Category Archives: food
I thought you might like to see a few pictures of my new garden workshop. It’s a log cabin – from Finland – built in our English village garden. As the house and garden we’ve taken on is quite a project, this studio seemed like a good place to start – a place to work and a place for retreat! And because I always like a little reminder of the West Indies, we gave it a Caribbean inspired splash of paint on the trim and a moat of tiny sea pebbles to lend a little mood of seaside. There are shelves and cupboards to keep all my bits of equipment and props, and lots of space to rest and think!
One of my plans for the garden is to grow some lovely edible flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. I’ve planted up plenty of seeds and they are all happy (mostly) in their temporary seed tray beds. But it’s a long way off from here to harvest! The best prospect for instant rewards lies in the herb beds – so I’ve got busy planting an array of fragrant, and flowering herbs around my studio.
These herbs come in handy for a delightful mid morning snack of cheese and crusty bread. I used a local fresh salad cheese – a bit like a light feta cheese. I snipped and sprinkled over some chives, flowering thyme, and mint. Then a drizzle of honey – for a delicious salty sweet combination – and a few drops of golden rapeseed oil. Lastly, a bit of cracked black pepper and it’s soon ready. And yes, that is a nice cup of tea to go alongside!
I’ve been working on some still life projects in the studio. I’m getting used to the light, working on making the right effects and so on. I hope to post some of the results here sometime soon.
We have a lot happening here in Britain over the next few weeks. Our village is gearing up for big celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Then, of course, we have the London Olympics…very exciting! More soon.
Hope you like my shed (studio) – don’t hesitate to drop me a comment with any thoughts or ideas!
Is anything as uplifting and joyful as that first exuberant burst of blossom in early Spring? My spirit soars when I meander down the village lanes accompanied by clouds of gentle blossom – and new buds giving the promise of more to come. My appreciation of the seasons seems to intensify each year since we came to live in the English countryside. And of all the seasonal changes, the colour and light of Spring is especially welcome. Walking to the village school with our son and his little friends each morning, I point out all the little blooms and buds. But little boys are really much more interested in discussing Lego and trains!
Never mind, on the walk back home I can linger a bit, perhaps with my camera, and perhaps to find a blossom or two to make a Spring posy.
When the sun is shining, I love to take my lunch out into the garden. What to cook? I think some classic fishcakes are just the thing, with a fresh salad on the side. Golden and crispy, delicate yet satisfying. I made these with Haddock, but you can use any firm white fish (without bones) or if you are feeling indulgent, with crab or little prawns. All delicious!
Out comes the trusty folding table. It’s actually a decorating table that’s never been used for wallpapering – much more useful to pop open for an impromptu lunch! A bit of white lace, my jar of flowers … and it’s ready for service.
Things have been quite busy of late and I have lots of projects on the go. And getting to know this new garden is one of those projects. All sorts of surprises are emerging – little primroses dotting the grass like jewels, cheerful daffodils, tulips and the first signs of peonies. It’s very exciting.(To me!)
More soon. x
Glorious food, wonderful company, the breathtakingly beautiful Cotswold countryside and the ultra chic ambience that is Daylesford Organic? Yes it’s the perfect recipe for an amazing day out for a group of food writers, photographers and bloggers. I was lucky enough to join in on this recent lovely day, and came home brimming with inspiration and a sense of well being. Organised by the delightful and charming Silvana de Soissons (publisher of The Foodie Bugle), our day included an extensive tour of the farm shop, cafe, cookery school and gardens as well as cakes, pastries,and a superb lunch. Here are a few snaps I made on the day, I hope it gives you a flavour of the place. May I suggest that you visit The Foodie Bugle to read more about our day, as Silvana has written a wonderful account here.
Our day began with coffee and cakes in the cafe. This was tricky as I desperately wanted to be greedy and taste all the cakes but was too busy meeting and catching up with the rest of the gang. And it was lovely to chat with Rosie and Camilla from Daylesford. (Thanks again for looking after us so well.) Richard Smith, the farm manager chatted to us about the farming methods they are using at Daylesford, the seed stock and dairy breeds, all incredibly interesting. I’ll just have to go back soon to get some cakes!
Lunch was in the glasshouse overlooking the Chelsea award winning herb gardens. Bathed in early Spring sunshine, the setting is impeccable. But look at this magnificent spread of hams, salads, tarts. Delicicious eh? I keep thinking about those sausage rolls and I am going to try to make some as similar as possible later this week. I’ll post my recipe when I get it right!
The spa and garden shop are equally stylish. Calm, muted colours and a simple, natural mood. Lovely.
So there you have it. If you get a chance to visit the Cotswolds – and I really recommend that you do – don’t miss a stop at Daylesford. I’m sure most visitors to Extra-Relish love gorgeous food like I do, so I know you’ll enjoy it.
Daylesford Organic, Gloucestershire. www.daylesfordorganic.com
I am so excited about Spring. I’ve been out and about with my camera, and feeling much inspiration to cook, so lots of photographs and recipes coming soon. Px