Thursday, 26 May 2016


Last week I was delighted to be invited to the press night at Giffords Circus and went along with giddy excitement. I've been a fan of Giffords for years since I first discovered this vintage 1930's styled village green circus in 2001, enchanted by its (little) big top surrounded by showmans' wagons painted in a glorious burgundy livery. 

As I got closer to the venue at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire I started to see the handpainted signs by the side of the road 'circus this way' and I followed them until I found the circus nestled under the most beautiful old horse chestnut trees, who had decided to bloom in celebration with big white blousey blooms. 

We were ushered to some seats in the front row, but knew this came with the risk of being pulled from the crowd by Tweedy the very naughty clown and lo and behold I was! I had to pose so that he could take a picture and for a nerve wracking minute I stood frozen in the middle of the ring with the bright circus lights shining on me, obscuring the rows of faces in the audience who roared with laughter as Tweedy worked his magic ~ he is always the star of the show for me. Or maybe, just maybe, that was my audition to run away with the circus, damn I may have ruined my big chance to be discovered! 

This years show The Painted Wagon is a wild west extravaganza the styling and costumes were exceptional, even the 'Dodge City' band were all cowboys! Tweedy eased us into the show with his mad-cap capers that lended themselves perfectly to the theme. I was also delighted that Giffords Circus stalwarts Madame Nancy Trotter-Landry, the Ethiopian acrobats and jugglers Bibi and Bichu, all made a welcome return.

I'm not going to detail too much about the show as I don't want to ruin it for you, suffice to say that by the end my cheeks ached from laughing so much and the ariel and acrobat acts had me gasping in wonder as they were so good. You must go and see it for yourself, it really is such a highlight of the summer season in the Cotswolds.

After the show we were invited to dine in the restaurant Circus Sauce, the much-loved 60 cover travelling restaurant, where delicious three course meals are served to guests after the last show of the day.  We enjoyed a confit of Tamworth pork and colcannon starter with truffle cream, followed by a spring green soup, then lamb hotpot with pickled red cabbage and spring greens and the most delicious custard tart to finish, all locally sourced. After pudding is served the talented chefs join in the circus fun by performing a hilarious puppet show that had us roaring with laughter. It really is the most magical and perfect way to end a trip to Giffords, under the fairy lights with tables full of mismatched china and jugs of cow parsley on every table.

Giffords Circus is touring the Cotswolds and making a trip to London too, tickets are selling fast and the restaurant is even selling out already, so don't leave it too late to book, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


I've just spent the weekend with 40 women in the wilds of west Wales at this year's Sisterhood gathering. The brainchild of Lou Archell the weekend was wonderful, a time to meet and connect with friends, learn new skills in the workshops and just 'noodle' about taking photos as my dear friend Laura says! The venue for this years gathering was the rather gorgeous Fforest Manorfan camp near Cardigan. The pictures above are just a few of my favourite moments from the weekend and if you want to see more, do look up #sisterhoodcamp2016 on Instagram.


This weekend the lovely Sian Tucker (@coldatnight on Instagram), founder of Fforest in Wales and I put together a nature table from the hedgerows of Manorafon. I was in the wilds of west Wales for Sisterhood Camp 2016 and Fforest was the amazing venue. It was great to spend time with friends and like minded ladies and take part in fab collaborations and workshops. I'll share more from the weekend soon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


It's no good I am hopelessly addicted to Pinterest, I find it so inspiring and curating beautiful boards cheers me up on a dull day. Do you pin? Let me know as I need to follow more people.

Thursday, 5 May 2016


This is probably one of my favourite things to make as it's just so easy! You basically follow a white bread recipe, my favourite is the white loaf recipe from The Fabulous Baker Brothers book. After following the recipe and leaving it to rise, I then push it out into a rustic shape pressing dimples into the dough with my fingers. Then I blend together a handful of wild garlic leaves with some rape seed oil and drizzle all over, finishing with a sprinkle of sea salt, before baking on the highest heat until the edges start turning brown. It is so delicious and so easy. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


As we meander along life's path I often wonder to myself whether I am on the path that was meant for me? I'm not one for life plans or career goals instead making decisions based on beliefs and values. Around me I read stories of people having big adventures, travelling around the world as a family for example, and I wonder if I am capable of stepping outside my comfort zone.

I wonder if the safety and security that I have built around me has been a barrier to making big life changing decisions, and the little devil on my shoulder saying "what if you're not good enough?',  "what if you fail?" and "what do you know?"

A new path has been offered to us as a family, a path I would never have chosen or believe could be possible. A path totally different to anything we've ever experienced before but that is full of things we love and adore and makes our hearts sing and we're about to run down it in naive and giddy excitement.

As my dear friend Sas Petherick says as she patiently reads yet another text from me detailing the 1001 reasons why we shouldn't take this path, "This could be brilliant - exactly how you imagined it. What if that happens?"

Monday, 25 April 2016


Two of my boys had birthdays this weekend, one on Saturday the other on Sunday. I'm not one for big parties with entertainers, preferring a much more traditional affair with homemade cakes and the like. So this weekend we had a small (& organised at the last minute) party for four year olds, featuring pass the parcel, painting some cardboard shields as it was St.Georges Day then slaying a dragon piƱata. The following day a woodland walk, making casts of the mammal footprints and a bit of whittling. 

I made both of the boys birthday cakes with thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration, both with a woodland theme. The first was a classic Victoria sponge with jam in the middle and covered in a buttercream icing, dragging the icing around the edges to give it the raw edge that seems so fashionable in cake decorating right now. The second a chocolate sponge using a recipe from Monty & Sarah Don's Home cookbook, the was an absolute delight to make, with a chocolate buttercream filling and chocolate covering. Both had really simple decoration, Stanley's had some of our Schleich animals on the top, with a tiny bunting made from twigs and a ribbon cut into tiny flags and Ted's had some twigs pushed into the cake with cut out word's and animals ~ simple and effective. 

Am exhausted after all this revelry and cake making, I'm sure the Great British Bake Off is easier!

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