Aimee Twigger leads the sort of existence many of us only read about in romance novels. Images of her pastoral, do-it-yourself lifestyle, which she shares on social media @twiggstudios and her blog, Twigg Studios, are full of sublime landscapes, back-to-basic fashions that recall a bygone era, and cottage interiors brimming with her favorite flowers.
Together with her photography, she documents her reveries dreamt in meadows and the personal tales behind her rustic-inspired dishes that she makes with real, edible flowers. Scroll through her photos, and you’ll find Aimee gathering primroses, violets, and rose petals as she wanders meandering country lanes in her English seaside town.
“I get a lot of my ideas or inspiration from nature and the seasons, and I love to use edible flowers or forage for seasonal ingredients,” Aimee says of her whimsical recipes that range from handmade pasta and savory tarts to all manner of baked treats.
Edible flowers are an age-old culinary delight, but Aimee’s floral culinary forays and photography offer her followers even more: a retreat to a modern-day sort of Romanticism in step with nature and sustainable living. Aesthetically, her woodland delicacies are a nod to an ideal countryside life, both dreamy and wistful with ample artistic charm.
In Aimee’s world, a nostalgia for the simpler pleasures of a pre-industrial past find kindred spirits in the Romantic poets—in an Instagram post featuring one of her “arty pies,” shaped to look like daffodils, she muses, “Whenever I come across a patch of daffodils I always think of the poem by William Wordsworth.” While in other posts, she references paintings by Van Gogh or Rembrandt. For Aimee, blending ideas found in art (literature, painting, or even ceramics) comes naturally, yielding food that is a work of art itself.
“During lockdown last year (due to the covid-19 pandemic), with the boredom and uncertainty, I used food as an art project to pass the time and have something to focus on. I wanted to create things that looked like works of art that were also really delicious and make use of seasonal ingredients because of the food shortages at the beginning of the first lockdown,” she says.
“On a daily walk, I would collect wild garlic and nettles or edible flowers and use those in the meals I made, so it got me out of the house for some fresh air as well as a baking project.”
Aimee isn’t alone in her return to a more handcrafted approach to living stirred by cravings for a simpler time. In fact, in the past year if you found yourself baking sourdough from scratch or mending your own clothes, you may have been engaging in the “cottagecore” trend, an aesthetic movement that romanticizes living in the countryside.
Of course, Aimee’s creations take the trend to a level beyond. Projects such as her intricate gingerbread cottage, inspired by the dreamy cottage from the 2006 movie The Holiday, illustrate the depth of her admiration of bucolic abodes.
“I love old rustic, wonky houses, a home that has character. My house is quite old and rustic. It was built it 1869, I think; originally the houses on my street were used as fisherman’s cottages,” says Aimee, who grew up helping her mom in the kitchen. “I love rustic vintage things, so I add those elements into my photographs. I collect a lot of old vintage kitchenalia (cooking equipment). I love how it has been passed down and imagine the people who owned it before and the stories that might come with it.”
To try your hand at one of Aimee’s blooming recipes, check out Ricotta and Parmesan Cheesecake Tart.
Follow Aimee Twigger on Instagram at @twiggstudios or check out her website, twiggstudios.com, for more flower foods and information about her photography and food styling workshops.
By Michelle Mastro | Photography by Aimee Twigger