zondag 12 juli 2015

Dreamy spring days










Only two more days to go before my summer holiday starts. I am looking forward to spend some time with my daughters.

My two youngest daughters and I will be off to the UK soon. We rented a cottage near Bakewell in the Peak District and another near Thirsk on the North York moors.  If you have any suggestions of special places to visit, fun events, good antique centres or hip cafés, please let me know. They are very much welcome. 

Today's photo's were taken during a short trip to Cambridgeshire in May, which I made in the company of two sweet friends. The countryside looked dreamy, with large clouds of cow parsley swaying in the wind. The photo's show what I think is important in a holiday: to spend it in the company of people that you love, to enjoy the beauty of nature, to roam the countryside, to discover new places, read a book or two or to just lay on the grass and let your mind wander and imagination fly.

Wishing you all these things and more. Have a good time. See you in a couple of weeks!

Love,

Madelief x


* Callwey publishers kindly permitted me to give away one of their books 'Decorate with Flowers' by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring. The book is in German and absolutely beautiful. I will tell you more as soon as I get back. So stay tuned!







The photo's above the text were taken in Cambridge, the photo's below the text at Wicken Fen nature reserve and at Anglesey Abbey and Gardens.

zondag 5 juli 2015

A garden snob

































A good friend of mine sent me an article from 'De Volkskrant'  last Friday, about The British garden snob. I found it quite amusing. The article is about William Hanson's view on British gardens. The name was unfamiliar to me, but apparently he is the UK's leading expert on etiquette.

According to the article a British garden snob is someone who's garden looks non formal, as natural as possible, with rolling lawns cascading into flowerbeds or lakes. Think: organised chaos. Some flowers are not acceptable, like chrysanthemums, asters, gladioli and begonias. Garden gnomes and ponds are not allowed, but a lake is fine.

An interesting thing about articles like this is that you are inclined to compare your own garden to the characteristics mentioned. Although I am not English but Dutch and have an allotment garden, which is probably considered as terribly bourgeois, I think I may be a bit of a garden snob myself. If only for the natural chaos in my garden, the fact that my garden has it's own stream (yes it has!!!), I have a summerhouse (it's a shed, but only you know that), a lawn which is perfect for playing croquet (perhaps a tiny bit too small) and a huge selection of classy teacups for my stylish tea parties in the
garden ;-).

What I would like to know is: do you consider yourself to be a garden snob? For those of you who can't read Dutch, I found a similar article in English.

By the way, if you would like to know how to hold your teacup, or stir correctly, please have a look at this video. It may come in handy.....:-)

Have a fun week!

Love,

Madelief x 



* Dear Ina, Thank you once again for the lovely vintage wicker basket. xox









maandag 29 juni 2015

A lazy summer afternoon

































We had some warm sunny days recently and more is to come. I love days like this. It's such a delight to wear flip flops once more, get rid of trousers and thick cardigans and spend as much time as possible in the garden. To me the best way to do this is with family and friends. 

Yesterday sweet friends from one of my cooking clubs joined me for a lazy summer afternoon

We all made one or two dishes. It's always a surprise what will be on our table. We had a quinoa salad with mackerel, apple and beetroot, a salad with pearl barley, chicken, harricot vers and peppers (see photo below), a bulgur salad with strawberries and pistachio nuts (see photo above) and a Swiss apricot pie for desert (see photo below). They were all absolutely delicious!

Unfortunately I don't have the time to write down all the recipes, but I am confident you can find them on the internet. I added the recipe for the bulgur salad with strawberries and pistachio nuts below.

I wanted to thank you too for your replies on my questions in last weeks blog post. I find it interesting to know what your opinion is on the subject of anonymous blogging and the influence of your readers on your style of writing. If you haven't read the comments yet. Please have a look. 

Wishing you a Happy week!

Love,

Madelief x  







Bulgur salad with strawberries, mint and pistachio nuts

200 gr bulgur
one or two chopped spring onions
40 gr chopped pistachio nuts
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of coarse sea salt
freshly ground pepper
about 200 grams of strawberries (in halves or quarters)

Prepare the bulgur as stated on the packaging. Leave to cool.

Mix the bulgur with the herbs, the pistachio nuts, olive oil en lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to your taste. 

Add the strawberries to the salad just before you put it on the table. 

Bon appetit!



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