Get outdoors this winter: 6 reasons why you need fresh air

January to March are essentially “non-months”. Filled (or rather, unfilled) with diets, new exercise regimes, and unflattering puffer jackets, each dark day drags into the next with gruelling monotony. Snow and cold weather got Sinatra’s Christmas invitation a tad late, bursting in on the great festive hangover with unwelcome surprise. We lock ourselves inside and flick through our Instagram photos from summer, willing ourselves back to a time when legs were smoothly shaven, abbs protruded from flat stomachs like a six-pack of eggs, and sunlight glinted off white(ned) teeth. OK, maybe we’re not all striving to become The Only Way Is Essex material. Even so, many of us do spend the winter months effectively in hibernation.  Continue…

It’s begun… And you can join me.

I know how long some of you have suffered. Keeping your secret obsession with wicker hampers, tartan mats, and Thermos flasks under wraps for so long is tough. You and I alike have been forced to hide in plain sight, sitting down decorously in restaurants, or sipping coffee (without spilling it) from china cups in cafes.  Continue…

Let’s celebrate the humble potato with a thick and creamy potato soup

You know that person who goes through life forever narrowly missing out on the prize? The one who, always beaten by some less deserving individual, only ever makes it to second place? Perhaps you are that person. In which case you might like to know that there is someone who has, like you, suffered the same trials and hardships. Someone who has been perpetually taunted by the Gods and subjected to their whims. You probably already know who I’m alluding to. But then again, with your luck, you may not. That someone is: The Potato.  Continue…

Buy experiences, not things: my New Year’s resolution

Before I get started, I just wanted to wish everybody a happy 2018!

This year I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before: make a new year’s resolution. The reason why? Well, I’ve been thinking. Modern day culture has enabled us to do so much: to go to the supermarket (which is usually close by) and pick up anything from a Camu Camu berry to Matcha tea (OK, you probably won’t find a Camu Camu berry, but that’s fine because they’re pretty disgusting anyway); to hop on a plane to Australia; to get from a to b without breaking a sweat; to buy ready-made food from Pizza Hut; to go shopping whenever we want; to have knowledge at our very fingertips, thanks to the internet… you get the picture.   Continue…

3 leftover turkey sandwiches to make for a delicious post-Christmas picnic.

It’s that time of year again. When Christmas is over, and one by one each branch of the family braves the boxing day traffic and heads back to their own homes and lives. You go back inside after waving off the final few family members, sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, and breathe out a long, weary sigh. You’re a little sad that Christmas is over, but also, it has to be said, a little relieved, too. You take a sip of that tea and start to feel a warming relaxation come over you. And then you see it.  Continue…

Mince pies and mulled wine – all you need for a festive picnic

As you probably know, I love creating some pretty flamboyant picnics. But that doesn’t mean that the simpler picnics are any less enjoyable. Mince pies and mulled wine really are all you need for a delicious, satisfying picnic – alongside, of course, the beautiful view across the canal at Snape Maltings, candlelight and Christmas paraphanalia, and, all importantly, the company of a very good friend. Continue…

A perfect mulled wine for your thermos

I long for that time of year again where I can breathe in the delicate aromas of mulled wine wafting through the house. But don’t be fooled: it’s not just an indoors drink, and there is something so utterly luxurious about warming your hands around a glass of mulled wine, wrapping yourself up in a blanket, and sitting in a beautiful scenic spot of the countryside.  Continue…

Winter picnic: roasted pumpkin soup.

Initially revered for its impressive colour, size, and roundness by its misshapen brother and sister Squashes, the fate of the Pumpkin is a tragic one. Its “big moment” consists of being disembowelled, barbarically disfigured by parents lacking artistic skill, paraded to insensitive children from the end of the drive, and chucked away or forgotten about from the 1st November onward.  Continue…