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

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

When do you prune? Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits …

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Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

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Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies? I did a similar meet-up with garden designers in spring 2021. Here is where you can read the Topiary Provocation Spring …

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