Leaving the clatter of city life behind, I drove through the countryside along winding steep banked lanes. The quiet of rural Somerset enveloped me and green fields stretched out ahead. I was travelling to the Weekend:IN Summer of Colour event at The Shed (@theshedsomerset), a beautiful converted barn, set amidst a blanket of patchwork fields.
Walking through the large glass doors into the stunning, open plan space, I was immediately immersed in the laid back, relaxed vibe. The reclaimed wood walls and comfy sofas, grouped around the wood burning stove, added to the cosy and inviting feel of the space. It was the perfect place for a large gathering, as in the middle, was a huge slate-topped antique table, with zesty coloured chairs surrounding it. To finish off the décor, there was a stunning floral installation along one wall, created by Wilderness Flowers (@wilderness_flowers) - it seemed like a serious statement of intent for the day ahead.
I was greeted in the huge kitchen by a lively crowd of can-do, sassy, independent-minded women, exchanging stories about their creative lives. As we took in views across the countryside, we enjoyed mugs of tea and delicious bites for nibbling and grazing. I immediately relaxed into the friendly, supportive and inclusive group that was forming.
There was a packed schedule lined up, with the day structured around a series of creative workshops. These were run by young, inspiring businesses, all with interesting stories to tell. The first of our workshops, run by Seven Boot Lane (@sevenbootlane), Hammam Havlu (@hammamhavlu) and Beija London (@beijalondon), was hosted in the pool house! There, we got busy with a summer photo styling challenge - using props supplied by the brands - shoes, swimwear, hammam towels and sunglasses. As we tuned into the creative process and set about the task of styling, the groups' mood became quiet and thoughtful, as we all went about interpreting the brief in own individual way.
Meanwhile, the kitchen island was laden with a tempting buffet lunch, ready for us to tuck in. We mingled and chatted under the shelter of the pool house roof, alongside a traditional pink rendered wall which felt very Mediterranean.
Team Ollie Quinn (@oqstories) treated us to our next workshop. The central table was piled high with brightly-coloured wool and accessories, ready for a pom-pom headdress party. After a little guidance, we got stuck into the making process, and the air was filled with chatter about wool colours and trim options. The final results revealed a mix of dramatic and eye popping designs, while others opted for a more understated, muted aesthetic. We then had fun modelling our creations with our Ollie Quinn sunglasses!
The afternoon ambled gently into the final activity - learning the art of relaxation with Yawn (@yawnlondon). Wearing our gifted pyjamas - cups of tea in hand - we snuggled down on the sofas around the stove to talk about our favourite ways to relax and wind down. The pyjamas have several unique details - my favourite being a message discretely hidden inside the sleeve - a gentle reminder to switch off at bedtime. Our mini ‘sleepover party’ then descended into good-humoured banter and lots of laughter as we played team party games.
Thank you Olivia - mistress of organisation! I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills while making new connections with an authentic and inspiring bunch of creatives, all set against a stunning backdrop.