Category Archives: Trips and holidays

Halloween in London

The first pumpkin I saw on my walk...
The first pumpkin I saw on my walk… I love the cute little baby pumpkin 🙂

I have to say I feel a bit disappointed on my neighbours…  We must be the most boring borough in London!

I went for a walk today, with my camera, expecting to find great pumpkin decorations, bats, ghosts, witches… When I was in Dublin, every house was a real treat! People had actually given a lot of thought to the way they had decorated the front of their homes to make them scary or cute, depending, I guess, on the personality of their inhabitants and the age of their children.

However, in my neighbourhood, only 1 house in 10 had something akin to a decoration. Not even the pub had a single indication of Halloween!

I hope they are all madly carving as I type… I really like this celebration, but it is not so fun when I am the only one in the block with a pumpkin sitting outside my house 😛

Carve people, carve! The spirits are coming tomorrow night and we must be prepared!

Here are some of the decorations I found…

2014-10-30 08.20.36The English rain does very little to preserve them carved pumpkins…

2014-10-30 08.24.26And these are ours… we bought some very realistic spiders…

2014-10-26 17.00.25After the first night out, we lost 2 spiders to one of the many cats that live on our street. We never managed to reattach them properly, so we left them on the pebbles at the front of the house. Now, they give me the creeps every time I set foot outside! Hehehe.

2014-10-30 08.25.40Hope your street is full of cool decorations!



Foraging in Tuscany


We came back from Tuscany two days ago. What a beautiful region! I was amazed at how fertile and abundant that area is!

We stayed in a small house, in a mountain town called Metato, in Camaiore. We had rosemary, sage and mint growing from every corner! They were planted in pots, used as bushes to create a lovely landscape or just let to grow free by the side of the road or in the forest nearby.

The place were we were staying (which I cannot recommend highly enough) was a group of houses of different sizes designed and owned by an Italian architect who also lived there. Our little house was tastefully and charmingly decorated, with anything you could possibly need catered for.

The group of buildings had a small, shared, vegetable patch, and every day someone (I still don’t know who) would go into the patch and collect carrots, tomatoes, garlic and herbs and place them in a basket so that anyone staying at the place could use them for cooking.


We also had a fig tree (our house was called “Il Fico”, “The Fig Tree”) bursting with fruit, one of the other houses had a vine full of grapes an all over the place were olive trees, bay trees and little pots with basil.

Ah, and did I mention that there were also sweet chestnut trees growing in the forest beside us, as well as a lovely walnut tree at the entrance of the town?


It was paradise for anyone who loves to forage and cook. I certainly was crazy about the whole place.

I made fig jam with rosemary and lemon (recipe to come), tried to roast some chestnuts but they were too small and it didn’t work out (still, I had fun trying), made some lovely oxtail with red wine from the area, garlic and bay from the garden, and a wonderful focaccia full of fresh rosemary from the garden.

Every afternoon we would sit by the swimming pool to watch the sunset and drink Aperol Spritz with some local salami and cheese… it was heaven!


I LOVED MY HOLIDAYS! Can’t wait to go back!

Here are some photos (not very good I’m afraid) because Tuscany is worth sharing…

The Leaning tower of Pisa reflected on the window if a gelateria.
The Leaning tower of Pisa reflected on the window of a gelateria.



View from Metato, down into Camaiore.
View from Metato, down into Camaiore.
Our house and the fig tree.
Our house and the fig tree.

Next post: Recipe for Tuscan Focaccia 🙂

Have a lovely autumnal Monday!