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Fashion Designer Minna: My West Country

Fashion Designer Minna: My West Country

Fashion designer Minna, known for her eponymous label of beautiful, vintage-inspired lace bridal dresses, shares her passion for the West Country.

Where's your home?

I live in Child Okeford, between Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum.

What's your first West Country memory?

I always remember when we left London, every single Friday after rush hour to drive to our little one bed cottage in Donhead St Mary and getting out of the car and just smelling the fresh and clean country air. I also remember our country walks that almost always ended at our local pub. At that time we were weekenders but after a year of doing that, our hearts belonged to Dorset and we left London for good.

What do you most love about the West Country?

How gorgeous it is. I have two horses and I train for a triathlon so I really appreciate the variety of scenery that Dorset offers. It inspires me every day, not just to train, but also in my work as a bridal designer.

Most romantic thing you've ever done here?

I must be very boring, but both me and my husband road bike a lot so I love nothing but a 25 mile ride with him, chatting away and finishing at our local pub. I love the fact that after 16 years we still have lots to talk and dream about and having a hobby that you can do with your partner is great. Now our holidays together, always centre around cycling, hiking and triathlons.

How would you spend a perfect weekend?

Lots of cycling, horse riding, pub dinner with friends, movies and walk on Chesil beach with the kids and dogs. For a weekend away it must the the Pig on the Beach in Studland, it's amazing.

Where would you eat your last meal?

I absolutely love the Beckfords Arms and Pythouse Kitchen Garden Cafe and near Tisbury the Forester Inn in Donhead St Andrew which used to be our local in the early days of living in this area.

How does the West Country inspire your designs?

This is where I started my journey as a designer. The abundance of lace I found from the antique markets, inspired me to start my label. The beautiful scenery and peace and calmness in this area, helps me to keep things in balance as the business has grown. I has also helped me to prioritise things as in London my life was all about work. Here, I have learned to take time off and enjoy what matters most in life, your family, health, happiness and friends.

Where's your favourite beach and view?

I love Studland for a day out with friends and kids but Chesil Beach is great for a long walk that finishes at Hive Beach Cafe for some serious seafood.

Can you share a hidden gem with us?

I love the Dorchester Curiosity Centre for great and affordable antiques and vintage clothing. I think I have bought my most treasured things from there. I never leave empty handed.

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