The Perfect Weekend Lunch

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There is nothing more wonderfully relaxing than enjoying a good pub lunch with good company; more so when you are able to sit outside in the rural English countryside and enjoy the warm afternoon sun and the restfulness of simply relaxing. Hygge isn’t just about being cosy at home, it’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures with good company and relaxing. This Saturday was our hygge time away from the home.

On Saturday we stopped off at The Gribble Inn – a beautiful 16th Century thatched building in the picturesque village of Oving, West Sussex. Interestingly the Gribble has it’s own micro-brewery and serves its own varied selection of craft ale in the pub. The Gribble Inn is named after the former teacher – Rose Gribble – who lived there until she died in 1980 when a local farmer bought the house and transformed it into to the inn we know today. The garden makes for a great place to relax in the sun, and inside there are huge comfy sofas and seats to snuggle up in in front of roaring log fires.

We plumped for Plucking Pheasant – a light, dry and hoppy well balanced ale which was incredibly drinkable and moreish! Lunch was the black pudding Scotch egg for me, and delicate whitebait for hubby; followed by gorgeous ice-cream. I have to mention the little corner of flapjack that came with our coffees – the flapjack was so moist, flavoursome and delicious, it is definitely the best flapjack I’ve ever eaten. I’m already planning a return visit! The Gribble Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Things I Love About Autumn

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1. Blackberry Picking. There’s nothing better than heading out, armed with baskets, wet wipes (for stained faces and fingers) and eager children. Searching for those black jewels in amongst the thorny bushes, the children eating more than they put in the basket. Then going home and making a huge apple and blackberry crumble – served with custard, of course.

2. Conkers. What can be more quintessentially English than the good old conker? The finding of them, the delight when a really big one is found.

3. Soup. Soup, soup and more soup. Soup is best made in the morning and then enjoyed after a long walk, collecting acorns, squirrel-spotting, and trampling through fallen leaves (hopefully not kicking any almost-hibernating hedgehogs is a bonus). Soup is fab – it uses up all those left overs and its cheap and healthy.

4. Darker evenings. Perfect for snuggling up and  knitting while chatting with my husband. Its also a great excuse for putting on my PJs around 7pm.

5. Knowing Winter is just around the corner – and making the most of the sun and milder weather. Sorting out the garden, stocking up on bird food, knitting scarves, and yes, Christmas planning. (planning is one thing, action is something completely different…..)

Photo Credit: Ruth Langford

 

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Autumn’s Arrival

 

Today is the Autumn Equinox, the first day of autumn,  when the sun crosses the equator from the northern to the southern half of the sky – a celestial event when all points on the surface of Earth experience 12 hours of daylight and darkness. It also signifies the start of shorter days, longer nights and a drop in temperature  – all those long,dark nights ahead of us as we move with the seasons are perfect for making time for Hygge in our daily lives.

For me, there is nothing better after a long day at work than sitting down with my family and enjoying a glass of wine and catching up with each other’s news and chatter. I love the soft glow of candlelight, and as soon as the daylight starts to fade I light tea-lights and scented candles to illuminate our cosy sitting room, invoking a soothing, calming, relaxing and warming ambience. My favourite scented candle currently is a simple Air-Wick Spiced Spiced Orange and Cinnamon one – it costs just a couple of pounds and is an affordable luxury.  While we chat, I knit and my current project is a simple shawl in glorious autumnal shades  – this will be perfect to throw over my shoulders in the colder days and evenings.

Autumn isn’t just about the cosy evenings, the days when the sun shines are beautiful, crisp and full of nature’s spectacular palette of greens, golds, bronzes, oranges and browns. Enjoy this wonderful season  of mists and mellow fruitfulness while it lasts.

 

 

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Lamb Steaks & Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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This wonderfully simple and warming dish is the perfect evening meal – quick and easy to prepare and cook but impressive enough to serve at a supper party. 

Ingredients (for four people)

2 large red onions

4 lamb steaks 

3 or 4 decent sized sweet potatoes

fresh rosemary sprigs (dried will work just as well – 1 teaspoon)

freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt

olive oil. 

Preparation/Cooking

First drizzle some olive oil in a roasting dish and pop into the oven preheated at 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 7. 

Peel and thinly slice your sweet potatoes and onions. 

sear/brown your lamb steaks in the hot oil in the roasting dish, then remove and toss your potato and onion into the oil,  replace the steaks on top of the potato and onion, scatter the rosemary and the salt and pepper on top.

Return the dish to the oven and roast for approx 20 minutes. 

Serve with green beans/cabbage/peas and a good hoppy beer such as Badger’s Fursty Ferret or a good Shiraz. 

Velbekomme!

 

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Summer’s End

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Early this morning,  we were treated to an wonderful aerial ballet by a  richness of house-martins. They swooped, soared, pirouetted, danced and chattered away in the perfect cobalt-blue sky above us, thier distinctive  glossy blue-black  feather iridescent in the morning sunshine. We stopped and watched for a while (our journey to work could wait!) and enjoyed the display the martins themselves were so clearly enjoying.  With some sadness I realised that they were stretching thier wings, in readiness for thier annual migration to warmer climes in Africa as they do at this time each year, signalling the end of summer. The cycle of nature means that although summer is ending, autumn is just beginning.

photo credit – Alan Hayden of the Christchurch Harbour Ornithological Group

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Welcome to Hygge Home!

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The word Hygge (which sounds a bit like “hooga”) originated from Norwegian, where it meant something akin to “well-being.”.

Hygge is a special way of living, something that we can all easily create for ourselves in our own lives – both at home and at work. It’s not about spending lots of money on “things”, or living competitively, but simply enjoying the little things in life, taking the time to appreciate those small moments that make us smile, that make life that little bit better. whether that’s being cosy and snug at home, enjoying good company with family and friends, a night in with a good book, snuggled up watching a film together, eating home-baked goodies with friends while you catch up with each other’s news, a bike-ride in the countryside, a walk on the beach, pottering in the garden – it’s whatever you want it to be but in essence it’s all about enjoying the good, simple things in life with good people around you.

I hope, with this blog, to share my own Hygge moments with you, for you to share your Hygge moments with me and together to encourage others to embrace a better sense of well-being in all our lives.

 

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