Well hello you. It’s been a hot minute hasn’t it.
So much has happened since we last spoke. I’ve gained a baby. I’ve lost a dog. I’ve gained a few more wrinkles. I’ve lost a lot of hair (thanks pregnancy). It’s been a year since my last blog post. A whole year since my last weekly story-telling instalment. Gosh where to start. I won’t bore you too much with deep dives into the last 365 days. Instead I’ll attempt to ‘hit the ground running’ with a sprinkle or two of new mum chat along the way.
Our property development is still going (told you she was a beast). However, the finish line is in sight and we’re currently navigating the refinance process. Its been 15 months since we completed on Queen Annes & began the mammoth task of converting an extremely dilapidated yet elegant Victorian property in North Devon, from 8 bedsits into 5 apartments. It has been, and continues to be, an ever-evolving feast of learning, frustration and joy. On the day we completed I discovered that I was pregnant – a double celebration I hear you say! And indeed it was. Only that it meant that I wouldn’t be able to be as involved in the project as I had intended, and that Martin would eventually have to take on the reins of project managing the development on his own, as well as running his own business. Needless to say he has done an incredible job, despite all the dramas that running a development of this size during a pandemic brings with it, and I truly couldn’t be prouder. If you’re that way inclined, head over to our Instagram property page here to have a nose.
We’re still living in Cornwall having packed up and moved from Essex back in 2020, and still renting our cute little house close to the beach. When we decided to move to the South West, our intention was to make it our long term base (the phrase “forever home” makes me cringe). However it turns out we’re both either quite nomadic, and perhaps Bude isn’t where we’re meant to end up. Obviously with a kid now in tow this adds an additional layer to consider when packing up our life and shifting timezones potentially (sorry mum). Thankfully we’re both on the same page in terms of what we want for our little dude, and ourselves in life. For now though, we’re enjoying the sandy toes, salty skin & sea shanties.
Anyway back to business. Summer is apparently here and with it, the promise of meals with family and friends outdoors. Hosting dinners is one of my favourite things to do, a love enhanced working as a chalet host in French Alps. A beautiful table doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, it’s completely the opposite and can easily be done on a budget. I have clusters of vintage glassware and crockery dotted about the house – some of it handed down from parents & grandparents but most of it picked up on charity shop trawls. It doesn’t have to match, in fact the more eclectic the better. I mix up new finds with my existing collection and it always brings me so much joy when I see it all on the table.
Anyone that knows me & been over for dinner will tell you that I bloody love a well laid table. With tableware sourced from all over the place – from holidays in Europe, to car boots. I know my usual gig is gift guides but this week, I have decided to mix things up a bit. I’ve gone full Good Housekeeping and pulled together key looks for Summer dining that are in my opinion, glorious to behold, with a focus on using favourite finds from the High Street & some beautiful pieces from independents. I also encourage this guide to serve as muse – inspiring you to shop pre-loved. Get down to your charity shops or car boot, or even shop your own home. Get excited about hosting alfresco dining this summer, and make it a vision of joy! Happy shopping!
Clockwise from left to right: White Grapefruit Plate TK Maxx £7.99, Fatima Serving Platter Anthropologie £48, Bitossi Home Round Fish Platter Bed Threads £85, Pistachio Large Low Platter Stone the Crows £45, Tulips Oblong Platter Emma Bridgewater £33.60
Burnt Orange Platter Hot Pottery £80, Brisa Ria Oval Platter Large Costa Nova £45, Lemon Ceramic Serving Plate Les-Ottomans £60, Raddichio Oval Platter Liberty £56 Preto Black Stoneware Serving Bowl Habitat £20
Bordallo Pinheiro Green Cabbage Ceramic Serving Platter Oliver Bones £34.50, Green Huîtres Platter Harlie Brown Studio £60, Lilypad Platter Anthropologie £47, Popolo Striped Platter Liberty £28, Ceramic Bread Basket & klevering £36.72
Handmade Large Ceramic Shell Serving Tray Studio Su Casa £37.80, Majolica Round Peach Platter Maxwell & Williams £16.59, Pomegranate Serving Platter Les-Ottomans £41.30, Earthenware Serving Dish Zara Home £22.99, Arts & Crafts Fishes Serving Plate Urban Nature Culture £66