Lens + Larder Workshop


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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Its been quiet over here since the new year and I had not really planned on that but we’ve had lots of exciting changes happening in the Murphy household as of late. To name a few… we moved house and have been settling into our new place and neighbourhood. We are expecting a baby at the end of May! And, just in case we didn’t have enough change going on, we also added another furry member to the family. Everyone, I would like for you to meet Clyde! He is an old english bulldog and has been such a fun addition- he’s even made our almost 13-year-old lab, Bonnie, more puppy-like. These photos are from the first few weeks we had him when he was only about 8 to 10 weeks old. Now he is a little over 4 months and has grown a ton (I’ll be sure to post some more recent photographs of him soon)!


I’ve got lots I want to share on here about fun things to do and see in London, more Londoner profiles, stories from around the home and of course stories of our recent travels. Until then, I hope you enjoy these puppy photos and see you back here again soon!


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Itinerary: A five day trip to the Scottish Isle of Islay, known as the Queen of the Hebrides, to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday.

Travel time: We took two flights- one from London to Glasgow and another from Glasgow to Islay (on a tiny puddle jumper). There is a ferry option too if you don’t like small planes or want to bring your car with.

Accommodation: We stayed at the most wonderful bed and breakfast called the Kilmeny Country House which is situated on 300 acres of farmland and is run by the lovely Margaret (literally everyone we ran into on the island knew her!). The drive up to the house is straight out of the opening credits to a movie with a long, tree-lined road that leads up to the house which is perched on top of a hill. Each morning we were warmly greeted in the dining room by Margaret or her husband and offered the most delicious breakfast all served on fine china- it felt like something from a different time.

Highlight(s): Islay (pronounced eye-la) is home to 9 working whisky distilleries and is where we decided to celebrate Reid’s 30th birthday. Over the course of our trip, we visited Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Bunnahabhain. The entire island is very small, so presumably, you could visit all of the distilleries within a long weekend. My personal favorites were the Bruichladdich and the Laphroaig distilleries. Every distillery offers tours varying from your basic ones that cost about £5 and include a few drams of whisky to the more in depth that can range in price depending on what’s involved (all of which is available on each distilleries’ websites). I think I enjoyed the Bruichladdich distillery so much because one- it was the first distillery we went to and everything was new to me, two- I love their branding it (It has a much more modern and clean feel than some of the others) and three- the whisky was delicious! On our visit to Laphroaig, we had booked spots onto a more in depth tour with a small group that ended with us being able to bottle our own whisky directly from the cask to take home.

When we weren’t tasting whisky, we took our time exploring Islay by eating at a the different pubs/restaurants/cafes, hiking around the lochs, and just taking in the insanely beautiful and rugged scenery that surrounded us. On one of our drives, I was behind the wheel ticking along on a single lane road when I managed to run our car into a ditch. There was no oncoming car, no sharp turn, no bad weather, no whisky was involved- I just have really bad driving skills when it comes to driving on the left side of the road. Luckily we had just passed a house and the lovely old man who lived there (whose accent was so thick neither Reid or I could understand him) hooked our car up to his four wheeler and dragged us out of the ditch without a scratch on the car. To this day I wish I had taken a quick photo of him.

This trip gave us just a little taste of Scotland and given how easy it is to get here by car, train or plane, I can see us visiting more and more in the future!


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*shot on a Contax 645 with Kodak Portra 400 and a Lomo LC-A with Iflord XP2*

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