Introducing Black Chalk Paint By Annie Sloan

Dark Chalk Paint™ Wax from Annie Sloan is an easy way to give your furniture an ‘aged’ antique look. Maybe your cabinet did not really come from a French château, but you can easily make it look like it did! 

As well as adding an aged and textured look on painted surfaces, Dark Chalk Paint™ Wax seals and protects your furniture, with a water repellent finish. Dark Chalk Paint™ Wax works well with Clear Chalk Paint™ Wax to create the desired level of the aged effect. To achieve Annie Sloan's signature look, first apply a thin coat of Clear Wax, removing any excess with a lint free cloth. Next, apply the Dark Wax, pushing it into the paintwork to bring out brush marks and recesses. Wipe off any excess with Clear Wax, making sure every part of your piece has been waxed at least once. For after care simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Wax can be applied with a lint free cloth and Annie Sloan has also developed specialist brushes for the job, with pure bristles shaped to a point so that you can work the wax into the paint in detailed areas with ease and move around in tight spaces.

Annie Sloan says: “How do you use Dark Wax? It's one of the questions I get asked most often. Some people are a little nervous about trying it because it looks so, well, dark! In actual fact, it's really simple to use and is still the best way to age a piece of furniture and bring out texture in your paintwork. My secret? Use Clear and Dark Chalk Paint Wax together to achieve the exact level of 'darkness' you want to age your furniture. The beauty of Dark Chalk Paint Wax is in the detail. Applied over a coat of Clear Wax, it absorbs into the little cracks and crevices in your paintwork. I always like to use it over paint that I've applied very thickly so you get lots of delicious brush marks and even some cracking. The Dark Wax is what gives a realistic 'antique' look.

You can apply Dark Wax directly onto unpainted wood as well. Here (see image at top of page) I've done this to darken the look of what was quite pale unfinished pallet wood. Normally I would paint and then wax, but here I reversed the process. The unfinished wood was just a little too raw and rough so, by applying Dark Wax followed by a wash of paint and then a final coat of Clear Wax, I was able to achieve a rich and textural, yet smooth and characterful finish.”

Offered in two sizes – a mini 120ml pot for small projects (£4.95) and 500ml (£8.95); available exclusively from Annie Sloan stockists, who are located throughout the UK, and on-line

Places to Stay - The Sir Adam, Amsterdam

Sir Adam is the third hotel in the SIR group and is located in the first eight floors of the city’s landmark A’DAM Toren. Overlooking the City IJ-river and the historic city centre of Amsterdam, this urban boutique hotel consists of 108 rooms, diverse food and beverage outlets, and multi-dimensional meeting and event spaces. 

The Hub

The Hub

The colourful and industrial-chic interiors were designed by award-winning New York-based innovation and design studio ICRAVE, with the intention to create a free-spirited atmosphere that plays host to lifestyle travellers and locals alike, in a curated environment full of music and art.

The Hub

The Hub

Replacing the traditional hotel lobby is The Hub, a co-working space-meets-concept store and Music Library where guests can listen to a range of vinyl. The Hub overlooks The Butcher Social Club, located on the ground floor, a bright and spacious gourmet burger joint set in a casual living room environment. The vibrant space also includes a large island bar and riverside terrace, which will host regular live performances and nightly DJ sets.

Sir Deluxe Room

Sir Deluxe Room

A spiral staircase ascends to a panoramic indoor-outdoor drinking den, The Beergarden. Also located on this floor are The Studios, flexible event spaces which can be combined with the Beergarden to host events for over 200 guests. 

Sir Boutique Room

Sir Boutique Room

The 107 guest rooms and suites are fitted out with all the necessities to entertain, from Bluetooth-enabled Crosley record players and a collection of vinyl’s, to a Gibson guitar. Embracing the original structure of the tower, raw concrete pillars and exposed ceilings frame the interiors, whilst the floor-to-ceiling windows hold floating desks and window benches providing dramatic, panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

Sir Deluxe Corner Room

Sir Deluxe Corner Room

Book us in.


Spring Florals For Mother's Day

Whether it’s your mum, grandma, mother-in-law or step-mother, celebrate all the women in your life this Mother's Day with one of Murals Wallpaper's beautiful floral wallpaper murals. Much more long-lasting than a bunch of last-minute flowers, get her something she will truly treasure this year. 

It's time to scrap the box of chocolates and go for a gift that is unexpected and everlasting. With hundreds of floral prints to choose from, there is sure to be something she'll love. As well as brightening up a room, the high-definition floral designs bring the outside in, making it feel like Spring has sprung all year long. 

All products are made-to-order and custom sized according to the customer's wall dimensions.

Recipe of the Week - Insalata Primaverile

Now that we have passed the first day of spring, we can start to plan ahead to warmer days and fresh crispy salads. This tasty recipe is bursting full of goodness and will make a perfect lunch or light supper.

Preparation Time: Less than 30 minutes

Cooking Time: Less than 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Insalata Primaverile Via Heart Home mag.jpg


3 Romaine heart lettuce, chopped

10 Green asparagus spears, sliced on an angle

150g Young broad beans, podded

150g Peas, podded

150g Fresh or frozen soy beans

2 Radish, raw thinly-sliced

8 Quail eggs, soft boiled

200g Parmesan shavings

100g Baby spinach


300ml extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the green asparagus, add the broad beans, peas and soy beans and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop them cooking but not to cool them.

  2. Whisk the extra virgin oil with a good amount of sea salt and black pepper

  3. Mix all of the vegetables with the romaine lettuce, baby spinach, radish and parmesan shavings and pour the dressing over.

  4. Divide between four plates. Slice the cooked quail eggs in half and place an equal portion on the top of each salad.

Enjoy this salad with a crisp glass of white wine, such as Pinot Bianco.

Recipe courtesy of Franco de Todaro – Stuzzico Ristorante

Lee Broom Launched 10 Year Show For Salone Del Mobile 2017

Critically acclaimed and award-winning British furniture and lighting designer Lee Broom will unveil his landmark tenth anniversary collection at this year’s Salone Del Mobile from 4th - 9th April 2017. Entitled ‘TIME MACHINE’, the 10-year show is a unique and immersive installation set inside a derelict vault in the famous and historic Milano Centrale train station. The vaults, which have been unused for over thirty years and previously never been open to the public before, form the brand new Ventura Centrale Design District in the heart of Milan launching during Salone del Mobile 2017.

The installation will feature an edit of furniture, lighting and accessories from Lee Broom’s ten-year career including Bright On Bistro (2008), Carpetry Console (2009), Crystal Bulb (2012) and Drunken Side Table (2015), all reimagined in a completely white colour palette which gives the products a uniformity and purity. Each of the reinvented designs highlights the evolution of Broom’s signature and unique mix of classicism, modernity and conceptual design in what will be a highly original body of work.

The collection will be presented on a dramatic and modernist interpretation of a fairground carousel placed in the centre of the Milano Centrale station vault. The carousel will rotate to represent the evolving lifecycle the brand has journeyed throughout the past decade. The derelict vault, illuminated solely by the light of the carousel will be left untouched and in stark contrast to the purity and playful serenity of the installation. Exceeding over 340 sq meters, the exhibition will be the largest show to date and similarly to Lee Broom’s presentations over the last few years it will seamlessly combine design, drama, movement and illumination in a surreal and unexpected experience offering a unique insight into Lee Broom’s ten-year history.

Keeping with the essence of time and in addition to the re-imagined ten-year collection, a new exclusive piece will be created and launched at the show in the form of a statuesque marble grandfather clock. Hand-crafted from Carrara marble, the monolithic structure which will take centre stage in the exhibition features a traditional engineered clock mechanism with solid brass pendulum, weight and hands.

To mark the ten-year anniversary, the grandfather clock and the re-imagined designs will all be limited edition with only ten of each being produced, Lee Broom’s first limited edition collection since his debut in 2007.

Ventura Centrale | Via Ferrante Aporti 17 | 20125 Milano. Dates: Wednesday 5th April – Saturday 8th April 2017, 10am – 8pm | Sunday 9th April, 10am - 6pm

5 Simple Ways to Make Mother's Day Special

It's nice to give or receive a lovely gift on Mothers Day, but it's the little things that make the day so special. With a little bit of thought and effort you can really spoil mum and let her know how much you care. These are our top tips. Now, we're not suggesting you do all of them. We just know that one of these would make our day.

1. Surprise her with breakfast in bed. We're not talking the full monty. Just some pasties from the bakers and some freshly brewed coffee or a pot of tea. It's all in the presentation, so make the tray pretty with a napkin and a flower. And don't forget the papers.

2. Run her a bath. This one really goes hand in hand with number 1. While she's enjoying her breakfast, fill the bath with bubbles and put out fresh towels and her favourite toiletries. She'll love you for it.

3. Instead of buying her a card, why not make one instead? It just shows that you've put a little more thought into it and it isn't hard to do. Hobbycraft is full of fun ideas or you could design one on the PC and print it off.

4. Bake her a cake. There are lots of recipes online. Or borrow her favourite cookbook and choose one you know she likes to eat herself.

5. Make time for her. Go for a country walk, enjoy a pub lunch, or just sit and chat. Spending time with you, after all, is her favourite pastime of all.

All images from MiaFleur

La Cafetière 8 Cup Brushed Gold Cafetiere, £34.95. Gold Coffee Cups, £25.95. Glass Coffee Cup And Saucer, £26. Gold Tea Ball Infuser, £8.50. La Cafetière Brushed Gold Strainer Teapot, £35.95. La Cafetière Brushed Gold Tea Spoons (set Of 4), £13.95.

Celebrate Mother's Day At Bea's Of Bloomsbury

To celebrate everyones favourite person, their Mum, Bea’s of Bloomsbury have created a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea with brand new additions just for the occasion on Sunday 26th March. Included in the afternoon tea will be new delicious treats; mini Lemon Tarts, handmade Chocolate Eclairs and beautiful Blue Berry, Lavender and Rose macaroons. Priced at just £26.50 per person it is available at Marylebone, St Paul’s and Bloomsbury locations. 

However if you can’t make it to Bea’s on the day they have created several special cakes and treats that would make perfect gifts. The Mother’s Day collection includes a stunning Raspberry & Vanilla cake that can be personalised with your own message and a special handmade Cupcake Box. Treats from the collection start from £1.85, making Mothers Day with Bea’s a truly an affordable luxury.

New Additions to the Heart Home Shop for Mother's Day

We've added a few new items to the Heart Home shop to help you out for Mother's Day. We know it's not easy choosing the perfect gift for someone so special so we've selected only things that we know she'll love. We love them, so we know she will too.

And don't forget if you don't find what you're looking for below, there is much more in the main shop. Just hit the tab at the top of the page. Happy shopping

Cox & Cox Launches Easter Collection

Here at Heart Home HQ we are still struggling with Lent (giving up chocolate can be very hard indeed) but seeing the new Easter collection from Cox & Cox has brighten up our day. As the weather seems to be on the up this week, there is a real sense of Spring in the air.

The new Easter collection from Cox & Cox couldn't have landed in our inbox at a better time. Fresh, fun, these cute decorations are bound to put anyone in a good mood. It's got us all excited for Easter. Time to start planning ways to decorate for the home. Here are a few pieces to tempt you further...

Recipe of the Week - Beetroot and Apple Soup

This recipe comes from The Mountain Café Cookbook by Kirsten Gilmour.  Kirsten runs the popular Mountain Café in Aviemore and the cookbook includes many of recipes from there.  

Us Kiwis love beetroot, but this is definitely not a Kiwi soup! This one came from Aggie, a crazy Polish chef-lady who worked for us at the café for eight years. When she made beetroot soup I thought to myself, ‘That will never sell…’ But it flew out of the kitchen pass and the customers raved about it.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped with skin on
1 stick celery, chopped
500g beetroot, peeled and cut into equal small even chunks
1200ml vegetable stock (or 2 stock cubes in 1200ml of hot water)
240ml apple juice
freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pan over a medium to high heat and sauté the onion, apple and celery until the onions are translucent and glossy but not coloured. 
  • Add the beetroot and stir, then add the stock and apple juice while still on the heat. 
  • Cook on a medium heat with a constant fast simmer for about an hour until the beetroot is tender. 
  • Blitz until smooth and add a little more hot water or apple juice if the soup is too thick. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

• Reheat this as quickly as you can and avoid keeping it hot for too long as you will lose the vibrant purple colour.
• This is lovely served with crisp apple slices and horseradish sour cream.

The Mountain Cafe Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms

Published by The Kitchen Press, £20

Tori Murphy Turns Five & Introduces New Colours To The Collection

This summer, British textile brand Tori Murphy turns five. Driven by the desire to create products with longevity and integrity, founder and designer Tori launched the brand with a commitment to designing and producing 100% British-made homewares. Five years on, Tori’s passion for English manufacturing continues as the brand grows.

Previously known for her subtle use of colour, Tori has reinterpreted her much-loved Chevy pattern in versatile cotton, scaling down and rotating the classic chevron and introducing a bright, bold palette reflecting her excitement at the brand’s growth and optimism for its future. Woven in Lancashire and finished in Yorkshire, Climbing Chevy - in a choice of radish red, rose pink and mustard - is perfectly showcased on new double-sided piped cushions, jewel-like trays and a partnership with English furniture manufacturer David Seyfried. 

David Seyfried Elystan sofa in Radish Climbing Chevy fabric.

David Seyfried Elystan sofa in Radish Climbing Chevy fabric.

Launching at London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour, Tori will be speaking at the David Seyfried showroom on Tuesday 14th March at 11am and will be welcoming questions about the business and her plans for the next five years. 

Statement Lampshades for an Easy Spring Update

We all know that changing the cushions on the sofa can result in a whole new look for a room. But have you considered a new lampshade or two to revitalise a decorative scheme? That forgotten lamp in the corner might just be crying out for a new shade, and something bold and colourful can really make a punchy statement without breaking the bank. 

Clockwise from top left: Malindi, Lubumbashi, Chake Chake, Douala

Out of Africa. These bold shades are hand made in Istanbul using West African fabrics and are available from InSpaces. £88 each. The certainly won't go unnoticed and will have the same effect as adding a piece of art to a room.

Colour Block. The sumptuous fabrics, zingy colours and gold linings of these shades from Love Frankie will bring a touch of luxury to any room. And that lining will bring a glow to a dark corner whether the bulb is lit or not. From £35.

Geometrically Opposed. The multi-faceted structure of crystals with their complex and reflective surfaces and subtle geometric form is the inspiration for this pattern, which is made up of triangles and tiny drawn dots in subtle shades of grey as well as black. Perfect for a contemporary or seventies inspired room that just needs a hint of pattern. From Lush Designs. £56.75 each.

Beside the Seaside. It will feel as if summer has come early with these Maritime shades from Cream Cornwall. Prices vary.

Book Giveaway: Studio by Sally Coulthard

We are so excited to be giving away two copies of this fabulous new book: Studio by Sally Coulthard. If you missed last week's post then you can see an extract from the book by clicking here.

Art, craft and all things homemade have never been more popular and the trend for working from home continues apace. But it can be tricky to carve out a space in your house that lets you indulge your passion or earn a living from your creativity. Studio and study spaces are special places - full of creative spirit and practical potential - and there's never been a greater demand for a book that shows you how to carve out a corner that allows you to not only practice your craft, but inspires and facilitates the very work you create.

Real-life case studies from seven different countries, ranging from crafters, writers, designers and artists, show readers just what can be achieved on every budget. Many of the studio owners featured have a dedicated and ever-expanding social media following, including fashion designers Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers, woodworker Ariele Alasko, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, fine artist Lisa Congdon and decor8 blogger Holly Becker. Detailed chapters outline the vital pieces needed to create a functioning and inspirational studio space, while also taking an in-depth look into different styles of studios for craft and creative activities. With Studio, Sally Coulthard shows you that spaces for creativity can be easy to make, look beautiful, and fitted into any home.

We're giving away two copies so for a chance to win a copy of this amazing book make sure to click the link below and fill out the form - That's all you have to do! Good Luck!

Terms and conditions: The prize draw is open to individuals in the UK residents aged 18 or over. Any person or persons connected with Heart Home magazine, without limit, their families, agents, or anyone else involved in the administration of this offer are not eligible to enter. All entries must be received by 06:00 19th April. By entering this competition you consent to share your email, name and postcode with Heart Home magazine, who may wish to send you mailings in the future. There will be one winner who will receive the prize above. The prize must be accepted as offered (there are no cash alternatives) and they are non-transferable and non-refundable. The winners will be chosen from the list, at random, on 1st February and the winners will be notified by email or post within 7 days. No correspondence will be entered into. Unclaimed prizes will be redrawn after 28 days of the original draw. Heart Home magazine reserves the right to replace the prize with a product of equal value, if necessary. The winners will be asked to confirm their postal address before the prize is awarded. Details of the winners may be posted on the Heart Home magazine website and Facebook page. By entering this competition, you automatically agree to the terms and conditions above. Promoter: Heart Home magazine, 4 Oak Crescent, Wickford, Essex, SS11 7FF.

Recipe of the Week - Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake

Kirsten Gilmour is the owner and head chef at Aviemore’s Mountain Café. This recipe is an extract from her new book, The Mountain Café Cookbook: a Kiwi in the Cairngorms.

We came up with this recipe so we could offer veggie-friendly cheesecakes that didn’t use gelatine or eggs. The result is incredibly light, chocolatey and rich with a real feel of decadence.

Serves 8–10

for the base:

300g digestive biscuits

100g unsalted butter, melted

for the cheesecake:

300g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

120g double cream

375g cream cheese

60g sour cream

50g caster sugar

250ml double cream, whipped

4 tablespoons kirsch brandy

150g tinned pitted cherries, drained, plus a handful for the top

grated chocolate for the top

20cm springform cake tin

Grease your cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.


Grind your digestives to a fine crumb in a food processor (or put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin). Put the biscuit crumbs into a mixing bowl and pour over the melted butter, then mix by hand until the butter is thoroughly mixed in. Tip this into the prepared tin and press it down to make a firm, even base. Pop in the fridge to set while you get the rest of the filling sorted.

Place your chocolate and double cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt them together over the lowest possible heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the chocolate is melted and the cream fully incorporated, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.

Put the cream cheese, sour cream and caster sugar into a mixing bowl and beat firmly until combined. In another bowl, whip your cream to soft peaks.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cream cheese, then fold in the whipped cream and kirsch until everything is evenly mixed, smooth and glossy. Stir your cherries through, then pour the filling over the base and smooth out evenly in the tin. Decorate with some more cherries and a bit of grated chocolate. Leave the cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least four hours before you take it out of the tin.

• If you are gluten or wheat free, use appropriate biscuits for the crumb.

• Don’t add the chocolate ganache to the cream cheese mix while it’s still hot – let it cool a little.

• Take care not to over-whip your cream or the cheesecake won’t be as smooth. If it does go grainy and stiff, loosen the mix with a little un-whipped double cream.

• Try this out with other fruits; it’s great using berries instead of the cherries.

• You can easily make this a white chocolate cheesecake: just use 320g best quality white chocolate and reduce the double cream to 90ml, and keep all the other ingredients the same. You will need towhip the cream a little stiffer to help the cheesecake set.

• This will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

The Mountain Cafe Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms

Published by The Kitchen Press, £20

Travel: Introducing The One Hotel In Barcelona

The H10 Hotels group has entrusted the designer Jaime Beriestain to design their first five star hotel, under The One Hotels brand, that has just opened its doors in the heart of Barcelona’s Example district.

Jaime Beriestain has prioritized the use of natural light, fine materials and excellent finishes for this project. The objective is for guests to feel at home, with all the comfort and well-being of a private residence. 

The hotel has 89 spacious room, 25 of which are suites, and each one has a special character thanks to the original artwork of Fernando Prats. 

The presence of works of art in the rooms, and the communal spaces in the hotel are original canvases of established artists such as Antonio Tàpies, Manolo Valdés, Yago Hortal, Manolo Ballesteros and Chilean artist Fernando Prats. They make up one of the pillars of creativity in the foundation for this project. 

The driving force behind Beriestain’s design here, has been to establish a parallel with the artistic effervescence of the City Condal. To this end, it boasts prestigious art galleries such as Miguel Alzueta, Senda and the Gallery Prats. 

The One Barcelona Hotel is designed for both foreign visitors and the locals. Therefore, Jaime Beriestain has broken with the traditional hotel codes and opened large windows in the common areas that invite you to discover this beautiful establishment. The hotel has a Sky Bar with an exceptional location and 360º views to the most emblematic buildings of Barcelona, such as the Casa Milà, the towers of the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. For the Sky Bar, Beriestain has selected glass rails, which allow for total panoramic views. In addition, he has used dark oak wood to absorb the excess of light and maintain the natural color of the rest of the spaces. 

The One Hotel in Barcelona: C / Provença, 277, 08037 - Barcelona. elephone (34) 902 100 906

Books - Studio by Sally Coulthard

Extract from Studio by Sally Coulthard, published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Out 16th March

Lise Meunier, ceramic artist, France

Hunting around fleamarkets is like prospecting for gold. Ceramic artist and stylist, Lise Meunier, has become adept at sieving her way through brocantes for precious pieces to smuggle back to her studio. It’s a gorgeous space. Part studio, part home, it’s a light, white apartment with large windows that open to the sky and a flower-filled balcony. ‘Maybe one day I will put colour on the walls,’ she muses. ‘But white is neutral, enlarges the space and catches the light. And as the room is already full, I find white more visually relaxing.’

Around the studio, vintage pieces of furniture set the stage for her work – large wooden canteen table and kitchen table provide ample work surfaces, while a small wardrobe ‘bonnetière’ and cooking cupboard keep her equipment in order. ‘I also have lots of small drawers, lockers and doll furniture – very practical for storing small things. I also like using old boxes for storage – biscuit boxes, sewing boxes, tool boxes. There are toys, textiles, decorative items – it’s an accumulation of objects of all kinds but they often have some connection to children and nature. These objects create the universe in my studio, give me inspiration and make me feel good.’

Lise describes herself as someone who gives ‘a second life to objects’. Her studio, a room off the main living space, is filled with toys, textiles and other decorative items, creating a ‘personal universe’ which informs her work. Most people would make it look like clutter; with Lise’s expert eye, she makes it look like art.

Shiny new furniture just wouldn’t fit with Lise’s work or visual aesthetic; her studio is filled with old furniture, donated by friends, bought in brocantes or found on the street, including an old canteen trestle and a rustic kitchen table.

Studio - Front Cover.jpg

Studio by Sally Coulthard

Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Out 16th March.

Pre-order here.

Bethan Gray For Lapicida

Brogue is one of Bethan Gray’s signature designs, originally a leather-topped wooden table, featuring punched and stitched brogue edge detailing. In 2014 Lapicida produced a limited-edition version of the Brogue Table in solid marble, complete with the complex edge detailing rendered in the stone. 

Now, Lapicida’s Brogue Table has been put into production. Made from specially selected Carrara marble, it is available in two sizes, including the new Side Table. Offering a sleek, architectural look and an extraordinary tactile finish, Brogue tables are an iconic modern design: both functional and sculptural. 

The precise brogue edge detailing is a technical tour de force, underlining Lapicida’s exceptional craft skills and unique approach to decorative stone. 

See the complete Bethan Gray for Lapicida Collection at

Mother's Day Gifts from The Heart Home Shop

We've put together a lovely selection of gifts for Mother's Day in the Heart Home shop. Each and every one of them we would either love to give to our own mothers or love to receive. There's some nice bits for the home, books, prints and some more personal items too, in a range of prices to suit every pocket. Go on. Give mum a treat.

Mother's Day - Sunday 26th March

Bluebellgray Launch First Ever Chalk Pastel Design

Introducing bluebellgray's new collection, Monochyle. It's their first ever chalk pastel design, and trust us when we say you are in for a treat!

The lead design for bluebellgray’s S/S17 Collection is a beautiful landscape of Loch Voil and its surroundings as seen from Monachyle Mhor; a cool pink hotel hidden amongst the hilly valleys and narrow tracks that follow the woody banks of Loch Voil. The beautiful views, a nature walk and sketching outside in the Scottish elements inspired Fi to create the S/S17 Collection. Pastel blues, dusty pinks and gently shaded greens in delicate chalk marks evoke the full colour palette of the loch and its banks.

A first for bluebellgray, the design is created entirely from chalk pastels in Fi’s signature free style. Fi says, ‘I love watercolours but I have always loved pastels too; it’s the deep pigment and quick results that make me love them. They are my favourite thing to sketch with’.

Recipe of the Week - Aromatic Duck Pancakes

Tomorrow may be pancake day but if you want to celebrate with something just a bit more savoury and special, why not try our crispy duck recipe. It might take a bit longer to prepare but the family won't be disappointed with the results.

Serves 4 
Preparation: 10 minutes.  Cooking: 95 minutes.

4 Gressingham® Duck legs
Aromatic liquor
1 tsp star anise
1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp cloves
6 sticks cinnamon
4 spring onions
6 tbsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry) 
8 tbsp soft brown sugar
8 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp salt
2 pints chicken stock
1 large knob of fresh ginger, sliced

To serve: 
Chinese pancakes
Spring onions, sliced into matchsticks
Cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
Hoi sin sauce

1. Place all the ingredients for the aromatic liquor in a large pan and whisk together. Add the duck legs to the pan and place in the fridge overnight. 

2. When ready to cook, place the pan onto a high heat and bring to boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the meat comes easily away from the bone. At this point you can remove the legs from the liquor, cool and then place in the fridge until you are ready to finish them under the grill. 

3. Carefully remove the legs from the aromatic liquor and place under a hot grill until the skin goes crispy. 

4. Fork the meat from the bone and serve with the warm Chinese pancakes, spring onions, cucumber strips and hoi sin or plum sauce. 

Gressingham has lots of recipes along with ‘how-to’ videos on their website