THE MODERN MINT BLOG
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.
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.
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022