kate tempest

there are times of your life when all seems like doom and gloom – this year is proving to be one of those years that stirs your deepest emotions – crying doesn’t seem to do much to ease the pain, reflecting on your own achievements of a home and family seems to help – and thank god for glimpses of brilliant inspiration from our youth.  poetry is not just for the old and dying – listen to the words of kate tempest at glastonbury – so powerful and from the heart – she hits the button just right.  our youth seems to be proving us wrong – lets give them a chance to thrive and leave this bleakness behind.




mexican food in london

mexico is just so colourful!!  our favourite mexican restaurant in london is mestizo near euston;  the food is fresh, the atmosphere fun and lively and its a great place to go with a group of friends and share food.  try the taco tray, which is a great tray of a little bit of everything!

they have now opened a shop selling mexican crafts and gifts right next door.  it makes me want to go to mexico again.



minotaurs and matadors

london always has so much free art on offer – maria is my art friend who always creates a saturday trail for us on a saturday afternoon.   we started off in St James’ square, where Christies is holding an exhibition of sculptures including Hepworth and Moore, then to White Cube and the painter Wayne Thiebaud.   we then walked to the lovely Shepherd Market to find an independent coffee shop;   have always loved this part of london – feels like a village right in the centre of london.

its always a pleasure to see a body of work by Picasso and although the subject of the exhibition may seem strange, it really does show how influenced he was by mortality, myths and death.  forever the prolific artist, the intricacies of his prints and the exploration at each stage makes you realise how and why he is such a brilliant artist.  the exhibition is curated by Sir John Richardson, age 93 a Picasso expert, but is worth seeing – free at the Gagosian.

have always loved walls filled with lots of paintings – especially painted dark.


broadway market

popped to Broadway market on saturday and was amazed at how busy and vibrant it is there;   i still think that the best food is the street food, but if its not sunny and warm, you definitely need to have a break inside.

i always love the 1930’s tiles of F.Cooke’s original pie and mash cafe – its beautiful interior still intact and kept up to perfection – i love everything about it, the tiles, the benches, the way the napkins were displayed – but as the owner said, people like myself dont eat pie and mash and eels – we all go for the cupcakes and the other delicacies on offer!    its a shame, because places like this ought to remain in areas like this, but they only survive if we go in and support them – so i guess i need to start eating some jellied eels.

we bought some delicious hand smoked salmon by hansen and lydersen  for Max to eat, and the most beautiful decorated cup cakes by violet.    also eclairs by the end of the eclair are so tempting.  these interesting stalls were dotted amongst the various food stalls. sadly the haberdashery shop has gone – its what happens in london, things come and go very quickly.  also, some of the stalls change from week to week.   i  absolutely love donion books with its interesting array of foreign, art, vintage and design books – great for gifts, as there are so many books that i have never seen anywhere before.   of course, there are still lots of practical food shops- fin and flounder – just what every high street needs – with its lovely interior it really draws you in to buy some fish for dinner and a classic butcher – hill and szrok for steaks.

stop for coffee break in Climpson and Sons  and eat some lovely indian street food too –  i always take home a couple of the vegetarian samosas . broadway market has a lot more food stalls for take away food rather than produce.   stella blunt is a cute vintage shop selling furniture and accessories – retro glasses, metal letter stencils, chairs…  so all in all its a good morning out for a saturday and you can bring home lots of good food to cook – a lot of the same stalls from borough market are also at broadway market.

i love the japanese  stationary gifts from Ouka Ueno and the indian tiffin boxes from Kairaasi.  they also sell the stainless steel plate racks that are reminiscent of the victorian wood ones. Att Pyntta have some lovely gifts, throws and home goods.

dont forget to pop into the school yard market, a little extension of broadway market, with more choices of great food and vintage and also netil market, whose ethos is eat work art.

i dont look at all the you tube links that people send me, but you will love this one about street markets – narrated by sid james its a perfect end to get you into the swing of all the street markets around london.

dont forget to pop into the dog & wardrobe – just along the canal, a workshop of retro furniture for sale, including lamps, school chairs and old desks.


southwold sea

i love coming to suffolk, even just for a day, and especially if the weather is as lovely as it has been.   the only thing i dislike is the 2 and half plus hours drive to get there.  so what i have been doing is breaking the journey with a stop for a cup of tea in one of the many lovely towns along the route – i pick a different one every time.

southwold is the closest town for amenities to the cottage, so its a good stopping place for lunch and collecting the groceries – its also a perfect place to take a swim to refresh yourself after the long drive.  we were really lucky with the stillest sea i have ever seen, no wind, just heat and sun.

it can be snape maltings – the 1800 buildings originally used for storing barley – that are now a concert hall, shops, eating places all set in a tranquil setting surrounding by reeds.  i particularly love the hepworth sculpture set amonst the reeds it really is a lovely focus point.   there is also a henry moore sculpture;  as well as eating and shopping there is also a bit of art – there is the lettering arts trust with its beautiful carved stones., the beautiful dovecote gallery, there is musical installation by Bill Fontana, and  the snape gallery with works including  maggi hambling     i  have tried all the cafes there and the granary tea shop is the best;  i think that the food hall has cute gifts and pump bakery sells their lovely bread.

often it is woodbridge,  either the cooks shed or wild strawberry cafe.but my favourite is Darsham Nurseries, which I literally pass by – the food is consistently the best.

i have loved doing up the cottage  and now the sheds and discovering all the nearby beaches and villages has been such a pleasure – it makes that drive back into london all worth it!


go and see the balenciaga exhibition at the V & A  – the wonderful lines, the creativity and cut of the clothes are just inspirational.  once you are at the V & A, take a look at the architecture and furniture floor, its so beautiful and overlooked.  you can see where a lot of designers have taken their inspiration from, including comme des garçons.  if you happen to be going to New York you have to visit the exhibition there at the Metropolitan museum – you can see the similarities – art of the in between.