Country Living Fair! By the Sophie Conran Team

We had a fabulous five days exhibiting at the Country Living Fair last week and it was great to meet so many people coming in and out of our little stand! We all had so much fun decorating the stand and were so thrilled to be exhibiting at a trade show for the first time ever. The Country Living Fair was the perfect show for us, and we loved all the other lovely stands we came across. We thought the Design Museum was an incredible building to be exhibiting in, amazing light and lots of space to moneuvre. Thank you to all those who entered our competition to win a Sophie Conran breakfast bundle, we will be announcing the winner of this at the end of next week! Thank you also to the organisers for producing such a fantastic event and we hope to see you next year! The Sophie Conran Team X

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Our fabulous stand!

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Sophie and Rebecca enjoying setting up!

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Assembling the dresser!

 

 

Fabulous Competition with Rococo Chocolates!

We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Rococo Chocolates to bring you a prize so delectable that even the Easter Bunny himself has entered. The Prize – A set of Sophie Blue Egg Cups and a box of DELICIOUS Rococo chocolate eggs. Designed to sit perfectly together as a perfectly exquisite Easter treat. All you have to do is email hello@sophieconran.com using the subject ‘Chocolate eggs’ for a chance to win! There will be 3 lucky winners, who will be announced from Wednesday 25th March- Friday 27th March! Good luck!

Blog Sophie Blue Egg Cups - £18 for a set of 2

Gorgeous Sophie Blue Egg Cups

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Easter Decorating Tips

The best tip I can give when decorating your home for the coming season is to think about the colours of Spring – those gorgeous subtle pastels, bold yellows and luscious greens. Incorporate these colours into your Spring table with bunches of fresh flowers, which will not only look heavenly but will make you go “ooo” when you walk through the front door and smell the fragrance! I like to arrange mine in an organic fashion so it looks like they have been picked straight from the garden. Daffodils are a lovely and simple way to add some delicate colour to your table settings. I tie tiny daffodil heads to my white linen napkins using my Burgon & Ball Twine instead of a napkin ring – it’s a lovely finishing touch.
White Linen Napkins - £14 each

White Linen Napkins – £14 each

 

Pasta Shells with Broccoli & Chilli

This deliciously simple dish makes a perfectly tasty supper. Packed with healthy broccoli & gorgeous flavours.

Sophie Blue Pasta Bowls

Sophie Blue Pasta Bowls – £80 for a set of 4

Serves 4

400g large pasta shells
2 heads broccoli split into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic – chopped
6 anchovy fillets – chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated parmesan to serve

Steam or boil the broccoli in a separate pan and put aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta to the water and stir. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic for 2 minutes, add the anchovies and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir though the cooked broccoli and chilli flakes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well. Return to the pot with the broccoli and heat through. Serve in warmed bowls and sprinkle with parmesan. Season with pepper to taste.

Charity Event

I was delighted to be asked to give a presentation with the fabulous Emma Bridgewater at my kid’s old school, Bedales in Sussex last weekend. The school provided a delicious lunch and I really enjoyed chatting to some of the guests present. The event was raising money for the school’s new Art & Design centre, so I was especially thrilled to be a part of raising money for such a fantastic project. After lunch, we set up shop with all the proceeds going towards the new building. Thank you to all our lovely license companies, Portmeirion, Arthur Price, Norfolk Kitchen and Burgon & Ball for providing us with such lovely gifts for the goody bags and Raffle Prize. Sophie X

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Gorgeous goody bags looking stunning amongst the daffodils.

 

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Some of the Sophie Blue china basking in the Spring sunshine

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Gorgeous Raffle Prizes: Apron & Oven glove from Norfolk Kitchen, Set of 3 salad bowls and champagne coups from Portmeirion and a 2 piece carving set from Arthur Price.

 

Country Living Fair!

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Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Country Living Fair next week (18th-22nd March). We will be at stand M155 and look forward to saying hello to lots of you there! We will be offering 15% off everything exclusively at the fair plus there will be a chance to win a fabulous prize. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet- don’t panic, they’re still on sale here. See you there! The Sophie Conran Team. X

Visit to Crisis

Crisis is a charity that provides a life line for people living in the streets in the UK, dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life changing services and campaigning for change.

Last year, Crisis housed more than 4,000 homeless people over Christmas, helped more than 500 people to find employment and have helped countless more re-build their self esteem shattered by homelessness through arts and crafts. Today I visit the charity and It was humbling to see how the charity’s volunteers are helping to improve the lives of the homeless people in their care through the arts, education, sport, health and employment to name a few. Here are some pictures of the amazing work I saw. Please visit their website and show your support – http://www.crisis.org.uk. Thank you, Sophie. X

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Introducing…Pebble.

I am very excited to launch my fabulous new Pebble Collection on my online shop. Generous in size and a beautiful colour, this subtle pebble collection works well in any kitchen and will compliment your existing Sophie Conran for Portmeirion pieces or work perfectly as a stand-alone collection. Every item in the Pebble range is tactile, beautiful and practical.  Sophie X

Pebble Pasta Bowls- Set of Four

Pebble Pasta Bowls- Set of Four

Pebble Dinner Plates- Set of Four

Pebble Dinner Plates- Set of Four

Pebble Mugs - Set of Four

Pebble Mugs – Set of Four

Pebble Side Plates- Set of Four

Pebble Side Plates- Set of Four

Pebble Cereal Bowls- Set of Four

Pebble Cereal Bowls- Set of Four

Scotch Pancakes!

This is a fantastic recipe to whip up with the kids. Scotch pancakes are my American husband Nick’s favourite, being slightly more substantial than the classic crepe. My favourite topping is golden syrup and a handful of berries but I love a good old sugar and lemon one too.

White Frying Pan -£65

White Frying Pan -£65

For the batter:

110g (4oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 medium egg, separated
150ml (5fl oz) milk
15g (½oz) butter, melted, plus extra for frying

For the topping:

A handful of blueberries and raspberries
Heaped tablespoon of golden syrup
Sprinkling of icing sugar

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Plop the egg yolk and about 50ml (2fl oz) of the milk into the well and stir the dry ingredients into the liquid gradually. When the mixture is smooth, gradually add the rest of the milk, stirring until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Beat the egg white to the medium-peak stage and fold it into the batter using a large metal spoon.

Melt a knob of butter in a frying-pan over a medium heat – the butter should just coat the bottom of the pan. Using a small ladle, add the pancake batter, creating pancakes about 7cm (3in) in size. Cook for two to three minutes, until the pancakes are golden underneath and bubbles are starting to appear on the surface (the surface will also look ‘drier’). Using a palette-knife, carefully turn each pancake over and cook on the other side until brown. Drizzle the batch with golden syrup, throw in a handful of blueberries and raspberries and finally dust with icing sugar. YUM!

 

 

 

Laksa!

Taken from ‘The Fresh Vegan Kitchen’ by David and Charlotte Bailey, this is an absolutely delicious meal that is healthy and hearty. Perfect for all those on a New Year health kick! Here’s what the authors have to say…

A wonderful main meal soup, laksa is a mouth-watering, highly aromatic coconut-curry both filled with noodles and, in this version, tofu puffs and an assortment of vegetables. It’s usually very spicy, designed to make you sweat (and hence keep cool) as you eat it by the roadside in the tropics, but you can moderate the chilli according to your taste and climate.

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey, published by Pavilion. Image:  Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey, published by Pavilion. Image: Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.

200g/7oz dried rice noodles
4tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 batch Laksa Curry Paste
400ml/14fl oz/1.75 cups of coconut milk
1 batch Laksa Vegetable stock
1-2tsp tamarin (make sure it’s gluten free)
150g/5.5oz/1 heaped cup mange tout (snow peas), cut in half
125g/4.5oz/0.5 cup baby corn, cut in half lengthways
150g/5.5oz/1 cup enoki mushrooms
2 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
100g/3.5oz/scant ⅓ block tofu puffs or marinated tofu pieces
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro) plus extra to sprinkle
1 bunch of fresh Thai basil, picked
250g/9oz/1⅔ cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
a handful of crispy fried shallots
(green onions) or crispy friend Thai shallots
Large lime wedges to serve
Salt and Pepper

Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of water for about 1 hour, then drain.

In a large pan, heat the coconut oil, then add the palm sugar and Laksa Curry paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until it starts to brown and caramelize. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Season with tamarin to taste, then strain.

Return the soup to the pan and bring slowly to the boil, adding the mangetout, baby corn, enoki mushrooms, red chillies and tofu puffs or pieces as it heats up. Meanwhile, take 4 large bowls and divide the soaked rice noodles, herbs and cherry tomatoes among them. As the soup comes up to the boy, reduce to a simmer, then check the seasoning and add a little more tamarin.

Pour the soup over the noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle with extra coriander leaves and crispy shallots and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.