Thursday, 31 December 2015

A very messy Christmas and a hopeful New Year







This post has been percolating for a week or so. 2015 has been, if I'm honest, the hardest of my life so far. There have been very sad and very dark times, not just for me but for many people I know (and those I don't, obviously) to the point that the father of a friend of mine has written a list because he can't quite believe how bad a year it's been.

I could also make a bad list of my own but I'm choosing not to. Instead, there have been things that have kept me going - some big but mainly small - and these are the things of note that I'd like to record here:

There are some very kind, very wise people in my life who have kept me going and I will always be thankful for their support this year. 
You know who you are.

The kids. Always. Christmas this year was the first where they split their time between two homes and they took it in their stride. 
They continue to impress and inspire me, every day.

Being able to do what I love and to provide for my family is one thing. 
Working alongside some incredibly talented and creative people is another. 

Home: a space to call my own. 
This little house has had such a recuperating effect, allowing me to gradually find my feet again and to adjust to life, now, as it is in the present.

The joy of travelling to new places. 
Adventures here and further afield have enriched and uplifted.

.................

Here's a thing. Two schools of thought offering what I think are somewhat contradictory view points:

1. The Maya Angelou quote: 'When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.'

2. The Ian Maclaren quote: 'Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle'.
Add to that the concept of wiping the slate clean, doing better every day. Trying harder, basically.

I guess it's about redemption. At what point does your past stop defining who you are now, in the present, but also in your future?

We all have a choice to make each and every day in how we behave and how we treat ourselves and others.

And so that's my resolution for 2016. Beginning the year hopeful that things will get better and accepting the part I have to play in that. The School of Life video below is an excellent place to start.

Here's to a hopeful new year x





PS The pic above was taken in Paris earlier this month. Il est battu par les flots, mais ne sombre pas is the motto of Paris: She is tossed by the waves but does not sink.
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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Maternity memories

 

Have you ever seen a bump so big? Me neither. Sometimes I can't believe I carried that huge baby around for fifteen days past his due date. 

As well as a grapefruit sized fibroid taking up space alongside my 9lb 8oz baby, I had something called polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid) which meant T's head would engage but then just bob back out again. Hence his very late arrival. 

But I knew none of this when I was incubating that boy. I had a lot of comments from people about my size, both strangers in the street and people I knew. It wasn't easy to hear their words. I'm sure no one intended to upset me but it often happened. There was the time my boss sent someone down to see my bump as it was so big. Or the time the photocopier engineer asked how I managed to get through the door. Or the many times a relative said 'are you sure it's not twins?'. 

Here's another pic of the megabump.


I felt like a zeppelin! Now, I can kind of see why it was such a spectacle, and I sometimes bring out these pictures to show just how enormous I was. But that's my prerogative.

There were times when people expressed their joy and happiness. I remember clearly the woman in the cafe in Cardiff who said she hoped she'd look as glowing if she ever got pregnant. And I loved to feel my boy kicking and hiccuping inside. The maternity clothes I wore - mainly dresses and cardigans - flowed over my middle and their bright colours and patterns cheered me up. 

If you asked me for one piece of advice as a pregnant woman it would be to wear what you like, but to get as comfortable as possible. The last weeks and months aren't easy. And for the bystanders? Keep schtum about appearances. No pregnant woman wants to hear that you think she's enormous!

What did you wear during your pregnancies? And what would your advice be?


In association with George at Asda
All words and images are my own

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas ritual: Christmas Day breakfast ideas


christmas day breakfast recipe ideas
Image: Yvestown


The culinary Christmas countdown has begun and breakfast on Christmas Day has me stumped. There's clearly no hope of breakfast in bed and while I love the idea of sitting down to eat at a beautiful table like the one above, one has to be realistic while the kids are this age. I'm not one for smoked salmon and all that jazz, preferring to come to slowly with a cuppa while picking at something sweetly fortifying and watching the kids turn the living room into a wrapping paper snowglobe.

Here, I've drawn up a shortlist of my favourite Christmas Day breakfast ideas, based on the successes of previous years and ranging in effort from not much to full on Martha Stewart.

Cinnamon Buns



christmas day breakfast recipe ideasNow, I made these a few years back but can't for the life of me remember whose recipe I used. What I do remember is the hours of graft that went into these heavenly yeasted buns, fragrant with cardamom and cinnamon, and buttery as hell. Likely candidates include Heidi Swanson (whose recipes are always 100% taste as well as being reliable) and possibly Tessa Kiros, whose Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns sound incredible (although I think I'd remember the particular way in which she suggests cutting your dough). Either way, if you're after a truly indulgent breakfast, made with equal parts love and elbow grease, then these babies are for you.


Christmas Morning Muffins



christmas day breakfast recipe ideasNigella - Queen Christmas - wrote this Christmas Day Muffins recipe in one of her early books (How To Be A Domestic Goddess, I think) and I've made it many times. You measure out the dry ingredients the night before, even popping the muffin cases into the tray if you can't help being efficient, and then just add the fresh dairy/juice ingredients in the morning. Easy peasy.


Toasted Panettone 


christmas day breakfast recipe ideasHardly a recipe, you just slice the panettone in proportion to your toaster, butter up, top with a good marmalade (this or this, perhaps), and away you go. This works equally well on Boxing Day, should you be on the receiving end of one of those ribbon-topped dome boxes containing said Italian bread on Christmas Day.


What do you eat on Christmas Day? Which of these would you choose?


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Friday, 18 December 2015

Review: Tefal Cook4Me


Last month, I was invited to London along with a few other bloggers to try out the Tefal Cook4Me. It's a kind of pressure cooker made modern - that seventies metal monster updated for the digital age. An onboard computer of sorts is programmed with recipes, making the process pretty idiot-proof as it tells you what to do/chop/add at every stage.
On the day itself we arrived at the most breathtaking home I've ever encountered. I've always been into modernist architecture and this house was a dream of slick, white walls, classic modern furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out over drizzly Highgate.
We split into teams - girls v boys - to make two starters and two main courses using only the Cook4Me. Team Girls (me, Jem and Jacinta) made a prawn bisque while Team Boys (Kip and Alex) went for a stilton soup. The Cook4Me is intuitive, it lists the ingredients and prep needed, and talks you through the recipe. Once all the ingredients are ready, just seal the lid and hit the big red button. Each recipe has a different cooking time but we're talking minutes rather than hours, even for dishes that typically require lengthy cooking.
The starters came out well. Our prawn bisque was full of flavour, the prawns well-cooked and flavours of spiky coriander and cool cream evened each other out. Bread was shared, wine was poured. A promising start(er), indeed.
For the main course, we were tasked with preparing a chicken risotto, while Kip and Alex made a veggie chilli. I was skeptical that a risotto could be made in such a shorthand fashion. For me, one of the joys of cooking a dish like that is the ritual. The gentle stirring, patience and aching arm are rewarded with a meal of taste and texture, hard-won and unwinding onto the plate as you relax into the evening. But the texture was impressive and the risotto smelt delicious. I opted to try the boys' chilli, which was rich with red wine, and the texture of the Quorn remained unexpectedly good despite the intense cooking process.
While we ate our main course, Team Tefal cooked dessert: sponge puddings, four ways. I went for the lemon curd - sharp and sweet and hot. The idea of baking in a pressure cooker seemed wrong. Again, I love the baking process and don't particularly want to cut it short, but that's a very particular personal preference. These puds were cooked to perfection.
Where I can see the Cook4Me coming into its own is on weekdays, when I want to cook good, real food for the kids but am short of time. The idea of being able to get a meal on the table in minutes is pretty irresistible, although I'd be more inclined to enjoy the full-length process of traditional cooking at the weekends.

Thanks to Tefal for inviting me to try out this clever gadget.
All words and images are my own. 
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Travel: Postcards from Copenhagen







  

Years of watching those BBC Four dramas set in the Danish capital left me curious to visit Copenhagen. Is it really that stylish and cool? Or would it just be grey and cold? My friends and I decided to find out. We booked into this lovely Airbnb apartment in Hellerup, a short way out of central Copenhagen, for a few nights back in October.

Turns out, we loved Copenhagen.

From the great big granite municipal buildings to the twinkly ornate fairy tale houses by the water.

From the selfie sticks and tourist throngs at the little mermaid statue to the nailbiting rollercoaster ride and 10,000 pumpkins of Tivoli Gardens.

From the style and intrigue of the Danish Design Museum to the jumbled treasures of the flea market.

From fragile slices of chocolate melting on rye toast to poppyseed pastries and strong coffee.

What a city!
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas ritual: The tree

christmas tree delivery pines and needles review


christmas tree delivery pines and needles reviewchristmas tree delivery pines and needles review
christmas tree delivery pines and needles review



The tree is here. It is a six foot Nordman fir tree, picture perfect in its shape and scent, sitting happily in a wicker basket in the bay window. There is nothing about the Christmas tree I don't love.

The nestling of the lights deep within those bushy branches, breathing them in as we wind cable round needles.

The faffing required to get baubles evenly spaced and carefully placed.

"Is it straight?"

Stretching on tiptoes to get the star to the top.

Running through the cycle of epilepsy-inducing flashing light sequences until a gently glowing compromise is reached.

Actually, I take that back. There is one thing about the Christmas tree I don't love: photographing it. Why is it so beautiful in real life and so contrasty and grainy in pictures? Beyond my photographic capabilities, I'm afraid.

The tree and its companion wreath were sent to us for review by Pines and Needles, who deliver fresh trees across the UK. Our tree arrived a day later than expected, wrapped in a thick plastic bag. We unwrapped the package to find a very healthy and well-watered tree, requiring just a slight shave of the trunk to fit it into our bucket stand. The advantages of a tree being delivered, conveniently, to the door are obvious, but what about the disadvantages? When I buy a tree in person, I confess to being that person - the one who always has to look at just one more in the pursuit of the perfect shape. As the branches of our tree settled into the most pleasing triangle of green, it was clear that I couldn't have picked a nicer one myself. It arrived on the first of December (adding to the already frenzied excitement of the advent calendar) and has remained beautiful in the fortnight since.

The decorations are a mixture of bits and bobs collected over the years, plus the new ones from HomeSense and Snapfish, and a few I bought from IKEA back when all the shops decided it was Christmas (October). We have candy canes up and plan a gingerbread baking session in the week before Christmas, meaning this tree will evolve a little between now and the big day. The 2ft artificial garland is simply wrapped with clear lights and draped over the mantel, with a white amaryllis (that's peaked too soon) and a little gold paper Christmas garland. A similarly simple wreath adorns the front door, dressed just in white lights and a white ribbon. 

What's on your tree this year? Where do you stand in the ongoing real/artificial debate? When does yours go up (and come down!)?


With thanks to Pines and Needles for sending us a tree and garland to review this year.


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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Personalised gift ideas from Snapfish

personalised photo gifts snapfish


Last week was spent getting things in order - one of my favourite pastimes - and one task was to clear all the pictures from my camera. Ah... I found that lovely one above of me and my youngest in my cousins' pool in France. Had no idea my dad had snapped us!

It's not the greatest pic but it reminds me of my favourite day of our summer holiday, and so, as Snapfish invited us to try out some of their gift ideas, I decided to get it printed up as a canvas.

Along with the canvas (which I'd thought about giving to a grandparent but can't bear to part with it), we made a couple of the Snapfish porcelain tree ornaments. It's such a simple idea - upload your pictures, crop them using the easy online tools, and press go. Then wait for the postman to deliver them through the door a few days later.

Rather than use photographs, I decided to take pictures of the kids' Christmas cards. Their school gets each child to design a Christmas card that is then sent home with an order form. You decide how many of each you'd like and they magically appear in book bags when you least expect it, ready to send. It seems such a shame to ditch the kids' hard work year after year, which is why I thought we could keep them preserved like this for just a little longer.

In classic Christmas post style, my decs arrived this morning while we were out, and I have to go and get them from the sorting office next week. But if you want to order your own photo gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, Monday 14 December is the last order date (hence this post going up now!).

Also available in the range - cushions, phone cases and mugs!

What would you choose?
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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas gifting: Homemade foodie treats

cherry brandy recipe mulling syrup




Today I have pretty much finished my Christmas shopping. This has never, ever happened before, and does make me nervous I've forgotten something... Admittedly, there are a few presents I have decided to make/sew, and still need to buy a few metres of fabric and various bits and bobs, but the main stuff is done. High five!

Some gifts were started back in the summer. Earlier this year, a friend invited me and the kids to help pick the cherries from her tree, which was just groaning with fruit. They are Morello cherries and therefore not for eating but they are insanely good in baking. I made a cherry pie after being badgered for days by my youngest. It took ages, what with all the pastry making and cherry pitting. He took one bite, declared that he 'hates cherries', and left the table.

So I decided to put the rest of the fruit to much better use and make a batch of cherry brandy.

Cherry Brandy


You will need:
Fresh cherries - I used 300g
Brandy
100g sugar

Put all the ingredients into a sterilised kilner jar, making sure the seal is tight and the brandy generously covers the top of the fruit.
For the first two weeks, shake the jar every day.
Give it a shake as and when you remember from thereon in.

.................................

As well as the cherry brandy, I'm making up a batch of mulling syrup to give as little gifts this year. Seen that pin about how to make your home smell Christmassy? Just give this syrup a go and you're there, with the added bonus of having a warm drink to go with it.

Mulling Syrup


You will need:

250g sugar
2 satsumas
1 lemon
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 vanilla pod
Fresh nutmeg, grated
Small piece of ginger

Peel the satsumas and the lemon, and put the peel into a large saucepan along with the sugar, spices and ginger.
Squeeze the juice of the satsumas into a measuring jug, and top up with water until you have one litre of liquid.
Add the contents of the measuring jug to the saucepan, and place over a medium heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is at a simmer, turn down the heat and leave to bubble away for 20 minutes.
Leave to cool, strain, and pour into sterilised bottles.

To use:

Put 400ml of syrup into a saucepan with one bottle of red wine (or 750ml of cider).
Heat gently and serve, topped with fresh orange slices.

.................................

These two recipes need beautiful glass jars or bottles to make them gift-worthy. Head to HomeSense, whose range of preserving jars and decorative homewares are the cherry on the top.


In collaboration with HomeSense
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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Travel: Barcelona art, food and sweet summer memories




In the same way that homemade jam is made and preserved to bring a taste of summer sunshine and warmth to the darkest of winter days, so can holiday snaps. In August, when the days were long and the temperature was well into the thirties, we spent a weekend in Barcelona.

It was a weekend of art and food, but mainly we were flaneurs - wandering here and there, following our noses and exploring this incredible city.

Barcelona is famous for its Gaudi works, making the city almost a theme park dedicated to this astonishing modernist Catalan architect. We spent a while in the Sagrada Familia, with its unfinished splendour and breathtaking use of light. Then, Casa Batllo - the surreal and spectacular townhouse, all colourful curves and nature influences as far as the eye can see.

We wandered along the beach, found our way to the ridiculously awesome Pedro Almodovar bar, chatted and swam. Here's my review of the Hotel Primero Primera where we stayed.

Each day, we tapas-ed our way around the city. Patatas bravas, aubergine and honey, squid, and pan con tomate. The best we found was Tantarantana, a teeny tiny neighbourhood restaurant with - I kid you not - the very best tapas I have ever eaten. It was so good we broke one of my unbreakable rules and went back twice in a weekend. I'll never forget playing cards in the warm evening air, people-watching as families wandered about, drinking cava (making little wire chairs from the agraffe) and laughing late into the night.

Returning to these photographs are truly like tasting a teaspoon of summer jam, taking me away from the chill of a December day. Sweet and satisfying.

Have you been to Barcelona? What did we miss?!
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Nomads Clothing: An evening of fashion and fun at the AW15 press event

nomads clothing aw15 fair trade ethical fashion cornwall uk


A few weeks back we were invited to go along to one of our favourite Bristol venues, Hart's Bakery, to see what Nomads Clothing, the ethical fashion company, has been up to recently.

Press events in Bristol are few and far between, and those that are as perfectly styled, charmingly catered, and friendly as the Nomads one are even rarer. My kids came along and were welcomed so warmly, with drinks, little scones and jam, and a chance to spend a while crafting.

nomads clothing aw15 fair trade ethical fashion cornwall uk


But first, a bit about Nomads. Nomads Clothing began 20 years ago after a backpacking adventure in India. A love of Indian fabrics grew into a brand of UK designed ethically sourced womenswear, based in Cornwall but with a real fashion boutique in Launceston as well as an online store selling fair trade fashion. Imagine Indian-inspired design meets unfussy, well-made classic cuts - tunics, dresses, trousers and more, in organic, beautiful cotton. This is casual clothing made special.

nomads clothing aw15 fair trade ethical fashion cornwall uk


As well as a first look at the AW15 collection (which is dreamy), there were figs and honey, scones and jam, dips and breads to graze on, with prosecco and mint tea to sip. Head designer Niki Groom sketched the guests, while Bethan of Decorator's Notebook led the craft activities - we each made a pom pom bag charm (you can make your own with this pretty tassel bag charm tutorial on the Nomads blog). Even my boys had a go at making one, and they now adorn school book bags.

nomads clothing aw15 fair trade ethical fashion cornwall uk


Thanks so much to Nomads Clothing for a wonderful evening, for this gorgeous tunic dress, and for the lovely bag of goodies we took home.

Images c/o Nomads Clothing


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Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas ritual: The tree decorations

Christmas tree decorations from HomeSense


I write this post with one ear listening for the door as we're expecting delivery of our Christmas tree. Confession: I'm excited.

Christmas is a time for ritual. The nostalgia, the comfort (and joy!) that comes with all those little incremental events that go to building Christmas each year are as much a part of the season as the day itself.

Getting the decorations down from the attic is a biggie. There's something massively exciting about opening the boxes year after year, each time forgetting exactly what's inside. Yes, there are breakages, but that's only to be expected. A quiet evolution takes place, each year's ideas added to the last, the layers of colour and texture. An archaeological dig of sorts.

There are times at which I consider going all stylist on the tree, with colour schemes or current trends dictating its look for an Instagram-ready masterpiece. But my nostalgia gets the better of me, and on go the little cardboard creatures (made by the kids when they were small) next to homemade glittered salt dough creatures that have definitely seen better days. I'd rather have the over-the-top Dolly Parton tree than the understated Kate Middleton version.

This year's new additions include those cute beaded acorns, brilliant red glass baubles, that pretty mirrored diamond, gem-like snowflakes, a felt fir cone, and three diamante snowflakes - all from HomeSense.

Are you getting ready for The Tree or is it too early? What's your decorating style?

A collaborative post:
Decorations c/o HomeSense
Tree c/o Pines and Needles
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Wishlist: For her (me)



Not going to pretend there's much of the need or the read on this list. Instead, it's unashamedly WANT! with a few wears thrown in for good measure, both for Christmas but also for my birthday next week. It's been a hard year and a girl could use a few treats. I'm not going to apologise.


1. Print / 2. Jersey yarn / 3. Cable wristwarmers / 4. Necklace / 5. Tinted moisturiser / 6. Bobble hat / 7. Coat / 8. Boots / 9. Jumper / 10. Cushions / 11. Casserole dish / 12. Clutch bag


Any of that lot tickle your fancy? Or have you a hankering for something else?


Contains affiliate links
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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Christmas ritual: The gingerbread house

decorated Christmas gingerbread house sweets
Image source


*Shhhh....* Last weekend it was stir-up Sunday, the traditional Christmas cake-baking day, which passed me by. But I've already bought a few bits and bobs for Christmas. Well, it is a month today!

As well as a few tree decorations, I've bought one of my favourite festive essentials - the gingerbread house. Every year the kids get to decorate one of the pre-baked, ready-to-assemble IKEA houses with icing and retro sweets.

Despite wanting a classically beautiful gingerbread house like this one:

decorated icing Christmas gingerbread house sweets
Image source



Or these (actually, I think they might be candles):

iced decorated Christmas gingerbread house sweets
Image source


... the result is always a bright and brash Pollock-splattered iced extravaganza, all available surfaces covered in colourful sweets.

One year we managed to get over £8 of pick and mix onto two houses, although there *might* have been a few eaten over the course of the construction.

decorated Christmas gingerbread house sweets
Image source


And, there's often a moment where a gable end begins to crumble, causing some Kevin McCloud style consternation about whether we're ever going to get through the build intact. But, just like Grand Designs, it all works out okay in the end.

Will it last until the big day? Course not. Do I care? Course not!
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Food: Riverford Guest Chef Recipe box

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

Sometimes it seems like not a blog post goes by without me mentioning Anna Jones. Yes, yes, I'm a fangirl and all that, but for good reason. She's just the bomb when it comes to vegetarian/vegan food with enormous flavours.

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

Riverford Organic Farms got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to review one of their veg boxes recently, and when I spotted that Anna was one of their guest chefs I had to say yes. Recipe boxes are such a thing these days, and one I'm in two minds about. On one hand, I find it all a bit prescriptive and it often seems quite expensive, but on the other, it's such an easy way to eat good, real food and to try meals you might not necessarily have chosen yourself.

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

When my Anna Jones box arrived it felt a little like Christmas - all brown packaging and twine, it felt like a treat to open (I'm like this with post anyway, but big boxes? YES). All the ingredients for three meals (each serves two people) were contained within, carefully packaged to ensure they arrived safe and sound. Even the spices were measured out into tiny pots, making me feel like a Blue Peter presenter (always a dream!). Three recipe cards explained how to make each one, and for the AJ box were a combination of recipes from both her books - A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook.

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

While I've eaten quite a few recipes from both books, this box contained recipes I had yet to try - Beetroot Curry with Spiked Cottage Cheese, Warm Kale, Tomato and Coconut Salad with Quinoa, and Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Pie.

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

First up was the Beetroot Curry. There is nothing more appealing to me than an unusual curry, and this one featured the flavours of south India - curry leaves, black mustard seeds and coconut. My friend Lara came over to eat with me and we were both kinda bowled over by the taste and the beautiful jewel colours of the pinky purple curry. Utterly delicious! And I've since made it again.

Next, we tried the Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Pie. This is just my cup of tea - warming and wintry, a dish that is hearty and comforting but doesn't leave you collapsed on the sofa too full to move.

And finally the Warm Kale, Tomato and Coconut Salad. This was my least favourite dish of the three, as I wasn't convinced by the combination of flavours and textures. But I think that's more about my personal taste rather than the recipe itself or the raw ingredients.

With everything weighed and measured and ready to go, the recipe box made cooking these three dishes an absolute breeze. All the fruit and veg were such lovely quality it was a pleasure to cook with such fresh, quality ingredients. My only quibble would be the layout of the double-sided recipe cards - they weren't particularly intuitive which didn't make it easy to follow. I ended up finding the recipes in my books and following from there.

Riverford recipe box anna jones guest chef

Have you ever tried a recipe box before? What are your thoughts? Do you like a prescriptive way of cooking or are you more free-form? Let me know in the comments.

Riverford sent a recipe box for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and images are my own.
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Monday, 23 November 2015

Interiors: Houseology and a new Anglepoise lamp

houseology anglepoise lamp review

Anglepoise lamps have been around since 1932 but remain an absolute design classic. That familiar shape combined with precision engineering results in one of the most perfect designs of the 20th century. No wonder they feature all over the place, from the Pixar ident to Royal Mail stamps celebrating the best of British.

When Houseology kindly asked if I'd like to review one, I jumped at the chance. To me, Anglepoise lamps are iconic - as much of a classic as Penguin books or the Mini. That's not to say they are old school. The thing about classic design is that it works with most interior styles, from polished modern to vintage industrial looks.

houseology anglepoise lamp review

I decided to put my black Anglepoise 1227 Table Lamp to use in my favourite reading nook. In one alcove of the dining room I have three shelves filled with my cookery books, and an armchair under the window in which to sit and read. (Yes, I am one of those foodie geeks who like to read recipe books!) The lamp is perfect here, and its infinite angles and bends mean I can get the light just right, whether I'm sitting upright or slouched down. The 1227 Table Lamp recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and here it sits alongside a photograph of my grandparents on their wedding day, Boxing Day 1938. I love the synchronicity of these two beautiful items from the same era placed together in 2015.

houseology anglepoise lamp review

Also shown is a print by Dee Dee Cheriel, a particularly lovely wooden fruit crate, and a neon pink wire fruit bowl from Tiger, showing that the Anglepoise 1227 Table Lamp is a pretty versatile light.

houseology anglepoise lamp review

Houseology recently launched their AW15 lookbook and there are some beautiful looks here. Below, I've picked out my three favourite festive images.

Ever seen How to Marry a Millionaire? This look reminds me a little of the lodge in Maine Betty Grable visits. Love those sheepskins!

 As Christmas dinner tables go, this is one I'd love to sit down at for a roast with all the trimmings.







I adore the geometric pattern on this crockery, and the understated frostiness of it all.

Which do you like best? Are you a fan of classic design? Do you share my love of reading recipe books?

Oh, and Houseology has put together a few tips on wintery lighting - go see!


Anglepoise lamp c/o Houseology.
All words are my own.
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