Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Bella Italia

You have to hand it to the Italians, they know how to LIVE. Having just spent 5 nights lolling about tuscany I have found myself wondering why everyone else in the world seems to be in such a rush.

Borgo di Corsignano, the villas we were lucky enough to find ourselves in for the 3rd year in a row, has an incredibly romantic vista. Its the exact replica of the image that springs to mind when you think TUSCANY. And its true what they say about the light in tuscany, it really is other-worldly. The jasmine filled white hot gold of June is sandwiched by a soft purple lavender haze that marks the beginning and end of each day.

And the FOOD. A climate such as this produces the most luscious fresh produce. Tomatoes,basil,melons,grapes,aubergine,olives,peaches..... a mouthful of sunshine every bite. Of course with such beautiful food there must also be a WINE that matches its glory. Another thing the italians seem to have mastered. Montepeluciano may not have the layered density of a Bordeaux blend but its simplicity an eagerness to be drank make it undeniable.

It may be a cliche, but it really is the simple things in life that bring us the most joy.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Slice of goodness

Last Friday felt like summer had finally shown its face in London. It never ceases to amaze me how an extra 15 degrees and a cloudless sky can transform this city. People smile at you and say excuse me. Where feet were dragged there is now a shameless bounce in our strides, faces turned up to feel the full force of sun upon them. On days like this, work seems to grind to a Holt around 3pm as the hordes descend upon pubs, stripping layers and heels as they go. Jugs of pimms, pints of cider, bottles of rose. A sense of liberation as the inner thaw of London winter finally leaves your bones and your left thinking that maybe this isn't such a bad city after all, maybe I could stick it out for a another couple years....

The only place I want to be when we are blessed with such weather is Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond. A far cry from the white sand beaches I was lucky enough to grow up with but there is something quite special about these ponds. Sheltered from wind and enclosed away by ample greenery, the ponds act as a sun trap. The water itself isn't the aqua blue of the med but it is amazingly refreshing ( cold ) and rejuvenating. No cell phones are allowed and there seems to be an unspoken rule of general quiet and respect for each other. Like a an underground sisterhood. A slice of goodness.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Lazy hazy Saturdays in Richmond

I finally made my pilgrimage to Richmond and was not disappointed. The grey flatness of the day and my dusty head did not take away from the joy rowing regattas, punting boats, wild bambi deer, Petersham Nursery and cider at the White Horse to finish.

Tea and cake at Petersham Nurseries was divine and worth the 16 pounds we paid for a pot of tea, a sandwich and a piece of cake...

The Nurseries and Restaurant are such a beautiful oasis of green and everywhere I looked was a sight for my sore eyes.... from long wooden dining tables to wrought iron chairs, bowls full of giant lemons and wooden carts overflowing with flowers to carrot, beetroot and lemon cakes baked to perfection.

Its free entry to just wander about and no booking necessary for the tea rooms. I advise taking the Sunday paper and spending the entire day reading, drinking tea, eating cake and marvelling at the simple beauty that surrounds.

Treat yourself.

Why why why??

In a moment of inspiration I have decided to venture into the unknown and combat my fears of on-line technicalities to create a blog.

I had this beautiful moment on the train to Hammersmith the other day where the sun was setting into one of those melting, leaking balls framed by deserted industrial buildings and train lines. And I thought, that's one of many beautiful moments london has every day and I would like to share it.

So here it is, a beginners blog honoring small everyday moments of beauty in a city that can at times test the heart and soul.