Hey there, my names Rachel but I also go by @bucksfoodie! I’m a 22-year-old MA graduate from West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. You may recognise me from this article where I was named as one of ‘Four Fantastic Food Bloggers to Follow’. This is just a little info about me, my account and where it all began! To start, here are a few foodie facts about me:
- I am quite possibly the worst baker I know – you either get gloopy messes or … ‘cakes’ that could be used as building materials.
- I was vegetarian for the majority of my time at university – not necessarily for ethical reasons, but because I couldn’t afford meat!
- My favourite chef ever is Gordon Ramsay. I met him at the BBC Good Food show when I was about 10 and had my first experience of ‘fan-girling’.
- I have always loved (even if my bank account has not!) going out for food.
- I think my favourite meal to go out for is brunch, it’s usually cheaper than a dinner and always gets the day started on a positive note.
I started @bucksfoodie when I moved back home from SW London after finishing my undergraduate degree. I realised that I tended to visit the same few restaurants with my friends, boyfriend and family. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted to branch out a bit and actually explore the foodie scene – especially in High Wycombe and Aylesbury as these were the two places I spent most of my time.
My focus when I started #bucksfoodie was really simple:
- Discover new independent restaurants, bars and cafes.
- Try out these new places & take pictures of the experience.
- Post it online and hope to spread some more awareness of small businesses.
So, I made the account in December 2019 after my boyfriend and I had, what is still, the best Sunday Roast of our lives at The Harrow in Bishopstone. I started posting weekly because I didn’t have the content or budget to post more regularly. Before I made the account I created a back catalogue of other independent restaurants or cafes that I’d been to prior to actually making the account. To start with, there was no pressure to post as not many people were following me and it could stay as a side project/hobby.
The account got left by the wayside for a little while because I was also studying for my MA at this time. But I still took pictures of my food and of the experiences. I’ve always liked having a record of great experiences – my boyfriend says that I’m a hoarder of memories, pictures and memorabilia!
I’m not going to say the ‘C’ word [not Christmas, the other one] but… lockdown played a huge part in getting back into @bucksfoodie and really changing things up. I had bucket loads of time and needed motivation to get through the day, as I think a lot of us did and @bucksfoodie became that for me.
I started with a food challenge that another foodie had created which meant I had to post every day for 30 days, different types of content like my favourite meal, my favourite takeaway, best bake (this was a big throwback to the only cake triumph I’ve ever had!). Not only did it give me a focus it forced me to be creative with food, to think about food in a practical way, and to actually experiment in the kitchen a little bit.
The result was incredible not just for myself and my food journey, but I was also gaining loads of active followers who wanted to chat and to share their experiences with me! It also put me in contact with some great businesses. The best bit was they weren’t just local anymore – I’ve spoken to foodies in New York, in Dubai and even in Australia – the internets amazing for that! I’ve still remained very focussed on presenting local businesses in the Buckinghamshire area though – I think it will always be my main focus, no matter where this account takes me.
It’s become something pretty magical since early April 2020! Most recently I gained over 3000 followers, and later this month I’ll be judging a competition for Eden Shopping Centre! Pinch me please because it doesn’t seem real!
I love creating and posting content, and even if the Instagram algorithm means that my posts don’t get seen immediately, or by as many people, it’s not about the likes or the comments for me. The best thing I’ve gained from being a Food Blogger are the dialogues I’ve had with businesses, restaurants, brands and my followers. I love nothing more than being asked for recommendations, or for a more in-depth discussion on a trip to a restaurant, or food product that I’ve been sent.
I’ve also been able to help brands price their products and market their events which is just incredible and something really unexpected that has come with my blog! It’s like a part-time job at the moment, I feel very busy with @bucksfoodie and it’s given me a fantastic focus, it’s also really helped my relationship with food.
I think a lot of us go through dips and dives in our relationships with food. It can be a toxic, messy and sometimes really uncomfortable topic to talk about, especially when you’re a content creator who is solely posting about food! But, since starting @bucksfoodie, I’ve been encouraged to love, appreciate, and try new foods, which is a really lovely additional bonus to making this account.
Well, I think that just about covers me and my journey with @bucksfoodie so far. The good news is it’s far from over yet!