Putting Redbrick on the Interior Map
The North is filled with so many talented creatives, yet most brands are headquartered, and most events are held in London and the South East and I get that, I get that London is the best place for many of these things to happen, but so many of us northerners, would love to attend more events, to network with others and to meet likeminded people. Sadly, the ever-increasing rail fares, the fact we have houses and jobs and families in the North, mean that we often fail to be able to take, what is typically a full day out, to get down to the capital on a regular basis.
There are others that recognise this disconnect, Karen Knox of Makingspaces with #designupnorth, Holly Wood of weblognorth and the Northern Blog Awards and Amy Wilson and Katie Woods of Nohouserules, all are working on creating a bit more noise about the North and creating events that we can attend.
Putting the North on the Interior Map, in fact!
When Redbrick approached me about working with them to put the complex firmly in the minds of creatives in the North and to help create the kind of events I've been talking about, it was an "no brainer" for me. Redbrick are the leading interiors destination in the North, filled to the brim with over 40 fantastic brands and what better place to host events to bring creative people together. right?
You can read more about Redbrick and my role here.
So, on Thursday 9th August 2018, I hosted my first dinner at Redbrick, aimed at bringing northern photographers, stylists, bloggers, and designers to Redbrick for dinner, to network, to meet the brands and the team, and for some, who were visiting Redbrick for the first time, a chance to see what a great place it is to visit.
Guests were greeted with my living room, which I have re-created at the entrance to the mill, some even chose to have a bit of a sit down! They were then whisked off for a glass of bubbly before a tour of the complex.
We'd started putting the North on the Map, now it was time to firmly cement Redbrick's position on it too. Although some guests had never visited before, 100% would definitely visit again, because there is no place like it; where you can shop several brands at once, to create an entire room scheme in one place but not just from all one brand.
Redbrick houses over 40 brands and there are some big names in the complex; BoConcept, MADE.COM, Heal's, Sofas & Stuff, Calligaris, Hülsta, Bagnodesign, Tom Dixon, Ligne Roset, Natuzzi, Vitra and the new IDDesign, a danish brand that is making waves in Scandinavia and the Middle East (the only place it exists in the UK), and many more.
You can likely spend a whole day at Redbrick, if you chose to, since there are a number of restaurants on site and they even have their own Spa; The Potting Shed.
So you can meet a friend, browse the interiors, grab some lunch and then head off for a massage or a facial. Sounds like my ideal day out!
After a tour and a chance to meet the brands, it was time for dinner.
The Location for Dinner
The Location for dinner was Filmore and Union at Redbrick, on the second floor- more on that later, and we took over the restaurant with one large table, shaped as an I, which was dressed by me, using items from around the Redbrick complex.
These were filled these with faux Abigail Ahern flowers, also available at Heal's Redbrick. The flowers were kept quite simple; greens hydrangeas, cream roses and burgundy peonies, plus some textural stems such as scabiosa, salt bush or eucalyptus.
A delicious tasting menu was provided by Filmore and Union, and although it has many restaurant locations across the North (Harrogate, York, Jesmond, Skipton and Ilkley, to name a few), this was the first time many of the attendees had eaten there and they absolutely loved it. The food was wholesome and delicious, packed full of flavour.
Filmore and Union is the brain child of founder Adele Ashley who during a ten year-long stint in a stressful IT recruitment job, would find herself grabbing a bacon sarnie for breakfast, powering through lunch with a ready meal and finishing the day with a bottle of wine… “I couldn’t find somewhere decent and healthy to eat, so I created my own."
Adele aimed to create "feel good" food that was delicious and healthy, but not feeling like a chore to eat it. It’s largely plant-based but there’s steak and fish on the menu. It’s also pretty much gluten-free, but it’s not aimed at people with food intolerances.
Starting with a mix of fresh salads (butterbean, red pepper and mixed salad with spirulina and maple dressing; curried cauliflower, sweet potato and red quinoa with a coriander and sesame dressing and sweet and spicy celeriac with a cashew, date and turmeric dressing), rustic breads, pâté and olives, we were then treated to mini burgers and smoked haddock and sweet potato fishcakes, smashed avocado with honey roast pear and feta cheese on toast and courgette and turmeric chickpea bites.
Desert was bite size pieces of dark chocolate brownie, white chocolate and raspberry blondie, vegan chocolate orange brownie, superseed bar with prunes, macadamia nuts and apricots, creme fresh and blueberries and strawberries.
After dinner, guests had chance for one more look around before heading home with not 1, not 2 but 3 goody bags. It was a wonderfully relaxed evening, a huge thanks to Redbrick for having us.
And watch this space, because there will be more events coming!
The Girl with The Green Sofa