These are a few of my favourite (autumnal) things

The early mornings are now cooler but by late morning the light mists burn off to reveal the atmospheric, pale autumn sunlight. The leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn colour, with a promise of blazing reds and burnt oranges soon to come. In the UK you need to pace yourself though because spring is a long way off. Celebrating the changing seasons is a form of mindfulness or meditation. Taking things slowly, enjoying the simple daily pleasures of changing landscapes and seasonal food, autumn is a time of year to truly indulge the senses.

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This week… olives, growing, buying and cooking

There are a few basics in the kitchen that are really not worth stinting on. Single-estate coffee, honey and olive oil being in the top ten. The cost may be a little higher but a little goes a long way and quality over quantity is the rule. This week a common thread in my inbox has been olives, growing them and eating these delectable little fruits.

One of the first fascinating facts about olive trees is the remarkable age they are able to grow to and especially compared to mere human beings. It’s awesome.

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Purition Protein Shakes

Food is a big part of travelling. Trying new foods and restaurants is hugely enjoyable and it’s always interesting to find out about locally grown products and how they are prepared, and taste.

Sometimes though it’s a good idea to carry a few favourite foods with you for those times when what you need simply isn’t to hand, for one reason or another.

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In the kitchen: Plastic free?

A few years ago after donating the microwave to the local charity shop, along with the non-stick pans and baking trays, and ditching the cling film (and the aluminium foil), it turns out that going plastic/toxin-free is not that easy. Plastic Free July®starts tomorrow and while I’m not really a fan of the national ‘donut day’ type of intiatives, this is a global movement worth getting behind.

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Summer Wines (and not a bar-b-que or rosé in sight)

Summer is on its way! From tomorrow in the UK, larger events will be permissable albeit at lower capacity in line with safety guidelines. Whether you’ll be attending a summer event in person or enjoying the moment from your own garden, the social season is the perfect opportunity to set up the picnic table, dress up for the occasion and crack open a bottle or two of delicious wine. More than ever it feels important to make the most of the freedom of warmer days and longer evenings. It’s been a long, cold covid winter so take time out to relax and bask in the warmth of the sun, as well as friends and family.

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Wild summer dining

Actually why wait until summer? After months of lockdown through the dark British winter, let’s make the most of the light and warmer temperatures as soon as we have the green light to move around more freely. And if that means wearing your thermals to sit outside, then layer them under a posh frock to keep warm. Get out and have some fun!

In anticipation that we’ll be able to travel further afield soon here’s a selection of some unique places to enjoy dining in the rural countryside, woodlands or overlooking the sea.

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