Great British Bake Off wish list

Wednesdays have become so much more exiting since the Great British Bake Off returned to our screens. Each week, I look enviously at all of the amazing equipment at the bakers’ disposable, helping them to make all of those delicious creations, all the while being pretty and stylish. So it got me thinking, what would be on my baking equipment wish list? Well, here they are, nine pretty things that I wish would grace my kitchen, all inspired by the Great British Bake Off. You might be wondering why I’ve included a teapot? It’s there because cake just doesn’t taste the same without tea. Fact. What items would be on your baking wish list?


1. KitchenAid Artisan Mixer in Pistachio Green available from John Lewis 2. Cath Kidston Clifton Rose ceramic rolling pin 3. Lilly Loray Meadow Flower double oven mitt available from Not on the High Street 4. Sagaform retro teapot 5. Anthropologie Strawberry-Rhubarb apron 6. Laura Ashley Lidded Clear Optic glass cake stand 7. M&S measuring cups 8.Orla Kiely pear print cake tins 9. Ikea Sockerkaka loaf tin

Posted in Baking, Homes and interiors, Kitchen wish list | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carrot, sweet potato and lentil soup

What had been a pretty good summer has suddenly and sharply declined into autumn and Edinburgh is cold. Not just a little bit chilly, but wear a jumper, put the heating on kind of cold. This gave me the perfect excuse to make a big pot of soup and use the bowls the lovely people at Culture Vulture sent to me.

This soup is really warming, filling and delicious. I make it pretty thick (I like my soup that way), but if you prefer yours a little thinner, just add a bit more stock. To make this you will need:

    • 2 onions
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 2 sticks of celery
    • 4 large carrots
    • 1 large sweet potato
    • 100g of red lentils
    • 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
    • 1 tsp of dried thyme
    • 2 tsps of sweet paprika
    • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add a glug of olive oil to a large pan over a low heat. Chop the onions, garlic, celery and carrots into small pieces and saute. Cover and cook for around 15 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

2. Chop the sweet potato into small pieces (don’t peel it, there’s lot of flavour in the skin), and add it to the pan. Now pour in the stock, thyme, sweet paprika and lentils. Bring to the boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Blend the soup thoroughly until you have a smooth texture. Season to taste and serve with huge chunks of wholemeal bread.

I can’t get enough of this soup, it’s a new favourite in our house. And what do you think of those cute bowls? I’ve had my eye on that style of bowl for a while, so a big thanks to Culture Vulture for sending some my way. They have loads of other pretty things on their website, so pop on over and treat yourself … it’s nearly payday after all.

Posted in Home Comforts, Soup, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Keep dreaming

Stylist put a Tweet out yesterday that literally made me stop in my tracks: ‘Take a tour around the world’s most expensive penthouse’. So I did just that. I made myself a huge mug of coffee, grabbed the iPad and sat mesmerised at what £240 million will buy you.

Of course, the penthouse is undeniably amazing, but what it really got me thinking about was this. If I was armed with that sort of budget, what would I include in my dream home. I’m not talking a possibly achievable, maybe one day, live in hope kind of house, I’m talking about the sort of home you could only buy if you had an entirely limitless budget. After lots and lots of deliberating … and of course Pinteresting (it’s a word, I promise), here are the top five things I would include in my money-is-no-object home.

1. A really plush bathroom. I would love a really large room with a copper bath in the middle of the room and a huge fireplace with a real log-burning fire. It would make bath time so much more luxurious.

2. A huge kitchen, with an island and wall of bi-folding glass doors so in the summer months I could open them and merge the interior with the exterior. Oh and a wine cellar. Do I really need to explain this one?

3. A walk in wardrobe, similar to the one that Carrie had in the first Sex and the City movie. Oh to be able to see every item of clothing and not have it crushed in an overcrowded wardrobe that should only really take one person’s clothes, but has to accommodate two people. Anyone else feeling my pain with this one?

4. A gym. I love the gym, but it’s so hard to get motivated to leave my warm cosy house in the winter nights. If I had a gym at home, I would be able to get active without getting wet and cold. And of course, there would be the reward of the steam room afterwards. That’s a must in a home gym, right?

5. A me room. A place where I can go and do all the things I love without hogging the TV or getting in anybody else’s way. A room with a real fire, a beautiful Chesterfield sofa, an Ascaso coffee machine, a Ruark Audio sound system and freshly baked macarons every day.

So that’s my dream out there for all of you to read. What would you have in your dream home?

Image credit: Tour Odeon

Posted in Homes and interiors, Homeware Wishlist | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Hotel de Russie: heaven in hotel form

Ever wondered if heaven actually exists? Well I can tell you for sure that it does. I can tell you where you to go and how you get here and since we’re amongst friends here, I’ll even give you the address. Proudly situated on Via Del Babuino on the fringes of Rome’s Piazza Del Popolo is the Hotel de Russie, otherwise known as heaven in my world.

We recently spent four nights staying at Hotel de Russie to celebrate our honeymoon. Luxury was what we were looking for and this hotel has it in droves.Our room was beautifully decorated and comfortable, and we arrived to a chilled bottle of Prosecco, which got the honeymoon off to a great start. A 4am alarm call had left us feeling too tired to dine out in Rome that night, so we got snuggled up in our lovely room and ordered room service. The food was delicious, especially the pasta.

One of my favourite things about being away from home is hotel breakfasts. They are so much more exciting than the usual fruit and yoghurt I eat at my desk. As you might expect from a hotel of this calibre, the breakfast was to die for. Tables of fresh fruit, pastries, cereals, granolas, meats and cheeses greeted you in the breakfast room, where there were also little added luxuries that you normally need to ask for, like gluten free bread (there was a selection) and soya milk. The spread was incredible and eating it on the hotel’s terrace made it taste all the better.

Now onto that terrace and the courtyard. These two things are what makes this hotel really special. They elevate it from a great hotel to a brilliant one. Drinks were served in the evening in the courtyard, with the beautiful backdrop of the terrace, where they served dinner. Sitting there sipping Prosecco, it was hard to believe we were staying in the middle of Rome. It was calm, serene and beautiful. An oasis in one of the world’s busiest cities.

I can’t fault the Hotel de Russie. As a place to celebrate the start of married life it was perfect and if you ever get the chance to stay there, grab it with both hands. This truly is a five-star experience.

Posted in Hotels, Italy, Reviews, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The weekend in words and pictures

Nestled in between what is likely to be two weeks of madness, we had one of those blissfully quiet weekends. I woke up to a care package from Rob on Saturday morning, filled with all of my favourite things, including wine, Chanel make-up, Harvey Nichols vouchers and the Polpo cookbook, which I’ve had my eye on for so long. All of this and it wasn’t even my birthday. I think you’ll agree, he’s a keeper!

I didn’t leave the house on Saturday. I finished watching The Killing on Netflix (sob), read magazines, made soup and pasta, and we watched Girl Most Likely. Today we went for a run, headed out for brunch, ate chips (we needed to do something to negate the run), viewed a flat and I made risotto. It was a pretty perfect weekend. What did you all do?

Posted in Brunch, Weekend, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments