Since I broke my arm last August and the doctors insisted that I take time off from work and slow down I've been doing just that. To say it's been a challenge is pretty accurate but slowly I've become accustomed to this new pace of life. As a way to keep me inspired and to stop me from getting cabin fever, I choose a different outing each day. Last weekend I, along with my mum visited Osterley Park. We found ourselves enchanted with the Osterley, more so than we expected.
Read to hear about my two day retreat with a lovely bunch of creatives on the Elmley Nature Reserve.Read More
Read about my long weekend in Amsterdam and my top 'must visit' places!Read More
With winter sticking around for a few more weeks than expected (or desired) I've been consuming a lot of porridge in the mornings.Read More
I have always grown up in the kitchen and around the table. As a child, the mornings would consist of me sitting at the counter watching my parents prepare our food as the morning haze would begin to lift in my mind. As an adult, when I return home, its much the same. Except now, no one is dragging me out from under my cozy duvet, it's the time that I treasure most and look forward to.
When I'm back in London, I try my best to have mornings of a similar style. Not having to be in the office until ten each day, I'm lucky to have slower, more drawn out mornings. Here's a peek into what my morning rituals consist of on most days.
- Wake up at 6AM
- Boil the kettle before starting daily 15-mins of meditation
- Drink tea while writing down 5 small things that I'm thankful for
- Write a list of 5 things that will make the day a success
- Read a book or magazine for 30-mins; something inspiring!
- 1 hour of work on In Clover Magazine before getting ready for work
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD RECIPE
In the month of July I decided to do go vegan, this was to encourage me to find new recipes, try new things and change my perception on food. This recipe was a favourite find from that month. I hope you enjoy it as well!
1 loaf tin
2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
3 medium, very ripe bananas
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup vegan chocolate chips *I recommend these!
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a big bowl, combine all dry ingredients and sift well with a fork or a whisk. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas, leaving some small chunky bits. Add the oil and lemon juice to the bananas, and combine well.
3. Add the wet ingredients and the chocolate chips to the big bowl with the dry ingredients, and combine well until just mixed. (Don’t over mix!)
4. Pour the batter into a loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Since heat varies by the oven, you should check the loaves using a knife. I always take it out when it's slightly underdone. The pan it's in is hot and the bread will continue to cook. This method has worked wonders for me, giving me perfectly cooked loaves each time!
During our North American adventure we stayed in cities, forests and even suburbia. But at the end of it all the evening that we spent on Glamping Hub’s Willow-Witt Ranch stood out as the favourite. I believe I first heard of the term ‘glamping’ back in 2006, I was reading an interview with Alexa Chung and marvelled at the concept. Up until that point my sole camping experience was of a weekend away at Girl Scout Camp at the ripe old age of eight. I hadn’t been much of a fan.
As someone who does genuinely like the outdoors, nature walks and all of that lovely fresh air, glamping was the greatest thing since sliced bread! I quickly began my search and was remiss to find any feasible options, be it for monetary or location reasons. The idea never left me though. It wasn’t until I was planning for my North American road trip for In Clover that I came across the brilliant website Glamping Hub. With an endless directory of glamping stays all around the world, I found myself tumbling down the rabbit hole as I went from one beautiful location to another. From yurts to farmhouses to tree houses -they had it all.
I began searching along the route of our two week drive and came across the idyllic Willow-Witt Ranch, an organic farm that runs off of solar energy. And like that it was booked, my first glamping experience! Soon after confirming the booking I received an email from Suzanne, the owner of the idyllic farm, with directions and a hand drawn map (apparently it’s so off the grid not even Google can find it!)
Upon our arrival we were welcomed by the ever-so-helpful farm dogs Izzy and Aldo. Izy loves barking almost as much as she loves belly rubs! Aldo on the other hand plays the stoic, wise elder. He seems to do what he pleases and is known to wander over from the main house to the campgrounds to check in on the children staying on the ranch.
I believe the real magic of staying at the Willow-Witt Ranch, is the ranch. The evening that we stayed with Suzanne was such a special experience. Spending time around the fire with friends drinking wine, making s’mores interrupted with belly aching laughs. It also didn’t hurt that when we finally retreated back to our ‘glamorous tent’ we discovered that Suzanne had built us a fire in our chiminea. Rescuing us from an almost certainly pathetic attempt on out part. The beds were spectacularly lush and it was certainly one of the deepest sleeps I had the whole trip.
The following morning, we woke refreshed and toasty warm. With the promise of a farm fresh breakfast it was the only thing getting us out of our feather down cocoon. Making our way over to the main house, Aimee and I harvested some fresh produce for a salad before grabbing some bacon and eggs at the farm shop. The kitchens on site are fabulously furnished and have everything you could possible want short of a Kitchen Aid mixer.
After a hearty breakfast we were given the grand tour by Suzanne's farmhand Micah. This is something that they offer to all of the people that stay at the Willow-Witt Ranch, something that I think is so important. Organic farming is certainly the harder and more expensive route -but one that comes with countless benefits. This is something that you're reminded of as you watch Micah feeding the pigs, or witnessing the shear sass of the goats as they mill about waiting to be milked, (who knew they were ones for the spotlight!) With the ever so energetic farm dog, Izzy in tow we made our way over to the chickens, located in the middle of a pasture near the main house. We even had a go at collecting eggs from the hen coup!