Bramley apple and Blackberry pie

Today is apple day.
In 1809 a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford, planted a few pips in her garden in Southwell. Those pips grew into the apple tree that is responsible for one of Britains most beloved fruit.
Forty years later a local butcher bought Mary Ann's cottage and garden, after a decade of enjoying the trees fruits a nurseryman from the area asked him if he could sell some of the apples from the tree in his garden. The butcher agreed but wanted the apples to bear his name... Bramley.

Bramley's seedling were an important source of food during the First World War as during the 1900s the trees were extensively planted and the crop plenty.
Every single Bramley apple tree has come from the tree planted in that cottage garden in Nottinghamshire.

The tree was almost lost forever when in 1900 a destructive storm knocked it over, leaving it wounded on the grounds of the garden where he had grown and grown for nearly a hundred years. But from the old wood of the tree emerged a new one and it grew to be the monument we can see today.
The Bramley apple tree in Southwell has become the towns treasure and they host many celebrations of the Bramley Apple, there even is 'The Bramley apple Inn' which is located just a few doors away from where the original Bramley apple tree still grows his apples to this day.

Food Blogger Connect - Back to the Victorian school

Ellen Silverman at the photography workshop

When I started this blog not a bone in my body imagined that I would also gain so many friends.
It all began with Food Blogger Connect last year, I arrived at the conference without a twitter account, instagram or even Facebook page. To be honest I only knew of a few people's food blogs and I was almost convinced I was the only food blogger in Belgium...

This conference has changed my life, it has shown me that there are still people who are selfless and kind. People who are driven by passion and creativity. I was embraced by a community and went home with friends from all over the world.
I speak to them nearly every day trough various social media platforms and we see each other as often as we can. We travel to each others homes and have a taste of each others cultures, leaving to go home again full of inspiration.

As a first time attendee of the conference last year, a world of SEO, social media and photography opened for me. I discovered that (food) photography is my real passion in this world -other than this blog of course but they are entwined anyway-

The Ragged School room, our venue. picture
You get a taster of different kind of things, you enrich yourself with knowledge. What a lot of people don't realize is that as a (food) blogger you have be a storyteller, photographer, SEO-geek, social media expert and occasional web developer.
Luckily Food Blogger Connect offers talks and workshops on all these subjects.
Last year Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen explained to us how to create solid foundations for our blog and branding, Fiona Beckett from The Guardian told us to write something every day even if we don't publish it, Food and Travel editor Alex Mead gave us some pointers about pitching to magazines and BĂ©atrice Peltre shared her knowledge on food photography.

Last year the venue was a posh hotel, this year it was the Old Ragged School of Beaconsfield. A Victorian school building and railway arch that made my heart skip a beat. How romantic, having a weekend of lessons in a Victorian school... For three days I was trying to imagine how the school would have looked in bygone times.