Inspirational weekend in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is a small idyllic town in Dorset, United Kingdon. It’s  just  under two hours away by train from London Waterloo to the nearest town of Gillingham, you then take a bus or a cab to Shaftesbury which is about 10 minutes away.  Actually, this adventure started back last August when Jeanne, aka @Cooksisterblog help me to buy a proper slr camera. I can’t thank her enough for all the guidance. I was  busy experimenting with my new toy, when in November last year, I saw on Instagram the picture of Gold Hill, above. It took my breath away… I had to go there to see it for myself. 
 Another month passed by and I saw, again on Instagram, that Marte Marie Forsberg, a professional photographer from Norway, who I met last Summer in London, was hosting a one day food and lifestyle photography workshop for beginners in Shaftesbury!! I emailed her straight away and signed up for the workshop which was taking place two months later in her cosy cottage in Shaftesbury. That was my Christmas present to myself. I bought the train ticket two months in advance, that was  £22/ return, If you leave to buy near the time of your travel it will be three time more expensive. 
Hurray! I was finally going to Shaftesbury!  

Picturesque Shaftesbury 

view of the Old Chapel  from Castle Hill

the view from Abbey Walk
The town is small making it easy to walk everywhere. I feel in love with this place and the people. 
The photography course:
It was a good full-on Saturday of introduction to food and lifestyle photography 
and visual storytelling. Hope this workshop has help me to take better pictures and develop my photo taking from here on….

introduction at Marie’s cottage over hot chocolate and fresh pastries
getting started for some action at The King Alfred cafe, a great venue with stunning lighting

    Zoe was our model for the day

the most photographed cabbage
We then moved on to The Grovesnor Arms for lunch and more photos

The pizza oven at The Grosvenor Arms

a family setting
a moody b&w setting

capturing action during service

A  pleasant Saturday learning about photography, use of natural light, composition, a little about styling, assignments and some food and drink! 

 Walking around Shaftesbury
(not included in the course, pictures taken before the course)
Bright Blossoms – gorgeous florist in Bell Street

 I found Corita Rose, a fabric, furniture  and furnishings company,  by chance, its a beautiful and colourful  studio owned by the very stylish Caroline.

Where I ate: 
Quick coffee and cake break
The Artisans Bakery,  based in a building dated 1890, bell street, quality, taste and elegance

The Salt cellar – a lunch with a view! This eatery overlooks the Gold
Hill, I had the chicken pie recommend by one of the locals.

Diner: La Fleur de Lys, an award winning and  smart place to eat in town. They also have a B&B. I apologise for the poor pictures, I only had the iphone with me and the poor lighting didn’t help either.

The staff was very welcoming and friendly. The restaurant bar is a bit on the old fashioned side. Nice started courtesy of the chef and owner, David, who has been heading La Fleur de Lys for the last 23 years! Good quality and local produce made this a very enjoyable experience.

 main: the juiciest beef and potato rosti and dessert: box of dark chocolate, was decadent and delicious

A quick drink at The Grosvenor Arms, what a beautiful hotel and restaurant 

Pub time nice place for a drinks and food: Mitre

where I  stayed:  
The Old Chapel – B&B
A bit of research and found a nice and charming B&B, The Old Chapel.
The owners, Sue  and Philip, are so lovely and welcoming.  The breakfast was massive and very tasty.There are
only two huge and comfortable double rooms, in a converted chapel. I
highly recommend this B&B.

The Old Chapel breakfast

It was a brilliant weekend and I have since gone back for more of Dorset. Everything on this trip was paid by me. All views are my own. 


1 Comment

  1. design and other things
    April 21, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    Wonderful place!!!
    Is in my bucket list,I have to go there.
    By the way the course paid off, the pictures are amazing.