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  • What I Did During Lockdown, From Baking to Jewellery Making

    18 January 2021

    Staying at home may be limiting, but it doesn’t need to be boring. Right now, baking has become a vital mechanism for many during these challenging times. Take a look at some of our recipes to try, perfect for beginners.

    Here are some stories from our team members about what they’ve been up to during lockdown, and tips on how they’ve been taking care of their mental wellbeing whilst staying at home.

    Stuart Elliott, Chef-Manager at a Searcys’ corporate venue

    “It all started during the first lockdown when I was baking loads of bread and cooking to keep busy.

    Image by Stuart Elliot

    I would bake around 6 -10 loaves a day and deliver them to the local elderly neighbours I knew would be struggling. I carried this on for quite a while using around 75kg of flour until, unfortunately, my oven gave up and stopped working. By this time, I had built up some good relationships with some of the neighbours, helping them get shopping, cooking dishes, and delivering them to help out.

    I am still doing this now, mainly for an elderly gentleman called Richard. I also delivered Richard dinner on Christmas day and had a distance chat from the street, which really made his day.”


    Image by Jamal Williams 

    Jamal Williams, an Assistant Restaurant Manager at a Searcys’ corporate venue

    “A friend recommended crocheting and knitting as a way to keep me busy throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns. I later found crocheting to be deeply therapeutic and would turn to it every time I felt anxious or uncertain about something. With the help of online tutorials and my friend, I have created some lovely scarfs which keep me warm during the winter months and make great gifts for my loved ones. Not only have I picked up a new skill during this pandemic, but I now use it as a way to improve my mental health and bring a sense of calmness into my life.”


    Image by Vivien Horvath

    Vivien Horvath, Chef de Partie at St Pancras Brasserie

    “I had the idea to make jewellery and accessories with clay because I love crafts. It is relaxing and good to see my designs become reality. I don’t seek perfection, it is about having fun and enjoying the process. This little project has kept me interested – through research, planning, and shaping up my ideas.”


    Image by Anna Poloniewicz

    Anna Poloniewicz, General Manager at the National Army Museum

    “There is no big story to tell, really. I remember from my childhood that my mum was always making things and knitting, that and I was always inspired by creativity. When you start designing something like that, you forget about everything, time doesn’t matter anymore – sometimes I finish knitting at 4am!”


    Image by Bruno Pelletier 

    Bruno Pelletier, General Manager at St Pancras Brasserie and Champagne Bar and Searcys Drinks Ambassador

    “When I was growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but instead I changed my plans and went for a fashionable catering school instead.

    At the very start of 2020, I was celebrating a special birthday with a party. As I couldn’t find the right tablecloths, I decided to buy a second-hand machine and the fabric and make them myself.  During the first lockdown in spring, I noticed that the grey sofa in my small apartment was looking sad and tired and in need of a makeover, so I decided to make the new covers. But the machine broke, so I bought a brand new one… et voilà de fil en aiguille (from thread to a needle, as we say in France) or one thing led to another, and I found a way keeping myself busy by making all sorts of wonderful things, from clothes and coats to furniture covers!”

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