Category Archives: Lifestyle

Recipe | Nduja, pepper and bean stew

August 25, 2017

Recipe | Nduja, pepper and bean stew | These Four Walls blog

The latest recipe from Kym Grimshaw of food blog On the Plate is classic comfort food with a spicy twist. It’s made with nduja, a fiery pork sausage from the Calabria region of Italy which has quickly become one of my favourite ingredients. I love its rich flavour, its soft crumbly texture and its versatility – you can spread it on toast, top pizzas with it, or use it as a base for stews and sauces. Here, it adds a wonderful kick to a hearty yet super-easy supper – perfect as balmy summer evenings give way to the chill of autumn.

Nduja is becoming widely available outside Italy, but if you can’t get hold of it then Kym tells me you can use cooking chorizo instead. The resulting dish will still be super-tasty, but it won’t have quite the same depth of flavour as the nduja version.

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A visit to Kilver Court in Somerset

August 17, 2017

A visit to Kilver Court in Somerset | These Four Walls blog

Living in Bristol, I’m lucky enough to be within easy reach of Somerset, one of my favourite English counties. There’s so much to love about it: the vast horizons and bird-filled wetlands of the Levels, the pretty harbour towns and grand old piers of the coast, the rolling hills of the Quantocks and the Mendips… But no matter how many times I visit, there always seems to be somewhere new to explore.

My latest discovery is Kilver Court, a designer outlet village on the edge of Shepton Mallet, which I visited on my way down to At the Chapel a couple of weeks ago. I’d actually driven past it several times over the years, but I’d never stopped to have a proper look – I’d just assumed that it would be like any other outlet village: packed, chaotic and full of flashy brands that just don’t appeal to me. How wrong I was! It turns out Kilver Court is an outlet village with a difference – several of them, in fact.

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Recipe | Cherry Bakewell overnight oats

July 28, 2017

Recipe | Cherry Bakewell overnight oats | These Four Walls blog

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m not really a breakfast person during the week. Despite the old adage that it’s the most important meal of the day, I tend to grab a smoothie and go, rather than sitting down to eat anything like I should. But this recipe for overnight oats from Kym Grimshaw of Bristol-based food blog On the Plate might just persuade me to break my bad habits.

Firstly, it’s easy-peasy and takes no time at all – you just bung everything in a jar, leave it overnight, and it’s ready by morning. Secondly, it’s delicious AND healthy, with a lovely creamy texture and a big dollop of juicy summer fruit. Finally, it’s inspired by cherry Bakewells, and as I grew up near the Derbyshire town of Bakewell where the classic almond and jam dessert supposedly originated, it seems appropriate. Just don’t ask me the difference between a Bakewell pudding, a Bakewell tart and a cherry Bakewell, as I have absolutely no idea…

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A weekend at Sisterhood Camp, Wales

July 7, 2017

A weekend at Sisterhood Camp, Wales | These Four Walls blog

Returning from a holiday often leaves me feeling strangely frazzled – so much work to catch up on, so many emails to answer, clothes to unpack and wash… But every now and then, I’m lucky enough to experience a break that’s truly refreshing and restorative.

One such getaway came a couple of weekends ago, when I was invited to Sisterhood Camp by the lovely people at Visit Wales. Part of a series of seasonal workshops and events set up by fellow blogger Lou Archell, the camp is a biannual retreat for women – a chance to switch off from work and other commitments, and embrace a slower, more gentle pace of life in a truly beautiful setting.

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Recipe | Stove-top radish and bacon toasts

June 30, 2017

Recipe | Stove-top radish and bacon toasts | These Four Walls blog

Radish season is in full swing, and they’re one of my favourite summer vegetables. I use them in all sorts of ways: in salads and sandwiches, as a garnish on steaks and soups, chopped up in salsas… But I’ve never thought of actually cooking them – until now.

This quick and easy brunch recipe from Kym Grimshaw of food blog On the Plate has totally changed my perception of the humble radish, and it’s utterly delicious. Heat radishes on the stove for a few minutes and they become juicy and mellow, without losing any of their wonderful peppery flavour. Here, they’re paired with smokey bacon and cooling crème fraîche, with a sprinkling of dill for added summer freshness. What’s more, there’s very little faffing or chopping involved – perfect for lazy weekend mornings, when you want to treat yourself without spending ages in the kitchen.

Read on for full ingredients and instructions…

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A misty day on the Cornish coast

June 21, 2017

A misty day on the Cornish coast | These Four Walls blog

There’s something about being by the coast that feeds the soul, no matter what the weather. To round off my posts from our recent minimoon in Cornwall, here’s a selection of photos which I took in Mousehole and Sennen Cove on a hauntingly beautiful May morning, when mist shrouded the cliffs, waves crashed on the shore, and we had the windswept sands almost entirely to ourselves…

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Recipe | Spring orzotto

May 26, 2017

Recipe | Spring orzotto | These Four Walls blog

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…

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Out of the office…

May 11, 2017

Out of the office...

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

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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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