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issue 19 ÂŁ4.99

! y t s a o t g n i l e Fe

MIDWINTER MAGIC Cosy corners, fireside reads and bright ideas to fill dark days

How to live your plans & dreams Easy peasy DIY salami

Co Commffoorrtt ffoooodd ffoorr ggrrow ownn--uuppss Share Shareaafondue fonduewith withfriends friends Coffee Coffee&&walnut walnutcake cake- -aanew newtake take

Learntotolove loveJanuary January Learn

Tweed, Tweed,oranges oranges&& pantomime pantomimedames! dames!

snow lanteRns

Make your garden glow

Curl up with

The Simple Things

– a story of family and friends, cosy retreats

and the great outdoors, and never-ending

journeys of discovery. Lose yourself in a

yarn that draws inspiration from the past to

present a vision of the near future. One full of

contentment, thoughtfulness and Seville orange gin. Where beautiful things lie all about just waiting for you to notice them. It’s not a work of fiction. These characters and

this setting, the beginning, middle and end – all so lovingly folded between the covers – are

yours. They are The Simple Things.

Cover Photography by Getty Images / Johner Images Back Cover Still life photography by Philip Sowels. Additional photos by Viviane Perényi


! y t s a o t g n i l Fee



Enjoying the street art in Wellington, New Zealand

Sharing a fondue with friends




09 Your essential guide to the month ahead,

22 beyond the nine-to-five

74 Let there be light

from Will Taylor’s fresh product picks to the best new books to read, events to take part in and dates to put in your diary

Nicola Ibberson’s shop Little House in Town

Create beautiful lanterns from ice and snow

24 simple style

78 mind craft

Why tweed is anything but stuffy

Setting one simple goal for the new year

26 Seed to stove

81 my simple thing

Make tangy winter treats with leafy greens

Architect George Clarke on his notebooks

34 food from afar

82 my city

Enjoy a vitamin-packed serving of sauerkraut

Viviane Perényi introduces us to Wellington

36 Interview

88 read yourself cosy

Meet ethical fashion pioneer Safia Minney

Books to curl up with when it’s cold outside

The simple things to buy, cook, read and do in January


Wintry wares in muted tones, from vases to slippers

Tweed jackets, fair fashion and great recipes for brassicas

Simple goals, secret notebooks, snow castles and more

42 The eXPERT: CHARCUTERIE Leading artisan producer James Swift

48 MAKING SALAMI An easy-peasy recipe for cured meat

ON THE COVER  All our cover stories are marked with a little heart.

50 gathering


Dip in to a rich cheese fondue

61 Gardening Follow our bright ideas for dark days

65 simple pleasures Food writer April Carter’s day in tea

66 cake in the house Try a fragrant twist on the classic coffee cake

70 cafÉ culture A London café and delicatessen to savour 4

Save 45% & get youR magazine delivered! Special subscription offer page 68 6 Digital subscription 68 Subscribe in the UK 116 Subscribe overseas



A chat with People Tree’s Safia Minney



Deciding what to grow this year

Taking a tour of a relaxed family home



91 Flowers in the house

121 How not to slip on ice and snow, Twelfth Night vs Burns Night, making twig whistles, forcing chicory, how to identify winter twigs, five ways with Seville oranges and more

Love your home inside and out with the simple things The fiery blooms of witch hazel

92 how we live Cosy custom spaces in a busy family home

A curious combination of the practical and the playful

Get youR DIGITAL copy! Buy a digital edition of The Simple Things for iPhone, iPad, Android, PC or Mac – ready to read whenever you want. For details, turn to page 6

104 looking back The quintessentially British pantomime dame

108 reflecting Philip Ball explains the science of colour

110 obsession Raymon Elozua’s strangely beautiful buckets

114 urban gardener Admiring an unsung hero of garden climbers

win prize worth

£3000 PAGE 17

117 POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE Tim Smith’s tales of suburban self-sufficiency

118 What I miss Saturdays spent shopping for records

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Multi-stem vase set | £141 San Francisco-based Heath Ceramics’ Winter Seasonal Collection is designed to evoke a peaceful winter’s day. We love the frosty hues.

Metsä tea towel | £12 This hand-printed tea towel is part of a collection designed by Bjørn Rune Lie, inspired by Finnish kitchen linens from the 1960s and 1970s.

Ebba linen holdall | £38 Whether you fill it with carrots in the kitchen, logs in the lounge or toys in the nursery, this rustic linen holdall banishes ugly storage.

your winter wish list

Dot mug | £9 Cheer up a dreary day with hot cocoa or spiced cider sipped from this spotty ceramic mug. Each one is hand-thrown and glazed by artisans in a fair trade collective.

Marketplace editor Will Taylor seeks out this season’s most stylish wares in muted tones

Display box | £36 From trinkets to postcards, this wooden house with a lacquered interior offers quirky, practical storage.

Felt bowls | £23 Crocheted with beautiful untreated yarn then felted, these chocolate, milky white and cappuccino-toned vessels are neutral nests for your secret treasures.

Will Taylor The Simple Things’ Marketplace editor Will is a freelance interiors journalist and colour addict who has channelled his love for colourful interiors into his blog, Bright.Bazaar. His first interior design book will be published in the spring.

fresh | This month

SOME Prices based on currency conversion. Prices are correct at time of writing.

Howard sofa | £999 The Howard sofa is tailored to suit smaller rooms, so it’s ideal if your living room is suffering from post-Christmas bloat. The piece is named after its traditional ‘Howard’ arms, and we love how the single row of buttons adds softness to the design.

living | seed to stove

S e e d to 2 Stov e Leafy Greens This month, Lia Leendertz turns her crop of cabbages and kale into tangy winter treats Photography: Kirstie Young


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“I whispered in Prince Charles’s ear, as I had with the Dalai Lama, ‘you really should be wearing organic cotton’” Kate Burt meets the boundlessly optimistic ethical fashion pioneer and entrepreneur Safia Minney

S e r v i c e s t o fa s h i o n Safia’s encounter with Prince Charles was smoother. They met in 2009 and he presented her with an MBE for her services to Fair Trade and the fashion industry – the icing on a vast cake of accolades, including Safia » 36

Photography: © Jenny Lewis / Corbis Outline


e doesn’t wear much other than an orange robe, so pants were the best thing.” Safia Minney, founder and CEO of ethical clothing brand People Tree, is explaining how she came to gift the Dalai Lama some underwear – or, rather, how she almost didn’t. Safia was in Vancouver, speaking at an event about social entrepreneurship. The Dalai Lama was guest of honour and Safia’s moment to get his attention one-to-one was imminent. “But I thought I’d better just go for a wee first,” she grins. “Only I got stuck in the loo. Can you imagine?” And yet, typically scornful of things others might see as obstructions, Safia managed to crawl through a six-inch gap underneath the door to escape. “I don’t know how I did it,” she says. “But somehow I got my act together in time. Well, it’s not every day you get to give the Dalai Lama a pair of organic cotton pants, is it?”

living | interview

“I was excited about what I saw – entrepreneurial people doing incredible things in vibrant communities and economies. That struck a chord,” says Safia.

“The cheese fondue is a fun way to bring people together,� says Viviane, who shared hers with three good friends.

living | gathering

MEN U Onion soup Cheese fondue Rustic salad Orange supremes with vanilla syrup Mulled white wine

“I like to entertain in a simple way, so that guests feel at ease. Candles always help to create a cosy atmosphere.”

Just fondue it

a good old -fashioned cheese fondue brings Comfort on a cold day. just add friends Photography and menu: Viviane Perényi


ou don’t need to live in the Alps – or, indeed, the 1970s – to enjoy the fun of a fondue. “It’s a playful way to entertain,” says Australian foodie Viviane Perényi of this classic, and often unfairly ridiculed, winter dish. “If someone drops their bread in the cheese,” she gleefully points out, “they get a forfeit.” Eaten with long-handled forks dipped and twirled in a communal pot, fondue is about as sociable as a meal gets without becoming a

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stand-up buffet. Needless to say, it’s also gaspinducingly moreish, especially when topped, tailed and accessorised with lighter, sweeter, crunchier and tarter items that balance out all that smooth, unctuous cheese. Can’t locate a fondue set, even in a charity shop? Don’t worry. Any large, heavy-bottomed pot/pan will do the job, if you have the means to keep it toasty – a single-burner camping stove is ideal, or simply place the pot over, or in, some piping hot water. And don’t forget those forfeits… » 51

M y c i t y * : W e l l i n g to n Viviane PerĂŠnyi invites us south on a summertime tour of her new zealand city




*Share the simple things in your city. Leave a comment at or email

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cafÉ Culture

The long tables would look gorgeous in a country kitchen, and here they provide a great communal space.

la fromagerie 2-6 Moxon Street, Marylebone, London

I discovered La Fromagerie a few months ago while catching up with my friend Vanessa, who had once booked the venue to host a private fondue party for her 40th birthday. It is, of course, famous for its cheeses; food writer Nigel Slater actually moved house to be within walking distance of the maturing cellars at the original north London shop. But the Marylebone version is also a traiteur and tasting café – a place to savour a ripe soft cheese, a crumbly goat’s or a tangy farmhouse Cheddar. It was founded in 1992 by Danny and Patricia Michelson. Patricia is a cheese aficionado, writing books and supplying some of London’s big-name restaurants. It all began up a mountain while she was skiing in the French Alps – she brought home a wheel of Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage and sold it from a stall in her garden. My favourite seat is at the long communal wooden table at the back, lit up by a sky window. I’ve always had a thing for long wooden tables – they’re at the heart of many happy gatherings. One like this would look amazing in a kitchen with a polished concrete floor and ceramic tableware in earthy colours from Chilean art director Nelson Sepuvelda on display. When it comes to bringing happiness to your home, it’s very much down to a few simple things: a long, rustic dinner table, famished friends, good wine and great food – the latter being definitely on the cards at La Fromagerie. Brunch is the meal to eat here. I had a delicious roasted pumpkin soup and a gorgeous savoury tart with leek and roquefort cheese, and I can’t wait to take friends here to have our own private cheese fondue. Don’t leave without visiting the cheese room, where there are over 200 cheeses from all around Europe – and only the best make it into this Aladdin’s cave. Karine.

Start your weekend with coffee and pastries in the café.

cC Photography: François Köng


living | inspiring spaces

La Fromagerie is best known for its cheeses, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t explore the rest of the produce.

Browse the homewares and cheese-serving essentials while you wait for your order.

Everything on the shop floor, from chutneys and jams to fruit and veg, is hand-picked for its flavour and provenance.

Karine Candice Köng Founder and creative director of award-winning store Bodie and Fou, Karine is also a blogger (www.bodieandfou. and freelance stylist, and is writing her first interiors book.


In the ground floor sitting room, Ineke made the stool and lampshade out of handmade felt from Mongolia. The paper basket chair is Ikea.

NEST | how we live

Eclectic chic Work and family get equal billing at Ineke Visser ’s rel a xed, welcoming, earth-toned home in the Netherl ands Words: Judith Wilson Photography: Henny Van Belkom

PHOTOGRAPHy: Nick Piatek

With 250 buckets in his collection, artist and sculptor Raymon Elozua is now thinking about using them in an installation.


NEST | obsession!

THE COLLECTOR: R ust y B u c k e ts

Words: helen powell



hen Raymon Elozua moved to a small hamlet in upstate New York after living in New York City for 35 years, he became fascinated by his new rural environment and started exploring the area on foot for a photographic project. Walking along empty roads and exploring abandoned buildings, he often came upon old discarded rusty buckets. “I don’t know why I started, but every time I found one I kept it,” he says. His frequent hunting ground for these objects was the site of old ‘burn piles’ located at the edge of abandoned properties. These were places where, in less environmentally conscious times, rubbish would be tossed and burned in rural areas where there was no refuse collection. “Everywhere I looked, I found galvanised pails or buckets, filled with residues of paint, tar and cement or merely empty, perforated with holes or missing the bottom entirely.”


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Raymon is a visual artist whose work in different media – ceramics, sculpture, painting and photography – explores ideas of decay and loss. He traces his interest in these themes back to his childhood. “My father fought in the Second World War and my mother was a French citizen. When my father came back to the States we lived in a Jewish community of people who were DPs, which was the derogatory term used for displaced persons. Everyone in the culture I grew up in had experienced a sense of loss, a sense that they were part of an old order or way of life that was dissolved during the war. “My father worked for US Steel and when de-industrialisation came along it devastated a number of towns across America. The people of these ordinary manufacturing towns never thought that the devastation that visited Europe via the war would happen to them economically in their own country.” Capitalism has, he feels, reached an interesting point. “We haven’t been able to manage our economy to look after the next generation. We’ve let our infrastructure fall to pieces. Even if we have intentions to repair, improve or correct problems we still have a hole in our economy.” The rusty buckets, with their empty bottoms and inability to hold water, are perhaps then a metaphor for the state of the economy? “People no longer know how to repair – they know how to replace, and that’s » 1 – 16. Raymon Elozua’s rusty buckets were collected at the side of the road or from abandoned properties near his home in Mountaindale, New York.



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let there be light turn your frozen back garden into a winter wonderl and with l anterns made of ice and snow Words: Ulla Vestola Photography: Martti Leppä

ICE LANTERNS Big freeze? Big opportunity. Make ice lanterns using plastic buckets, water, twigs, candles and a bit of patience – and watch your garden turn into a little corner of Narnia.

dawn section header

Photography: Š plainpicture / Nordic Life / Terje Rakke 20 THE SIMPLE THINGS issue one

The Simple Things 19