Saturday afternoon, and I took myself off to the Geffrye Museum in East London, to attend a workshop and talk I'd signed up for, on the subject of the famous 17th century herbalist/apothecary Nicholas Culpepper.
Here's a picture of the museum in question, which is a museum of domestic interiors through the ages. It has rooms decorated in the style of various eras in history up to the present day. It's a great museum, which doesn't charge for entry, has a lovely cafe and garden and is well worth a visit if you're ever in the Shoreditch area of London.
The attendees were divided into two groups, such was the demand for spaces. One group attended a talk by a published academic/writer, whilst the other group attended a workshop to introduce them to using herbs to make remedies and beauty products.
I was in the latter group and started off with the workshop. We all got to introduce ourselves and give our reasons for attending and it was interesting to find out everybody's motivation for being there. There was a very interesting and eclectic mix of people in attendance, some like me who were just interested in finding out more about herbs and how to use them.
Here's a picture of the different herbs, the scent of which hit you as you walked into the room, and some of which we got to use before coming home.
I came away with some interesting ideas of a few things to make, books I could read with good recipes for natural beauty products, shops where I could find the ingredients and other places to visit that I would find very interesting.
At the end of the workshop, we got the chance to make a bath tea bag made up of whichever herbs we chose to use. Mine was a bit of a mixture of different herbs that I liked; lavender, cammomile, verbena, rose, cinnamon and some bran thrown in, as it's supposed to be good for making the skin feel smooth. They were all wrapped in some cotton squares so that they could be dangled in your bath and the scents incorporated into the water.
I also made a foot soak using lavender and marigold, as I knew these herbs were anti fungal and might help my occasional flare ups of athletes foot. Here's a picture of them. Very simple to make and use.
We were also shown how to combine another couple of ingredients to make another very simple product that I will post separately about, when I've made it myself at home. We did get to sample the actual resulting product and it was lovely.
After the workshop had ended we moved into the room next door for the talk, which was incredibly interesting.
Before going home I went for a look around the beautiful walled herb garden and the rest of the gardens behind the museum. I have visited them before but I always enjoy wandering through and admiring the beautiful plants and planting.
It was a lovely afternoon, I met some lovely people and had a very enjoyable and informative time there. I will definitely be going back should there be any other workshops that appeal.