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Summer in Suffolk

Words by Alex Monroe

Summer time for us at AMHQ is historically quite a busy time.

New collections have to be ready by the middle of August, then it’s all about production and photography, pricing and costing, booking the shows and preparation for the next selling season. So if you don’t force yourself it’s easy to get caught up in the fast moving cycle of the fashion industry and before you know where you are you haven’t had a holiday for ages. I usually head off for Calabria in the South of Italy for a quick break once the new collections are finished, but this year we were having such an amazing summer I decided to stay in the UK and head for my house in Suffolk.

We’re right in the middle of a huge forest, with a river nearby, where I used to swim as a child. So most days revolve around a run with the dogs to the river, a swim (often with friends) and a slow walk back. I do a bit of drawing, catch up on books I wanted to read… then I see what’s good in the garden and I cook.

This year I’ve re-designed the kitchen garden to make it much easier to work. Raised beds and a lovely big greenhouse. I grow all the usuals and most meals come pretty much entirely from the garden. I also like to grow things like Chamomile for tea, and Coriander and chillies which I dry and store. And I love to forage, so I have pots of dried Hawthorne and Mullein, preserved wild plums and jams.

The only problem with long days of walking, swimming, gardening and cooking is that before I knew it, it was time to come back to work!

Lots to look forward to here though. I have a trip to Japan planned, and lots of exciting new things coming out soon. Things feel like they are already gearing up for Autumn, and then of course… Christmas!

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