The Welsh seaside - New Quay

New Quay boatLooking out my window at the grey sky it's hard to believe that until a couple of weeks ago we were basking in the midst of an elusive 'Great British Summer'. Since I first arrived here from sunny New Zealand, I thought a this thing was just a myth or a strap-line that some advertising clever clogs had made up in the 50s to lure tourists to the grey island called Britain. Now I get it, it's actually a thing! I wanted to share some photos of sunny New Quay in Wales from a trip back in the very beginning of summer, when everyone thought it was still going to rain for months. No, I'm not confused. This is New Quay in Wales, not Newquay in Cornwall. Different places. We even saw dolphins (dolphins! who knew!) playing in the sea.

New Quay - Wales

New Quay - Wales

The fishing town on Cardigan Bay, West Wales, is filled with picturesque cottages, many a fish'n'chip joints and ice-cream counters. The town is believed to be the 'cliff-perched town at the far end of Wales' as immortalised by Dylan Thomas in 'Under Milk Wood'.

Buckets, spades - Wales

New Quay WalesCome back summer. I'm not ready for endless grey days just yet. See that blue sky? NO FILTER!

Peony season

Don't you love Peony season? One thing that this dreadful weather can't take away from Summer for us. Image

I picked up this glorious bunch at Columbia Road flower market on Sunday for just £10. They are looking rather splendid in this lovely jug my sister found in charity shop on her last visit to London. (It was too big and heavy to fit in the suitcase to go back to New Zealand.)

It's all been a bit quiet on the blog lately. I have so much to blog about, but barely any time to write it. Let's just say my approach to blogging is sporadic at best.

I hope to be spending more time listening to records and writing in this peaceful corner soon.

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x Charlotte

Perfect picnic at Epping Forest

I love a good picnic on a hot day. Even though the lovely summery weather we had for a bit now seems a distant memory after this week's blustery rain.

Still, I'm hoping to get a lot more use out of my vintage picnic/chilly basket before Winter is back knocking on the door. We went to Epping Forest to christen my basket, get away from the heaving London masses and get out of the city. Perfect.  There was hardly anyone around, a mere 20 minutes on the overland from Liverpool St and we were in what seemed to be the countryside with only wild life for company.

My new basket buddying up with another vintage picnic case

The new Mexican blanket

There really is nothing like a good picnic in a forest on a hot day to wash away all memories of winter. It's amazing how quickly you forget the negative temperatures and snow.

Epping forest is truly a wonderful place - all 6000 acres of it. Well the small part we explored anyway. We managed not to get lost and even saw a bunny, a pony, cattle, a deer and plenty of cyclists. I highly recommend a visit - but don't tell too many people, I'd rather the masses stuck to Hampstead Heath.

I'm very jealous of my friend's floral picnic set that she found on eBay which came complete with green Thermos.

You can read more about our picnic over at in the Sweetness of Passing Time, who also took the lovely photos on this post.

The perfect picnic hamper

On Monday I spied a what I thought was a lovely old picnic basket with birds printed on the lid in a charity shop near my work. After thinking about it for three days I went back today and it was still there.

These photos don't really do it justice but I will try and get a better shot of it sitting a lush green field with picnic rug and mighty picnic feast to post.

And... it's not just a picnic hamper with birds on top.... it's a kool bin (or a chilly bin as we call it back home). Brilliant -  the wine and treats will stay cold. I can't wait to christen it. The only con is that I can't fit it into my bike basket as it's too big.

I was quite inspired by this morning's issue of Stylist  with its Rob Ryan designed picnic theme. Time to break out the new Ottolenghi cookbook (Plenty) and make some treats for this weekend's planned adventure to Epping Forest.