Thursday, 28 June 2012

jun, 28th - studio in umbria....

day 870:

our good friend, Lucy MacGillis, is an American artist living in the area of Umbria that we frequently visit {see day 856}. she's just finished renovating her home which includes the perfect studio with a view over the valley....

the rest of Lucy's home has just as much atmosphere. she painted all her walls herself in tones of white and grey. the raw cement work surfaces in the kitchen, beautiful original beams and rustic doors all have me swooning. she's done an amazing job.

outside is just as lovely.

to see Lucy's work, you can view her portfolio here.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

jun, 27th - summer rituals....

day 869:

lots of daisies for making lots of daisy chains (Kelly is a master of the daisy chain)........

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

jun, 25th - chelsea fringe at the dock kitchen....

day 868:

i mentioned the Chelsea Fringe awhile back {see day 850}, an alternative festival to the annual Chelsea Flower Show. on the last weekend of the fringe (10th/11th June), we managed to squeeze in one final event at the Portobello Dock. this installation was called the Floating Forest - 600 suspended, wooden disks arranged in a precise pattern on the Grand Union Canal. you can read more about it here.

we have visited the Portobello Dock before, to eat at the Dock Kitchen. initially this small restaurant was started as a pop-up in collaboration with Tom Dixon's showroom but it's just stayed up and the showroom is now a full shop. i'm sad that it's taken us so long to get back here as it really is a special spot and very close to home.

on the weekend that we visited, there were also Meet the Makers events around the dock. Urban allotments were there to advise you on growing plants in small spaces, Nic Webb had us mesmerised whittling beautiful, handcrafted spoons and Jonathan Garratt won us and especially Limi over with his pottery skills, presenting her with a clay seal. 

we decided to stay for lunch and so glad that we did. we ordered the mutton biryani for the three of us to share. while we were waiting, they served us some delicious, fragrant, tandoor bread that we all fought over (even Limi). the biryani is an impressive dish, cooked in a clay pot and sealed with dough which releases an impressive steam when punctured. a pretty, copper plate of rose petals, fried onions, coriander and pomegranate seeds was presented on the side. Limi had lots of fun decorating our plates and eating the seeds.

it's a small restaurant and was heaving for a Saturday lunch but i'm not surprised that it has a loyal (if not secretive) group of fans. the menu changes daily and you can also book a table for their 'supper club' set menus. we'll definitely not wait as long to come back again.

after lunch we had a wander through the shop downstairs, feeling completely inspired by our visit. we both said that these are the best kinds of days, interesting events on our doorstep, an unexpectedly, delicious meal and having a chance to appreciate beautiful objects made with obvious care.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

jun, 24th - felix....

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day 867:

after a happy weekend catching up with are some pics of a very happy, pig balloon that A. brought back for Limi, from New York {see day 840}. we named him Felix and Limi absolutely adores him. he hovers perfectly just above the ground and she can lead him around the house. it seems that you can also buy them locally from here. they also sell cows, chickens and ducks. wouldn't they make the best party favours especially if you could fill them with helium and have kids 'walk' them home.

Friday, 22 June 2012

jun, 22nd - the swan in wedmore....

[lamplit sky at The Swan]

day 865:

it was my birthday yesterday. yay. i had a brilliant few days of celebration and went to this lovely London restaurant with a bunch of friends, it was a favourite of this blogger when he lived in London. love birthday festivals.

over the weekend in Somerset, my sister introduced us to another fantastic restaurant, The Swan, in the small village of Wedmore. it's mainly a pub/ restaurant but also has a few beautiful rooms upstairs that somehow remind us both of home (South Africa).

the food is excellent at The Swan (in fact we went twice in one weekend) and the provenance of their ingredients is obviously something that is important to them. on their menu they give a wonderfully detailed description:

'Our organic beef is sourced from the Story group, who raise traditional, slow-growing British breeds (Aberdeen Angus and South Devon). The cattle graze the Chew Valley & Wrington Vale and when slaughtered the meat is then hung for 21 days. They also supply our organic eggs, and Bishop Vale Chicken.
Our pork couldn't be more local, reared by Wedmore butcher Jim Baker a few hundred yards up the road. 
All our fish comes from British waters. It is supplied by Samways, a family business based in Bridport, who commit to a 24-hour 'port to plate' policy. 
Vegetables are seasonal and wherever possible, organic. Our velvety yogurts come from Brown Cow Organics in Pilton, and ice creams and sorbets come from the award winning Mendip Moments, based near Wells. All our bread, burger buns, cakes and biscuits are baked daily on the premises, using Shipton Mill and Doves organic flour. Gluten free bread is available on request.'

both times we went, the place was packed with locals. it's definitely a favourite and a basket of toys made for a very happy Limi.

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