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Showing posts from 2018

Dog-friendly Cornwall

With a new addition to the family, 2018 has been all about discovering great places in the UK to visit with our lovable cockerjack Django in tow. We presumed our summer holiday to Cornwall would involve a lot less days out at local attractions. I was wrong; it just involves a little more research and planning. So when I discovered that The Eden Project has been named the best dog-walking destination in the world I knew I had to return. 
One of my last memorable trips with my adventurous nana (before true old age got the better of her) was to Eden, when it had only just opened to the public. An avid gardener, she was blown away by the sheer potential of the site – the size of 30 football pitches – I only wish she was still around to see what it’s become. While everyone talks about the tropical and temperate plant-filled domes, known as biomes, it’s just as exhilarating to wander the now mature and well established outdoor gardens that nestle in this huge crater. Back in 1998 this site w…

Stress-free guide to rug shopping in Morocco

Buying a rug in Morocco is a fun yet often daunting experience for the uninitiated.  Here's some tips to help you enjoy a stress-free rug shopping trip. 

Measure up Don’t make the mistake of spending all your holiday money on a rug that’s too big to fit in your room. Write down your minimum and maximum sizes before you do and think about colours that will complement the room it’s intended for.
Whittle it down Go in with a definitive idea of what style you want. It will save you time and narrow down the amount of rugs you need to look at in each shop.
Have a budget And stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away in the moment but remember you still have to pay for shipping and customs. Prices vary depending on age and rarity of design. Remember to do a currency conversion before you agree the final price, you don’t want the shock when you return home!
Go in clear-headed While I don’t advocate heavy drinking the night before, I once did my best deal with a massive hangover, as I simply didn’t…

How to choose a Berber rug

Moroccan rugs are having a moment. Look in any interior design magazine of late and you’ll see Beni Ourain rugs under many an interior designer’s coffee table. I prefer the less known and more colourful Azilal rug but if you do choose to buy a Beni Ourain make sure it’s real, as they are many fakes out there now to meet demand (You can tell by looking at the reverse of the carpet, if it has irregular knotting, it’s a sign that it’s genuine Beni Ourain).
On a recent work trip to Marrakech I went with an empty suitcase. I was after a new rug for the living room and while it would have been far easier to buy online and have it shipped to my address, I love the thrill of rug shopping and saved a whopping 150% mark up. So how do you go about buying a rug with confidence? Shopping for a rug in Morocco is a fun yet often daunting experience for the uninitiated. 
Before you do familiarise yourself with the different styles of rug sold in Morocco, made by one of the 45 distinct Berber tribes in …

No pressure – fast one-pot cooking with a slow flavour

You could say our year of ‘living more lagom’ isn’t quite going to plan as we’ve just welcomed a puppy into our lives. Our cockerjack Django is utterly gorgeous (aren’t all puppies?) but it feels a bit like we’ve been hit by a whirlwind of sloppy kisses, razor-sharp nips and freestyle toilet training. It’s a full-time job looking after a puppy and the washing machine seems to be permanently on; not to mention the amount of dog-related merchandise we’ve purchased to amuse his every whim. On the upside it’s hard to remember a time I’ve been so besotted since our daughter was born. 
Being homebound with the family while Django settles in has at least given us time to assess how our Live Lagom project is going. For our food obsessed household, the main draw of pressure cooking is how it saves money, as food cooks in around a third of the usual time, using less energy. Yet pressure cooking is not for the faint-hearted. The hissing steam and potential to explode is far too daunting a prospec…