Catch up on Bex’s latest chat with us, speaking to Jon Royle
Welcome to the first of my new quarterly posts for Uckfield FM! These will be jam-packed with reviews, tips and family updates every 3 months and I have loads of great places and adventures to share this time, so why not grab a cuppa and enjoy!
As well as being a beautiful new café, Coffee Barn also has a great stock of local deli products for sale! I absolutely love what they’ve done with the old barn in Olives Yard (previously Thyme For Food & Friends), they’ve given it a full renovation, added air conditioning, a new deck and lots of stylish new décor to compliment the old features in a modern way. The menu is great too with loads of great dishes, coffee and yummy sounding smoothies too. I need to go back again soon to try some more of their goodies!
Featuring a few locally based brands (in Brighton), I’ve done a round-up of awesomely colourful clothing from independent brands over on the Bexphoto blog. From comfy casual to smart and stylish, if you fancy injecting more colour into your wardrobe, I highly recommend each and every one of these, I wear all of them myself!
I can’t quite believe I’d never been to Birling Gap before but I’m pleased to say we had a blast there recently for a play-date in the Easter hols with our other twin friends! It was still cold but sunny (what is with this cold spring?!) so we had a lovely walk along the beach, exploring rock pools before a hot chocolate and another walk along the cliff up to the lighthouse. It was especially pretty with all the white fluffy clouds in the sky!
It was quite the rollercoaster of emotions, losing his first tooth! In the end it was hanging by a thread and he was so upset it wasn’t coming out, I had to step into my dentist shoes and give a little tug 😉 The whole story is captured, as always, in my photos over on the blog but here are a couple of favourites after it came out, revealing the new adult tooth behind…
He’s also had a new home haircut recently which was again a rollercoaster of expressions! I love photographing his face!!!
We’ve talked about Wilderness Wood many times but on our most recent visit we discovered their new, gigantic swing! It’s so awesome, I was a little worried the twins wouldn’t like it once up in the air but they loved it and wanted to keep taking more turns, I even had a go myself – it’s great fun!
They no longer have the lovely Wilderness Café there which is a shame but they do have a hatch instead where you can pay for access to the woods (£3 each or £10/family) and get tea/coffee or hot chocolate in an enamel mug to take to the picnic area. They’ve also moved the mud kitchen and built some more play areas around the old café but the zip line area was roped off when we went, I think there are a lot of new plans going on.
It’s SO much more fun playing games with the twins now they’re older and we can highly recommend the old classic, Connect 4 as well as our new favourite – Poo Bingo which is surprisingly educational! These are definitely our new rainy day go-to activity.
I did a couple of outdoor shoots in the bluebells this year including one for a branding client and a volunteer session for a family affected by childhood cancer. It’s such a beautiful setting and such a joy to be able to gift something so precious to a family who is weathering the most horrible storm while their daughter undergoes treatment for Neuroblastoma. I know they’re raising funds for Neuroblastoma UK so if anyone would like to help you can donate here.
For the first time since I started This Detailed Life photography magazine, I was able to go along and see it being printed here in Uckfield! We’ve always been in lockdown before so I’d never had the chance and it was fascinating seeing the giant machine (one of only two in the UK) and getting to proof the colours which was all important for our recent Colour themed edition! I’ll hopefully find some time to edit the video I took while there too and will add it to the blog post. They were so friendly and informative and they make This Detailed Life the most amazing quality magazine!
The twins have joined our local Beaver troop and they LOVE it! So far they’ve done a couple of hikes, been on the ropes at Branching Out Adventures and done Archery and Mexican food tasting! I wish I was a Beaver!
It seems like so long ago already but we had a lovely Easter, finally getting to reunite with family! Nik’s parents came to us for a slightly chilly al fresco lamb roast on the BBQ and the sun shone before the heavens opened on the Monday, phew!
Picture House Restaurant
We recently went for Sunday Lunch at the Picture House Restaurant and we really enjoyed it! You can literally see the excitement on the twins’ faces when we got home and I asked them to pose for a photo on our doorstep since they looked so smart…
I had the roast beef, Nik had the Kevin Bacon burger and the twins had fish & chips and I have to say, the chips were the best I think I’ve ever had! My beef was served pink and was very tasty and came with a jug of extra gravy which I love, you can never have enough gravy! 😉 The veg were all perfectly cooked and the giant Yorkshire was amazing too and it was only £12.95 for the roast. Oh and I have to mention our fab waiter, we thought he was brilliant, so cheerful and efficient, the kids had a great time and wanted to tell him how kind he was <3
What an honour to be shortlisted for the Food Photographer of the Year! It was with this summer photo of Priya enjoying her juicy watermelon.
Speaking of food photography, I’ve been playing around again with various colours and ingredients including our latest foraged Wild Garlic which we again turned into pesto as well as a delicious Chimmi Churri sauce (you can find the recipes on my Bexphoto blog along with the recent elderflower gin we foraged and made). I also wrote about the amazing local chocolate brand, Rowdy & Fancy’s, they have so many amazing flavours!
Hartfields celebrated their 10th anniversary a couple of weeks ago! They’ve come such a long way even since we’ve lived in Uckfield the past 7 years, expanding into the space next door to create the modern, industrial yet comfy space we all know and love on the High Street! I’ve always loved their brunches, the sweetcorn fritters being a firm favourite! Check out the blog for more of my recommendations and lots of fun photos of good times there.
Another great café, this time in Lewes. I only discovered Hannah’s recently as she entered by brand market research giveaway and won a branding photo shoot which was great fun! She uses locally sourced produce to create her vegetarian menu of delicious, healthy dishes. We created this cinemagraph together of her amazing, homemade Kombucha…
I’ve also just created a free guide for small businesses! You can download it here. It’s full of advice about which free apps and tools I personally use and recommend to help your business grow and ways to make it easier to manage. So far the feedback is that its really useful and most people hadn’t even heard of half of these! I think we could all use some extra help after the last year and a half, so many small businesses have been among the worst affected by lockdowns, I hope this helps even in some small way!
I’ll be filling you in on our Summer fun with Elderflower Fields Festival set to go ahead in July, we can’t wait! I’m one of their official photographers so I’ll have plenty of pics to share 🙂
Next month is our 10 year anniversary and we’re off to London to drop the twins off with my in-laws so we can head into town and eat lots of fancy food and enjoy some yummy cocktails! We’re yet to book anything so any recommendations for a special occasion would be great! You can message me on Facebook or Instagram or via my Bexphoto website.
The rest we’ll be playing by ear but we are hoping to get away for a staycation somewhere in the UK. We don’t fancy the risk of flying anywhere just yet, regardless of the traffic light system.
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