Category Archives: Lifestyle

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…

read more

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

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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…

read more

Our engagement photos on the Cornish coast

March 7, 2017

Our engagement photos on the Cornish coast | These Four Walls blog

For a blogger, I’m rather camera-shy – I set up These Four Walls back in 2014 and I could probably count on one hand the number of photos of myself that I’ve posted since then. But I couldn’t resist sharing a few images from our engagement shoot with talented film photographer Louise of Taylor & Porter, who I recently interviewed and who will be capturing our wedding in May.

The shoot took place in February on a wild and windswept Cornish beach, almost a year to the day since Chris proposed. We chose the location because we both love spending time by the sea (such a wonderful escape from our busy city lives), and because its rugged beauty echoes that of Iceland, where we got engaged. It was a magical afternoon – Louise put us at ease from the moment we arrived, allowing us to relax and take in the incredible scenery around us: the crashing waves, the pristine sand, the glowing sun sinking slowly behind the cliffs.

read more

Recipe | Rhubarb & honeycomb porridge

February 17, 2017

Recipe | Rhubarb & honeycomb porridge | These Four Walls blog

During the week, I’m not really a breakfast person. I tend to wake up early, do a bit of blog work, and then grab a quick coffee or a glass of orange juice before dashing out to my day job. At weekends, though, it’s a different story. For me, Saturday and Sunday mornings are precious downtime, when I often laze in bed for hours with a good book. Delicious food is essential, of course, and so I’m particularly excited about the latest addition to my ongoing recipe series with Kym Grimshaw of Bristol-based food blog On the Plate.

This is porridge, but not as you know it. Here, healthy and nutritious oats are topped with a couple of added treats: zingy roasted rhubarb and sweet, sticky honeycomb (which is a lot easier to make than you’d expect, and can be prepared the night before). Over to Kym for instructions…

read more

Review | The Emma mattress

February 15, 2017

Review | The Emma mattress | These Four Walls blog

Chris and I have a dilemma which I’m sure many couples share: he sleeps on his front and prefers a soft mattress, whereas I tend to sleep on my back and prefer a firmer one. We’ve always ended up compromising with something in the middle, which means that neither of us is ever truly comfortable. So, when I was asked to review the Emma mattress, which is designed to suit every body type and sleeping position, I agreed straight away.

read more

Profile | Taylor & Porter

February 3, 2017

Profile | Wedding, portrait and editorial photographer Taylor & Porter | These Four Walls blog

When I first told a friend that Chris and I had got engaged, her immediate response was: “Oooh, you’re going to find choosing a wedding photographer really tricky!”. She was right. Doing what I do means I’m very picky when it comes to images and styling, and I spent ages trawling wedding blogs and photography websites in a bid to find the right person. Then someone suggested Louise of Taylor & Porter – one look at her ethereal, radiant and beautifully crafted work, and I knew the search was over.

Cornwall-based Louise specialises in wedding photography, couples’ and family portraits, branding and editorial shoots. Her images are incredibly inspiring and have been featured on wedding and lifestyle blogs numerous times – most recently a romantic and moody spread on Once Wed. I was instantly drawn to the way she captures light, atmosphere and detail, and the way her photographs tell a story. She also uses film – something which I’ve wanted to try for a while, but which I’ve always found a little daunting having started photography in the digital age. I chatted to her about her background, her approach, and her tips for those of us who want to give film photography a go…

read more

Recipe | Sausage & kale orecchiette

January 20, 2017

Sausage & kale orecchiette | These Four Walls blog

It’s time for the first recipe of 2017 from the talented Kym Grimshaw of food blog On the Plate, and I’m particularly excited about this one as it uses my favourite pasta: orecchiette.

I first sampled orecchiette (Italian for ‘little ears’) on Rome’s Piazza Navona at the age of 17, when I was travelling around Italy between school and university. It was served with butternut squash and grated almonds, and it was one of the tastiest things I’d ever eaten. I kept an eye out for it once I got back to the UK, but it was fairly hard to find back then. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to track down nowadays, and it has a wonderfully meaty texture that works brilliantly in hearty winter dishes. This one uses sausages and kale, and it’s delicious. Over to Kym for the details…

read more