Wednesday, 31 July 2013

a wet weekend

We made the most delicious summer salad on Saturday, even though it was grim and rainy outside: mozzarella, peaches, tomatoes, shallots, basil, mint.

The rain came; we passed the time by reading, eating and sleeping (as usual).

Earlier in the day I paid a trip to Notting Hill - I went to visit my favourite fabric shop on the Portobello Road with the sole aim of buying a few metres of Swedish linen (it comes in about 40 different colours) for a new project that I'm working on (more on that soon). I got my hair cut afterwards, then bought a rug and a little plant with white flowers.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

i am listening to...

an evening with the mistress

We ate dinner in the gardens of the fascinating Fenton House in Hampstead last week, as part of a unique dining adventure put together by leading pop-up dining collective The Art of Dining and the National Trust. Entitled A Night with the Mistress, the evening was based around the theme of indulgent Regency decadence and included a mix of beautiful set design (taxidermy, trailing plants, candlelight) and great food and wine, interspersed with bouts of opera.

We wandered through the house, cocktails in hand, before sitting down to dinner. The balcony at the very top of the house (see top left hand corner of first picture) provided the most stunning view of the city, looking down through trees.

The night was incredibly pleasant and warm. We ate frog legs, edible flowers and soil, rabbit, gooseberries and cream.


Quite the most spectacular location to eat one's supper...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

midweek supper

Pimientos de Padrón for supper at my friend's house by Hyde Park last week.

We ate and drank on the balcony whilst leafing through a well-thumbed copy of Diana Henry's Food from Plenty - a beautiful book.

Friday, 19 July 2013

i am listening to...

The Summer in February Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Look, I know this film received pretty bad reviews but I can't lie, I'm still desperate to see it. Set in Cornwall in the early twentieth century, Summer in February tells the story of a love triangle between British artist Alfred Munnings, his friend Gilbert Evans and Florence Carter-Wood. Plodding script aside, critics lavished praise on the film's costumes, photography and production design, and these are precisely the things that drew me in when I first watched the trailer a few months ago (see below). Staggering seascapes, candlelit inns, beachside nudity, horses, scarves, tears, gypsies, paintbrushes and the wild Cornish coast in all its glory... I mean it's all so me... I am also partial to a bit of melodrama. The soundtrack is rather nice, and will have to suffice until I get around to watching the film in its entirety.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

the river café

We celebrated a work related achievement of D.'s with supper at The River Café on Monday. I was taken for my 21st Birthday (almost three years ago, ugh!) and it felt really great to be back. An absolute treat. As everyone on the planet seems to agree, the food really can't be beaten. We made the most of the brilliant weather and ate outdoors on the terrace - Parma ham, melon, veal, linguine, ravioli, lamb, sea bass and of course, the restaurant's famous chocolate nemesis. (Why, pray tell, does my version never turn out like theirs - deliciously airy and light?) Clearly I like to think of myself as a Roman Emperor come dinner time... A feast if ever there was one.

A few courses later... I think pictures of a dinner just after it's been eaten can often look really beautiful and elegant, no? Or... Just me, perhaps.

We left just as the sun was setting majestically over the Thames. Amber, coral, gold, midnight blue. About as perfect as an evening can get, I reckon.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

in the sun

We wandered into town on Saturday with the idea of shopping for summer clothes in mind (specifically: stripes, pastel colours and neat little loafers). On the way, we bought iced coffee and stared for a while at this building in Fitzrovia - pretty amazing, no? I'm sure I hadn't seen it before.

Naturally, we got distracted by hunger and stopped for the most delicious lunch at Polpo - Aperol Spritzes, ricotta and broad beans on toast, mozzarella and meatballs.

The hot weather (wonderful as it is) got all too much, so we gave up on shopping and came home and ate ice lollies and napped instead. Success.

Monday, 15 July 2013


I cannot stop listening to Wardruna: a Norwegian musical project formed in 2003 with the aim of exploring and evoking the depths of Norse wisdom and spirituality. Yggdrasil is Wardruna's new album, and the second part of a trilogy based on 24 ancient Scandinavian runes known as the Elder Futhark. The group partly record their music outdoors at locations relevant to the different runes, mainly using old and historical instruments such as deer-hide frame drums and bowed lyres. The sound of trees, stones, water and fire are also employed to enhance the nature of the rune being portrayed. When I first listened to Wardruna's music a few months ago, it felt like stepping back in time, like I was being taken on a journey through dark and shadowy forests, snow-capped mountains and thunderous skies. The sound is as powerful as it is unique. I may not understand the words, but perhaps I don't need to - Wardruna's music is so rich, cinematic and evocative, it conjures up a thousand images in my head. Listen to the swooping new single Fehu below. Wardruna will perform at the Southbank Centre in October.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


On a blazing hot Sunday, we made mayonnaise (with fresh herbs from the balcony)...

Then we ate outdoors amongst the ferns.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Monday, 8 July 2013

welcome to saint-tropez

I spent last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in Sainte-Maxime on France's Côte d'Azur. We stayed in a little house, high up in the hills, and how wonderful it was to escape, even if for only a few short days. The trip passed by in a haze of early morning swims, midday strolls along the port and rosé-induced afternoon naps...

The obligatory by the pool shot.

We took the ferry across the bay to Saint-Tropez on Monday evening just as the hot sun was setting over the hills, bathing everything in soft, golden light.

D. & I - windswept on the crossing.

Entering the port...

Before supper, we had an apéritif at the iconic and bustling Sénéquier - the first café to arrive on the port's sidewalk back in 1887. The bright blue of the sky with the ageing, pastel coloured buildings and vermillion red awnings - beautiful. Tuesday was spent gently recovering from the night before (aided by swimming and sunglasses); before I knew it I was back on a plane, bound for London. Short but very sweet...