A note from Launette: It was such a pleasure to collaborate with interiors and lifestyle brand House of Hackney as part of their annual ‘Witchmas’ celebration, a series of workshops and talks themed around nature, plant magic, mushrooms and the esoteric.
I was so excited to share Sun Potion products at this event, I wanted to introduce the attendees to the possibilities of adding herbs into their routine, from the simplicity of an infusion to the creativity of concocting tonics, and even baking. I made grain-free Pine Pollen & lemon shortbreads and Chaga infused sprouted buckwheat chocolate clusters.
The delightfully comfortable setting was the ideal place to encourage everyone to relax and really tune into how they felt. Intuition and conscious eating are so important, and rarely in our busy modern lives do we get to truly slow down enough for this.
It was a rainy Autumn afternoon in London...
As people dashed about outside in the streets of Shoreditch, a small group of people gathered in the cosy basement of House of Hackney, a velvet dream, all low lamplight and magical prints. I had laid out a table with many ingredients to delight the senses, ready for my guests to arrive.
This workshop ‘Potions and Elixirs; The Alchemy of Herbs and Cacao’ was one in a series hosted by House of Hackney as part of Witchmas, their annual celebration of all things mystical and mysterious. I was asked to give a workshop inspired by the idea of the wise woman. To many of the attendees incorporating herbs and nutrient rich foods into their routine was a new idea, I wanted to demystify it, and inspire them to explore this way of nourishment.
Firstly, I spoke about the importance of water as, especially in London, tap water simply isn’t optimal. Simple daily rituals such as making a nettle or oat straw infusion before bed, to drink on waking is, I feel, a really great place to start. I especially encourage exploring native plants. I spoke about how, when you slow down and listen, you will find which plants you are drawn to. I have over the years narrowed down my daily routine to the few I Instinctively feel my body needs. The danger is overload when first exploring this exciting but vast territory. So keeping things simple is key.
I made a nut milk to show the attendees how simple it is to make a truly mineral rich creamy base for tonics and then used that to prepare a drink which I hoped would set them up well for their Saturday night.
Of course I had to use cacao, as it has continued to inspire me. I see it as a great ‘vehicle’ for other foods, and so with that, I made a velvety and warming cacao drink. I chose to sweeten with mesquite, or ‘algaroba’, a naturally sweet yet low G.I. pod, part of the carob family. For calming and immune support, which I find also balances out the stimulating effects of cacao, I added the queen mushroom, Reishi, the full spectrum powder from Sun Potion. Next I added vanilla, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It also happens to taste and smell incredible, the perfect accompaniment to cacao (traditionally both plants were grown together in harmony). To give everybody’s immune systems a boost and reduce stress in the system, a dose of Sun Potion’s Ashwagandha was added along with their Mucuna Pruriens, the dopamine bean, to raise the happy hormones and support our mood!
Lastly, to everyone’s delight, a spoonful of Tocos were added to each cup, this delightful custard flavoured fairy dust is something nobody had encountered before and had everyones eyes light up and shine! I love this magic ingredient for skin health and detoxification.
There were questions a plenty and as is usual at these events, time ran over but nobody minded as people sank into the comfortable chairs taking notes, minds ticking over imagining their new home apothecary taking shape...
All images by Carolina Ilamusi
We invite you to host an alchemical ritual of your own and share with our journal team!