THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan25

Quay Theatre, Sudbury

New Talk at the Quay Theatre, Sudbury

Darren will be presenting a brand new talk on March 12th, 2017 at the beautiful Quay Theatre in Sudbury.

Visit the Quay’s website for details!

The theatre itself is just past the cricket ground, next to the river, and not only provides Suffolk with a range of theatre, music, comedy and talks (like Darren’s new one!) but every Friday and Saturday night it opens its top floor to Carl Shillingford.

Carl is a Michelin trained chef and something of a Sudbury secret. He forages and prepares a range of ‘wild’ foods, creating his own recipes, before serving a small number of covers each evening.

It feels like a strange business model, because where do you go from there? Neither the restaurant nor the kitchen are big enough to expand into, so each week Shillingford’s can only do the same work. We mentioned it is a strange business model, but actually it is just different – you are there to do good work, put your name on it and take responsibility for it, thrill people every week. You earn enough money and you get to do it again.

It is almost the Anti-Trump way of working – growth is not the point, doing something amazing is.

Considering the waiting list is months long for a table – Shillingfords at the Quay Theatre are doing something right!

We met Carl briefly at an event we did about 18 months ago, where he demonstrated some of the food he cooks (this was foraged mushrooms, yummy and divine!) and when we popped into the Quay to sign some paperwork ready for our talk, we took a brief look upstairs at the restaurant.

It looked fab, tucked away on the top floor. On the menu board were a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts. One of the desserts was a local, Suffolk cheese board. How fresh and good does that sound? All the dishes were reasonably priced, like £8 or £10….

They currently have 126 reviews on Trip Advisor. 123 of these reviews are excellent, 3 reviews are very good.

New Talk at the Quay, Sudbury

As we mentioned, March 12th we will be presenting our new talk at the Quay Theatre in Sudbury. We think the place is beautiful and offers lots to try out – whether food, a show, or just sitting by the river – so do take a closer look on their website and plan your visit.

Green Elements, A New Talk by Darren of Modern Mint

Jun10

Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …

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May10

Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.

Apr28

Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …

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