Madelaine Adélaïde

Today I bought this photograph "Tragic" from the 200-month-old, and very talented, Madelaine Adélaïde. I really really really want a certain Miss Alice Olive to open an Etsy shop so I can sate my seemingly insatiable love of her photographs with the power of Paypal. Alas, she is indifferent to my pleas!

Happy Halloween!

Image from DL&Co

Lemon curd cake

Lemon is my very most favourite flavour, and nowhere done better than in this cake (with 3 types of icing!) I've only baked it once, but even reading the recipe makes me happy! This recipe is from Avoca.

The cake:

- 225g butter, plus more for greasing
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 225g self-raising flour, sieved
- grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of half, plus more zest to decorate
Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas Mark 3. Butter a 23cm springform tin and line it with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, alternating with the flour then add the lemon zest and juice. Place in the prepared tin and bake for 55-60 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool on wire rack.

For the curd (instead, I would just buy a jar of best lemon curd):
- grated zest of 5-6 lemons
- 225g unsalted butter, diced
- 275 caster (fine) sugar
- 10 eggs lightly beaten
Put the lemon zest and juice, butter and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Stir in the eggs and leave for 40-60 mins, stirring occasionally. The curd is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, leave to cool and then refridgerate.

For the lemon butter icing:
- 50g butter, softened
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Make the lemon butter icing by putting all the ingredients in a bowl and beating until l
ight and fluffy.

For the ice glace:

- 275g icing sugar
- lemon juice (whatever is left from the half lemon, with water if necessary)
Make the glace icing by mixing the ingredients in a bowl

Assembling the cake:
- To decorate the cake, cut a thin layer off the top and whizz in a food processor to make crumbs, place the brubs on a tray in the oven to toast.
- Cut the cake into 3 equal discs and sandwish them with lemon curd. Refridgerate for an hour to firm up.
- Cover the side of the cake with the butter icing and then roll in the toasted crumbs.
- Cover the top of the cake with the glace icing and decorate with lemon zest.

Maira Kalman

I bought two books today: The first, The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, I read about a few months ago but forgot to buy it. When I saw it today, I had that lovely "found it" feeling! The second, So Chic, contains more pictures to feed and torment ideas of my dream home.


Papastour is a beautiful Scottish craft shop. These hot water bottles made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Lucy Gault

The end of a long hard week and I fear I'll be working all weekend as I get full-swing into holiday-craziness. I cheered myself buying this wee print from Etsy seller, D-Kim Art. It reminds me of the cover of William Trevor's "The Story of Lucy Gault," which I loved. 

Irish soda bread

I baked soda bread tonight and thought I'd share the recipe from the Avoca cookbook. If you are ever in Dublin, you must visit Avoca on Suffolk Street. Soda bread is very simple to make and super tasty. You literally have time to whip it together for brunch on a Sunday morning. And no kitchenaid required: A bowl, wooden spoon and easy-to-find ingredients.

450g / 1lb plain flour
1 level tsp soda
1 tsp fine (caster) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
400ml / 14oz buttermilk

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add the buttermilk to make a moist, sticky, dough. Place in a greased loaf tin and bake at 230 C / 450 F / Gas Mark 8 for 30 mins. When done , the loaf will sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with butter and jam or poached eggs.

Pumpkin carving

I thought I'd post a few snapshots of my Halloween decorating! I'm always nervous about posting pics of my humble rental - it pales in comparison to the chic interiors I usually post! My rat pumpkin is getting a little squishy around the edges. Is this avoidable? I fear he won't last... The raven was done last night. I liked putting it beneath my recently framed Manymuses print.

Marian Bantjes

We've all seen the famed For-like-ever print from Domino, and the equally ubiquitous Keep Calm print. I have a new one: Click me. Read me. Open me. Buy me. Love me. from Canadian Marian Bantjes, whose work you may also know from the recent Saks "Want it" campaign. 

Ruzzetti and Gow

In a season of acorns and gourds, these might seem a little summery to some. But I think shells are timeless and these silver-coated shells are simply chic. I have a million ideas what you could do with these. Frame a selection, or use them as part of a table setting, or simply group a few on a stack of beautiful books. I can imagine them in interiors from Hadley to Hoppen. From Ruzzetti & Gow.

2008 calendar

I bought this adorable desk calendar from Etsy seller Ilee Papergoods today. In fact, I bought three, so two lucky people will be getting pretty Christmas presents.

Hiroshi Suzuki

More and more, I'm coming to love cermamics and so was instantly drawn to these from an old issue of World of Interiors. Upon closer inspection, however, it turns out they're not ceramic at all but single sheets of silver hammered to give them a quality reminiscent of clay. I wonder how heavy they are? -I imagine them to be stunningly light. More at Adrian Sassoon.

Anna Sui

I'm somewhat smitten with this dress. From Anna Sui at NET-A-PORTER. I could wear it with a thin black sweater underneath and my Sonia Rykiel patent heels! 

Victoria James

Brilliant Asylum's fabulous post on clear tables fired my covet-engine and got me wondering about more options. After rooting through back issues of World of Interiors, I found what was niggling in my head: These Victoria James lucite tables with a classical twist.

Lighting acquisitions

This weekend, I nailed a bunch of stuff that has been driving me crazy without spending a small fortune. I got a new desk lamp at Pottery Barn and a new pair of lamps from Urban Outfitters - a store I usually don't love (the UO lamps are similar to those shown below, though they're from RH).

Pretty ensemble

Saw this on Shopbop this morning. What struck me was not so much the individual pieces as the layering of a light chiffon blouse and a black chunkier piece. The grey-brown really softens the black, but the black really modernizes the blousiness.

Lucite clutches

A couple of years ago, I let a vintage lucite clutch slip through my hands at Cabaret. But how about these for a run-up prize? By Zambos & Siega at Shopbop.


I still use my dictionary every day. It's one of the few things I haven't taken to doing online. I love these Merriam Webster dictionaries bound by Graphic Image.

Voting day

Yay! I voted for the first time in Canada today. I've been here since 2003, but only became a citizen during the summer, so this is my first election. 

It feels so long since I lived in a country I could vote in it was a real thrill. I can only vote from overseas in Irish Seanad (Senate) elections, so it's really nice to be back in the electoral process

Cassandra Barney

A long time ago, I replaced any notions of religion with a devotion to art. I currently worship at the website of Cassandra Barney.

Lagerfeld Confidential

How much am I dying to see this? So much so that it warrants an OMG. More here.

David Mitchell

David Mitchell is the only author whose publisher's website I stalk to see when the next book is coming. Ghostwritten was my favourite of his booksto date.


The Casamidy Varenne line has been getting plenty of media exposure this past summer, but I only got to see these pieces in person very recently (at South Hill Home). I love French furniture, but I also love modernist pieces so I like the idea that in these designs the two can sit very happily together. I particularly like the Louis XIV.

Personal style

I just looked at what I'm wearing today (below) and realized it's pretty similar to what I loved to wear in my twenties. (Yes, it's a a casual office.) Sure, the price-point has changed. The shoes and purse are more expensive, but the men's cardi is something I've worn forever and still love. It's somewhat reassuring to see some consistency, that things have not altered radically. How much has your style changed in the past decade?