Tag Archive - food

16.04.14 Travel: Hill House Norfolk

hill house norfolk

hill house norfolk

hill house norfolk

A weekend in Norfolk…with the kids. Six adults, 9 children. One word – LUXFUN!

So you have to understand the first thing I type when looking for anything is the word ‘luxury’. I don’t always want or need luxury but without it i seem to pull up the dregs of the internet. Hill House Norfolk however definitely is up there with the term ‘luxury family weekend’.

It’s not often you can rock up to a self catering rental to a giant sized cocktail glass of sweets in the hallway, bottle of champers, and a mountain of lemon meringue cupcakes in the kitchen just waiting for you. This was no ordinary weekend self catering accommodation.

To see the rest of the images and full review please click on the link below. Continue Reading…

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08.01.14 Bill & Coo Suites Mykonos : So this is where you come without the kids

Christmas is over and I’m already thinking of Summer. Last May some friends and I spent a weekend in Mykonos at the Bill & Coo Suites. I’m feeling this is the time to pull out those blue sky pictures ready for a fresh bright new year.

www.chalkboardliving.com

Bill & Coo Suites are a collection of 24 rooms all based around a stunning pool, bar and restaurant in the centre. It’s small, and when I say small I mean intimate, not pokey. It’s stunning location is the first ‘Wow!’ but when you step through the door and view the design and styling of the hotel, I was really sold. I knew we’d come to the right place. It’s a chilled hotel, where serene trendy music hums in the background and people whisper not to annoy other guests. It’s not for kids…or loud shouty people, but if you can handle that you’ll be hooked. The staff are friendly yet incredibly professional and couldn’t do enough for us including giving us a phone to take out with us one night in case we got stuck in the town and couldn’t find a taxi back. We never wanted to leave. I think you can see why.

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

Breakfasts everyday were a treat to the senses.

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

The rooms were clean, sleek and white. Greek perfection.

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

I fell in love with these units imported from Italy. The chefs were very proud of their workplace too. Such a great feeling ran everywhere through the hotel from the staff to the guests.

bill and coo suites mykonos

bill and coo suites mykonos

It’s not cheap when you are there with cocktails working out around  17 Euro’s each but if you are careful and you eat out in the town some nights it balances itself out and is totally worth it for how relaxed you’ll feel when you leave.

bill and coo suites mykonos

www.chalkboardliving.com

Now I’m just crossing my fingers 2014 might be a good time to take a trip back 😉

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23.12.13 Christmas Family House Tour: Laura Green works her Christmas Magic

meri meri cakes

I first met Interior designer and mum of two, Laura when we shot her gorgeous 1930’s renovation for a house tour with her family last year. When she invited me back to see her house with a sprinkle of Christmas magic, I couldn’t resist.  That and she make the most amazing cakes.

Laura green's christmas house

Laura green's christmas house

Laura has a keen eye for styling and a distinct style which shows throughout each room of her home. Walking through the door give you goosebumps. It’s a beautiful house which feels loved and experiencing it in full Christmas glory was a magical treat.

Laura green's christmas house

laura green's christmas house

Laura green's christmas house

TO VIEW THE FULL TOUR CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.

Continue Reading…

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14.10.13 My Weekend: Sarah Yewman

christmas family cooking

Sarah Yewman is mum-to-three, wife-to-one and the ‘oldest-intern-in-town’, at Templar Publishing.  She is the creative genius behind the Davina McCall Dudebox creation, author & illustrator of childrens picture books  and artist / peg person painter extrordinaire.  She writes her blog about her ongoing creative exploits – The Yewman Projects.

My weekend starts with our first fire of the season. (You’ve gotta class Friday night as the start of the weekend!) I’ve happily succumbed to the wood-burning stove.

light my fire

At this time of year a weekend wouldn’t be a weekend for us, without a Saturday morning on the sidelines of a muddy football pitch.

sat morning mudfest football

I love the winter, wrapping up warm, lots of layers, cosy fires and not forgetting plenty of comfort food. Talking of which, dare I mention the ‘C’ word?

Christmas might be a swear word in your household at the moment, but in ours, the tradition of making mincemeat, cake and puds can’t come too early, particularly as I’m doing it in my brand new kitchen.

lick the spoon

christmas cooking

We have been working on a big renovation of our house. The building work is almost done and I’m finally getting to the exciting bit of choosing colours and accessories. Weekends at the moment seem to include sorting out the rooms and choosing all the fun stuff.

cool toilet roll holder

colourcharts

Here are a few of my fave rooms and purchases.

sarah yewman's house

Find Sarah’s cool vessel pendant light here  & the cute moose light here.

We love a bit of creating in this house. Weekends always usually involve some kind of creating! This is my 6 year old Lucy having some colouring-in therapy.

luce colouring

I feel very privileged to be working on the Templar Publishing charity initiative, creating the website and auction for their 80 paper watches, designed by 80 of the UK’s top illustrators, all in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

paper watch project

For the last week or two, I’ve been working on the website to get it live and I’m pleased to report we pushed the button this weekend. If you would like to own your unique piece of art, watch out for the auction starting on Sun 3rd Nov.

To find out more about the paper watch project you can visit the website here.

 

 

 

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12.07.13 Lola’s Summer Bunting Birthday Cake

horse birthday cake

There’s something special about a birthday where the sun shines. A proper Summer birthday. Celebrations are easy and yet so stylish with just a little effort.

A white tablecloth, some pretty garden ‘weeds’ thrown into shot glasses, some white bunting, pom poms, a few random animals for fun and a cake. Perfect for a 2 year old.

Horse birthday cake

weeds as flowers in shot glasses

shire horse

Summer birthday party

birthday candles

I love the simplicity of this cake. I always make a cake for my kid’s birthdays. It means I commit to making at least 3 cakes per year. Not bad, except if you’re busy the week of the birthday, fitting in ‘cake making’ can be tricky.

I find the key is to make the cake one evening…takes maximum of 2 hours, and decorate it the next day or evening. If you are pushed for time I always think simple (like this cake) is best.

I loved this cake and thought it would be easy to decorate. I iced my cake with my best ‘work out how much i need as I go along’ buttercream method, which I stained pink.

For the Buttercream:

Roughly 250g – 500g of good quality unsalted butter

Icing Sugar…this is up to you how much and depends on how firm you like it to be. Roughly 250-750g.

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

A few tsp of milk or water to balance the consistency.

Beat the butter til smooth and whippy. Sieve in your icing sugar. As much as you like until the consistency and taste is how you prefer. Add a tsp of vanilla extract. Add a few tsp of milk or water until you have the perfect spreading consistency. Colour if required. (I recommend pastes over liquid colour.)

I made the bunting by cutting triangles out of a large width piece of ribbon and glued it to 2 kebab wooden skewers. I stabbed them into the cake, added an horse with wings for fun and made an age word template for my edible glitter. Glitter is key. It takes an average ‘meh’ cake to show stopping extravaganza…well something like that anyway.

creating-a-word-template-for-a-cake

P.S. For the record I always make my sponge cakes according to Nigella’s Victoria Sponge ‘bung it all in the food processor and whizz’ recipe. Rocket science it is not and it always tastes Amazeballs!

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21.11.12 Family Hour (make these with the kids!) : Laura Green’s Chocolate Brownies

When I say Laura’s I really mean Nigella’s with a sneaky Laura twist of course. Anyway want one? Why not make them with the kids? It’s really not that hard.

Though to be honest nothing can be too hard to make in Laura’s kitchen! See her full house tour here.

You will need:

200g soft unsalted butter

200g best quality dark chocolate

150g white chocolate buttons

3 large eggs

1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract

250g caster sugar

115g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Icing sugar to dust to the tops (for decoration)

PLUS a tin measuring approximately 33 x 23 x 5 1/2cm

How to make:

1. Preheat oven to 180*c/gas mark 4. Line your brownie pan – the sides AND the base – with foil, parchment or bake O glide.

2. Melt the butter and the dark chocolate together in a large heavy pan.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla.

4. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

5. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit and beat in the eggs, sugar and flour and white chocolate buttons. Beat until smooth and scrape into your tin.

6. Bake for no longer than 15 minutes to ensure a gooey in the middle brownie.

7. Cut to size and sieve a little icing sugar over to make everything look pretty!

Ta da!   Lunch, dinner & pudding is served!

(Please note that this is an altered recipe to Nigella’s. To view the original (check p.193) of How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.)

Photographs by Vicky Holmes. Styling by Tracey Chalk/ Laura Green

 

 

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30.10.12 family hour: halloween ghost meringues

Well if you are off school on half term today like us, this is the perfect opportunity to make something with the kids.

My friend Sarah is amazing. She loves to cook and do stuff everyday with her kids and is a real inspiration to me, so i have to share these ghost meringues she made…in July!  They can be made and the kitchen tidied in under 30 minutes!

You will need:

3 egg whites
150g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Black writing icing or melted chocolate

How to make:

1. Place egg whites and cream of tartar into a bowl (separate egg whites by placing the egg into your hand and opening your fingers until the white has dripped through into a bowl underneath TO KEEP, and you are left holding the yolk, TO BIN, or use for another recipe?!)
2. Whisk until fluffy
3. Add vanilla essence
4. Add sugar a little at a time and whisk again until soft peak stage
5. Spoon mixture into piping bag of food bag with corner cut off
6. Squeeze mixture into ghost shapes onto a greaseproof papered baking tray
7. Cook meringues at 150 degrees for 5-10 mins
8. Once cooled draw face with icing (or melted chocolate)

These are perfect served with fruit kebabs or a big bowl of strawberries!

I totally love how George has to cook naked too! Check out her blog. I love her recipe posts.

TIP: If you’ve got teenagers. They might prefer to make this instead…Ew!

Happy Halloween!

 

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