Seedlip owner Ben Branson finds peace among the fields of home
My Hole & Corner 11.07.2018
Fresh from his gold medal at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Ben Branson, owner of non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip, on the ‘invigorating quiet’ of the barley fields beside his home…
A ‘hole-and-corner’ is an old English term meaning a secret place: somewhere you go to escape, to be inspired, to contemplate and create. Where is your ‘hole-and-corner’?
I love old English terms! We’re about to build a laboratory and experimental nursery up on my farm and we have christened it Beasley, which is the old English name for a Pea Meadow. Anyway, we have some barley fields just around the corner from our house that are absolutely stunning, bordered by woods with views of rolling hills and a quaint village cricket pitch. The quintessential English countryside in all its glory. The smell of young barley is fantastic at this time of year.
Can you explain why it’s so special to you?
Seedlip is only two and a half years old and we have grown extremely quickly – from my kitchen to over 50 people – and Seedlip is now available in over 15 countries. I travel a lot and always look forward to getting home, getting out to the fields with the dogs and taking a breath.
Is it important to you to have somewhere to escape from the hustle and bustle of life?
Absolutely. I’m a countryside boy at heart and not really one for cities and the intensity of urban spaces, so I need the space, fresh air and invigorating quiet of the countryside and nature to recharge.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working?
I have three music modes depending on what I’m doing: if I’m in spreadsheets and numbers I find techno music is fantastic to fully immerse myself in. If I’m driving and thinking, it’s always Radio 4. The Archers, Gardener’s Question Time… brilliant station. Otherwise, it totally depends on my mood, I’ve got no idea about genres, but I’ll listen to everything from Ludovico Einaudi and Deep Forest to something more upbeat like Fat Freddy’s Drop or The Cat Empire.
What elements do you think make a perfect ‘hole-and-corner’?
Quiet, wildlife, time and space.
Is it private to you or do you let other people visit?
I like private.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Trust your gut. Especially helpful when trying to do something no one has done before and you have no benchmarks or facts to go on!