Tag Archives: Hunter Gatherer

www.nelliepompoms.co.uk

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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

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

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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.

Books

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!

Television

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.

Shopping

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.

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Compton Marbling Spring Fair

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I looked at my phone yesterday morning and saw that Harriet Hunter Gatherer was going to be at Compton Marbling Spring Fair in Tisbury, Wiltshire today so I duly wished her a nice day and took the dog for a walk.  Whilst walking I worked out the logistics.   Tisbury is in Wiltshire which is next door to be Berkshire if I go M4, or just past Hampshire (which is next to Berkshire) if I go M3.  Not that far really!  The girls are still on hols so I suggested a drive to Wiltshire and an ice cream. They bought it!!!

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Getting to Compton Marbling is so easy from Wokingham and as I’m familiar with the route we set off without a backwards glance at the housework and holiday laundry. At one stage we hit a rubbish piece of road outside Hartley Wintney and I did wonder if the car would get there in one piece!  Once on the M3 I considered my sanity driving west on a Friday afternoon but the traffic wasn’t that bad and thankfully I took a little detour to avoid going past Stonehenge and saved myself 20 minutes apparently!

We arrived at Compton Marbling and I told the girls we must look for Harriet straightaway and she would be very surprised to see us!  She was very taken aback and surprised to see us, it wasn’t like an Eammon Andrews moment but she was very surprised to see me!  It was so nice to meet Forage Somerset at last having chatted on social media for ages and Gil Fox.

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Clementine’s Shop has a lovely selection of gifts and inspiration, I picked up a few bits and pieces knowing that I would have to return another time!
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I like the look of the bamboo socks and at 3 pairs for £12 they’re a bargain!

IMG_5977The stallholders were varied and oh so friendly, I could have spent hours admiring Metal Menagerie‘s wonderful designs!

 I did think I would pick up a Pom Pom basket from Forage Somerset

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but got sidetracked by the mermaid fins and had to pick up a pair for Laree and one for our friend’s daughter!

It was also nice to meet Black Mountains Smokery who I pass regularly when I am in Wales.  I do love pickles and condiments so picked up some crab apple jelly which I will enjoy with my cheese at lunch today.

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The girls enjoyed brownies from the cafe, sadly we had to dash back to pick up Mook but we are looking forward to visiting Pythouse another time.

I also tried some chilli oil from Gastro Nicks – wow it had a good punch.  Delicious!

It was so lovely to see Harriet again and see the new designs of the Bowlovers as well as the PERSONALISED BOWLOVERS some other stock that I had not seen in the flesh before.  The summer herb barbecue lighters are brilliant by the way!

If you are looking for something to do today then why not pop along to Compton Marbling, it’s open until 5pm and I assure you that you will enjoy mooching, browsing, shopping and eating.  If you do go then do say I said hello!

It’s well signposted and satnav will take you straight to Lower Lawn Barns, West Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6SG.

Have a jolly day!

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Kitchen Gifts

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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!

Storage Ideas and Dreams

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I regularly discuss storage and my love of storage, it’s not quite an obsession but it is something I think about on a regular basis.  I have also been known to dream about storage.

All too often when people come round they admire my genius storage solutions.  I’ve used a jelly mould for a vase, enamel bread bins for anything but bread; I’ve had a garden planter full of towels to name but a few examples of multi-usage items!  Big Welsh despairs when he comes home as he doesn’t quite know what I might have moved around, painted, turned upside down or swapped!

Organisation is actually really simple to achieve (well I say that but then I look at the girls’ bedrooms and my heart sinks) and with so many companies with stunning storage solutions is it any wonder that I am spoilt for choice.

My kitchen is constantly under threat of having a wall removed so I am loath to get any more furniture, but that has not stopped me getting my bread bin from Ella’s Kitchen Company.  This breadbin is fantastic because it has a front opening drop down door so you can actually see what is in there, there is space underneath for a chopping board and the top is flat so you can house a toast rack and butter dish or anything you like.  I also need the kitchen cabinet, storage boxes, long handled dustpan & brush and the tongs!

I recently found Kate Watson-Smyth’s blog, what a treat it was to sit down and literally lose myself!  Look at her kitchen; I love the shelves behind the sink, the colour of the walls and the air holes at the top of the door!

One thing I do want in my kitchen is a standalone workstation and the one I have my eye on is on the Alison at Home website.

Another favourite is Dee Puddy who I met through Hunter Gatherer.  Her website is just a delight and I am very fond of my antique zinc storage baskets.

Of course Hunter Gatherer is another firm favourite, I particularly like the numbered stickers which will assist in any storage situations and the biodegradable dishcloth (which I like to look at)!

I tend to pick up shelves and things from Kim over at Pedlars Place, it’s well worth a visit and she also sells your stuff on 50/50 basis meaning you when I tire of something I can sell it and use the proceeds to buy something else.

Shelf Store is another place I have been looking at, they might be the answer to my bathroom towels and heaps of products my girls seem to have accumulated.  I like the easy to navigate website and the handy price helper. 

I recently met Vincent & Barn and I am really taken with the Glass Cabinet, ideal for bed linen!

Now I must research under the stairs storage!