When the latest recipe from Kym Grimshaw of Bristol-based food blog On the Plate popped into my inbox, I was instantly intrigued. I’d never heard of orzotto before, but I’m a big fan of both risotto and orzo pasta, so this fusion of the two is right up my street.
After a little research, I discovered that Italian orzotto is traditionally made from pearl barley, but orzo – small pasta shaped like grains of rice – makes a wonderful substitute. The result is a dish that’s as creamy and satisfying as normal risotto, but much quicker and easier to cook. Here, Kym has paired it with zingy seasonal vegetables and a dash of lemon, creating the perfect supper for the balmy Bank Holiday weekend ahead…
I’ve just got back from a wonderful week away – our wedding in Devon, followed by a quick mini-moon in Cornwall. More on that to follow, but in the meantime what better way to get back into the blogging groove than a tour around a gorgeous Nordic home?
Located in the hip Kallio district of Helsinki, this small but striking apartment was created by interior designer Laura Seppänen for Finnish composer and producer Hank Solo. Hank wanted a tranquil space where he could focus on his music, so Laura blended industrial and Scandinavian elements to create an airy, loft-like look.
A very quick post today to let you know that I’m taking a short break from blogging, as I’m getting married this weekend! We’ll then be heading off for a mini-moon in Cornwall, but I’ll be back later in May with more interiors and lifestyle inspiration (and possibly a few wedding photos!).
In the meantime, here some pictures of the stunning Cornish coastline to feast your eyes upon, all captured by our wedding photographer Taylor & Porter during our recent engagement shoot…
I’m a big fan of online retailer Amara, which stocks a wonderful selection of furniture and home accessories from some of the world’s leading designers. So, I was very excited to learn that they’re launching a sparkling new section packed with home inspiration – and even more excited when they asked if I’d like to take part!
The new section takes the form of shop-able inspiration boards, with lots of ideas grouped by room and trend. There’s also a chance to peek inside the homes of several interiors bloggers, including that of yours truly. Here’s a taster of the images of my house, which I styled using some beautiful Scandinavian designs from Amara’s selection – a ‘Flow’ cushion and ‘Kubus’ candleholder from By Lassen; Norm Architects’ ‘Tumbler’ alarm clock for Menu; a ‘Dot’ cushion, ‘Lens’ storage box and ‘J110’ chair by HAY; and minimalist white ceramics from Skagerak. To see more – and shop the look for yourself – just head over to my Amara profile page.
I’m taking you back to ever-reliable Sweden for my latest home tour, and to a sophisticated Gothenburg apartment that blends classic Scandinavian minimalism with a dash of glamour.
Throughout, the owners of this beautiful pad have paired sleek white walls and breezy linens with gleaming metallic accents, plush velvet upholstery, cut-glass crystal vases and sumptuous rugs. It all works perfectly alongside the high ceilings, ornate cornicing, period fireplaces, parquet flooring and double doors, which lend an air of grandeur to the space.
There are swathes of wild garlic all over the place at the moment, and it’s one of my favourite seasonal ingredients. It used to line the country lanes around my parents’ house in Derbyshire, and the heady, garlicky scent always takes me straight back to childhood springs.
Even though wild garlic smells incredibly pungent, it has a much more delicate flavour than the conventional stuff, and you can use both the leaves and the flowers. It’s only around for a few weeks each year, so I always try to make the most of this fleeting time by sticking it in everything from salads to pesto. It seems I’m not the only one, and this month’s dose of food inspiration from fellow wild-garlic addict Kym Grimshaw of On The Plate is a delicious frittata that’s packed with the stuff.
It’s time for another round-up of the new furniture designs and homeware collections that have reached my radar over recent weeks. So, grab a cuppa and feast your eyes on my favourite finds for April…
During the colder months, I often feel like I’m living life at a million miles an hour – racing from one weekend to the next, with the days in between rushing past in a blur of deadlines, meetings and paperwork. But as summer approaches and the weather warms up, I always make an effort to slow down and embrace little everyday pleasures: morning cuppas by an open window, lunchtime strolls, even a picnic every now and then.
As the evenings get lighter, one of my favourite treats is dining alfresco. There’s something about eating outside that makes even easy weekday suppers seem special, so as soon as work is done for the day, Chris and I turn off our screens and head out into the garden. There, we linger for hours over food and wine, listening to birds and planes soaring overhead, watching the light slowly fade from golden to rose-pink, and chatting about life, the universe and everything.
I hope you all enjoyed a long, lazy Easter weekend? I’ve spent a few days away from blogging, catching up with friends and ploughing through the last bits of wedding planning (just over three weeks to go!), but it’s time to get back into the swing of things. And a peek inside this beautiful apartment in the Swedish city of Gothenburg seemed like the perfect way to kick off!
What immediately caught my eye about this home is the clever use of texture. There are different surfaces everywhere you look – exposed brick, polished concrete, rich wood, gleaming metal – but they’re broken up with swathes of white, which means the apartment still retains an airy, uncluttered and cohesive feel. I also love the period features – the ornate cornicing, the grand double doors, the parquet floor – which provide a striking contrast to the more industrial, loft-like elements.
For me, interior design isn’t just about the way a room looks, but about the way it makes you feel. It makes sense when you think about it: with ever-more stressful lifestyles, a turbulent political climate and technology that means it’s harder and harder to switch off, our homes tend to act as sanctuaries where we can relax and recuperate. So, the way we design and decorate them can have a huge impact on our health and happiness.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a talk on this very topic, organised by Hillarys Blinds to celebrate the launch of their very first showroom, located right here in Bristol. It was given by Oliver Heath, an expert on wellbeing in the built environment (who British and Norwegian readers may recognise from TV), and it had me nodding along in agreement from start to finish.
So, how can you create a happy, healthy home? Here are some of Oliver’s suggestions…