Thursday, 25 October 2012

Highlights from the Furniture Painting Workshop

Last week I was down in Salisbury for the day to teach a furniture painting workshop for some of the military wives there. As regular west egg blog readers may know, my husband is in the army and actually away right now so it was lovely to spend the day with some wonderful inspiring ladies who understand all the quirky bits of army life and the challenges we face in that particular situation. But, let's face it, all relationships are tough whether you see the other person every day, or if you're like ships in the night, or if you don't see each other for extended periods of time. Whatever the situation, it's always good to get together and talk about things. 

One of the things I've enjoyed most about teaching the workshops is listening and participating in conversations with the different groups about all sorts of things from different interior style and design, to finding the right school, right through to finding the perfect dress to wear on a date. Who knew furniture painting could be so thought-provoking! 

Being in the workshop doing the painting, waxing and finishing on a piece of furniture is one of my favourite parts of this job. It's really calming and a good chance to mull things over. I like to have the radio or some music on, a pot of tea nearby and off I go into my own little world. I think a little bit of that translates at the workshops as everyone works on their own piece of furniture, we always have tea and usually a freshly baked cake! There hasn't been a workshop yet where I haven't been inspired or learnt something new. I love seeing students put their own stamp on their pieces, it's really amazing.

Anyway, it was such a fun day I wanted to share with you some of the photographs I took using Instagram. If you use the Instagram app you'll know how quick and fun it is to use, West Egg's handle is @WestEggUK if you want to follow or if you don't have an iphone check out Followgram which stores all the images online. 

For this workshop I made the Carrot & Walnut cake from the Ottolenghi cookbook. OMG it is amazing. It took a while to make I'm not going to lie, and it was in the oven for over an hour. But, it was the lightest, tastiest, most moist and wonderful cake I've had in ages. And usually when I bake something I think of at least 10 way to improve it or things I've messed up. If you follow the recipe religiously you cannot mess this up. Also, the cream cheese frosting is heaven - it has honey in it which I've not seen before, I think that might be the secret. 

I'm hosting a workshop this Saturday in partnership with The Decor Cafe in Putney, London. I'll definitely be making this cake for it....tempted?! We still have two spaces so if you'd like to come along book your place now - it's first come first served (quite literally!) Visit West Egg for more info or click here - oh and if you use the discount code EGG15 you'll get 15% off too. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dream Getaway: The Beach Hut

Autumn is without doubt my favourite season and I've always thought the idea of being by the sea in these cooler months is terribly romantic. I have no idea why. But, if I had a week off in the next few months my dream getaway would be The Beach Hut in Cornwall.

I came across it a few years ago and from time to time I go back to the website and daydream about pootling down to Cornwall for a long weekend. I guess you can see why! It's remote and tucked away with amazing views, the interior design is so perfectly simple and laid-back: the perfect cosy hideaway.

Did I mention the view? 

Originally constructed in the 1920s it started life as a tea room and has been sympathetically restored and brought back to life. I just love it and it's top of my list of places to go once the house and barn renovations are done with (whenever that might be).

Uh. Dreamy. One day I will make it there. Do you have a dream getaway that you'd like to share? If so please make sure to leave a comment below I'd love to see.

Right, enough dreaming for one day, I'm off to visit a supplier and pick up materials for workshops this weekend but first I'm off on a lunchtime walk with mr pug.

Image credit: All images reproduced with the kind permission of Unique Home Stays.