Tag Archives: bowlovers



It’s all change!  I have recently started a website www.nelliepompoms.co.uk and am   s l o w l y   but surely moving the blogs from here across to there.  Huge thanks to Gabriella Buckingham who designed my original logo and Sarah at Studio Spence who has put it all together for me, if you’re looking for a website then do get in touch with Sarah, she’s very clever (and patient!).

The website has been an idea of mine for ages.  Drawing on my many adventures and journeys, shopping experiences and personal recommendations I have brought everything together and popped it all in one place.  It’s where you will find food and drink suggestions, recent book reviews, the Instagram feed, Twitter timelineNellie Pom Poms Facebook status updates, blog and shopping inspiration from some very lovely people and businesses like Common Farm Flowers, Myddfai, Bowlovers, More-Hall, Bodlon, 2 Little Boys, Hunter Gatherer and more!

So, this blog post is short and sweet (much like myself!), but I do hope you will bookmark www.nelliepompoms.co.uk, sign up to the blog on the website and tell your friends.


Nellie Knows : 24 April : The Wokingham Paper


This was previously published in The Wokingham Paper on 24 April 2015


Here we are again! A new weekly paper for Wokingham and it’s all very exciting. As a child I used to read through the local papers and spot people I knew so it’s nice for my children to have the same opportunity although they may gloss over my column!

We’ve just had an enjoyable break from school where we had an amazing week’s skiing in La Rosière, we watched Bradley Wiggins in the Paris Roubaix and had a few sunny days in South Wales, coupled with the school shoe shopping and homework but it’s not long until the next 3 day weekend and then it’s a clear run to half term. However it’s good to be back into the routine of school run and this term I am going to be more on top of the emails that come from school and the letters that often get hidden at the bottom of the book bag.

The summer term is always a fun and busy one, but there is a lot of hard work for the children as well as teachers. This time last year we were stressing over the revision and exam time tables so to have a break from it for a few years is a relief. But after the exams comes the long summer break and if we’re lucky and this glorious weather continues we will have a long hot summer.

Food and drink

As always my thoughts turn to food and what to feed the gannets. With warmer weather and summer months approaching the last thing I want to do is spend hours cooking here and there so I have been cooking for the freezer. There’s nothing worse than opening the freezer and seeing misshapen bags of unidentifiable food and I find the easiest way to fill the freezer is by using the IKEA food bags (other bags are available), filling them and then laying them flat, so instead of a mass of bags you have a neat pile of frozen food. You’ll thank me for this I assure you!

I’ve also been making a variety of barbecue marinades and dips. The regular ones are Tomato (chopped fresh or tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, honey, Tabasco/dried chilli/fresh chills and Worcestershire Sauce) or Peanut Satay (peanut butter, onion, garlic, honey, Tabasco/dried chilli/fresh chills). Simply soften the onions and garlic, then put the remainder of the ingredients in, boil it up (with peanut butter you’ll need to add water to avoid it drying out), allow to cool and then pop in a freezer bag.

Summer entertaining

We spend lots of time in the garden but the wasps and bees are really annoying. We have lots of honey pots in the garden which are smeared with sticky jam or honey, they are then placed away from where we are eating so we aren’t bothered by them. I picked some more up from Holme Grange Gallery. Another issue is covering food, I’m not a fan of cling film as I always lose the end and tin foil makes my teeth stand on end so I use Bowlovers which are washable, reusable and available from a great website called Hunter Gatherer.


I have recently reviewed A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale which is an outstanding book, based on the story of the author’s grandfather. I have a massive to be reviewed pile and am looking forward to sinking my teeth into them. I can’t read a book more than once but I can’t part with them either which is great for friends when they are looking for a recommendation as they browse the shelves and gain inspiration. I regularly trot into Bookends in Wokingham or Chapter One in Woodley and tell them what I have been reading so that they can order it in. Funnily enough recently a friend suggested a cook book from which I have made a few dishes and I tweeted Chapter One asking them to order it for me. Within minutes a reply came back saying that they would do. I love social media!


Speaking of books there’s a new series coming to ITV called Home Fires and I will be glued to the telly when it is on as it is based on the book Jambusters by an author called Julie Summers who just so happens to be my cousin. She has a cameo role and I am understandably incredibly proud of her.


On the shopping front Rococo in Bush Walk has had a refit. The shop looks very smart on the outside and is stunning on the inside. I nipped in today just to browse and came out being able to know the time by looking at my wrist and without gazing at my phone! We often pop in to browse and chat, not always buying something but having a good look to gain inspiration for gifts so when the need arises we pop in or my children can make suggestions to the family as to what I have made a fuss of!

I’ve also been to lots of fairs and picked up a pair of mermaid fins at one fair from an exhibitor Crash Bang Kids who sells a great range of swimwear, garden and pool toys.


Kitchen Gifts


I really enjoy being in my kitchen, it’s full of food, drink, mugs, jugs and bowls, ancient crockery that I can’t bear to throw out, equipment I can’t do without, books, more things and then some!  Finding a gift for a “kitcheneer” can be quite hard but I’ve cobbled together some ideas that might be of interest.

I love my slow cooker from Netherton Foundry, I have written about it here on the blog before and am thrilled that they are offering a 5% discount to shoppers if they enter the code PEACOCK at the checkout.  I have just ordered a frying pan and wok for Big Welsh, isn’t he lucky!

Hidden amongst the cupboard of things that come out on a whim is the bread maker, we go through baking spurts but my bread maker is an old favourite and there is nothing nicer than coming downstairs in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread.  Of course bread needs a stylish place to live (albeit for a very short time with my gannets and endless guests) and I love my bread bin from Ellas’s Kitchen Company which is sturdy, has a drop down lid and space underneath for the board.  When the kitchen is how I want it then my next purchase will be a kitchen cabinet!

My favourite plates are from OKA, big enough for a decent sized portion or used as charger plates they are tactile and stylish.  I also love the mugs and they are next on my list!

Talking of mugs I have plenty and my favourites are from Emma Bridgewater, Bodlon, Ty Cariad and Dots and Spots.  Of course there is always room for more!

I counted my tea towels and I have 25 (and that’s just in the dresser never mind the laundry pile!), as with mugs there’s always room for more!  I have ancient ones from Cath Kidston and Portmeirion as well as Licorice, Ella’s Kitchen Company, Nettle Green and Bodlon and have been told by those lovely people over at Deckchair Stripes that they have an offer on at the moment.  Guess I will be up to 35 tea towels by the end of the week!

Another great purchase is my vintage enamel casserole from The Foodie Bugle, if you’re in Bath then you are in for a treat as they are opening their new shop and if their pop up is anything to go by you will become hooked!

I make no secret that I don’t like cling film which is why these natty bowlovers are ideal!  They are an ideal gift, as are easy to wrap, light to post and are extremely useful!

One thing that I absolutely love and don’t have yet (“yet” that’s a big fat hint!!) is this gorgeous set of utensils from Ceramica Blue, it’s stylish, practical and necessary (yes necessary!).

Oh I could go on for hours, but I must make a start on lunch!

Christmas Market at the Racing and River Boat Museum, Lower Basildon


On Saturday 30 November 2013 between 330pm and 730pm The Old Tithe Barn which houses the Racing and River Boat Museum at Beale Park in Lower Basildon will be full of lovely stalls and smiling faces. 

The elves have been busy creating a vintage grotto and there will be a festively themed pop up tea room selling mince pies and hot drinks.

I will be there with gorgeous gifts and must-have homewares as well as the luxury skincare range Lubatti.

It will be lovely to see Denny and Stella & Dot, Kelly from The Little Print Co and Sandy Ebdon-Jackson again.

Fiona Saunders will be there with the Jamie At Home range, which is great as my kitchen is almost finished and I love all things kitchen!

Bette & Barb from Somerset will be tempting everyone with their handmade vintage inspired Christmas cards.

I have just bought a handbag but it doesn’t stop me browsing, oh look there’s Sampson & Christie!

As well as RNLI, Shane Miller Photography and Daisy Chain Candles there will also be stalls offering seasonal silk flower arrangements, handmade soaps and beauty products, wood turning, homemade jams and chutneys, Barefoot Books,  Aloe Vera health & wellbeing, handmade appliqué cushions, knitted scarves, shawls, fingerless gloves and handmade fabric bags, kids hair accessories, deco patch items, sock monkeys and other animals, handbags, New Age gifts from Phoenix and Eagle, Christmas decorations, plus you can pre-order your Christmas tree and wreaths from Berkshire Plant Nursery.

Entry is free.

If you do come along then do come and say hello!