With winter in full swing, it’s that time of year to dig out those smelly wellies and head out for a country walk. In preparation for this, last month we headed in to the heart of the Cotswolds to get our feet dirty with The Original Muck Boot Company. Taking part in their Autumn/Winter photoshoot was one of our favourite collaborations yet.
We started off the week by driving to the Cotswolds and dropping our bags at Dormy House, our hotel for the following few days. We could tell upon arriving that this was going to be a seriously nice, cosy place to stay. Set in the heart of Broadway Village – which is considered by some as the heart of the Cotswolds – Dormy House offers enough for any holidaymaker to relax and unwind. With log fires, cosy arm chairs and a luxury spa, from the moment you walk in the pace of life suddenly seems to slow down to a halt. PeRfEcT.
(photo credit – dormyhouse.co.uk)
Soon after we arrived, we were sitting in the bar around the log fire with a mulled cider and waiting to meet the team from Muckboot. This meet up was scheduled at the partner hotel of Dormy House called The Fish, situated five minutes down the road.
We first met with Charlie, the graphic designer and then in came the rest of the team. Elle and Rich, the marketing directors turned up along with Sarah the stylist and Andy the photographer. Also, there was Luke and Sophie the other two models organised for the shoot and Johnny the location scout.
It was clear to see from the moment the team arrived that we were going to have a blast over the next few days. Everyone was really friendly and within the hour, it felt like we had all been friends for a long time. It was a great start to a fantastic week with Muckboot.
So let’s find out a little bit about who MuckBoot are.
From their website – The Original Muck Boot Company™ started in 1999 with the sole purpose of building the most comfortable, high performance outdoor footwear in the market. Today Muck Boot is known to have the most reliable, durable boots that work anytime, anywhere even in the harshest conditions.
Over the past few generations, Hunter Boot have probably been the favourite choice of welly by many in the UK for some time. This rise in popularity increased somewhat further once Kate Moss picked up a pair at Glastonbury Festival back in 2005, almost instantly establishing Hunter Boot as an icon of British fashion. But things have changed. Wellies have moved on and MuckBoot have arrived! The one thing that me and Sarah were amazed by is just how far the MuckBoot range extends beyond the traditional welly. With a range of footwear for all occasions, there isn’t really much that MuckBoot hasn’t thought about.
Also, the one thing that separates MuckBoot from the Hunter is the fact that they are predominantly made from Neo Preme, the same material that is used for wetsuits, meaning that the boots not only keep your feet dry, but also warm (I have a pair called Arctic Ice which apparently can keep your feet warm in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees).
The reason we were here with MuckBoot this week was that we were lucky enough to be asked to join them for their Autumn/Winter magazine photoshoot. Having not taken part in anything like this before, Me and Sarah were really excited to whack on some boots and jump in front of the camera.
We started off the first day early, heading out to Broadway Tower at 6:30am to catch the sunrise. Broadway Tower is a folly located on Broadway Hill and is a popular attraction for many visitors, particularly at both sunrise and sunset as it sits on the second highest point of the Cotswolds. Usually the views are quite the spectacle, however, on this occasion, although the sun did rise as normal, there was nothing of interest for us to see as the sky was full of thick cloud.
Not the best of starts.
wE HeADed bAcK tO ThE HoTel For a HeArtY BReaKfAst WiTh Dormy.
The first shots of the day were at The Fish, in the woodland surrounding the area. The Fish has some incredibly cool shepherd’s huts dotted around it’s land and these, alongside the woodland provided the perfect stumuli for some great photos.
Naturally we were somewhat apprehensive about having our pictures taken in this way beforehand (you might have noticed that a lot of our travel photos show us from behind on occasion – that’s because we don’t really like having our photos taken haha). However, Andy instantly made us feel comfortable with his calm and professional manner. Once these first few photos were taken we really got into the swing of things. Andy would set up little scenarios for us that we would work through whilst he took the photos.
The second part of the morning saw us head further into the woods where me and Luke began building some sort of treehouse thing for effect. By this point, we had worn a number of different styles from the Muck Boot range and we couldn’t believe how comfy they all were! Specialising not only in wellies but also walking boots, garden shoes, riding boots, Chelsea Boots and more, we fell in love with many of them …and now suddenly have loads of pairs all over the house. Fully fledged Muck Boot fans!
ThE sCeNariOs cOntINuEd tO UnFoLd aNd ThE pHoToS FolLoWeD SuIt.
At one point, we found ourselves in the middle of a field filled with cows. Andy was adamant that cows are quite harmless but we weren’t so sure. However, he managed to convince us to get us close. The next moment, we had what felt like twenty-five cows surrounding us either completely terrified themselves or about to turn us into cow pat.
We stopped off in the afternoon for lunch in Broadway. Having never been here before, we couldn’t believe just how beautiful this place was. The high street is filled with horse chestnut trees and includes a range of period houses and a number of Cotswold stone cottages. Luckily we came on a clear day which meant that we saw the town in all it’s glory. Definitely a place worth visiting if you’re looking for something cosy in the Cotswolds. Maybe we’ll give it 5 coconuts just to confirm our love for the place
Broadway Town = (5/5)
After lunch we headed back out for some more shots and as the skies had cleared we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to head back up to Broadway Tower for what was promised to be a great sunset… and really didn’t disappoint! As we arrived, the sky was turning more pink by the minute. I can quite honestly say that I’ve never seen a sunset like it. So often we all kept looking up in amazement at just how incredible the colours were.
FEELinG SaTiSFieD WiTh hOw ThE FiRst DaY HaD GoNe, We WeRe aLL IN HigH SpIRiTs
The next day didn’t start as early as the first. This shoot was back near my hometown of Leamington Spa in Harbury. Charlie had arranged with his friend to use their house for the morning and this is where we secured some shots from the stables within the grounds and where I ‘mucked out’ for the morning.
During the afternoon we worked on a number of role plays that would allow us to capture various moments of needing different styles of footwear. This bit was really fun. We needed to catch a rainy shot and it wasn’t raining, so Andy, Elle and Rich came up with a plan which was hilarious. Check out the before and after images below 😉
Before Vs. After
During this part of the shoot, I was predominantly wearing the Mens Chelsea Leather Ankle Boot which quickly became my favourite. I now wear these all the time. Couldn’t recommend them enough 😉
A MaRsHMaLlow EvENinG
On our last day, after shooting a few pics in the Boot Room – designed by Muckboot at The Fish Hotel – we set up in a field nearby where I got the drone out and took some shots from the sky. This was a great end to an incredible week with some lovely people.
A few weeks after the shoot, the Autumn/Winer magazine was printed and somehow I managed to make it to the front cover (not bad hey) Absolutely nailing that shovel walk 😉
Andy Le Gresley