Wednesday, 22 October 2014



With a distinctive 'nip' in the air this Wednesday morning, I am definitely settling in to Autumn/Winter mode, and planning my favourite things for this beautiful time of the year…





Making warming winter soups...




Sunny woodland walks...




Candle lit evenings….





Cosying up in cashmere socks…




Lighting the fire…with a good glass of something!



 Or an indulgent chocolate treat…


ALL PICTURES VIA: PINTEREST


And a winter wardrobe….especially my beloved winter boots!

What do you look forward to most at this time of the year?  I would love to hear!

Wishing you a warm and happy Wednesday…

Sophia xx

Friday, 17 October 2014

FEEL GOOD FRIDAY…

ALL PHOTOS: SOPHIA HOME


Happy Friday everyone….where did the last week go? It has been non stop this week for me with work projects and now as we head in to the weekend, I am looking forward to a relaxing couple of days and taking things a little easier!  Mr. 'SH' has been away in Australia on business for the last couple of weeks, and from what I can gather from our snatched skype chats, he never got over his jet lag and is severely sleep deprived….so a clear agenda and R&R is definitely called for this weekend!

Above is the beautiful view from my kitchen deck early this morning, with the mist hovering over the fields….it looks like we are in for some lovely sunny Autumn weather too over the coming days, which is a bonus!





No relaxing weekend would be complete without some delicious ingredients for some new recipes and a few treats, and it was a joy to discover and visit a fabulous new farmshop yesterday, close to us here in Kent….the newly revamped and under new ownership 'Hartley Farmshop' near the picturesque market town of Cranbrook.



With their own bakery, fish monger, butchery, delicatessen and lovely coffee shop with far reaching views over the apple orchards behind, it is somewhere that turns the drudge of food shopping in to something really very enjoyable.









Concentrating on fresh and local produce with a fantastic selection of other goodies, it could well become my new favourite place to shop….







If you are ever in the area, do drop by….you won't be disappointed!

Hartley Farm Shop,
Hartley Dyke Farm,
Hartley Rd.
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 3QG

***

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Sophia xx

Saturday, 11 October 2014


A VERY SPECIAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!





Set high in the Morena Mountains, 80km north of Seville in the heart of Andalucia, you will find a truly magical place called 'Trasierra'.

This historic 16th Century house is a privately owned boutique hotel, which has been run and owned by Charlotte Scott and her family for the past 35 years….





With its stunning interiors….eclectic, artistic, understated and so effortless….











Romantic and supremely comfortable bedrooms….





Beautiful gardens, with shady and tranquil hidden corners….



















It truly was the most fabulous place to spend a long weekend…..and not just any weekend….for it was the most generous, special and very personal birthday celebration for my gorgeous friend Sarah, who was celebrating a 'big' birthday. She and her husband James so generously invited close friends and family to enjoy 'Trasierra' exclusively for four days.

Four days of fun and laughter, enjoying the most delicious food and wine, trips to Seville to 'The old fish market' for lunch and wine tasting in a beautiful local vineyard, gorgeous walks amongst stunning scenery, yoga, massage and relaxation….and of course, much
dancing and partying….the fantastic Spanish 'gypsy' band and Flamenco dancers were something we shall remember for ever!







As we enjoyed the last fabulous dinner on Sunday night in the spectacular candle lit courtyard, I know I was not alone amongst our fellow guests, in feeling that we had experienced four extremely special days indeed….the most generous and spoiling of invitations, that was also so personal, genuine and intimate.  A chance for us all to spend very special time with our hosts and fellow guests in a truly unique, beautiful and magical place...

Thank you, thank you,  to our dear friends Sarah and James….our celebrations with you both at 'Trasierra' will stay in our hearts for ever….xxx




***

Wishing you all a very happy weekend!

Sophia xxx


Friday, 3 October 2014

 FRIDAY FLOWERS...


PHOTOS: SOPHIA HOME


Happy Friday!
Best day of the week, don't you think?
My end of week ritual, if I can, is to visit our lovely weekly market in the nearby Georgian town of Tenterden here in Kent.



My favourite stall without a doubt, sells a fabulous array of plants and flowers….always so tempting.



Today's 'Friday flowers' that made their way home with me, were these gorgeous Autumn treats of
Heathers, Ornamental Cabbages, Pansies and Chrysanthemum…..perfect for planting and brightening our front door.

Wishing you all a very Happy Weekend!

Sophia xx

Thursday, 2 October 2014




Happy Thursday!
Are you enjoying this beautiful Autumn weather?  Certainly here in the UK, we have had the most glorious days with sunshine and mild temperatures.  Things are set to change this weekend though….but the thought of lighting the fire, cosy evenings and a change of pace are all very welcome.  I adore all the seasons, and Autumn and Winter bring their own sense of beauty that I could not live without.

I apologise for the lack of blog posts recently, but it has been rather hectic here.  Busy with client design projects, and garden projects amongst many things, although it hasn't all completely been work and no rest….last weekend was a very special celebration and treat!  A dear and very generous girlfriend of mine Sarah and her husband, invited thirty-eight of us out to Seville for her big birthday celebrations.  Four days of partying in the most magical of places called Trasierra, up in the mountains outside Seville.  I look forward to sharing this wonderful place with you here shortly!

So, a short post today, while I catch up with myself and do some work….but I plan to share far more with you this Autumn on the blog.  More of what inspires me, from design inspiration, home and garden projects, delicious recipes and places and people of interest.  Thank you so much to all of you, all around the world, who take the time to pop in to 'Sophia Home' on a regular basis to read me….it means so much to me!  I always love your feedback, so do get in touch in the comments section or email me via my design website here.

Happy Autumn days!

Sophia xx

Monday, 22 September 2014


A LATE SEPTEMBER HARVEST...


ALL PICTURES: SOPHIA HOME

Happy Monday everyone!
I do hope you all had a lovely weekend?
Ours was very much a 'catch up' weekend in the garden….it's frightening just how out of control things can get when you turn your back on things for just a week or two!  

Our efforts were concentrated on the kitchen garden, where the warm September weather had caused the weeds to completely take over! Back breaking work, but quite satisfying to turn chaos into order, and most beds are now weeded and mulched with a thick layer of manure.  Followers of my Instagram @sophiahomelifestyle, will know that it wasn't my most glamorous of Sunday activities!




What was enjoyable, was September's late harvest….here are a few of Sunday's pickings….



Cucumbers from the greenhouse...




'Uchiki Kuri' squashes...



Still an abundance of courgettes!





Beautiful Victoria plums…





Onions to be stored and used over the coming months…



An abundance of apples in the orchard…




And my absolute favourite….



Who could not love these gorgeous 'pink' offerings of Dahlias and Stocks from this year's new cutting garden….and beautiful Borlotti beans!  The perfect ingredient for a delicious Cassoulet supper to end a perfect September Sunday…

Wishing you a very happy week!

Sophia xx


Friday, 19 September 2014

 KEEPING IT HEALTHY!



Happy Friday everyone!
How has your week been?
Mine has been super busy with trying to get back to normal having been away last week.  Catching up with clients and work projects as well as getting the house organised and getting on top of the dreaded laundry….the price to pay for taking time out!

Talking of the 'price to pay'….although I like to think we have a very healthy lifestyle here at home, holidays are undoubtedly a time when many of us overindulge just a little bit!  All those delicious meals, local wines and lazing about…but hey, isn't that all part of the fun?!  

Well, Mr SH and I arrived home last weekend, full of resolve, ready to take on a stricter week, and try and lose the inevitable couple of pounds or so that can shockingly creep up on us when there have been one too many treats.  I was also keen to get back to the gym for some classes and kick start a particularly nutritious regime that would give us some much needed energy, to take on what is looking like a very busy Autumn for us.





I may be a little late to the whole 'Nutribullet' craze, but for any of you who have not heard of this amazing gadget, I can honestly say that I am absolutely hooked, and loving it!  Having heard rave reviews, I decided to invest in one not long ago, and it has now become an addictive start to our early morning routine.

Perfect for creating ultra delicious and nutritious smoothies and juices, the Nutribullet claims to be unlike any other blender.  Because of its unique blade, it breaks down pulp, skin, seeds and stems of the fruits and plants we eat, in to tiny particles, extracting every ounce of goodness.  





When I first came across recipes for 'green' smoothies….especially for breakfast….I admit I didn't find the idea overly appetising!  Always one to give things a go though, I stocked up on ingredients such as 'chia seeds', 'spirulina' and 'hemp powder' and also bananas, which give smoothies that perfect texture as well as being such a healthy start to the day. With plenty of flavour packed and nutritious berries, spinach, kale and chard in the garden, I was ready…







Ok….it doesn't look the most appealing of drinks first thing, but I promise you, it is absolutely delicious!  If you really can't face the 'greenness', just leave out the Spirulina!

It's a good feeling to know that you have started your day with a power house of vitamins, minerals and plant proteins…after just a week of getting back in to our new daily ritual, we are feeling the benefits….great for glowing skin and energy levels too. Amazingly more satisfying than toast or cereals with no hunger pangs all morning!

I have been mixing up all sorts of different combinations of fruits, with greenery,  but here is a favourite recipe to try:

Green smoothie

1 banana
Mixed frozen or fresh berries 
(I love blueberries, red currants and raspberries)
Handful of green leaves (spinach, chard or kale)
1 tsp Spirulina powder (blue/green algae that is a great source of protein, essential amino acids and minerals)
1 tsp Hemp powder (rich in protein, minerals and omega fats)
1 tsp Chia seed (rich in protein, Omega 3 and fibre)
Water, fruit juice, coconut water or natural yoghurt to dilute)


In a hurry in the mornings?  In less than the time it takes to boil a kettle, you can whizz up this powerful start to the day, so super quick and easy.

So, if you haven't got in to making your own nutritious smoothies yet, are you tempted to give it a go?  Perhaps you have been creating these healthy starts to your day for a long time?  
Either way, I would love to hear from you and perhaps you smoothie officionados out there would like to share your favourite recipes and combinations?

***

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, whatever you have planned….ours will be spent now trying to get on top of new overwhelming weeds and jobs in the garden.  
What did I say about 'a price to pay'?!

Sophia xx

PS. If you would like some more 'fruity' inspiration, check out my latest guest post on the Sarah Raven website's blog 'Garlic and Sapphire' entitled 'This year's fruity addition to the garden', by clicking on the link.