Bella Middleton created Norfolk Natural Living, a slow-luxury wellbeing brand with one aim: to enhance the everyday. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and three children and has a store in Holt, Norfolk.
We are delighted to stock a selection of Bella's products, made from completely natural products they are the perfect addition to any home.
Hello Bella thank you for speaking with us! In your opinion, what is the best thing about living in Norfolk?
The views are amazing - it’s not called the ‘Turner county’ for nothing.
If you could learn anything new, what would it be?
I would do anything to sculpt clay - there’s something so beautiful about the whole process. The history of the craft, the texture of the clay, the heat of the kiln and the delight if your piece doesn’t crack or blow up - and who knows, it might last a thousand years.
What does your perfect day off look like?
A lie-in followed by breakfast in bed made by my children. A long walk in glorious sunshine, a morning of playing in the garden, an even longer lunch, a little baking or making something in the afternoon and then a relaxed dinner with my friends with lots of wine, food and laughter.
What's the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Do what you enjoy.
What is your favourite product from the Norfolk Natural Living range?
Norfolk Natural Living is my passion - so it’s like choosing a favourite child, completely impossible. At the moment though, it’s probably my Amethyst and Calcite Gemstone diffuser - all of my children were born in February - so amethyst is my family stone and has a special place in my heart. I currently have it by my bed, so I see it each day and the heavenly rose fragrance wafts me to bed at night.
If you could recommend somewhere to visit in Norfolk to someone who has never been before, where would it be and what would you tell them about it?
It’s got to be Bircham Windmill, I was travelling home with Hugo and the children and stumbled across it completely by accident but what a fabulous place! It has the original mill where you can bake bread and cakes together - once it's in the oven - you can climb up to the top and see all the beautiful views of the farm and Norfolk. It ticks every box. It was such a lovely little find.
What inspired you to start Norfolk Natural Living?
A desire to bring pleasure to my everyday rituals. From washing the dishes to cleaning my jumpers to falling asleep. These are rituals we all do every single day (and even more when you have children) and I believe it is possible to elevate them to something we enjoy, possibly even look forward to. By incorporating purposeful aromatherapy infusions into each of our products, we are being both mindful of our environment whilst also mindful of the benefits purposeful fragrance can have on our mindset.
What does your ideal long weekend away look like?
Somewhere different - we had looked at taking a log cabin in Norway before the pandemic, it’s completely isolated - no Wi-Fi, no electricity! In deep snow, on a cross-country ski track (not that I can cross-country ski!) but I love that idea of being away from it all with the children and in such beautiful surroundings.
Now, not being able to travel, instead we’re looking much closer to home and in fact have just booked to spend the weekend on the Norfolk Broads on a little wooden sail boat we’ve rented from Martham Boats, it looks so like so much low key fun, staying on the boat, seeing nature, playing eye-spy with the children pottering about on the water. I cannot wait.
How do you balance work and family?
I juggle - with three children under six, it is pretty full on at the moment, I’m at work whilst my son’s at school and I’ll do a little more work after the children have gone to bed. My main priority when I am at home though, is to be present with my children, so when I walk in the door, I put my keys and phone in a box and I don’t retrieve my phone until they are in bed. I want to give them all my attention when I am at home - even if they don’t get all of my time throughout the day.
What do you love most about your job?
As Norfolk Natural Living is my passion, I love a lot of different things about my job. Firstly, I love creating everything from scratch, knowing each ingredient, knowing the way it works and why. But probably the very best bit is having the store in Holt, meeting my customers, hearing their stories - it has created a fantastic sense of community and Holt is such a vibrant place, I’m completely in love with the area and the people.
Favourite place for brunch?
I am more of an evening person… so I say The Gunton Arms, it’s heavenly and food is fab.
Favourite podcast/Netflix show/book right now?
Podcast: The Guilty Feminist
Netflix: Grace and Frankie
Book: The Perfect Scent : A year inside the Perfume industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr
Bella, thank you so much for your time. We adore your products and the ethos behind them, all three of us have an Amethyst diffuser in our homes, its one of our favourite products too! We will be first in the queue the day you open up again.