Ta Da! Come Dine with me – part 2


Mirror, mirror….

So this is part two of my dining room makeover post (its like an episode of 24 isn’t it? Fraught with tension and cliffhangers designed to make you watch the whole series in one go! if you missed part one click here)

I know I talk about food a lot on this blog. Food and Farrow and Ball seem to be recurring themes. If only you could get Clunch cupcakes or Mizzle meringues I’d be in heaven. But my food obsession while in France (when at home in London I eat like a bird – honestly!) meant that the Dining Room was a BIG DEAL. And as our friends the Candys were coming for Christmas I really wanted a proper Dining Room where we could all sit down to a medieval style banquet with Peter as the Sheriff of Nottingham at the head of the table ripping game from it’s bones. (What actually happened on Christmas Day is we spent a large part of the meal carrying out Bush Tucker style challenges to try and get the children to eat sprouts. “eat the sprout, eat the sprout, eat the sprout…” we chanted as Gracie struggled through it with a face like she was eating kangaroo anus)

And this was where I really got to shop. I’d love to say no expense was spared, but as usual with us, every expense was spared. I started out going to John Lewis with my mum to get some of their ‘own brand’ fabric for my chairs. I had no idea which way to go so my choice was largely informed by the price tag. This grey and blue floral was only £16 per metre so I got 5 metres of it.


And Peter covered each chair one, by one with an upholstery gun we bought on eBay and a gazillion chrome studs. Each morning by the time we came down for breakfast he would have completed another chair. Its like a form of therapy for him and possibly what will stop him going off the rails and having affairs. Seriously, if Russell Brand took up upholstery his life might take a very different turn.

And once the chairs were done, the wall colour chose itself. We had to use specialist paint as the walls were so damp, the paint company in question is called Earthborn and specialises in paint for clay. The colour we chose was called Bandstand as we both liked the idea of a dark, wintery dining room (as in summer we eat outdoors anyway) and this has a sort of hunting lodge feel – perfect for that leg of venison, Pete was going to be chowing down on in my Sherwood analogy.

So that just left lighting and a fortuitous meeting via my job with the PR for BHS. Now if you haven’t checked out BHS lighting dept, you really should. The thing I love most about it, is that you don’t see your lights in everyone else’s houses. It’s like a secret find – everyone who sees your light fittings will assume they were VERY expensive. And they are in fact, VERY cheap.

The lovely PR encouraged me to take a look so I bought three of these blue tinged glass lanterns to hang over my table..


The blue lanterns

And for the first time, I had stuff to add into this room. Pictures and sconces we had bought at vide greniers, a massive mirror that our gardners had sold us as it was old and rubbish and they like new and shiny, plus lamps and candlesticks from Graham and Green

And I love this room. It makes me so happy to be in it. We’ve hosted dinners for 20, New Year’s Eve and of course our Candy Xmas.

And this summer the gardners came back with yet more enormous furniture for us to put in it as we are the only people they know with a room big enough. And so we have a games cupboard bigger than Sebastian!


A cupboard bigger than Seb


Game on

So here is a gallery of my favourite room ever. Hope you like it too


Ta da







Maison a vendre

I’ve decided to write a blog. I am roughly three years too late. Well, I’m actually about six years too late – even my nine year old already has a blog but in this instance I mean I am three years too late on my chosen topic. We bought this house in rural South West France almost three years ago and I knew it was the perfect project to document Grand Designs style on a blog. But I didn’t. But I am now. I’m starting from the beginning and eventually I will get to present day, like Kevin Mcleod turning up in his North Face parka to see ‘how it all turned out’. A sort of suspense thriller blog of doing up a house….. do we ever finish it? Do we find just the right shade of grey on the Farrow and Ball colour charts for the bathroom? Well you will have to wait and see…..

Found on the internet. One visit later and we bought it.

Found on the internet. One visit later and we bought it.