Recipe | Wild garlic frittata

April 28, 2017

Recipe | Wild garlic frittata | These Four Walls blog

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.

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Alfresco summer dining with The White Company

April 21, 2017

Alfresco summer dining with The White Company | These Four Walls blog

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.

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Home tour | A texture-filled Gothenburg apartment

April 19, 2017

Home tour | A texture-filled Gothenburg apartment | These Four Walls blog

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.

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Design for wellbeing

April 10, 2017

Design for wellbeing | These Four Walls blog

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…

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Recipe | Artichoke, garlic & cannellini bean soup

March 24, 2017

Recipe | Artichoke, garlic & cannellini bean soup | These Four Walls blog

It’s a strange time of year, don’t you think? There are signs of spring everywhere, but the weather is still catching up. One minute it’s freezing cold and I find myself craving hearty winter comfort food; the next, the sun appears and I want to tuck into fresh, new-season greens.

Luckily, the latest recipe from Kym Grimshaw of food blog On the Plate is perfect for this in-between stage. It uses artichokes – a taste of spring, though the preserved ones recommended here are available year-round – and it’s warming and satisfying, with a wonderful hit of roasted garlic. It works brilliantly for lunch or supper, or as a starter – just add crusty bread and a glass of crisp white wine…

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Home tour | A house of contrasts near Copenhagen

March 22, 2017

Home tour | A house of contrasts near Copenhagen | These Four Walls blog

It’s time for another home tour and, inspired by the contemporary Suffolk farmhouse which I featured back in January, I’ve decided to share another beautiful house from Danish design gurus Norm Architects.

Set in the seaside town of Vedbæk, to the north of Copenhagen, it was originally built in 1853 and retains many period features, including exposed rafters and a stunning staircase which sweeps up to the first floor. Throughout, Norm Architects have paired them with modern elements such as concrete mantelpieces, pristine white walls and embedded ceiling lights. They’ve also added a new extension to house the kitchen and dining area, with walls of windows that let daylight flood into the once-gloomy interior, plus a glass floor that provides a peek down to the basement (now a wine cellar) below.

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Relaxed spring-summer styling from Tina K Home

March 17, 2017

Relaxed spring-summer styling from Tina K Home | These Four Walls blog

Today’s dose of interiors inspiration comes from Danish designer Tine Kjeldsen of Tina K Home. She’s just released details of her spring-summer 2017 collection, and it’s a real beauty.

Entitled ‘Boho’, it was inspired by the idea of slowing down, enjoying everyday life and focusing on the things which really matter – a theme that’s becoming ever more popular in this turbulent world of ours, and which has formed the basis of quite a few new-season ranges this year.

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Hotel Danmark | Copenhagen

March 13, 2017

Hotel Danmark | Copenhagen | These Four Walls blog

I have a bit of design-related travel news to start the week, as I’ve just discovered that Brochner Hotels, owner of long-time Copenhagen favourite Hotel SP34, is about to launch a brand-new base in the Danish capital.

Called Hotel Danmark, it’s due to open its doors to guests in April and, from the look of the press photos, it’s going to be stunning. The interiors blend sleek Scandinavian lines and mid-century modern classics with decadent touches, including four-poster beds, forest-green walls and brass accents. I particularly love the leather-padded headboards, which are softened by snuggly cushions in pale grey and mint green, and the striking dome-shaped bedside lamps.

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