Monday, 29 September 2014

make the most of october - bucket list

I love the start of autumn! The cooler weather, snuggly clothes and the changing colours of nature reminds me that we are coming to the end of another year. Autumn always makes me want to curl up in front of the wood burner with a good book and a glass of red, eat roast chestnuts and sit by fairy lights.

What do you love about Autumn?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

autumn fruit pudding & whisky double cream

A classic, warming pudding just right for Autumn evenings especially now that it's turning a little chillier. I used damsons from my trees in the garden and apples given to me by my neighbours but I'm sure other fruits would work well too.

2kg damsons or plums, pears and eating apples
a large knob of butter
100g brown sugar
1 vanilla pod
3 bay leaves
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 x 300ml pot of double cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
a shot of whisky

For the batter
200g butter, room temperature
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
200g self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Peel and core the apples, damsons/plums, apples and pears, then cut them into large pieces. Halve and stone the damsons, leaving the skin on. 
  3. Put into a large saucepan with the butter, sugar, spices and bay leaves. Stir it all together and stew for 20 to 30 minutes covered. When the fruit is soft, take out the bay leaves and place to one side.
  4. For the batter, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, then fold in the flour. 
  5. Place half the fruit into the bottom of an ovenproof dish (without the juices) then top with the batter. Finally, spoon over the remaining fruit and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. 
  6. Using a knife, slice open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into a bowl. Pour in the cream and whisk together with the icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Stir in the whisky.
Serve warm with lots of the cream and a little of the fruit juices. Delicious! Clean plates are guaranteed! Enjoy!

Monday, 22 September 2014

summer memories

Sharing some photos with you of what we got up to over the summer. It seems so long ago now! So many lovely memories. We had a gorgeous week in beautiful Dorset, picnicking, sunbathing, sightseeing and relaxing. Incredibly beautiful!

Lulworth Cove, a short walk from Durdle Door

Durdle Door

Cute cottages, stunning views and beautiful beaches

What a wonderful week we had!

We also went on a little road trip to a beautiful part of North Yorkshire called Malham. This view was from the top of Malham cove, four hundred steps up! Well worth the climb.

Sun, gorgeous views and food. Doesn't get much better than this for me.

We walked four miles the first day and seven and a half the next! Spectacular scenery everywhere we looked.

Stone walled pastures

No summer is complete for me without a day trip to my happy place, Scarborough. Beautiful weather, an empty beach and a picnic. Perfect!

Looking forward to Autumn though with the smell of logs on the wood burner, cosy nights in, pumpkins, candles and chunky scarfs. Every season has a reason to be loved.

Have a great week lovelies.

Monday, 8 September 2014

a famous five picnic

I don't know if you were like me as a child but I always had a Famous Five book in my hand. I read them over and over many times and used to read them to my girls too. Visiting Dorset, which was a holiday destination for the author Enid Blyton, gave me an opportunity to bring my childhood dreams to life and experience a bit of nostalgia.

The beautiful Corfe Castle was the inspiration for Kirrin Castle so I just had to visit there with a picnic that I'm sure the Famous Five would have enjoyed, or so I like to think! Lashings of ginger beer, beef sandwiches, hard boiled eggs. shortbread. fruit cake and oranges. What could be better!

What a view we had as we were sat eating our picnic. The steam train runs from Corfe Castle to Swanage and is a real step back in time. I would recommend a trip as it runs through some beautiful scenery and has the old fashioned carriages which I loved.

 The waiting room at Corfe Castle station.

A view of the castle from the village.

How cute is this signpost!

Looking down from the castle walls.

 A view of the village from the castle.

I'm enjoying our picnic adventures so much that we are planning on lots more in different places. Maybe having themes; beauty spot picnics, Autumn picnics, Winter picnics and so on. I think it will be fun.

Have a great Monday, lovelies!

Friday, 5 September 2014

make the most of september - bucket list

Hi lovelies! The month of September always marks a fresh start to me as the summer holidays have come to an end and the new school term has begun. As much as I love summer, there is lots I love about Autumn and it definitely feels autumnal now. Let the coat shopping begin!

It has been an incredibly busy six weeks for us. We managed to have a week away and have a couple of other trips (photos to follow) but for four weeks I have had a paintbrush in my hand. We now have the front room and dining room decorated and the hall, landing and stairs painted. Just the rest of the house to go!

Picnics are my thing right now! I really enjoy packing up and having them in different locations. At the beginning of the week I was eating a picnic on a cliff side and on Wednesday it was a beach. I'm planning to keep them going through the colder months. You can follow along with me on my picnic adventures over on Instagram. 

What goodies have you got planned for September?

Have a wonderful weekend!