garden & gun | asheville on tap

I am very lucky to live pretty close to Asheville, North Carolina – the rising beer capital of America . . .   We loved getting this assignment from Garden & Gun magazine.  I mean who doesn’t love touring breweries & restaurants and staying in nice hotels?  I was really impressed with the young brewmasters and their enthusiasm for their craft.  And even though I am gluten-intolerant, I admit I had a few sips of some beers they worked so hard on!

We’ve included photos from the Wicked Weed, the Wedge, and Highland Breweries but these are only a few of the 40 + craft breweries located in Asheville!

We stayed at the Grand Bohemian, a beautiful hotel with the rustic feeling of a European hunting lodge mixed with old world elegance.  The have an excellent restaurant, a gallery & spa and have been named one of the best hotels by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler!

local favorites | mateo bar de tapas

Want to try some Spanish inspired tapas with a Southern twist?  Mateo bar de Tapas in Durham is wonderfully delicious and has such a warm feel. 

I loved everything we tried there and especially I remember the roasted spring onions.  Owner Matthew Kelly told us how the onions are sold all over the streets in Spain.  We had a small sampling of the many plates offered –  Patatas Bravas, Gambas, Alemendras and of course some jamon.  Seriously yummy.  

Mateo’s also has an impressive offering of sherry.  We didn’t get to try any since it was on the job but the beautiful painted menu on the mirrors looked amazing!

Can’t wait to go back again soon!

our state | the table

There are some shoots that are harder than others – being gluten-free is especially difficult at such a lovely place like The Table in Asheboro, NC.  Look how beautiful this bread is!  I really just wanted to slather butter on it and maybe a bit of honey and cram some on my mouth.  It took all my will power not to do it!  So instead, I tried to just look at the beautiful textures of the bread and photograph it as still life.  And besides, The Table, does offer a full menu with fabulous salads and other yummy dishes so us GF people have lots to pick from.

Dustie Gregson, the owner, is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet and has done a lovely job with all the details of the decor even down to the 1 of a kind chandelier made out of milk bottles.  So if you are in Asheboro or visiting the potteries in Seagrove, I would make a little trip to this cute and delicious restaurant!

for the love of... fox hunting

I can’t even really describe the feeling that still wells up in me so many years after photographing the Blessing of the Hounds Thanksgiving hunt in Southern Pines, NC.  I still get shivers thinking about the beauty of this spectacle that has it’s roots in mediaeval times.  I can still hear rhythmic beat of horses galloping off in the distance and remember seeing horses & riders emerge from the thick mist.  There were a thousand cinematic moments.  Truth be told, I cried as I ran through the wet fields with photo gear in tow.  The beauty of the moment overwhelmed me. . .

Please understand that I am not a lover of hunting per se – but I am a fan of the equestrian sport where a scent is dragged through the fields for the hounds to follow.  Remember my undergrad degree is in 19th Century British History & literature so it just make sense that I  love the idea of galloping through fields dressed in a tweedy coat & jodpurs.!

As you look at these photos, I hope you can hear the call of the bugle and the pounding of hooves!

garden & gun | katie button's cúrate

I love my job everyday but I especially love it when it allows me to meet inspiring people!  I photographed Chef Katie Button at her fantastic restaurant Cúrate in Asheville for Garden & Gun magazine earlier this year (see more of the story here).  I found Chef Button’s enthusiasm for food catchy and the food at Cúrate delicious!  We always suggest people stop by Cúrate if they are going to Asheville.  And yesterday we were excited to read that Button will now be doing a cookbook and we wanted to say a big congratulations from all of us at Stacey Van Berkel Photo!

for the love of... turquoise

We are thrilled for Kara Cox Interiorsbeing featured on House of Turquoisetoday!  Kara is a talented young designer who commissioned us to photograph some of her work a few months ago.  We thoroughly loved working with Kara and are happy to see her pretty new website and all the work pouring in since she launched it.

Thank you Erin from House of Turquoise for featuring Kara!  As you might know, turquoise is my favorite color too and sometimes my clients refer to it as “Stacey’s colour”.  You can be sure to always find some lovely turquoise inspiration on House of Turquoise.

Also, please visit Kara’s site to see more photos of her work.

garden & gun | eliza kraft olander, wine collector

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”  ~ Andre Simon

 Eliza Kraft Olander, a wine collector and philanthropist, graciously allowed me to see a little part of her life as I photographed her for a Garden & Gun story recently.  It was so wonderful to spend time with her and photograph some of her impressive collection of wine.  She has over 24,000 bottles!  And many of the special ones are signed speaking of the close relationships Eliza has with the vineyards and wine makers.

To be honest, sometimes I have felt intimidated by the wine world but Eliza gave me some very good advice – “Drink what whatever wine you like!”  That is kind of freeing don’t you think?

A big thank you to Eliza for her warm welcome, for regaling me with wine stories, and showing me around her beautiful property.

Salute!  Cheers!  Santé!

garden & gun | far-out farmhouse

I am always thrilled to shoot for Garden & Gun magazine and when Art Director, Maggie Kennedy asked if I could shoot a lovely Carolina farmhouse I started packing my gear.  Driving down the bucolic country roads, past farms and lakes, past cattle and horses, I couldn’t wait to arrive at my destination.  The very talented Ken Pursley of Pursley Architecture designed this house that I secretly wish was mine.

Ken and his colleagues welcomed me and gave me the grand tour of the property.  What a wonderful getaway from the busyness of live – a row adirondack chairs on the porch for sitting and reading, walls of windows to gaze at beautiful scenery, a tree swing and a lake, chickens, horses and mammoth donkeys.  And all you can hear are the cicadas. . .

I think you’ll enjoy seeing a few more photos of amazing job Ken has done on this house!

our state | christmas at the biltmore I

Excited to have another cover of Our State magazine & a 20 page story on the Biltmore at Christmas!  Maria and I loved every minute of photographing at the Biltmore during the holidays – the trees and the lights were magnificent!  Thank you to LeeAnn Donnelly, the senior public relations manager, who hosted us for our Biltmore shoot!  Check back this week for more images from this shoot and a feature on an amazing collector of Spode china.

our state | behind the scenes at the biltmore

One of the things I love best about working for Our State Magazine is that I get to see and photograph some of the most beautiful places in North Carolina!  I have always wanted to visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville but somehow in all my years of being a transplanted Canadian, I haven’t made the time to go to the Biltmore.  When Art Director Deanne O’Connor called to ask me if I’d like to shoot a story there – I was so excited.  Not only is the Biltmore fantastic but the marketing department was so wonderful to help me with getting the best shots.  And the cherry on top was getting this month’s cover of Our State Magazine!

Stay tuned for more of my favorite shots from the Biltmore coming this week!

garden & gun | the party barn

It was such a pleasure to be assigned to photograph Bittersweet Farms for Garden & Gun magazine.  This idyllic property, owned by the Bechers, is near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina.  The barn was constructed out of the most beautiful wood from reclaimed barns brought down from Pennsylvania.  There are belted Galloway cows, meadows for dogs to romp and in a small vale sits an amazing twig sculpture called “Hocus Pocus” by Patrick Doherty.  See a few of my favorites below followed by the article.

nc winepress | flinthill vineyards

I absolutely love photographing at vineyards– the incredibly beautiful vines row upon row, the succulent grapes hanging on the leafy vines and of course the highlight of being able to taste the wines.   We are so excited to have the cover of the September/October issue of the new North Carolina Winepress magazine – hope you check it out!  This photograph was taken at the lovely family owned Flinthill Vineyards located in the East Bend.  They also have a restaurant located in the old family farmhouse called The Century Kitchen.