On a rather wet evening in May 2016 I joined a group of Bristol based creative-types who gathered for the third Yonder Collective dinner. The theme for the event was Encounters - encountering ordinary things in unexpected ways.
For me, the first encounter of the evening was discovering the hidden gem Salt Cafe Deli, whose beautiful, light space in Hotwells provided the perfect setting for the event. At the heart of Yonder Collective dinners is the idea of collaboration with a group of people coming together to curate each event from the food to the decor. Using the theme as inspiration two large dining tables were decorated simply and stylishly. Designer Lyzi elevated the menus and place setting from the ordinary using geometric and 3D shapes. These cool designs were complemented by centrepieces of geometric terrariums - each one handmade especially for the evening by the oh-so- talented Palyglass.
Perhaps the most surprising encounter for me was how much I enjoyed the drawing workshop which saw us encountering our own features in an unexpected way. I was slightly apprehensive at first but quickly got into the fun self-portrait exercises lead by Elinor John.
The food for this Yonder Collective dinner was provide by Griffet Catering, whose delicious seasonal menu perfectly captured the theme of the evening. The canapés which wound their way round the room were as intriguing as they were delicious. Fresh, crisp baby veg in smoked aubergine puree delivered on trowels, smoking boxes containing hops flavoured crisps, mackerel lolly pops and the prettiest morsels of edible flowers all provided the perfect talking point to break the ice with the first companions we found ourselves seated with. Not that the flow of conversation needed much encouragement!
Moving seats twice during the course of the evening was a great way for those present to get a chance to meet a wider variety of people. As we enjoyed a fantastic main of Spring Lamb, a delightful dessert of Doughnut and rhubarb and a few glasses of wine I found myself sat next to designers, bloggers, teachers, makers, business owners and photographers. Topics of conversation were wide and varied ranging from creativity and business to our favourite spots to eat in Bristol and connecting through social media. In fact the latter was a topic that came up again and again as it became apparent that most people present had discovered and connected with Yonder Collective through Instagram. Social Media is my profession but also quite a passion of mine and being in a room full of wonderful people who had been brought together through its connective power brought joy to this Instagram addicts soul!
Forging new connections and feasting on amazing food was the most wonderful way to spend an evening at Yonder Collective and I left feeling energised and inspired by the creativity and the passion of the people I encountered.