About Me

My photo
Loving all stylish and wonderful things in life, fashion and interiors. I am English but living my life in the fabulous city of Melbourne in Australia. Welcome and please read on.... (contact me at sjstubbs19@gmail.com)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Outing

Today Mr SE and I went on a mini road trip.

We went south of Melbourne to the lovely Mornington Peninsula area (about 50kms out of the City) and on the way back up stopped at this lovely cafe called Lilo in Mornington, near the coast.

Such a great place. I believe it has only been opened since late last year. Lots of accents of green in the cafe. It really worked.

We had a pot of tea each (REAL tea leaves btw! - as Faux Fuchsia would say - 11/10) and shared a sandwich. Great friendly service and lovely little touches - for example the the teaspoons - look - all little vintage ones... so cute..

Photograph below shows our afternoon tea - I love the little milk bottles too (although they may have cribbed this idea from me - see this POST - ha ha!)

The sandwich was DELISH too - very fresh (Mr SE had already started his half before I whipped out the camera!) and I would thoroughly recommend this cafe - gorgeous little vintage touches in a modern setting. We will definitely be back. www.lilocafe.com.au.
(Photos - all mine except Nos. 2 and 3 - these are from the cafe's facebook page)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

White Horses of Wiltshire and the garden

Just before I came back to Australia a couple of weeks ago I took these photographs to show you... The first is of a white horse chalk carving high up on the hills very near our cottage in Wiltshire. In fact I pass it most days when I am in England - quite majestic isn't it ? I thought it was looking particularly lovely that evening with the rapeseed flowers at the fore front. Wiltshire is the county for white horses. There are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire, and another white horse, the oldest of them all, being just over the border in Uffington, Oxfordshire. Most of the white horses are chalk hill carvings, and the chalk downs of central Wiltshire make it an ideal place for such figures.
Of the thirteen white horses known to have existed in Wiltshire, eight are still visible, and the others have either been lost completely, or are in a sense still there, under the turf, but have long since become grown over and are no longer visible.
The Uffington white horse is of certain prehistoric origin, being some three thousand years old. Most of the others date from the last three hundred years or so. The one above I believe dates from around 1857.

The next couple of photographs are the last ones I took of the garden the day I left the cottage just after I had done a last tidy up - mowed the lawn and done a little thinning and pruning...

You can see from the photo how tiny the garden is - it runs down the side of the house and the white cottage at the back of the photograph is my neighbour's. Still, it is the perfect size and can be looked after from afar with a friend of ours (who happens to be a landscape gardener) coming in every 10 days or so during the Summer to check on the shrubs etc. and mow the lawn - really it needs very little actual looking after which is a good thing in the circumstances.

Particularly like this photo - wonder if the roses around that door have come out by now?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday night

I was transformed back into the dancing Queen - young and sweet only 17..... Well, it certainly felt that way again even though of course the age was just a little bit out! We had such a great evening. Yes, it was a little bit 'naf', a little 'cheesey' and perhaps teensy bit 'camp' even but my goodness it was FUN!
Every single person was UP on their feet - hands waving, endorphins doing their stuff and at the end of the evening most people left with a huge
SMILE on their faces.

I LOVED it - regular readers will know that my secret has already been outed - I am an ABBA fan and I say "Thank you for the Music" and will do for as long as their songs are around.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend flowers. At home and away.

Mr SE returned home last night bearing gifts... Well, a gift of many flowers. He said it was because I have been a good nurse looking after him after his operation on his elbow. So sweet of him as truth is (as my family knows) I am really not a great nurse and am woefully inadequate in that department and go all hollow-legged and lightheaded at anything which comes remotely under the heading of wounds and stitches needing treatment!

Such lovely flowers - I felt very lucky. They are from our local florist at the end of the road - now under new management apparently.

Away Flowers......

A display at PEONY. Showcasing DIPTYQUE'S organic Body Care Range.

Roses and Orchids above.

And close up of the roses on a French rustic iron garden chair.... - my kind of antique - a little bit battered around the edges but quite loved. Bit like me I suppose!!

A wonderful to weekend to you all wherever you are in the world and whatever you are doing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

At the end of the line

Mr SE and I took the train to the end of the line today...Up to the mountains or, to be precise the Dandenong ranges, near Mount Dandenong. He has been at home over the last few days as he had to have a minor operation on his elbow (caused by an old 'war wound' - not really - a leftover from a car accident he had in his early twenties). Anyway, I am pleased to say he is on the mend and apart from the wounded soldier sling he has to wear is feeling a bit better.

This was the view from the cafe where we stopped for lunch.

Just look at the colour of the leaves and the contrast with the blue of that sky... the mercury hit 19 degrees today - the perfect Autumn day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meanwhile back in the land of Oz

Whilst I have been away in England, Autumn has truly arrived in Australia and this is the view outside our house in Melbourne. Looking up to the right of the house.

And, below looking down towards the local shops, railway station etc.

Such amazing colours. Mr SE and I went for a walk at lunchtime and stopped at a cafe and partook of large mugs of delicious homemade soup. Just right for the weather.

A great weekend to one and all...
I am happy to report that so far my jet lag has not been too bad this time and I had a great flight over with dear old Qantas - 4 seats all to myself - and as you can imagine I stretched out and took advantage of making myself my own 'business class style bed in economy'!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The recipe that goes with the previous post!

I am at my parents' house again this evening as my father is taking me to Heathrow airport tomorrow morning. He has written out the Salmon Mousse recipe for you so I thought I would quickly put it on the blog especially for those who need it quickly for this weekend!!

Smoked salmon mousse (for 8) (apologies for those in USA or Europe as these measurements are all in 'imperial' - hopefully you will have a recipe book which translate!)
  • 3 fl.oz white wine
  • bay leaf
  • 5 fl.oz fish or chicken stock
  • 1.5 tbsp crushed black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • small squeeze tomato puree
  • 8oz smoked salmon minced
  • 8 fl. oz double cream
  • 7 oz yoghurt
  • small pack (half ounce) gelatine powder
  • 3 fl oz water
  • tsp. oil

Boil wine, bayleaf, stock, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes until reduced by half. Pour through a fine sieve and stir in tomato puree. Mix this liquid into the minced salmon. Whip the cream until stiff and fold the yoghurt in. Fold the cream / yoghurt mix into the salmon. Dissolve the gelatine in the water. Allow it to cool and then stir into the salmon mixture. Lightly oil a loaf tin and pour in the mixture. Allow to set in the fridge and then before serving run a knife round the edge and turn out and decorate as you wish with parsley/lemon/cucumber etc... ENJOY!

I probably won't have time again to blog or comment before I leave and so the next one will be when I return to Australia... Meanwhile you could check out my blogging friend That's Not My Age 's post - for a last fleeting look at the Semi Expat cottage!! (That's Not My Age is featured in the British Press and has a wonderful blog - you would be mad not to follow her ).

Monday, May 10, 2010

A meeting of sisters on a Sunday

Yesterday I met up with my youngest sister Jo (the one that got married last month - scroll down the blog for the post if you'd like - 'A very English Wedding ') with her daughter Daisy - my mini niece. After much deliberation on where we'd meet up we decided in the end that the best place would be halfway between our houses which happens very conveniently to be our parents' home in the middle of Hampshire.

This of course was a very Good Move on our part as a lovely lunch was served as ever by my parents. The photograph above shows a delicious bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc nicely chilled which went extremely well with the salmon mousse that my father had made. (I have asked him for the recipe to put on the blog later on if he will reveal it!) My parents always lay out their dining tables beautifully even if it is just the two of them! And prepare their breakfast table each night before they go to bed to be ready for the morning! Just one of their rituals that have become so familiar to us their offsping, over the years!

Dad's salmon mousse. (The china is Villeroy and Boch's "Petite Fleur" - quite appropriate for a lovely Spring day).

In the afternoon sister Jo, Daisy and I went for a walk along the high street in their village. It's really beautiful - full of lovely Georgian houses and trees which at the moment are looking their best - full of blossom.

Best foot forward! My sister and Daisy.

My favourite type of architecture again. Georgian.

Couldn't resist a photograph of this magnificent wisteria.

Nor this - pink clematis montana.

And whenever I go to my parents I have to look in the window of this shop. A lovely interiors place in the high street - good in some ways that it was closed! In the window of the right they were showcasing fabrics by Malabar which are a particular favourite of mine. The striped red and cream one at the back is what I have in my sitting room in a roman blind.

French inspired chair in the right hand window.

Lefthand window - very comfortable looking and smart upholstered chair -fun cushions too!

On the 'home- straight' back to Grandma's house (and the promise of a drink and a biscuit!)

Now, where are they? Or, rather -wonder what Grandma has in this drawer?

I had such a lovely day - certainly these are times to treasure especially as I'm returning very soon back again to Australia.

Friday, May 7, 2010

My news and what's new

On Monday my DDD went off to Indonesia with a backpack on her back (here she is at Heathrow airport) and not a backwards glance..... She is certainly making the most of her gap year before University in September but as her mother I cannot help but have a lump in my throat as she leaves again and worry whether she will be ok.

I know that she has reached the first stop safely (Bali) and is going to go on to 'Island hop' around Indonesia next week - apparently around the Gilli (sp?) Islands.

Meanwhile, I have been working each day at Indigo here in UK and back in Australia at PEONY I have heard that they have a very, very special range of new candles in from Laduree in Paris.....

How delicious !!! .... They come in quite a few 'flavours' / fragrances including - Brioche, Cafe Creme, Caramel Butter (mmmm), Marron Glace, Orange Blossom, and Wild Strawberry.... I cannot wait to get back there and smell them !

I am returning to Melbourne next week so more posts from my usual Semi Expat in Oz state soon.....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The 6th the 10th and the SE Garden

A few days ago I was 'tagged' by Janet of the Gardeners Cottage to show the 6th photo that I posted onto my blog and to say why I picked it... well.. here we are this is it. At the time I was working at the shop Peony and the title of the post was called 'The shop on the other side of the road' - which was Ma Maison where I now do a regular stint each week when I am in Australia so really it is quite appropriate... for more information look at http://www.ma-maison.com.au/ And Jeanne from Collage of life tagged me to show my 10th photo... which was as follows...

showing an outfit I wore to work when I was working at Peony... A dress by Australian make 'Lounge Apparel' with a striped top underneath from Lilith (French make) with a tie cardi over the top by Avoca (Irish make) and wedge heeled boots which I bought in England but I think they are German! I posted this photo as I was showing what I wore to work each day when I started the blog and was looking after the perfumery Peony - for more information about Peony - http://www.peonymelbourne.com.au/. So, now I am 'tagging' some others to show either their 6th or their 10th photograph that they posted on their blog and to say why they picked it!

  • Carly from Tune in to Radio Carly

  • Susie from The Mill House

  • Pauline from Struggling to be Stylish

  • Jane from Small but Charming

  • Sydney Shop Girl

  • James from Man of the Fifties

    I also thought I would show you some Spring happenings in the garden... First off these gorgeous Auriculas - they come up each year without fail. I planted them in an antique French iron planter thingy....

Just remembered the name - it's an urn - not a thingy!! It's sitting on a little round French iron table which I got from my friends Kiel and Stuart of FONTAINE years ago.

And the blossom out on this little tree - signs of Spring everywhere but today it is dull and cold - just typical as it is a long weekend - Monday is a holiday here in UK.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend..........(and for those in Australia whose weekend is nearly over hope yours was wonderful too!!)