Friday, 10 October 2014

September Trip to Barcelona

If you follow West Egg on Instagram you'll have spotted I was in Barcelona for a few days in September with my very lovely blogger friends Geraldine from Little Big Bell and Gudy from Eclectic Trends. It was a really super time and great to spend time away with old friends and meet lots of lovely new ones.

I stayed at the Praktik Bakery Barcelona Hotel which was a real oasis because I was completely unprepared for the fact that Barcelona would be absolutely baking hot. The hotel had wonderful air conditioning and the room was perfectly formed with my favourite type of wood cladding, crisp white sheets and cool metal lamps. There was free wifi throughout the hotel which was brilliant. It reminded me of something my cousin told me about an amended version of Abraham Maslow's hierachy of human needs ... did you see that? Take a look here if not. I wonder what would happen if I went away for a week somewhere with no laptop, ipad, iphone - I don't know, maybe I should do an experiment? The closest I came was a few years ago I went with some friends to a cottage in Devon for New Year and there was no signal at all. I survived! Anyway, rapidly veering off topic...

Yep, really really like those lamps..

The view from my room on the second floor. You can't really tell how roasting hot it is, but I promise you it was and the sky was bright bright blue.

Our first stop was Jaime Beriestain, a lovely restaurant, concept store and florist just a few moments from the Praktik Bakery Hotel. We had lovely chilled rose wine and the vegan salad which was super delicious. The staff were super welcoming, there was lovely refreshing air-conditioning and a very calm and relaxed ambiance. The perfect afternoon escape.

We walked up to the Sagrada Familia and passed this owl which really reminded me of the man with the glasses in the Great Gatsby. It's actually an old 70s advertisement that is now maintained by the owners of the building. At the time we were both a bit hot and tired from walking but when we saw the big owl it was brilliant because I doubt we would have noticed it from the back of a taxi. There is a bit in the September Issue when Grace Coddington is talking about inspiration and she is recalling a conversation with a photographer. He told her to always stay awake on journeys, and look out of the windows because inspiration is everywhere, all of the time and you don't want to miss a second of anything. Talk about fear of missing out. I always remember that snippet when I see funny things like this owl.

There were huge crowds of people outside the Sagrada Familia so it was a bit tricky to take any photographs. It was also shut for the day for a special event - how typical. We did however console ourselves with some delicious fruit smoothie lolly pops - actually now I think of them, I quite fancy one. I may have to have a go at making some - they were quite delicious. Take a look at Geraldine's instagram feed to spot them.

This is me and Gudy having some lunch in a lovely little tapas place on one of the days I was there. It was so good to see my dear friend and lovely to catch up. I look shattered.

This is the bakery at the hotel. I love it when you can see behind the scenes and see chefs working. I have always wanted to do a chefs table at a restaurant since I read Annie's review of the Gilbert Scott on her brilliant Insidology blog. I have always been a little put off before because I would have thought it wasn't particularly relaxing but after I read her review I just think it sounds really fun. 

And then around the corner from the bakery at the front is a lovely seating area where we had our breakfast each day.

I would definitely go back to this hotel on my next trip to Barcelona. I think it would be nice to go for a weekend in some of the colder months, perhaps January or February and do some shopping - everything is so much cheaper than London, especially clothes. Some of my favourite shops like Mango are really amazing value and I found a lovely store called ese O ese which I hadn't come across before. I wanted to buy absolutely everything. 100% my cup of tea. They had a strict no photography policy so I couldn't take any pictures but their website is pretty good so take a look.

On our last day we found ourselves back at Jaime Beriestain, I just had to grab a couple of photos of these beautiful flowers outside their concept store on our way in. It really is a must-visit spot if you're in Barcelona.

And of course the restaurant is beautifully designed and styled. We had a lovely supper here before travelling home. The airport is so handy to get to - only about 20 minutes and a bargain EUR 30 to get there in a taxi.

A brilliant few days away and it all seems many moons ago now in chilly old England.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Style + Substance Workshop at Komedal Road Studio, Bainbridge Island

As promised I've finally got my act together and uploaded the images from the Style + Substance Workshop I taught at Komedal Road Studio back in September. It was the most lovely day spent with a wonderful group who I know are going to go on and do amazing things.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Eva Kolenko

It's no yolk we take eggs very seriously here at West Egg :) Since it's British Egg Week this week I was reminded of a lovely recipe I found by Eva Kolenko. I actually can't remember how I first came across Eva online, but since I did, I routinely pop over to her blog to take a look at her latest work.

This recipe for Pancetta & Kale Baked Eggs looks insanely good for a weekend brunch with lots of fresh coffee. We get our eggs from a lady in the village although there has been a bit of a drought recently on the egg front so we've been getting them from either the village shop or supermarket. I was very pleased to see that all eggs sold by Sainsbury's are laid by hens that are cage free and also they have an egg tracker so you can see where your eggs came from.

For the recipe please visit Eva's website / blog here. Her food photography is nothing short of spectacular - take a look here - but be warned, you will be starving hungry after only 30 seconds.

Image Credit: Eva Kolenko

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Defining Your Signature Style through Photography and Moodboarding || A new workshop by Emily Quinton & Gudy Herder

Morning! I'm up bright and early because some of our very close friends are getting married today and I am really excited. I am wide awake and it's still a little early. Rather than play endless games of 2048 on my iphone until I get numb thumbs, I thought I would get up and blog about a workshop that is coming up in November.

Friday, 3 October 2014

An afternoon at The Bloedel Reserve

Fancy a quick saunter around the beautiful Japanese gardens at The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island? Come with me ...

I just found these photographs while I was organising all the 1000s of photos I took while I was away in September. They are so lovely - I wish I could pop back for a lovely little walk right now. It has to be one of the most relaxing gardens I have ever walked around in the world.

If you haven't heard of the Bloedel Reserve, it is a public garden on Bainbridge Island, set in 150 acres of beautiful gardens and natural woodlands. The Japanese garden was my favourite part. It was deeply tranquil and I felt quite zombified when we left (in a good way).

And then my camera ran out of battery. Which was actually a blessing as then we just walked round not trying to take perfect photos but just enjoying the beautiful gardens. It was a lovely few hours of gentle relaxation.

Visit the Bloedel Reserve website for opening times and more information.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Paint Like A Pro Workshop || Bainbridge Island, W.A

Wowwwwwwwwww where did September go? I have so much to share on this blog about my recent travels in the US, Spain and also some new things happening at West Egg in little old Blunham. First I want to share some of the lovely photos from the Paint Like A Pro workshop I taught at the newly opened Komedal Road studio on Bainbridge Island.