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a stroll in regents park




Gosh, the weather. It just had to be documented. It’s the middle of April but it seems like high summer, so here are photos from a little stroll in Regents Park.

Being cherry blossom season, I wanted to find some pink and white ones. I knew that there is  the Avenue of cherry trees on either side of Chester Road. This year you won’t find any there as the trees are being replaced with new ones for next year.

You can sponsor a cherry blossom tree. Here’s the updated Regents Park Cherry Tree Fund.

Happy that I found some…

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

a stroll in regents park - colourliving

Soon the season will be over and we’ll have to wait for another year. Have a good weekend. See you back here on Monday x

4 Comments

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms




Today I’m excited to feature the newly added bedrooms at the Hospital club. My regular readers will know that I’ve been a proud member of this private membership club for almost 10 years. I’ve blogged about the club, its history and our lovely CEO before. You can also read about the Oak room addition back in 2013.

In January this year the club changed yet again and added 15 luxurious bedrooms to its already exciting offerings. Designed by Russell Sage Studio I knew I would instantly love it, having seen their previous work in the club and some of their other projects.

Cosy, luscious, sophisticated, kitted out with leathers, velvets, warm woods and stained glass the rooms range from Small to Medium and Large to Suites. There’s been a lot of press coverage so you can find many images. I wanted to concentrate on some of the details and find out more about the thinking behind it so asked Michael Berg, Creative Director of the club, some questions.

How do you start a project like this. Where does the inspiration come from? The decision to put bedrooms in the club was a result of feedback from members. Three out of every four new members asked about accommodation. Also when we talked to existing members about developments they would like to see in the club, bedrooms were always mentioned. We were also lucky that due to the length of time to get the planning permission, it enabled us to talk, research, define and debate what we personally liked about hotels and what we didn’t like. We were able to fully define the service and the design route for the rooms.

So, now you had some ideas on paper. What came next? We were able to present to Russell Sage a very detailed view of what the bedrooms should be like , ideas, the features and also how we intended to service them. This enabled  him and his team to go away and create a full presentation for us.

Russell Sage Studio has worked on many areas within the club. What makes you choose his studio over and over again? I originally introduced Russell to the previous CEO when we were refurbishing the 2nd Floor. Russell had always been a fan of the club and was always saying to me how much he wanted to work on the club. He consistently delivers, he understands our DNA and, most importantly, gets the right balance between design and comfort. I also think that over a period of time you get to know and understand each other, and as a testament to this, we only changed a handful of ideas from the original pitch.

You had a special carpet designed by Russell Sage Studio. Can you expand? We knew early on that it was important to give the rooms an identity, and in our building that can at times prove challenging as there are very few distinct or stand out original features. The idea with the carpet is that when you see it in a photo alongside the headboards you will immediately say “Hospital Club”. It’s a bold design that carries through from the corridors to the rooms.

How detailed was the brief to the interior designers. How do you make sure you stay within budget? It was a very detailed brief, in terms of what we wanted and did not want, what we hoped to achieve et cetera. We employed a separate company to project manage all aspects of the build, including interiors and I am delighted to say it did come in under budget.

You involved artists from the club in your decor of the rooms. Good collaborations? When we decided to put art in the rooms we wanted a program that had resonance and a connection to the club. It made total sense to ask artists who had previously been exhibited in the club, it reinforces the provenance and commitment to contemporary art that we have created. All the artists were amazing, offering their work unconditionally. It has been a wonderful and delightful collaboration.

The detail of attention is impeccable. Tell us about your special cocktail mixes and the little book of creativity. The cocktail mixes were the inspiration of our head barman and the bottles came from a goodie bag I received. The Little Book of Creativity was our answer to the Gideon’s Bible normally found in hotels.

We live in an information age and want to feel at home, wherever we are. Is the Hospital Club with bedrooms now a true ‘home from home’ space? I certainly hope so, I think it completes the offering, we are now truly 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a week.

Is there a particular part of this process you enjoyed the most? I think the most enjoyable part was the sourcing and selection of items in the rooms, from blankets to kettles, clocks, hot water bottles, toiletries but also getting the art together!

Thank you Michael!

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Stepping out of the lift on the third floor where the bedrooms are located.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Fabulous carpet design by Russell Sage Studio found throughout the third floor.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Part of the corridor on the third floor. On the other side, Solomon & Wu have added witty, medically-themed resin murals lining the bedroom corridors.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Exquisite overarching headboards in warm wood. Another signature feature of all the bedrooms. This here is part of a Suite.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
All rooms have Roberts radios.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Beautiful hand-stitched detail on blankets.

Artefacts, books, ornaments, 70’s retro cabinets and quirky display units make the Suites feel more like a private residence than a hotel room.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving

Another great touch. In each room, the respective artist chose their three favourite books for guests to enjoy.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving

Always with the fingers on the pulse, there are also some Terrariums found in the Suites.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Beautiful Terrarium by Alyson Mowat of Botanique.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Some hanging Terrariums by Alyson and a writing desk.

 

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
You can purchase this Little Book of Creativity, as well as other items featured in the rooms in the Hopsital club shop. All proceeds from the Little Book of Creativity will go to the h.Club Foundation

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Sunny mirror.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Magnificient Rockstar Whisky Bar in one of the Suites by Buster + Punch.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Incredible workmanship and detail of the Rockstar Bar.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving
Customised cocktail mixes.

All rooms are kitted out with Roberts radios, old style telephones, iPod docks, TV screens and lots of charm and details. In the Suites you’ll find extras like a terrace,  an Espresso machine and an erotic mini bar by Holloway Smith Noir. All bedrooms have the midas touch and even the couple of windlowless rooms make you feel cocooned.

One of the most genius features are the stained glass designs. All different, they add a glorious touch and luminous light.

the hospital club adds 15 bedrooms - colourliving

Truth be told, photographs don’t do the bedrooms justice. Like with any multi-layered, textured, tactile and sensual space, you have to actually be in one and experience it for yourself. The best part is that by staying in one of the rooms you automatically get the Hospital club experience as if you were a member. Great service, food, cinema screenings, excellent value for money. I could go on and on and on, but then I’m bias. Rumour has it that there’s a mobile barman who arrives outside your room at 7pm with a trolley fully stocked with lethal cocktails.

A great team work and as I said at the beginning of my post I’m a proud member of this private membership club for almost 10 years and not about to go anywhere else. For those of you who would like to stay in one of the bedrooms, give me a nudge and I’ll see if I can pass on my membership discount to you.

I’m taking a little hiatus. See you back here on Thursday 16th April.

4 Comments

alexander mcqueen at the v&a




Last week I went to the Alexander McQueen fashion exhibition at the V & A. One of the most anticipated exhibitions in recent years it did not disappoint. I will go as far as to say that it was probably amongst the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen.

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Duck feather dress | The Horn of Plenty, A/W 2009-10 | Alexander McQueen | Model: Magdalena Frackowiak represented by dna model management New York, Image: firstVIEW

Why is that, you may ask? Well, I see quite a few exhibitions every year and am fortunate to live in London where you get to see the cream of the crop. But what makes a great exhibition? It can be one or all of the following:

1. You love the artist, designer, theme, subject matter
2. The curation is exceptional
3. Both work hand in hand

In this case it’s definitely number 3. As I walked through the exhibition I kept thinking that Alexander McQueen would have absolutely loved it. The only major retrospective in Europe of this talented and visionary fashion designer, it celebrates McQueen’s career in the most spectacular way. A few years in the making, no costs have been spared. The attention to detail is exquisite and the production team deserves a medal. Lights, videos, rotating mannequins, holograms and the music will blow your mind and you’ll leave elated and inspired.

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Portrait of Alexander McQueen | 1997 | Photographed by Marc Hom | © Marc Hom / Trunk Archive

It felt like a wonderful theatrical piece of storytelling, starting with McQueen’s Central Saint Martin’s postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final designs for A/W 2010, completed after his death. The rooms became grander and more spectacular as you go along.

I loved this Romantic Gothic room, where all walls were lined with framed mirrors.

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Installation view of ‘Romantic Gothic’ gallery |  2015 | Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A | Victoria and Albert Museum, London

My absolute favourite part was the Cabinet of Curiosities, a double-height room with a plethora of box frames showcasing individual showpieces. I could have stayed there for hours, absorbing myself into McQueen’s world. Totally inspired, I was however also aware of the thin line between genius and madness.

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Installation view of ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ gallery | 2015 | Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A | Victoria and Albert Museum, London

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers | La Dame Bleue,S/S 2008 | Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen | Model: Alana Zimmer, © Anthea Simms

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
Installation view of ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ gallery | 2015 | Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A | Victoria and Albert Museum, London

alexander mcqueen at the v&a - colourliving
My sketchbook spread drawn while in the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ gallery (outline only) and coloured in afterwards.

Savage Beauty is definitely worth travelling for. If you live in London or in the UK then get yourself a ticket pronto. If you live in Europe, like fashion, museums and London, then make sure not to miss this extravaganza. Check for times and tickets. It’s very popular but look at maybe visiting early in the morning.

I cannot wait to go again.

“The collection at the V&A never fail to intrigue and inspire me. The nation is privileged to have access to such a resource….. it’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight.”
Alexander McQueen

Alexander Mc Queen: Savage Beauty
Victoria and Albert Museum
14 March – 2 August 2015
www.vam.ac.uk/savagebeauty

11 Comments

the wildflower café




A couple of weeks ago while home finding, I stopped at the delightful The Wildflower Café in West London. This café/florist by day and bistro by night is beyond charming. Passionate about design, good food & drink and flowers & plants, it hit every spot for me.

Already seduced by the offerings of plants and flowers outside, you are further tempted with a sumptious display of cakes and brownies in the window. It’s really impossible not to want to enter, take a look and be engulfed in the womb of this rather special place.

While there I met Leila, founder of The Wildflower Café. As in true Colourliving style my curiosity got the better of me so I asked Leila some questions.

As a child, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?
Glamorous international jewel thief or farmer.

 

the wildflower café - colourliving
The window display of cakes and flowers and plants.

the wildflower café - colourliving
Close-up of the cake offerings inside.

Did you fulfil that dream? How did your career pan out?
Not yet on either, though I still have high hopes for farming and eventually having a branch of the Wildflower attached to a farm.

This café is a new venture for you. How did it come about?
It was many years in the making and the driving force behind it was my family’s encouragement. The biggest challenge was finding a suitable space which in itself took a year and from then we moved very quickly.

the wildflower café - colourliving
The inside space is simple, stylish, yet eclectic and unique.

the wildflower café - colourliving
There are lovely touches and the bowler hat pendant lights work really well in that space.

the wildflower café - colourliving
I’m loving the simplicity and colour combination here and that mirror works a treat.

Is there a philosophy behind the Wild Flower Café?
Not really, I just tend to really trust my instincts and that has stood me in good stead so far. I see the venture as an extension of myself.

There are some wonderful design pieces and great styling in your space. Care to elaborate?
It was a collaboration with my sister. We call it “playful skandinavian” and it’s very much looks like an extension of my home.

The flowers, herbs and plants you have for sale are extraordinary. Was it a conscious decision to combine a café with a florist?
Yes, that was always the plan, the initial concept.

The food is very yummy and the cakes look scrumptious. Are you a foodie yourself?
I’m a trained chef and former food critic so I’m about as foodie as one can be.

Your strap line is: Café by Day and Bistro by night. Do you use the space for other purposes?
We do events, parties, flower arranging classes, wine tastings & book groups in the space from time to time but for the most part we stick with the strap line.

Thank you Leila.

Although very much a foodie, regular readers will know that I’m passionate about good nutrition. Eating out is not always easy for me and favouring a paleo meal can make this even harder. Not here. I absolutely LOVED the seasonal superfood salad. Freshly made on the premises it offered a most interesting cornucopia of flavours.

the wildflower café - colourliving
Seasonal superfood salad. Quinoa, seasonal vegetables (asparagus) topped with grilled chicken.

I really appreciated the mix of design products with some more eclectic and vintage pieces thrown in. This shelfie was particularly charming.

the wildflower café - colourliving
Love the little girl vase with that posie.

the wildflower café - colourliving
There are some interesting vases and pitchers.

the wildflower café - colourliving
I fell in love with this turquoise vase and parrot tulips. An adorable combination in colour and texture.

the wildflower café - colourliving
You’ll find many plants and some succulents.

the wildflower café - colourliving
Most plants are sold in lovely containers which make it easy to buy as presents.

All in all, I can see why The Wildflower Café was the winner of Time Out’s Love London award for best café in Notting Hill in 2014. Obsessed with coffee, cake and fresh food I was sold at ‘hello’ and look forward to my return.

8 Comments

shoreditch – a visual diary




I’m always amazed how quickly everything changes in Shoreditch. While out and about there last week I kept seeing things I wanted to snap a picture of. So, I thought, why not do a visual diary of an afternoon out in Shoreditch?

The wonderful Ace Hotel. Cool, chilled with a great co-working space. But look at their green Urban Jungle? How cool is that for an entrance.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving
Ace Hotel main entrance.

Some great interiors touches. Beautiful lamp next to a hanging planter. Fab!

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

Yep, gorgeous Dachshund on the wall.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

I’m a little in love with this green cabinet.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

Hattie’s gorgeous flowershop that leads onto Ace Hotel’s Brasserie.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

These daffodils definitely smell like spring, right?

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

The fabulous Mast Brothers are now on Redchurch Street. Got to love the packaging.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

Stumbled upon Recletic in their pop-up shop on Redchurch Street, now sadly closed. They transform furniture with a pixelated twist on tradition, by fusing art, pattern, history and technology.  Spray painted by hand, their pieces are unique and really well priced. Love!

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving
Fab night side table drawer by Reclectic.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving
Totally cool pattern on a beautiful side table – Reclectic.

You see some of the most inspiring wall art and graffiti in this part of town.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

And for a bit eclectic fun, I loved this treatment of wired off spaces. Very inspiring indeed.

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

shoreditch - a visual diary - colourliving

See you Monday. Bon weekend x

4 Comments

slow food market at rosewood london




I’m so excited. There’s a new farmers market in town and it’s a step up from the rest.

Why? Because it’s not a usual farmers market, it’s the first regular Slow Food Market in London. Housed in the beautiful courtyard of the stupendous Rosewood London Hotel, it’s visually stunning as well as a culinary delight!

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
I nearly pinched this!

What is Slow Food?

So why am I so excited about this? Well, as a regular farmers market shopper, I’ve probably been to most of the ones in London. That means I know most of the producers and vendors. This market had many vendors I didn’t know and I was delighted to come across The Bio Scheme, amongst others, who sell bio-dynamic produce.

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
The Bio Scheme

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
The Bio Scheme

What fascinated me the most was the fantastic unified decor, which recreates the traditional marketplace shopping experience and celebrates good, clean and fair produce from local growers and artisans. The stalls are all made out of beautiful wood and decked with what looked like a fine hessian.

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
O’Shea’s Butchers

Producers and vendors are keen to impart their knowledge and the market was buzzing while I was there.

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
The Tomato Stall

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
Hook & Son

I couldn’t get over the wonderful decoration throughout. McQueens flowers have planted herbs into wicker baskets and plants in vintage crates. Throughout you will also find lemon and orange trees. I really wished they were all for sale.

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
McQueens florist

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
McQueens florist

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
McQueens florist

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
McQueens florist

I came away with lots of yummy food and treated myself to a rather gorgeous terrarium. It’s simple, elegant and the Amethyst crystal is rather divine, don’t you think?

Slow Food Market at Rosewood London
My new Terrarium! LOVE.

Vendor listings:

Slow Meat / Charcuterie – Gastronomica, O’Shea’s Butchers; Slow Fish – Hansen & Lydersen, Market Gourmet; Slow Dairy - Wildes Cheese, Hook & Son, Bath Soft Cheese Company; Slow Bread - Oliver’s Bakery, Nyborg’s; Slow Honey - Wild Hives, Inmidtown; Slow Fruit & Vegetables - Wild Country Organics, Chegworth Valley, The Bio-Scheme, The Tomato Stall, Rosewood London; Slow Beer / Wine / Spirits – Hiver The Honey Beer, Anspach & Hobday, Plato Brewing Supplies, Gosnells London Mead; HALF HITCH Gin; Petersham CellarSlow Drink - Woodford & Warner; Slow Tea – Lalani & Co; Slow Coffee - Dark Arts Coffee, Moonroast Coffee, CRU Kafe; Slow Chocolate – Dark Sugars, Seaforth Chocolate Co; Slow Fashion & Accessories – The Whale Company; Po-Zu Footwear; Slow HomewareK.Birdy, Slow ArtKana Ceramics; Slow Beauty / Candles - Live Native, Being Sophie, Farmers’ Welsh Lavender, Honest; Slow Books - Being Sophie; Slow Flowers - Field of London, Slow Oil Arganic

The weekly market, open every Sunday from 10.30 a.m. – 3 p.m. is endorsed by Slow Food UK and is the only dedicated Slow Food Market in London. The market features over 30 different Slow Food merchants carefully selected for their exceptional quality.

8 Comments

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood




Last week I went for some physiotherapy to University College London Hospital (UCLH). Happy to report that my frozen shoulder is healing very nicely and I’m looking forward to resume playing tennis in the not so distant future.

While there, I came across this lovely exhibition by illustrator Esther Cooper-Wood. A recent graduate from Cambridge School of Art freelance illustrator, Esther was exhibiting her food illustrations at The Street Gallery within the hospital. I apologise in advance. There was a lot of glare as all the illustrations faced clear windows with heavy traffic on Euston Road.

The UCLH arts and heritage is committed to providing a welcoming, uplifting environment for all patients, visitors and staff through the use of a varied and stimulating arts and heritage program. It’s work aims to improve the patient experience, boost staff morale, increase engagement with the arts and celebrate the Trust’s unique heritage and community.
How nice to have such beautiful and colourful illustrations in a hospital were a lot of people face a rather ‘grey’ time. It really cheered me up and I was only there for some physiotherapy.

My favourite part of the exhibition consisted of four large food illustrations depicting fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood according to the seasons.

Below here you see a smaller version of the full winter illustration.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Winter by Esther Cooper-Wood | Pro marker, pencil and colouring pencils on paper £250

I believe that Spring, Summer and Autumn are also for sale at £250 each.
I wanted to show these charming illustrations in more details so divided each season in three sections: fruit – vegetables – meat and seafood.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits | vegetables in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Spring

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the seafood in season for Summer

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Autumn

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the fruits in season for Winter

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the vegetables in season for Winter

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving
Detail showing the meat and seafood in season for Winter

Another beautiful part of the exhibition was some of the illustrations from a book called 52 recipes  written by David Wilshin.

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving

food illustrations by esther cooper-wood - colourliving

Aren’t you charmed by these illustrations? I sure am!

The exhibition runs until 25th February.

Esther Cooper-Wood
The Street Gallery,
University College London Hospital,
235 Euston Road,
London,
NW1 2BU.

 

10 Comments

paradise by way of kensal green




On Saturday I popped into Fare Healthy, a health, food and fitness event held at Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. It was a collective approach to training body, mind and soul with talks and demonstrations from the leading ladies of the health food world – The Hemsley + Hemsley sisters, Ella Woodward and Natasha Corrett.

I’ve heard the ladies speak before and own the Hemsley sisters book, which is a must. This week see’s the release of the much anticipated Deliciously Ella book which I’m looking forward to receiving.

What is even more fascinating is the space that is Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. I first visited this space when I attended one of Ella Woodward’s supper clubs. That evening we stayed in the downstairs restaurant space. Yesterday saw every nook being used with activities, stands and demonstrations going on throughout the whole space. A bar, gastro pub restaurant, dance space, hip hangout, the eclectic décor in this shabby chic establishment is really worth the hype.

You’ll find a plethora of larger and more intimate spaces, all rather dark and moody and here is a selection of some examples of decor.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A big bouquet of silk flowers really stood out.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
LOVED this wall treatment.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
There’s an array of cages willed with taxidermy species.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A nice little touch to an otherwise empty room.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
Love this door with stained glass panels.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
The detail to moody lighting is second to none here. Rather in love with this globe.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
Big, bold chandeliers adorn the staircase areas.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
A bit of glitter always works its magic.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving
I took particular liking to these indian figurines hanging from the ceiling.

 paradise by way of kensal green - colourliving

There were many more interesting décor ideas around but the lack of light and massive amount of people swirling around the event made it quite impossible to take more photographs.

If you’re thinking of holding an event or a party, this is definitely the place.

5 Comments

35 happy years in the uk




Today feels like a milestone. Today, 35 years ago on the 15th January 1980, I arrived alone, with a suitcase, to live in the UK. Today, I want to honour the country that has become my physical as well as spiritual home.

35 happy years in the uk
The Diamond Jubilee

Let me tell you a story:

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Born to Jewish parents, she was raised in Germany. She wasn’t loved at home, in fact she was treated more like Cinderella. Desperately shy and unhappy she dreamt of escaping this world.

One Sunday afternoon she was talking to a friend who studied at a Boarding School in the UK. Plucking up courage she asked her parents to send her there. Miraculously, they said yes!

When she arrived, scared and with a minimal knowledge of the English language, it was the first time people were kind to her. They told her she’s beautiful, intelligent, talented. It meant the world to her, but of course she didn’t believe it!

35 happy years in the uk
The wonderful times of the London Olympics.

Years later, in a very high powered job, with a dashing boyfriend, she was jet-setting around the world. One day, the platinum roof she had built came tumbling down in the form of a very dramatic nervous breakdown. She was 26 years old.

Life and her world had changed yet again. No job, no boyfriend but now with panic attacks she found herself in Therapy and so her recovery started. You see, you cannot built a platinum roof on no foundations. It’s the foundations that keeps the house up!

All throughout these times there was always one comforting and re-assuring factor. It was living in London, in a multi-cultural society with people from all walks of life. It was in London that she turned into a swan. It was in London that she ‘created’ herself. It was in London that she felt ‘at home’ in all aspects of her life.

35 happy years in the uk
City skyline drawn by me.

The little girl is now a grown woman. She lives happily ever after in her dream city of London amongst her people and tribe.

I salute you United Kingdom. I salute you London. Thank you for making me feel so at home. You are fantastic and here’s to the next 35 years!

Oh, and Cinderella might not have been whisked away by her prince, but to her she lives a majestic life! (You don’t still believe in fairy tales, do you?)

36 Comments

bone broth – my elixir to cure all ailments




I’m a great believer in prevention rather than reaction to many situations in life. One of them is when it comes to health!

Like with everything else, if we look after ourselves and are mindful of what we eat, we can prevent from getting ill and feeling very stressed. I’m going through a very stressful period myself so am very much needing to heed my own advise. It’s hard to remember to take all my remedies and making sure I’m calm and relaxed.

One factor people underestimate greatly in the pursuit of health is the power of food and what we eat. By now, my regular readers will know that I have a preference for organic and biodynamic food. I also shop exclusively in farmers markets and health food shops, which means I do tend to eat local and seasonal food.

Winter is always a time when there’s less choice for me as farmers take a break from growing their crops. I find this also an exciting time as it gives me more opportunity to experiment with dishes that maybe in the summer I wouldn’t eat as much.

One staple for me is bone broth. I make it every 10 days, all year round (that’s how long it lasts in my fridge). I’m convinced that this is one of the reasons I’m hardly ever ill and fight off many viruses lurcking around. It’s a must for me and I use it as an elixir to cure all ailments, whether physical or emotional. It’s one of the oldest known homemade foods to nurture the sick and I call it the Jewish penicillin.

I use a 10 Litres  stainless steel cooking pot.

Some of the produce you can find at a farmers market right now.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Apis Apples at the farmers market

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
I love these purple carrots.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
For my bone broth I use the normal carrots as I don’t like when the water discolours with the purple variety.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Leeks is a must for bone broth.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Celeriac is so underrated and so yummy.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Beautiful squash.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Squash delicate. Roast in the oven for the sweetest taste.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Red kurl Sqaush

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
Savoy cabbage.

bone broth - my elixir to cure all ailments - colourliving
January King.

I’m lucky to get the best bones from the farmers markets. I vary between beef bones, chicken carcasses, veal or venison bones. Sometimes I make a fish stock. It really all depends on what I can lay my hands on.

I keep it very basic. Here is how:

Place bones in the pot.
Cover with cold water. I use filtered water. Leave a bit of room at the top for the vegetables.
Bring to boil and cover with lid.
Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
Put in onions, leeks, carrots, swedes, turnips (if in season), celery (with their leaves), parsley, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, bring to the boil
and simmer for a minimum of 3 hours. I like to simmer for up to 12 hours as the longer the bones simmer the more nutrients are released.

I then let it cool down before putting the pot in the fridge (I have a very big fridge). A layer of fat will form on the surface and keep it sealed from the air. I use it as a base for dishes or to make soup for the next 1o days.

Why not try it. You will thank me. Keep healthy my friends. Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

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