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Food & Travel Writing & Photography

'You can even take great pictures on a phone. With the careful use of an app you can snap-and-share professional and arresting images and, if you’re blogging, this is just the job. Limiting what you have forces you to be inventive, focuses the eye and enhances creativity.' Alastair Hendy.

This exciting new food and travel writing and photography course is directed by award winning photographer Alastair Hendy, who is recognized as one of the best working food and travel photographers in this field. The aim of the course is to share with you the knowledge and skills of his profession, and the areas of food and travel photography and writing that most interest you.

Whether you want to begin food writing, improve your writing skills, or learn how to take a winning picture, we offer a complete weekend course by the sea held at our 16th Century Tudor house and our Georgian store in Hastings Old Town. Located next to Hastings’ fishing fleet and the fishermen’s net huts, you will also enjoy a plentiful supply of fresh-off-the-boat seafood. Here, you can draw inspiration from around you and share your work in a supportive atmosphere. The course offers room to write and arresting escape, far away from the bustle of your busy life, and in the privacy of two unique settings. We also offer one day courses in our Shoreditch warehouse apartment, London. Above all, we aim to find you your own unique culinary voice, which could even find you your very own bestseller. The avenues to food and travel writing are many, and Alastair Hendy will show you just how thrilling and rewarding it can be.

Food writing, photography and food styling work synergistically – they add up to more than the sum of their parts. The visual side of the editorial cookery world, in food blogs, and especially in magazine work, has become a driving force with commissioning editors. Classes will give you the know-how on winning your way in with art editor as well as the food editor, with tips on food styling and food and travel photography, and the ins and outs of agents, copyright and syndication of your work. Learn how to make it a profitable business. Above all, learn how to engage the reader - to communicate your passion.

Photography

Shooting food and travel stories has been Alastair’s business for 20 years. ‘He is a passionate traveler and has a superb eye for capturing the mood of a country through detail, and working it seamlessly with local home food. His images are exquisite, and he is the most forward-looking food stylist in the UK,’ says Neal Whitaker, editorial director of FPC Magazines.

Newspapers, magazines, books and websites worldwide are continually on the look-out for new and interesting images. The opportunities are enormous and always growing. The many thousands of global publications are the freelance photographer's main market; not to mention all the metropolitan, regional and community newspapers, along with corporate publications, websites and a host of other possible markets, including food blogs. Food-bloggers have learnt that good, competently shot, stylish images make their blog stand out head-and-shoulders above all others. Bad food photography is the scourge of the world wide web. Now there are so many in this field, the visual side of blogging is absolutely key to the success of food and travel blogs.

What camera? What’s the best light? And which lens? Win your way through by understanding how the camera works its magic with the subject, and gain many tips on how to create, shoot and achieve a seductive image. Learn how to capture that magical moment. A food and travel writer who can also take great pictures is a magazine editor’s dream.

Alastair has a wealth of information to share, and will stress how you can achieve excellent results without fancy equipment or professional paraphernalia. ‘Limiting what you have forces you to be inventive, focuses the eye and enhances creativity’ says Alastair. ‘You can even take great pictures on a phone. With the careful use of an app you can snap-and-share professional and arresting images, and if you’re blogging, this is just the job.’ He will also give many tips on how to access the food and travel media world, and how to make it a business. By the end of this course you will have gained sound knowledge and skills on how to capture that perfect image and, even better, then go on to be paid for your pictures.

Food writing

Voice, rhythm and content are the ingredients that make a good read. The same loose rules apply in food writing, from drafting the simplest of recipes, to eulogising about a supper, to penning a gastronomic scholarly tome. Find out how to breathe life on to the page and how to craft a winning recipe. Learn how to lead readers through a market or souk, in the kitchen or out in the field; to write creatively and inform around food from life’s experience. Then armed with the literary tricks of the trade, win your way into magazines and with book publishers and, even, go on to create your very own bestseller.

Writing from life - transforming truth into story – is one of the most comfortable routes into writing, but how is it done? We will show you how to use visual memory and written prompts, then how to transform and hone your material into a structured and imaginative narrative - an excellent read or a beautiful recipe. Above all, we aim to find you your own unique culinary voice. The avenues in food writing are many, and Alastair will show you just how thrilling and rewarding it can be. Bring your food memories and put them to paper.

How do I book?

Please see our Booking page

Please see our Contact us page

Please read our Terms & Conditions.

Where are the courses held?

Weekend courses are held between two unique and special locations: A G Hendy & Co Home Store’s kitchen at 36 High Street, our Georgian shop and restaurant set over three floors; and at our Tudor house at 135 All Saints Street. It’s an easy three-minute walk between the two.

One-day courses are held in Shoreditch London only.

What should I bring?

Please bring a laptop, if you use one. Wifi and a printer are provided. Please bring a copy of your own writing, if you would like to, or a copy of a food and travel or cookery related piece of writing or book you admire, plus of course anything else that inspires.

For the weekend course, please also bring your camera and a tripod, if you have them. We cannot provide cameras or tripods for your own use. If you prefer to take pictures on your iphone or other smart phone, then please feel free to use this. Alastair can show you how to get the best out of your phone.

Are meals provided?

The one day course includes lunch. Hastings based courses that run two days include an evening supper on arrival on the Friday, and lunch will also be provided on the Saturday and Sunday. We will all cook supper together on the Saturday. When weather permits, we can also combine cooking on the beach as part of the course. The fee includes all ingredients and meals. Wine and spirits are additional. There is no evening meal provided Sunday night.

What else does a weekend course include?

The two day course includes a private tutorial, a time for you to share your work and thoughts in a one-to-one relaxed conversation with Alastair, who will offer you support and guidance with your work.

Some more questions answered

Nearby on-street parking is available in Hastings

Gift vouchers are available

No pets

If you have any allergies please let us know when booking your course

 

LONDON DAY COURSE

Arrival and departure

The course starts at 9.30am in London Shoreditch, and finishes at 6pm.

No. 2
8 – 13 New Inn Street
Shoreditch
London EC2A 3PY
+44 (0)20 7739 5995

HASTINGS WEEKEND COURSE

Arrival and departure

The weekend course starts on Friday at 6pm at 135 All Saints Street, our Tudor House, and finishes on Sunday at 5pm.

135 All Saints Street
Hastings Old Town
TN34 3BG
+44 (0)7930 406418

Accommodation

Part of the attraction of the weekend course is the unique experience of staying overnight in our Tudor house. A home that is simply furnished, candle-lit and with log fires. The recent restoration of the house has allowed it to breathe and, without the fakery that would be involved in re-creating a Tudor interior, the rooms have been humbly furnished to reflect the character of the house, to produce a fresh, magical environment quite unlike conventional ‘restored’ interiors. This does also mean that noises travel, floors slope, eaves are low, and stairs are steeper than normal.

The house sleeps four people between two rooms: one double and one twin. These rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis, are at additional cost to the course fee, and require a booking of a two-night stay. Alternative accommodation can be arranged at various nearby quality B&Bs which we can recommend. 

Please do contact us for the house stay rates or if you need more clarification.

If staying at the Tudor house on the Friday night, aim to arrive at the house any time you wish after 4pm. Please remember the course starts here at 6pm, and a simple supper will be served at 9pm.

If you are staying in other accommodation and/or prefer to arrive first thing Saturday morning, then please do. Either way, please let us know which day you will arrive and an approximate time of arrival.

Hastings

Hastings is steeped in history. With its eclectic mix of antique and junk shops, art galleries, second- hand bookshops and wealth of Tudor and Georgian architecture, it is the perfect place for a holiday by the sea. Take the funicular railway to the top of the East Hill and take in the sea views, the fisherman’s beach and its unique net huts. Visit the Fisherman’s Museum, the Jerwood art gallery, smugglers’ caves and the ruins of William the Conqueror’s medieval castle. You can visit St Leonards-on-Sea, with its 19th century architecture is a half-mile walk away along the promenade; and Battle, which is a 15-minute car ride inland, where you can explore the ruined Abbey and the 1066 Battle Of Hastings battlefield.