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My Favourite Places: Gem designer Ros Watts

Where does seriously stylish jewellery designer Ros Watts get her inspiration? These local hangouts, of course! Join us for a peek inside Ros's very own little black book.

It’s no surprise that Honeybourne-based designer Ros Watts of Myrtleberry Designs knows the best spots in Glos, Worcs and beyond – her gorgeous creations take their inspiration from her travels. Want to know where she spends her time in between making beautiful beaded jewellery? Here’s where you’re likely to find her.

1. Burford High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire

I love the amazing view from top of the hill in Burford looking down the High Street. I remember stopping the car to photograph a wonderful rainbow from the top of the hill. I love browsing the little independent shops, feeding the ducks and spending some quiet moments in the beautiful church.

2. Afternoon Tea at the Fish Hotel, Broadway

I love both The Fish and the Dormy Hotel near Broadway. Both are great places to stop and have coffee and cakes after a long dog walk but my favourite has to be the amazing afternoon tea at The Fish. It even comes with treats for the dog! We didn’t take our hounds with us as they lack certain Cotswold etiquette but I enjoyed watching someone else’s dog munching their way through a doggy ‘cream tea’. Maybe one day mine will be good enough to accompany us.

3. The View from Fish Hill, Glos & Worcs border

Ros’s Bassetts know how to sniff out a good view

I moved to the Cotswolds just over three years ago from the flat lands of Cambridgeshire and I now live very near to Saintbury Hill and Fish Hill, and both offer the most wonderful views across the Glos and Worcs countryside. The grassy banks on the way up Saintbury Hill are glorious in Spring with crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops and primroses and they lift my spirit, especially in these restricted Covid times. Then the view coming down Fish Hill is spectacular!

4. Chipping Campden High Street, Chipping Campden

I have always loved Chipping Campden. Before we moved here I completed a City and Guilds millinery course at the fabulous Louise Pocock’s but had no idea that we would soon be living in the area. I actually work two days a week in a gorgeous shop on the high street at a shop called Sam Wilson, which sells the most beautiful homewares. It’s also a wonderful place if you love arts and crafts, I love visiting Court Barn – a museum of craft and design.

5. The Deli, Broadway

The Deli in Broadway is so unique, and has been a favourite of mine for years. The range of food is outstanding and no trip is complete without a Portuguese custard tart or a scotch egg! Broadway is a gorgeous place to spend an afternoon, the idyllic houses, the boutiques and independent shops, and it’s absolute foodie heaven.

6. Tanzee Designs Bead Shop, Wotton-under-Edge

Every beader needs a place to feed their habit! I get my fix at this wonderful bead emporium. Tanzee Designs is like a beady sweet shop and the owner Ann is so helpful. It’s an inspiring place for my creations, I could spend hours browsing in here.

7. The Roman Baths, Bath

I’m a lover of Jane Austen so Bath is a perfect place for me. I love to imagine her there and how she describes Bath in her novels. As an historian the Roman Baths have always fascinated me, it’s a beautiful place to visit and so interesting. I love visiting the Costume Museum too, and no trip would be complete without taking tea in The Pump Room.

8. Liberty, London

Much Liberty ‘lawn’ fabric was purchased here when I used to live in London. It’s an iconic shop from its distinctive architecture to the fabulous things it sells. Whenever I am in London I always head there.

9. The George of Stamford, Lincolnshire

I have spent many a day in Stamford, either walking in Burghley Park or browsing the gorgeous little independent shops. I miss my trips to the wonderful George Hotel, where I can truly recommend having a meal. Dinner served in a panelled ‘garden’ dining room, the kind of place gentlemen wear jackets and ties and women wear gorgeous dresses. My favourite thing to order is a Gressingham duck followed by dessert from the old fashioned dessert trolley. Bliss!

10. Dornoch Beach, Scotland

This one is very far north, but very beautiful, and very worth it! We holiday here often and love everything about Dornoch and the area around it. Long sandy beaches, seals sunbathing on sandy spits and amazing views. The locals are delightful and I’m a regular visitor to a fabulous shop called Jail, filled with local crafts and Scottish woollens.

11. Glass blowing shops, Venice

I truly fell in love with Venice. It was magical. Everywhere we went there were beautiful things to see, from the view of the tiled roof tops over the city from our apartment balcony, to the little chocolate shop where even the ‘salami’ was made from chocolate. I’d just started making jewellery when we went there and was spellbound by the bead shops and the glorious Murano glass, which we saw being made here.

To find out more about Ros’s designs head to Myrtleberry Designs to find out more. Unique, handmade jewellery available online.

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