Country Girl at Heart
Moving to the country…so far haven’t eaten any peaches, but all in good time.
I love the buzz of the city. The atmosphere, the exhibitions, the theatre, nights out, dancing, restaurants, festivals and bars - I lap it all up with an unquenchable thirst and probably always will. I’ve lived in London and Sydney; been fortunate enough to spend time in some of the best cities in the world - San Fran, New York, L.A, Melbourne, Auckland, Singapore. I’ve had an absolute blast in them all, but there’s no denying the fact that this girl is a country gal at heart. Firstly, I’m undoubtedly not cool enough to fit amongst the effortlessly chic city set. Despite my best efforts I will always be that little bit messy around the edges, and I’m ok with that. Whilst I’m not that useful at shovelling sh*t in a stable either, I’m most certainly happiest surrounded by greenery, space and country walks with the promise of cosy fire lit pubs at the end of the path. Growing up in the country I longed for the city, I couldn’t wait to escape the quiet and throw myself into the noise. But no matter where I roam or what adventures I have, my mind always gravitates back to the sprawling green fields of where I grew up in rural South Wales. Turns out the grass back here is actually greener after all.
I’ve grappled with the idea of “home” in posts before, that elusive feeling of belonging and feeling settled. I’m jealous of people that are born and bred in the one place and that’s where they happily remain. I am cursed with the itchy feet gene - where I’m always hungry for the next adventure and curious about what some place else has to offer. I’ve “up-sticks” and moved more times than I care to count and who knows, maybe I always will. But for now, I’m happy to have finally given in to the yearning I’ve tried to silence for some time and returned back to where it all began. Although it all feels and seems so different now, through adult (who I am kidding), pretend adult eyes. The quiet no longer feels boring, it soothes me; the fact that everyone knows everyone doesn’t feel suffocating, it’s reassuring and familiar; instead of running along the river Thames I can run along apple orchards and woodland trails and I can buy a coffee without having to take out a small bank loan - bonus.
Maybe I’m finally growing up? Doubtful, but I’m thrilled to be back and have relished spending the last few weeks rediscovering what this little pocket of the country has to offer. As a foodie, I have quite literally been in heaven. The produce, farms, producers and artisans that surround me are nothing short of inspiring. I’ve met and visited some of the finest family run, sustainable farms the country has to offer - third or fourth generation farmers who have diversified their offering and created little boutique distilleries, pumping out cider, vodka, gin and wine that rival the biggest international brands with pride and with ease.
I’ve discovered communities of farmers, butchers and chefs who host feasts in the forest, cooking their produce over hot coals and inviting people to come together to celebrate seasonal, home grown food. Passionate foodies “..looking to disrupt the current food system by creating and supporting vibrant farms, living soils and seeding change in how we connect with food.” These right here, these are my people.
My day at Daylesford Farm literally left me giddy; exploring the farm land, cafe and shop - hearing about the 12 acres of land that grows organic vegetables and the dishes that are lovingly crafted from the harvest. It reminded me of the beauty and simplicity of food and cooking - how “fine dining” now is really about stripping it back to basics and honouring the land and the seasons, keeping flavours simple and letting the produce do the talking.
Reconnecting with this side of the industry has made me feel more inspired and motivated than I have in some time. It’s fueled the fire in me, and made me even more determined to push forward with Soulful Suppers and try and bring more communities together over wholesome, honest, sustainable, home grown food in beautiful and inspiring locations. I’ve met with some wonderful people and I’m getting stuck into some fabulous collaborations - bringing a little bit of my “messy around the edges”, fluffy coat wearing flavour to the good old farming folk and seeing what magic that produces. Bring on spring baby!
Sending love xx