29.07

CiderwithRosie-berry-picking PYO-strawberries-Surrey Picking-raspberries-Cider-with-Rosie   CiderwithRosie-berry-picking-summer3 CiderwithRosie-berry-picking-summer2 Crockford-Bridge-farm-Cider-with-Rosie-1 Crockford-Bridge-farm-Cider-with-Rosie Crockford-Bridge-berry-picking Pick-your-own-strawberries-summer-Cider-with-Rosie CiderwithRosie-berry-picking-summer Pick-your-own-strawberries-Cider-with-Rosie Berry-picking-Summer

If you’ve been a reader of this little space since the beginning, you’ll know that I’ve mentioned wanting to go berry picking every single summer since Cider with Rosie first took shape. I included it on a summer to-do list I wrote back in 2012 (I can’t for the life of me find the post I’m thinking of to link to, which is probably just as well really!), and yet, despite promising ourselves we’ll go each year when the sun begins to shine, we never quite get around to it.

But no more! We finally went (we being my little sister and I, who I’m spending as much time with as possible now before she disappears off to Tanzania for most of the summer), and it was even lovelier than I’d hoped.

I think to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a more idyllic summer activity than that of berry picking. Wandering up and down the rows of strawberry, raspberry and gooseberry plants armed with a basket or two, scouring the beds for the ripest looking fruit, then carefully snapping each berry off its stem- it’s summer encapsulated. The strawberry patch smells caramelly sweet, and the temptation to taste as you pick is almost too hard to resist. Resist we did though, and the wait was worth it.

After loading our baskets with almost 3 kilos of fruit and paying for the lot, we sat down in a patch of sunshine and feasted on the freshest fruit I’ve ever tasted…plus a treat of yoghurt and forest fruit gelato from Danieli’s to boot.

The very essence of a beautiful British summer in every sweet mouthful.

{Past seasonal ‘To Dos’}
Try this :: homemade ice-cream.
Try this :: gallery hopping.
Try this :: practise a skill.
Try this :: festive baking.
Try this :: get lost in the countryside.
Try this :: have a hot chocolate picnic.

p.s. The berry farm we visited was Crockford Bridge Farm in Addlestone, & my dress is a bargain find from here, of all places!

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Posted in SUMMER, TRY THIS

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11.06

Try-this-in-summer-homemade-icecream Cider-with-Rosie-try-this-in-summer-2a Cider-with-Rosie-try-this-in-summer-4 Cider-with-Rosie-strawberry-icecream-summer-to-do-list Cider-with-Rosie-try-this-in-summer Cider-with-Rosie-strawberry-icecream

Summer + icecream go hand in hand, don’t they?

As beautifully as salted butter on hot toast, and basil with mozzarella and tomatoes, and chocolate with strawberries, and can you tell I’m writing this whilst anxiously waiting for dinner to be ready?

We’ve had an icecream maker lingering in the loft for, oh, pretty much the whole time we’ve lived here. It has made several trips down from the loft, mind you. Over the past few years I’ve brought it down and put it in the front bedroom on several occasions, firm in the decision that I’d finally get round to making icecream during the upcoming weekend. Then it’d get tucked into the corner of the room to gather dust for a little while, then moved out of sight into the front bedroom wardrobe, before finally being lugged back up into the loft. But no more! I finally, finally took that underworked icecream machine on its maiden voyage, and you know what? The results were pretty fantastic!

The process is a slow one, but pleasingly so. ‘All good things…’, and all that? Strawberries were macerated with sugar, then blended to a sweet puree. Cream heated with milk and vanilla, poured over egg yolks and sugar, before being warmed through and stirred constantly until a thick, sweet custard formed. Then, after combining the two (custard with strawberry puree), came the churning.

It did take a while (tasting every three minutes or so is imperative, don’t you know?) but after 15 minutes or so of whirring away, the bowl was left full of the creamiest, most satisfyingly fresh strawberry icecream I’ve ever tasted.

Cancel all my weekend plans this summer- I’ll be busy in the kitchen.

p.s. The recipe I used is Nigella’s, amended only by adding a sieving of the custard after it’d finished cooking (to ensure smoothness), and by reserving a quarter of the chopped strawberries to add to the icecream once it was churned.

{Past seasonal ‘To Dos’}
Try this :: gallery hopping.
Try this :: practise a skill.
Try this :: festive baking.
Try this :: get lost in the countryside.
Try this :: have a hot chocolate picnic.

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Posted in SUMMER, TRY THIS

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14.04

CiderwithRosie-London Tate-Britain-CiderwithRosie CIder-with-Rosie-try-this Tate-Britain-London   Cider-with-Rosie-art-gallery-London tate-britain-coloured-silks-piece-CiderwithRosie tate-britain-coloured-silks-exhibition-CiderwithRosie

Some might say that the very best thing about spring, aside from cherry blossom (of course), is the frequency with which bank holiday weekends roll around throughout April and May. And I’d have to say that I wholeheartedly agree!

There’s nothing that can top the joy of shutting down your laptop on the last working day before a bank holiday weekend, knowing that three (or four, if we’re lucky!) beautifully long, sunny (if we’re really, really lucky) days are stretching out ahead of us. Alongside all the BBQing and home-sprucing and dates with friends during those long spring weekends, my Mum and I (sometimes with my sister, too) always book in a day in London visiting the art galleries and museums.

I’m up in London lots these days, and the Plan Of Attack usually centres around food. Or shopping. Or food AND shopping. Which is never a bad thing, of course, but every once in a while it’s so lovely to wave goodbye to Regent Street or the King’s Road or Covent Garden, and head in search of a little quiet culture instead. It’s a tradition we’ve kept up or years now, these gallery-hopping days. We to head into town early one morning, stop for coffee on the way, and then spend our time wandering from one gallery to another.

{Try…Tate Britain.}

On the sliding scale of art galleries in London, with absolute Classicism at one end and Modernism at the other, Tate Britain falls somewhere in the middle. There are beautiful classical paintings, and modern sculptures, and right now, my favourite piece from the day, there’s a soundscape of bird calls called ‘Something Going On Above My Head’ being used to fill the main entryway of the gallery itself (pictured first in the post).

There’s an incredible exhibition running at Tate Britain at the moment of Turner’s paintings, that showcases the variety and scope of his work. It explains a little about his painting techniques too- he apparently used to work on several canvases at once, and would build up several paintings at once colour by colour. It’s fascinating and well worth a visit (as are those beautiful dip-dyed silk hangings pictured above).

Saatchi-gallery-Cider-with-Rosie Saatchi-Hermes-Flaneur-exhibition Hermes-Saatchi Saatchi-Hermes-Flaneur-exhibition2 Hermes-Saatchi-exhibition

{Try…the Saatchi Gallery.}

For a little contrast to all things classical, try the Saatchi Gallery on the Duke of York Square. It’s full of the type of art that’s most divisive- I heard at least three people scoffing and saying ‘this isn’t art!’ whilst we were there! One of them may or may not have been my own Mum…

But! As much as it’s easier to appreciate the artistry or a classic piece by Turner or Constable, I do really enjoy looking at Modern art. I find that, because it’s often immersive, it holds my attention far longer than a painting can. There’s an exhibition running at the moment by Hermes, called ‘Wonderland’. It explores the concept of ‘Flanerie’, the art of wandering.

A quote from Pierre-Alexander Dumas (Hermes’ Artistic Director) says ‘Through flanerie, time is not lost, it is rediscovered! [...] Flaneurs garner, forage and gather. They unearth the unusual in the mundane, the unnoticed in the already seen, the distant in the near, the visible in the invisible.’

The exhibition guides you through a series of rooms that feature light displays, music, video, graffiti, visual displays, and pieces from Hermes themselves. Because it’s such a rich visual feast and a totally multi-sensory and immersive experience, I found myself wandering through at snail’s pace trying to take in every single detail. And I think the concept of ‘flanerie’ is easily my favourite thing I’ve learnt so far this year!

‘Wanderland’ runs until the 2nd May at the Saatchi Gallery, SW3 4RY.

{Past seasonal ‘To Dos’}
Try this :: practise a skill.
Try this :: festive baking.
Try this :: get lost in the countryside.
Try this :: have a hot chocolate picnic.

p.s. If you do happen to get sidetracked and pop into the shops on the Duke of York Sq during your day of culture, don’t feel guilty. Even the best of us can’t resist the lure of Zara and Banana Republic during summer dress season…

 p.p.s. What I wore :: navy print wrap dress.

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Posted in DAY TRIPS, LONDON, SPRING, TRY THIS

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15.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Try-this-in-winter-knitting Cider-with-Rosie-knitting-winter Cider-with-Rosie-knitting-1 Cider-with-Rosie-learning-to-knitting Winter-to-do-list-Cider-wih-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-try-this Winter-to-do-list-learn-to-knit-Cider-wih-Rosie

During these cold winter months whilst the days are short and the evenings draw in far quicker than we’d like, the time is ripe for picking up a new skill, or, as I am, rediscovering an old one.

Though it can be tempting to switch on the television at 6pm and leave it blaring away all evening (we do, frequently), for a little serenity, I find there’s nothing lovelier than listening to a favourite soulful album instead, whilst working away at something practical. For me, the focus of my winter evenings will be knitting. I took a course back in summer with Siobhan, and since then let all my newfound knowledge slip away until I was sure I would have to book in for another masterclass! I’ve found though that knitting is a little like riding a bike, in that you never really truly forget how to do it. Especially not when YouTube’s on hand to provide a tutorial or two, anyhow…

I unravelled all my previous efforts (they were looking a little shabby-not to mention dusty- after lingering unfinished for months on end) and now am starting afresh. It’s the loveliest way to pass a cold wintery day- tucked up indoors, layered up with blankets, counting stitches and getting totally absorbed in the task at hand.

If knitting isn’t your thing, why not try mastering the fiddliest but tastiest-looking recipe in your favourite cookery book? Or start to learn vocabulary from a language you’ve always fancied trying out? Or have a go at making bread for the first time, or follow along with a yoga class online? The possibilities are endless! :)

Try this :: festive baking.
Try this :: get lost in the countryside.
Try this :: have a hot chocolate picnic.

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Posted in TRY THIS, WINTER

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