Inspire Me – With Rosie Ramsden, Author of The Recipe Wheel

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You may well have seen The Recipe Wheel book in stores as it is doing so well and the cover is so colourful and unique – let alone the content. 

The premise is 120 recipes using 10 inspirational  wheels that both savoury and sweet. So many fantastic dishes to try out.

Today, I feel really lucky to be sharing with you, an interview with Rosie Ramsden the author, who illustrates the book beautifully too. 

 

Rosie Ramsden interview on Lucy Loves Ya

 

Rosie, you’re an author, cook, food stylist and an artist – which came first and what inspired it ?

I painted a lot in my school years but it was only when I started working in food that I found that cooking inspired me to paint more, having so many beautiful ingredients to work with – particularly painting still life of food. When I can’t paint, its the food styling that satisfies my creative side.

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Your book ‘ The Recipe Wheel ‘ is such a genius and fresh way of looking at  food and cooking – how did you come up with it ?

Thank you so much ! The Recipe Wheel reflects how I think about cooking: I start with something I know, then I use that to develop a recipe; to think how I could make it more interesting, delicious, colourful. The more I cook though, the bigger my own personal recipe wheel becomes, but it gives me a lot more scope for coming up with fresh ideas.

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I was immediately drawn to The Recipe Wheel book by the colour on the front. How important was this in the overall look and feel ?

Colour is an important aspect to cooking, as it tends to be the more colourful ingredients, namely vegetables, that inspire us to start cooking. More importantly though, I felt that the colours in the wheel helped to engage imagination and encourage the reader to explore their own ways of cooking.

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Will you be writing and illustrating any more books ? If so when can we expect to see them on the shelves ? 

I would love to at some point. I’m waiting to find an idea that really makes me want to write. In the meantime, I’m food styling and writing and painting for other people which is so valuable for experimenting with flavours and exploring recipes, before venturing into something new of my own.

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With your styling work – how long does it take to prepare to set up shots ? How do you make it look so effortless  ? 

The time a shot takes completely depends on how long the recipe takes to cook beforehand, or how long it can stay on set before it starts to wilt. It depends on the light for the photographer and how the plate looks as a whole. Somethings are instant – a quick one shot triumph – and some can take all day..! I usually find that the less time something takes to get right, the better it looks.

Of course, I’m intrigued as to what your home is like ? How would you describe your own interior style ? 

It is cluttered with paintings, cups, saucers, flowers, paint brushes and rugs ( and now children’s toys ) but I always make sure there are spaces for calm, too. I like to call it organised mess… Light is essential for me. I can’t bear a dark room, unless it is filled with lamps. The walls are all pale and muted, but there is colour in everything else. No black, but greys and reds and woods.

Being a Mum, how do you combine everything and what’s a perfect family day for you ?

I can safely say on behalf of my whole family that food tends to be the centre of everything we do. Mealtimes mark pauses in chaos, and give us a chance to spend time together. We are lucky that there’s always a full fridge at home, and living in Hackney a good restaurant is never far out of reach! In between food, I love putting Thom on the back of my bike and whizzing around Victoria Park. If there’s a beach or a river nearby then I’ll hopefully swim in it, and being outdoors, husband / baby / dog in tow, is my idea of heaven.

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Can you give some advice to any aspiring creative people who dream of writing their own book one day ? ( including me ! ) 

The more you write or cook or eat or think about food, the more the ideas will flow. Sometimes there are knockbacks but that shouldn’t distract you from trying. Talk to people for their advice, and be prepared for hard work that is utterly fulfilling and fun !

Thanks, Rosie. I completely take my hat off to your talent and work ethic.

Having already tried some of the recipes here – I can totally recommend this book and aesthetically, it’s a talking piece in itself !

Hope you’ve enjoyed the interview and let me know what you think of it, if you buy the book too or leave me a comment just for the fun of it under this post with your thoughts. Would love to hear from you as ever … :) 

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Photo copyright credits: 1 – Lizzie Mayson. 2 & 3 – Lucy Gleeson ( the colour wheel graphics on the front page book are by Will Webb ).  4  & 5 – Rosie Ramsden. 6 – Maja Smend for Delicious Magazine. 7 – Tara Fisher for Thomasina Mier’s upcoming book, Home Cook, Faber and Faber. 8 – A Tess Ward Recipe Fabulous Magazine by Ria Osbourne. 

A Tea Party With My New Bluebellgray Set and 20% Offer Code For You.

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Here is a lovely way to start the week with a little Bluebellgray tea party – and a special offer …

I’m so in to my new floral inspired ‘Florrie ‘ fine china tea set. I’ve always had a thing about drinking from delicate mugs and cups and saucers and these are so adorable. I was almost too scared to take them out of their beautifully wrapped boxes because they’re so pretty and I am terribly protective of my china. Just ask anyone who has tried using any of my favourite tea pots. I tend to stand over them in case they go to drop them. It’s true !

Macarons & BlueBellGray Florrie

Anyway, Saturday was the perfect opportunity to give my Florrie babies their first airing as it was sunny outside and cakes and macarons needed to be eaten and tea sipped.

Look at the floral  on this Florrie tea plate. The set contains 4 individual blooms, all designed and originally painted by Fiona Douglas who started Bluebellgray back in 2009 in Scotland. The pinks blue and yellow watercolour brushstrokes on these are almost too good to hide away in a cupboard  – definitely worthy of hanging on the wall.

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I am sure you will have seen one of their ranges because they are stocked in many stores these days – ceramics, bedding, rugs and gifts. All of their products always catch my eye because they’re so colourful and unique. My two favourite things. I wonder if Fiona envisaged her brand becoming so well known ? It certainly has. I’m always amazed at how much inspiration can come from one person. There are so many rich and dreamy ranges to choose from.

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Do you like tea from the teapot ? I always think it tastes better somehow from brewed in one. Especially on a sunny day with friends and family.

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Mae found another use for the pretty Florrie milk jug once we had finished our cuppas .. The bright reddy pinks seem to being out the hues on the ceramic which is a piece of art in itself, really. I might not let anyone else use this … is that really mean of me ? :)

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Now about  the offer that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I am honoured to have an exclusive Bluebellgray discount code here for my readers. You can get 20% off everything at Bluebellgray by using this  – LUCYLOVES – you just need to enter it on the ‘ view basket ‘ page at checkout. They have some stunning Moroccan Baskets just in as well as of the other homeware that I was telling you about. Take a look.

BlueBellGray & Cupcakes tea set pretty china plate

I am now very tempted to add to my new Florrie set too with some bowls and salad plates to my collection.   hope you have fun browsing their website. I also found so many pictures to share on Pinterest on there. You will see what I mean !

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Bluebellgray – all opinions are my own. 

Colour Palettes For Summer Inspiration

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It has been a little while since I added some colour palettes to the blog. I love doing it but time goes so fast and then a season has passed.
Well, we’re still in Summer .. it is only the start of August, so these are definitely warranted.

I’ve picked out a few of my recent favourite instagram pics of which I love the colour combinations, starting with a picture of Betsey holding a big vase of flowers in her favourite dress. There is actually more of a story to this picture as it was for a styling competition run by One World Trading and Bloomon and we won with this. Which makes me love it even more because it made Bets so very happy.

As I have said before – I am a big fan of pink and green together. So many different shades of pink to choose if you really direct the the image but I like these particular ones. It would make a lovely scheme for living room. Or how would you use it ?

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Adorable Southwold in this one. One of my favourite places. Mae, my eldest is mad on blue and I think she would really like this for her room. We are half way there with her walls but also grey is really growing on us, even though we are generally a brightly coloured home. Grey brings out other colours and makes a great, dramatic backdrop. I think it’s also a good combination on this one for a bathroom or contemporary kitchen. What do you think ?

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Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this wall on instagram at some point ? Possible the most photographed wall in London. This is my favourite of the three as it’s so happy and summery. I’d love some wall art in these colours or I could see it looking fab in a nursery. In fact this isn’t far off my newly painted design studio, which I will be showing you very soon.

Do you like it too ? Which one do you like best ?

If you’d like to follow me on isntagram for more colour inspiration them you can find me here – lucylovesyablog ..

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Inspire Me – with Interior Designer Sophie Robinson

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Have you ever wondered how an interior designer balances an interior design career and home life … along with tv presenting, interior styling and running colour courses.

Well, I have a little interview here with Sophie Robinson whom you may well know as a judge on BBC2s Great Interior Design Challenge and home expert on ITV’s This Morning –  who can fill you in on just how she achieves all of the above.

I’m a fan of Sophie’s work so it is a real pleasure to be featuring her here today on ‘ Inspire Me’ … 

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Was it always your plan to become an interior designer ?

I was always passionate about doing up my bedrooms as a young kid and that quickly spread to other rooms in the house. My mum is hugely creative and that really had a positive impact on me. She was also really encouraging and gave me free reign to design my bedroom and help with other areas too. She really nurtured my creativity and gave me confidence. She did such a good job that my brother Edward Robinson is an interior stylist too !

You’ve just moved in to a lovely new house. What made you fall in love with it and is this your forever home ? 

Yes I think it will be our forever home. We’ve been working hard and saving like mad to get here. It’s a four-bedroom farmhouse in the Sussex country and we have 5 acres of paddock and garden, then surrounded by 100acres of ancient woodland so yes- it’s pretty dreamy ! The house however is a bit charmless so my husband, who’s conveniently a builder, and myself are going to really relish the design. The house isn’t listed so we’re hoping we can really release our creativity on it. We’re up for a big remodel !

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There are some fabulous colour trends this year – are you working with them a lot ?

Colour trends come and go and I’m always fascinated to know what they are but as a devout colour lover I’m never greatly swayed. Over years I’ve developed my own colour palette and I like to work with that. However I love the way trends can shake me out of a style rut and encourage me to try something new.

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The ultimate question – what is your favourite colour ?

Neon pink. That was hard.

When working with clients on their home designs – do you help people develop their style or do most people already know what they are looking for?  

Some people have a very strong idea of what they like and others don’t have a clue. The true skill of an interior designer is to draw out the individual’s style and taste and then make it work in their home. 

How did you get in to television presenting ?

It’s pure luck ! My first job was on ITV’s 60 minute makeover and one of the researchers went to Art College with my brother and invited me to screen test. I find in this industry it’s really important to make good connections with everyone you meet, and do a good job. Being self employed you’re only ever as good as your reputation. One of the directors on 60 MM was, almost 10 years later, casting for judges on GIDC and put my name in the pot.

Can you pick a favourite room from the many you have judged on the Great Interior Design Challenge ? 

No !
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Do you find it easy to balance work and home life? If so, please do tell us how … ? :)

No I do not. It’s a nightmare. After filming three series with loads of time away from home and moving house and having an incredibly busy first 6 months of this year I’ve decided to take a break. My health was suffering and it’s not worth it. So I’m taking the school summer holidays off to spend with my son and nest in my new home. Sometime you have to honour the power of No and get some control back. I think watching your children grow up has to be the most important thing. Although I love my career so don’t panic, I’m not going anywhere, just dialling it down for a bit.

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You’re currently working with This Morning and Good Morning Britain on ITV, offering ideas for home makeovers. 

Yes that has been great fun. Live TV is very different to pre-recorded stuff. The amount of work and organizing that goes into 5 minutes of live broadcast is insane ! But the This Morning crew are just so delightful as are Holly and Phil.

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As well as working with clients and presenting (and of course being a Mum), you also run courses. Who would you recommend them for ?

I run Interior Design Master classes with Daniel Hopwood, which are a great day for anyone who’s passionate about interiors. Our guests include people who’d like to go into it as a career or maybe currently studying. Then there are plenty of people who are doing up their own home and are looking for ideas and knowledge and also people who want a lovely day out and a nice lunch ! I also run courses on Colour, which is a more hands on, and creative workshop with ideas to update your home or your wardrobe. There are more dates coming up in the autumn and you can book on our Eventbrite page.

What is the best bit of advice you can give to any budding interior designers or presenters ? 

If you want to become an interior designer you need training. In today’s professional market interior designers have high levels of qualifications and computer skills. If you want to set up your own company rather than work for someone else, you’ll need not only interior design but also business training. It’s a very competitive industry and you need grit to make it ! As for becoming a TV presenter, that’s much harder to orchestrate. I’d aim to becoming the best in your field, make sure you are visible on social media so that when casting directors are looking for new talent, your profile sticks out. It probably would be a good idea to do YouTube videos too. Then make sure you have another career to fall back on, as TV is notoriously fickle !

We’re already in August (wow !) – what do you have planned for the rest of 2016 ? 

I’ve been flat out for the first part of this year so I’m going to take it easy over the summer. I’ve just started working with a business coach and my focus is growing my brand and my social media platforms so I can have the enviable life of flexible working hours, where and when I like ! While continuing to inspire people to get creative in their own spaces by sharing all the know-how I’ve accrued over the years. Watch this space !

Thanks, Sophie. Fantastic advice regarding the world of television  – and your love of colour is truly inspiring. 

If you’re interested in Sophie and Daniel’s courses – then do click on that link. I rather fancy it myself.  You can also follow her Youtube channel here and her lovely colourful instagram page here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Sophie – do leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog with your thoughts and also what colour combinations work for you in your home ? 

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Image credits: 1. Luca Sage. 2,3,4, 5 & 7 by Alan Callender. 6 by Sophie Robinson.

Chilling Our Boots with a Homemade Raspberry & Choc Ice Cream Recipe

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It’s still very much trial and error with my attempts to grow fruit and vegetables in the garden. We’re enjoying it though. My friend Lou told me that raspberries grow easily so of course I rushed out and bought a plant last year – and she was right. They do.

Hoe Grown Raspberries

Betsey loves them and there’s nothing nicer than popping outside and helping ourselves to a few organic raspberries – and I seriously don’t want to waste any of them. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I’m obsessed with not wasting anything that we’ve grown. It tastes so good and we’ve spent so long nurturing everything. I probably sound like that lady with the dungarees from the 70s sitcom ‘ The Good Life ‘  – but we have a long way to go before we have pigs roaming in the garden.

Home Made Ice Cream

Anyway, we decided that as we have practically been melting in the heat this week it would be a good time to use our new ice cream maker and try out our own simple recipe for raspberry and dark chocolate ice cream with fresh mint. As we have sampled it and like it a lot..  ( it’s so intensely fruity ) – thought you might like it for yourself ? You don’t actually need a machine to make this but if you do have one  – saves a little bit of time. It’s really quick and easy.

Ice Cream RecipeIce Cream Recipe on Lucy Loves Ya

Ingredients.

1 and a half cups of raspberries.

200 ml  extra thick double cream.

75 g white sugar.

40 g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces.

1/ 4 teaspoon of vanilla bean extract.

a few sprigs of fresh mint to decorate.

Method.

Puree 1 cup of raspberries and chop most of the other ones in to little pieces – adding them a bit later in to the ice cream mix for texture and also save a few for topping.

Add the sugar, chopped raspberries and vanilla extract to the puree and mix together. Then add the chocolate, saving a few pieces back. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool for 30 mins.

Next put it on the ice cream maker or mix steadily until the consistency has thickened a little. Pour it in to a bowl suitable for the freezer and then sprinkle the last few bits of chocolate over the top.

Pop it in to the freezer, ideally over night but for at least 4 hours. You have ice cream !

Raspberry ice cream recipe

To serve  – add a few fresh mint leaves and raspberries to the top – it looks nice and colourful but also adds lovely flavour.

If you try it out – hope you enjoy it – do let me know how you get on ?

Have a good one.

Lucy x