The Making of This is Your Kingdom

This is Your Kingdom, TiYK was founded in April 2010 by Hannah Wiltshire and Rebecca Gaunt. Hailing from Devon and friends since school, we have always shared a love for exploring the United Kingdom and seeking out inspirational new things. Whether it be a favourite blustery walk, handmade keepsake, or a special spot to indulge in some locally-sourced homemade food, for us, nothing beats stumbling upon a real gem – something a bit special or unexpected.

From butchers to bakers to everything makers, all the great food shops, cafes, restaurants, delicatessens and markets form amongst our most popular entries on TiYK and we showcase artisanal talent with pride.

It was while chatting about our latest discoveries that we discussed how wonderful it would be to create an online community where people could both discover and share these invaluable insider snippets of local knowledge. A site that would really fly the flag for our United Kingdom, providing a suitable environment to showcase the very best of British. So there it was, the inspiration for TiYK was born.

We have always been passionate about supporting unique home-grown local British businesses and found it frustrating that there was a real lack of reliable resources for both sharing and discovering all the brilliant little enterprises springing up across the UK. The internet was awash with review sites, all packed with useful user generated content but lacking a consistent voice, message or appeal. We longed for a site we could trust, that only talked about the types of finds we would like and did so in an informed and personable way. It also had to be visually attractive enough to make us want to spend time browsing and discovering, creating that same feel-good factor we experience when flicking through our favourite magazines.

This is Your Kingdom provides this by persuading readers to divulge their favourite thing to ‘eat, drink, walk, think, potter, ponder, snuggle, shop or sleep’. We provide unique insider information that will encourage our readers to discover their local area, help local businesses and showcase all the brilliant inspiring artisans making baking and creating across the UK.  What we are doing sets out to celebrate the best of our local surroundings and homegrown talents, and in turn strengthens the sense of local community.

The design of TiYK centred on creating something aesthetically pleasing whilst retaining a high level of user friendliness. We were lucky enough to find each of our designers through a website called Student Gems – a hub for hiring freelance students which we cannot recommend highly enough. We are very grateful to Jess Linares – (author of our beautiful illustrations), Freya Lines (who designed and cut our logo and buttons perfectly) and Pete (a very patient young man who spent hours with me in coffee shops across London designing the site) and cannot thank them enough for the dedication and hard work they put in to producing the designs for TiYK.

The technical part of the site was built by Mason Web Development based near Borough Market in London and led by (the unflappable) Richard Mason – this small team produced a very user friendly, robust system for an extremely reasonable price. The back end is essentially a content management system (CMS) – we type our content straight in, add photos and metadata and then click a button to make it live.

As you would expect social media is extremely important to us as we are all about creating a caring and sharing community – both online and offline. Our content is very location specific and as we currently receive ideas for things to see and do across the whole of the UK, we are in the process of adopting a county based social media campaign to ensure our TiYKers only hear about entries that are relevant to them. Do join our existing facebook (  and twitter (!/TiYKingdom) group and we will let you know when your county group goes live.

Supporting and raising awareness of small home-grown local British businesses are generally something people feel very passionate about – as illustrated by the campaigns of Mary Portas. Encouraging people to ‘Live and Love Local’ is the main objective of our work here at TiYK – such is the enthusiasm for our cause we have found that our most powerful marketing tool is good old fashioned word-of mouth.

One of the ways in which we set ourselves apart from other ‘insider guides’ is a promise to only publish high quality, accurate content about great things that fit within our ‘live and love local’ ethos. It is therefore vital that we retain the integrity of the site and this means only featuring appropriate businesses to share with our loyal TiYKers. Despite our very best efforts it is obviously unrealistic for either Rebbeca or myself to visit each place we share. For this (rather enviable) task we have our  network of ‘local spies’ who, as TiYKers themselves, know exactly what it is we are after.

Some of our most popular foodie entries are:

1. Davy’s Locker in Bridport,  Dorset – “fantastic fish ‘lock-up’ where the fish and shellfish arrive just minutes after being landed”.

2. Ginger & White Cafe, London – “very British coffee shop which sources the best British ingredients and, quite simply, serves the best coffee I’ve tasted in London”

3. Back to the Garden, Norfolk – “good quality, locally-sourced, fresh-as-can-be produce. You can buy pretty much anything here – from Norfolk turkeys at Christmas and venison from the nearby estate to local jams, beers and artisan cheeses.”

4. Mowhay Café, Trebetherick, Cornwall – family cafe offering a selection of homemade sandwiches, cream teas and cake throughout the day, and a delicious a la carte menu most evenings – champions local produce wherever possible.

5. Winking Prawn, Devon – “The staff are all charming, the seaside setting is perfect and the food is deliciously fresh and locally sourced. We love the cracked Devon crab and the Elmhurst Brie, produced just down the road on the award winning Sharpham Estate.”

6. The Rugglestone, Dartmoor –  “Nestled on the outskirts of Widdecombe-in-the-Moor on glorious Dartmoor, this family run pub comes complete with cosy open fires, home-made food and lots of charm”

If Foodie Bugle readers would like to join our cause and contribute to TiYK, then here are three ways in which you can do so:

Raise Awareness of Your Business, Blog and Local Area

Whether you are a foodie blogger looking to raise your profile, a small business owner seeking to spread the word about your special venture or a passionate local keen to fly the flag for your county, we can help you spread the word amongst our community of TiYK-ers for free. Simply write in and, using our easy to complete form, tell us about your favourite place in the UK to ‘eat, drink, walk, think, potter, ponder, snuggle shop or sleep’. Each entry will be published on the site, in our newsletter and across all our social media and will include a suitably detailed accreditation to the author, their businesses and blog and a link to their site and anything else you would like us to mention. Do get in touch at [email protected] and we will send you a form containing four questions – simply complete this, send it back and we will do the rest.

Join the TiYK Team

Do you know a super secret place to get the best home-made cream tea or a family butcher shop that serves well sourced, well hung cuts of meat? We are on the look out for in-the-know locals to help us uncover and discover more inspirational artisans, growers, farms, food shops and markets across the UK as well as some savvy local spies to make sure all entries are up to our (very exacting) TiYK standards. Do get it touch: [email protected].

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