The Wild Atlantic Way

We knew we wanted to go to a remote, coastal location in the South of Ireland but we didn’t have a clue where so it was all a bit of guess work. Someone had suggested going to see the Skellig Islands so after a quick google search we found a lovely looking B&B in the Ring of Kerry. It turned out to be a great bit of guesswork because the location was perfect, although we never made it to the Skellig Islands, the boats do not go out in the winter because it’s too dangerous.

Our accommodation was about a three hour drive from Cork airport. Our host, Amelia, had given us coordinates because the B&B was in-between two towns, on an unnamed road, with no postcode. We loved the remote location, it gave us a sense of adventure!

We stayed at Picín cottage, a wonderful 200-year-old stone cottage ( It has one double bedroom with its own garden and the most fabulous bathroom with a cast-iron bath and a lovely, old wood-burner. Breakfast includes homemade bread, granola and fresh fruit. A full Irish breakfast and local smoked salmon are also available. Amelia is the perfect host, always on hand and full of helpful information. She made us feel very welcome.

Picín B&B

Picín B&B

Picín B&B

Picín B&B

We arrived quite late in the day so our first question was ‘Where is the nearest pub?’. It turns out the local pub is about a 50 minute walk from where we were staying, it was too dark to walk so Amelia arranged a taxi for us. It was the only taxi in the area who also picks up other locals on their way to the pub so we had a car full by the time we arrived at The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel (

The Blind Piper is a proper Irish pub steeped in tradition, it did not disappoint. It was a cold night so we sat around the open fire slowly getting merry with the locals. We made a few friends that night, Jeremiah was our favourite!

The Blind Piper

The next day we set off along the Wild Atlantic Way (, the name alone is enough to excite! First stop, beach trekking along Derrynane Bay with Eagle Rock, one of Ireland’s best known and oldest equestrian centres ( I must admit, I am a nervous horse rider but my boyfriend loves it so the chance to go trekking along the beach in the stunning surroundings of Derrynane National Historic Park could not be missed. Our instructor, Caroline, was brilliant – she gave us the right horses to suit our levels (scaredy cat beginner and confident basic).

Beach trekkingEagle Rock Equestrian Centre

After taking in the views by horse we jumped in the car and continued north along the coast. The Wild Atlantic Way offers some of the most breath taking views I have ever seen – we explored St Finian’s Bay, the Skellig Ring and Valentia Island before eventually stopping in Portmagee. Portmagee is a small fishing village on the south western tip of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. There is a great view of the Skellig Islands from Portmagee, it was a shame we couldn’t get a boat over to see them. The Skellig Islands are two small islands lying about 13 km out to sea, famous for their gannet and puffin populations, and a sixth-century Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wild Atlantic WayWild Atlantic WayWild Atlantic WayWild Atlantic WayWild Atlantic WayWild Atlantic Way

On our third and final day we took the magnificent, scenic route through the Killarney National Park to Cork airport. The inland drive is a completely different experience to the Wild Atlantic Way, we drove through snow topped mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls. The sun shone brilliantly at the summit of Molls gap and then descending into Killarney we discovered Ladies View, a view point where the lakes of Killarney can be seen. We looked down on a thick layer of fog that floated over the town below. Descending further we were immersed in the thick fog, it was both magical and eery at the same time.

Killarney National ParkKillarney National ParkKillarney National ParkKillarney National Park

By the time we came out of the fog we were about an hour away from the airport, our trip was almost over, it was short and sweet. I can honestly say the West coast of Ireland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, it was three days full of scenic beauty and unforgettable experiences. I plan to come back and explore the rest of the Wild Atlantic Way one day, picking up where we left off, there is only another 2350km to go!

20 Fenchurch Street

20 Fenchurch Street

I have been nervously watching the development of 20 Fenchurch Street (aka the walkie talkie building) for the last few years. People who live and work in London tend to have very strong opinions about “iconic” developments like this.

I am not a fan of “iconic” architecture, that goes for print and web design too. Beatrice Warde got it right with her ‘crystal goblet’ approach to design – I like stuff that works, plain and simple.

I had seen the plans for the walkie talkie building and was not looking forward to the new addition to London’s skyline. It looked bloated, thuggish and completely out of sync with its surroundings, I couldn’t imagine how it was going to fit in.

Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, the building was completed in 2014 ( Walking past it everyday I was hoping I would grow to love it but it just wasn’t happening. However, I did start to feel curious, what was this sky garden that I had heard so much about?

The top three floors of the building are open to the public, this space is known as the Sky Garden. The Sky Garden is advertised as a beautiful landscaped garden with a viewing area, terrace, café, bar and restaurant. Despite my feelings towards the walkie talkie building I couldn’t resist going up – I had been obsessed with this building for some time now!

It’s free to go up but you have to book tickets through an online booking system at least three days in advance ( I think I must have booked the day the website opened because the whole of January was available, or maybe everyone else despised the building as much as me?

I booked six tickets (that’s the maximum you can book) and off we went on a cold winter’s day. A quick security check on the ground floor and then up to the top. As we stepped out of the lift the view immediately wowed us, the Shard was shining in all its glory, rising up above the rest of London. Maybe I wouldn’t hate this so much.

I booked a time slot 45 minutes before sunset, I highly recommend doing this because you get to see London in the day and night. We spent two hours in the Sky Garden – we did a lap in the daylight, drank a few lovely cocktails from the bar, and then one more lap after the sun had set to see London twinkling before us. It was beautiful.

I think the online booking system is a great idea because it prevents the space from getting too busy. There is a seat for everyone in the bar and you can walk around and appreciate the views without other people getting in the way. I am not really sure you can call it a garden but I liked it anyway, there was just about enough trees up there.

After visiting, I decided that it’s not actually the design that I hate so much (architect Rafael Viñoly has done a really great job), it’s the location. All you need to do is move the building a bit further into the city so it is surrounded by other tall buildings and then it might not look so out of place.

Sky Garden

Looking east

Looking down on the bar areaEnjoying a cocktail

View from the Terrace

Wood type

Over the years I have had various encounters with letterpress printing but never had the time to make it a hobby, until now!

My love of type began at the University of Reading while studying design ( We were lucky enough to be surrounded by every kind of type imaginable but I only ever got the chance to use a proofing press while I was there. A few years later, in 2010, I completed a two week internship with Phil Abel at Hand & Eye (, unlike most modern printers, Hand & Eye use only letterpress machines. It was here that my passion for letterpress printing grew. I was shocked by how hard a day’s work was, well compared to sitting at my Apple Mac all day anyway, but each day I felt like I had really accomplished something. Phil’s love of type was clear to see and it got me really excited about all the possibilities.

I went back to work full of beans and shared my excitement with others in the studio ( John Schwartz (our MD) was kind enough to buy  an Adana Press for the studio ( and that was that. Over the past few years I have designed and printed various wedding invitations for friends but I haven’t had the time to print for myself. With Christmas just around the corner, I decided it was time to start printing the wood letters I have been collecting over the years. I have acquired these letters from numerous places but mostly from The Old Printing Shop of London (

I am no professional, if I were a professional my prints could be somewhat perfected but I quite like that they are not exactly perfect because, if they were perfect, in today’s world it is hard to tell the difference between digital and letterpress printing. My slightly worn out wood type tells a story, you can see where someone dropped it once, or where it has been used so much that is has worn out a bit. To me these imperfections make it all the more exciting! I like to imagine what the type has been used for in a past life.

Some of you lovely people will be receiving these prints as Christmas presents so sorry for spoiling the surprise! With Christmas in mind, Pantone gold ink was the obvious choice. I had so much fun printing these and want share my photos with you.

You can buy my lovely gold letters here:

And I will be printing some new letters very soon. If you would like to commission a letter then drop me a line. Enjoy! x



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