YOU may or may not be wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately. Truth is, I’ve been busy enjoying life this summer (yes, we have summer in England… Sort of) and I love to fully immerse myself in what I’m doing and enjoy every second. It’s been a busy but fulfilling time but I’m now ready to settle down into autumnal cosiness and take the rest of 2017 at a slower pace.
My husband, Simon works away during the week and so weekends are our time to do with what we want and we try to fill them with meaningful things whether that be long walks in the country or along the beach with our dog, trying a new sport or activity or exploring new places and spending time in places we already know and love. We definitely did this at every opportunity over the summer, despite the English weather!
IT’S been 18 months since we first moved into our house. We bought it just before we got married and rather embarrassingly, down to a number of factors, we still haven’t finished making it into a home.
Don’t panic, we do have furniture, running water and electricity, we’re not living in an empty cardboard box! However all our walls are stark white, all our carpets are grey and up until last month, we had no photos displayed anywhere. At times, it can feel a little cold and bare.
The past few months have been nothing less than hectic with both of us being busy, travelling frequently and both of us away from home for five consecutive weekends in August and September! Now it looks likely that we’ll be home for a long stretch (a welcomed one at that), we really feel it’s time we started focussing more on our house and making it into our home.
OCTOBER is my favourite month not only because it is my birthday but autumn is undoubtedly the best time of year. Particularly the run up to Christmas (yes, I’ve already dropped the C-bomb) and I know it’s a favourite for many others too.
A time for cold crisp weather, pumpkin spice (I’m one of those, sorry not sorry), dark nights drawing in, knitwear, bonfires, Hallowe’en, beautiful golden leaves, woolly hats, big scarves and plenty of cups of tea. What’s not to love!?
This indulgent bread and butter pudding, made with brioche, is the perfect autumnal recipe for those cosy nights in with scented candles and lots comfort food.
SHAKSHOUKA is fast becoming one of those trendy breakfast dishes joining the ranks of the infamous avocado toast and smoothie bowls. This lightly spiced and beautifully rich stew makes the perfect weekend breakfast or even midweek supper.
Originating from North Africa, shakshouka is one of those recipes made up of a collection of simple ingredients, simmered slowly to perfection – tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, garlic and eggs, lightly poached in the sumptuous, tomatoey sauce.
I have added a few extras into mine, including peppers and courgette but you can either leave this out or add more veggies such as aubergine and spinach to make it more of a meal. Serve with flat breads or garlic toasts.
WHILST walking along the river in Richmond, we happened upon masses and masses of wild garlic, A leafy green herb with the unmistakable scent of garlic, it grows in large sprays along the River Swale and many other woodland locations around the UK.
We picked a load and carted it off home to experiment. I came up with three recipes which I will share with you over the next couple of weeks but, unsurprisingly, wild garlic grows in the… Well, in the wild. So I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short guide to picking your own as the season is fairly short and it’s not something you can generally buy from the shops – it would be a shame for you to miss out!
THE Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery is tucked away in Laverstoke, a tiny village in rural Hampshire in the UK, just north of Winchester between Basingstoke and Andover.
We have wanted to go since it opened its doors to the public in 2014. We lived in Southampton for five years but moved back up north a couple of years ago because of our jobs. It’s something we never really got round to but we were presented with the perfect opportunity to finally visit, and we are glad that we did!
We were down in Hampshire for a wedding on the first May bank holiday weekend and had planned to stay with my aunty and uncle who live about 40 minutes from Laverstoke. As it is such a long way from home I thought that we could make it a bit of a weekend away and do some exploring – the distillery was the first thing that popped into my head.
LAST weekend we were lucky enough to have some pretty amazing weather. A perfect spring day with bright sunshine, clear blue skies and a mild breeze. Possibly the nicest weather we have had in months and certainly good weather at any rate for the North East of England, good enough to walk outside without a big winter coat and gloves.
As it was mother’s day on Sunday we headed to Sandsend, a small fishing village near Whitby, for a stroll along the beach with Max the dog and some lunch at our favourite spot – a pub called The Hart Inn, a proper Yorkshire pub serving up the freshest seafood. Sandsend is our favourite spot for a Sunday walk anyway and we visit as often as we can. We ordered our usual crab salad with half a lobster as a mother’s day treat, chips for Mum and new potatoes for me. It was warm enough to eat in the pub garden so we basked in the sunlight and devoured our seafood while Max scoffed some gravy bones.
I don’t know if it was the combination of sun, sea and sand; the fresh, juicy crab meat or the notion that Spring was in swing but I just felt inspired. I wanted to put together a dish that was light and colourful with a chilli kick. We are going to Vietnam later in the year and it is no secret that the fresh, zingy flavours of Vietnamese food pairs really well with seafood. Continue reading →
GUISBOROUGH, my hometown, is an ancient market town located on the northern most edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, roughly 10 miles south of Middlesbrough – I urge you, please don’t knock the area until you’ve experienced it for yourself!
Good old Guisborough is home to a disproportionately large number of independent coffee shops and tea rooms, all equally lovely and each with their own individual quirks.
Every once in a while a new kid arrives on the block, the endearingly named ‘Thingy-Ma-Jigs Coffee House’ tucked away on Bow Street was the latest to catch my eye.
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