Tag Archives: autumn

Getaway DC

This year has been full on. Summer slipped by in the blink of an eye. And since Lucas started nursery downtown, we’ve hardly had a moment free. We needed to press pause.

So we booked ourselves a little cabin down in the Shenandoah Valley, and took off for a much-needed getaway.

Sans child. Sans wi-fi. And after a few glasses of wine, sans a care in the world.


Trees Forest Trail




getaway view

Our cabin for the evening was tucked into the most gorgeous woodland setting, where you couldn’t hear a car horn or siren for miles. The only sounds were just the lone crow, squirrels scampering across the crunchy leaves, and the swoosh of an occasional breeze across the treetops.

We settled into our cabin and lit our campfire.

getaway cabin IGGGGGG

getaway cabin ig bed

getaway cabin side

getaway cabin hat rack

getaway cabin phone

getaway cabin

getaway fire eddie

One thing we didn’t need a break from was a good meal. But unlike our usual dinners at home (which usually involve lots of prep, tons of stress to get it on the table in time, and then a forensic amount of clean up after), this time we did things differently.

getaway cabin beef bourg basket

getaway cabin beef bourg basket3

A one-pot meal we could throw in a dutch oven and kick back by the fire while it stewed for a couple of hours.

getaway cabin table

And like any recipe that calls for a whole bottle of wine – you know it’s going to be good!


getaway beef bourg

getaway beef bourg vlose

Beef Bourguignon over potato gnocchi

It definitely took a while, but when you’ve got nothing else to do but sit and talk, and sip wine and look at the moon rise, you don’t really notice! Well worth the wait, we ate late and stayed up much later.

The next morning, we slept in. I know a lot of parents probably complain about a lack of sleep, which I never really understood. I have always been such a high energy person, I never missed the hours of lost sleep when I had a baby.

getaway cabin bed IG

But being here, I now realise how a nice, long lie-in is such a luxury for mums and dads. You don’t have to get up. That’s when it feels so good to be lazy.

getaway view high

getaway socks


Breakfast was another easy skillet on the grill. My campsite take on huevos rancheros, we felt like a couple of cowboys as we sipped our mugs of coffee waiting for the chow bell.

getaway breakfast

getaway breakfast table

Breakfast Camping Picnic Autumn


breakfast remnants

With the last bits of breakfast mopped up, there was nothing to do but snuggle up and just chill until checkout time.

reading IGGGGG






Charleston Cup

The Charleston Cup was established in 1786 and has been a highlight of the lowcountry racing season ever since. The event was not blessed with perfect weather this year, but we slipped on our wellies, slung on our field jackets, and made the most of it!

Charleston Cup 2015 Tent Picnic Basket

Charleston Cup 2015 Wellies

Charleston Cup 2015 Wellies Picnic

Charleston Cup 2015 Picnic

First order of business was to find our friends in the infield to drop our basket, grab and drink, and go for a wander round the grounds.

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Goers Tents

Charleston Cup 2015 Chevy Tent Catering Food Service

Charleston Cup 2015 Chevy Tent Open Bar

Charleston Cup 2015 Tent Catering Food Flowers

Charleston Cup 2015 Tent Mimosa

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Goers

Despite the mud and intermittent drizzle, there were lots of equestrian enthusiasts out to support the races!

Charleston Cup 2015 Chevy Tent Shirt

Charleston Cup 2015 Lady with Equestrian Skirt

Including a few of the canine variety!

Charleston Cup 2015 Puppy

Charleston Cup 2015 Puppy Dog

Charleston Cup 2015 Puppy Dog Pet

Charleston Cup 2015 race Marshall Red Jacket

We headed to the paddock to eye up the race contenders.

Charleston Cup 2015 Paddock Race Horses_

Charleston Cup 2015 Paddock Race Horse 5

Charleston Cup 2015 Paddock Race Horse 1

And got a little sneak preview of the big prize!

Charleston Cup 2015 Silver Trophy

Then it was time to find a prime spot to get close to the action, before the start of the first running.

Charleston Cup 2015 Races Cheer Sideline

And, finally, they were off!

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Flag

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Start

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Run

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Jump Early

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Jump

The crowd went wild with excitement, as you can see…

Charleston Cup 2015 Races Cheer

Between races, everyone freshens up their beverages and socializes while waiting for the next contest.

Charleston Cup 2015 Mimosa

Charleston Cup 2015 Oak Tree

Charleston Cup 2015 Paddock Dapple Grey

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Spectator

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Track Run

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Race

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Close

Charleston Cup 2015 Oak Tree

Charleston Cup 2015 Race Horses Track

Charleston Cup 2015 Chevy Tent Sarah Eddie

By the end of the day we were certainly a little muddy and chilly, and in need of a hot bath. But two very happy racegoers indeed!

Halloween Pumpkin & Hot Apple Cider

Ooh, the air is brisk and the clocks have gone back! The leaves don’t change color in London, (they just turn brown and die) but they’re starting to fall! And tomorrow is Halloween!

I’m missing my east coast autumn for sure, but trying to get in the spirit of the season. So I rummaged through my pantry for some hot apple cider supplies, and got ready to carve my pumpkin!

Hot Mulled Cider Ingredients

Hot Mulled Cider Ingredients Close

I spiced my cider by putting all the ingredients in a saucepan over simmering heat.

Hot Mulled Cider Step 1 Pan

Hot Mulled Cider Step 2 Orange

Squeezed in the juice of a clementine and a splash of dark rum.

Hot Mulled Cider Step 3 Rum

While my brew heated up, I settled down to design my jack-o’-lantern, drawing on its features with a Sharpie.

Pumpkin Draw

Pumpkin Draw Eyes

Next, is my favorite part – cutting out the lid around the stem, then scooping out all the pulp and seeds.

Pumpkin Step 2 Cut Top

Pumpkin Step 3 remove Seeds

Pumpkin Step 3 Remove Seeds Handful

With my mug of hot spiced cider (a perfect hand-warmer!) close by, I used a thin flexible fillet knife to carefully saw out the eyes and mouth of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Step 4 Cider

Pumpkin Step 6 Done

Isn’t he cute??

Pumpkin Step 5 Done

Don’t let all those pumpkin seeds go to waste! Rinse them clean and place them on a parchment covered baking sheet to roast in the oven. This time, I sprinkled them with Old Bay, popped them in and left to bake for 20 minutes.

Seeds Tray

Seeds Old Bay

Seeds Old Bay Sprinkled

They came out perfectly toasted, with that familiar Maryland flavor filling the kitchen!

Seeds Into Bowl

Seeds in Bowl

These Old Bay roasted pumpkin seeds make the perfect crunchy snack, sure to be gone long before the trick-or-treaters come knocking.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Apple Cider Recipe

Falling for Chiswick

This weekend I solemnly packed away my summer clothes and began to sort through piles of wooly knitwear. I can’t deny that telltale nip in the air any longer – it’s officially fall!

I layered up and went for an afternoon stroll through Chiswick – browsing the shops on the way to lunch. There’s something about the onset of autumn that gives me the urge to nest – and I love the range of design boutiques around Chiswick High Road.

Me Me2 High St Bus Franca

High Road Auctions have weekly sales at their Chiswick showroom – and the preview days at the weekends make for inspirational bargain hunting grounds. It’s a wonderland of antique furniture and accessories – I had to be dragged away to make our lunch reservation.


La Trompette has been on my to-do list for practically all of 2013, but I’m only now getting round to giving it a go.  I’m loving everything about this place – the whimsical little side street it’s on, the gregarious hostess whisking my jacket off to the coat room, the bouncy cushioned booth piled with silk pillows, an expertly spiced Bloody Mary so rich and savory I would’ve sworn it had beef stock in it… And that’s all before the food even arrives!

TrompExt TrompExt2 Tromp10 Tromp11


Tortelloni of suckling pig with secreto, turnips, barbeque dressing and bacon foam

Tortelloni of suckling pig with secreto, turnips, barbeque dressing and bacon foam

Breast and thigh of guinea fowl with Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, figs, trompettes and fresh chestnuts

Breast and thigh of guinea fowl with Jerusalem artichokes, salsify, figs, trompettes and fresh chestnuts

Tromp4 Tromp5 Tromp6

Tromp12 Tromp7

Banana soufflé with pain d'espices ice cream

Banana soufflé with pain d’espices ice cream

Tromp9 Tromp12.5 Tromp13

This place had me feeling positively giddy (read: goofy) by the time coffee came. This was by far one of the best Sunday lunches I’ve had in London – and I’ve had a few!