Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Find of the week! Beautiful vintage wallpapers...

I found these gorgeous original 1930's wallpapers at a fair last week and have been thinking of reasons to keep them ( of which there are many!). They would be perfect for covering notebooks and boxes but would look stunning  set within frames or used to cover canvases. 
The paint has a matt,chalky finish and as they are hand printed the paper takes on a unique layered, almost 3D effect. The bouquet design is by Paul Gruin who work is archived in the Victoria and Albert Museum collections.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Twinkle, twinkle...

I bought 2 delicious cage chandeliers this week. Dripping in beautiful twinkly drops they bring drama and romance to a room. Although not an identical pair, they make perfect partners.

This fabulous photo app takes us back a hundred years!

Friday, November 25, 2011

After an unseasonably warm autumn I am now ready for a chilly spell.
Yes - I know it seems weird to WANT cold weather but there is nothing like a crackling log fire and wrapping up in winter woolies to get us in the mood for Christmas.

A safe place for your cheese!

The humble cheese safe or “ garde fromage” as it is known here was a mainstay of any rural cuisine.
It was used for drying and storing cheese. The mesh ensured that the cheese was well aired whilst protecting it from insects.
This has had a lick of paint at some time in it’s past which has now acquired the shabby chic appeal that we know and love.
It would make a quirky side table or could be wall hung.
See details of it on Chateau Chic

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A cheese straw is a wonderful thing...

But I probably shouldn't be eating them for breakfast! Nibble, crunch...

Candle wall sconces in Neo classical style

They have a refined and elegant air about them and would look perfect placed either side of a picture, mirror of fireplace.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aristocratic apple pie

The French term of "croustade" derives from the Provençal word "croustado" to mean "crust".
It now refers to many types of dishes of the French gastronomy, calling for a crisp shell (of puff pastry or potatoes for example) in which to cook fruits, meat or fish.

Apples are plentiful and cheap at that moment so make the most of Autumn's bounty with this simple but scrumptious pie recipe.

Croustade aux pommes

Serves 4-6

1kg yellow-fleshed eating apples
2-3 tablespoons Calvados
200g melted butter
I packet filo pastry - 250g
4 tablespoons sugar

Oven 180c, gas mark 6

1 Peel, core and slice the apples, sprinkle over the Calvados and leave to soak up the flavour for an hour or two. It is just to get an aroma - not to flavour the apples. Don't drown them!
Brush a tart tin with melted butter and line with a double layer of filo, leaving the extra pastry hanging over the edges. Brush with butter and layer another 2 sheets of pastry and repeat once more ( 6 layers in total). Cover with the apple, sprinkling in the sugar as you go. 

Cover with another double layer of filo, brush with butter and then fold and crumple all the overhanging edges on top of the pie. We are looking to achieve an unmade bed look! Brush with butter again.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Dust with sugar. Serve hot or warm with crème fraiche or good quality vanilla ice cream.

Et voila!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Talking of flowers...

A beautiful shabby chandelier at chateauchicdirect all ready to take on candles and provide some soft lighting

Confused sunflower...

I found this smiling little sunflower all alone in a field yesterday. It obviously still thinks it's summer. With today's temperature hitting 21c, I think I do too!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Give us this day our daily bread

How many of us remember that from school assembly days? It translates to “Donnez nous notre pain quotidien” in French.
The humble bread board is still a mainstay of many kitchens even if just for decoration. This one can be wall hung to show it off properly.
The wood has acquired a rich, warm tone over the years and has become ever so slightly oval in its old age. I know the feeling!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My favourite brocante of the year

'Couvert' was not what I wanted to see yesterday morning on the weather forecast, not on the day of MY favourite brocante of the year!
Still, off I set, geared up for any weather conditions ( apart from snow), knowing deep down that not even the heaviest of downpours could dampen my spirits and stop me unearthing some hidden treasure. The hour long drive through lashing rain and the lowest, thickest cloud I have seen for a long time finally ended with a sparkling blue, sunny sky!! My determination had paid off. The brocante at the Citadel at Hiers-Brouage signals the end of the searching season - there are a couple more to go but none are as beautiful as this place, steeped in history with a myriad of pretty cobbled streets that are punctuated with blue shuttered shops selling hand made, local produce
It is also one of the most difficult places to reach, set far out on the rugged coastine of the Bay of Biscay near Marennes, home tothe world famous oyster beds.
I did manage to scoop up some lovely things which I will reveal over the next few days on chateauchicdirect and I was suprised that I resisted the temptation to buy this little laughing gnome. Obviously not just an English obsession...

However, if this little cutiepie had been for sale I'd have snatched him up. Trop mignon!

A neat way to store your kindling

A chilly Autumn evening provides the perfect excuse to get the first log fire lit. Keep your kindling tidy in this wirework panier.