Tuesday, 29 September 2009


I went to Designers Guild yesterday during London Design Week. Always very inspirational and fantastically put together. She told us herself how they had mixed different styles and epochs together and the result is a very eclectic mix that can easily be transferred into your home. Mix antiques with modern design of today, 50-ies style with vintage, old and new. Here all in black and white, timeless and interesting.
Go to her shop in London if and when you are there and get more inspiration, 267 Kings Road, Chelsea.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Tom Dixon has teamed up with the Rug Company and created not only modern Kelims but also lovely wool rugs with geometric and three dimensional patterns!
In their temporary showroom tent at the Dock (Portobello Docks) in London (by the canal in Ladbroke Grove/Kensal Road Toms rugs and floor cushions formed a calm retreat where you were offered mint tea and sweets served from Ikea coffee tables!
The exhibition goes on until the 27 September!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


It is London Design Week. That means the interior design fair 100% Design at Earls Court, London Fashion Week, a happening by Tom Dixon along with his first shop, Tent exhibition in East London and Designersblock this year at 100% Design!
I went to Notting Hill to see for myself. The Tom Dixon shop/showroom is situated in the old Dock building. Not big, but definitely very different. Just for the week the whole area has been done up as an exhibition with designers and company's from all over the world.... I had lunch at the temporary restaurant, The Dock Kitchen, run by the a former chef from the famous River Café. Delicious, you have to come back and read more about that early next week.

Friday, 18 September 2009


This spicy and sweet plum sauce will taste wonderful with cheese, in stir fries, with pork etc. My son has it for breakfast on his toast!
I made it from wild yellow plums, but any type will do well.

2 kg plums, stoned and quartered
750 g apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm chunks
1 medium onion, any colour
4 cloves of garlic, minced (I used my homegrown!)
2,5 dl white wine vinegar
2,5 dl white malt vinegar
2,5 dl balsamic vinegar
500 g dark muscovado sugar
2 cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into fine splinters
2 long red chillies
2-4 dried red chillies, crumbled
2 teaspoons of ground Chinese 5-spice
1 stick of cinnamon broken into pieces

You will need approximately 5 x 550 ml glass jars, sterilized and warm.

Use a big pan. Put all ingredients in it.

Cook at a steady boil for 1-1 1/2 hours. When it is ready , it will still be runny - remember it is a sauce - but it will become firmer, it will set more while cooling.
Bottle in the jars. Makes approx 2 3/4 litres.


This marmalade/jam should be cooked from a mix of ripe and unripe plums to get enough pectin to set it.
Will make about 1 1/2 kg of marmalade/jam.

1 1/2 kg plums, stoned and quarted (keep the stones)
2 dl water
12 dl (1 kg) sugar
1 lemon, in wedges
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, halve it and scrape out the seeds
2 star aniseed's
4 x 550 ml jars, sterilized and warm

Put the stones in a fabric parcel.
Gently boil the plums, lemon wedges and the stone parcel with the water for 30 minuter - with the lid on,
Remove the stone parcel and the lemon wedges, add the sugar, a little at a time until it is totally dissolved. Add the spices and boil rapidly without lid for 15 minutes. Pour the marmalade/jam into the jars, put the lids on immediately. Store in a cool place.


The important thing when making this cake is that the butter should be nice and soft.

175 g sugar (2 dl)
6 tbsp water (90 cl)
4 large plums, halved. I used 10 of my smaller ones!

150 g plain flour (2,5 dl)
2 tsp baking powder
175 g butter, softened
175 g sugar (2 dl)
4 tbsp ground almonds (60 cl)
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp natural vanilla extract or 2 tsp vanilla sugar

Heat the oven to 150 C. Butter a 24 cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Place the sugar and water in a heavy-based pan over a low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Don´t let the liquid boil until the sugar has completely dissolved to form a clear syrup. Now raise the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly until the syrup starts to turn brown around the edge of the pan. Lower the heat and cook the sugar to a dark golden brown. You shouldn't´t stir sugar as it cooks, just swirl the pan once or twice so that i colours evenly. As soon as the caramel is ready, pour immediately into the buttered tin. Arrange the plums skin side up over the caramel.

Mix the flour and the baking powder into a large bowl. Add butter, sugar, almonds, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth and evenly blended, 1-2 minutes. Spread the cake mixture over the fruit. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sides of the cake have pulled away from the tin, about 50 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for a few minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake and turn out onto a serving dish. If any pieces of fruit stick to the paper, don´t despair, use a spatula to remove and press them back into place. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Dust with icing sugar and serve with a dollop of thick yogurt, crème fraiche, whipped cream, custard or ice cream!



We went to Ebrington for a village garage sale and on the way we found some plum trees by the road! The next day I went and picked a bag full. And look what I managed to make from just one bag of plums! A fabulous plum cake, plum sauce and plum marmalade. I felt like a real domestic goddess! Here are the recipies!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A small guide to Birmingham


I went to Birmingham for a short city break with my dear husband. The reason was that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce had a networking happening at the SAS Radisson there and we decided to stay the night and make it a small city break.
The sun was shining and we walked to the Bullring and started by having a nice lunch at he Café Rouge. After that we spent the afternoon having some "shopping therapy", but a budget one. The Bullring has everything you want and we were especially impressed with Selfridges, a very well layed out department store.
I got some nice winter boots, and we got some good value jeans for Bruce and sport shoes etc for our son Hugo! He is having growing spurts continuously needing new shoes!

After a nice drink in the sun we got changed and headed for the drinks party. Very enjoyable and we met some interesting people working for the Birmingham City Council and various other companies in some way related to Sweden.
After the party we had a bit to eat at the hotel restaurant, Italian style, and very good. Bruce had a fantastic risotto and I had a mixed antipasti platter.
Off to bed. Very comfy beds in our spacey and colourful room.
We had a bit of a sleep in and had a very leisurely long breakfast and then we headed off for the canals. A pleasant surprise, you can walk around for hours and look a new house developments and house boats etc....
We were pleasantly surprised of how clean Birmingham is everywhere.
We bumped into a new restaurant, LoveS, opening tomorrow. The very nice proprietors showed us around, they have recently been running a restaurant in Leamington Spa. We will come back to try it out at a later date.

On the way back to the hotel to check out and head back home we passed an other shopping center, The Mailhouse, impressing with a small Harvey Nicols, Hugo Boss etc.
We will be back for more....

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Vintage, nostalgia and a new simplicity at Formex in Stockholm

I rec
ently visited Formex in Stockholm. A fair of interior design accessories and gifts.

A haven for interior design lovers...
Here you can find all things decorative for your home.
I think this one was one of the best so far...
Very high quality stands and a lot of new and young designs of high st
The picture from Lisa Bengtsson "vintage" café summons it all. Vintage, proper old things, retro design in new production, black and white and new prints with nostalgic images put together to a new pattern (by textile designer Lisa Bengtsson) and with a red accent...

Another strong colour scheme are the happy colours of the 50-ies.
Kitschy, happy things for the kitchen and bathroom that will lighten up any bland interior. Within this "trend" we also found a lot of crochet, from making table mats to false flowers and cup cakes! A bit of Asian influences can also be found here, we can see a return of the Indian rugs, often as patchwork!
A new simplicity was found where white and black, and the new "black" - grey i around.
Basic, and sometimes nostalgic
patterns with a modern feel. Like the cushions in the Finish stand, Finland was guest of honour at this fair.

The "ski chalet" is another interesting inspiration at the moment. With a mix of the basic wooden panelled walls, vintage furniture and natural colour scheme, it has a new simplicity with a very homey feeling!

Last but not least, the Swedish dish cloth, "Wettexduk", made from nature (pine), washable and recyclable, was found in a lot of stands in new and modern designs! Even as Christmas tree decorations!