A conversation with the truly lovely Elly Douglas Hamilton ✨
Elly is the Chairman of Archerfield Estates, who are the creators of Archerfield Walled Garden in Scotland. They run a brilliant cafe, which serves delicious food, much of which is grown in their garden. The food market, shop, microbrewery, amazing willow walks and magical new Fairy Trail are all well worth a visit too 🌟
Elly Douglas Hamilton
Elly Douglas Hamilton is the Chairman of Archerfield Estates Ltd, the creators of Archerfield Walled Garden, which opened in 2013.
In a previous life her MSc studies in Wildlife Biology led to her work as a Red Squirrel Conservation Officer in the Scottish Borders and then later as an Events Coordinator for the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Following the birth of her children, she became more involved with the Estate's activities, which include the development of Archerfield Walled Garden, which is a Victorian market garden, café, microbrewery, food market and shop. They are also involved in farming, property rental and the enhancement and conservation of the wider estate.
Elly is one of the loveliest and most natural ladies I know and she’s kindly given a wonderful interview with many golden health, natural beauty and lifestyle tips.
1) Elly, you're a successful business woman and have two young children. How do you manage your time?
That's a tricky one - I have been very bad at it. Now I find it key to fit in the things that keep me sane as a priority and then plan work and family life around that. It might be the wrong order for some but it works for me!
2) You're one of the most natural minded people I know. You even make your own cleaning products! Please can you give us a couple of your natural beauty or cleaning recipes?
My favourite natural cleaning recipe is to mix a squish of eco washing up liquid with 20 drops of eucalyptus oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil. Both these oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Eucalyptus is also a key ingredient in this house as we used to be plagued by ants and it acts as a really effective repellant.
Eucalyptus is also a fantastic mouthwash. It can be as simple as adding a teaspoon of Eucalyptus oil to a cup of warm water and swoooooshing.
3) What do you do to relax and how do you reduce stress levels?
I run - I have found this the best way to clear my head. It's also a great way to meet new people and make great friends. It's very easy to talk freely to someone when they’re running by your side rather than looking straight at them!
I also wakeboard. I started wakeboarding in 2014 and have been completely hooked ever since. I was never particularly sporty when I was younger so to have become interested in running and wakeboarding at my age is still a bit of a surprise. Wakeboarding is almost a meditative practice - for the time you are on the water there is absolutely no room to think about anything else. It's also very expressive and a good session can leave you feeling on top of the world. There is a fantastic group of women at the wakepark I ride at, which is called Foxlake. They are known as the Foxy Ladies, who are all very supportive of each other and recognise and support each other's individual progression path. It's a wonderful sport to be involved with.
I practice meditation and yoga and am learning about ancient healing traditions and ways of life. Our connections to nature are becoming weaker and it's so important to live by the seasons, work with them and learn when to burn and shine and when to rest up and replenish. All women are strongly influenced by the moon and I think that keeping an eye on the moon phases is also a great idea. It's a good idea for anyone you live with too!
I also recently tried 5rhythms - a moving meditative practice. It's a lot of fun and gives you a great sense of freedom after you get over the first 5 minutes of stiff Britishness!
4) Do you have a favourite skincare brand?
Neal's Yard is fast becoming my favourite skincare brand. It makes sense to use products that are as natural as possible as our skin is so absorptive.
I have to mention hair care here too - I use the wonderfully moisturising, natural and eco-friendly Aveda Dry Remedy range. The buriti oil deserves a mention all of it's own for it's frizz controlling properties!
I am also LOVING Lush henna caca rouge at the moment. It a blend of Persian henna and cocoa butter and adds a little bit of fire with great condition.
5) Any staple make up products?
6) What would you tell your 16 year old self?
Do more of what you fancy (within reason).
Do a ski season (or two) and travel more whilst you can.
Spend more time with your parents. It's invaluable.
7) Where is your favourite place to holiday?
Easdale Island on the west coast is my perfect get away spot. It's the smallest permanently inhabited Inner Hebridean island. There are no cars, which makes it extremely peaceful and the disused slate quarries are great for swimming in. We rent a beautiful house on the Atlantic side of the island from some old friends and just potter on the beaches, paint stones and while away some time.
8) How do you keep fit?
See Q 3. I think this is pretty much the same thing. I don't keep fit for fitness sake really - it's for sanity.
9) Do you have a favourite healthy recipe?
My favourite thing at the moment is Golden Milk. It's a lovely grounding drink to take at the end of the day.
Melt a dessert spoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and grate a 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger into it. Fry softly for a couple of minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cardamom, 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg and a really good grind of black pepper (increases bio-availability of the turmeric).
Stir for a minute then cover with a cup of almond milk and bring to a slow simmer.
Turn off the heat and leave to steep for 10 minutes or so.
Strain through a little sieve into your favourite Charlotte Cadzow mug and add a spoon of honey if you like.
10) What's the strangest thing you've done in the name of health and beauty?
I suffer from cold sores and have tried almost everything including what they grandly call 'urine therapy'.
It probably works well for some but I found it made it the sore very painful and it's a little bit gross really.
11) Do you have one favourite golden health/wellbeing/beauty tip that you would like to share?
Get outside. Get moving. When you don't feel like it, is the most important time to do it. I find even a brief connection with nature feels like someone has pressed the reset button.
For more info about Archerfield Walled Garden: