Forget stripes and polkadots, prints are getting fruity this summer with watermelons making an appearance on everything from phone cases to watches? We’ll take one of everything, please!
Christmas, there are many reason why this is our favourite time of the year. From wrapping up in cosy jumpers, day dreaming of sitting by a fireplace with a mulled wine or hot chocolate, filled with marshmallows naturally…. and Christmas.
So this year we’ve picked some of our favourite gift ideas if you need some inspiration for finding that perfect present, or just something to treat yourself! We won’t tell if you won’t….
Engraved pastel pencil set, Etsy
This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with now the weather is cooling off…
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.
While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.
This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.
Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese.
Snug up and enjoy!
By Millie Norton
Renting can be great, it gives you the freedom to move around and not have to worry about things like fixing a boiler. But rental properties don’t always have the most stylish interiors, with some verging on awful.
Finding a way to improve your space can seem impossible, especially when you don’t have permission to make major changes or hang artwork on the walls. Don’t despair, there are some simple changes that take very little effort and can really help your rental feel more personal. Taking the time to make some of these changes will make your home a much more cosy and happy place to live!
If your place is unfurnished, you obviously have more freedom to create the look you want. Ikea is your friend, but don’t forget about Gumtree and your local charity shops. Most towns and cities have a charity shop that specialises in furniture, like Help for Humanity. The most tattered looking pieces can easily be spruced up with some paint.
If furniture is already there, you can always buy a few chairs or a side table to personalise. With chalk paints like Annie Sloan, you don’t have to worry about sanding and waxing – just paint it on, even over varnish. Some landlords don’t even mind if you repaint or upholster their existing furniture (with permission of course). It’s a fun way to get creative!
There is nothing like some leafy green plants to bring a bit of life into your home. Arrange succulents on shelves and dressers (we love this ladder idea from Fall for DIY!), while large leafy palms can fill a corner in the living room or hallway. There are some great plant pots in H&M and TK Maxx, or you can have fun painting your own.
In the kitchen, don’t forget about herbs. Not only will they add some colour and aroma, but they make your meals taste delicious. These chili plants look fab and will encourage you to make more home cooked meals. If you don’t have much shelf space, you can hang plants in baskets from the ceiling.
Let’s face it, the floors in rentals can be really ugly! An easy way to add colour to a room or detract from a weirdly patterned carpet or wall colour is to scatter some rugs around. Large rugs can be expensive, but you can find some beautiful, small and affordable rugs. Try scattering mismatched rugs through living areas, or a big fluffy sheepskin to bring warmth to cold bedroom floors.
An easy way to add personality to your rental is to change the light fittings. You can find some gorgeous shades on made.com, Etsy and even Dunelm that could easily pass for designer pieces (we love this bright cluster trio!). From industrial style pendant shades, candy colours and copper wires, you can really add some style. Pick easy-fit lampshades that click into place, no wiring required. And don’t forget about table lamps to add light to dark corners.
One thing that takes your home up a level from student accommodation is artwork. Proper prints in frames look so much more sophisticated than posters stuck to a wall. If your landlord isn’t keen on you making holes in the walls, a picture ledge from Ikea can be used to display your favourite prints. Ikea frames are light and hang easily using these three-pronged picture screws. If you have made some holes in the wall, they can be filled with a tube of polyfilla and painted over before you move out. Society6 has a fantastic range of unique prints from independent artists and Etsy and Oliver Bonas are also a great place to look.
Words: Laura Belton
If you find yourself at a loose end this weekend and want to soak up a bit of culture, why not take a trip to the National Portrait Gallery to check out the William Eggleston exhibition
Eggleston revolutionised colour photography back in the 1960s and ’70s by experimenting with colour transparency film, and his vivid and mysterious images have become iconic. Eggleston rarely captioned his images, leaving you to interpret each photo in your own way and although he’s photographed celebrities, his images of the ordinary people in his life are often far more interesting.
Many film-makers, such as Sofia Coppola, credit Eggleston as an inspiration for their work and he’s provided album covers for a whole host of musicians, including Big Star, Primal Scream and Vampire Weekend.
We were lucky enough to take a peek at the exhibition a few weeks ago, and also visited the all-important gallery shop on the evening they collaborated with the fabulous Pop Boutique, giving us a truly 70s experience.
The team at Gallery Shop have curated a collection of books, clothing and homewares that refelect the photographer’s work. You can find mini prints of his work and even a limited edition, signed exhibition book, as well as vintage cushions and scarves (the perfect 1970s accessory!). We highly recommend taking a visit! You may even find a few images you recognise…
Nothing perks up an afternoon like a good old mug of tea and, of course, a piece of cake. We added some yummy summer berries to this classic almond loaf and topped with an amazing bright pink berry glaze and it’s delicious. But don’t just take our word for it, why not try it for yourself? Just don’t forget to pop the kettle on!
180g caster sugar
Juice of half a lemon
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
3 tbsp berry compote
100g icing sugar
– Rinse berries under cold water then add them to a heavy bottomed saucepan and coat in the sugar and squeeze in the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then take off the heat and strain to remove the broken berries. Turn down the heat and reduce the compote until it’s nice and thick – about 10 minutes.
- Pour into a sterilised jar, ready to use for the almond loaf and berry icing. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2 and line and grease a 1lb loaf tin. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition.
– Next, mix in the eggs, followed by the ground almonds. Stop mixing as soon as soon as the almonds are fully incorporated.
- Add the mixture to the loaf tin and smooth the top with a knife, spoon blobs of cooled berry compote all over the top and then use a toothpick to swirl the compote in with the loaf mixture to create a marble effect. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the icing by adding the compote to icing sugar and mixing vigorously until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the loaf once cooled.
Recipe and and photography by Emine Hassan
Punk is back… In fact, we’re not really sure it ever left, but either way, it’s definitely not disappearing any time soon.
40 years after punks first shook things up in Thatcher’s Britain, the British Library are putting on an exhibition to celebrate the musical phenomenon. Punk 1976-78 explores the sub-culture’s most formative years and the music that defined it, including (of course) Sex Pistols and The Clash.
We were lucky enough to take a sneak peek at the exhibition’s and the gift shop and that alone is reason enough to pay a visit. Set up like a record store, you can listen to all of your old favourites on the 1970s replica listening booth or climb into the photo booth for a few cheeky snaps – let’s face it, it’s much more fun than a selfie.
There’s something for any fan, including vinyl, gifts and homeware created especially for the exhibition – we loved the limited edition prints from Punk legend Sheila Rock.
The exhibition is on until 2nd October – make sure you don’t miss it!
Nothing beats the Great British holiday. Ice cream, seagulls, arcades, fish and chips: they’re all part of the seaside experience, but if you’re looking for something special, St.Ives is your destination.
Located near Penzance and Land’s End in Cornwall, St.Ives is a quaint retreat that sits on the edge of the English south coast. As well as being the ideal surfers getaway with four different beaches, the cobbled, narrow streets and tiny tea rooms make it the perfect place for anyone to relax. The town is also home to some of the most incredible restaurants, traditional pasty shops and authentic cornish pubs. Oh, and did we mention that it also hosts some of the most inspirational art? Well, with that in mind, here are the best things to do in St.Ives this summer (even if it’s raining).
1. Porthmeor Beach
This gigantic stretch of sand and sea is renowned for surfing and bodyboarding – just make sure you stay between the correct flags. If you’re looking at learning to surf, St.Ives surf school runs every day throughout the summer. It’s the perfect beach to snooze with a book or pop up the net for beach volleyball. There’s even a small shop and the notorious Beach Café restaurant so you don’t have to go foraging far for food.
2. Porthgwidden and Porthminster Beach
If Porthmeor gets too busy, Porthgwideen and Porthminster are a little quieter. Porthgwidden is a small cove located close to the centre of town and it’s the best place to relax and nip to the water for a paddle or swim. Porthminster is a larger beach and with its tiny swell it’s the perfect place to kayak, paddleboard and swim – there’s a hire shop for anyone interested in water sports. Of course, both beaches have small cafés and shops to keep topping up with beverages and the town is just around the corner.
3. Art Galleries
St.Ives is an artist’s town and is home to the Tate Modern and Barbara Hepworth galleries. Exhibitions at the Tate Modern change regularly so it’s worth taking a look at what’s on and as it’s located opposite Porthmeor beach, it’s the best place to shelter from any rain as the glass windows allow for a perfect view of the sea. The Barbara Hepworth gallery is in the town and hosts Hepworth’s 20th Century sculptures, as well as her stunning garden.
For stunning scenery and beautiful views of the whole of the town take one of the idyllic trails around St.Ives that’ll lead you along the cliffs and to surrounding villages. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, they’re regular visitors to St.Ives beaches.
If you’re a fish lover you’ll be guaranteed some vibrant and fresh seafood that will have been caught the same day, but if not there are plenty of other delicious restaurants in the town that’ll stave off your hunger pangs.
A trip to St.Ives will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and inspired – not to mention salty-skinned with a belly full of goodness. While the town still offers the seaside necessities, there’s so much more to explore and if you think a grey British summertime might stop you from having fun, don’t worry; St.Ives gets its own weather.
Words by Laura Dunham
Now the weather is starting to warm up (even if it’s ever so slightly!) our minds are firmly fixed on how we can update our wardrobes to match. So imagine our luck when we came across these festival-worthy pieces from Lowie. Bringing together playful cacti prints, bright colour pops and fringing, Lowie’s SS16 Mexicana collection certainly aims to sizzle. The eye-catching Pom Pom headband is a fun, stand out piece, while the Yucatan Print Bermuda shorts is just the right length guaranteeing a comfy and stylish look. We can’t wait for summer!
It’s time to share another one of our favourite Instagrammers and this week it’s Bristol used photographer and fellow coloured door fan, Jess from @Porthjess.
Jess definitely has a keen eye for snooping out the most colourful doors and buildings on her travels and always brightens up our instafeed with her snaps! We definitely recommend checking out her Instagram page to explore some of her favourite places…
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