It’s been a crazy couple of weeks as I am sure you have noticed by the relative silence here on my blog. I just returned from a fantastic trip to Ireland which I will tell you all about in 3 parts (yes, three!! Or maybe even four) starting today with the first part of my trip.
Sometimes you just know that something is going to be special when you first read about it. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be on time for registration to Helene’s workshop from 19th to 23th of July in the gorgeous location at Belle Isle Cookery School in Enniskillen (Northern Ireland) For one, I had never been to Ireland and that was long overdue. Secondly, I have been following Helene’s blog for about 5 years and am a huge fan of her work, so meeting her in person would be a good enough reason to go. I already explained earlier why I love going to workshops like this and planning wise this was maybe not the best timing as I had just returned from the workshop in Ettensburg Castle but a girl’s got to do, what a girls got to do… 😉
I had decided I was going to hire a car in Dublin, since my trip would involve traveling to the North and then after the workshop I would be going to the South to spend some time with Mona (more on that later!) and after the first nerve wrecking ten minutes driving on the wrong side of the road, I was all fine and arrived at Belle Isle early in the afternoon. I was totally blown away by how gorgeous the location was! We slept in beautiful cottages, arranged around a open space. The cottages were very big with a living room, a kitchen and multiple bedrooms. All cottages were divided, so each cottage had two students, who each had their own bedroom. I shared my cottage with the great Pernille from Denmark.
The participants really came from all places; we had people from Israel, Denmark, US, Cyprus, Dubai, Ireland, Holland (..) and Austria and not all were bloggers either. That made for a very interesting bunch of people and we got to spend some time together on the Thursday evening with wine and good food before we would start with the official part of the workshop on Friday.
For Belle Isle this was their first photography class so two newspaper photographers came by and took our photo. The first one being shown above, who was – let’s say – rather interesting… You can probably guess by looking at Helene’s face how well he was received by the group. Lol.
The workshop itself was fabulous. We got cracking on the technical details on Friday and in between we got to play with the beautiful food that Corrie, head chef of Belle Isle and Ruth, her assistant, laid out for us. Starting of with desserts and moving on to antipasti plate later in the day.
The second day was all about tarts which I well tell you about in a separate post as they were sooo good. In the morning we made the tarts and in the afternoon Helene gave us some great tips on how to style and plate your food. Totally loved that part as it was incredibly helpful. After shooting are own skilfully made tarts in the afternoon, we ate those for dinner that same night accompanied by some delicious salads (and more wine..)
Our last and third day was spend relaxing a little bit, sightseeing at Florence Court House and selecting our photos for review in the afternoon. We were actually quite lucky with the weather as our first days, the days that were most important, were dry and even a little bit of sunshine came through. Unfortunately our last day was cloudy and rainy but all in all, no complaints there.
Our farewell dinner was delicious and you could tell by the noise in the room of everyone talking at the same time that we had all bonded in those few days and were having a blast. So much so that there was serious talk about a follow up workshop next year in France…. Can’t wait for that to happen!
And to finish off a photo of our group taken by the wonderful Bill, husband of Helene.