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

Spring greens

Sharing a feelgood brunch Wild garden weekends Making a macramé planter

May

G R OW

Clever gardens in small spaces • Why being quiet is a good thing Salty honey cake • Pickles to fill the hungry gap • Pet portraits of note Jo Malone’s business scents • Epic tomatoes • WIN a yoga retreat


May

98

70

Sharing the secrets of classy, organised style...

FRESH

LIVING

ESCAPE

08 THINGS TO WANT AND WISH FOR

22 SIMPLE STYLE

58 MY CITY

24 GATHERING

64 UNDER CANVAS

32 EXPERT

66 FOOD FROM AFAR

Your essential guide to the month ahead, from stylish product picks to the best new books to read

16 THINGS TO PLAN AND DO

Events to take part in and ideas for your ‘could-do’ list

Wellies’ journey from the trenches to festivals A long, lazy brunch with spring greens The women whose zest for food foraging lead to a business selling seaweed

38 SEED TO STOVE

It’s a lean time on the allotment, so Lia Leendertz turns to her larder and uses up her preserves

46 WISDOM

Gothenburg, where afternoon coffee is an institution If you go down to the woods today... South African sosaties – juicy meat on a skewer

70 OUTING

Lose yourself in a wild garden at the weekend

ON THE COVER

Scent sensation Jo Malone shares the life lessons of establishing her own business, twice over

50 PEGGING OUT

The joys of a fresh-smelling line of billowing washing on a sunny day

52 MY DAY IN CUPS OF TEA

Herb farmer Paul Richards’ day in cuppas

53 CAKE

Salty Honey cake, inspired by a New York bakery

106

Making a retro plant hanger

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54 BEYOND THE NINE TO FIVE Plum pressé sold from a 1950s kiosk

55 LEARN SOMETHING NEW The hives and lows of beekeeping

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Licking our lips at new things for home

FRONT COVER: NIELS VAN GIJN/GETTY IMAGES; BACK COVER: KATHARINE DAVIES

Finding a wild garden near you


CONTENTS

54

Foraging for ingredients

24

Gathering friends for a brunch of green goodness

THINK

Make a macramé plant holder or a terrarium

77 BEAUTIFUL BOOKS

109 GROW YOUR OWN TOMATOES

Unbound, the book publishing company whose potential readers fund its projects

78 GALLERY

Touching portraits of the famous – and their pets

84 WIN! A YOGA RETREAT

Need to get away from it all? You could win a three-night stay on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly

86 WELLBEING

Why being an introvert is no bad thing

88 LOOKING BACK

106 WEEKEND PROJECT

The homegrown kind just taste better

113 OBSESSION!

Time to throw open the French windows

120 POSTCARDS FROM THE HEDGE

Mark Diacono is picking Alpine strawberries and scrumping blackcurrant leaves to turn into lollies

122 HOME STYLE

NEST

MISCELLANY

91 FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE

123 A curious combination of the practical and the playful: how to fix a puncture; bee anatomy; the history of Gouda; growing Geranium maderense; brushes for every household task; making delicious nibbles for your friendly local hedgehog.

The floating gardens in the city of the London

98 HOME TOUR

The family who prove that it’s possible to have a cool, clear living space, despite the kids’ efforts

May

116 HOME COMFORTS

Why get out of bed any earlier than necessary? A teasmade puts off the inevitable until after a brew

92 GARDENING

Spring greens

Sharing a feelgood brunch Wild garden weekends Making a macramé planter

A man who collects historical seed packets

Jennie Lee, the MP who was way ahead of her time

Cow parsley is plentiful and ripe for picking

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

130 BEDTIME STORY

Anglo-Saxon Stew by Joanna Courtney

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THESIMPLETHINGSMAG

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G R OW

Clever gardens in small spaces • Why being quiet is a good thing Salty honey cake • Pickles to fill the hungry gap • Pet portraits of note Jo Malone’s business scents • Epic tomatoes • WIN a yoga retreat

3 WAYS TO BUY NEVER MISS THE SIMPLE THINGS AGAIN. HERE’S HOW: l Subscribe: Where will you read yours? Our subscribers reveal their magazine moments. Join them and save up to 26%. See PAGE 19. l Order a copy from any newsagent, using our form – on PAGE 112 and online at www.thesimplethings.com/blog/newsagent. l Buy online at www.thesimplethings.com.

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Macramé plant hanger | £21.36 This is made by The Vintage Loop. To make your own version, see page 106. www.etsy.com/uk

Kami mug | £42.50 Carved from solid castor aralia wood by Japanese craftsmen, this mug is naturally insulated and a thing of beauty. www.suchandsuch.co

Barrington pottery | from £15 Created by Somerset potter Paul Jessop, these bowls will earn their keep in the kitchen for years. www.barringtonpottery.com

THINGS TO WANT AND * WISH FOR Verdant, vibrant, very nice things that will grow on you, by LOUISE GORROD

Passiflora cushion | £65-£95 Linen union cushions screenprinted with passion flowers for a lush and leafy interior. www.fannyshorter.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

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Loom throw | £85 A light and airy weave, perfect for tucking around your knees on chillier evenings. www. hauslondon.com

*Find more of Louise’s picks on her Things To Want And Wish For Pinterest board.


FRESH | MAY THINGS

Green cane furniture | ÂŁ240-ÂŁ320 Reminiscent of colonial pavilions, this is where to sit with a sundowner, preferably in a conservatory. www. sistersguild.co.uk


LIVING | GATHERING

Tartines and toppings, beautiful bean-based salad and fresh, peafilled quinoa balls – all delicious and just as easy to make as they are to munch

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A brunch of spring greens THIS LIGHT BRUNCH IS A TEMPTING SPREAD FOR A GREEN GODDESS TO DISH UP ON A LEISURELY BANK HOLIDAY. GATHER FRIENDS, TOP UP YOUR COCK TAIL AND TUCK IN Photography, recipes and styling: STEPHANIE BJELKSTAM/LIVING INSIDE Assistant: AGNETA BJELKSTAM

M

ay is blessed with two bank holidays so there’s plenty of time to plan a relaxed spring brunch. We’ve got a fresh allvegetarian* smorgasbord of late spring greens, savoury mango soup, mini tartines, herb crisps and quinoa nuggets. And in the name of healthy balance, you could wash down all those vitamins and antioxidants with a Melon Cucumber Bellini followed by a slice of Strawberry Chocolate Tart. » * It’s National Vegetarian Week from 18–24 May. Visit for www.nationalvegetarianweek.org ideas on organising a veggie event

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ESCAPE | OUTING

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Wild garden weekends S P E N D A S U N N Y DAY D I S COV E R I N G A S E C R E T G A R D E N . TA N I A PAS CO E , AU T H O R O F W I L D G A R D E N W E E K E N D S , H AS S O U G H T O U T T H E B E ST I N B R I TA I N

The way through the woods: a ring of giant ‘beads’ dissects the path in the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden. At the London Wetland Centre (above right) you’re a world away from the city

PHOTOGRAPHY: TANIA PASCOE AND DANIEL START

T

here’s nothing I love more than visiting gardens that lie off the well-trodden path. There’s something so exciting about pushing open an old door in the wall to reveal a hidden wonderland of tumbling roses and fruit-laden apple trees. So what is a wild garden? Certainly a sense of place and a creative imagination are a must. But it’s also a garden planted for biodiversity, which encourages pollinators and native species by providing food and habitats. Often naturalistic in style, its planting is inspired by the wild. It’s a garden that thrives within its means – it doesn’t demand water where it is scarce or nutrients beyond compost and mulch. Above all, a wild garden is a productive one, often providing us with seasonal, healthy food. For me the most beautiful gardens are also the ones that audibly hum with life – filled with

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SOSATIES Photography: MOWIE KAY Words: RACHAEL OAKDEN

CHARGRILLING IS PRACTICALLY a religion in South Africa. The braai (barbecue) is the holy shrine of summer socialising. And when it comes to displaying their meat mastery, the dish that every self-respecting ‘King Tongs’ seeks to showcase is his sosaties. Simply translated, the word means ‘skewered meat’ and regional variations use beef, pork, chicken and even ostrich. But the classic recipe, which has its origins in the sweet-and-sour Cape Malay cuisine brought to South Africa by Sumatran slaves in the 17th century, is based on lamb or mutton marinated in a fruity, spicy sauce. The success of these smoky, sticky-fingered skewers hangs on the quality of the meat – leg and shoulder of lamb are the prime cuts – and the vibrancy of the marinade. Every family has its favourite version, but the basic formula is sautéed onions bubbled down with wine or water plus something sharp (vinegar), something sweet (apricot jam or mango chutney) and various warming spices, which may include curry powder, ground coriander, allspice, ginger or turmeric. Blended into a thick, smooth sauce, the marinade is tossed with the lamb cubes and left in the fridge for at least one day (three is better). Then the braai is lit, the beers popped and the meat cubes threaded onto damp bamboo skewers (interleaved with a few dried apricots) and grilled over charcoal alongside chops, steaks and boerewors (traditional beef barbecue sausage). But as our own barbecue summer commences*, gourmet grillers might consider the guaranteed warmth that comes from sprinkling a little South African sunshine over their lamb kebabs. TUCK IN: Shebeen serves sosaties as a starter or as part of a mixed grill in its two Edinburgh branches (www.shebeenbar.co.uk).

*( fingers, toes and elbows crossed)

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ESCAPE | FOOD FROM AFAR

67


THINK | GALLERY

PETS TO THE STARS THERE’S NO DENYING THE BOND FORGED BET WEEN HUMANS AND THEIR PETS . ONLY THE HARD -HEARTED CAN RESIST THE DEVOTION OF A DOG, CAT OR EVEN A SWAN , AS THESE PORTR AITS OF THE FAMOUS PROVE

BENJAMIN BRITTEN AND CLYTIE, 1954 “The dog demanded to become part of the picture,” wrote photographer Yousuf Karsh. “Britten swivelled on the piano seat to make room for his canine collaborator, who leaped into the safety of his arms while yet casting a wary eye on me.” The little dachshund is almost certainly Clytie, presumably originally belonging to Peter Pears (Britten’s lifelong companion) since she was named after his American singing teacher, Clytie Mundy, but she had clearly adopted the composer too. She also appears in the portrait of him painted a few years later by their neighbour Mary Potter. Benjamin Britten by Yousuf Karsh, 1954 © Karsh/Camera Press

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ANNA PAVLOVA WITH JACK, 1927 Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova’s most famous solo was The Dying Swan, so it was perhaps inevitable that an admirer would present her with a pair of mute swans. They arrived in 1913, shortly after she bought a house in London. Jack behaved like any ordinary swan until 1918, when an expert offered to tame him. He was at least 15, a good age for a swan, when this extraordinary photograph was taken. Anna Pavlova with ‘Jack’ by Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd), August 1927 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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T H E J OY O F

THIS MONTH IN OUR SERIES ON WHAT MAKES A HOUSE A HOME , WE THROW OPEN THE DOORS AND FILL THE ROOM WITH SUNLIGHT AND BIRDSONG Words: CLARE GOGERTY


NEST | HOME COMFORTS

A

fter the short, dark days of winter when windows are kept resolutely shut and curtains are pulled tight, it’s liberating to fling them open and welcome the world back in. Almost forgotten sounds, from birdsong to the rustle of trees, to car alarms and the sizzle of the neighbour’s barbecue, make their reappearance, and a light breeze blows in, freshening home and spirits (unless it carries the whiff of a burnt sausage). Around about now, warmth accompanies the sunshine and, for those lucky enough to have French windows, it is the time to unlock the panelled doors and step out into the garden. This is a sure sign that the season has moved on and marks the transition from a closed-in interior world to an expansive outdoor one. French windows are the portal to summer.

PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUPE IMAGES/CHRISTOPHER DRAKE; NARRATIVES/JAN BALDWIN

LET THE OUTSIDE IN

Originating in France in the 17th century, French windows or portes fenêtres initially led out on to a small balcony. (These were also popular in Italy where they were known as porta finestra.) Warmer climates encouraged architects to design small balconies accessed by tall, shuttered French windows, often leading off from a bedroom. How delicious to lie in bed with the doors wide open knowing that soon you will stroll through them and eat a croissant as the world below goes about its business. Or decamp there in the cool of the evening with a chilled glass of wine and an agreeable companion. British balconies are fewer, smaller and generally meaner and not often accessed by French windows – all in all a bit of a wasted opportunity. The British have adopted French windows in the living room, however, where they are appreciated for their easy access to the garden or patio. In essence they are pairs of glazed

doors masquerading as windows that allow the garden to come in and the house’s inhabitants to go out. Always opening outwards, they are most often made from wood and consist of a series of glass panels. Not just for summer, they also allow light to come in and offer glimpses of the garden in the darker months.

WATCH A WALL DISAPPEAR

This concept of ‘bringing the outside in’ has gained impetus with the introduction of sliding and folding doors. The installation of panels of glass that slide smoothly along tracks and fold tidily away makes entire walls disappear. This means the end to scuttling along a poky sidereturn or reversing through a back door carrying a tray of drinks. Instead, you can step directly from the kitchen into the garden, and back in again, as though they are the same room. Boundaries dissolve! The garden becomes an extension of the house, especially if the kitchen flooring is extended out on to the » 117


NEST

PHOTOGRAPHY: JAN BALDWIN/NARRATIVES, WORDS: CLARE GOGERTY

LOVE YOUR HOME INSIDE AND OUT WITH THE SIMPLE THINGS

Cow parsley Round about now, the tight, fat buds of cow parsley* burst into white-petalled exuberance, adding a delicious frothiness to country roads. Long-flowering and prolific, it keeps delivering right through summer. Gather armfuls of it, bring indoors and immerse stems in a galvanised bucket or similar for a heady pastoral vibe. It won’t last long indoors, but there’s plenty more outside for regular refills: cow parsley is generous with its favours.

* Also known as Queen Anne’s lace, cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is related to the carrot: let your carrots bolt and they too will froth gorgeously

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