Monthly Archives

March 2017

Interiors, My Home, Shop

Hello HAY.

My mantelpiece has been the same since I moved into the flat eighteen months ago – a collection of frames and objects that were regularly punctuated with a vase (or seven) of flowers. I liked the easily interchangeable nature of having nothing hung on the wall, allowing me to mix and match as I chose throughout the year. Sometimes there were books, candles, extra frames, birthday cards… whatever took my fancy really.

All of that changed however when my eyes fell upon the beauty that is HAY’s Strap Mirror. As I quietly perused the COS x HAY selection at the High Street Kensington store it is safe to say I fell in love. I fell in love with a mirror.

There it was, hanging proudly over a perfectly styled birchwood desk. Its incredibly satisfying round surface reflecting the array of concrete plant pots positioned to one side. At this moment I knew it. I knew it was meant to live atop my mantelpiece. In fact, I knew it was going to make everything better. The room needed something, some varying levels to make the most of the tall proportions it came blessed with. It was going to solve everything.

Okay, so it probably wasn’t going to solve everything exactly and I may be somewhat over egging the experience in to some kind of religious experience, but guys, it was love.

Despite the quizzical glances it quite often results in, each year for my birthday I tend to ask for things for my home. With this year being my thirtieth it seemed even more apt to pick something I will be sure to keep. And so it is here that the beautiful grey minimalist mirror of dreams became mine.

If you haven’t familiarised yourself with Utility Design then it’s about time you did. Stocking a great selection of HAY product, the site sells an incredible selection of brands that can sometimes be rather difficult to purchase in the UK.

It came. It is indeed as beautiful in my own home as it was in the busy basement of COS. So it might be a little heavier than anticipated and yes, I do live my life with the fear that my drilling might not quite have been good enough and it could fall down during the night and deliver me bad luck for the next seven years, but it has indeed changed everything I wanted it to change about the room. Adding a focal point to the large chimney breast wall, providing some height to the room’s proportions and reflecting the light from the window back into the room. It’s a masterpiece of minimal design, which when softened with a vase to one side, looks perfect in the room.

Shop the HAY Strap Mirror at Utility Design here

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My Home

Lazy days.

I have a lot of love to give to a Sunday morning. I have even more love to give to a sunny Sunday morning. Luckily today the world saw fit to offer up both. There may well be some serious gales accompanying the sunshine, but I’ll take it all the same. I like to get all of life’s duller tasks thoroughly out of the way on a Saturday, meaning I can wake up a spotlessly clean and tidy flat. Armed with a pot of coffee, the Food Network and a fresh book, I predict this Sunday shall be an exceedingly good one.

The book in question is Judith Jones’ memoir. If you’ve ever seen Julie & Julia (if you haven’t, leave the blog immediately and find it please, it’s exactly what your Sunday afternoon needs), she’s the book editor who doesn’t turn up for dinner and whom Julie has a beef bourguignon melt down over. Not only did she bring Julia Child to the forefront of American cooking, she also saw to it that Anne Frank’s diary was published. It sat on a shelf, sad and rejected by her publishing house until she found it and championed its importance.

I can’t say I’m much of a memoir kind of guy, until now I think my memoir reading count is at a solid 1, but I decided to give it a go after listening to an interview with Jones on Food52’s podcast, Burnt Toast. If you have any interest in food or simply just the ramblings of people who love, have a listen. Season 2 will be starting soon. I’ve found that it makes for the perfect listening whilst running, oddly. I focus on the words and stories rather than on my desire to lie on the pavement and sob to myself. Whatever helps.

Speaking of ramblings, I’ll stop now and head back to Judith’s adventures in food. Food related memoir recommendations are wholeheartedly welcomed.

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Food, Recipe

Lemon & Blueberry Oat Bites.

Like pretty much everyone out there, I like to snack. It helps my days seem that little bit more bearable if I know there’s a treat of some variety waiting in my top drawer for elevenses. I cannot claim to be a saint in the snacking arena by any means, but I do try my best. As we all know, you get points for trying. So that’s something.

These flapjack like bites satisfy the need to snack without sacrificing any of the taste. They also happen to contain two of my favourite things – blueberries and lemon. I will essentially east just about anything with lemon in. They’re relatively simple to make and can be played with easily; try adding in a layer of blackberries or mixed berries for example. The world if your oaty oyster.

Ingredients 

  • 220g oats (gluten free works perfectly)
  • 6 tbsp runny honey
  • Zest & juice of 2 lemonds
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g pumpkin seeds
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 250g blueberries

Start by making your blueberry filling. Place your blueberries in a pan with a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon (zest it before juicing and leave to one side). Cook on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes until it resembles a jam-like consistency. Leave to one side.

Next melt the coconut oil, tahini, remaining 5 tablespoons of honey and the rest of the lemon juice in a pan.

Pop your dates in a blender and pulse into they’re one big sticky ball. Add this to a bowl containing the seeds, oats, salt and lemon zest. Add in the contents of your pan once all of the coconut oil has melted and give it a really good mix. The date paste can be tough to blend in, so give it some elbow grease.

Put half of your oat mixture into a tin – I tend to go for a flat square one to make slicing them simple, but feel free to use whatever you have to hand. Although a circular tin may cause some portion issues, which we all know no one wants.

When half the mixture it is in the tin, give it a good press down either with your fingers or the back of a spoon.

Next add the blueberry mixture and spread evenly across the layer. Now add the second half of your oat mixture and spread out. You may need to be a tad more gentle here to ensure the blueberry mixture doesn’t spill out. Press down as firmly as you can and then transfer to the fridge to set.

If you can hold off for 3-4 hours, that’s ideal. Overnight is best. Then it’s time to slice into bitesize squares. They should keep in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze any left overs.

We both know there won’t be any leftovers.

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