Bluebells, you take my breath away with your spectacular spring show. A scene like this is the stuff of fairy tales.
Did you know you can find your nearest bluebell walk online? We’re off to Wales this Bank Holiday weekend to visit the other half’s family and I’m hoping they can be persuaded to go bluebell hunting with me. It’s coming towards the end of bluebell season but I’ve heard they’re late this year so fingers crossed we’ll find some.
These photos were taken in 2011 by Luke in the woods at Aberglasney. It’s truly quite spectacular and well worth a visit.
Posted in Floral fantasy, Green thumbs, Places to visit, Travel
Tagged Aberglasney, bluebells, bulbs, carmathenshire, gardens, spring, spring bulbs, Wales, woodland trust, woods
Jaeger is a brand I’d never paid the slightest bit of attention to. Until I spied this little frock on ASOS. Hello my pretty.
Silk, black and lovely 1/2 sleeves. And you can get 20 percent off Jaeger on their website or in store with InStyle this month, making the £170 price tag a little less eye-watering.
P.S An awesome cat gif. Just because it’s Friday.
At Easter I was rummaging around in my photo files when I came across these lovely candy coloured cottages in Tenby. We visited the lovely Welsh seaside town with the other half’s family in Easter last year and I’d never gotten around to posting any photos (despite the best intentions). The pastel shades make me want to paint my nails the colour of candy floss. I also now want to live in a pale pink cottage.
An island perfect for smugglers and the Famous Five.
The Spinning Wheel.
Where is my Lemon Sorbet nail polish?
Posted in Places to visit, Rambles, Travel
Tagged beauty, candy floss, cottages in tenby, nail polish, pastel shades, pastels, seaside, Tenby, Wales
I can’t stop thinking about this dress. Daydreaming about the flowing emerald green silk.
Green silk dress – See by Chloe.
At full price for more than £500 it was completely out of my price range, and very much just a daydream. At £245 it’s still out of my price range, but I keep trying to convince myself it’s doable. Maybe it’s the dress of my life. Maybe it’s the one. Maybe there’ll never be another dress for me.
There are very few lovely green dresses out there. For all the lovely dresses in the wonderful world of internet shopping, very few of them are green.
Le sigh. Cost per wear right?
I’ve been going back to my roots lately. I learned to bake from a mixture of my mother and grandmother’s recipes, and recipes from New Zealand’s iconic Edmonds cookery book. This walnut and coffee cake is without a doubt one of my favourites from the flour company’s book (with the motto ‘Sure to rise’).
Within months of first moving to London I was on the phone to home asking for a copy of the book to be posted to me. I still go back to it when my shelves of other cook books fail to inspire me, or if I’m feeling a bit homesick. I tweak this cake recipe a bit, espresso rather instant coffee, and use a little rapeseed or sunflower oil instead of butter and throw walnuts into the mixture. It’s the perfect cake to bake on a Sunday.
Coffee and walnut cake (adapted from Edmonds cookery book)
2 tablespoons strong espresso
1/3 cup of oil (sunflower or rapeseed)
3/4 cup brown sugar
scrape of fresh vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs separated
1 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk or soy/rice milk
Coffee icing (icing sugar, butter or alternative, espresso)
1. Make your espresso and set aside to cool.
2. Cream butter, sugar, coffee mixture and vanilla until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
5. Sift flour, cornflour and baking powder together.
6. Add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with the egg whites.
7. Stir in milk and walnuts.
8. Pour cake mixture into two greased and lined 20 cm sponge sandwich tins.
9. Bake at 190°C for 20-25 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
10. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
11. Fill and ice with Coffee Icing. Decorate with walnut pieces if desired.
P.S. Where I find cake inspiration
This snowglobe print by Clare Owen pretty much sums up the last few days in London. It really is a bit like being shaken up in a snow globe when you’re trekking around trying not end up on your bum in a pile of ice or sludge. But I can’t complain. London all white is the stuff of dreams and film sets. Just lovely.
The print is 50% off in the Papermash sale at the moment along with lots of other lovely stuff.
Meet my very festive bat. He flew in from Elphicks on Columbia Road. He decided mid-November to hang around this spot in my living room. I don’t think he’ll be leaving any time soon.
I took a break from blogging during the second half of 2012 to focus on other things. But I’ve really missed it. So here I am. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of snow to put your priorities in order.
I can’t wait to see where 2013 takes me.
I thought it was time I shared a few images from around the flat. I’ve posted a few bits on Instagram so if you follow me there, you’ll have seen a few bits and pieces. Unbelievably, it’s a whole year since we moved in. I still feel like I’m settling in, rearranging and finding spots for things which don’t have obvious homes.
The mantel. Apparently one money-box just wasn’t enough. The badger was a gift and is from the Quail range at Liberty. The owl (Hedwig) I fell in love with when I spied him at Caravan Style a couple of years ago. He just had to come home with me. They both live on the mantelpiece. Both are sadly closer to empty than full. The teacup trios were gifts, the left is by Susie Cooper (I wrote about it here) and the right is a vintage set by Collingwood (c.1924-1930). The couple dancing print is from the brilliant 20 X 200 site.
The bookshelf. Another little wise owl. This guy was £1 from a charity shop. He lives with a very weather-beaten yellow submarine, complete with fab four aboard. The Beatles toy was the Mr’s when he was a child. Our bookshelves are overflowing but there’s still space for these guys.
The sofa (and the ukes). The Mr’s collection all lined up watching telly on the sofa. Left to right: A charango, a Mele soprano ukulele, a banjolele, my SpongeBob ukulele, and a Lehua ukulele all together, just hanging out. And before you ask, no I can’t play any of them. The sofa, or couch as us New Zealanders tend to call them, was donated by the Mr’s uncle when we were trying to fill the unfurnished flat. It’s covered with Charles Eames fabric apparently. Love.
And here’s a Liberty print cushion I ran up on the sewing machine. I’m halfway through making another one in green.
The bedroom. This is an unsigned original Biba poster photographed by James Wedge. I really wanted to have it on display as I just love her. You can’t really see from my photo but the Gold Biba logo is printed in the top left hand corner. These posters were never used or sold by Biba as they were produced in 1974 just before the company folded. There are a few floating around online if you look for them. She’s lying on the most rich and opulent cushions. She doesn’t really match the wallpaper, which I’m not really keen on but in a rented flat what can you do? If those legs and butt aren’t motivation to get up and go for a run in the morning I don’t know what is.
I love looking at pictures of other people homes on blogs so thought it was only fair that I shared some of mine. Stay tuned for part two (once I’ve had a tidy-up).
I don’t generally go for bright or bold. I prefer things to be soft, pretty or plain. Or at least I used to until I discovered Josef Frank textiles and wallpaper.
I first noticed Frank’s vibrant patterns when living with friends for a few months while in-between flats (ahhh the joy of finding somewhere to live in London). Their kitchen walls are papered with the white Springbells pattern as shown below. I spent countless moments gazing at the tulips and violets before my morning coffee kicked in.
A highlight of our visit to Stockholm in April was afternoon tea at the wonderful Svenskt Tenn department store. Founded by Estrid Ericson in 1924, the store was originally opened to sell pewter goods (Svenskt Tenn translates to Swedish Pewter). Ericson recruited Frank, an Austrian-born architect, designer and artist to the business 10 years later and the duo became synonymous with Swedish modernism.
Today, the store still sells designs by Ericson and Frank and, as we discovered, is home to some of the loveliest tea-rooms I’ve had the pleasure of sipping tea in.
How amazing are the chairs designed by Frank below? And the rattan and bamboo design chairs which you can just glimpse. I’m afraid my photos don’t really do them justice.
We left the department store empty handed, but warmed by tea. I’m still kicking myself for not buying, at the very least, a cushion. The exchange rate and Sweden’s super expensive prices were all a bit too much for my cold-addled brain. Fortunately the store’s website is awesome. I’ll be dreaming over Josef’s patterns for many more days to come. You can read more about Svenskt Tenn over on Apartment Therapy.
Don’t you love Peony season? One thing that this dreadful weather can’t take away from Summer for us.
I picked up this glorious bunch at Columbia Road flower market on Sunday for just £10. They are looking rather splendid in this lovely jug my sister found in charity shop on her last visit to London. (It was too big and heavy to fit in the suitcase to go back to New Zealand.)
It’s all been a bit quiet on the blog lately. I have so much to blog about, but barely any time to write it. Let’s just say my approach to blogging is sporadic at best.
I hope to be spending more time listening to records and writing in this peaceful corner soon.