Category Archives: Kitchen

Homeware… and then some.

Sainsbury's

Last week all my Christmases came early. Literally.

Christmas previews are in full swing up and down the land and amidst them all was Sainsbury’s, complete with mince pies, glazed ham, baubles and much Xmas cheer…

I won’t be popping up pictures of Christmas trees and sparkles, don’t worry. But what I did want to share with you was their Autumn Winter home and lifestyle ranges, which really took me by surprise… I LOVED it.

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Union Roasted’s Coffee Club:
the ultimate coffee lover’s subscription

Union Roasted Coffee Club

When I visited Union Coffee last year, I was completely bowled over by not only their passion and true love for their coffee, but also the science behind it. The art of getting coffee RIGHT, is so precise… and they really know what they’re doing.

Those coffee-lovin folk at Union know only too well how many people travel to their local cafe to get their daily Union fix, so they hatched a plan to make it possible for us to have the full Union experience in our very own homes, via their new Coffee Club… and I say hallelujah. And Amen. And where the blimmin ‘eck did I put my cafètiere?

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Coffee with Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely designs on Douwe Egberts jars

Last week I attended a very special coffee morning, where I met Orla Kiely at her Fitzrovia showroom, who was celebrating her collaboration with Douwe Egberts. And,  it’s a bit of a match made in heaven…

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I Love Anthropologie
(but not as much as I love my mum)

Anthropologie

Hello! I’m back! I’m back from Costa Rica! It was such a magical and wonderful holiday and I look forward to telling you all about it over the coming days… and thank you for all your tweets, messages and comments while I was away – they were so lovely to receive and meant a great deal. Thank you!

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London Tea Club

The London Tea Club

I loved the name of the London Tea Club even before I knew what it was. And then, when I knew what it was, I loved it even more…

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Savvy storage solutions
for small spaces

Bicycle shelf

Bicycle shelf from www.theknifeandsaw.com

Living in a city like London often goes hand in hand with living in a small space. I have lived in many a weeny pad and know what it is, to FALL OVER my own shoes, cut my finger on the cheese grater while trying to wrestle the cling film out of the kitchen drawer.. and of course, the classic squash-the-hangers-into-the-wardrobe-as-tightly-as-they-will-go-so-all-your-clothes-are-crumpled-and-unhapy-looking-and-what’s-the-point-anyway.

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– Etsy Crush –
Moss and Berry

Moss and Berry - Poppy Loves Etsy Crush 1

Vintage enamelware pot, metal cooking pot with lid, retro kitchen cottage decor, neutral beige & brown, pot with handles – Moss and Berry

I have officially resurrected my Etsy Crush feature and will be posting one of my crushes every month…so if you know of someone, or are an Etsy seller yourself, please do get in touch – I’m on the lookout!

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Rooftop Garden at The Conran Shop, Marylebone

Conran Shop Rooftop Garden Marylebone

Last week I popped over to The Conran Shop in Marylebone, where Jasper Conran was hosting a cocktail party to celebrate the new Rooftop Garden – an outdoor space on the top floor, which is filled with all kinds of greenery, stunning flowers and beautiful Conran bits and pieces…

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Spirit of Summer *sigh*
(and win a pair of tickets!)

Summer
has
arrived...

COME ON SUMMER!! You may not be able to sense it just yet (I’ve been in my flip-flops since March in defiance) but if ever something was going to give it a nudge, it will be the gorgeous Spirit of Summer Fair, with its charm, twinkly smile and happy deckchair vibes, bounding into Olympia this month and making us all long for lazy barbecue days, floaty frocks and Mr Whippys.

It’s time Summer had an almighty kick up the (can I say a naughty word? Will I get in trouble with the internet? I’d better not just in case) backside, (boo – so boring) and this is the fair to do it. Spirit of Summer Festival Spirit of Summer, which runs from the 14th – 17th May, promises to be the season’s most stylish shopping event, encouraging and TEACHING (good – the more help I can get the better, quite frankly) us how to refresh our holiday style, the look of our homes and our garden spaces. Lots and lots of new and emerging dinky UK businesses whose lovely designs simply cannot be found on the high street, will be there with bikinis on. I mean bells.   Spirit of Summer Festival This festival is all about the gorgeousness of Summer living and how we can bring as much sunshine magic as possible into our own homes. The most exciting bit of all is that there are going to be gazillions* (*exaggeration) of FREE* (with your ticket) exciting workshops from proper top notch experts in their fields, who will show us how to achieve Summer perfection ourselves. And when I say experts, I’m talking about learning about flower arranging from the florist at The Dorchester, revelling in the al fresco dining secrets of Head Chef at Cliveden House, André Garrett… and we can be taught how to look after our bodies (NEED THIS) with holistic advice from Grace Belgravia… Spirit of Summer Festival And if that isn’t enough, key players from the wold of design will also be on hand to give advice and tips with experts from the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour creating beautiful room sets showcasing their finest interior brands.

All the workshops and talks are listed below for your perusal. Remember, they are all absolutely free to attend with your Spirit of Summer tickets… but they are all on a first come first served basis, so do get your skates on…

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE SPIRIT OF SUMMER FAIR

 

If you would like to win a pair of tickets, just follow me over on Bloglovin and please leave me a comment here to let me know you have done so. I’ll be selecting a winner at 9am on the 12th May. Good luck!

 

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SUMMER LIVING WORKSHOPS

Wednesday 14 May 2014

 

11.30 – Fabulous Flower Arranging with Phil Hammond, The Dorchester

12.30 – Modern French Canapés with André Garrett, Cliveden House

13.30 – Desserts, Macarons and Chocolates with Graham Hornigold, Yauatcha & Hakkasan

14.30 – Inside out beauty with Gabriela James and Abigail Peacock, Grace Belgravia

Thursday 15 May 2014

 
11.30 – Fabulous Flower Arranging with Phil Hammond, The Dorchester

12.30 – Modern French Canapés with André Garrett, Cliveden House

13.30 – Desserts, Macarons and Chocolates with Graham Hornigold, Yauatcha & Hakkasan

14.30 – The Hidden Sugars: The Demons on your Plate with Dr Shideh Pouria, Grace Belgravia

15.30 – Champagne for Summer: Different Styles to Taste with Francoise Peretti, Champagne Bureau

Friday 16 May 2014

 
11.30 – Fabulous Flower Arranging with Phil Hammond, The Dorchester

12.30 – The Perfect Summer Dinner Starter with Tim Allen, Launceston Place

13.30 – Desserts, Macarons and Chocolates with Graham Hornigold, Yauatcha & Hakkasan

14.30 – The Holistic Approach to Healthy Skin with Dr Rabia Malik, Grace Belgravia

15.30 – Champagne for Summer: Different Styles to Taste with Francoise Peretti, Champagne Bureau

Saturday 17 May 2014

 

11.30 – English Country House Flowers with Hannah Bignell, Cliveden House

12.30 – Summer Canapés with Lyndy Redding, Absolute Taste

13.30 – Desserts, Macarons and Chocolates with Graham Hornigold, Yauatcha & Hakkasan

14.30 – Discover how to Eat the Grace Way with Keith Keiller and Sophie Wright, Grace Belgravia

15.30 – Fashion your own Fabulous Headband with Mary Jane Baxter, Mary Jane Baxter Millinery

INTERIORS AND GARDEN THEATRE

Wednesday 14 May 2014

 

11.15 – Colour in the Home with Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball

12.15 – Creating Sustainable Space with Victoria Meale, Victoria Meale Design

13.15 – Improve Your Home: An Architect’s View with Andrew Whiting, HÛT Architecture

14.15 – Creating Beautiful Garden with Matthew Wilson, Clifton Nurseries

15.15 – Contemporary Window Treatments for your Home with Joanne Cassabois, Prêt à Vivre

Thursday 15 May 2014

 

11.15 – Colour in the Home with Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball

12.15 – The Collector’s Home with Philip Hooper, Colefax and Fowler

13.15 – Improve Your Home with Sarah Khan, Roger Mears Architects

14.15 – Creating Beautiful Garden with Matthew Wilson, Clifton Nurseries

15.15 – Contemporary Window Treatments for your Home with Joanne Cassabois, Prêt à Vivre

Friday 16 May 2014

 

11.15 – Colour in the Home with Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball

12.15 – Creating Luxurious Rooms with an English Country House Style with Martin Hulbert, Cliveden House

13.15 – Improve Your Home: An Architect’s View with Andrew Whiting, HÛT Architecture

14.15 – Creating Beautiful Garden with Matthew Wilson, Clifton Nurseries

15.15 – Contemporary Window Treatments for your Home with Joanne Cassabois, Prêt à Vivre

Saturday 17 May 2014

 

11.15 – Colour in the Home with Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball

12.15 – Designing the Perfect Bathroom with Sarah Watson, Balineum

13.15 – Improve Your Home with Sarah Khan, Roger Mears Architects

14.15 – Using Plants Inside Your House with Wendy Bowen, Clifton Nurseries

15.15 – Contemporary Window Treatments for your Home with Joanne Cassabois, Prêt à Vivre

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Cheesecake Mince Pies from A Handmade Cottage

Lucky me to know such lovely bloggers who make such yummy things. I’m so pleased to be able to introduce you to the gorgeous Jodie May of A Handmade Cottage, unless of course, you’ve met her already… You may have seen her in the first issue of Blogosphere Magazine back in October, (of which yours truly is the Lifestyle editor – ding!) or maybe you found her browsing tinternet for warm and cosy and lovely things to make and do… but either way, here she is and I’m very proud to have her in my little corner of the webbynet.
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Message from Jodie May:
 
Those that know me, know I’m not a great cook. I start out with good intentions … I don my pretty apron and hum along to Billie Holiday whilst prepping my ingredients but more often than not, it will all end with Ralphy (my Jack Russell) running for cover and yours truly swearing like a sailor. However, I can bake, and since it’s Christmas I want to give Poppy’s readers a real treat. This recipe has been handed down to me by my lovely mother-in-law, who really is a master-chef. 
 
 
 
A Handmade Cottage’s  Cheesecake Mince Pies
 
These are simply the most delicious mince pies you will EVER eat. They have sweet cream cheese inside and the pastry is yummy, crisp and not at all stodgy. I know this because I’ve eaten 5 today. I can’t stop. Make them and you’ll see why.
For the pastry
225g/8oz plain flour
50g / 2oz golden caster sugar
140g/5oz butter (cut into small cubes)
Grated zest of one orange
1 egg yolk
For the filling
200g/8oz decent mincemeat
125g pack full fat soft cheese
2 tsp caster sugar
Finely grated zest of lemon.
 
And at the end
1 egg white, lightly whisked
Golden granulated sugar for sprinkling!
 
1. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6/Fan oven 180C.
Make pastry: Put flour, butter, orange zest and caster sugar in a food processor and whizz to form breadcrumbs. (NOTE: I don’t have food processor, crumbling with fingers works just as well).
Add the egg yolk and a tablespoon of water and pulse (squidge together) to form a dough.
Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

2. Make filling:  Beat the cheese until soft, then mix in the sugar and lemon zest and set aside. Roll out just over half the dough, fairly thin and stamp 12 rounds with a fluted cutter (NOTE: I don’t have a fluted cutter so I used a small teacup! worked perfectly.) Pop these into your bun tin.

 
3. Fun bit. Put heaped teaspoon of mincemeat in each pasty case (don’t overdo it though) and top with a teaspoon of the sweetened cream cheese. Roll out the remaining dough and stamp out 12 slightly smaller rounds (NOTE: I just used a slightly small cup) Put these lids on a press gently to seal.
 
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‘top with a teaspoon of sweetened cream cheese’
4. Fun bit. With the left over pastry stamp out 12 stars ensuring they’re not too thick. (NOTE: I didn’t have a star cutter, so using a teaspoon I made holly, birds and stars : ) Brush with egg white and stick your bits on top. The pies can be frozen at this point for up to 6 weeks. To finish brush the tops with egg white and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 12 -15 minutes until golden. Let them cool for 10 mins then remove and rest on a wire rack.
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‘..sprinkle with granulated sugar…’
Make a cuppa and enjoy!
 
Merry Christmas Poppy Loves readers..
 
From Jodie May, AKA Fairy baker at www.ahandmadecottage.com
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Made in Britain: Alice Peto

Penguins, Parakeets, Flamingos and Guinea Fowls.. no, you are not at Bird World. You are witnessing the gorgeous new collection from the very clever Alice Peto, whom you may already know as a super duper talented artist and illustrator.

Well, Alice decided she wanted to be even more multi-stringed (strung?) and so has turned her hand to china.. 


She trained in Florence (I LOVE FLORENCE) and clearly didn’t eat as much gelato as I did when I was there, as she appears to have had plenty of time to hone her creative skills (I really did eat an enormous amount of Gelato) and develop her already obvious artistic flair and style. (I could write a Gelato guide book.) (Actually that’s not true as I really only went to one place and stayed there most of the time. Hi Luigi, if you’re reading.)

Alice Peto
Alice Peto – Flamingo

Her collection currently consists of four designs; Flamingo, Guinea Fowl, Parakeet and Penguin. The animals are portrayed in silhouettes, with hand painted detail and each design as their own distinctive character. 

There are plates, pasta bowls, mugs, oven dishes and casserole dishes.. and they are made to last! This china is not to be gazed at through a glass cabinet – it has been designed to be used everyday. 

Alice Peto
Alice Peto – Penguin

Clever Alice is based around the corner from me in Notting Hill, but her china is made, where so much gorgeous British porcelain is made, in Stoke-on-Trent – home to Wedgwood, Emma Bridgewater and Royal Doulton, amongst many others. 

Alice Peto is sitting alongside some of the greats. And deservedly so. I can’t think of a nice Chrimbo present, myself. 

So go on…

Pick up a Penguin.



www.alicepeto.com

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Sunday Supper: Beetroot & Roasted Parsnip Soup and Easiest Macaroni Cheese


As the evenings start drawing in earlier and the chill in the air becomes more noticeable, I crave warm, cosy food. Eating something gorgeously gooey out of a bowl, or an oversized mug, while sitting on a sofa under a blanket is the ultimate in comfort food for me. 

So, the two recipes I made for supper a couple of weeks ago were perfect for my it’s-nearly-Winter-but-not-quite-yet night in. With Downtown. (Poor old Bates..)

Blender
Jamie Oliver Blender by Philips – £79.95 at John Lewis

I made both recipes with my Jamie Oliver Blender by Philips. This little number is fast becoming my very best friend in the kitchen. Nothing is too much for it – just bung it in, set it to ‘whizz’ and you’ll be staring at a smooth liquid (I really don’t like that word, but I can’t think of a better alternative) before you know it. Blender


First, I made the soup. I found this recipe in the New Covent Garden Co recipe book – A Soup for Every Day. (Currently £5 on Amazon – reduced from £25!) They actually do have a recipe for every day, which means the ingredients are always seasonal. This means not only more delicious yumminess, but also fewer pennies spent when you buy your ingredients.  Blender


I get my bits and bobs from Cheryl on Portobello Road. Her market stall is always bursting with beautiful fresh produce and her prices are unbeatable.

Blender
Beetroot & Roasted Parsnip soup in my Anthropologie mug. With a blog of cream for good measure :-)

Beetroot and Roasted Parsnip Soup

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oliver oil
1 large parsnip, diced
4 cooked beetroots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
knob of butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
350ml veg stock
2 tablespoons double cream to blob on top if you fancy

1. Preheat the oven to 200C
2. Coat the parsnips in the olive oil and bake for 20-30 mins
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins
4. Add the roasted parsnips, beetroot and stock, then season to taste
5. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins
6. Blend until smooth – (Jamie Oliver’s blender had this nailed in less than 5 seconds)
7. Blob on the cream or stir in if you’d prefer

Then onwards to the macaroni cheese. I picked Nigella’s recipe as it skips the whole ‘make a cheese sauce’ thing. Which I think is quite exciting. Blender


This recipe is straight out of the book Nigella Express and with just four stages to the recipe and it being absolutely delicious, it’s shot up to the top of my quick fix suppers list.


Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients:
250g macaroni
250g mature cheddar
250ml evaporated milk
2 eggs
grating of fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 220C and cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions and then put back into the hot pan
2. While the pasta is cooking, put the cheese, evaporated milk, eggs and nutmeg in a processor and blitz to mix
3. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste
4. Tip into a dish and bake for 10-15 mins

Both these recipes were so fast to make and this was mostly down to the Jamie Oliver Blender. I’m now going on a smoothie mission… (It’s too fun!)

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I am a culinary genius! (Thank you, The Recipe Kit)


I love cooking, but I do sometimes find myself in a rut. I have my old faithful recipes, some sure-thing spice combos and one or two show stoppers (can’t possibly reveal how easy these are here, or you will no longer thing I am a culinary genius. *Snorts*) I am not afraid of herbs and spices… I just don’t always know what to do with them. Or where to put them. 


I would occasionally like to bust out of my Poppy safety bubble and whirl around the kitchen like Animal from the Muppets, in clouds of sugar and spice craziness with bubbling pots of mysterious amazingness all around me… only to emerge with a sensational meal that makes everyone cry. (I’m not sure Animal is sexy enough – I want to swap with what’s-her-chops from Bewitched. Thank you.)


Low and behold, a couple of weeks ago my wish was granted. Ta da! Enter The Recipe Kit. I selected my favourite 3 recipes from their website, (there are 9 to choose from each week) and they sent me everything I needed in a big (biodegradable) box. Everything had been measured out in the exact quantity required and packaged up in neatly labelled bags and boxes. 


Each recipe comes with an instruction card, with simple step-by-step instructions of how, what and when to do everything. They also go one step further by teaching you new cooking skills, advising what wine you should drink with the meal and even what music you should listen to… it’s a cooking masterclass and the best bit is that you can do it all in your own kitchen. In your slippers. Or in your pants. (I wasn’t in my pants, but if you wanted to cook starkers there’s be no judgement from me.) (But do wear an apron. #healthandsafety)


The three recipes I chose were Crab Fishcakes with Poached Duck Eggs and Peashoot Salad, Lamb Kofteh with Barberries and Tabouleh Salad… AND… Curried Prawns with Salted Lemons and Tender Stemmed Broccoli. Wow. Wow. Wow.

All our ingredients, measured, packaged and labelled for us

All our ingredients, measured, packaged and labelled for us

We made the recipes throughout the week and they were so SO easy to follow. Each had unusual ingredients, new cooking lingo I wasn’t too familiar with and I had grown in confidence with my new found cooking skills after making the first recipe – the crab cakes.

The recipe kit

Poppy’s been dicing…

All their recipes are healthy and well balanced with super fresh ingredients, (from the farm to your door on the same day.) They use local suppliers who provide seasonal produce and, the best bit is that the recipe kits are delivered to your very door.

The dishes were so delicious and we had such a sense of pride when we ate them. The kitchen didn’t know what had hit it. Pestles were bashed in Mortars, eggs were poached free stylee, there was blanching, dicing, marinading and zesting… and I had a delicious meal cooked for me by a very VERY lovely man (more on him another day) when I couldn’t lift a finger after my Gobstopper Removal.

Recipe Kit

Ta da! Crab Fishcakes with poached duck eggs and peashoot salad! Made by Poppy!

The Recipe Kit always offer at least 3 veggie options, the recipes are culturally and culinarily (is that a word?) diverse, they deliver nationwide and with prices starting at £4.90 per person, per meal, it’s almost a bit too good to be true. 

It gets better – The Recipe Kit are giving Poppy Loves readers an exclusive 30% discount! Just enter ‘lovedinner’ at checkout.

Go on. Get your Chef on…



www.therecipekit.co.uk

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Scandi Style: Quince Living
(and a teapot giveaway)

Quince

Blossom Teapot – £28

Hello hello hello! Here I am! It’s been a couple of weeks of quiet over here for Poppy. I rather underestimated the length of my ‘Do This Before You Do Anything Else’ list,  and also the amount of emails that would be blinking at me post holiday.. but I reached the end of my long list this morning and I think I am winning! *Collapses on floor*

Bird Song Camping Set - £24

Bird Song Camping Set – £24

Today I want to tell you all about a lovely little company, Quince Living, which I recently discovered while scampering around tinternet looking for a wedding gift.

Quince Living is a family run online store, packed full of beautiful Scandinavian inspired goodies – all of which make me dribble a little bit. I couldn’t resist and now have the adorable Blossom Teapot (above) sitting on my kitchen table. I love it. *Sigh* ( You can win this teapot for yourself! See below for details..)

Arbour Harbour Milk Jug - £24

Arbour Harbour Milk Jug – £24

Quince Living was launched by Neil and Sophie – a husband and wife team extraordinaire, and with their beady eyes for style, they quickly stocked their amazing store with gorgeous pieces from designers such as Nikuku, Orla Kiely, Le Creuset and Joseph Joseph.

You’ll find beautiful bits and pieces for all areas of the home, including gifts for him, her and kiddiewinks too.

Une Pomme signed print - £40

Une Pomme signed print – £40

It’s a beautiful little corner of the webbynet and I suggest you clicketty click yourselves over there forthwith.



www.quinceliving.co.uk

Win this Blossom Teapot with Oak Lid!



If you would like to win this wonderful prize from Quince Living, then just enter my giveaway below. (Click on the Rafflecopter link if it doesn’t pop up.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And one for the pot

From ConstellationMe

From ConstellationMe


Thought you might make a cuppa and sling in a Tetley’s teabag Circa 2007 you found at the back of your cupboard? *Looks sheepish*

Stop right there and read on, for I (Poppy) have been on the hunt for the ultimate guide to the Perfect Cup of Tea… and I believe I may have found it.

Here is the go, according to the tea guru that is Fortnum and Mason

1. Warm the teapot by rinsing it out with hot water.

2. Fill the kettle with fresh water from the tap. Water that has been boiled already will affect the taste of the tea.

3. Put into the teapot one rounded teaspoon (or caddy spoon) of tealeaves for each person and one extra spoonful ‘for the pot’.

4. Turn off the kettle (or remove it from the stove) just before the water boils and pour into the pot. It doesn’t need to be stirred.

5. Leave to infuse for three to five minutes, depending on taste. Serve, using a tea strainer.

And I thank you.

So what do you think? Do you do it differently?

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