Join our top local, national and international experts in the LIVE Lounge for our packed programme of talks and demonstrations.
Friday 11th May.
11:30am - Chocolateeha - The History of Chocolate & Chocolate Tasting Session
Founder of Chocolateeha talks about how to eat chocolate the right way. Chocolate has been misunderstood for years because of the association it has with sugar. Learn about the history of chocolate and how Wajeeha has launched her business on BBC2 focusing on dark chocolate.
12:30pm - Jane Gulliford Lowes - The Horsekeeper's Daughter & Book Signing
Writer and Lawyer Jane joins us to talk about her best-selling book, The Horsekeeper’s Daughter, which follows the story of Sarah Marshall, a remarkable woman from the mining village of Seaham who left the pit villages in 1886 and travelled alone to start a new life in Australia. The book tells the story of the local people in Seaham, and explores the lives of ordinary folk who faced extraordinary circumstances. Jane will also be signing copies of her book at the end of her talk.
1:30pm - Corbridge Interior Design - Unique Interior Trends on a Budget
Gina Tillotson, the founder of Corbridge Interior Design, will talk you through the latest trends in home decor and design. Gina will demonstrate how to create a unique interior on a budget without going totally bespoke. Joining Gina is Reiner Stoeckle of North Shields-based R S Cabinet Maker, with whom she will discuss where the interior design market is heading and what could work for your home.
2:30pm - Carole Crowe of Matfen Hall - Exercising to Alleviate Stress
Carole Crowe, qualified counsellor and Aqua Vitae Club Manager at Matfen Hall, will be explaining and exploring the benefits of regular physical exercise and mindfulness when it comes to our mental health, using her more than two decades of experience. She will be joined by yoga instructor Debbie Wilson and Aqua Vitae’s class co-ordinator, Joanne Stichbury, who will be leading taster sessions in mindfulness and getting energised.
Saturday 12th May.
11:30am - From Loft to Loved - Upcycling & Live Decoupage Demonstration
Sedgefield-based From Loft To Loved’s Kim and Sarah are renowned for their original home and giftware, as well as their creativity and up-cycling solutions. They’ll be providing handy hints and tips they've learned along the way, alongside a live decoupage demonstration. They’ll give you an insight into exactly where to begin, whether you’re taking your very first up-cycling steps or looking to pick up some tips from the experts.
12:30pm - Northumberland Honey Co. - The Buzz of Beekeeping
Luke from the award-winning, Haltwhistle-based Northumberland Honey Co. is here to talk you through how to get into beekeeping and all things bees. Luke is half of the duo behind the company, who are producers of the UK’s first sparkling mead and regularly run beekeeping courses. They even supply bees for would-be beekeepers looking to start their own hive.
1:30pm - Keith Bell of Crook Hall and Gardens
Twenty-two years ago Keith and Maggie Bell bought Crook Hall and Gardens as a private home and then decided – in what might be seen as a fit of madness – to open it to the general public. Keith joins us in the LIVE Lounge to tell us about the trials and tribulations of developing Crook Hall and Gardens, as well his experiences as a gardener at the hall. Keith will also be signing copies of his recent book, ‘Blood, Sweat and Scones – Two Decades at Crook Hall’.
2:30pm - Olivia Lomenech Gill - Illustrating Fantastic Beasts and Other Things
Delve into the magical world of JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with the illustrator of the book, Olivia Lomenech Gill. After a chance meeting with Michael Mopurgo, Olivia illustrated books including War Horse and Where My Wellies Take Me. Join her in the LIVE Lounge to hear more about her experience with the world of wizardry, her life as an artist, printmaker and illustrator, and how she came to build her own studio in Northumberland.
Sunday 13th May.
12:30pm - Sarah Loveland Photography - Creative Photography with Mobile Phones
Hexham-based Sarah runs a photo studio, gallery shop and photography training courses. As a professional photographer with more than 17 years of experience, she enjoys capturing fine details and seeing the beauty in the ordinary. In the LIVE Lounge, Sarah will show you all the latest tips and tricks to ensure you get the best out of your mobile phone camera. Whether you simply want to watch, or bring your phone along and have a go, Sarah can help you get the best snaps this summer.
1:30pm - Fay Pratt of Matfen Hall - Beautiful, Youthful, Summer Skin
Join Matfen Hall Hotel’s Spa Manager Fay Pratt, who has more than 14 years' experience in the spa and beauty industry and will be offering expert advice on how to get your skin perfectly prepped for summer. She'll also be giving some invaluable tips on how to tone down the hands of time when it comes to how quickly, and how visibly your skin ages, and demonstrating some state of the art treatments designed to help you look younger for longer.