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TA K I N G T I M E T O L I V E W E L L

Spring weekends

DIY sushi with friends Boat trips to British islands Planting a living wall

March

FRESH

The cake that made the WI • Rhubarb pavlova & the taste of sea salt Enjoy everyday creativity • Improbable libraries • Why culottes are brilliant Rework an old sweater • WIN retro travel bags for any adventure


March

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Pitching in to make your own sushi

FRESH

LIVING

ESCAPE

08 MARCH THINGS

22 SIMPLE STYLE

62 MY CITY

Your essential guide to the month ahead, from stylish product picks to the best new books to read, events to take part in and dates to put in your diary

15 WIN! A CARGO FOR LIFE

Millican is giving away £500-worth of retro bags and accessories for every kind of adventure

The brilliance of culottes

24 GATHERING

DIY sushi with friends – easier than you’d think

32 WISDOM

Why the new WI is more than just jam and Jerusalem

36 SEED TO STOVE

Good things to eat from the year’s first harvest. Clue: it’s pink

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Baking the WI’s classic cake

46 THE EXPERT

68 FOOD FROM AFAR

A Cuban staple, Frijoles Negros

72 OUTING

A boat trip island adventure – and back in time for tea!

ON THE COVER

Alison and David from Halen Môn lick their lips over sea salt

52 BEYOND THE NINE TO FIVE Maps – but not as we know them

53 LEARN SOMETHING NEW A beginner’s guide to the piano

57 CAKE IN THE HOUSE

The one that made the WI – the Victoria Sandwich

58 MY DAY IN CUPS OF TEA

Cross-continental cuppas with The Basket Room

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Local Heather Moore takes a fresh look at Cape Town

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Pouring tea with style

FRONT COVER: THE COOK’S ATELIER – MARJORIE TAYLOR, KENDALL SMITH FRANCHINI & SELDEN KOOLMAN. BACK COVER: KATHARINE DAVIES

Travelling to unusual libraries


CONTENTS

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94

Harvesting spring crops

Living with different tastes

THINK

107 HOME STYLE

81 BEAUTIFUL BOOKS

108 WEEKEND PROJECT (INDOORS)

82 WELLBEING

110 OBSESSION

Do something new

How to enjoy everyday creativity

84 GALLERY

The most improbable libraries – in photographs

90 IDEAS

What nature does for Britain

91 PASSING ON TRADITIONS Writing to penpals

NEST 93 FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE Welcome back to cheery daffodils

94 HOW WE LIVE

Making space for his ‘n’ hers tastes, in north London

102 GROWING

Planting flowers for butterflies

Look, here comes the tea trolley Turning an old sweater into a thing of beauty

A photographer who collects vintage cameras (not a smartphone in sight)

114 WEEKEND PROJECT (OUTDOORS) Planning and planting a living wall

116 HOME COMFORTS

The joy of sinking into a favourite armchair

120 POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE Mark Diacono’s hens are laying again. Time for an omelette

MISCELLANY 123 A curious combination of the practical and

the playful: how to make potted herbs live longer; dust effectively; choose a houseplant; learn a new card game; remember stuff you once knew; talk knowledgeably about cheese

130 BEDTIME STORY

Listening to Bees by Judy Darley

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Seabird umbrella | £20 A sturdy brolly with a coastal motif perfect for strolling along the prom, prom, prom, or anywhere where April showers are fallling. www.storyhorse.com

Ribbed vases and jugs | £20–£30 Retro pastel colours and vintage styling but without the pre-loved scratches and chips of fleamarket finds. www.houseoffraser.co.uk

THINGS TO WANT AND WISH FOR

Wallflower top | £60 This very wearable top has Orla Kiely and fresh spring wardrobe written all over it. www.peopletree.co.uk

We’re loving all the fresh new colours and shapes of spring, says LOUISE GORROD

Merivuokko teapot | £67 Roughly translated, ‘merivuokko’ means sea anemone in Finnish. Which is obviously where Marimekko got their inspiration for this teapot. www.skandium.com

LOUISE GORROD The Simple Things’ wishlist editor Louise is a Hove-based writer, baker, photographer and author of blog Buttercup Days www.buttercupdaysuk. blogspot.co.uk Luminous Merge CM1 notebook | £3.50 Bring this out at your next office meeting and watch everyone sit up and take notice. Good for odd jottings at home, too. www.rocket68.com

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FRESH | MARCH THINGS

Wood furniture | from £95 Smart, slender pieces for smaller spaces: Okli oak desk, £650; Emil birch dressing table, £595; Emil stool, £95; Eppo grey desk, £395. www.habitat.co.uk


LIVING | GATHERING

Super-fresh sashimi, fat California rolls, mouth-watering prawn tempura and crunchy edamame beans make for an irresistible Japanese spread

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Roll your own SUSHI NEEDN ’T BE TRICK Y – WITH OUR GUIDE TO THE FRESHEST FISH AND ITS JAPANESE ACCOMPANIMENTS, YOU ’LL BE MASTER OF THE ROLLS Photography, recipes & food preparation: MOWIE KAY

S

ushi* has a reputation for being difficult to make at home. The truth is that it’s actually one of the easiest meals to prepare as long as you have all the right ingredients, the freshest fish you can find and a little help from sushimaking videos online. All the other ingredients are easily sourced from the ‘world’ aisle of most supermarkets and with a little practice, it’s easy to prepare a Japanese feast for sharing at home. All recipes serve six and can be dished up with soy sauce, pickled ginger or wasabi paste.

* Sushi is now officially more popular than tuna sandwiches.

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ESCAPE | OUTING

Islands of adventure F O R A R E A L G E T- AWAY- F R O M I T- A L L D AY O U T, H O P O N A B O AT A N D S A I L T O A B R I T I S H I S L A N D. T I M E L E S S , R E M OT E AND TEEMING WITH WILDLIFE, T H E Y A R E T H E P L AC E S FO R A CAREFREE ESCAPE Words: CLARE GOGERTY

A day out at St Michael’s Mount (above left), or Lundy (right) will charge up your batteries

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Take a boat trip to the Faroe Islands (below and right) to spot grey seals and puffins. The lighthouse on Lundy Island (far right)

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ESCAPE | OUTING

T

he ferry journey to Brownsea Island in Dorset is exactly why I love to travel to British islands. Once I’ve scrambled into the boat and sat somewhere that minimises the chance of a sea-spray soaking, I know that the adventure has begun. The ostentatious football-manager houses of Sandbanks recede and the island gradually comes into view – a glimpse at first of a row of houses, a castle, woodland, a curl of beach, then the quay itself. And that’s just the start: once the boat has moored up, and I’ve clambered up the steps, the whole island is there to explore, small enough to feel safe but large enough for a taste of the wild. The journey to Brownsea, like many other British islands, is short but takes you far away. Islands are frozen in time, almost-forgotten lands that have escaped the ruination of modern life. And they are sanctuaries, for wildlife, for religious communities or just for the careworn. With 6,289 islands to choose from around the British coast, there are plenty to explore, and many can be visited in a day. Here are a few favourites.

SEABIRD CENTRAL

THE FARNE ISLANDS, Northumberland For centuries, these 20 or so volcanic outcrops (the number depends on the height of the tide) have been a retreat for hermit monks, a graveyard for drowned sailors, a refuge for seabirds and a breeding ground for grey seals. A boat trip from Seahouses will take you to Subscribe at www.thesimplethings.com

Sail away

Inner Farne and Staple Island in the summer (the trip takes about an hour) where you’ll see some of the 23 seabird species, including puffins, who nest there. The islands are also famous for the heroism of Grace Darling who helped her father rescue survivors from the Forfashire in 1838, and Saint Cuthbert who lived in a stone and turf cell on Inner Farne, watching and caring for the birds. Visitors are allowed to land on Inner Farne, Staple Island and Longstone, but landing on all other islands is prohibited to protect the wildlife.

ROMANCE AND SEABIRDS

LUNDY ISLAND, North Devon Swathed in stories of pirates and smugglers and home to the fantastical puffin, Lundy exerts an irresistible, romantic pull. A two-hour boat trip from Ilfracombe or Bideford will take you to the island, which lies 10 miles off the coast of North Devon. This is the place to go for peace and quiet (there are no cars), to walk and observe nature (the island is 3 miles long and half a mile wide, so quite manageable) and even to stay (the Landmark Trust has 23 holiday properties there). The waters around Lundy »

Scottish islands Travel from the mainland to the Inner Hebrides or the Western Isles on Caldeonian MacBrayne Ferries (www.calmac.co.uk). NorthLink Ferries sail from Aberdeen and Scrabster to the Shetland Isles and Orkney (www.northlinkferries.co.uk). The Isles of Scilly The Isle of Scilly Steamship Company (www.islesofscillytravel.co.uk) sails from Penzance to Hugh Town on St Mary’s. The Farne Isles Billy Shiel’s Farne Island Boat Tours (www.farne-islands.com) are licensed by the National Trust to land on the Farnes. Bardsey Island Bardsey Boat Trips day sail around Bardsey and the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula (www.bardseyboattrips.com). Lundy Lundy’s own ship, the MS Oldenburg, carries 267 passengers and sails daily in season (www.lundyisland.co.uk). Boat Trips to Lundy (www.boat tripstolundy.co.uk) organises private boats for you with skipper and crew. Brownsea Island Boats sail from Sandbanks and Poole to Brownsea half-hourly from March to September. (www.brownseaisland ferries.com)

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THINK | GALLERY

IMPROBABLE LIBRARIES THIS MONTH ’S PHOTO ESSAY EXPLORES THE INGENIOUS METHODS BRINGING BOOKS TO READERS IN OFTEN FAR-FLUNG PL ACES Words and Photography: ALEX JOHNSON

BIBLIOBURRO, Colombia Distributing books to communities in the country’s Caribbean hinterlands, this library’s books are carried on the back of two donkeys, Alfa and Beto. Established by primary school teacher Luis Soriano, left, with 70 books, it now has more than 5,000 titles. Luis, who had his left leg amputated after an accident involving one of the biblioburros in 2012, says, ‘We work voluntarily with few resources but with plenty of blood, sweat and tears.’ That’s not the only accident he has experienced: a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Brida was stolen by bandits. They tied Luis up and, when they discovered he had no money, took the book.

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THE COMMUNITY BOOKSHELF, Kansas City Library The giant book-spines on the façade of Kansas City Library feature 22 favourite titles, including Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss, all proposed by readers. They run along the wall of its parking garage and measure approximately 7.5x3m each.

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NEST | HOW WE LIVE

The walls in the sitting room are boldly painted in Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe (www. farrow-ball.com) and covered in pieces of artwork, mostly given to the couple by artist friends. For a similar sofa, try SCP (www.scp.co.uk)


DUAL PERSONALITIES EVER WONDERED IF YOU COULD LIVE WITH YOUR PARTNER’S TASTE? BE INSPIRED BY EMILY AND CHARLIE MELLOR, WHOSE LONDON FLAT COMBINES HIS MINIMALISM WITH HER CAREFULLY CHOSEN KNICK-KNACKS Photography: GAP INTERIORS/INGRID RASMUSSEN Words: GAP INTERIORS/EMILY WHEELER


HANGING GARDENS SUCCULENTS LOOK GREAT HUDDLED TOGETHER IN A LIVING WALL, AND THEY’RE LOW MAINTENANCE TOO Words by SHAWNA CORONADO


NEST | HOME COMFORTS

The stuff of life

Maximise your armchair’s snugability with layers of soft, colourful throws and blankets

Routemaster Moquette wool throw, £80 www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk

Klippan lambswool throw, £64 www.northlighthomestore.com

Check throw , £10 www.george.com

Wallace Sewell Anniversary throw, £200 www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk

Melin Tregwynt wool throw, £165 www.johnlewis.com

Knitted throw, £25 www.sainsburys.co.uk

Edric silk throw, £80 www.habitat.co.uk

Small Cubes wool blanket, £242 www.anothercountry.com

N E X T M O N T H the wonders of the shed

Navy Illusion blanket, £49 www.ifeelsmug.com

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