HellyBelly is the blog belonging
to travel, food and portrait
photographer Helen Cathcart

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Corney & Barrow Christmas Brochure

Just to put you all in the Christmas spirit (sorry, I don't agree with it in November either) here is a shoot I did for Corney and Barrow's Christmas Brochure. We shot in a beautiful five story mews house in Spitalfields, in what I would say was near darkness! But makes for some nice moody shots. We spent most of the time keeping the cat away from the dead pheasant!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Murano - Angela Hartnett

I was very excited to be asked to photograph the lovely Angela Hartnett and her restaurant Murano for her PR company. I can't tell you just how nice she is! Just me and Angela, all day in her restaurant photographing dish after dish. Unfortunately I had too much to shoot to get to eat all these gorgeous dishes but I did have a heady amount of truffle risotto!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack - Foley St

What started out as a pop up in Hackney, Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack has now found a permanent home on Foley Street. You will be transported to sitting beside the sea. The food is beautiful, and yes that is meat you can see above amongst all that seafood! (My favourite, highland Venison steak with roasted carrots and juniper sauce.) Definitely check out the queen scallops with yorkshire chorizo, lemon puree and baby spinach.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Jared Brown - Sipsmith Gin - AFAR Magazine

Jared Brown is the master distiller at Sipsmith Gin. That is the lovely gin you may have seen in the best bars with a gorgeous swan on the label. I was commissioned by AFAR Magazine, a beautiful travel mag produced in San Francisco, to photograph Jared at his home in the Cotswold's. 
Here he has a lovely little cottage garden where he grows all the botanicals that he tests out for his gin making. He is so passionate about every plant and flavour and smell and said it was very important to grow all the ingredients which they actually use in their Sipsmith Gin so that they can understand them at every step. He also has a beautiful collection of old books on drinking and cocktails, where he said he gets lots of inspiration for his gin recipes. I had such a lovely day getting out of London and learning about all Jared's plants and hearing about his amazingly interesting life, and he even took me to the local pub afterwards for a pub lunch!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Builders Arms, Chelsea

This was a commission by Geronimo Inns to shoot some of their food for their PR shots. Geronimo have lots of gastro pubs around London, each one designed very uniquely. Whether you realise it or not I guarantee you have been in one. These beautiful dishes were cooked for me by Sam at the Builder's Arms, a lovely pub hidden behind the King's road in Chelsea with an amazing menu. Just imagine tucking into that pheasant on an autumnal Sunday! The artichoke heart was a work of art and check out that scotch egg.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Table Cafe, Southwark

I have been meaning to put these up for ages. This is a shoot I did for the new menu at Shaun Alpine Crabtree's Table Cafe in Southwark. Created by new head chef Cinzia Ghighoni, previously of Duck Soup, Angela Hartnett and Zucca, it consists of beautiful ingredient led dishes. They get all their herbs and veg from the homeless charity St. Mungo's, an amazing idea which has homeless people working allotments in the city and selling the produce. And I think you can see above why their breakfasts are award winning!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pig and Butcher, Islington

 The 'Pig and Butcher' is the latest opening from the people who brought you 'The Princess of Shoreditch'. I was asked to photograph the venue and food for their PR and website photos. They have lovingly collected all the nice little bits and bobs which give it that rustic homely feel and it is set in the most beautiful old building on Liverpool Rd. But it is definitely not style over substance as the carefully chosen ingredient led dishes are delicious. (Yes I did eat ALL of the above).

Monday, 30 July 2012

Whitstable Oyster Festival

Whitstable Oyster Festival...what a lovely wee day out! Random giant parade puppets, Morris dancers and more seafood than you can shake a stick at. It's pretty stressful deciding what to eat first. It's not just all about the oysters you know! Mussels cooked with garlic on the barbecue were my favourite find.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Polpo and Spuntino

 One thing you may notice from these photos is that to work in Polpo or Spuntino you have to look pretty hot. These shots were taken for BMI Magazine for a feature on the Russell Norman empire, soon to expand to Smithfield. Both continuously bustling, Spuntino is made deliberately hard to find in a NY inspired way, with its unassuming industrial frontage nestled in Chinatown. But the queue snaking to Brewer Street may give it away. If you have tenacity, hopefully you will get your bum on one of those coveted bar stools. The truffled egg toast may make you a bit dizzy for breakfast but definitely goes down well with one of their Negroni's in the evening. Just don't forget those Negroni's have about 10 shots of alcohol in them!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Backstage Nicholas Oakwell Couture AW12

Beading, beading and more beading, and some mink thrown in for good measure. This was backstage at the latest Nicholas Oakwell Couture show, which I was asked to photograph for his Autumn Winter Collection. Think 70's New York socialite lounging in her uptown living room with a dirty martini. Stunning.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Vinoteca Soho

I was asked to photograph the new Vinoteca opening in Soho for their website and PR, and being a fan of their Farringdon restaurant I was really looking forward to it. They are situated on Beak street and the building has beautiful huge windows which catch the light all day. They have a 'library' of amazing wines but the food by Head Chef Will Leigh more than stands up to them. My seabass with lentils and spinach was beautiful.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Garrison Public House

I'm sorry it has been sooo long since I have posted! I have such a backlog of beautiful places to show you. The first is The Garrison on the brilliant Bermondsy St where you can find the amazing Jose by Jose Pizarro and Village East amongst others. I photographed this for the new Corney and Barrow trade brochure. Lots of nice wines!

Monday, 14 May 2012


Don't you just love Peonies!? I felt inspired to do this little shoot when I returned home to Ireland to find this beautiful specimen from my Mum's garden, placed on my windowsill.  I wanted to make it as painterly as possible. In the short time it took me to take these photos it went from lovely evening sun to torrential rain and back again. Welcome to Fermanagh!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Salvation Jane - Time Out London

Being a big Lantana fan, I was very excited to be asked by Time Out to photograph Salvation Jane. The newest opening from the same owners, bringing thier Antipodean loveliness to East London. I had the halloumi, beetroot and pecan salad. Good luck deciding which of those cakes to have with your flat white!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

LA to San Fran

This time last week I was bombing down Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway in my convertible red mustang thinking I was the coolest thing ever, blissfully unaware that I looked like the ultimate tourist. After some hair raising 6 lane freeway negotiating, we started off in Venice Beach in LA staying at the wonderful Venice Beach House with our room catching a glimpse of the sea. Somehow we managed to get a table at the ubercool Gjelina on Abbot Kinney Blvd. Slightly healthier than the lunch we had the Sidewalk Cafe - the best position to people watch on the promenade. 
We caught the amazing Herb Ritts exhibition high up at the Getty Museum with the best views over LA. Then it was onto Santa Barbara staying at the homely Bath St B&B. Sea Mist scuppering our beach plans. The long but breathtaking drive through Big Sur, past the huge lazy sea lions, brought us to the magical Carmel-by-the-sea. The beach here was just too difficult to leave, making us late for our date with San Francisco. We made it just in time for our best meal of the trip at Luna Park in the achingly cool Mission district. As for the Golden Gate Bridge, I can't say for sure that it actually exists as even though I supposedly cycled across it, I could only see 5 yards in front of me through the mist. Definitely a reason to go back.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Suffolk Food - Guardian Guides

This piece was out last weekend in the Guardian Guide. I went with the lovely writer Rachael Oakden. We had an amazing foodie weekend in Suffolk photographing everything from Pinney's Osterage in Orford to Richardson's very smokey Smokehouse, the gorgeous Pump St Bakery and butcher Gerard King (of Come Dine with me and Alan Tichmarsh fame!) at Food Safari. My highlight was the middle white pigs of course!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Best Sunday Lunches - Time Out

This was my Sunday lunch shoot out last week in Time Out London, shot at the Princess of Shoreditch and it truly was the best Sunday lunch I have ever had in London (yes I did get to eat it afterwards). You don't have to decide between beef or chicken, they give you both! And red cabbage, which I thought was my mum's secret invention with a roast!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

E5 Bakehouse

Crazy about sourdough? You need to find the cavernous E5 Bakehouse located under the arches at London Fields train station. It is an artisan bakery and coffee shop and you can also get cakes and lunches. They even run bread making courses. If you follow them on twitter they will let you know when a fresh batch is out of the oven so you can rush across the park and catch their famous 'Hackney Wild' loaf before all the local trendies snatch it up!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Akram Khan - Time Out London

Time Out sent me to photograph the famous choreographer and dancer Akram Khan. "Get some nice dancing poses" they said. Only problem was that he has torn his achilles tendon and is in a plaster, so you could say he wasn't really in the dancing mood. This shot was quite fleeting but I love that they chose it. I think subconsciously it probably sums up how he was feeling.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Kitchen, London Fields

I only recently stumbled upon the Happy Kitchen. A beautiful warm little place underneath the arches at London Fields Railway station. I'm going to love anywhere that has pages from ' Diary of an Edwardian Country Lady' framed on the wall! Their pancakes at breakfast piled high with healthy ingredients are particularly good accompanied by the gentle rumbling of the trains overhead. Afterwards you can pop next door to the E5 bakehouse for a fresh loaf of Sourdough. Blog post for this to come!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Caroline Blomst - Stockholm

This week I photographed Caroline Blomst as the face of Rekorderlig. Caroline lives in Stockholm and photographs her style as well as street style around the world for her blog 'Carolines Mode', and as I discovered with everyone who lives in Stockholm, she is achingly cool and beautiful! This is why Rekorderlig cider have cleverly made her their front woman. Beautifully Swedish.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Backstage Nicholas Oakwell Couture

This is a very small taster of my photos backstage at the recent Nicholas Oakwell Couture show for SS12. A beautiful array of gold, diamonds, feathers and some very big hair! Some great reviews including this one on Vogue.com.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


I stumbled across Angelika Grohmann yesterday in London Fields on my way back from a shoot. She was talking to her friend in the beautiful frosty afternoon sun and I was compelled to ask her could I take her photo. Turns out she is a Yoga teacher at Yoga Body of Light. Her friend Rachel King kindly emailed me later to give me all Angelika's details and described the day as having had 'such beautiful air and light'. A lovely way of summing up exactly what I had been thinking as I walked across the park on what was supposedly the most depressing day of the year!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Jeni's Roast Dinner

Yesterday I ventured to Hither Green for a Roast at my friend Jeni's new house. Checking out her blog 'Surfing the Silver Spoon' may give you a clue that Jeni is an amazing cook. Above is her beautiful roast beef, purchased that morning from Blackheath market. But the star of the show was the fresh horseradish sauce, made from scratch by her own fair hand. And to think I laughed at her making her own mayonnaise! Dessert was courtesy of Ginny and her famous Chocolate Hazelnut Gateau.

Monday, 2 January 2012

East London Feature in Virgin Australia's 'Voyeur' Magazine

This is a my East London feature in December issue of Virgin Australia's 'Voyeur' Magazine. It was lovely to have a reason to photograph my area and its coolest places such as the Albion Cafe, Les Trois Garcons, Lounge Lover, Village Underground and the amazing 40 Winks Hotel.