I love builder’s tea - the familiar dark orange brew, strong enough to stand a spoon up - i have fond memories of my grandmother asking my grandfather to ‘mash the tea’ and mashed it was, not for the fainthearted tea drinker. Tea, along with coffee, serves as the backdrop to my daily life. For many years I’ve tried to like herbal tea, picking up box after box of beautifully packaged teas to add to a cupboard full of once drunk, not repeated brews. The scent is often reasonable but the flavour is dull, the attention to taste minimal. The contents of the teabags resembling the dust of harvests long passed, of grey plants tired and lacking in vitality.Read More
We admit that we are biased, influenced by our daily contact with this splendid flower, but our love affair with the rose here at A.S.APOTHECARY shows no signs of fading. And to celebrate this Queen of flowers in November is a case in point. The harvest this year was abundant and unusually long, with the extended summer and hot days stretching all the way into mid October, so we found ourselves still in the fields with our baskets until only a few weeks ago.Read More
Tara Gould writes about her first rose pick:
It's the sheer abundance of rose petals and the visual and sensual impact they have on you which is such a visceral pleasure. There are mounds and mounds of them, more than enough to submerge yourself in if you wanted to. More than I have ever seen in one place, so that the scent of them is overwhelming and slightly intoxicating…Read More
Once a year in June, when our Roses are in full bloom, I throw open the doors of the barn and welcome in the intrepid group of people who want to experience the absolute joy of wild perfumery. It's a day of immersion in scent, an invitation to try out the way I work myself and it’s utterly liberating.
Unexpectedly I find myself sitting – this is unheard of through the Summer when the flowers are reaching their peak and the distilling, drying and plant work flows like an unstoppable tide of greenery to rejoice over and manage. However, having fallen over rather badly whist dashing to the farm last week, I’m now directing operations rather than doing them. It is a very strange sensation.
It is a bright sunny day here, the scent from the jasmine by our door wafts in and roses from the farm brought by Emily our guardian of the garden, offer a reminder of the sheer abundance of this time of year.Read More
The barn at the farm is both sanctuary and plant space. It houses our Alembic Stills, the drying racks, shelves of jars and bottles filled with any number of experiments, flowers and herbs. It is the heart of A.S APOTHECARY. The place where ideas and ingredients come together in alchemical harmony. It is the place I retreat to when I need to think through an idea or reflect on some troubling aspect of life or business.Read More
At Asapoth, we love photography - we feel that unlike any other medium, through photographs we can invite you into the heart of our world. I asked Katie Vandyck, an excellent photographer and friend to write a little about her inspiration...Read More
From this month, the journal is changing, I'll still be writing once a month but friends and specialists are also coming on board to offer their thoughts and opinions - A.S APOTHECARY is evolving and we are delighted to bring together cooks, photographers, writers, perfumers, naturalists, beauty specialists and garden designers all of whom have a special connection with the land and something interesting to say - it's time to express ourselves!Read More
It’s nearly 9pm, I’m sitting outside the workshop on an old bench, it’s still warm and the scent from the workshop is suffusing the air all around me. Val, the big Alembic is gently bubbling away filled with roses from our distilling garden and Glyndebourne Opera House picked over 2 sunny days. It has been a long day, up at 5am to get everything ready, out to the workshop to scrub the Alembic clean, lashings of boiling water and a final wipe down with alcohol to ensure it’s as clean as a new pin.Read More
We have passed the mid point of our calendar year and the light tide is on the turn but it seems our true summer season is just beginning with some long awaited heat pinking up our cheeks. The freshness of spring has faded with the cow parsley but instead the hedgerows have been heaving with the fragrant creamy plates of Elderflower which seems particularly abundant this year.Read More