Archive for June 2013

An Evening With Paloma Faith

I can't believe its been a week since I saw the amazing Paloma Faith at Bedgebury Pinetum. I'm not quite sure why I've waited till now to share the photos I took, but it's definitely better late than never (especially when Paloma comes into it)! We were so unimaginably close, as you can see, which truly made it the experience of a lifetime.

She was stunning, her voice was stunning, her staging was stunning... unfortunately my capture of lighting is not quite so stunning, by we were not allowed to take cameras with detachable lenses so I took these on my ipod.

The best bit was with out a doubt when she got off the stage and ran up and down the front of the audience, touching peoples hands (including mine) as she went. So if anyone is going to see her and has some spare tickets, I suppose I could fit it in to my timetable.

Pain perdu avec compote de cerises et basilic

French toast with cherry and basil compote.

Today I made this wonderful dish, a recipe from Rachel Khoo's "The Little Paris Kitchen". It was scrummy, but also really simple, and something I had to share!

Rachel's recipe says:

"You will need; 1 egg, 250ml milk, 1 tbs sugar, 4 slices of brioche, 1 tbs butter. For the compote; 450g frozen pitted cherries, 150g icing sugar, a bunch of basil (roughly 20g).

To make the compote, place all the ingredients in a pot and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time to help dissolve the icing sugar.

Meanwhile, make the pain perdu. Whisk the egg, milk and sugar together in a dish. Place the brioche in the egg mixture and soak fora minute on each side. Heat the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the brioche and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden, then flip the slices over and cook the other side.

Remove the basil from the compote. Serve the pain perdu straight from the pan, with the warm compote spooned over and around it."

When I tried my hand at this tasty toast, I could not find frozen cherries in my local supermarket. In their absence, I replaced them in the recipe with 400g of frozen blueberries. This worked nicely, so if you dislike or can't find any cherries, there is an alternative!

Islington Adventures part 1

I returned yesterday from another wonderful weekend in Islington, staying with my lovely godmother Roxy. After spending the best part of Saturday in the rain watching an open air adaptation of 'To Kill A Mocking Bird', it was nice to have a drench-free wander around the next morning. We had a lovely breakfast outside a cafe in Upper Street, before heading off on a cross-pavement adventure.

I was immersed in urban fantasy; row upon row of bicycles, and a vibrant stream of vehicles speeding past in an ever changing veil of colour. Never could I forget the shop windows, the streets lined in displays of clothes, furniture and food, each one individual and eye catching. Everything from scottish woollen throws to raspberry meringues the size of a dinner plate! I look forward to my next visit.

Here and Now

It's almost that time of year already; more of the year behind us than is yet to come, and days seem to have more sunlight than moonshine. What am I up to this month? Glad you asked.

Listening to... 
Falling deeper and deeper in love with Beirut the more I listen to them, mostly on max volume, making sure I have enough space around me to dance interpretively without receiving scornful glances. 
Favourite songs being:
-Elephant Gun
-Santa Fe

Eating at... 
For special occasions, June being the month of my father's Birthday, my favourite restaurant is with out a doubt 'The Curlew' in Bodiam. It was awarded a Michelin Star in the 2011 Guide, which is very much justified in the heavenly dishes and decor. 

Wishing I owned...
A Robin Day Reclining chair. Mr Day himself says "A good design should fulfil its purpose well, be soundly constructed and should express in its design this purpose and construction." which I'm happy to tell you it does. Awesomely. The corner of my sitting room practically grieves over the absence of this masterpiece.

Amelie. Lots and lots of Amelie.

My Latest Obsession

I have always been a Jam fanatic. Jellys, curds and conserves had always been up there in my top food faves, but recently I have developed a bit of an obsession. Even the act of opening a new jar is a pleasurable experience in itself; the sudden pop as the air escapes, releasing with it a sensual steam of fruity fragrance. My top preserve would have to be the 'National Trust's home-brand Blackcurrant Curd', which to me is heaven on a slice of bread, or cracker, or biscuit... or the end of my finger for that matter. I am guilty to storing up to seven pots of passion in my fridge at a time, but its fair to say I do like a little bit of toast with my jam.

Up-Cycled End Table

I have recently completed the construction of an up-cycled, mid century revival side table. The 1950's era of design is one of my favourites; light and airy with clean lines. Simple yet sophisticated and chic. Not too long ago I received a collection of old magazines from my Grandfather, most of which covered the 1951 Festival of Britain and the World's Fair of 1956. The freshness and excitement in the furniture pages inspired me to create a piece of my own. 

A key feature to my table is the circular hole in the surface, which acts as a pot plant holder. Bringing the outdoors indoors and taking inspiration from natural forms was a popular design ethic to budding designers in the age of bent plywood and teak. Including a home for 'Little Miss Petunia' was important when planing my tables functionality. I also wanted to create storage within the table, for magazines, remote controls etc. The table top is a neat box, open at the front and back, which allows users to preserve their latest copy of "Kinfolk" for later reading, or discretely house DVD's. 

My main focus when sourcing materials was keeping it 'green'. I wanted to recycle and up-cycle as much as I could. The top is made from sanded down floorboards, lovingly massaged in Danish oil, and the legs are re-sprayed robin day school chairs, which without my heroic efforts would have met their slow demise wasting away outside my local primary school. I also made circular feet from reclaimed acrylic.

Lemon Balm Tea

I have always been fascinated by the sight and smell of our Lemon Balm bush. Today I finally decided to ask my good friend Google whether this lovely plant was edible, or whether I would contract some form of terrible illness after consumption. With much joy I discovered it poison-free, so I set about concocting a herbal tea from its leaves. After ten minutes of infusing it was ready, and well worth the wait. Mint tinted in colour, with a citrus aroma. I felt at one with my self, calmed and relaxed, brimming with pleasure and satisfaction: homemade happiness.