During the lockdown, we spoke to everyone’s favourite food writer and influencer, Stacey aka @crummbs to get the low-down on what the last few months have been like for her and what’s in store now lockdown has eased…
Boasting over 13,000 followers on IG, Stacey has built up a loyal following through her food, drink and travel posts. Be sure to read her website for all her musings. We certainly can’t get enough. Thanks Stacey!
How are you? How was your lockdown?
Hi Guys! I’m well thank you! Definitely starting to feel like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel now with restaurants starting to reopen, although lockdown has been quite the rollercoaster. At times I really enjoyed it – spending more time at home with my husband, cooking from scratch, shopping in my local greengrocers, doorstep drinks and the weather has been incredible hasn’t it! But I was also made redundant from the day job whilst on lockdown and at the same time we discovered that we need to rewire our newly renovated kitchen – so that was less good. However, overall I’ve really appreciated the enforced pause – it’s given me time to get off the hamster wheel and reflect on what I really want to do going forward.
What was the most challenging part regarding running your Instagram and website during lockdown?
Over at Crummbs, the bulk of our content prior to lockdown was featuring new restaurant launches, reviews and offers – not to mention travel! So obviously during lockdown that sort of content completely dried up. However, we all still need to eat don’t we? So we just tried our absolute best to offer useful advice – covering online deliveries, how to celebrate a lockdown birthday, where to buy booze online (all the important stuff!!). However I didn’t put any pressure on us publishing as much as ‘normal’. There were a few much quieter weeks and that’s ok. In terms of my Instagram account, luckily I love cooking and that’s had a really good reaction which has been lovely. One positive is, it’s been much easier to get a nice photo of our food, with natural light at home, rather than the atmospheric candlelit restaurants we’re normally invited to. Haha!
Were there any brands that have really impressed you with their efforts to innovate over the past few months?
SO many! I’ve been completely blown away by the resilience of some brands in what could have been a total disaster. Fabulous restaurants that have turned into shops, others that have kept the NHS fed (Yard Sale, Berber & Q), suppliers and producers that have pivoted away from restaurants and delivered direct to homes instead (The Estate Dairy, Natoora) – it’s been incredible and really there’s been too many to name! Meal kits have been such a joy and I’m really hoping they continue. They make the best birthday gift! Also, wine tastings have gone virtual and I think they’ve worked really well. That’s not to say it’s been without its challenges – at one point it looked like the entire British cheese industry was going to go under but thanks to a huge collective effort and a momentous virtual weekend of events, it looks like they’ll get through this tricky time.
As someone who regularly eats out in London, what were the places you missed the most?
Oh good question! I was actually thinking about this the other day and it feels quite overwhelming that we’ll be allowed out again! In all honesty, I’ll probably end up staying local as there are loads of gems in Clapton where I live. Maybe we’ll kick off at P Franco before moving up the road to My Neighbour the Dumplings or Sodo via the pub. Honestly, I’ve just missed sharing small plates with friends. There is nothing like fresh sourdough, exquisite extra virgin olive oil, a bowl of burrata, perhaps some anchovies and a cold glass of wine on a sunny day to wash it all down with to really soothe the soul is there? Parilla is a great place to do this! Having said that I’ve got a booking at Madame Pigg which I’m looking forward too, as well as a couple of nights at Babington House which could not come soon enough.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting out as a food writer, what would it be?
Be humble. Food writing is an absolute privilege. We’re ultimately here to listen and tell someone’s story. Whether it’s a beautifully crafted bottle of wine, a new restaurant or some other product – you know that someone somewhere has put their blood, sweat and tears into creating it. It’s always such an honour to be privy to this and communicate it to our audience. I still get such a buzz when someone buys a product or visits a restaurant or books a trip on our recommendation. I would suggest writing about the experiences you’ve enjoyed and go from there. That’s how Crummbs started and it grew very organically and in turn, led to me writing for national consumer titles which has been great fun.