Churches in Sussex (5th day trip)

xactly a week after the previous day trip to visit three Kent churches and Great Dixter, I was back out again with a very ambitious list of churches in Sussex to visit. This was by far the longest list (seven churches and a musuem) and I was determined to see them all. At the last minute a photographer friend told me about an arts & crafts chapel just off the A3, Watts Cemetery Chapel, so I duly added this to my list especially as I was driving right past it.  She also recommended my going to the beautiful, chocolate box village of Selbourne in East Hampshire where there is a fascinating museum.

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Churches and Great Dixter (4th day trip)

Day 4 on the 13th August, less than a week after my previous day out, started as an invite from my sister and husband to go to Great Dixter with them. It’s a favourite garden of ours which I try and visit every year.  Given that it’s a fair schlep to Great Dixter, my sister identified three churches that we could visit in the vicinity before lunch. Great Dixter is in Sussex close to the Kent border but the three churches we visited were all in Kent:

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Churches in Sussex (3rd day trip)

I was really starting to enjoy these days out on my own with my camera so decided to venture back into Sussex a week after the previous trip, armed with another list of churches. I’m always tempted to include a stop at Charleston House or Monks House given my passion for anything Bloomsbury Group and this time the temptation was too strong when I found myself within a few miles of Monks House. 

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Churches in Sussex (2nd day trip)

If you read my previous blog post, Visiting Churches in Sussex (day 1), you will know that I am doing day trips to Sussex in search of the little churches often found in woodland, at the end of lanes, in hamlets or villages – steeped in history.  I’ve focused on Sussex as it’s not too far to travel by car and it’s a beautiful county. The first day trip was 9th July.

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Churches in Sussex (1st day trip)

I decided not to have a summer holiday this year and instead do day trips to Sussex which is only about 80-90 minutes from home, on my own with my DSLR camera for company. I wanted to focus on visiting historic little Sussex churches in obscure places. I’ve done four of these day trips so far and I have another planned for this week.

I’ve focused on churches with historic interest, be it for their age (some as old as 9th century), their features or even their setting. I have been the only person at every church I’ve visited so far as these are off the beaten track for tourists. That was one of their attractions for me. I could have visited large churches, cathedrals or castles in towns where there would be loads of visitors but I find crowds of people so unappealing.

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Melanzane alla Parmigiana

This is my version of the recipe and is how my Sicilian mother-in-law used to make it. It’s simple and yet very tasty. No breadcrumbs, mozzarella or other ingredients, just aubergines, basil, parmigiano and a tomato sauce. In Sicily its an antipasto not a main course so I always eat it with fresh crusty bread.

Don’t eat it directly from the oven as it’s too hot to appreciate the flavours. Wait until it is luke warm or even room temperature.

 I always make more of both the aubergine slices and the sauce than I need for this dish so that I have some left over to use with pasta. There is nothing better than a plate of spaghetti with the tomato sauce and slices of fried aubergine on top and a sprinkle of parmigiano.

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Creating a ta-dah effect in your entrance hall

Every home needs to create an impact as soon as you open the front door, to draw the eye in and make you want to enter.  It creates that feelgood factor that is so important when you open the front door.

So many homes I see have clutter in the entrance way - wall hooks crammed with coats and jackets, shoes piled up on the floor or stacked on  open shelving units, kids toys, bikes, scooters etc., and other general clutter.  Hardly conducive to wanting to step over the threshold to see more! This is particularly important if you are selling your home as buyers make up their mind within five minutes of entering so you need to ensure that a prospective buyer is interested and impressed as soon as they walk through the front door.

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Renovation of a mews house to sell

Further to a previous blog post about the Clapham mews house, I’ve completed the work and the house is now on the market. Yesterday, Friday 10th May 2019, the property was featured in The Times as House of the Week ! Sadly I’m not mentioned in the article as the interior designer neither Shelley Hugh-Jones who I used to design the courtyard garden and terrace planting, but it’s great to see the house featured in the newspaper.

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Interiors sourcing at the Decorative Fair and Golborne Road

We are in mid winter here in London. Temperatures plummeted a week or so ago and we barely reach 6 Celsius most days. However I won’t complain as when it’s so cold there is less of the debilitating grey skies and more of blue skies and sunshine which really do elevate the spirits.

Monday 21 January was Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year. What a load of twaddle, isn’t it?! Why would you identify a day as the most depressing? Most of us stuck two fingers up at Blue Monday, smiled and got on with our lives.

January started with a vengeance from a work perspective so I’ve had no time to feel the post Christmas blues. And I have a trip to Sydney to look forward to in a few weeks - family, sun, sand and sea and loads of oysters and Riesling!

Between a lot of client meetings and client work at home, I managed to squeeze in some outings. First up, a day of sourcing for clients started with a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park with an interiors friend. I enjoy a wander around the stalls as they are all so beautifully styled but everything is eyewateringly expensive!

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Petersham House Open Gardens

This post is for all you garden lovers. If you are lucky enough to live in London you have the chance to see the gardens of Petersham House, the home of the owners of Petersham Nurseries, Gael and Francesco Boglione. Their home is adjacent to the Nurseries and is a stunning Georgian house with extensive gardens, swimming pool and tennis court. They have a substantial vegetable garden which is used for the restaurant in the Nurseries.

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Learn to paint furniture with chalk paint

Did you know I run a workshop on how to paint furniture with chalk paint? It's called the Power of Paint and I run it from my home with very small numbers so I can give plenty of one-on-one tuition.  The workshop runs from 10am to 3pm and includes a picnic style lunch of salads, cheeses and charcuterie.  It's a lot of fun and you leave with a piece of your own furniture painted and ready to use! 

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