NEW IN - GORGEOUS RECYCLED CASHMERE ACCESSORIES

October - Perthshire and Potage

Welcome to our new monthly blog! Each month I'll be bringing you some cookery, travel and of course clothing and le tee News.
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I don't know about you but I can't quite believe it's October already. I don't mind admitting I had great plans to launch this blog earlier in the year... but then lockdowns/Brexit and work in general just took over....  Anyone else found this year has gone by in a bit of a blur? I have to say once I got over the initial shock of Autumn and it being cold this last week, I'm now really enjoying the change of seasons, and being able to wear some cosy jumpers, scarves and hats!!
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Recycled Cashmere
This Autumn we've gone all out on sustainability and created recycled cashmere hats, scarves and beanies.  So super soft and literally made from pre-loved cashmere that would otherwise have gone to waste. Loving wearing my hat at the moment.
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Photoshoot
We had a busy but great fun week last week doing all the new photography for the website and placing orders for stock.  Here's me having been being delegated to the position of runner on the shoot (so glam!......), and of course having a laugh and a cuppa before we get started. Priorities always in the right place ;-)
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Perthshire Weekend Away
I was lucky enough to escape with my other half last weekend.  My first weekend away without the kids since before lockdown last March.  It was so good to have some time out... and I got to explore Perthshire and specifically the area around Loch Tay.  Such a lovely place, and would encourage anyone looking for a break away from it all to try this area.
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Here's my recommendations.
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We stayed at the Townhouse Hotel.  This was a great little place right in the centre of Aberfeldy.  The staff were so welcoming and friendly. Our room was in the Annex and it felt really newly done up. The breakfast was fantastic and also included in the price of the room.
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We wanted to stay in the centre to take advantage in the evenings of some of the great restaurants in town.  For the first night we ate at a lovely Italian - KB's Italian Kitchen.  The smell when we walked in was yummy authentic Italian and our food was inexpensive and delicious.  I highly recommend the Bruschetta for starters and prawn pasta for main, so good!
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The second night we dined at The Three Lemons. Again the food was great and a nice selection of mains with a lot of meat cooked on the grill. I had ribs for a main that were really tasty and a a huge portion!  The restaurant itself is housed in a beautiful old building that used to be a Tweed Emporium. You can still see the old shop display area that is now a cosy sofa section for bar drinks.
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During the day we cycled and went walking.  Cycling is new to me, though my husband is a fully signed up road biker.  Thankfully he realised early on that this was going to be a much more leisurely affair. I rented a bike from Highland Safaris which was just £20 for half a day. We cycled to Kenmore, stopping for a coffee and cake at the loch along the way of course.  We also had a spot of late lunch at the Highland Safari cafe after we dropped the bike off. (In fact come to think of it a lot of the weekend was spent eating!!) The Highland Safari Cafe was a really nice little place serving soups, salads, paninis, cakes and a good inexpensive kids menu for anyone with younger ones. Besides renting bikes they also do loads of different safaris that looked really good fun. Will definitely need to go back and try a safari!
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We also had a long walk up the Birks of Aberfeldy (I learnt that Birks is Scottish for Birch Trees). This is a 4km circular walk along a gorge, rising by 150m.  Now I'm a total scaredy-cat when it comes to heights but I found this just about ok... It's quite a hike to the top though, and in hindsight I wouldn't do it again after cycling in the morning, with or without the extra lunch and cakes!.... It was a lovely walk though, with the tress just changing colour, and the waterfall at the top was very pretty to see. It's thought that in some of the inaccessible parts of the gorge that there would have been continuous woodland cover there for around 5000 years! It did feel like a lovely ancient forest whilst we were walking through.
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Throughout the day I trialled a new sample Merino hooded jumper I'm working on.  It's a mix of leisure and active wear. Would love to hear your thoughts on a hooded jumper.  Yeah or no, something you'd like to wear? Grateful of any feedback!!
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On Sunday we explored a bit further and headed over to Dunkeld, only about a 30 minute drive from Aberfeldy and another lovely Perthshire town on the River Tay.  We walked along the south bank of The Tay to The Birnham Oak. This Iconic tree and its neighbour - The Birnham Sycamore, are thought to be the sole surviving trees of a great forest from over 300 years ago.  The tree is mentioned in Shakespear's Macbeth, and the wood does have a very medieval feel about it.  One of the trees is hollow and could be straight out of a scene from Lord of The Rings!
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Having not eaten for at least two hours we thought we should have lunch before heading home.... We had a really nice lunch in Dunkeld at The Taybank, great Roast beef Sunday Roast and a lovely area by the river for a coffee and reading the papers!
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Just a great few days away, with lots to explore. I'll definitely be back again when I can. Would highly recommend this area for a lovely break.
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October Recipe - French Potage
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Now that the evenings are getting a little darker and chillier I love making a homemade soup. Monday tends to be soup night in our house.  I usually have some leftovers to use up and it's a nice easy meal at the start of the week. I used to love potage whilst living in France.  Potager is the French word for kitchen garden and nearly every bistro would have a version of this.  It's just such a great way to use up leftover veg and tastes really creamy and wholesome.  In the Alps they make this a lovely warming and filling meal with crispy croutons and grated gruyere cheese thrown on top - Yum!!
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You can pretty much use any veg that you've got leftover, (not really green veg like broccoli or peas), it's more of a root vegetable recipe with maybe celery and/or leeks thrown in if you have these.  This is a version I made the other week that fed four easily. You can see it was a bit of a mix up of leftovers - but approximately:
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3 x potatoes, a few sticks of celery, 3 x carrots, 1/2 cauliflower, half an onion, bag of sweet potato and squash chunks about 500 gr (on their last legs!...), small clove of garlic.
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Firstly chop the onion, celery and carrot quite small and fry in a little oil to soften. Add the garlic crushed and fry for about one minute. Add the reminder of the veg - all chopped in similar size chunks.  Add 1 and a 1/2 litres of chicken or veg stock, and bring to the boil.  Once boiling lower the heat and just simmer away until all the veg is soft. Finally remove from the heat and liquidise using a blender until smooth, or I use a really basic hand held blender.
Et voila!!!
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I added a touch of sour cream as I like the flavour of this but that's totally optional.  We also went Alpine with ours and added yummy crispy croutons and grated cheese! Hope you give this a go, and feel free to play around with the ingredients. If you aim for very roughly 1lb of veg to 1ltr of water any combination should work out fine and be delicious.
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Have a great October and bon appétit!
Sarah x
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