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OUR STORY

Simon and I (Louise) established our home and studios here in the village of Upwell fourteen years ago. Despite us both having lived in different parts of the UK and also abroad, we have always been drawn to the beautiful countryside and scenic coastline of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

I was born in the picturesque mini city of Ely, which is just 30 minutes away. Having grown up in the "Fens", this area has always played a major role in my life. Simon was also born in East Anglia.

Our decision to set up our home and studios here was an easy one to make. We're not far from the coast and also numerous beautiful cities and attractions.

I've worked as a technical translator for over 25 years and I speak German fluently. Simon has worked in IT in various guises for most of his working life but has recently become a full-time woodturner.

We're now both focusing on our ceramics and woodturning workshops and we founded our crafts company, Blended Monkey, about ten years ago. We teach all ages and abilities in private 1-2-1 sessions in the studios located in our gardens.

Our gardens alone provide ample inspiration for our work, and we love letting our students amble through the gardens and enjoy them as much as we do - we enjoy sharing this calming environment.

The past few years have seen us focus more and more on using our woodturning and pottery workshops to help with the therapy and rehabilitation of those suffering from brain trauma, Alzheimer's, dementia and also people who are tackling poor mental health (depression, anxiety, PTSD ...)


Crafter's Retreat has become a peaceful, self-contained safe haven for some of our students who need to get away from the stresses and anxieties of everyday life now and then. We designed our cabin with a focus on mindfulness, wellbeing, quiet and calm. 


Our Crafter's Retreat guests are welcome to book a 1-2-1 or pairs woodturning, pottery or unique "2 Crafts in 1 Day" workshop at a discounted rate - subject to availability.

We hope you enjoy our luxury holiday cabin and little patch of tranquility as much as we do.