eating | growing | sharing | making | living | escaping
FRESH IDEAS TO TRY NOW!
ISSUE 07 | £4.99
S A LVA G E STYLE TRANSFORM YOUR HOME WITH MARKET FINDS
WA L K S
ROUTES, GEAR & THE PERFECT POCKET PICNIC
BRUNCH TREAT FREINDS TO POSH EGGS AND A STICKY BUN
spring is here! PLANT & PICK SWEET PEAS
LIVING WELL IN SMALL SPACES
FALL IN LOVE WITH DUBLIN
YOUR GUIDE TO GETTING THE SCENT OF SUMMER
CREATING AIRY ROOMS SWEDISH STYLE
AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF THE BEGUILING CITY
As the frosted Northern hemisphere finally tilts towards the sun and thaws, we say:
celebrate. Break open the posh teabags. Give a dog a bone. We made it.
Springtime will sniff you out wherever you are.
Wake up in daylight, go to bed with an Easter egg. Applaud the annual can-can of snowdrops and daffodils, turn down the heating and
enjoy the warmth of friends. Mother someone or something. Have cake in the house. Always. Who would have bet upon the greatest
pleasures of this millennium remaining those of the last? All hail The Simple Things: because there’s no app for contentment.
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.
‘KATHERINE’S WHEEL’ Fabric collection by Nel Whatmore for Coats Crafts UK. ‘Starry Night’, shown opposite in turquoise. For stockists visit www.coatscrafts.co.uk or call 01484 681881.
CONTENTS ISSUE 07
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP SOWELS, MANIPULATION JAMES WOOTON
Meet up with mum
Pack a pocket picnic
Collect the best eggs
11 A BREAKFAST RECIPE
48 WISH LIST
Make blueberry pancakes – with bacon
Best buys for staying in or going out
12 WISH LIST
52 FOOD FROM AFAR
Our edit of things to wake up and want
The Chinese ritual of dim sum
16 THINGS TO PLAN AND DO
From spring cleaning to swimming better
An afternoon walk with a pocket picnic
62 THE EXPERT
A chat with fabric designer Nel Whatmore
23 THE CRAFT HOUR
Richard Kempsey shares 25 years of egg-farming experience
Speedy salvage-style projects for every room
66 NOTES ON EGGS
30 MY CITY
Gourmet guide no.7: goose, duck or ostrich?
Prepare to fall under Dublin’s spell
70 HOMES TOUR
38 LUNCH WITH FRIENDS
A tiny apartment with Swedish good looks
A Mother’s Day lunch of easy-to-cook treats
44 URBAN GARDEN
A passion for political posters
Christopher Raeburn welcomes back the bees
Wake up slowly and make plans for your morning
SPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION OFFER FREE BOOK BY HOLLY BECKER 36 Subscribe in the UK 115 Digital subscription 128 Subscribe overseas
Make sure you plan some good old weekend escapades
A guide to planting and picking sweet peas
90 LOOKING BACK The pleasure of taking afternoon tea
96 THE MINDFUL GARDENER Ark Redwood looks forward to a new generation
Uncover a passion for posters
Take a personal tour of Dublin
Plan ahead for summer displays
Steal small space secrets
Home for the evening – gather, cook, read and relax 101 SIMPLE PLEASURES Artist Emma Rimer describes her day in cups of tea
Stop for afternoon tea
119 march ENHANCING THE SIMPLE LIFE WITH THE PRACTICAL AND THE PLAYFUL
102 CAKE IN THE HOUSE A spiced carrot cake to savour
103 EXPLORING THE SENSES Susannah Conway encourages us to appreciate the colour around us
104 REFLECTING Sara Maitland examines the benefits of silence
106 GATHERING A simple supper made and shared by friends
116 WHAT I MISS The amazing things about grandparents
130 AND SO TO BED Ellen Sussman’s satisfying bedtime story and late-night snack confession
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DOING A 21ST CENTURY SPRING CLEAN • SHARPENING PENCILS • IDENTIFYING BOATS • GROWING POTATOES IN POTS • COOKING FOR NATIONAL DAYS
Leaf impression plate | £13 Impressed by hand with a grape leaf before another speckled texture was added, this plate is pleasingly tactile and beautiful to look at. www.etsy.com/shop/yaelastudio Small tasting dishes | £30 Johanna Flores’ handmade dishes come in soft, dusty colours. Perfect for condiments. www.leifshop.com
Classic pendant | £73 There’s a nod to the artistry of Parisian Art Nouveau lighting in Pottery Barn’s Whitney pendant. Comes in nickel or bronze. www.potterybarn.com Dancers tea tray | £24 Verónica de Arriba’s illustration adorning this melamine tray reminds us how to banish the early morning blues: get up and dance. www.etsy.com /shop/depeapa
THINGS TO WAKE UP AND WANT Fresh morning picks compiled by WILL TAYLOR
Notebooks | £13 each Scribble your secrets in these handmade notebooks. Which pattern to choose? We want them all. www.brookfarm generalstore.com
Mugs | £16 each The first hot drink of the day will be even more appealing supped from these bone china mugs. Part of Darling Clementine’s Harvest series. www. darlingclementine. bigcartel.com
Hand towel | £11 Before you subject your hands to the wear and tear of daily life, treat them to the softness of this towel. www.art-object. totokaelo.com
SOME PRICES BASED ON CURRENCY CONVERSION. PRICES ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING.
Gold L-Pipe lamp | £88 House Doctor DK’s gold wall light in the shape of a pipe mixes luxe and industrial themes to create an eye-catching statement piece. Ideal for using as a reading light by the bed. www.bodieandfou.com
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LUNCH WITH FRIENDS: A T R E AT F O R M O T H E R ’ S D AY WE SHARED A FAMILY GET-TOGETHER AT SAN FRANCISCO’S CENTRAL KITCHEN… AND CAME AWAY WITH THREE AMAZING RECIPES Photography: CINDY LOUGHRIDGE Recipes: CENTRAL KITCHEN www.centralkitchensf.com
SOMETHING FOR LUNCH
“We try to meet up a few times throughout the year. It’s relatively rare that we can all get together, which makes these times all the more precious for mum, and for all of us really. Kate was home from university, so it was lovely to catch up and relax together.”
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The spectacular scenery of the National Trustâ€™s Malham Tarn Estate in the Yorkshire Dales, flanked by iconic limestone pavements. For a calendar of family days and events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk Thereâ€™s even the chance to be a ranger for the day.
out in the
English country PULL ON YOUR BOOTS AND SEE WHERE YOUR FEET TAKE YOU. NOTHING BEATS AN AFTERNOON IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS Words: SIAN LEWIS Recipes: ANNE FABER Photography: NATIONAL TRUST IMAGES/PAUL HARRIS
HOW WE LIVE
LIGHT & SPACE WITH CLEVER USE OF COLOUR AND SAV V Y STOR AGE, CORNELIA HAGBERG TURNS A COMPACT SPACE INTO A LUXURIOUS HOME Words: KATE BURT
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SWEET PEAS FOR SUMMER PLANT TODAY FOR A TREAT BOTH OUTDOORS AND IN. EMMA BOND GUIDES US THROUGH PLANTING AND PICKING A COTTAGE GARDEN FAVOURITE
CUT AND COME AGAIN One of the great joys of growing sweet peas is picking them. Pick regularly to encourage lots more flowers and be sure to deadhead any that have already lost their flowers and have formed tiny pea pods â€“ otherwise these will stop the plant producing any more flowers.
IN THE GARDEN
he old-fashioned scent of sweet peas conjures up summery memories for many people. When I was a child I wasn’t normally allowed to pick flowers, but my great-aunt grew sweet peas and I was allowed to pick huge bunches. I’d bury my nose into them and inhale the sweet fragrance. They’re easy to grow and you’ll get a lot of pleasure from them, so I’d encourage anyone to have a go. First, choose your seed. I really believe that it’s pointless growing a sweet pea for anything other than its perfume. The new varieties are all well and good, with their gigantic long stems and multi-headed flowers, but they simply don’t match up to the old-fashioned types from 17th century Italy or 18th and 19th century England. Sweet peas will very happily grow in a large pot or container, in the ground in your garden or on an allotment or in a kitchen garden. Insects love them and if you’re attracting these to your garden you’ll automatically be introducing pollinators to your other plants. They do need sunshine »
GIVING GOOD SUPPORT It’s essential to make a sturdy support for your sweet peas as they’ll need space to grow up and sticks to cling on to with their curly tendrils. Use bamboo canes, hazel sticks or willow. Arty bought arches if you must but sticks collected on a walk will serve you well.
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AFTERNOON DELIGHT FOLLOW THE FINE TRADITION OF INDULGING IN AFTERNOON TEA AT A POSH HOTEL – AND TRY THE RECIPES AT HOME
Words: JEAN CAZALS & ANNA BRITTEN
f all the little luxuries we allow ourselves, a proper, old-style afternoon tea somehow feels the most decadent. After all, unlike a massage or a mojito, say, break it down and its component parts are nothing we couldn’t achieve cheaply enough at home. Tea? We have 80 or so bags of the stuff in the kitchen. Muffins? We buy them at the supermarket. So why go out and pay for someone else to serve it to you, with tinkling piano accompaniment? Because the whole package, this intrinsically British ritual, is not just part of our cultural and historical DNA – it’s also a respectful nod towards our physiological needs for rest and sustenance. Afternoons can be a slog for the average Northern European – and the sight of a scone on a doily soothes the soul. It’s commonly reported that afternoon tea was invented at the beginning of the 19th century by one of Queen Victoria’s bitchier bosom buddies – Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. This is something of an exaggeration – we find references to tea being drunk in British homes and workplaces in the afternoon as far back as the 17th century and by all social classes. The Duchess’s contribution was to »
UM FORTN N O & M ACS , ADILLY 181 PIC W1A
With its iconic green and gold colouring, cuckoo clock from which miniature figures of Mr Fortnum and Mr Mason appear every 15 minutes, and its liveried doormen, this is perhaps one of the most iconic locations in which to take tea in London. What began in 1707 as a supplier of candles to the Royal Household has grown into a world-famous institution that’s unashamedly traditional.
“Of all the little LUXURIES we allow ourselves, a PROPER, old-style afternoon tea somehow feels the most DECADENT” Overlooking Hyde Park, Grosvenor House offers one of the most diverse selections of cream teas in London, served in the charming mint green and pink room. There’s a pianist playing in the corner, and a central stand displays the many cakes on offer. These include opera gâteau, Victoria sponge and fresh raspberry tart.
GROS VENO R HOUS E PARK LANE , W 1K
SCONES Serves 10 312g soft flour Pinch of salt 9g baking powder 52g butter 112g caster sugar 208g whipping cream 1 /2 medium orange (zested) 40g sultanas Egg for egg wash
© TEATIME BY JEAN CAZALS, PUBLISHED BY PAPADAKIS, £25, WWW.PAPADAKIS.NET
1. Mix all the dry ingredients with the soft butter like a crumble and mix well. 2. Add the whipping cream and mix to a nice dough. Cover and place the mixture in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. 3. Remove from the fridge and roll out the dough to about 2-2.5cm thick. 4. Cut into 10 triangles, place on a baking sheet and egg wash. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. 5. Bake at 160°C for 18 minutes.
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“I pushed together tables in the farmhouse parlour. Covered with linen, no one even noticed.”
Supper to share GIVE EACH A TASK AND WATCH FRIENDS OLD AND NEW MAKE THE MOST OF GETTING TOGETHER Photography: ALICE GAO Recipes: REBECCA BEACH and MICHELLE ROGERS
“I borrowed plates and drinking glasses, grandma’s silver spoons and salad bowls, even a few chairs.”
hen I decided to host 14 friends for a dinner-andmusic gathering, I wasn’t expecting the evening to become a community effort,” says blogger Rebecca Beach. “I simply wanted to bring together my extended family and friends for a cosy dinner, and enjoy music shared by good friend Andy Zipf. “As I began to plan, I realised I didn’t have matching plates or even a table that was large Subscribe at www.thesimplethings.com
enough to fit this small crowd. So I did what isn’t popular in these days of self-sufficiency and appearances of unruffled poise. I asked for help. “This little gathering taught me a lot about my friends and family. They each had something unique to offer and contribute to our lovely dinner. Not everyone knew each other. But it all worked out, and wonderfully. At a larger gathering, sometimes it’s a bit difficult for people to feel at ease. But if you ask for help, your guests will feel like they belong.” »
MEN U Fresh white bread Hearty beef stew Apple & stem ginger pie
PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH MASON. WWW.SARAHMASONPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.
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20 THE SIMPLE THINGS ISSUE ONE