Autumn-apples Autumn-apples2 Bramley-apples Autumn-apples-1 Autumn-apples-1 Early-Autumn-apple-fall

Recently, I’ve been going through a funny kind of nesting, spring-cleaning phase. I want to tidy, rejuvenate, and organise everything in our house. The four drawers in my little desk-come-dressing-table in the front bedroom are in the process of being sorted out after having accumulated three and a half years worth of ‘I’ll keep that just in case I need it’ rubbish, and this weekend has been a blur of paperwork/filing/traipsing out to the bin with bags of rubbish. I think it’s the September effect. Even though my year doesn’t run to an academic calendar anymore, I still can’t shake the feeling that late August/early September is the time to start afresh, dust things off, and start over with better intentions (and prettier stationery) that I might have had previously. It’s my favourite time of year, almost for that reason alone.

But what of the other joys of early autumn? Hedgerow harvests and digging out forgotten knitwear and cooking comforting things? Recently I wound up with two huge bags full of fruit- homegrown apples from my Mum’s next door neighbour, and blackberries collected by our own neighbour who has this incredible knack for catching them just at the right time. I froze the blackberries to stop them from going bad, then got to work on the apples. Peeled, diced, and cooked down with a tiny scraping of butter, some soft brown sugar, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

I did have visions of being virtuous and saving the apple compote to eat for breakfasts with granola, and yoghurt, but it seemed wrong when the weather’s been so autumnal and I had all the ingredients for a fruit crumble ready and waiting in the kitchen. So on Saturday evening, after a hearty dinner (of  lamb, kale, and mashed potato! For the first time in so many months!) we set about making blackberry and apple crumble. The recipe for the topping came from Hugh’s Fruit Everyday recipe book (with the addition of a little cinnamon, because why on earth not), and the filling came together with apple compote, partially defrosted blackberries smashed together with a fork, and tablespoon full of maple syrup. Kind of indulgent to make a dessert just for the two of us, but such a lovely indulgence to make on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Posted in AUTUMN

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This week has been brought to you by good friends, Pinterest, a serious case of mind over matter, sore muscles, and coffee. I’m not sure why exactly but it’s been such a long, tiring one, and I’m so very glad it’s Friday! This weekend we have absolutely nothing planned, mainly because I’ve been making plans for the weekend of the 30th and 31st thinking that those are the dates for this weekend, and forgot that it’s actually another week away. Oof. In other news, this week Jason came to me and said ‘Teach me how to use Pinterest for work’- and I was like, ‘Uh, OKAY!’ Best task ever! So on that note, let me tell you what else has made me happy this week!…

1. Wednesday night’s combination of takeaway pizzas, and the Great British Bake Off. Basically the most outstanding combination imaginable.

2. Finally being able to take Teddy out for a proper walk! He was going insane being stuck in the house, and driving Jason and I to distraction too. Now he’s able to get out and run again, we’re all a lot calmer!

3. Maple syrup instead of honey as a sweetener for my morning yoghurt-oat-fruit bowls. So tasty!

4. Spending a day working in Jason’s office. It’s always invigorating to be around so many creative, talented people.

5. Making a batch of granola bars that were *just* the right texture, not too crumbly or too stodgy. I’ll share the recipe once it’s perfect…

6. Listening to (Queen) Bey whilst working.

7. My darling best friend and bridesmaid-in-chief, who has done the most amazing job setting wheels in motion for my hen do next year so that she can get dates and places and events booked up early. She is a wonder!

8. Wearing in a pair of boyfriend jeans until they feel softer than pyjamas. The best.

9. Cooler nightime temperatures. Let it be known that I am not a fan of hot summer nights. Cool breezes and wool socks and duvets, please.

10. Wearing my hair in a side-plait. Absolutely my new favourite hairstyle.

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Anh’s beautifully chic outfit || Ala’s photos shot using an old SLR, onto expired film! || + this wonderfully exacting post on Aeropress brewing, on ABM.

What’s on your happy list, for this week?


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Days that involve flowers, and patchy sunshine, and afternoon cake, and day trips to places that fall under the ‘RHS’ umbrella- don’t they just feel so quintessentially British?

A couple of days back I took a trip over to Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley, to spend a few happy hours taking photos of flowers and bees on flowers and flowers next to flowers. It’s the sort of activity that probably about five or so years ago, I would’ve avoided like the plague. Walking round a giant garden all day? ‘Ugh. No thank you.’ I’d have said. But now that there’s the appeal of being able to take endless photos and be creative and fiddle about with exposure and macro and focus on my camera, I’m all over it! My Aunt, Mum and I headed over to Wisley mid-morning, and spent most of the day alternating between cooing over the beautiful gardens, sniffing roses, and stopping for coffee-and-cake breaks. It was just about the loveliest way to spend a late summer day you could imagine.

There are so many different gardens that make up Wisley, that it’s pretty much impossible to get bored. There are huge vegetable patches, orchards, rose gardens, wildflower borders, and a glasshouse full of tropical plants. The vegetable patch was my favourite- rows and rows of onions and savoy cabbages the size of watermelons and beetroots and lettuces, all ready to be harvested and taken over to the kitchens. It’s done nothing to curb my dreams of living somewhere more rural…


^^ Dahlias for days. Isn’t that apricot colour so beautiful? The whole of Wisley was a riot of colour, even though the peak season for most flowers is over. ^^


^^ These roses smelled divine, and brought back happy memories of making rose petal perfume with my Mum when I was little, from the roses the grew outside my childhood home. ^^


^^ Lemon & thyme chicken with harissa yoghurt and tabbouleh. Delicious, and so fresh tasting! ^^


^^ Kind of glad that fence was there to stop me reaching out and picking a raspberry. They looked too tempting! ;) ^^


After a stop for lunch (& coffee and cake, of course) we headed in the direction of the beautiful Glasshouse. Isn’t it impressive? Apparently they hold a butterfly exhibition in the Glasshouse once a year, where they fill the space with all kinds of beautiful butterflies and you can walk amongst them all! Doesn’t that sound incredible? My Mum signed up to become an RHS member whilst we were there, so we’ll most definitely head back next time there’s an exhibition on.

Banana-trees Behind-the-waterfall Cider-with-Rosie-Wisley-Glasshouse

I’d highly recommend it as a day out, if you’re into all things horticultural! Oh, and just a little FYI- Queen Mary Berry herself is going to be signing copies of her new recipe book on the first day of the Wisley Flower Show on the 2nd of September…

Posted in FLOWERS

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I had one of these cupcakes yesterday afternoon whilst enjoying a horticulturally-themed day out, and it was so delicious! The cake was fresh, sweet, and herb-scented, and the frosting too was delicately flavoured with thyme and lemon.

Now currently dreaming up ways of incorporating lemon + thyme into my next baking project…

p.s. Also, so excited for it this evening’s Great British Bake Off episode! Hooray for bread week!

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Posted in BAKING, CAKE

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