Saturday 31 March 2012

Food glorious food

I'm a bit of a devotee of Saturday morning kitchen with James Martin (in our family he is known as our Saturday morning boyfriend). It's the combination of food and banter I like.

One of his guest chefs today was Cyrus Todiwala, and in conversation they mentioned a new restaurant he had just opened up at Heathrow. Mr Todiwala mentioned an elephant that they have in the restaurant, which intrigued me, so I googled it.

I found more than I was expecting on this rather lovely website. I really like the light bright decor of the restaurant, the statement elephant and the play on the Indian colonial style with a modern twist - note the bowler hat and safari helmet resting on the musical instruments. All the quintessential Indian elements are there; the wooden shutters, whicker furniture, splashes of brilliant colour in the fabrics and carved wooden furniture, but the way it is put together is light and elegant, so that it ends up looking almost French.

I would love to eat there...
All photos copyright Nitin Kapoor

Wednesday 28 March 2012

A big deal

I arrived down at my Mum's on Friday for my regular weekend and went into my bedroom (which is also my younger sister's bedroom when she goes down for her regular weekends). The first thing I saw was this photo, an old black and white framed photo, propped up on the side. It was love at first sight, and I wondered where it had come from. Could it have been brought down from the loft and discarded, in which case it was a family heirloom, obviously not wanted by my sister, and therefore mine for the taking?
The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it.
Anyway, later on that evening, I was speaking to my sister on the phone and I casually mentioned the photo.
'It's mine' she said 'hands off'. Darn. I told her I was thinking of nicking it and she said, 'don't you dare'.
It turned out she had bought it in one of the local charity shops for £2.00. Two pounds.
So we talked a bit around it, me saying how good it would look in my house, her laughing at me.
But then she came back with a proposition. If I could swap it for something equally good, I could have it.
Oooooh. Game on.
So the next day I wandered into town and looked in the charity shops. I came across this amazing black and white framed photo of the church of St Francis of Assisi, in Assisi, Italy. It was dramatic and well shot, and I loved the two ladies all in black mounting the stairs.
I took a photo on my phone and sent it to her. She thought about it for a while.
And then she came back to me. The deal was on.
I am really pleased with my photo. I love the poignant story contained within it; the little boy holding  onto his lunch, getting some shade from the fierce sun, and the sweet-faced donkey looking over the wall to see what he is up to. I imagine it is in Sardinia or Crete or somewhere like that, where people get up at dawn to work the heat-baked land and eat simple home grown vegetables which taste of sunshine.
The only problem is, I also rather fell in love with the other photo. I had them placed together all weekend and thought they looked so fine. I began to wonder about the two women dressed in black. Were they widows or maybe in mourning for a family member, or simply devout? I imagined their homes, simply furnished and scrubbed clean, with brightly coloured flowers growing in old olive oil tubs outside, and elderly relatives sitting on benches in the cool of the evening, sharing news and chivvying the children.
But you know what, a deal is a deal is a deal! Yes, it's a deal. So now I am looking forward to seeing what the Church picture looks like in my sister's flat. I am sure it will look fantastic!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Summer in March

Unbelievable weather. I have exposed my lily white legs, my feet, my arms. I have lunched outside. There is blossom on the trees and people sprawled on the grass. We seem to have bypassed Spring and hurtled headlong into summer.
Of course I know it won't last. All the more reason to make the most of it. Hope my friends forgive me for exposing them, but they look so good beside the ice-cream van.

Thursday 22 March 2012


Have you noticed that flamingos are a bit in fashion at the moment? I would really like a pair of the classic Don Featherstone plastic ones for my garden, but they seem a bit hard to come by in the UK.
This lovely textile piece is by artist Abigail Brown. I love her other critters too.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

John Reyntiens stained glass window

This is such a lovely story, pointed out to me by my little sis who saw it on the News earlier on this week.

The artist here is an old friend and a lovely fellow. He has worked away year after year to progress his designs and career and it is so wonderful to see this achievement, the reward for all that time and effort.

Well done Johnny! :)
Here is his website where you can see some of his other work.

Friday 16 March 2012

On the home front

This morning I am in receipt of a gold Moroccan pouffe, so must venture out in search of polystyrene balls with which to fill its enormous hungry belly.

It's rather more bling in real life than even I anticipated. I think it would have fitted in this house.

Otherwise, I am watching with fascination as every day the rocket seeds I planted at the weekend seem to grow almost before my eyes.
The man of the house is busy constructing raised beds in the garden. This weekend the plan is to sow beetroot.

Friday 9 March 2012

Yarnbombing Olympic style in Saltburn

I've just seen this on the news. It really made me smile. It feels like the Olympics belong to London and not really the rest of the country, so it is intriguing that this has happened in North Yorkshire.

Here's a short video from the beeb.