Claire Thornley
Our Favourite Places

This morning was generously hosted by JC Graves Woodland Discovery Centre @ Ecclesall Woods.

‘I suppose it’s Barbara from Scarborough that we need to thank.’

Claire Thornley AKA Our Favourite Places met Barbara when staying in the seaside town for a holiday. The B&B owner gave Claire and husband Glenn a scrap of paper, detailing her recommendations for things to do in Scarborough. The couple spent the weekend working through Barbara’s list, discovering the very best of Scarborough, according to a local. The words on top of that list? Our Favourite Places.

‘Our Favourite Places started as a side project but it’s become a really big part of our studio work.’

Our Favourite Places is a product of Eleven Design, the design studio run by Claire, husband Glenn and original founding partner John Gelder. A cultural city guide borne out of Claire and Glenn’s frustrations that Sheffield wasn’t shouting about the fantastic things happening within its seven hills.

‘We spent time, money and resources on something we didn’t know anyone would be interested in.’

One guidebook became four. Their guide to typography in Sheffield was listed as one of the best in Britain by The Guardian. Then the website was launched, already reaching 50,000 page views per month in it’s infancy.

‘The ‘Our’ in ‘Our Favourite Places’ has become so much more than our studio, it has become a city wide ‘Our Favourite Places’.’

Alongside working with some of the region’s largest institutions and artists and having a baby boy, Claire and the rest of the Eleven team have made a dogged commitment to promoting the city and making people aware of all the great stuff going on.

From this, many other great projects have come about, and Our Favourite Places has transformed many people’s experience of Sheffield along the way.

‘Now we’re some kind of unofficial tourist board for the city with Our Favourite Places.’

A commitment is a promise to always do what we have to do, regardless if we are in the mood or not, having a good or bad day. Making commitment means approving something with all our heart, and committing is the attitude and mindset of a professional.

A creative life is built on the commitments you make to projects and people. When making commitment, sometimes we feel ‘reckless’ or taking a big risk. But isn’t the essence of creative life taking risks?

This morning was generously hosted by JC Graves Woodland Discovery Centre @ Ecclesall Woods.