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food | interiors | gardening | travel | wellbeing ISSUE 09 MAY 2013 £4.99

Living and loving the simple life

B A C K YA R D GARDENING

PLANT NOW FOR GOOD FOOD ON YOUR DOORSTEP

PA R I S I N THE SPRING

SECRETS OF A CHIC HOME PLUS A CITY TOUR

BAKING H E AV E N THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

Slow down &

RELAX

EASY SUPPERS WITH FRESH SEASONAL FLAVOURS AND THE BEST-EVER LEMON DESSERT!

PLANS FOR YOUR IDEAL WEEKEND…

STYLISH STORAGE

INDULGENT BREAKFASTS

VINTAGE BUYS

www.thesimplethings.com

FORAGED SNACKS

FRESH PICKS

Imagine a lovely day. A day in which every wow moment takes place on your

doorstep, if not in your actual home – be it a new breakfast recipe, a treasure snaffled at the local market, a sun-sprinkled woodland stroll, or just a big, fat slab of cake. It’s not about complicated manoeuvres. Spur-of-the-moment outings, intimate

gatherings and bursts of inspired nest-feathering are their own reward. Moments of contemplation, cups of tea and brilliantly

eccentric collections make us feel human. Imagine a lovely day. It’s a day filled with

The Simple Things.

GROW

COOK

MAKE

SHARE

Because nothing beats the satisfaction of growing your own. It’s true that a patio, window box or just a pot will do.

Because the real joy of food is in the preparing and the sharing – simple suppers, breakfast with friends and always cake-in-the-house.

Because it feels so good to say you made it yourself. Learning new skills and discovering traditional crafts well worth reviving.

Because it’s family and friends that shape our lives – the Sunday walks, the hot-dogs on the beach, the movies in front of the fire.

‘FIELD STUDY’ Fabric collection by Anna Maria Horner for Coats Crafts UK. ‘Coordinates in Saffron’ shown opposite. For stockists visit www.coatscrafts.co.uk or call 01484 681881.

CONTENTS ISSUE 09

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Meeting a friend for lunch

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food | interiors | gardening | travel | wellbeing 09

Living and loving the simple life

B A C K YA R D GARDENING

PLANT NOW FOR GOOD FOOD ON YOUR DOORSTEP

PA R I S I N THE SPRING

SECRETS OF A CHIC HOME PLUS A CITY TOUR

BAKING H E AV E N THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

Slow down &

RELAX

EASY SUPPERS WITH FRESH SEASONAL FLAVOURS

STYLISH STORAGE

INDULGENT BREAKFASTS

VINTAGE BUYS

FORAGED SNACKS

FRESH PICKS

www.thesimplethings.com 3/25/13 3:17 PM

SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION OFFER PAGE 28 28 Subscribe in the UK 118 Digital subscription 128 Subscribe overseas

Foraging for wild garlic

DAY

Wake up slowly and make plans for your morning

Make sure you plan some good old weekend escapades

11 A BREAKFAST TREAT

48 WISH LIST

A sweet bowl of yoghurt to start the day

Best buys for staying in or going out

12 WISH LIST

52 FOOD FROM AFAR

Our edit of things to wake up and want

Enjoy a square of Turkish delight

16 THINGS TO PLAN AND DO

54 ESCAPE

Singing lessons, quiet places and more

A woodland walk to gather wild garlic

19 INTERVIEW

62 NOTES ON OILS

AND THE BEST-EVER LEMON DESSERT!

PLANS FOR YOUR IDEAL WEEKEND…

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DAWN ISSUE 09 MAY 2013 £4.99

SLOW DOWN & RELAX

ISSUE 9

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THE SIMPLE THINGS

gs on essi r owde nch lu day ne mi d in mirror a en on ws op nder do in bi ns he in a ngs om my elf sh fr ggs e book th s on lk mi ld co

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMON WELLER, MANIPULATION JAMES WOOTON

Making more space

A chat with food blogger Katie Quinn Davies

Gourmet guide no.9: cooking and drizzling

23 STORAGE SOLUTIONS

64 THE EXPERT: OILS

Clever ways to reduce the clutter

Guidance from chef Paul Collins

30 LUNCH WITH FRIENDS

70 HOMES TOUR

We head to Brixton for lunch at the market

A city apartment with a rural feel

38 MY CITY

80 OBSESSION

A personal view of Paris in the spring

Michael Embacher’s enduring love of bicycles

44 URBAN GARDEN

84 GARDENING

Christopher Raeburn is ignoring the insects

The pleasures of growing in small spaces

90 LOOKING BACK When milk was delivered direct to our doors

96 THE MINDFUL GARDENER Ark Redwood on the art of weeding

CONTENTS

80

Admiring a two-wheeled collection

84

Planting in pots

70

Peeking inside a chic home

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106

Discovering hidden Paris

DUSK

Home for the evening – gather, cook, read and relax 101 SIMPLE PLEASURES Photographer Emma Case describes her day in cups of tea

Pausing for drinks

119 May ENHANCING THE SIMPLE LIFE WITH THE PRACTICAL AND THE PLAYFUL

102 CAKE IN THE HOUSE A homely chocolate bread pudding

103 EXPLORING THE SENSES Susannah Conway considers how touch adds texture to our lives

104 REFLECTING The key to finding wonder in the everyday world

106 GATHERING A delicious meat-free meal for the family

116 WHAT I MISS Julia Bohanna recalls the joy of climbing trees

130 AND SO TO BED Katie Fforde tells us a tale and shares her favourite bedtime snack

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SPOTTING LUNATIC LAUNDRY SYMBOLS • TRANSFORMING A WALL • MAKING FOOD LOOK MORE IMPRESSIVE • IDENTIFYING BEETLES • COOKING NEW POTATOES

Throws | £202 each Ready for the first picnic of the year? You will be with these Mackenzie throws, hand woven on looms from 100% pure New Zealand wool. Just add cucumber sandwiches. www.coastnewzealand.com Wall hanging | £56 A little positive motivation to kickstart your day. Display this screen-printed wall hanging above your bed and you’ll wake with a spring in your step. www.everythingbegins.com

THINGS TO WAKE UP AND WANT Fresh morning picks compiled by WILL TAYLOR

French clay bowls | from £20 Use as serving dishes or simply place on a counter-top and admire their Mediterranean blue glaze. www.notonthehighstreet.com

Wooden cutlery box | £59 Keep errant teaspoons within view and free up some valuable space in the kitchen drawers by storing your cutlery in this French-style standalone box. www.boutiqueprovencale.co.uk

Soap dish | £20 “Modesty is the best policy” according to this little dish. Save its blushes by covering with a bar of your favourite soap. www.menssociety.co.uk

Laundry basket | £32 Doing the laundry doesn’t have to be unglamorous. Load the drum with panache (even if you’re in the last of your clean clothes) using this stylish typographic basket from Idyll Home. www.idyllhome.co.uk

DAWN

SOME PRICES BASED ON CURRENCY CONVERSION. PRICES ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING.

Garden coasters | £15 Put down the fly paper: these are insects you want in your home. Create a laid‑back, rustic vibe by serving up drinks on these terracotta tiles printed with attractive artwork. www.johnlewis.com

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ISSUE 09 MAY 2013 £4.99

THE SIMPLE THINGS

Living and loving the simple life

SLOW DOWN & RELAX

B A C K YA R D GARDENING

PLANT NOW FOR GOOD FOOD ON YOUR DOORSTEP

PA R I S I N THE SPRING

A SUBSCRIPTION MAKES THE PERFECT GIFT!

SECRETS OF A CHIC HOME PLUS A CITY TOUR

BAKING H E AV E N THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

Slow down &

RELAX

EASY SUPPERS WITH FRESH SEASONAL FLAVOURS AND THE BEST-EVER LEMON DESSERT!

PLANS FOR YOUR IDEAL WEEKEND…

ED IN THE UK • £4.99

STYLISH STORAGE

INDULGENT BREAKFASTS

VINTAGE BUYS

FORAGED SNACKS

FRESH PICKS

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LUNCH WITH FRIENDS: T H E LO C A L M A R K E T BUYING FRESH, EATING LOCAL. WE SENT ROSIE BARNETT TO BRIXTON MARKET TO FIND A TABLE LADEN WITH SPRING FARE Photography: ROSIE BARNETT Recipes: BRIXTON CORNERCOPIA www.brixtoncornercopia.co.uk

SOMETHING FOR LUNCH

“Staying close to home has a lot to recommend it. There are so many fabulous little shops, cafés and restaurants in Brixton Market – it’s a great place to meander. So many sights and smells.”

“Cornercopia looks really simple and rustic. Most seating is outside, the tables are made from old crates and there are old-school tablecloths and lovely flowers.”

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M Y C I T Y * : PA R I S NICHOLE ROBERTSON TELLS US WHAT KEEPS HER COMING BACK TO THE FRENCH CAPITAL

*Share the simple things in your city. Leave a comment at www.thesimplethings.com or email thesimplethings@futurenet.com

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WHEREVER YOU MAY BE

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NICHOLE ROBERTSON

1 Have a chat with friends over lunch on the Left Bank. 2 The bright yellow chairs at this cafe pop against the grey Parisian sky. 3 Sunrise as seen in some gorgeous windows along the Seine. 4 Another busy day for these French waiters. 5 La Fermette on Rue Montorgueil is a great spot for fresh goat’s cheese.

Nichole lives in the New York City metro area and is currently travelling back and forth to Paris every few weeks to work on a new project (and, if she’s being honest, to replenish her salted French butter supply).

How long have you lived in the city?

I lived in Paris for a portion of 2009. We’d planned to stay longer, perhaps indefinitely, but a project in New York brought us back to the States. Shortly after our return, I realised I wanted to continue working on The Paris Color Project, which at the time had only been personal blog photos. When I returned, I not only knew that I wanted to return to Paris to finish the project, but that it had become a second home which I’d visit often. What drew you there?

Trying to put into words my love of Paris is as difficult as putting into words why I love my husband. It’s more than the sum of its most notable and universally adored parts – light, culture, outstanding bread, breathtaking architecture. It’s an energy, feeling a part of history and being surrounded by beauty at just about every turn.

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and boots for a trip. I’ve learned to always have a light scarf and jacket with me – especially when you arrive early in the morning at Charles de Gaulle. What time of day do you most enjoy?

Twilight. Rich golden light fills the streets and plays with the lengthening shadows. The way the light hits the cobblestones or the waning sun fills the glass of a lamp as it sets behind it is magical.

Which season makes your city feel most alive?

How does your city smell?

It’s hard not to love Paris in the spring, but I also love it in the winter. There’s nothing better than bundling up for a brisk stroll then ducking into a warmly lit cafe for a cup of coffee and a pastry.

Like freshly baked bread. There’s always a bakery nearby, and the ubiquitous smell of the bakeries at Charles de Gaulle or Les Halles always signals my arrival in Paris. I smell it and it feels like home.

What does it feel like in May?

What are the green spaces like?

It’s always a bit chillier than I expect, and I’ve been burned one or two times by forgetting to pack a scarf

We have two young sons, so we spent a lot of time at Place des Vosges, which was near our apartment on »

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PHOTOGRAPHY: STOCKFOOD

Although any sharp knife will do the trick when it comes to foraging, there are knives available that are specifically designed for the job (Forager’s Knife, £18, www.deepuddy.co.uk).

wild garlic

REAL TREATS DON ’T COME IN WR APPERS . HEAD TO THE WOODS TO FOR AGE FOR THE SEASON ’S TASTIEST INGREDIENT

PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAMY

Words: KATE HODGINS Recipes: ANNE FABER

QUIET & QUIRKY COUNTRY CALM COUPLES WITH CIT Y CHIC IN THE COLOURFUL PARIS HOME OF MARIE THEVENIN Words: KATE BURT Photography: BIRGITTA WOLFGANG DREJER

Marie is a frequent flea‑market shopper, but uses the apartment as a testing ground for items her interior design clients may like and so switches things around a lot.

PHOTOGRAPHY: SISTERSAGENCY.COM

HOW WE LIVE

The beamed ceilings in Marie’s surprisingly rustic apartment were dark when she moved in. “They made the space heavy, but white makes them weightless,” she says.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREAS MÜLLER

OBSESSION

THE COLLECTOR: B I C YC L E S

Words: ANNA BRITTEN

MICHAEL EMBACHER’S BIKE COLLECTION TAPS INTO OUR ENDURING LOVE FOR TWO-WHEELED TRAVEL

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1: Tur Meccanica Bi Bici, tandem, Italy, c. 1980 2: Trussardi, folding, Italy, 1983

PHOTOGRAPHY: BERNHARD ANGERER

ome childhood dreams come true – but few as fulsomely as this. As a nineyear-old, Michael Embacher bought himself a bike. It was as basic and cheap as childhood purchases tend to be, and all the while he dreamed of one day upgrading to a better model. Decades later he bought that model – a top-of-the-range Puch – and added it to his world-famous collection of other classic and innovative bicycles. “I ride it and I feel like a child!” laughs the architect and designer today. When they’re not being ridden across his native Vienna, photographed for books or drooled over by aficionados across the world (2013 will see exhibitions in the US and Israel, as well as Austria), Michael’s 220

bicycles live in a huge, rented attic above his business headquarters. But they weren’t always welcome. “The landlord said, ‘No, sorry, because of fire or emergency we can’t have that.’ I said, ‘Please’. Then they sent the owner to talk to me and when I showed him the bikes he said, ‘You know, I used to be a racing cyclist, so…’ “That sort of thing happens very often with cyclists. Doesn’t matter whether they’re a politician or a writer or David Byrne, they’re very open minded.” Michael rediscovered cycling as an adult for the same reasons many of us do – difficulty getting around a traffic-clogged city by car. For a while he became obsessed with the latest, fastest must-haves. What turned him into a proper collector, however, was an ingeniously designed 1979 Rigi racing bike spotted on eBay (fig 11). “They tried to make the bicycle shorter, to be more skillful for mountain racing, but they had no place for the rear wheel so they divided the vertical seat tube,” he explains. Other cyclophiles told him what a lucky find he’d made, so he kept buying from eBay, eventually publishing his first book on the collection in 2007. This was the tipping point – he suddenly found himself inheriting treasured two-wheelers from »

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Daily dairy: milkman Ralph Fulcher does his round on an estate in Chigwell, Essex, in 1957.

THE WHITE STUFF

Words: ANNA BRITTEN

PHOTOGRAPHY: © GETTY IMAGES

THE CLANK OF BOTTLES AND THE HUM OF THE FLOAT WERE ONCE AS MUCH A PART OF EARLY MORNING AS THE DAWN CHORUS. WHAT HAPPENED?

PHOTOGRAPHY: © GETTY IMAGES

LOOKING BACK

The milkman was a friendly, familiar face and a dependable salesman – even in times of trouble.

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ost of the noises we hear at five in the morning – screaming foxes, car alarms, police helicopters – are eerily inhuman. One is not. Nothing can be too wrong in the world, we tell ourselves when we hear it, if someone out there is still prepared to make their way through the dark to bring us fresh milk for our tea and porridge. Changes in lifestyle, shopping habits and milk production have led the milkman* a merry dance over the past century. From grubby ne’er-do-well to lovable hero of the Blitz, he is today something approaching a rare species. Back in the days of roundheads, cavaliers, unstinting wifely obedience and pottage, if they wanted milk most of our ancestors had to actually go out and squeeze an udder. Preferably one belonging to them. But as towns expanded in

* For the purposes of our word count please assume the term ‘milkman’ means milk delivery personnel of both sexes.

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Fancy something stronger on your cereal? This 1950s delivery included an alcoholic milkshake.

the late 17th century, our collective need for mass-produced milk grew, ushering in the dairy industry and, with it, the milkman and the milkmaid. They weren’t the most respectable of traders, selling watered down (and often contaminated) milk from pails on wooden yokes across their shoulders. Things had improved greatly by the end of the 19th century, partly due to a long-running campaign by the usually humorous Punch magazine that won the backing of Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. Indeed, by the start of the 20th century milkmen were everybody’s friends. The yoke was replaced by the ‘pram’, a three-wheeled cart containing a churn, and customers enjoyed the luxury of thrice-daily visits – the morning, lunchtime ‘pudding’, and evening rounds. »

FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET A MILK DELIVERY 1. You’ll always wake up to fresh milk. 2. The presence of milk floats in an area can prevent car theft and other street crime. 3. Your money goes straight to the dairy businesses, cutting out the supermarkets. 4. Many milkmen deliver juice, eggs, bread and so on too. 5. You can place your orders online and change them up to the night before. You can find a milk delivery near you by visiting www.find meamilkman.net or www.delivermilk.co.uk.

“Changes in LIFESTYLE, shopping habits and milk production have led the MILKMAN a merry dance over the PAST century”

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food | interiors | gardening | travel | wellbeing 09

ISSUE 09 MAY 2013 £4.99

THE SIMPLE THINGS

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Living and loving the simple life

B A C K YA R D GARDENING

PLANT NOW FOR GOOD FOOD ON YOUR DOORSTEP

PA R I S I N THE SPRING

SECRETS OF A CHIC HOME PLUS A CITY TOUR

BAKING H E AV E N THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING

Slow down &

RELAX

EASY SUPPERS WITH FRESH SEASONAL FLAVOURS AND THE BEST-EVER LEMON DESSERT!

PLANS FOR YOUR IDEAL WEEKEND…

ISSUE 9

PRINTED IN THE UK • £4.99

STYLISH STORAGE

INDULGENT BREAKFASTS

VINTAGE BUYS

FORAGED SNACKS

FRESH PICKS

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Š LIVING4MEDIA / LISA COHEN

MAKE A GRAND ENTRANCE by edging an unassuming interior doorframe with a carefully curated selection of cherished images. Art postcards, exquisitely patterned paper or fabric squares, illustrations from old books, and even your own daubings will all suit, whatever their size. Repeat the best ones if you like – just keep taking a step back to ensure strong, or similar, colours are distributed evenly(ish). Use White Tack so you can freshen the display on a whim without molesting the paintwork.

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“Even ordinary vegetables can become extraordinary when they’re paired with something special.”

Nearest & dearest L AY THE TABLE FOR YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS, THE BEST LOCAL PRODUCE, AND A LOT OF L AUGHTER Photography: SIMON WELLER Menu: JESSICA FLANIGAN & WENDY VAN WAGNER

GATHERING

“We always choose our menu based on the season and what’s at the market. Easy dishes mean we can enjoy being with our friends instead of cooking. Guests love to feel helpful, so I always save something for them to do.”

MEN U

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hen Jessica Flanigan talks about ‘buying local’ it tends to mean ‘buying from your friends’. Living in the countryside, she’s surrounded by farms run by familiar faces she’s eager to support. “When guests know the coriander they’re eating is from down the road at a friend’s farm, they’ll feel the specialness of the night that much more,” says the nutritionist and blogger. Subscribe at www.thesimplethings.com

Blueberry shrub Indeed, the whole community is so close-knit that dinner parties are “the norm”. “We’re all long‑time friends,” says Jessica. “Our kids all had the same midwives! We’ve been through thick and thin together. “Vegetarian food is a foolproof way to make everyone happy at a dinner party. And, if made well, no one notices the absence of meat. The key is fresh, fresh, fresh. Go to the farmers’ market on the day and showcase the beauty of what’s coming out of the ground.” »

Sweetcorn soup Radicchio salad Roasted aubergine Napoleons with coriander pesto Lemon pots de crème

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20 THE SIMPLE THINGS ISSUE ONE


The Simple Things issue 9