Home for Christmas

December 29, 2011

Christmas has been a bit too much fun for homeshoppingspy! I’m looking forward to returning to regular blogging next week. Meanwhile, here’s a few things I’ve enjoyed from a Christmas in South Devon:

Blackpool sands, South Devon, coastal walk, coast, beach, Christmas, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

1. A blustery walk along the coast to Blackpool Sands for pasties and chips on the beach!

Winter bike Christmas card, Etsy, Christmas, stationary, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrtys

2. I received this lovely Winter bike Christmas card, available from Etsy.

Toast, Dee Puddy, Nigella Lawson, BBC Food, Christmas, Devon, ideal home, homeshoppingspy, alice humphrys

(clockwise from left) 3. Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cup cocktail as seen in Stylist. Cherry brandy, sparkling wine and ginger ale (tastes like liquid cherry drops – amazing and very festive!). 4. Chocolate mince pies. I made these for a Christmas party and they went down a storm, visit BBC Food for the recipe. 5. Pretty crackers from Toast to complete our table setting on Christmas day. 6. To add a little sparkle we used these charming nativity scene tea light decorations from Dee Puddy. I hope you all have a fun New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you on the other side. – Alice

HOT SHOP: Baileys

January 4, 2010

Deep in the darkest depths of rural Herefordshire is a big barn. But this is no ordinary barn. ‘Tis the mystical magical Baileys barn, my children, where many treasures await…

If you’re a fan of vintage furniture, quirky home accessories and glorious little recycled, rustic items that ooze deliciousness, then you’ll like a bitta Baileys. Having ogled the Baileys website and books for years, I finally visited the Baileys store the other day, and it didn’t disappoint.

There were shoe lasts and antlers a plenty, and I loved the displays of glass jars filled with wooden pegs, pencils, balls of string and vintage keys – SIGH.

I spotted some lovely recycled glass mugs – chunky and perfect for mulled wine – and lots of pretty little glass beads, too.

There was joy at every turn – vintage globes, Anglepoise lamps, bus blinds, old cutlery in jam jars, cheeky little squirrel nutcrackers…and a fabulous display of furniture. From wooden chapel chairs and industrial steel stools to 1930s-style sinks and stunning French linen on rolls, there was so much to admire. The shop fills several converted farm buildings, so each area has its own identity and it took a long time to explore every corner! I loved the rustic metal display shelving units, the lab-style benches in the cafe area and the simplicity of the elegant interior.

I was very restrained spending-wise (!) but I bought some little vintage butcher’s meat labels, which look cool on my kitchen scales, and a big retro mustard tin, which I HAD to have. I was surprised by the huge selection of food gifts at Baileys – tasty chutneys, flavoured oils, and the Curious Chocolate collection – it’s a whole department. And there were lots of other little extras in the shop, such as beautiful wrapping paper sheets, ribbons, little toys, vintage magazines and buttons – things that you can’t buy through the mail order website. If you’re ever in the Ross-on-Wye area, it’s definitely worth a visit.

By the way – Happy New Year! Do you have any home-related resolutions? I want to finish decorating my living room by the end of February and finish the dining room by Easter. Yeah, right! The new February issue of Ideal Home has just landed on my desk, and it’s packed full of gorgeous schemes, so I’ll probably change my mind about colours at least another six times before I actually get painting! – Ellie

Happy Christmas!

December 29, 2009

I hope you’re having a lovely Christmas holiday. I’m having a great time relaxing in the pretty Cotswold hills, taking a break from blogging and work in general. Except I’m cheating and writing this cheeky little post – oops!

It’s quite hard to switch off because there are so many inspiring places and homes around here. We went for a lovely frosty walk this morning and I found myself admiring stunning wreaths on gorgeous country cottage doors (!) and tomorrow my sister and I are heading to Baileys Home and Garden in Herefordshire so I’ll take my camera and fill you in soon when I’ve had time to turn my rubbish digital pics into fabulous PhotoShop collages! Until then, I’ll be re-charging my batteries and eating turkey soup. Again. -Ellie