2016. The review. Pt 3

September

This was a very manic time as my job change, to being the chief reporter for a newspaper, began to hit in and my etc writing – in theory at least – reduced to one day a week to make way for all the breaking news and council meetings.

As such it is not really a surprise that a visit to The Salterns made for both a nice article and nice escape from the office.

The newly created holiday apartments at Chichester Marina occupy an enviable spot next to the water, making it bizarre to think the building was previously used for offices – which is somewhat ironic going on my previous comment.

But that is neither here nor there, look at them!

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Swoon!

October

etc Magazine always likes to touch on the big topics, as well as the aspirational and fluffy ones. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month I took the opportunity to learn more about a pioneering treatment by a Sussex-project.

November

For this month’s editions it all got a bit arty. For West Sussex I wrote about a design school with a difference starting up, while I headed over to the East for a cultural tour taking in Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings.

The latter might win, just because I got to sit in this ridiculous deckchair..

Laura at The View, Eastbourne.jpg

In all seriousness however, the exhibitions were fascinating, the hotels beautiful and Hastings old town might just have stolen a bit of my heart.

Exploring the Old Town (1).jpg

December 

While Brighton-based Joosr, which reduces books such as A (not so) Brief History of Time into 20 minute reads, might have changed my view on e-readers – which is no easy task – spending the day with some of the counties’ best young chefs takes some beating.

Yup, I’m back on the food again and this time it was the Young Chef and the Year Cook Off at the Amex Stadium. I basically follow around the judges, which this year included Matt Gillan, and taste a lot of sublime dishes – then write about it before the food coma hits in. I’m sure you can tell it is hard work..

Rachel Burroughs' pollock starter.JPG

Another bizarre claim to fame ^^ that’s my hand in the official pics. Note how my nail varnish matches the jus!

2016. The Review. Pt2

May!

I do love a food special, and this month proved to be a feast.

As well as learning about the wonders of sheep’s milk with Top Paddock Dairy and tucking into proper pub grub in Oving , I had the wonderful opportunity of time-travelling thanks to the Repast supperclub.

The latter, as bewildering as it might sound, was the simple but brilliant idea of Haywards Heath chef Sam Bilton.

Our culinary adventure was back to Venice’s rich past, and from start…

ipp

(polenta squares topped with salted cod and mushrooms)

To the end…

fritters

(fritelli – almond filled donut fritters)

It was amazing.

June

I’m sticking with food and I’m not even sorry, I mean how often to you get to talk to a chef whose signature dishes are all made using hotel room appliances?

From steaks steamed in the shower to a full English he insists is ‘better than the what you’d get in the buffet downstairs’, the aptly named George Egg has come up with in-genius ways to create it all.

July 

Mermaids, flamingos and badgers in bowties – time for something a bit different.

HS Sugarhill Boutique 'Hartley Beach Scene Fit & Flare Dress' £49.jpg

My two favourites for July were Brighton fashion band Sugarhill Boutique (above) and the equally bright and brilliant Eastbourne alphabet by artist Clare Dales.

EASTBOURNE AN ALPHABET RGB.jpg

August

Lewes-based VRAC teas  would have claimed the top spot this month, if it wasn’t for my behind the scenes visit to Chichester’s Timothy Roe jewellers.

I mean this Goodwood bangle by them is reason enough that it was special..

Day at the races 1.jpg

…but for me it had a personal connection as this jewellers is where my engagement ring (finally) came from and I got to find out how it was made.

*Finally because I was the one choosing it, not because I am a bunny boiler. But I’m sure, one day, I’ll get around to sharing that story on here.

Wrapping up 2015 with a big bow

There is something almost ironic about not having the time to take stock.

Even when I do try, it always seems to turn into a ‘to do’ list making exercise.
What I’ve done being met by, then clouded over by, what I haven’t – yet.

credit Peppercorn Photography

credit Peppercorn Photography

Being busy is something we can all relate to. It is just the reasons vary person to person.
Lately I’ve been learning a lot, including that I didn’t really know what ‘busy’ was.
Aren’t the lessons which come with owning your own house are numerous and broad?

Anyway, rather than talking about rewiring, textured wallpaper and weeds (you can find more than enough of that in my weekly columns) I thought I would take the chance to look at the shiner side of life – quite literally – and do a must overdue update for my magazine section.

June (I know, I know) is a tough month to pick a favourite article from, namely because it is the month of our food special.
I really enjoyed getting to know the Hastings-based Baked by the Sea girls who offer cream teas by post, and meeting the mastermind behind the wasabi vodka and watercress gin of Winchester’s Twisted Nose.

It’s a tough job isn’t it?

credit Peppercorn Photography

credit Peppercorn Photography

Then there was the beautiful fashion of Shoreham’s Sula, beer making in Brighton, spending time at Caroline’s Dairy’s ice-cream empire and being inspired by the hyper-real artistry of Janine Shute.

In the end, I went with the one I find myself talking about the most – partly for its quirkiness and partly because spirits are having a great time of it at the moment.

So for more of my chat with Paul Bowler, founder of Twisted Nose, and his work to offer a tipple with ‘a real home, real roots, local flavour and a local story’ see HERE.

July was a slightly easier task as I fell head over heels for Christmas Cottage in Hampshire. I mean just look at it ..

Picture: Fox & Sons

Picture: Fox & Sons

Fox & Sons

Fox & Sons

And the amazing interior remodel was inspired by a pub.

AND the owner was really lovely and offered me a game of boules next time I was local.

It was just the full package, as you can find out HERE.

Pic: Mi Elfverson

Pic: Mi Elfverson

Pole dancing, arts festivals and illustrator Lauren Child made sure August was far from dull.

But as someone who spends far too long at their desk, a chance to get out into the countryside made for an extra special piece.

The story was about Walk&Talk4Success, which does what it says on the tin really offering business mentoring and support but on the move.

I met the group at Wakehurst Place and spent a lovely walk sharing ideas and solutions.. it was simply brilliant.

If I am being honest September was a two horse race for the title of ‘favourite’, in the running is Amanda Saurin and her amazing company As. Apothcary  who opened my eyes to natural beauty – in the best sense.

Then there’s The Future Kept which isn’t given justice by the description ‘online lifestyle stop’.
I pretty much want to own everything it sells and live in the photos on the website.

The Future Kept JPEE JPE6 Hastings Sept15

The Future Kept

The Future Kept

The Future Kept

See what I mean?

But, seeing as my list has some home but no skincare, As.Apothecary has to be the victor. And, in a job where I get to meet some amazing people, because I openly admit if I had to work anywhere else it would be for Amanda.

AS.Apothecary

AS.Apothecary

Something arty would have to sneak in my list somewhere, and for October and November I was lucky enough to have my two passions come together – seeing me write about amazing creative people.
Kate Sherman captures time passing through the laborious medium of painting – a contrast I just really, really, like…

Kate Sherman

Kate Sherman

Kate Sherman

Kate Sherman

John Napier might be a name you don’t know, but chances are you’ll know his work.
He’s created sets for the likes of Les Misérables, Cats and Starlight Express. The helicopter in Miss Saigon? Also his.
Not bad for someone who admitted to me for November’s magazine, that he once believed theatre design ‘was about drawing rooms, choosing the colour of the sofa – I thought that was pretty much it’.

John Napier. Picture: Julian Napier

John Napier. Picture: Julian Napier

For someone who edited an annual food special this year.. (me).. I feel like we could do with something edible on the list. For December this is a choice between Kyoto Kitchen, a Winchester restaurant giving its own twist to Japanese cuisine, or the Sussex Food and Drink Awards Young Chef cook off – which was a mouthful in more ways than one.

It seems right to choose the one which made me think more about my cooking, and only one made me want to mousse a pumpkin. .

Stephanie's Pumpkin Starter

Sussex Young Chef Grand Finalists, Stephanie Haywood, Michael Sutherland & Ryan Tomkinson

Seems a good a place as any to end this post, and year.

Roll on the next one : )

Cooking with Vikings and other Danish adventures

Pictures by BrknRib Photography

Pictures by BrknRib Photography

I found myself in the forest on the last day of my foodie tour along the coast of North Jutland, Denmark.

Trust me to start a story near the end hey? But I have good reason.

While I will do a post about the rest of the remarkable journey, for me it was not only a stand out moment from the trip but an experience I will remember forever – and as a result it deserves a mention of its own.

I ended up playing sous chef, partly thanks to my fellow colleagues having had a little to much to drink the night before, and what resulted was unlike any cookery programme I’ve ever seen.

As I recall HERE it felt like I was, in a way, fulfilling a role I’ve always felt fit for.

Viking jibes were among the more inventive I got at school for being a redhead. And ones I was quite happy with.

Granted I don’t go in for all of the past times attributed to the bearded seafarers, but I found myself feeling oddly at home gathered around a campfire with their modern day enthusiasts.

IMAG0552

Picking up some skills like fishing net stitching…

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And generally getting very, very hungry

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Laura Denmark Vikings pictures by BrknRib Photography

Picture by BrknRib Photography

Our host Jesper Lynge, aka Kjøgemester Oldfrue – who resembled a giggly Brian Blessed – had a real feast planned.

With salmon smoked over wood chippings, mussels cooked in cider and a mushroom porridge (above left) which was far tastier than the description would make you think.

My main job was chopping veg, but even that wasn’t ordinary, as I was handed a blade with a bone handle – after Jesper had showed us how sharp this ‘knife’ was by shaving part of his arm.

But somehow I managed to play a part in turning the table of ingredients, made from half a tree, into one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever devoured.

Most people I’ve mentioned any of this too have asked ‘what about drink?’ And the answer to that is we supped mead out of a communal horn between raising a toast to Thor. Obviously.

Pictures BrknRib Photography

Picture BrknRib Photography

My full feature, written for etc Magazine, can be seen HERE 

Four days in the south of France

I suppose I should have known I was going to like the south of France.

Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux.

Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux.

I certainly like saying the south of France – it sounds like it should be said beside a pool, sipping something with gin in it.

A more rational reason is that is was a favourite of some of history’s greatest artists.
Vincent Van Gogh is said to have declared ‘the whole future of art is to be found in the south of France’. And with a list which includes Claude Monet, Jean Renoir and Cézanne – you feel Vincent was on to something.

We flew from Gatwick to Marseille, hired a car and made our way to the beautiful small hotel La Maison du Paradou which had invited us to explore the famous area.
Driving along we soon realised the road signs read like a ‘Where’s Where’ with Barcelona, Lyon and Nice among the list.
And with the ‘Baby Alps’ framing rolling countryside I knew I didn’t want to leave before I had even unpacked.

 

Day one

Provence France, Laura Cartledge, Nimes, Maiselle, Les Baux

After our refuelling with tea and flapjacks we headed to the nearest highest point – Les Baux – to get our bearings.
This rocky outcrop, crowned with a ruined castle, offered breathtaking views over the plains to the south and out to sea.
As dusk drew in the light changed and we got a real sense of how special the area was.
We turned in early, following a delicious dinner at La Maison, to be ready to explore more in the morning.

Day two

One of my favourite things about our hosts, Andrea and Nick, was that they could turn a discussion over breakfast into a perfect, and printed, itinerary.
Our love of markets saw them suggest driving 20 minutes to Saint-Rémy.
The streets were brimming with a rainbow of produce and products while the lavender, which the area is famous for, filled the air.
We ducked into the quiet and cool Collégiale Saint-Martin Church and took too many photos of the buildings bearing painted signs, before heading to the breathtaking Saint-Paul

Saint-Paul Asylum

Saint-Paul Asylum

Asylum nearby – where Vincent Van Gogh stayed for a year. He was a self-admitted patient, from May 1889 until May 1890, and produced 143 oil paintings and more than 100 drawings here, including some of his most famous work – The Irises and Starry Night.

Back on the road we headed to Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct named after the Gardon River it crosses.
The on-site museum extensively documents both how it was built and how time has changed it, so, along with a spot of lunch, it made for a great stop on route to Nimes.
With the day running out we decided to head straight to the coliseum.
Built around 70AD, it is reported to be one of the world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheatres. It was remodelled in 1863 to serve as a bullring and now hosts other public events.
It is, like Pont du Gard, an astonishing feat of engineering and is a tangible link to the routes of the historic city.
Weaving our way through the narrow streets, where fashion brands and antique shops sit side by side, confirmed it offered a great merging of worlds and interests.

Day three

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence

Keen to see more of the city life, and tempted by an array of markets, Aix-en-Provence was our first destination.
Andrea’s description of it being ‘bustling and bohemian’, thanks in part to the universities here, was spot on.
At the same time the streets were dotted with cathedrals, museums and quaint squares – where you find the numerous markets which are themed into textiles, food, flowers and crafts.
The Pavillon Vendôme, a historic house surrounded by a French formal garden, proved a nice spot to while away some time.
On our way back to the hotel we took the opportunity to visit Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux.
The former quarry has been transformed into a spectacular projection show venue.
Regular films are shown, both of historic and modern art. My favourite was themed on the renaissance and saw the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci grow across the walls.

Provence France, Laura Cartledge, Nimes, Maiselle, Les Baux

For dinner we went to the neighbouring village, Maussane-les-Alpilles, rumoured to have 25 restaurants and only 200 inhabitants.
Our pick was Au Bistrot Marin which specialises in seafood. Half a crab has never been delivered so literally, or been so tasty, and after a feast we retired for the night

Day four

Keeping the momentum going we aimed to make the most of the time before our flight.
We started with the ‘toy town’ of Eygalières. Arguably our most stunning destination yet, with stone buildings spread over the hillside, a quaint church and cafe culture, it really highlights the Provence feel.

Maiselle

Maiselle

In sharp contrast our final port of call was the capital Marseille, second only in size to Paris.
Historically it was the most important trade centre in the region and the main trade port of the French Empire.
Now, thanks to its beaches, history, architecture and culture – including 24 museums and 42 theatres – Marseille is one of the most visited cities in the country.
Being European Capital of Culture in 2013 saw many changes and now modern attractions and architecture nestle among the old.
We just follow our noses and wind up at the waterside before devouring fish and chips, French style.
Then the airport calls an end to what has been a perfect mini break.

For more about my visit keep an eye on http://www.etcmag.net and for details of La Maison du Paradou visit www.maisonduparadou.com

2014 ~ The first third

Losing an hour is one thing.

The fact it is April tomorrow is quite another.

But leaving the “how the?” until later here’s a quick catchup.. also known as #lifelately I believe? Since the last time I was here.

February

At work, among other things, I was writing about the tasty toppers from Miss Cake that look a bit like this..

'Love, Love Me Do' Cake Topper £16.99

And the glorious illustrations, doodled shoes and paper worlds crafted by Sam Pierpoint.

JPET Feb14 Sam Pierpoint

Outside of work I went on a Turkish adventure with “the gang” – my parents, my sister and both of our boyfriends – and a lot of more mature people, in a bus, in the rain. Mostly taking pictures of cats on various monuments.. but I’ll blog about that later.

March

Choosing a stand out article this month took me all of NO seconds. I got to interview this bearded beauty well respected tailoring expert.

Debenhams Patrick Grant JPET Feb14

 

Meanwhile, on planet earth, my manfriend moved home! Cutting a long story short – we used to work in the same office but he’s has spent the last two years in Kent as a sports editor, which was a bit weird. And rubbish. And we spent too much time on motorways and too little time together. So WOO!

April

Is still a month of mysteries. But etc-magazine-wise it looks rather swish. And looks a bit like this..

Sarah Moore JPET Apr14

The Exbury Egg

photos 015

 

 

 

New things, old things and inbetween things.

Today is my last day of being 25. I’m not too sure how I feel about it.

I’m not too sure how I feel about much – not in a sad way, quite the opposite, in a whirlwind exciting way.

A modest picture of an extraordinary Dubai New Year

A modest picture of an extraordinary Dubai New Year

I’ve only been back in the country since Sunday – having spent two weeks in Dubai with the manfriend’s family. If it wasn’t for the calendar and paper hats you could have been forgiving for forgetting it was Christmas.

Factor 50 isn’t festive. But swimming in an outdoor pool on December 25 and not having any body parts freeze off is pretty awesome.

So yes. I’m back with a bump (or is that a splash?) to Britain, to rain, to unpacking clothes and packing up Christmas. And with a blink of an eye – which opens four hours earlier than it should due to my body clock wanting to stay abroad – it’s here.

I’ll be over the hump of mid 25’s, not over the hill because that’s too negative.

I see it more like entering the shady side, the side Simba and Mufasa would view with curious suspicion from the top of the nearest vantage point. It feels a bit rebellious entering and hopefully it won’t be hyenas laughing when I do.

This is a bit of a tidy up post I suppose. Boxing up 2013, putting a label on it and putting it in the loft for later. Making space for the new things if you will.

With this in mind I have (finally) updated Magazine 2013 over on the left there. It was needed.

So for August (I know, I know) and beyond we have…

 

Cantina's Secret Supper Club, Brighton.

Cantina’s Secret Supper Club, Brighton.

Interview with stage legend Ellen Kent

Interview with stage legend Ellen Kent

Factory Twenty One designer Chris Berry

Factory Twenty One designer Chris Berry

Tukal, a property to thrill

Tukal, a property to thrill

Bigger is best with Brighton's Mr Bake

Bigger is best with Brighton’s Mr Bake

Oh and then there is the new theme, quite swanky I believe.. but who knows what my 26 year-old-self will think.. I suppose I’ll find out in the morning.

Here’s to 2014!