Friday Favourites – I WANT TO BE …. A FACE PAINTER!

WARNING – THIS BLOG CONTAINS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL. I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR THE LENGTH OF THE ARTICLE!  GRAB A COFFEE, GET COMFY AND READ ON…

 

I am receiving an increasing number of requests to provide training, from those just wanting a few basic skills to paint their own children or to help support PTA events at their schools to others who want to start pursuing a professional career in our crazy colourful business.

I do occasionally offer beginners workshops but right now with a house move on the cards and setting up a second business this year; I’m afraid I’m stretched to the max!

All is not lost however!!! I would like to use this week’s “Friday Favourites” opportunity to share with you some fantastic opportunities for those wishing to take things a little more seriously.

For anyone thinking it’s simply a case of grabbing some bedraggled brushes from your children’s arts and crafts box; buying a cheap and cheerful set of paints from your local craft supplier (or God forbid, your nearest “pound store”) and a “how to face paint” book and slapping a few colours on some eager kids’ faces … the please, please, please reconsider.

Professional face painters spend many, many hours training, practising and sharing ideas with each other.   They invest hundreds of pounds into professional equipment, materials and ongoing training and the “mirror moment” of delight in the child (or adult’s) face when the design is complete is our main reward for our dedication.

The majority in our profession love nothing more that to share our passion and there are endless opportunities throughout the year (and all over the world) to benefit from the generosity of artists far and wide – sharing their skills, ideas and love for the industry through jams, conventions, conferences, festivals etc.  I’ll have to leave my tips on those till another week as that’s a whole other blog in itself so, for now, let me focus on some of the inspirational, generous artists out there offering to help you broaden your skills with their training workshops.

The London School of Face Painting

Set up in 2003 by Bibi Freeman and Caro Childs this was where I personally took my first tentative and very nervous steps into the face painting world!

The principal tutors are world champion facepainter Bibi Freeman and Christine Mavromatis with additional guest tutors as required.

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They offer a huge range of one day workshops allowing you to build your own ongoing personal development programme at your own pace and budget.

Most people starting out find the “Introduction Part 1 and 2” useful, followed by “Starting Professional Facepainting” for some valuable advice in starting out in business and practical tips on painting under pressure!

Click here to find out more about the classes on offer.

NamNams Face and Body Art

If you love painting at festivals; hen nights; night clubs … in fact anything aimed at teenagers and older then Nams is your girl!  Naomi has a wealth of experience in this field; she is a hugely talented artist and a great teacher.

Naomi Gaye is an artist I constantly admire and have featured in previous blogs.

Fortunately for us all, she now tours the country sharing her wonderful talent with a particular focus on adult eye designs.

She has a course coming up next month in West Malling, Kent, being hosted by Pampered Delights and Cosmic Face Painting.

The date is Friday 25th April from 10am – 3pm and the cost is £80 per person.

The class is aimed at face painters with experience painting children who would like to branch out and learn some new techniques to use on adults and teenagers. This class will give you lots of techniques and ideas to widen your repertoire and hopefully enable you to widen your market and get more business!

Please have a look in the festival galleries on her facebook page for plenty of examples of the kind of eye designs she paints.

The class will cover:

– Placement of design on the face
– Use of colour including co-ordination
– Building up designs with layers of detail
– Lots of different techniques that can be mixed and matched to make a range of different designs
– Designs for men as this is where a lot of people struggle
– Information about working at adults events, eg festivals, night clubs

You must bring your own kit to this class and already have at least some face painting experience, not suitable for complete beginners. If you are interested in hosting a class in your area, please do get in touch with Naomi.

For this class please book through Clare at clare@pampereddelights.co.uk

The Face Painting Shop

The Face Painting Shop is the brainchild of the very lovely Nathalie and is quite literally an Aladdin’s Cave for face and body artists!  A long over-due “hands-on” Utopia!  The only shop dedicated to our industry in the UK as far as I’m aware.  Here’s a sneaky peak!

 

Not only do they offer the most incredible array of products in store and online , you can also book up for classes or even drop in for the odd free event! You might want to like their Facebook page to keep tabs on what’s coming up.

Here’s a link to their imminent one day workshops

http://www.thefacepaintingshop.com/Workshops%20Training

Or, if you’re free over the Easter Holidays why not pop along on 11th April for a free demo day for anyone wanting an insight into the wonderful world of airbrushing and a chance to try before you buy.  Nathalie promises lots of tea and cakes and children are welcomed!

Façade Academy of Face and Body Art

Launched 6 years ago by Juliet Eve, an award winning and highly experienced face painter.  She is always willing to share her knowledge and experience and is a great supporter of FACE, The Face Painting Association.

Juliet and invited instructors run weekly scheduled courses from her base in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, UK. These are for beginners to advanced, also body painting, airbrush, Glitterart and temporary tattoos.  She frequently travels around the UK and Europe conducting bespoke and 1-2-1 classes and often hosts visiting instructors from all over the world. Nick Wolfe will be visiting from the States on 5th May 2014.

FACADE Click on this link to view the schedule of classes for the next few months and you can follow all the latest news by visiting her blog here.

Follies Face and Body Art

Based in Kent, Liz Bylett and her team offer a whole host of opportunities for development.

Liz tells us more …  “The introduction day is full on with so much info…. “Improvers” is a great next stepping stone for extending skills new tips and techniques.  Then from there is a specialist one stroke rainbow cakes day- which can be taken as a one off with no prior knowledge but works best with prior skills!  Then we have the amazing 5 day Master class route where you learn all of the skills for face and body art in 5 days!  Plus you get a kit included. And images on the last body paint day too!  Or you can take the body paint as separate 2 day course in itself.

Then we also have henna and glitter tattoos and balloons days to add on to your party businesses.

And finally, new for 2014, is our “Make Up- Intro Day, Bridal Day, plus Avant Garde- my fave!!”

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Full details of all the courses run by Follies can be found by clicking here.

Brierley Thorpe

Another star of our painty world, Brierley invites you to her wonderful garden studio to partake in a variety of colourful, individual classes.

BRIERLEY

Her Spring/Summer schedule includes a range of glorious subjects and her classes are limited to a maximum of 4 attendees.

All classes are held in East London and are priced at £90 per person per day and run from 11am – 4pm.

Friday 23rd May 2014 : One Stroke Florals:

Aimed at painters new to, or struggling with one stroke painting. Learn the essential strokes necessary for petals, leaves and more abstract floral shapes. We will practice the strokes on our arms, build them up into individual flowers and then assemble larger pieces on each other’s arms, chests and faces. We will focus on roses, pansies, fuscias , daffodils and a range of leaves including ivy, holly and autumn leaves, depending upon time. Useful for children’s and adults’ faces and body designs.

Friday 6th June 2014 : Roses:

A whole day devoted to roses?! Having taught one stroke florals, I have found that painters can easily spend a whole day concentrating on roses, so if it is roses you are determined to master in lots of forms, this class is for you!

We will learn one stroke roses, tattoo roses and more realistic, detailed roses, buds and foliage.

Aimed at painters who have a fairly broad experience in various techniques at beginner to intermediate level, but who maybe avoid painting roses. Master the techniques over this day and you’ll be painting roses all the time!

Friday 27th June 2014 : One Stroke Characters:

Learn the essential strokes to create popular animal characters – dragons, snakes, sea horses, scorpions, penguins, plus graffiti writing, fairies and robots, all using clear, crisp strokes which are transferrable to other designs. We will look at all of these if time permits. We will paint our own and each other’s arms.

 Friday 18th July 2014 : Girls faces:

In this class we will look at the essential ingredients for creating beautiful designs for girls : crowns, swirls, dots, stars, starbursts, crescents, one stroke roses and buds,  multi- dipped flowers and leaves, small butterflies, rainbows – layered over stencil work and complemented by gems and glitter. We will look at the golden rules of placement and explore colour combinations, flow and dynamics.  Suitable for painters with some experience who are maybe struggling with placement or certain techniques, or are looking for some inspiration in readiness for the summer.

Friday 29th August 2014 : Women’s Eye designs:

Suitable for painters with some general face painting experience but who are maybe nervous about creating adult eye designs professionally, or are stuck for ideas, or looking for guidance with placement or certain techniques.

We will use one stroke, double (multi) dipping, line work, stencils, feather and gems and combine face paint with eye shadow and makeup. This class is all about creating flattering designs for women which can (mostly) be created very quickly.

Friday 26th September 2014 : Mixed Media:

In this fun class we will experiment with a range of techniques, styles and products to create colourful arm designs for older children / teens and after lunch progress to larger eye designs and upper chest or arm designs for adult bookings of for portfolio work. We will build layered designs using stencils gems and small prosthetic pieces. Be prepared to dive in and surprise yourself !

For further info and full details on what to bring, please email Brierley at furfangfairy@googlemail.com or call 07808 738 436

You can see more of Brierley’s work on her Facebook page.

 

This is just an introduction to some of my favourites – there are many other wonderful artists out there willing to share their skills and experience.  Please feel free to comment below on any recommendations you’d like to add or reviews on the people I’ve mentioned.

 

 

Friday Favourites – FULL CIRCLE!

Bump Art is one of those “Marmite” ideas!  You love it or hate it!  For me it’s one of my FAVOURITE areas of my work!  I remember my own pregnancy with such fondness and I am thrilled whenever I am invited to share some precious hours with new mums-to-be and help them create a particularly special and fun memory of their treasured time.

In 2011 we appeared on the BBC for Comic Relief painting bumps for Red Nose Day.  As part of a UK wide team, we raised nearly £8,000 for this worthy cause and had a lot of fun in the process!  Sarah and Katy were two of my beautiful models who have since become my friends too!

Today, three years on (and coincidentally the start of Sport Relief weekend)  I met up with Sarah and Katy again with their “babies” to celebrate their third birthdays!  They were both absolute angels but just as wriggly in real life as they were as bumps!!!  The children that is, not the Mums!

So for this week’s Friday Favourites I wanted to share this fun area of my work with you with the help of two very cute models!

Sarah

Katy Bump

Best Buddies

Sarah and Katy

If you would like to book a Bump Art experience for yourself or as a gift for a loved one then please take a look at our website to find details of a special offer we have available currently in partnership with Lovelight Photography in Pirbright, Surrey.

Please click on this link Lovelight Showreel to have a peek at some previous shoots!

And one last bit of fun ….

Friday Favourites – BITS and BLOGS!

A little detour from all things painty and glittery this week!

I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite websites and blogs.  There are some real gems out there and I love discovering new and inspiring sites.  I’m just going to focus on four this week …. saving some others for a future Friday Favourite Special!

It goes without saying that I’m very proud of my own site www.fascinatingfaces.co.uk cleverly created by the geniuses at Bright Five in York and winner of a Bronze Award in both the 2012 and 2013 Mumpreneur UK Awards.

Fasc Face Website

I gave them a very limited budget but a free reign on the design and they nailed it (and a logo) in one go.  Their own website is having a fabulous revamp right now but you can meet the team and read their musings on their blog.  http://brightfive.com/blog

Moving on to less biased favourites …

FABULOUS FAMILIES

Last August, through the wonders of Facebook, and having been totally enraptured by a photo of the cutest bunny missing its owner,  I discovered a heart warming blog called Family Days, Tried and Tested.  Deborah and her family had found this sad lost soul on Baggy Point beach in North Devon and were doing their best to reunite him with his owner.

Bunny

Click here for more photos of Bunny’s adventures in Wales.

29,871 shares and a little over 24 hours later and his heart-broken owner was traced to Aylesbury and bunny was very quickly and safely posted home!  It captured my heart (and several thousand others) and I’ve been an avid follower of their posts ever since!

It follows the magical adventures of a Welsh family of 6 children ranging in age from 1 to 20!  They embrace the outdoor life come rain or shine and are always up to something new and exciting.

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Each adventure is punctuated with exquisite photographs that capture the magical innocence of childhood.  Like me; they love to document their life with these images and I find them a constant source of inspiration for ideas to do with my own daughter.   I highly recommend liking their Facebook page as I find it the easiest way to keep up with their news!

Take a peek at some of Deborah’s endearing photos – I’m sure you’ll be hooked in no time too!

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FANTASTIC PHOTOS!

Whilst on the subject of photography, I had to include the fabulous Sarah Aires in this article.

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I am extremely lucky to work with several incredible photographers, all of whom have been or will be featured in my blogs at some point!  It would be a crime to keep their talents to myself and a chosen few!

Sarah is a hugely talented photographer; an inspiring teacher and, actually, just a rather lovely, beautiful person who I’m blessed to now call a friend.  Her personality, love and warmth are evident in her work and you can see the results in her website and blog.  I was totally smitten with her site when it launched.  So memorable and unique; it encapsulates the concept of photography being seen as beautiful, timeless artwork on the walls of your home.  (I love clicking on the tassel and changing the wallpaper! Go on … have a go … you know you want to!! www.sarahairesphotography.co.uk)

Sarah Aires Weddings

Sarah is an amazing all-round photographer but I particularly adore the way she captures so much love and joyousness in her work with families, at engagement shoots and at weddings.

Sarah Aires Children

COURAGEOUS KIDS

As I said, I’m just looking at a few favourites today and my final fave is the rather marvellous “Smiley Coach” – LISA PARKES!

I first met Lisa at a Fabulous Women Networking evening at the Radisson Edwardian Blu hotel in Guildford.  A perfect example of paths crossing at the right moment – we didn’t actually get an opportunity to connect until saying goodbye at the ticket machine in the car park late that night!  A fleeting chat that led to some welcomed support, opportunities and friendship.

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Lisa is a “life coach”.  A phrase I use hesitantly as I know it sadly turns a lot of people off but please hold back your preconceptions, open your minds and hear me out!  Lisa is the SMILEY COACH!  Her forte is supporting and guiding children of all ages through the quagmire of early life.  I have first hand experience of Lisa’s skills and can honestly say she has a magical bond with children.   Having attended several of her workshops and some 1:1 sesssions, my rather anxious 9 year old daughter refers to Lisa as “the lady who takes my worries away”.  Says it all really, doesn’t it?!

Lisa runs wonderful half day confidence workshops  covering topics that are particularly pertinent to young children – “get your worries out”; “get your angries out”; “friendship know-how” and “back to school preparation”.  Often craft based; restricted to small numbers and fabulous value – they are a wonderful tool to help children cope with the stresses of modern day life.

LISA

For more focused support, Lisa offers 1:1 coaching at her welcoming consulting rooms in Weybridge.   Also, coming very shortly, Lisa is teaming up with Judi Craddock of Peppermint Style to offer a programme of coaching focusing on helping young teens with their body image.

Life can be tough for us adults in this modern world; imagine how tricky it can be for our children to find the right stepping stones to guide them through.  Lisa and her colleagues are there to help parents and children navigate their way!

That’s all for this week!  I hope you love these as much as I do and I’d love to hear your feedback.  Have a great weekend!

 

FROM SMALL ACORNS …

I recently felt the “OCD” need to clear out some of my 24,000 photos on my hard drive and came across a load of images of when I first discovered the magical world of face painting.  So, after some onerous pontificating and as we approach the end of my 6th year in business, I thought I’d be brave and share them with you!

Allow me to take you back to the spring of 2007 – a visit with friends to a local bird sanctuary, Birdworld in Farnham, and my daughter and her best buddy had their first experience of facepainting!

We queued rather tentatively for some time, as is the norm at these places; the children totally mesmerised and hardly uttering a word as they watched the lady at work.

We finally reached the front of the queue and my beautiful, pretty, girly, “pink in every way” daughter asked to be … “a COW”!   All my coercing towards the butterfly and princess photos on display fell on deaf ears and a cow she was going to be!

I gulped, as a lump lodged in my throat, watching the intense concentration on her face as she tried so hard to keep still for the face painter.

And as for the expression on her face when she took her first glance in the mirror?!  My heart totally melted and from that moment on I was set on the idea of recreating that reaction for her again.   The two of them spent the rest of the afternoon admiring each other’s faces with delight!  (If anyone has any idea who the face painter was then I’d love to know – I’ve never managed to track her down since – and I’d love to thank her for being one of my inspirations to start painting!)

First Time

The idea for Fascinating Faces was created just a few months after!  It was a beginning that many professional face painters will relate to – I picked up a cheap set of paints and decided to just “have a go”.  I got hold of the usual beginners books and set to work on both daughter and husband; my very first attempt being a CLOWN.

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That face was to prove rather significant in the months and years to follow!

During the summer I decided to organise two summer parties for all of my daughter’s friends!  Fairies and pirates were the theme and, as a wannabe make-up artist since my teens, I was in my element with brush in one hand and sponge in the other!  (oh … and wings attached of course!)

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By then I was hooked and as they say, the rest is history!

My first “official” party had a circus theme and was held 120 miles away in Somerset by my daughter’s Godmother, Sophie, and good friend of mine since the age of 4.  The nerves kicked in big time and I spent hours surfing the net for clown face ideas, techniques for sponging and brushwork and attempting to buy the best paints I could for the job.  It was way back then that I discovered the virtues of Grimas cake white and I’ve never been without it since!

With shaking hands and my heart pounding I set to work on Sophie and her daughter followed by Daddy, Granny, Granddad and the Godparents!!!  They had all gone to town with their costumes and within no time the house was filled with white faces, red noses and crazy wigs and that was before any of the guests arrived!!!  I was then joined, somewhat surreally, by the lady who is the voice of Bella in the Tweenies and between us we painted our way through 15 more mini clowns and the party was complete …. all except me …. after all the nerves and excitement I ran out of time to paint myself!

At the party two photos were taken of Sophie and Ellie Mae that have remained as a constant in my portfolio ever since!  They were just so smiley and cute and summed up the atmosphere of the party and my initiation into the facepainting industry as a professional!!!

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Five years on I had an opportunity to recreate that magical day and painted Sophie and Ellie once again!

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Clowns have been an underlying (and unrealised) influence since my childhood love of Pierrot and they now represent a very important part of my life – my business – something I’m extremely proud of.

It has given me an opportunity to combine my two passions, art and children within an industry that has allowed me to use my business and creative skills to the max without compromising my most important role in life – being a mum!  It has also introduced me to some incredibly talented people who I am now proud to call my friends.

I’m now going to brave sharing with you some photos that illustrate my journey in the early days and would invite you to check out my current website gallery to see the progress that is possible as a result of an investment in training; hours of practice and the support and guidance of some amazing people in this industry.

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Early 5

In 2008 I plucked up the courage to enter a competition!  Ended up being put in the “Intermediate” category by mistake after applying as a “Beginner”!  Didn’t get placed but was proud to see my work on display!

Early1

And just a few years later something happened that in 2007 I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams ….. the theme was “Heaven and Hell” and the live competition was “Face Painter of the Year”.

FPOTY

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”  

C.S Lewis

Spreading Paint and Glitter Across the World

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Woking Hospice is a place that is very dear to my family.  The team there have cared for two of our good friends in recent years and helped their families cope with the heartbreaking loss of their loved ones.

I have been so impressed by the counselling that is provided for the bereaved children particularly by a rather charming lady, Julie Cole, Children’s Services Manager.

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Several years ago, a specialist counselling group was set up by the hospice in memory of a young man (and friend of my stepson) called Tom Di Felice who was tragically killed in a road accident on 15/12/2009 – he was 17 years old.  Through tireless fund raising by Tom’s family and friends, the “Tommy D Project” was launched.  The group is there to help young teenagers, who have lost someone close to them, through their bereavement.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Julie last year and was in awe of the work she does with this group and the “Footsteps” group for the younger children too.

In 2012, Julie had the idea to plan a trip to Kenya to take the Tommy D group to volunteer at The Children of the Rising Sun Orphanage in Malindi, Kenya, which is home to 60 orphaned and abandoned children.

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Each member of the group had to fund raise to cover their £2,000 travel costs.  Endless car boot sales, car washes, quiz nights, mufti days, sponsored walks etc followed as they all worked hard towards their targets.

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Following a fund raising event I organised for the hospice in August last year, I was invited to meet the team and offer some basic face painting training to give them the skills to offer the service at various events to help add to their fund raising efforts.  One sunny but chilly day in Woking in October we spent several hours spreading paint; glitter and smiles around the room; set them up with some mini kits and sent them on their way to raise valuable funds.

12 months on and I received the most wonderful email in my inbox.  A message from my young friend Megan, just back from Kenya, full of emotion and excitement about her trip and attaching photographs that made me shed a few tears.   The teenagers had all taken their face paints to Kenya with them and had had an opportunity to paint the orphans who had never experienced face painting in their lives.

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It was so moving to think that just a few hours training a year before led to something happening 6,641 miles away that will no doubt be a memory they treasure for the rest of their lives.  (Loving the fact that I now know, thanks to Google Maps, the exact mileage from my home to Malindi, Kenya!)

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Total respect to Julie Cole, Kate Whyatt, Nick Di Felice, Lisa Jones, Megan Lowe, Joe Plume, Liam Grant, Andrew Baynham, Francesca Sleet, Rafaella Barratt, Lucy Braithwaite and Robin Guy who made up the team.

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Most importantly, the kids self confidence grew, and they pushed themselves to limits they didn’t know they had!

FUN FACT!! –  as a group they lost 71 lbs in weight!  Result!  Wish I’d joined them!

The team hope to return next year, with some possible new Tommy D members who have joined in recent months as well as those from the previous trip!

If anyone would like to help by contributing to next years funds, they should specify, Tommy D, or Tommy D Kenya when donating.  See links below.

To read more about their adventures please click here.

http://www.wsbhospices.co.uk/our-care/counselling/children-and-young-adults/kenya-trip-2013/#.UlKt4WT47y_

To make a donation:

http://www.wsbhospices.co.uk/support-us/ways-to-give/donate-online/#.UkxsMGT47y8

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Easy Like Sunday … Afternoon!

I am blessed that my job takes me to some wonderful locations and the Black Swan in Ockham, Surrey is one of my favourites!

A pub that I frequented in my early 20s (back then it was affectionately known as “The Mucky Duck”) has changed beyond recognition since those dim and distant days.

Nestled in idyllic Surrey countryside, whilst being only minutes from the A3 and the M25, it is hugely popular with local walkers and cyclists but also attracts patrons from all over the country (and the world!).  When chatting with the parents of the children I’m painting I find that many use it as a central meeting point for family get-togethers and celebrations as it’s so easily accessible.

You can often find us set up just inside the entrance of the pub, especially on bank holiday weekends.  We have great fun keeping the children occupied whilst the parents enjoy the mouth-watering food on offer; and sometimes they brave my chair too and enjoy a good dousing of glitter themselves!

This Sunday we were invited to set up in the fabulous beer garden alongside several local food and wine producers at their popular Farmers’ Market.

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It was great to see Mary again with her melt in the mouth cakes and biscuits and I had another opportunity to paint her beautiful daughter, Emma.

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The Black Swan’s premium wine supplier, La Caves de Pyrene  was on hand offering wine tasting.  I avoided the temptation to partake but couldn’t resist purchasing a bottle to take away and enjoy later!

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I did sneak a nibble of the cheese on offer from Turner’s Fine Food  followed by another purchase!   I can highly recommend the Baromar (similar to cheddar) and the Plumptondown Lynchetts Soft (similar to camembert).

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Whilst overcast, the weather was kind and the Garden Menu was just as popular as the main Lunch Menu served in the restaurant.   My mouth was watering all afternoon as the pungent, aromatic smells wafted over to me from the delicious barbecue!  The two Rivitas that I had wolfed down whilst I set up my kit earlier just didn’t cut the mustard!

After a quiet start, the children came at me thick and fast!!  Dalmatians seemed to be the order of the day for many but of course there were your guaranteed array of tigers and butterflies wandering around the children’s play area by the end of the afternoon!

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A couple of wolf requests sneaked in too … a little spooky … I am reliably informed that back in the early 80s the pub was used as the set for “The Slaughtered Lamb” bar scene in An American Werewolf in London!  Strangely I do get asked for more than the average amount of wolf paints when I’m working there!

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You can find more information about the Black Swan here.

Liam and his fantastic team will be delighted to welcome you.  (Please do book if you want to eat in the restaurant – I have never known it not to be packed!)