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INSPIRATION

Summer Dishes

By August 16, 2019 Editor's Picks, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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When the weather is hot and humidity soars, eating can sometimes feel like a chore, especially when your recipe repertoire is full of dishes that leave you feeling hotter than your were! At this point, it’s good to have a little recipe refresher and seek out some inspiration from some of the best summer food friendly meals around. Here are a few of our favourites to get you inspired!

 

watermelon

Watermelon and Feta Salad

One of our all time favourite foods for a starter is watermelon and feta salad. This is so simple to make and is always a welcome start to a summer meal with friends.

Ingredients
Half a large watermelon
Feta Cheese
Mint leaves
1/2 red onion
tbsp Olive oil
Pinch of Salt

Instructions
Scope out of the watermelon and cut into cubes about an inch thick and then cube the feta into slightly smaller pieces. Chop red onion roughly (chop into smaller pieces if preferred). Tear up mint leaves and add all ingredients into a bowl, tossing lightly with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. For extra ‘wow’ factor, retain the watermelon shell and once all the salad ingredients are well combined, transfer it back into the watermelon shell for a delicious and impressive starter!

 

 Sommer-Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is essentially a cold soup, which for some can be off-putting at first, but if given a chance, this dish is brimming with flavour and is so refreshing in summer that we could not leave it off our list. Use your ripest tomatoes and give it a try- we’re sure you will love it!

Ingredients
7 ripe Tomatoes
3 Cloves Garlic
1 red onion
1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Parsley or basil for garnish (dependent on preference)

Instructions
Chop up all the ingredients and place in the blender. Add your olive oil and vinegar and blend all ingredients into a puree. Leave the mixture in a covered bowl to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Strain the puree through a mesh sieve and place the mixture in the fridge to cool. When thoroughly cool, pour gazpacho into bowls and serve with lightly chopped basil garnish. Tip: Prepare gazpacho a day in advance so flavours can develop fully.

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Salmon Fritters with Citrus Creme Fraiche

Salmon fritters are the perfect comfort food when a heartier meal is desired that still feels light enough to eat on a hot day. The citrus dip is the perfect partner to the dish to keep it all feeling light and fresh.

Ingredients
8 Smoked salmon slices
Spring onion (chopped finely)
1/2 onion (chopped finely)
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg beaten
1 /2 cup creme fraiche
1 large lemon
oil for frying
rocket for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Break up salmon slices and mix together with onion,  flour and egg in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan. Parcel out 1 tablespoon sized portions of the salmon batter and flatten in hand. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side and then take out of frying pan and place on absorbent paper. Repeat until all batter has been fried. Cut lemon and squeeze into a bowl. Add creme fraiche, spring onion and mix until all are well combined. Serve salmon fritters on a serving tray on a bed of rocket with extra smoked salmon slice and a dollop of citrus creme fraiche.

 

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Spinach & Tomato Quiche

A quiche and salad on a warm day is something of a British summer institution. Eat your quiche piping hot or have it cold from the fridge as a yummy leftover.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach leaves 
4 large eggs
2/33 cup milk
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (or other cheese of your choice- feta cheese is also very nice)
1-2 medium tomatoes (cubed)
2 cloves garlic
mixed bag of lettuce
Store bought easy roll puff pastry (can also use short crust pastry)
1 Egg white (beaten)
salt and pepper
 to taste

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Unroll your pastry and lay out on a 10 inch pie dish making sure to pull it up and over the edges of dish. Wilt the spinach with the olive oil in a hot pan adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach into the pie dish and then add in half the grated cheese. Beat the eggs and add the milk and crushed garlic. Pour this on to the spinach and then add the chopped tomatoes on to the top of the mixture. Finish off with a layer of the rest of the cheese. Layer a beaten egg-white wash over the edges of the pastry to ensure it bakes golden brown.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean from the centre of the quiche. Serve with a side of green salad tossed lightly in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Vietnames Spring Rolls

Add an asian flavour to your summer with these spring rolls that are so delicious you won’t want to share them with anyone! They are also so easy to make yet look impressive when prepared so you are sure to delight and surprise your guests with your skills in the kitchen!

Ingredients
Firm tofu
Rice paper wrappers
1/2 head of cobb lettuce
1/2 a cucumber
2 Carrots grated
Spring Onion
Fresh mint, coriander, thai basil

For dipping sauce
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

Instructions
Chop your cucumber and tofu into 1.5cm depth strips and about 4-5cm long. Chop the lettuce and all your herbs finely. Dip the rice paper in a bowl of warm water for 3 seconds ensuring it is fully submerged. It should come out of the water slightly firm so that you can easily lay it flat on to a ceramic plate. Starting at the edge of the rice paper closest to you, add all your fillings in very small amounts. If you have too much filling, it will be difficult to roll and the fillings will easily fall out. Once you have added all your fillings, pick up the edge of your paper closest to you and roll it tightly over the filling. Repeat until you have the desired number of rolls. For the dip, pour all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir vigorously. Place rolls on a serving dish with the bowl of dipping sauce.

 

We hope this has given you a few ideas for summer dishes. If you try them out, do let us know how you found them!

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A History of Linen

By June 28, 2019 FASHION, INSPIRATION
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How one of the oldest fabrics in the world became the must-have fabric of summer

Linen is a firm favourite for summer, loved for its simple and elegant qualities. It is well known to wick moisture away from the body and keep you cool, while being iron-free and highly durable.. what’s not to love!?

This summer, linen has gained huge momentum, appearing in store after store in beautiful designs and colours. Most snapping up the trend do not realise the long and fascinating history behind the fibre, so let’s dive in and take a closer look at linen’s journey through the centuries. 

 

linen 1

 

 

Linen, made from the fibres of the flax plant, is one of the oldest textiles in the world. Historians believe the flax plant was first domesticated in ancient Mesopotamia and discoveries of linen fabric have been found dating back many thousands of years.  The process of turning flax fibres into linen is a difficult and laborious one. The plant is temperamental and requires a great deal of attention during its growth and once ready for harvest it is a long process to extract the fibre from the stalk. In addition, flax fibres are not elastic, and therefore it is difficult to weave them without breaking the threads.

 

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With such a long and tedious journey to attain this raw material it is a wonder that linen every came about! However, possibly because of this long process, linen became a sought after quality especially among the elite and wealthy. Linen was a symbol of status and a luxury fabric to be seen wearing. Moreover, in some areas, such as ancient Egypt, priests wore linen and it was even used for burial shrouds because the fibre was seen to symbolise light, purity and wealth. Linen was so valued, that in a curious fact, for a time it was even used as currency!

 

linen 2

 

 

With the invention of the flax spinning wheel in the 15th century, linen production grew quicker and faster and it became cheaper to purchase linen household items. However this coincided with cotton production seeing an increase and it became increasingly popular, eventually surpassing linen. Nevertheless, advancements only continued over the years until linen peaked in the 19th century with large scale improvements in farming practices and as machinery fully mechanised linen production. At this point, linen truly took off. It became available for a variety of uses: bedding, bath fabrics, upholstery, tablecloths and books. It was and still is the preferred traditional support for oil paintings.

 

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Skipping forward to more recent time, in the 1970s, linen experienced another evolution when the bulk of production shifted from household items to clothing. It was at this point that people truly embraced the fabric in a multitude of fashion forms, from the hippie movement, to the cool sophistication of white linen. Linen was appreciated for its hard wearing quality, because it was cool to touch, smooth and loved for the fact that it got softer with repeated washing. Les 100 Ciels incorporates linen styles into our collections year after year and this season we have truly embraced a range of colours and styles to suit every woman. Shop our linen styles here!

 

 

 

 

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Summer Reads

By June 21, 2019 IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION, Uncategorized
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As we pass the official start of summer, our minds turn to thoughts of fun times in the sun! Whether your idea of summer is lounging at the seaside, touring a European city or going to the countryside.. fitting in time with a good book is just the thing to sate the soul and truly relax and unwind. Here’s a list of our top books to read this summer- from newly released to some older favourites- we’ve got you covered.

 

 

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See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

If you love a true crime novel, this is the book for you. Following the story of Lizzie Borden accused of the gruesome murders of her father and stepmother in 1892, Schmidt retells this notorious unsolved mystery. Taking you on a journey through the mind of a murderer and into the heart of a family devoid of love, this book is a chilling and unsettling and yet impossible to put down.

 

 

cityofgirls

City of Girls Elizabeth Gilbert

From the author of the much loved, Eat, Pray, Love comes a new novel that is bound to enthrall. The perspective has shifted, from Liz Gilbert to 95 year old Vivien as she reflects on her youth in the 1940s  and recounts her life with much flair, wit and adventure. Be transported to buzzing 1940s New York and follow along with her decadent self discovery, love affairs and her truly full but flawed life. A relatable and uplifting read!

 

 

withthefire
With The Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo

Dominican author Acevedo has written a dazzling coming of age novel that will leave you rooting for her protagonist, Emoni as she navigates her often difficult life, making sense of it through her love of food and cooking. There is a beautiful and poetic tone to her prose and Acevedo’s descriptions of food are mouthwatering! This would make the perfect book to read on holiday while while enjoying an excess of culinary delights.

 

 

machines

Machines Like Me-  Ian McEwan

In Booker Prize winner, Ian McEwan’s latest novel,  an alternate 1982 London is technologically advanced and robots are on sale to the general public. Narrator, Charlie, impulsively buys one of these robots, Adam bringing him home to live with him and his girlfriend Miranda. A love triangle develops among the three, that is  both disturbing and problematic while still being tenuous and gripping. The story nudges the reader deep into existential questions on the morality of artificial intelligence and the nature of being human. A thought provoking novel told through a very intimate lense.

 

 

thenighttiger
The Night Tiger, Yangsze Choo

The Night Tiger takes us into a suspenseful world of superstition and mystery. A mesmerising thriller that pulses with the heat of 1930s Malaysia, in a story rich with spirits, magic, lore and even a tyrannical tiger. There is so much to love in this book- it grabs you, pulls you into its magical world and is a true page-turner!

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Wild Swimming in the UK

By June 14, 2019 INSPIRATION
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Summer is the best time of year to enjoy the beauty of the UK’s natural landscape and what better way to do that, than to explore its waters. Wild swimming has gained popularity in recent years as swimming pools become busier and people search for a deeper connection with nature by finding clean rivers and lakes to enjoy. Imagine a beautiful stream surrounded by verdant greenery where the only sounds are the babbling water and the song of the birds. We’ve put together 5 of our favourite places to go wild swimming and enjoy pure tranquillity.

The River Stour 1

1. The River Stour, Fordwich, Kent

The River Stour offers beautiful swimming opportunities with open areas where the river widens  and narrower points where the trees close in on the banks and small fish can be seen below. An easy access point is the Fordwich Arms in Fordwich where you can also have a spot of lunch after a dip in the river!

 

Waterfall Country

2. Waterfall Country, Breacon Beacons, Wales

Waterfall Country or Coed-y-Rhaeadr as it is known in Welsh meaning, Wood of the Water, is a beautiful trail of waterfalls, west of Merthyr Tydfil. Start the trail in Pontneddfechan which has signposting for the entire route and enjoy a serene 20 minute walk before you get to the first waterfall. With four stunning waterfalls to enjoy- Lady Falls is the best for a swim- you can pack a picnic and cool off with a swim against the backdrop of the falls.

 

The River Wey

 

3. The River Wey, Godalming, Surrey

With lots of sandy banks to easily slip into the water, The River Wey is a perfect choice for anyone new to wild swimming. The water is slow moving and very serene and peaceful.  We chose the bit of river behind the Manor Inn at Godalming which has a lovely meadow to have a picnic and also enjoy the wildlife on the riverside.

 

wastwater

4. Wastwater Lake, Wastdale, Lake District Cumbria

For the more experienced swimmer looking for an awe-inspiring swim, Wastwater lake ticks all the boxes. Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, is the dramatic backdrop for a swim in this large and deep lake, which will undoubtedly be an exhilarating experience! Be prepared as the water is very cold all year round!

 

The Fairy Pools_1

5. The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

Going even further north, the name alone for this next wild swim, Fairy Pools, begs a visit. Located on the Isle of Skye, at the foot of the Black Cuilin, there are beautiful crystal clear, blue pools and cascades to enjoy. A swim here is a cold affair, but with pools deep enough to jump into and even an underwater arch to explore, a summer swim here will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression!

 

 

Wild Swimming Safety**

Always remember to consider your safety before embarking on any wild swimming. Respect the water, come prepared for cold waters and be sure to check beforehand for any currents. It is best to not swim alone and to be vigilant of weak swimmers.

 

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7 Inspirational Instagram feeds to follow

By May 31, 2019 INSPIRATION
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Whether you’re feeling blue or are just killing time, it’s always nice to come across uplifting words and images. Here at Les 100 Ciels we start our mornings following some inspirational accounts as a good way to kick start the day with some positive intentions.  We know the world at large may feel like a scary place, so if you need a little extra help feeling positive and inspired to brighten your mood, read through our list of the best motivational accounts to follow right now – to give yourself the daily dose of happiness and motivation you need!

 

@abeautifulmess

A Beautiful Mess is a lifestyle company founded by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapmano, focused on creating happiness through a homemade lifestyle. On the blog they share home decor projects, recipes, crafts, natural beauty and more!  If you are looking for some DIY inspiration, this is the right blog to follow!

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@beautifuldestinations

In need of some travel inspiration today? @beautifuldestinations posts new places to visit every day. Whether you’re planning a trip or just daydreaming, this account will have you taking a mental vacation far away from home.

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@Iamthatgirl

I am that girl is an epic community for badass young women. The purpose of this blog is to give women the tools to lead with confidence and compassion. If you’re feeling like this is the voice you’ve been needing to hear, follow them now and share with any girlfriends who could use a dose of inspiration!

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@gypsetgoddess

The name Gypset Goddess is a mash-up of “gypsy” and “jetset”. Based in Arizona, Caitlin travels the world to teaching and snapping yoga photos in the most unusual places. Her posts are fun and full of positive energy, and you never know where her poses will take her next!

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@deliciouslyella

Deliciously Ella is a resource to help you live better and make vegetables cool. Starting with a personal blog, they‘ve evolved in to an app, recipe books, a deli, a range of plant-based food products, and a growing social media community that sits at the heart of sustainability and love for yourself.

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@apartmenttherapy

Apartment Therapy is a home and decor site, designed to inspire anyone to live a more beautiful and happy life at home. Launched in 2001 by interior designer Maxwell Ryan (nicknamed “the apartment therapist”), Apartment Therapy has since grown to become a leading source of design inspiration and tips for real people looking for real-life decor solutions and gives a fascinating look into how people from around the country live at home.

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@happsters

Happsters is THE blog about happiness. The founder’s motto is that happiness comes when you focus on the 4 G’s: Gratitude, Growth, Giving & Gathering. This blog is all about supporting others, appreciating everything you have, continuing to learn and grow, and coming together as a community.

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When style meets recipe – summer season

By May 17, 2019 INSPIRATION
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The intersection of colour, taste, texture and fabric
 

Fashion has always been a source of beauty, aesthetics and craftsmanship, and a natural extension of this is the sculptural and artistic forms that can food can take. Just like fashion, culinary trends develop season after season, with new colours, shades and textures. And just like a white shirt can be classic and timeless many dishes are go-to meals that are comforting, delicious or even evocative of childhood.

This week, we explore this union of style and food and bring together some of our most loved Spring Summer 2019 styles with a selection of fresh and easy-to-cook recipes for the upcoming Spring period! Let us know what you think!


Fritz Top Inspiring our Honey & mustard chicken skewers

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Instructions

Cut the chicken into small pieces and cut off any fat. Place in a medium-to-large bowl. Add the mustard, honey, garlic, and salt & pepper to a bowl and stir until smooth. Pour it over the chicken. Refrigerate the chicken for at least an hour, preferably 2+ hours. If marinating overnight, cover it with plastic wrap. Once your chicken is done marinating, oil your grill’s grate and pre-heat it to high. Thread the chicken onto skewers. Pour any extra marinade over them. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes total, turning every few minutes.


Twide Tie-Dye Dress Inspiring Blueberries and Pomegranate smoothie

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Instructions

Place ingredients in your blender in the order listed. Puree until completely smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately!


Hilde Top Inspiring our Stripy Donuts

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Instructions

In a small bowl, add warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Set aside for 5 minutes for yeast to bloom- it should go foamy. In a separate bowl add 3 cups of flour and the sugar. Then add in butter, egg and buttermilk. Add yeast (water and all) and mix with a dough hook for 5 minutes or until dough becomes smooth. If dough is too sticky to the touch, add extra 35 grams (1/4 cup) flour. Bring the dough together into one ball, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise. You want the dough to double in size, (60 to 75 minutes waiting time). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Use a donut cutter to cut out circles of dough, approximately 3.5 inch wide. Cut out a hole in the middle of each donut and discard.  Gently place donuts on baking tray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Prepare the oil for frying (180 C). Gently add two or three donuts into the oil, one at a time. Let them cook for 90 seconds, before flipping over and cooking for an additional 90 seconds. Once they are golden brown, pop them on a plate lined with a paper towel. Leave to cool.

For the glaze, sift icing sugar in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of milk and stir until smooth. Add a few drops of food colouring until you reach your desired shade of pink. Dip each donut in the frosting, one at a time, and add white icing on top to create the stripes. If the frosting gets too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.


Benji Jacket Inspiring our Amaretti

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease and line two cookie sheets. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sugar and salt until evenly incorporated. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and lemon juice until they hold soft peaks. Add beaten egg whites to flour and stir until mixture forms a soft, sticky dough. Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough into 1-inch balls. Roll into a smooth ball, then roll in powdered sugar. Arrange on baking sheets, leaving 1 inch of space between cookies. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until tops are cracked and bottoms are just barely golden.

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