I’m not going to lie, I was worried about where I was going to get
excellent coffee from when I left London.
While there is no shortage of lovely cafes dotted around the
gorgeous Stamford area, my firm fave for a flat white
is most definitely Kafae on the Square.
Kafae, is Thai for coffee, and what a special treat that not only can
you get amazing coffee here, but you can book tickets for authentic
and delicious Thai supper club nights!
Owned and managed by Fai (with David playing a supporting role),
they’ve been running this cafe since 2018. The venture was inspired
by several memorable coffee experiences on a trip to New Zealand,
where coffee is somewhat like religion. They are avid supporters of local artists
and that becomes clear as gorgeous artwork adorns the light filled space.
It was much to my delight to discover that one of my fave
local artists was one of them… 2 birds!
Here I got to sit down with Ruth Hudson of RH Prints
and drink a fabulous flat white whilst finding out more about her,
what inspires her and what she loves most about Stamford.
My boyfriend (now husband) got a job just outside Paris and asked if I wanted to go with him. I impulsively quit my job and went. When that came to an end and we had to get back to ‘real life’, we rented in Stamford as his work was here and I could commute to London.
Born in Cambridge, Ruth moved to Retford and later went on to study History of Art & Literature at Newcastle University. Like many post graduates, Ruthie moved to London for 6 years.
So what is it that pulled you back to Stamford?
Stamford is architecturally very beautiful. The Georgian stone projects a warmth that feels very welcoming. I love that residents are protective and proud of the town and really want it to thrive. It’s great being part of a proactive community.
Where might we find you for drinks & grub?
You can’t beat a Bloody Mary at The George for the morning after the night before! I love Turkish food and a Zada takeaway is so tasty. Enormous and delicious pizza’s at the Tobie Norris…the list goes on to be honest.
Any hidden gems around here?
I don’t want to give away too many of the hidden gems…but I love walking over the meadows and down Melancholy Lane. You can then walk past down the cobbled back streets and get a whiff of freshly baked bread at Askers Bakery on Kings Mill Lane. (I have to say I thoroughly agree with this one!)
Inspiration comes from people I meet and conversations I have. Music is a big influence. I always print to music and I quite often attach a piece of work to a certain song or artist. I’m not a huge ‘talker’ so I find it easier to get any emotions out by creating something instead.
From fine art and literature to lino printing, how did that come about?
My mother was a potter and taught Art so I grew up watching her plan lessons around famous artists and create work to show children in class. I was very lucky to have access to a full library of art books too. I really wanted to be an actor but I don’t think my skin was thick enough back then to take the criticism and knock backs. Art was and is my way of expressing myself but it is only recently that I realised I could make it more then a personal outlet.
Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue their passion?
It has taken me a very long time to even call myself an ‘artist’. It is very easy to get imposter syndrome in a world which is essentially subjective. However, I think there comes a time when you just have to own it and if people don’t like what you do then that’s fine…as long as some people do!
How therapeutic is your work?
In my experience a lot of women can feel quite lost after having children. So to get a sense of self back I did a few workshops and lino cutting was one of them. It is such a therapeutic process and printing is a very satisfying process. It is, however, quite laborious and intense so I mix it up by throwing paint at a canvas occasionally too.
Who is your favourite artist?
I can’t possibly pick just one!
Firstly, I love the Pre-Raphaelites. Their youthful naivety and connection with literature appeals.
Fashion designer Aexander McQueen was a genius and will forever be an inspiration as will photographer Tim Walker and stylist Isabella Blow.
Jackson Pollock, Grayson Perry‘s tapestries, Tracey Emin’s drawings, Louise Bourgeois sculptures…I think you can see…..I can’t possibly pick one!
Is there a message behind your artwork?
I’m not sure I’m trying to convey a message. You might see something different to me….I guess it’s more a feeling. I love it when you read a chapter in a book and there, on the page, in black and white, is someone else describing something you thought. I guess I hope my work triggers something like that….and makes a connection with people. We are all only human after all!