Category Archives: Food

Sunday Comfort Cooking: Sophie Dahl


I love being in New York, but this past week I have felt homesick.  It’s been two and a half months since we were last at my parents home in England. I’ve started to romanticise everything about England, even the weather!

I always find that cooking is a good cure for melancholy. I think that making a Victoria Sponge Cake and drinking a pot of tea would sort me out. I have to confess that last night I spent a few hour watching the lovely Sophie Dahl’s cooking programmes to cheer me up. They received mixed reviews in the UK when they aired in 2010.

I really like her antidotes and find her charming. I also love her cookery books.

The photography and presentation are utterly gorgeous.

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Filed under Culture, Food, London

Interior Inspiration: Freemans Restaurant: New York


Last week it was my Birthday (I won’t say which) and we went for a delicious meal at Freemans Restaurant. I saw it in Rough Luxe Design when I was browsing in a book shop. The beautiful interior attracted me. Then I looked at the delicious menu on their website and I was sold.

Freemans is tucked away near Bowery. Twinkling fairy lights await you at the end of a little alleyway. You forget for a minute that you are in New York and think that you have wandered down the side street of a quaint French town.

The interior itself is most definitely shabby chic with a rustic charm.  It is a cross between an old English pub and a French bistro.

I love the dim, moody atmosphere and the clever use of contrasting colour and texture. There are also some seriously beautiful natural flower arrangements. I always notice these little details and think that they make a room complete.

The food and wine were perfect. It was the best wine that I’ve had in New York so far. The Artichoke dip was amazing! My husband and I shared the mushroom and barley risotto and a kale salad, both were exceptionally good. My younger brother tells me that the meat was also fantastic.

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Filed under Design, Food, Interior Design, New York, Restaurant

Wednesday Inspiration: The Artichoke Head


I took this photograph when I was staying with my parents in England. My Dad grew the artichoke in his garden and I thought it made the most beautiful object. The colours are so amazing! I could design a whole room using them. I wish it was possible to keep the Artichoke in this state but alas we had to eat it in the end.

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Filed under Countryside, Food, Garden, Interior Design, Nature

Food Memories: Peanut Butter Cookies


Every summer when I was a child we (Mum, Dad and my little brother) would go to stay with my Grandma and Grandpa in Massachusetts. I have so many wonderful memories from those trip. One of my favourite activities was cooking with my Granny. She was a keen baker and loved to supply all the neighbouring kids with cookies and cakes. I would stand on a chair at her counter and help her bake. This involved a lot of ‘give that here’ and ‘not like that’. She was bossy but let me do everything myself with a few instructions.

Today I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes for peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

5oz (150g) plain flour

1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 spoon) sea salt

4oz (100g) butter

3oz (75g) soft dark brown sugar

3oz (75g) granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml spoon) vanilla essence

8oz (255g) crunchy peanut butter

1) Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside. I leave the salt out if the peanut butter already has salt in it.

2) Cream the butter and sugars together until soft and fluffy.

3) Lightly mix in the egg and vanilla essence.

4) Stir in the peanut butter.

5) Gradually stir in the flour.

6) If you have time leave the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  This makes it easier to handle.

7) Using a teaspoon scoop out small balls and place on a baking sheet.

8) Press the balls flat using a fork.

9) Bake at gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.

10) Once cooked allow to cool on a wire tray.

Best eaten warm with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea. Yum!!

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Travel and Food: China


When I was 23 and had just graduated from university my husband (then boyfriend) and I decided to take a year to go travelling. We moved in with my long suffering parents and spent 6 months working hard to save up.

On a cool rainy day in April 2007 we set off from my parents house. We each had a backpack of clothes and nothing else. I loved the freedom of having no belongings, no bills to pay and no set structure to each day. We travelled by train across Europe to Moscow where we took the Trans Siberian railway all the way to China.

The next 6 months were spent travelling around the country by bus and train. We didn’t take any organised tours preferring to make our way at our own pace. If we liked a place we stayed, if we didn’t we moved on.

The smallest everyday tasks became an adventure.

Each new village, town or city brought different sights, foods, history and people.

We finished our journey with a month in Vietnam.

I look back on this 6 months with such fondness. I completely fell in LOVE with China. It’s natural beauty, amazing food and lovely people.

Obviously I look back with rose tinted glasses! At times I was stressed by the language barrier, exhausted by the constant travelling and totally out of my comfort zone but, overall it was a once in a lifetime experience. For six months I woke up everyday with a child like excitement ready for a day of discovery and enjoyment of life.

I also developed a love of Chinese food (not the type you buy at your local take away). My husband and I are always hunting for genuine places in London which serve the type of food we had in China. Earlier this week he discovered this Chinese cooking programme called A Bite of China. It is so beautifully made and is to blame for my huge bout of nostalgia!

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Filed under China, Food, Nature

Interior Inspiration: Pollen Street Social


I recently took my husband to Pollen Street Social for a birthday meal. It was his choice, and the food was beautiful (both taste wise and to look at)! It was fresh and imaginative with an effortless simplicity to it.

I would say the same about the interiors which I loved. They are beautifully simple with lots of classic designs and natural materials; wood on wood, leather and stone.

I loved the oversized flower displays. They soften the look, which could lean towards austerity, adding height and drama.

There is actually very little colour in this scheme, which consist largely of shades of brown, dark blue (leather on the banquettes), black and white. This could be cold but the beautiful blown glass pendant lights and the artwork throughout soften the look. They art adds a dash of colour. The overall effect is calming and relaxing. The attention to detail makes you feel that you are in a special place. I loved the crisp, but slightly rough, linen table clothes against the porcelain china. I think that simplicity can be the hardest look to pull off, as any mistakes or imperfections become glaringly obvious.

I absolutely love the lighting, especially hung en mass as it has been below. Such a fun and playful effect!

Lastly I love this place because even though it is quite an expensive restaurant it feels relaxed and unpretentious.

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Filed under Design, Design, Art, Fashion, Food, Interior Design, London, Restaurant

Jubilee Cupcakes


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One of our suppliers just dropped by with these cute Jubilee cupcakes for all the office. Yummy!

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Filed under Food, London