Mother’s Day 2018 is particularly special for Wingfield Digby HQ. Why? Thanks to the birth of a beautiful baby daughter last year, it is the first time that Alice Wingfield Digby – founder and director – will be celebrating the event as a mother!
We had to mark the occasion accordingly. What better way to do so than by catching up with a fellow London-based, luxury design-led ‘mumpreneur’ – who even shares Alice’s passion for capturing the beauty of feathers in her work?
Meet Juliet Travers – renowned for creating elegant, eye-catching fabrics and wallpapers– all encapsulating the beauty of nature from Britain to Zimbabwe. Having prospered at the likes of Colefax and Fowler and de Gournay, it is unsurprising that her own launch in 2013 was an instant success.
Juliet’s unique work now frequently adorns the walls of prestigious hotels, stunning homes and the pages of House and Garden, The English Home, Country & Town House - plus many more...Juliet Travers Safari Collection: The Waterhole (explore here)
We caught up with Juliet to discuss motherhood, luxury design and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs…
- With Mother’s Day on the horizon, we couldn’t not ask your favourite memory as a mother. What is yours?
It’s the first day that my husband and I brought our son, Archie, home after he was born. We lay him down in his cot, in his own nursery, decorated in my Highland Fling wallpaper. An incredibly special memory - I will never forget it!Juliet Travers Highland Fling (explore here)
- Has Archie shown any of your creative flair so far?
He’s definitely a big fan of getting messy with paints - but that may be simply because all 2 year olds love an excuse to get messy! He’s sport mad, like my husband, so I think that might be where his talents lie… We’ll see!
- What’s been your proudest moment as a mother to date?
Archie constantly smiles and is a real people person. Throughout winter, Archie and I gave gloves to the homeless on the school run - a way for him to see how much happiness a simple gesture can bring to those less fortunate. He loved doing this and grew confident enough to hand the gloves over himself – it was such a lovely thing to see.
- What’s been your proudest moment as a designer to date?
I think for any designer, seeing your first few drawings transform from original sketch to finished product is incredibly rewarding. It will always be hugely flattering to me that people want my designs in their homes. If I had to pick a particular instance, it would be the prestigious Giraffe Manor, Kenya requesting my designs for their walls. With family in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and the whole of East Africa providing inspiration for my Safari Collection, I was thrilled.
- What’s the best advice you’ve received to help juggle a work/life balance as a mother?
I try to be really strict with myself. 3 days a week Archie is in nursery while I’m at work; I therefore try to keep the other 2 days just for us and to stay off emails etc. However, anyone who runs their own business would tell you that it’s impossible to not let the odd email creep in now and then!
Having hard working and passionate staff is also essential. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such an incredible team who I can fully rely on - enabling me to be both the mum and designer I strive to be.
- If you had to save one photo from your home, which would it be and why?
This picture of my mum, Archie and I is incredibly special to me. As one of six siblings, I feel so grateful that each one of us has felt so loved and supported by her - in whatever path we have chosen. On a professional level, the business could not function without her. She beautifully wraps all our gifts and ships out some of our wallpapers from our family home!
Wingfield Digby Real Guinea Fowl Feather Photo Frame (from £70, buy here)
- We are naturally huge fans of your feather-focused, Free Fall design. What has been your favourite installation involving this to date?
That’s such a tough one - I love seeing any of our designs in a range of spaces! A particular one that springs to mind is Stag Lodge, a boutique hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold.
- We love being able to celebrate the British countryside through our work, while still being based in South West London – just like your team! Do you have a favourite leafy London spot to maintain a snippet of the great outdoors?
Battersea Park. I walk my cocker spaniel, Cuba, on my days at JT HQ. So much of my inspiration comes from wildlife and nature so it’s wonderful to be in the heart of this on working days.
Juliet and Cuba. Background: Juliet Travers Nutcracker Wallpaper (explore here)
- Do you have any favourite quotes/mottos that inspire your work ethos?
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important, capture the good times and develop from the negatives. If things don’t work out, then take another shot!”Wingfield Digby Real Guinea Fowl Feather & Glass Scented Candle (£30, buy here); Juliet Travers Free Fall Notebook (£16.67, buy here)
- What are you most excited about for Juliet Travers Wallpapers this year?
We’ve got a couple of really exciting collaborations coming up this year - but at this moment in time all I can say is “watch this space”...
- What is your favourite Wingfield Digby feather type?
Given that they inspired my first wallpapers, definitely Guinea Fowl! Although I’m also a huge fan of Peacock – the electric blue is spectacular.Wingfield Digby Real Guinea Fowl Feather Tray (£70, buy here); Juliet Travers Free Fall Wallpaper 04 (explore here)
Explore the full Juliet Travers collection here: www.juliettravers.com
Saturday 23rd September will see the return of the hugely successful Young Guns – a charity clay pigeon shoot organized by 26 year old shooting aficionados Victoria Dashwood and Ella Hadsley-Chaplin. Held at the award winning EJ Churchill Shooting School, the day will raise money for Breast Cancer Research – a cause that both organizers are passionate about.
We caught up with Victoria and Ella to find out how Young Guns 2017 is not your everyday fundraising shoot...
“It really begun with us wanting to organise something fun, for charity for YOUNG people. So many charity events are aimed at the older generation, or CEO’s, or enormous wealth. Of course these are all useful for the fundraising, but boosting awareness and mobilising young people are just as important. As two young women, and with breast cancer remaining one of the most prevalent cancers in the UK, we wanted to raise both funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.
How? At an action-packed charity shoot for our peers that features far more than just a few shooting flurries.
Kick-started with breakfast & coffee at EJ Churchill, the day includes:
- 6 staggered flurries – Each team is given their own host instructor, scorer, guns, cartridges, goggles and caps
- Elevenses – Drinks courtesy of Chase Distillery Sloe Gin and Firefly; nibbles from Caviar House, ChicP and Apesnacks
- Chauffeured transport to West Wycombe Park
- Coates and Seeley champagne & canape reception
- Live music from West Wycombe Brass Brand
- Sit down lunch in the south colonnade - Think Ottolenghi salads, fresh West Wycombe venison and POPS champagne popsicles
- Prize giving, raffle and optional shoot off
- Private after party – Held at the renowned 5 Hertford Street, London
Guns and guests will also receive goodie bags and 20% off at Wingfield Digby.
£1,000 - Shooting team of 4 (at least 2 members must be under 35)
£250 - Individual shooting ticket (competitors can be placed into teams if required)
£65 – Spectator ticket (price includes all the above bar shooting)
Email email@example.com for ticket enquiries.
We were thrilled to catch up with Victoria Knowles Lacks – the passionate and proud instigator of Europe's largest and foremost ladies' clay shooting organisation, The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club (S&CBC).
Responsible for shifting the shooting industry to create a movement of confident lady guns, Victoria is currently busy organizing the final aspects of next month’s National Ladies’ Shooting Day (Saturday 10th June) – which sees over 1,000 women shooting across 30 grounds in the UK. It is the largest ladies only clay shooting event in the world.
- What is your earliest personal memory of shooting?
I was quite a latecomer! The first actual game shoot I went on was during my teens. A lovely chap from Young Farmers invited me along. It was slightly embarrassingly as he had an old hammer gun which initially I had no idea how to hold. The recoil of the shells made me wince and I actually shot a pigeon- resulting in cheer from down the line as I didn't aim for it. Somewhat awkward! However, the whole day was just incredible. It was a little sydincate shoot, the banter and sloegasms were a plenty and the après shooting went on in to the night. I was smitten and learnt a fair bit about the importance of gun fit and mount!
- Was there a light bulb moment that instigated your creation of SG&CB Club?
In hindsight I think there was. I learnt to shoot with a load of old boys who were such good fun, but I did feel hugely out of my depth and a little bit alone with it. I remember a distinct lack of women and female support at grounds. Having looked around for fellow female shots and advice and finding virtually nothing, I set up a blog which had more interest that I could have ever dreamed. S&CBC was a natural progression from there.
The real lightbulb moment came 6 years ago when I took four girl friends for a group shooting lesson and made a Victoria Sponge for after (an initial lure as they weren't really keen on the idea so I had to sweeten the deal with cake!). Never in a million years did I think we'd have well in excess of 10,000 women join us at our shoots!
- How did NLSD come about?
Like all the best ideas, the idea came after a few cheeky glasses of fizz on New Years Eve, 2014. S&CBC was thriving and I was keen for a challenge. I spent New Year’s Day brainstorming, planning and getting to work.
- What are you most excited about for NLSD this year?
Oh my goodness, there's way too much to be excited about! Obviously having the Wingfield Digby girls joining us at EJ Churchill is a huge highlight, as is the number of brand new shooters joining us and a full line up of sponsors we love and of course a mega list of prizes that we're giving away!
- Why do you feel so passionately about introducing women to the sport?
Historically, women have been on the back foot a bit (speaking generally, of course) with shooting. There just haven’t been the opportunities like men have had, so I set about evening up the playing field. There is no reason at all why women can't shoot as well men, the problem is that first 'in' in to the sport and sometimes confidence.
- Who is your most inspirational female shot and why?
Cheryl Hall - she is the most wonderful 'normal' woman in that she's one of us, one of the girls, but she has achieved the most phenomenal success and has won over 30 World titles.
- What is your proudest achievement to date?
Being named a Fieldsports Magazine 'Outstanding Gun' in 2016. I was the only lady and given the title alongside so many incredible sporting greats, such as Lord James Percy and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
- If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
The group photo from Fieldsports Magazine’s 'Outstanding Guns' day. A great line of the best chaps in the business, with me stood in the middle with the most sincere and ridiculous of smiles!
- What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The Guinea Fowl placemats.
- Favourite feather type?
Guinea Fowl, and darker pheasant feathers.
For more information on The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club, click here.
For more information on National Ladies’ Shooting Day 2017, and booking, click here.
Wild Rabbit & Cabbage Burgers Recipe - Oliver Gladwin, creative chef at Gladwin Brothers' Enterprises
Rabbit at Easter?! Fear not - we haven’t chosen this recipe to reflect any morbid thoughts concerning Easter bunnies..
Instead, Oliver says, “Rabbit is such a great meat – lean, flavoursome and low in cholesterol. We have to keep the rabbit population down at the vineyard or they chew the bark off the young vines, so there is often an ample supply. I don’t know why it is so underused and underrated!”
His top tip? “You will need caul fat to wrap the burgers in, which protects, seals and moistens the meat. Caul fat, also known as crépine - can be bought from any traditional butcher”.
Try it for yourself…
1kg rabbit, skinned and jointed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 lemon, halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns and salt
6 good leaves of Savoy cabbage
200g caul fat, cut into 6
6 ciabatta rolls
Wild Garlic Yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
- Put the rabbit pieces, onion, carrot, lemon and bay leaves in an ovenproof casserole dish.
- Sprinkle in the peppercorns and salt, then add the water.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and place over a moderate heat to bring the liquid to the boil.
- Transfer to the oven and braise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, blanch the Savoy cabbage leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain under cold running water and set aside to cool.
- Remove the braised rabbit from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before picking off the meat, discarding any sinew or bones.
- Put the meat in a mixing bowl with the onion and carrot and moisten with some of the cooking juices.
- Divide the meat mixture into six portions and squeeze into even-sized patties. Wrap each one in a cabbage leaf followed by a piece of caul fat.
- Light the barbecue or preheat a griddle pan until smoking hot.
- Grill the rabbit burgers on the barbecue or griddle for 3 minutes on each side
Serve inside lightly toasted rolls with a good dollop of wild garlic yoghurt.
This recipe is also available in The Shed: The Cookbook, compiled by Oliver and his brothers Richard and Oliver and winner of the Michael Smith Award for Work On British Food. Available to buy here.
Follow Oliver and his culinary outlets here:
Instagram: @nutbourne_resto @rabbit_resto @theshed_resto
Twitter: @NutbourneSW11 @RabbitResto @TheShed_resto
Facebook: @NutbourneBattersea @RabbitResto @The-Shed
We are thrilled to announce our Mother’s Day Competition. Read on for a chance to win a terrific bundle of goodies for your Mother, worth over £225!
Win EVERYTHING in the below picture...
We’ve teamed up with some of our favourite brands to offer one lucky winner all of the below:
- Hicks and Brown pheasant feather fedora hat
- Sipsmith sloe gin
- Pink City Pashmina silk scarf
- Wingfield Digby cock pheasant photo frame
Dressed up in a luxury fedora and pashmina while sipping on Sloe Gin - what more does a mother need? A handcrafted Wingfield Digby Cock Pheasant photo frame to capture the occasion…
Enter via email or social media.
Email: Simply email your full name to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading MOTHER’S DAY COMP
For best chance to win, why not enter both ways?
Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 19th March
Hicks and Brown
First up, the beautiful Hicks and Brown dark brown wool felt Fedora hat with pheasant feather wrap-around (RRP: £85). Like us, the Hicks and Brown founders (sisters Alice and Rosie) are passionate about real feathers and have crafted both natural and bright feathers into their water resistant fedoras to create headwear that is both pretty and practical. Based in Suffolk, Alice and Rosie create clothing and fashion accessories infused with country style - and do so to much acclaim. Aside from a portfolio of celebrity clientele, they won ‘Best Dressed Trade Stand’ at the 2016 Royal Windsor Show.
The lucky winner will also receive a 50cl bottle of Sipsmith Sloe Gin 2015. Whether swirled into a crisp glass of Champagne or paired with a good dessert, this velvety spirit is perfect for mother/daughter sharing! Sipsmith pick all their sloe berries in the autumn before leaving them to rest with their award-winning London Dry Gin, resulting in a tantalisingly fruity serve. Don’t take our word for it, Sunday Times Style say “We thought Sipsmith couldn’t top its British-brewed gin, but this Sloe version is even better.”
Pink City Pashmina
Next up – and on a similarly cerise note - Pink City Pashmina has kindly provided a completely unique, pure Indian silk pashmina. Straight from The Pink City itself, Jaipur in India, Pink City Pashmina scarves are handwoven using wooden loom techniques that have existed for centuries. The result? Pashminas that are as steeped in colour and character as the country from which they’re from. Founder William Mitchell works closely with his friends in India to ensure that these exquisite creations are made in the most sustainable and ethical manner possible.
Last, but by no means least, this Mother’s Day Prize will include one of our signature Cock Pheasant photo frames (RRP: £70). It even matches the Hicks & Brown fedora!