Sophie Parker is the founder of Betony and Sage, creating organic scented candles, incense, room mists and smudge sticks to keep your spaces (rooms and head…) naturally clear and fresh.

Sophie is a keen environmental conservationist, passionate about the natural world and a true believer in the healing power of nature. Her organic products are made with the addition of foraged ingredients sustainably harvested from around her home.

What one piece of seasonal wisdom helps you as we move from autumn to winter?

For me, winter is time to take stock and follow nature’s lead by slowing down. I find the best way to absorb this transition is a meditative walk in the woods, to notice the changes in the natural world; the leaves as they turn amber and golden, the birds relishing the glut of rowan berries, the rich and dark earthy smell that has been absent all summer. In these moments, I feel the energy change on the wind and take heed of the guidance all around me.

What one self-care ritual do you never skimp on?

Every day I spend time with nature, without this I start to feel disconnected. For me the healing power of time in nature is indescribable. It’s my wild medicine, my way to root and ground, to connect to life’s simple and most important pleasures.

What’s cooking in your kitchen this month?

I have been busy creating elderberry syrup. This vitamin-rich syrup is a winter essential for our household and is a real joy to create – I adore the deep purple hues that stain the wooden spoon and tint my fingers. As the evenings are beginning to carry a chill on the air, we are cooking more homegrown veg in our stew pot.

Share one book that taught you something amazing about life.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir of a 1,100 mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in the US. I read this book at a real low point and it gave me hope.

What always brings a smile to your face?

My gorgeous dogs! We rehomed a Romanian stray in December 2017 and have a Labrador retriever who is now four. They are such huge characters and have so much love to give, they are a delight and always bring me such joy.

What is the best treatment you’ve had locally?

I really enjoy practising yoga and regularly attend classes with Ashlyn of Fisical Mind and Body, along with the beautiful classes at Kingdom Penshurst. Yoga helps to free my body and relax my mind.


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