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In conversation with Brendan Murdock

This week, we caught up with our founder, Brendan Murdock, to share his story and his ethos for a balanced life.

What is your morning routine?

I get up at 6:30, switch on BBC Radio 4 and then make myself a coffee. I like to take a few minutes in our living room, which has a nice window view into our courtyard garden, to gather my thoughts. I enjoy daily solitude. Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day, and most of the time, I have muesli with lots of fresh fruit, yoghurt and honey. I usually try to catch a gym class around the corner from my home in Shoreditch at 7:15. If I do exercise or activity in the morning, my day is much more productive and focused.

When are you most energised in the day?

As long as I work out in some way early in the morning, then I know my day will be productive. Indoor cycling is a really good way to energise me, and it leaves me feeling good. The release of endorphins and blood circulation gives me a happy high, so the days I do that will be pretty focused. In the summer months, I’ve replaced some spin classes for tennis.

What do you snack on during the day?

I try to keep my energy levels up with a boiled egg or protein shake after going to the gym. Having had my own nutritionist educate me on snacking, I’ve been adding flavoursome organic spices to the drinks, which seems to tide me over until lunchtime.

How do you relax?

My dog Dodger brings a lot of happiness to my life – my partner and I really enjoy taking walks with him to relax. I’m lucky enough that I can take him to work and most of my meetings. He’s a very faithful friend. In fact, I think he’s a little like a therapy dog. Any trouble in the day, he’s there and ready to be cuddled.

What place did you last visit that inspired you?

We went to Naples the summer before the first lockdown, which was rather inspiring. It really highlighted the skills of the Italian craftsmen. Many buildings in Naples are remarkable and blend other architectural styles. It’s rather special that you can take a boat to Capri as well. Once you get past the busy crowds, it’s pretty tranquil with beautiful waters to swim in.

What was the last book you read?

My partner is an academic and always encourages me to read more. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante was fantastic. When we were in Naples, he encouraged me to read a book native to where we were visiting. That book really brought the architecture and city to life for me.

What physical space or room do you feel most at ease in?

I love the kitchen in my country cottage. You can sit there for hours with the doors wide open, taking in the garden, which is quite the nesting sanctuary for birds. I’m guessing that’s typical of most country gardens, but I like to think we are doing something special to draw them in.

City break or a rural retreat?

I’m lucky enough that I can escape to Suffolk most weekends. A few weekends a month, I’m able to walk the bridle paths and get down to the beach with my dog and partner, which is rejuvenating. If I go abroad, I’ll usually pick a coastal city. I’m keen to visit Copenhagen and Vienna when I can.

 What’s your personal motto?

Focus on the end goal, no matter how challenging the journey is to get there. You have to visualise the outcome you’re seeking to achieve, and hopefully, you can reach it. 

Weekend food indulgence?

Bread and wine. For the most part, I try not to eat bread during the week, but nothing is better than the taste of fresh bread on a Saturday. I’ve been cutting back on wine during the week, too, which makes me appreciate it more when I indulge on the weekend.

What do you enjoy most about food?

I enjoy rustic, relaxed food where the ingredients shine for themselves, especially in late summer, we have abundant ingredients. I am particularly looking forward to figs and tomatoes from our garden. Figs with delicious Parma ham or baked with ricotta cheese.

Do you have any heroes, and how do they inspire you?

Really surrounding myself with good people that have ambitions built on more material success is very inspiring. I’m especially inspired by friends that are creating things or finding ways to realise their talents.

Coffee or tea?

Trying hard to ration my coffee drinking to a max of 3 cups a day. After that, I delve into anatomé tea – the rooibos tea is a great booster in the afternoon.

What music makes you feel inspired?

Music is super important to me. I am developing a greater love for opera and renewed interest in classical music. Aside from that, I find that Philip Glass or pieces like Summerland by William Grant Still are brilliant composers to relax to. But, I like to mix my playlists with some of my pop classic catalogue that seems to stop somewhere around 2008.

What’s your favourite piece of music?

I really enjoy a piece by William Grant Still. It’s a new discovery for me. Not only was he one of the finest Afro-American composers of the early 20th century, but his music is quite spiritual, visionary, and something to be still and meditate to. 

How often do you digitally detox?

Not enough, but I’m trying to be much better at night. Since I created the anatomē oils, the routine of applying the sleep better collection to my skin each night before lights out really benefits me. Reading, even if it’s just a few pages, helps rests my mind, too.

Silence or noise?

Living in London, we forget how much noise fills our day, so those quiet times first thing in the morning or at the weekends are crucial - I truly value silence.

Health tip?

I like to think that a spoonful of really great honey every day somewhat supports my immune system. I take Greek thyme honey that is some of the best in the world due to the density of species unique to the Greek islands. I didn’t realise until opening anatomē how much the quality of honey varies and just how expensive the very best can be.

What inspires you?

Getting out and absorbing as much as possible. It’s enriching for the soul. I feel the more you engage with the outside world in all its various forms, the deeper you can delve within your soul for inspiration or ways of challenging yourself. Living in London makes this easy, of course, as I go to the theatre or opera most weeks as well as concerts and gallery visits.

Written by:
Leah Wingenroth

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