zondag 4 oktober 2015

Brideshead revisited

Have you ever been to Castle Howard in North Yorkshire (UK)? If you have, do you remember the drive with the blind summits leading up to the castle? We thought it was a spectacular start of the day. It felt a bit like a roller coaster ride, going up the hill and down again several times :-).

It wasn't my first visit. A long time ago I visited the castle with my boyfriend Jan. It was our first holiday together. Since I had seen the 1981 television serial Brideshead Revisited, an adaptation of the book by Evelyn Waugh, with Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews as Charles Ryder and Lord Sebastian Flyte, I was hooked. Both to the serial and it's larger than life characters and to the amazing setting. So when choosing a holiday destination, it did not take us long to decide.

This post is dedicated to my boyfriend at the time, my late husband, whom I had one of the best holidays ever with.  

The house and grounds of the castle are magnificent. Building works started in 1699. It took almost a hundred years before completion. Part of the house was destroyed by a fire in 1940, but after extensive renovation it looks beautiful once more. 

When you walk through the park and surrounding hills, the view of the the house, the temple of the four winds and the mausoleum are breathtakingly beautiful. The garden is lovely too, with an abundance of roses, a large vegetable patch and borders with annuals and biennials. We were there on an cold and cloudy day, but enjoyed it very much.

If you would like to know more about the castle and gardens, please visit the website of Castle Howard.

Happy week ahead!



* Thank you for you kind comments on last weeks post. I enjoyed reading about your experience with dahlia's.  

Photo 2: Google images

zondag 27 september 2015

A riot of colour

To me one of the highlights of autumn is the time when the dahlia's in my garden are in bloom. It is such a delight to enter my garden and be welcomed by a riot of colour.

It's been two weeks since I was in my garden last. Enough time for the dahlia's to open and look their best. There are several surprises among them, like the bright pink one with the red heart in my fourth photo. The only one I miss is the Café au lait, but with so much beauty and colour around me, I don't mind in the least.

I was planning a quiet day in the garden, but while at work my eldest daughter joined me and one of my friends at the allotment complex. I love it when people stop by unexpectedly. 

My daughter helped me to clear the outdoor kitchen, wash up all my vintage china and store it in one of the cupboards in my garden house. While my daughter worked, I took loads of photo's of  my colourful bunches of happiness. Hope you like them!

Do you grow dahlia's in your garden? How are they doing?

Wishing you a happy week ahead!


Madelief x

zondag 20 september 2015

Frysian thumbs

When temperature drops and days are getting shorter and often wetter, I spend more time inside. There is still a lot that needs to be done in the garden, but somehow I want to brighten up my home, bury my nose in a book and try out some new recipes.

When leaving through one of my cookery books I came upon a recipe for a traditional Dutch cookie from the north of our country called Frisian thumbs. What makes them so special is it's shape (that of a thumb) the spices, like aniseed, ginger powder and cinnamon and the grounded nuts that go inside.  

I thought I would give you the recipe and add some vintage finds to my photo's.

- 250 gr flour
- 100 gr ground hazelnuts
- 100 gr butter
- 150 gr dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground aniseed 
- a pinch of salt

Preheat the electric oven at 170 degrees Celsius, fan oven at 150 degrees Celsius. Line the baking tray with baking paper.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg, salt, the nuts, the cinnamon, ground ginger and ground aniseed. Sieve the flower into the mixture and knead into a dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about an hour.

Sprinkle flower over your worktop and roll out the dough. It has to be 1 cm thick. Cut rectangles which are 4 cm x 2 cm. Add the cookies onto the tray, leave some gaps in between and bake for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool.

They were gone within a day in my home :-)

Wish you a happy new week!


Madelief x

* The botanical plate is by Bloomingville

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