Europe

Lens + Larder Workshop

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Hello! It’s been awhile! I’m not really sure where to begin but I am so excited to get back into creating things for Four By Three and this is my first post doing just that. In June of last year (2015) I had a baby girl and chose to put this blog on hold until I was ready creatively to continue with it. During that time through various people I follow on instagram I somehow stumbled across Lens & Larder, a series of workshops put on by the lovely Imen McDonnell and Cliodhna Prendergast along with guest collaborators varying from photographers, stylists and writers.

I just so happened to find them right before they were to hold a food photography and styling workshop with the enchanting Renée Kemps in Ireland at the beautiful and picturesque Ballyvolane House. I did a little looking into flights (pretty cheap and short coming from London) and checked to see if a space was available (there was!) and the next thing I knew, I was on my way to Ireland! The three days spent there were filled with lovely long conversations about everything from photography to being a working mom over delicious meals; foraging the grounds of Ballyvolane; meeting local vendors whose food and wares we photographed; learning to style a tabletop for a photo story; homemade butter and soda bread making demonstrations; having a gin tasting of the delightful Bertha’s Revenge which is made at Ballyvolane…it was a packed few days!

I was blown away by the talent of not only our hosts but also the other attendees and this workshop was the perfect jolt of creativity that I needed. Below is a visual snapshot into the workshop and the people I met. And if you have the chance to sign up for a Lens & Larder workshop, do it!

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48 Hours in Paris

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For the past few years every October Reid’s work has taken him to Paris for a couple of days and I have been lucky to tag along and take advantage of the free hotel room. I spend the days on my own, exploring a city that I love the more often I get to visit it. It is pretty amazing to me that it is such a short train ride from London and whenever I’m in town I always think to myself that I should visit more often.

This particular trip was pretty short but I was still able to pack in a bunch of my favorite things plus a few new ones. We arrived late in the evening and headed over to Ralph’s in Saint Germain for a late dinner (We were almost the only people there!). I had a delicious burger with perfectly cooked fries and Reid had a steak. Over the next day and a half I went for runs in the Tuileries Garden, walked along the Seine, ate my weight in chocolate, visited a few shops and went to two great photography exhibits. Details and links below:

  • Angelina: A trip to Paris is never complete without at least one visit here for the sinfully good hot chocolate. It may seem touristy but I can’t help but coming here. The hot chocolate is basically as thick as a melted down bar of chocolate and then on top of that you add in whipped cream just in case it wasn’t rich enough for you.
  • Merci: This store/cafe/library is one of my favorite places to spend time. Not only is it located in the hip neighborhood of Le Marais but it is choc full of amazing clothes, furniture, kitchenware, stationery, etc. I dare you to try and visit without doing major damage to your wallet.
  • Jeu de Paume: I always like to visit at least one museum or gallery and this trip I managed to go to two that were new to me. On one of my morning runs I noticed that the Jue de Paume was advertising a new photography exhibit of American photographer Gary Winogrand that happened to begin that very day so of course I had to go. It was an amazing exhibit and included many images that had never been seen before, even by Winogrand himself. The exhibit runs through February 8, 2015.
  • The Gagosian: I had seen a few photographer friends post images on Instagram of the Peter Lindbergh exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery in Paris and I was really keen on going. It was pretty amazing to see such beautiful and iconic images up close. The exhibit runs through November 22nd of this year, so catch it while you can!
  • Comptoir de L’image: This tiny, tiny bookstore is really a hidden gem. I actually first stumbled upon it while photographing this couple and I’m so glad we found it. It has an insane selection of photography books and magazine by every photographer imaginable. There is a lot to look through and not much space to do it, but there is so much inspiration in there.
  • Buvette: Possible my favorite meal of this trip was to the adorable Buvette which was recommended to me by a friend. We ordered lot of small plates to share and talked the night away over the candlelight. It was truly a Parisian experience and I will definitely be going back my next trip to Paris!

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Croatia

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ITINERARY: This was a week long trip to the islands of Hvar and Brac in Croatia with two dear friends and it was all about relaxing and enjoying the nice weather. It was my first time to visit Croatia and I was blown away by the beauty of the place (it has a very similar vibe to some parts of Italy). The rocky beaches made for incredibly clear water that ranged from the most beautiful shades of green and blue depending on the time of day. And those sames greens and blues popped up everywhere on the islands (doorways, shutters, foliage) and were accented by an incredible orange/red that kept showing up in the roof tiles, boats, etc. When we arrived I was a little bit afraid that I had not brought enough film because everything was so picturesque!

TRAVEL TIME: For this trip we flew from London into Split via Zurich, hopped in a taxi to the port and then set off on a ferry to Hvar. The ferries run pretty frequently so no need to book ahead. After two days in Hvar we then took another ferry to the island of Brac and a short taxi ride (though a little scary as the roads were quite windy and mountainous) to our villa in Postira.

SLEEP: The first two nights we spent on Hvar at the Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort. My favorite things about this hotel were the view, the pool (which had a water slide!), proximity to the sea and the fact that it is a little bit away from the town center which can get pretty rowdy at night time. The rest of the week was spent in the town of Postira on Brac (another island just a short ferry ride from Hvar) at the loveliest little villa. The owners of the villa were so hospitable and greeted us with wine and a meat and cheese plate upon arrival. The villa has a beautiful ocean view, is steps from a lovely little beach, has its own pool and an outdoor grill that we used for almost every meal. It was nice to end the trip in a place that felt like a home away from home where we could cook for ourselves and stick to our own schedule.

EAT & DRINK: 

  • Hula Hula is a beachside restaurant and bar that was just around the corner from out hotel. We spent an afternoon here sipping on cocktails, eating and soaking up some sun. A great place to watch the sunset.
  • Hvar turns into quite a lively night spot in the evening and there are lots of places to choose from to grab a bite or some drinks. One spot we went to that had good cocktails and is located right along the harbour is Carpe Diem
  • Once we moved islands we spent most of our time eating and drinking at the villa we rented as opposed to eating out. We did have a great little neighborhood beachside bar that was a few steps from our villa but the town of Postira is so small I couldn’t find a website. Sorry!

TO DO: As I said before, this trip was all about relaxing and enjoying the warm weather and that is pretty much what we did! The beach or pool was visited every day and maybe interspersed with a drive to a new town, a walk to see some sights, or a competitive game of cards over a few beers. Pretty much every evening in Postira we had a BBQ and stuffed ourselves silly with delicious food. We came into the trip with no plans except for where we wold be staying and I would not have changed a thing!

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Positano

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Itinerary: Four days in Positano for work as I was photographing a wedding (which you can see here) that had multiple days of events. WhenI get to work in fun locations like this, I try and tempt my husband to come along as my assistant and it worked this time!

Travel Time: You can fly directly from London to Naples (about a 2 hour and forty minute flight) and from there you have  few options- train, car, or bus. The bride and groom had arranged for a car to pick us up so we had a lovely drive along the coast from Naples straight into Positano.

Accommodation: Again for this trip since it was work related, accommodation was arranged for us at the beautiful Hotel Buca di Bacco. The location was superb as it was steps away from the beach front in Positano and our room had a magnificent view of the ocean that we enjoyed from the balcony on most mornings.

Highlight(s): When I wasn’t working on this trip, my husband and I tried to take advantage of the sea, sunshine, fresh seafood and abundance of gelato (pistachio is one of my favorite flavors!). The winding streets throughout Positano are fun to just wander and see where they take you- one of the places we ended up was a store called Pepé where we purchased all sorts of things made of linen… shirts, trousers and a bag. On our last day in town, we took a boat to Capri that some friends had hired for the afternoon and spent our time strolling through this beautiful town situated on a rock in the middle of the ocean. One of my favorite things we did that day, besides enjoying some gelato, was ride a chair lift up to the top of the island where it seemed like you could see to the ends of the earth. This trip, even though it was for work, was a much needed dose of sunshine and rejuvenation and I can definitely seeing us coming back in the future.

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San Sebastián

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Itinerary: A long weekend spent eating our way through San Sebastián.

Travel Time: A 2 hour flight from London to Bilbao followed by an  hour drive to San Sebastián.

Accommodation: On this trip Reid and I traveled with three other friends so we decided to rent an apartment in order to save money and have access to a kitchen. I believe the apartment was booked through Airbnb, Homeaway, or a site similar to one of these. We ended up in the prefect location which was a quick walk from the beach as well as the old town of San Sebastián. San Martín Market, only a short walk away, was a great place to grab groceries and everyday items as well as an exquisite selection of meat, fish, fruit and veg.

Highlight(s): Located in the Basque country of northern Spain, San Sebastián is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the border of France. The area is known for producing great cuisine which was perfect for our visit as we were there to soak up some sun and eat! On our arrival, one thing I noticed straight away was how clean the city was. I guess having lived in NYC where trash can be abundant on the streets (and quite smelly in the summer time) you really notice when a place isn’t like this.

Most days were spent lounging on the pristine sands of La Concha Beach (which was literally a five minute walk from our apartment) and swimming in the beautiful bay. The tide change was quite dramatic here and if it happened to be high tide at a busy hour it was a little squished. Luckily, this didn’t seem to last very long. When we had enough of the sand and the sun it was time to head to the old town for some Pintxos. Pintxos is the Basque equivalent of Spanish tapas and in the evening as you walk among the bars and restaurants, they all have these delicious treats intricately displayed for you to enjoy. Most nights we would hit up three or four different Pintxos bars in order to get a good sampling of the different options. Lots of people come out for this which gives the place a very jovial and celebratory feel.

San Sebastián is also known for having a high concentration of Michelin Star restaurants so we booked lunch at Arzak (which has been awarded three stars). From the moment we arrived the service was impeccable and you could tell that every details was thoughtfully planned. We decided to have the tasting menu which was around 12 courses and lasted about 3 hours, but they flew by and at the end of it we were all very fat and happy customers. This was definitely a meal of a lifetime and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. I can see us making a return visit to this beautiful city as I feel like there is a lot more to explore and I wouldn’t mind filling my belly with some more delicious food!

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*shot on a Rolleiflex with Kodak Ektar & Portra 800*

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