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

Monday, 18 November 2013

John Lewis - Observer Food Monthly

You may have caught some of these photos yesterday in Observer Food Monthly. A lovely Christmas shoot for John Lewis showcasing all their products. I got to work with the wonderful stylist Sania Pell on this one, and someone on the Guardian picture desk has a career in food styling ahead of them with those beautiful christmas cookies! You can see more online on the Guardian website.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Booths Christmas Catalogue

If you are from up North then I don't need to explain to you what Booths is as you will be obsessed with the much loved brand, but for all you Southerners it is a high end supermarket full of locally sourced produce based in Yorkshire and Lancashire. 
I was asked to photograph their Christmas catalogue this year with shooting happening to fall on the hottest two weeks of the year of course. Quite surreal to be eating Christmas dinner in the garden in 33 degree heat, not to mention your food stylist nearly fainting in the heat of my kitchen trying to cook the perfectly bronzed turkey. That was the fabulous Rosie Birkett by the way, who did an amazing job of cooking all the beautiful produce along with Uyen Luu.
I also had a sunny few days in Yorkshire and Lancashire photographing all their lovely producers such as Reg Johnson with his Goosnargh Duck and Neil Hesiltine and his Belted Galloway cattle. Climbing through duck pens and up mountains. Anyway, I hope you will agree that it was all worth it in the end!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Smokehouse Restaurant - Canonbury

Opening this week is the latest restaurant from those clever people who created the wonderful 'Princess of Shoreditch' and 'Pig and Butcher'. Smokehouse, located in Canonbury does what it says on the tin and smokes all its beautiful produce on the premises. Head chef Neil Rankin, formerly from John Salt, has come up with some amazingly indulgent dishes. Fois gras with apple pie and duck egg being a particularly good example, not to mention Banoffee pan Perdue, which is to die for! Also photographed is the Shortrib Bourguignon and smoked duck confit with fourme d'ambert cheese. Genius!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Hally's - Parsons Green

Sorry I haven't done a blog post in so long! This was a commission for brilliant interior designers, Alexander Waterworth Interiors. Check out their website to see how cool their projects are. Hally's Cafe is a little piece of California in Parsons Green, opened  by Anna Halliday. It has a beautiful bright, relaxed feel that meant every passer by was popping in while we were photographing it, eager for it to open! The hexagonal tiles were my favorite detail.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa, I fell in love with you. The light, the people, the landscape, the food. It has taken me so long to put these photos up since my trip to Cape Town in December, but it has been so nice to look back over them after what feels a long time of cold and darkness and then some more cold. 
After a climb up Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge which nearly killed me, we started off in Cape Town and travelled down the Garden Route on long long roads, passing fields of Ostriches and epic mountain ranges. 
First stop was horse riding on the amazing stretch of whiteness that is Noordhoek beach. Then a stop at Kalk Bay staying at Chartfield B&B which is when we learnt that guesthouses here are like 5 star hotels! After a very quick look at the penguins in Betty's Bay, we had a 5 hour drive onto Mossel Bay, followed by Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenburg.
Then it was our longest drive making our way back to Cape Town via Route 62. After dropping down from the misty mountains dodging baboons, you hit the longest, straightest roads ever. It is one of the most amazing drives I have done, broken up by a quick stop at the famous Ronnie's Sex Shop. After 7 hours it is all worth it when you come over the mountain and see the Franschhoek pass. 
You can't visit Franschhoek without lunch at La Petit Ferme which is one of the most amazing restaurant settings I have ever seen. We stayed at Akademie Guest House, which I can categorically say is one of the best places I have ever stayed. 
We fittingly finished off at Cape Point, not quite the most southernly point on the continent but it certainly feels like it.
So if anyone can put me up in Camp's Bay next winter, please let me know!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Food styling by Helly Belly and Rosie Foodie

Amazing what you can do in a day with Rosie Birkett! Rosie of  'A lot on her plate' blog fame is a top food writer for the likes of Grazia, Olive, Waitrose and Stylist Magazine. But as it also turns out, is a brilliant cook! 
She managed to knock together all these beautiful dishes in one morning, for her foray into food styling. She also had collected together all the perfect props. I can't describe to you how unbelievable the muscovado meringues tasted with the lychee, pistachio and pomegranite seeds. Probably not a great idea to eat about three of these as your lunch! After a heavy sugar crash I revived myself by devouring the clams with white beans and kale, as well as polishing off half the Mackerel en Papilottes. This was taken from a recipe in one of my sacred books, Elizabeth David's guide to French Country Cooking. 
We finished off with a stab at practising some Indian recipe styling with a lamb shank curry. This in preparation for the next cookbook I'm shooting which will be for Cafe Spice Namaste. Watch this space!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Backstage Nicholas Oakwell Couture SS13

And it just gets more and more beautiful! This was backstage at the latest show from Nicholas Oakwell Couture for his new Spring Summer 2013 Collection. Inspired by Katsushika Hokusai's 'Tsunami' it was full of sheer fabrics, embroidered embellishments, feathers and of course beading, focusing on beautiful blossom colours and deep sea blues. The set was a custom built japanese wisteria 'forest', inside Calridge's ballroom. Each blossom painstakingly hung by hand.