap of faith by local publisher One Media and here we are!
I’ve launched the whole magazine from scratched with Art Editor, Peter Frost and part-time sub editor, Sally Newell. It’s been a very heavy workload but I’m very proud of the magazine and it’s been a completely different experience heading up at launch within a small company, rather than an already successful, established publishing house.
Inspired Bride’s feature material is intelligent, our photoshoots are breathtaking, our DIY tutorials are unbelievably cool and the real weddings we select span pretty much every style you can imagine and are guaranteed to wow. The magazine, which carries the strapline of ‘for weddings less ordinary’ is all about sparking readers’ creativity and leaving them feeling energized and ready to enjoy their planning.
Here are some sample spreads:
The South West Angels of Terror (SWAT) Roller Derby Team is based in both Somerset and Devon is putting the South West on the map for all the right reasons. The sport hails from America with it’s roots in roller skating endurance races dating back to 1884. These days it is played by around 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, with nearly half of these now outside of America. Dominated by all-female amateur teams, Roller Derby is now so popular that it was under consideration for the 2020 Olympics! In this feature for Somerset Life magazine I meet the team and even try my luck on skates…
To say that Lucia Griggi has an enviable lifestyle is a bit like saying Jimi Hendrix was ‘good’ at playing the guitar. Lucia’s made her dreams a reality, courtesy of good old hard work and determination. She relocated from Cornwall to California in 2010, but spends most of her year globetrotting – whilst photographing surfing, surf lifestyle and wildlife in some of the most beautiful locations around the world. Her client list includes Roxy, Vans, Red Bull, Land Rover and National Geographic, amongst others. Most impressively however, is the freshness and energy she brings to her photography; she has a genuinely rare talent for emerging the viewer in a picture, as if you were there with her. Read my interview interview with Lucia here, over at Autographer.