Villa Augustus

Villa Augustus in the Netherlands is a self sustained fairytale environment of a hotel, a restaurant, a market cafe and a vegetable garden. The garden supplies food to the hotel, restaurant, market cafe and for sale.

Villa Augustus

Villa AugustusVilla Augustus

Villa Augustus

Villa Augustus

Villa AugustusVilla Augustus

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Villa Augustus

Villa Augustus

Villa Augustus

Prince of Mist

Has the sunshine gone? Perhaps now the freckles (I’ll pretend they aren’t sun damage) will fade away and I can return to my British pale and lovely complexion that plagues me most of the year. I think, due to the number of small people hovering around the streets, that schools have broken up. It now makes the tube impossible to get anywhere without have to step over these said small people en route.

You are especially doomed if like me you live or work within a tube stop for something that these people might actually want to visit in their holidays (Tooting Lido – come on it’s just a big pool, you don’t really want to go there do you?) it’s a nightmare and it makes my head want to implode. This is coupled with the fact that London Underground have decided that every few weekends they will just shut down South London by closing the Northern line – but it’s ok you can take a replacement bus – which takes 45mins. 45 mins to add to any journey – great! What exactly do I pay for in my Oyster card these days? Small people and buses stuck in traffic apparently.

Well good riddance for rain – maybe now they will stay at home and read a book or maybe which is more likely I will stay at home and read a book. This week we have something for all ages ‘The Prince of Mist’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A chilling horror tale that will scare you nicely into submission to never leave the house again, just incase you should encounter anything like this yourself.

The story’s hero is Max Carver a nine year old the son of a watchmaker and inventor who due to the war has moved to the seaside with his family. The house once belonged to a highly regarded surgeon Dr Richard Fleischmann and within the overgrown garden of the house Max finds something sinister. A group of statues which sit within a metal fence crowned by a pointed star. On closer inspection these statues turn out to be a circus troop (turn away now if you have a fear a clowns) and the central figure is a huge clown.

As the tale unravels we have the mystery of a wardrobe speaking to his sister and beckoning her to come to it. There is the discovery of the wreck of a boat that sank many years ago where everyone perished except one man an engineer. You may never want to go diving again after you read this book so perhaps if you have a fear of open water and clowns steer clear. Nothing however is ‘hammed up’ the story is exciting and thrilling and Zafron’s skill shines through to create a book perfect for the young adult range but to be loved by adult readers alike. It has all the main ingredients of thrilling read but twists it into something new and powerful. The book is pure magic and takes pride of place in the school holiday read section.

Tin Can Tea Lights -1

Tin Can Tea Lights-2

My boyfriend made me these for Christmas last year, but actually they are pretty neat for summer time so I’m giving it a go myself – the plan is to put them out on the windowsill (the closest I’ll be getting to a garden in my London flat) while the nights are still warm enough to go to bed with the window open. If you get the patterns right you’ll find you can stare at them flickering away for hours.
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Sprouted Kitchen

I haven’t posted any food for a while… but just when I’m working on a summer detox I stumble across this wonderful food blog, Sprouted Kitchen. So much yum!

Sprouted Kitchen

Sprouted Kitchen

Sprouted Kitchen

Sprouted Kitchen

Sprouted Kitchen

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A few weeks ago I popped into Yalla Yalla, a sweet little Lebanese café in Soho to pick up some lunch. As we waited for our food to take away, we were invited to wait on a bench which was scattered with cushions made from scarves:

Scarf Cushion -13

Sorry about the rubbish picture (I had to take is surreptitiously on my phone) but I promise, in real life they look great and what’s more they looked really easy to make. I decided to try my own take on it, using this (Indian, I think?) scarf that I picked up for a couple of pounds from the charity shop at the end of my road. The point is you could do this with any old scarf or loose fabric from any far off land to add a bit of an exotic feel to your living room, garden furniture, or even to picnic in style and comfort!

By the way, I stitched mine by hand just to prove how quick and easy it is to do this without any fancy equipment, but of course if you have a sewing machine it might be a little neater. Here goes. Cat x

You will need:

Cushion
Scarf
Needle and thread
Pins
Tape measure
Scissors

Scarf Cushion 12

Step 1 Wrap the fabric over the cushion and line up the edge (the edge with tassles if you have one) with the seam of the cushion

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Step 2 Once it’s lined up, measure 7 inches or so (depending on how bit your cushion is – basically this needs to be about a third the length of your cushion) of extra fabric from the edge of the cushion.

Scarf Cushion 2
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