Thursday, 13 June 2013

Lust List ~ June, 2013

Graced Swing Dress, Anthropologie ~ perfect for balmy summer nights...

Ursula Cable Knit Pouffes, Graham & Greene ~ a perfect safe-saving extra
seating solution, coupled with great design that would grace any room.

Leather and Bamboo Wallet, & Other Stories ~ fab over-sized
wallet/clutch in sumptuous soft grainy leather. Fab colour. 

Exact Skirt, Vila ~ Practical yet pretty; perfect for work.

Two Grey Gesso Candlesticks, Cox & Cox ~ Stylish
and subtle. Wish we had a fireplace for these beauties!

So, what are you lusting after this month..?

pp x

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Magpie Make & Do ~ Choconuttynana Loaf

I love banana bread - it has that unmistakable taste of childhood nostalgia - and always tend to whip up a cheeky loaf if I have any bananas on the turn. This variation adds a little something for those of you, like me, with a sweet tooth...


10oz/285g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
4oz/110g butter (plus extra for greasing)
8oz/225g caster sugar
2 large eggs (the best you can find, and ensure they are free range)
4 very/over ripe bananas, mashed
3fl.oz/85ml buttermilk (alt: normal milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice)
1 (generous) tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp Nutella


1. Preheat over to 180°C/350°F.

2. Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla essence to the butter and sugar mixture.

5. Fold in flour mixture.

6. Dollop in your Nutella one tablespoon at a time, distributing around the surface of your mixture. Stir through very roughly to create a marble effect.

7. Grease a loaf tin (approx. 8"x 5" or 20cm x 12.5cm) and pour in mixture.

8. Place in the oven to back for approximately 1 hour, or until well-risen, golden brown and leaves a skewer clean when pierced through.

9. Remove from the oven to cool in tin for 10 minutes or so, then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

10. Devour!

Serving suggestion: You may think me disgusting for suggesting this, but I am a huge fan of combining salt and sweet, so I like to cut a decent slice (c.1.5cm thick) and spread it with a naughty layer of butter. Incredible with a cuppa...

Bon appetit!

pp x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Sunday Smörgåsbord

Having been AWOL these past three weeks - sorry, I've missed you! - I have accumulated rather a lot of tidbits for this week's smörgåsbord... I do hope you have all been enjoying yourselves in the sporadic bursts of sunshine :-)

1 Summer's on its way... Incredibly fragrant flowering shrub just outside our front door. Smells divine! Can anyone enlighten me as to what it is?

2 Most delicious salad from Gwyneth Paltrow's latest culinary offering, It's All Good. It really is. Thanks, Gwynnie!

3 Mint pleated maxi skirt from Mango. Love.

4 Coffee table styling, thanks to these tips from Emily at

5 Quick pick-me-up courtesy of Lola's Cupcakes in Topshop on Oxford Street. Shopping is a calorie burning activity after all...

6 Lunch in the sunshine at the delightful King William IV in Mickleham, with stunning views across the Surrey hills.

7 It can be tough fulfilling all the necessary duties of a bridesmaid. Sometimes, for example, you have to go to Temperley London to ooh and ah over fabulous dresses, followed by shopping and dinner in town with one of your besties.

8 Being outdoorsy camping with my seventeen littl'uns a couple of weekends ago. I don't know who was more exhausted at the end of it all, the children or the teachers!

9 Harrods. Spent far too long cooing over the puppies, as usual.

10 Mele e Pere, Soho. Hearty yet arty classic Italian fare.

11 The fabulous Bar Américain at Zédel in Piccadilly. Great atmosphere, lethal cocktails.

12 Pear Bellini. I think I've sampled pretty much every other sort of fruit as the basis for a bellini, but never pear. Yummy and very refreshing.

13 & 14 School excursion to Butser Ancient Farm. Roundhouses, relics, animals and a Roman villa - all key ingredients for a magical day trip to the past.

15 Having bartered for this beautiful art deco silver plated tray (a bargain at £18!), I was inspired to rearrange our alcohol and glassware. Now we just need to find the time to drink some!

16 I had an epiphany just as I was about to pour my banana bread mix into the loaf tin. What if I stirred in some Nutella? Life changing.

pp x