Who is Georgia East?
I am a writer, food stylist and photographer from Cape Town, South Africa. Predominantly self-taught, I’m passionate about classic cooking styles – comfort food filled with nostalgia (or blue cheese). I’ve recently become interested in landscape and lifestyle photography, and I’m drawn to scenes that are able to conjure up emotion within the viewer. I count myself lucky to live in a country as diverse as my one – there is never a shortage of intriguing subject matter to document.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
I had a very happy childhood and so there are any number of memories that make me smile. One of which would be from around age 3, on a warm summer evening. My mother was watering the garden and I was splashing in the puddles that had gathered on the paving. I can vividly recall the feel of the water through my shorts, the sound of the hosepipe and Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier filtering through the open kitchen window, the smell of cool water sinking into warm brickwork and the last of the Spring jasmine still in bloom. At that moment nothing else mattered but the puddles and the fun I was having by sitting in them.
If you could have a do-over in life, what would you do differently?
I would love myself more as a teenager, be kinder to myself at a time when I wasn’t very kind. I would want to spend more time with my late father – I would want to find out first-hand about his life growing up. I would try to be more present in each moment. I would never have bleached my hair platinum blonde when I was 19.
What do you feel most proud of?
My solo career. Since I began work as a freelance writer, stylist and photographer, my skills have increased – along with my confidence and happiness levels. Deciding to give up the 9 to 5 was the best decision I have ever made.
If you could keep only 3 possessions, what would they be and why?
My pink bunny – a small, well-loved soft toy that I feel represents my continued childlike enthusiasm. It reminds me to stay curious and full of wonder in a world where we are fed facts like cereal.
A dog-eared copy of Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying – given to me by my mother, it was my introduction to feminism and I read it religiously twice a year. I love the fact that I take something new from it every time I read it.
My late father’s Jethro Tull LPs. I know that these don’t count as a single possession, but since taste in music is such a personal preference, listening to them always reminds me of him. His extensive vinyl collection is one of the few things I have left to remember him by.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I don’t believe in tombstones or being buried – rather request your earthly remains be used to fertilize a tree instead. In replacement, I would love to have published a few books before departing this realm and so I would see them as being both eulogy and epitaph to the person I was. On another note, I have always loved Percy Bysshe Shelley’s epitaph, taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest:
“Nothing of him that doth fade, but doth suffer a sea-change, into something rich and strange”
What is East After Noon?
I began East After Noon a year ago after realising my love for cooking and food styling and wanting a platform other than social media on which to display my creations. Now featuring a range of topics from food to fashion to travel and my own musing, East After Noon is at base a blog, but also a portfolio of my work that constantly updates itself. My next project will be to get my clothing label FORTUNE up and running after the yearlong hiatus I took from it to begin East After Noon.
What is your favourite kind of coffee?
To let you in on a little secret, I’m actually still acquiring a taste for coffee – I only began drinking it a few years ago and usually I average about a cup a week. That being said, when I do enjoy my Sunday morning caffeine fix, I’m partial to a cup of Rosetta Roastery’s Biloya – an Ethiopian blend that’s easy drinking with a sunny fragrance.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
What does a perfect day look like?
I love taking minibreaks and so my ideal day would start with the prospect of exploring a new environment – this could be anything from trying out a new eatery or visiting one of the myriad towns that surround the greater Cape Town area. Sun on my face, healthy curiosity and a small shopping basket for any prospective finds is a definite recipe for contentment. Being a food stylist, I love browsing through thrift stores as well as farmer’s markets – seventies stoneware, fresh flowers, bread and Greek mezze are all market must-haves for me. To end my perfect day, I’d love nothing more than to cook a wonderfully rambling meal for my closest friends and family using produce I’d found earlier at the market – lots of wine, candles and the kind of food that requires flatbreads and fingers to enjoy.