Tuesday, 24 May 2016

THE NATURE TABLE


This weekend the lovely Sian Tucker (@coldatnight on Instagram), founder of Fforest in Wales and I put together a nature table from the hedgerows of Manorafon. I was in the wilds of west Wales for Sisterhood Camp 2016 and Fforest was the amazing venue. It was great to spend time with friends and like minded ladies and take part in fab collaborations and workshops. I'll share more from the weekend soon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

PINTERESTING

It's no good I am hopelessly addicted to Pinterest, I find it so inspiring and curating beautiful boards cheers me up on a dull day. Do you pin? Let me know as I need to follow more people.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

THE WEEKLY FORAGE ~ WILD GARLIC FOCACCIA


This is probably one of my favourite things to make as it's just so easy! You basically follow a white bread recipe, my favourite is the white loaf recipe from The Fabulous Baker Brothers book. After following the recipe and leaving it to rise, I then push it out into a rustic shape pressing dimples into the dough with my fingers. Then I blend together a handful of wild garlic leaves with some rape seed oil and drizzle all over, finishing with a sprinkle of sea salt, before baking on the highest heat until the edges start turning brown. It is so delicious and so easy. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

CHOOSING A DIFFERENT PATH


As we meander along life's path I often wonder to myself whether I am on the path that was meant for me? I'm not one for life plans or career goals instead making decisions based on beliefs and values. Around me I read stories of people having big adventures, travelling around the world as a family for example, and I wonder if I am capable of stepping outside my comfort zone.

I wonder if the safety and security that I have built around me has been a barrier to making big life changing decisions, and the little devil on my shoulder saying "what if you're not good enough?',  "what if you fail?" and "what do you know?"

A new path has been offered to us as a family, a path I would never have chosen or believe could be possible. A path totally different to anything we've ever experienced before but that is full of things we love and adore and makes our hearts sing and we're about to run down it in naive and giddy excitement.

As my dear friend Sas Petherick says as she patiently reads yet another text from me detailing the 1001 reasons why we shouldn't take this path, "This could be brilliant - exactly how you imagined it. What if that happens?"

Monday, 25 April 2016

HOMEMADE BIRTHDAY CAKES


Two of my boys had birthdays this weekend, one on Saturday the other on Sunday. I'm not one for big parties with entertainers, preferring a much more traditional affair with homemade cakes and the like. So this weekend we had a small (& organised at the last minute) party for four year olds, featuring pass the parcel, painting some cardboard shields as it was St.Georges Day then slaying a dragon piƱata. The following day a woodland walk, making casts of the mammal footprints and a bit of whittling. 


I made both of the boys birthday cakes with thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration, both with a woodland theme. The first was a classic Victoria sponge with jam in the middle and covered in a buttercream icing, dragging the icing around the edges to give it the raw edge that seems so fashionable in cake decorating right now. The second a chocolate sponge using a recipe from Monty & Sarah Don's Home cookbook, the was an absolute delight to make, with a chocolate buttercream filling and chocolate covering. Both had really simple decoration, Stanley's had some of our Schleich animals on the top, with a tiny bunting made from twigs and a ribbon cut into tiny flags and Ted's had some twigs pushed into the cake with cut out word's and animals ~ simple and effective. 


Am exhausted after all this revelry and cake making, I'm sure the Great British Bake Off is easier!





Sunday, 17 April 2016

THE WEEKLY FORAGE ~ WILD GARLIC FALAFEL


I've made some wild garlic falafel this weekend as a wild picnic snack, adding a handful of foraged wild garlic leaves to my usual recipe which turns them into an amazing green colour before cooking. They are really delicious! 

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas - 400g
1 garlic clove
a handful of wild garlic leaves
a handful of flat leaved parsley
1 small red onion finely chopped 
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of mild chilli powder
1-2 tablespoons of plain flour 
olive oil (to cook them)
pinch of salt and black pepper to season

Method
  • I pop all the ingredients into a bowl and blend together with a hand blender, you could hand mash for a coarser mixture if you prefer
  • After mixing add the flour gradually using it to thicken until the mixture is thick
  • I use a spoon to add the mixture in six large patty's to a hot frying pan with olive oil in
  • Heat and turn until cooked and browned on both sides
  • Serve with pitta bread, humous, salad and tomato salsa.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

IS THERE A HOLIDAY PERFECT FOR BOTH CHILDEN & PARENTS?


Is there such thing as a relaxing holiday for both parents AND children? I didn't believe it possible but last weekend we were invited by Canopy and Stars to stay at Brownscombe Luxury Camping in Devon.

Our stay came at the end of the Easter holidays and after two ridiculously busy and stressful weeks for us for a variety of reason we were ready for a break. We arrived at Brownscombe to be greeted by owner Kate who was lighting the huge stove in our tent ready for our arrival, she gave us a quick tour of the safari tent we were staying in before leaving us to relax. 


It was a blustery April weekend but tucked up in the huge safari tent we were very cosy and not cold at all. The beds were huge and so comfortable with fabulous long water bottles and luxurious bed linen we had the best nights sleep that we'd had in a long time and the boys loved the cabin bed.


You really wouldn't believe you were in a tent, with iron beds, antique furniture, deep comfy mattresses and sheepskin rugs.


The huge stove is at the heart of the tent and fires up really easily but there is also an induction hob to heat up the kettle so you don't have to wait too long for that morning cup of tea. There were also plenty of lamps, a fridge in the kitchen with a complimentary bottle of prosecco, candles, a loo & shower room with hot water and some electric points if you want to charge your phone or plug in a hairdryer - I'm really not sure you can call this camping at all! But you know what as much as I love camping it was amazing to have everything you need to hand and hot running water and a loo actually in the tent, it meant we could just switch off and instantly relax. 


The boys having just been confined in the car for a few hours were bursting with energy for the opportunity to explore and run! There was a games room in the old barn with table tennis table, table football, board games and a pool table. Next to the games room is a small drying room with a washing machine and a little 'honesty' larder with a few essentials stocked and order forms if you want to book a home cooked breakfast in the morning or a home-cooked meal in the evening.


The boys roamed the fields enjoying the space and meeting the children staying in the other two tents and as the mizzle came in they gravitated towards the games room, playing happily.


Kate welcomes the children to join her to check and feed the chickens, pigs, lambs and ducks on the farm and is lovely making sure they all did a little to help. The boys followed her like the Pied Piper, meeting both the farm animals and her two gorgeous dogs Molly and Margot, they absolutely adored it and it gave my husband and I rare and valuable time to enjoy a hot cup of tea, cook breakfast and wake up lazily.






Brownscombe is situated in a quiet valley but near enough the English Riviera to take advantage of more traditional holiday fun. We ventured out for the day to Dartmouth about 12 miles away, crossing over the River Dart from Kingswear on the small car ferry much to the excitement of the boys, we managed to find parking on one of the narrowest streets I've ever driven down! We enjoyed brunch at Dartmouth institution Cafe Alf Resco before taking our (borrowed from the games room cupboard) buckets and leftover bacon bits to the quay for a spot of crabbing, which Stanley was most excited about.


After catching five crabs and then gently releasing them back in we watched the gig racing in the harbour with a local ice-cream.



We spent the evening back at the tent around the fire pit cooking tea over the flames and waiting for the sun to set so we could learn a few star constellations in the night sky for our first Year of Wild badge.


It really was a perfect weekend enjoyed by all of us in equal measure and over all too soon, Kate and her family have really thought about everything that a family needs to relax and enjoy a holiday. Of all of the glamping trips we've been on, this was by far the most luxurious. I would even go as far as to challenge anyone who says that they "don't do camping" to stay here as I think they would be pleasantly surprised and their children would thank them too.


*The weekend at Brownscombe was kindly gifted to us as part of the Canopy and Stars Collective but this review is entirely our own opinions and words and we are hoping to return this summer we loved it that much.
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