Hannah here: I'm not quite sure where to start with this. Maybe back to the email that popped into my inbox months back, inviting a group of Lou's friends to camp together. Or maybe back to the beginning of Lou and I’s friendship, many years ago when our blogs were babies. Maybe I should start at the bit where I flapped and faffed and thought, nope, not brave enough for that. Thankfully following anxious tweets between Hels and Alexis and I along the lines of "Are you going?" and " I'll go if you go" etc. I decided to say yes, and not only go, but help Lou to organise parts of it and style it too. And my, am I glad I did.
Louise picked me up on Friday morning, along with the quite frankly shocking amount of boxes of props and styling stuff I needed, and off we set on what would be an unexpectedly long 8 hour journey. We got to know each other very very well! The two of us, bundles of giggly anxiety (with rather stiff legs!), eventually arrived, dumped our bags inside the beautiful geodesic domes at Loveland farm and begun what turned into the most beautiful, whole hearted weekend of sisterhood and creating.
Some favourite moments.
A sunset phototshoot in a field overlooking the sea, women wrapped in the most beautiful products from Toast. Hair flying in the wind, feet bare, shutters clicking.
A barbecue that turned into a fire and necessitated s’mores and coats and blankets and yawns then sleeping cosy in the teepee’s.
The most gentle and restorative morning yoga session run by Melanie.
Gathering picnic materials together whilst listening to the sounds of hammering filling the air during the leather craft workshop, run by Golden Bear Belts.
Laura, Lou and I dashing ahead to find the perfect spot for our cliff top picnic at Heartland Quay. Taking a few minutes after styling it to lay back on the sun warmed grass and just soaked it in; the ocean, the cliff tops, the bird song, the seagrass…before everyone else arrived. Enjoying the haunting and beautiful folk music of the Woof and Wilde who happened to be practicing near by and whom were persuaded to play for us in exchange for lunch.
Filling jars for the table arrangements under the excellent tutelage of heather from Church Park Flowers. Then styling the evening meal, decking the tables in the most decadent linen from Linen Me (such a treat to work with!) and festooning the dome in garland lights from Lights4Fun. The amazing group of women who helped. Placing the most beautiful foragers necklaces in each setting around the table from Silver Pebble. Tea lights twinkling in jam jars.
Having been clear and beautiful all day, the sky clouded over and started to rain just as we sat down- providing the most beautiful soundtrack to our meal. Then we feasted, and I mean feasted, on the most delicious middle eastern three course dinner from Two Birds Kitchen- who also happen to be some of the loveliest and accommodating people we’ve worked with (multiple allergies and intolerances were no sweat for them).
Post dinner, with a couple of glasses of wine in us, a group of us braved the rain in our swimming costumes to get in the Hot Tub provided by Devon Wood Craft (sneaky peak here!) Shreiking into the darkness, cold rain pattering on our faces, the heat of the water warming our very bones, an internal oven that kept us cosy all night long. Unforgettable.
Everyone helping everyone else; I could go on and on with collaboration after collaboration…. it was wonderful. I'm still processing lots of it. I have that strange feeling after a retreat where you feel really intimate with people you hardly knew beforehand, you know? I keep wanting to call Lou as I'm so used to chatting to her on the phone! Anyway.
I'm excited to say that it looks like Sisterhood 2016 will definitely be going ahead, and will be ticketed and open to all. If you want more information when it becomes available, sign up here! We' be thrilled to meet you there!
P.S Thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby - ethical kids wear, given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' . Myriad - kids toys, activities and games for all ages. Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister)- natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist - beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you