Slow design. Slow life.

This doesn’t mean we’re lazy – far from it. It just means that we’ve stood back, taken stock and slowed down the pace of things. We’ve (largely) stopped the 9-5 working day and we spend more time living. It hasn’t been easy making such big changes – coming from a city that never stops to a rural village has taken some getting used to, but we’re getting there. Our whole lifestyle is becoming much more balanced.

Our lifestyle now much more takes into account what we buy, what we eat, how we cook, how we relax. How we’ve largely weaned ourselves away from convenience and are now taking a much considered approach to how we live our lives. We still work full time from home and we’re planning our second renovation project in Istria, but we do take time out to chase the butterflies…

Slowing down has had such a positive impact, that we want to share what inspires us and what has enabled a shift in our lifestyle.

What we’ve done isn’t rocket science. It’s probably only what you would do too. Read on and see if a slow life is something you could begin to live…

Latest Blogs…

April in Istria

April in Istria

We've realised that there is little point in trying to predict the weather in April in Istria. This our fourth April here and previously, we've had fierce Bura winds coming down from Slovenia. Torrential rain. Soaring temperatures. And this year, just to be different,...

read more
Ca’n Llimona, Soller, Mallorca

Ca’n Llimona, Soller, Mallorca

This restaurant is probably known, and frequented by, all of our friends who’ve ever been to Sóller, but just in case you, like us, didn’t know about it, here’s the low-down on Ca’n Llimona. Tucked away down a side street called Carrer de la Victoria, just off the...

read more
The First Sign Of Spring

The First Sign Of Spring

Without realising, until very recently that it's actually become an annual tradition, there's a default meal we always make when the first warm days and lighter evenings arrive. It goes back to when we lived in West Didsbury, in Manchester and those first few days of...

read more
Easter 2021

Easter 2021

It really only seems a couple of weeks ago that it was Christmas, and yet here we are, having just had Easter weekend. Sometimes we feel that we don't seem to do much with our time, but with a quarter of the year already gone and the fruits of our labours beginning to...

read more
Hotel Adriatic, Rovinj

Hotel Adriatic, Rovinj

The Adriatic Hotel is located right on the picturesque harbour of Rovinj, a Venetian town on the south western coast of the Istrian peninsula. It is in the pedestrianised old town, full of pastel coloured Venetian buildings fringing the sea. Cobbled streets, full of...

read more
Spring Wreath

Spring Wreath

The Spring Equinox weekend definitely seemed the right time to dismantle the dead and decaying winter wreath I'd made, way back in November. The vines and ivy were cut back from our green wall in the garden and I had salvaged some of the cuttings which were still a...

read more
House For Sale In Istria

House For Sale In Istria

We bought our Istrian stone house in 2016 and made the full time move out here, from Manchester, in March 2017. We bought it because we saw the potential of the house. It had benefited from some recent renovation works, including a new red slate roof, and overall was...

read more
Hail the Hasselbacks

Hail the Hasselbacks

I can eat a potato in any guise. They form a staple of our culinary output : creamy mashed potatoes with coconut milk cheesy mashed potatoes, usually on top of a shepherd's pie or a fish pie home made chips in the oven - always thinly sliced, cooked in olive oil and...

read more
Simple Supper, No Fuss

Simple Supper, No Fuss

Sometimes, all you want, is the simplest meal, which doesn't take forever, uses just one roasting tin and packs an absolute punch in terms of flavours. And this is just what this meal provides. Wildly tasty, and if you like your cheese on the strong-side, this...

read more
Brussels Sprouts Risotto

Brussels Sprouts Risotto

Yes, you read that right. A risotto with brussels sprouts. A rich, blue cheesy, creamy risotto packed with those little green globes of gorgeousness. You might guess that I love a sprout - and if you're also a fan, I promise you too will love this. However, if sprouts...

read more
Life For Sale

Life For Sale

Plans have a habit of changing, don't they? Not so long ago, we were preparing to work on a number of other Life sites, promoting other local, independent businesses and communities. In order to make this happen, we purchased a number of domain names and started to...

read more
Venezia Carnevale

Venezia Carnevale

The Venice Carnival began in 1162 in celebration of the Venice Republic's victory over its enemy: the Patriarch or Aquileia. The people of Venice gathered in Saint Mark's Square to dance and celebrate their victory. 202tal1 is going to be a very different carnival...

read more
Tasty Tapas in Malaga

Tasty Tapas in Malaga

“Traditional” tapas restaurants and bars are abundant in Malaga and we’ve yet to experience one other than very good. Value is always exceptional with most providing complimentary tasters if you’re just having a pit-stop, rather than a full-on tapas session. There is...

read more
Salmon & Potato Bake

Salmon & Potato Bake

We're doing a whole lot more cooking at home these days - as everyone is - but we're dreaming of the time we can occasionally escape the kitchen from time to time, again. Until then though, we're trying to vary what we eat and try out new dishes. Sometimes we do fall...

read more
Winter Walks

Winter Walks

It's absolutely freezing in Istria at the moment. That's right, freezing. Not the wall to wall sunshine & heat we'd naively thought we'd be experiencing, all year round 😉 But, we're also just a little bit stir crazy, having not really left our village (apart from...

read more
Christmas 2020

Christmas 2020

Well, it's definitely been a funny old year. Since returning from our Christmas road trip, back to the UK, in January, we have been nowhere. Coronavirus quickly put paid to our usual kind of year. No eating out. No mini breaks. No visitors to us, meaning that we've...

read more
Walnut Pesto

Walnut Pesto

There are certain foodstuffs that we buy, that I know should be so easy to make ourselves, but for some reason, never get around to it. Either, there's something we don't have from the ingredients list, Or, I just assume it won't be as easy as I think it might. Pesto...

read more
Smoked Tuna with Pasta

Smoked Tuna with Pasta

 Almost with the flick of a switch, summer seemed to end yesterday, and autumn arrived. The temperature dropped and grey skies replaced the bright blue sky we seem to have had for weeks and weeks. Although we're still hopefully weeks away from having to light the...

read more
Oprtalj – Step into the Past…

Oprtalj – Step into the Past…

Our nearest town, Oprtalj, isn't really a town. At least not in the sense of what we'd regard as a town back in the UK. Oprtalj is not much bigger than Burton Road in West Didsbury, but with a couple of restaurants, a wine bar, a school, a food shop, an interiors...

read more
Panzanella

Panzanella

Waste not, want not. We're trying very, very hard to live a much more sustainable lifestyle and to really take note of what we buy. In the past, we might have popped into Manchester and come bag with bags of *stuff* that we just didn't need. We don't do this now....

read more
Cauli Cheese – with a twist…

Cauli Cheese – with a twist…

I'm a big fan of easy-peasy dishes, which include as few pots and pans as possible. And, as little time spent in the kitchen, as possible. Summer here has been very hot and currently we don't have the luxury of air con, so our summer cooking has involved many BBQs and...

read more
Damson Gin Time

Damson Gin Time

For the first year since we've been here, the damson trees around the garden, are absolutely laden with fruit. Maybe they have been in previous years, too, and possibly we've been too busy with summer visitors and renovation work, to notice, but we've definitely...

read more
Greek Style Tuna Stew

Greek Style Tuna Stew

I have absolutely no idea if this dish has any Greek roots but it just reminds me of those oh-so-wholesome stewy-fish dishes that you often find in Greek tavernas. The ones located right next to the sea, with a bamboo awning, covering you from the hot sun as the water...

read more
Country Life

Country Life

Although I grew in the semi-rural North East of England, it's been a long time since I've lived in a house and looked out of the windows and seen fields. The move to Manchester in 1985 lasted until we left in 2017. Thirty two years of city living - and suddenly in...

read more
Smoked Salmon & Leek Pasta

Smoked Salmon & Leek Pasta

We've been getting very good at using nearly everything we buy food-wise, and reducing our waste massively, and raiding the back of the cupboards for forgotten tins and packets. Most of the meals we've been making recently have been proper lockdown larder efforts,...

read more
Looking Back on Lockdown

Looking Back on Lockdown

Like the rest of the world, we've been living the Covid-19 lockdown, here in Istria, since March 17th. This was the day the country offically started staying at home, although we were feeling the effects before this date. Being so close to northern Italy, we were...

read more
Spaghetti with Anchovies & Onions

Spaghetti with Anchovies & Onions

This is another perfect lockdown larder recipe. If you love anchovies, you'll definitely have a tin or a jar or two of these in your cupboard, and everything else is pretty standard stuff standard stuff which most people will have in. It's a Nigella Lawson recipe,...

read more
Stinky Baked Cheese

Stinky Baked Cheese

There's nothing more mouth-watering than a strong baked cheese, served with warm crusty bread. It always seems a very decadent way to eat, but in reality, it's not - it's just hot cheese. What makes it decadent is what you do with it, and the kind of cheese you use. I...

read more
Ipša Wine Bar, Oprtalj, Istria

Ipša Wine Bar, Oprtalj, Istria

Ipša, in their own words, is ...a family estate which has been producing extra virgin olive oil and wine for many years...situated in Ipši, a small hamlet surrounded by olive groves in the vicinity of Oprtalj, a picturesque medieval village in north western Istria......

read more
Lockdown Larder : Oaty Apple & Cinnamon Crumble

Lockdown Larder : Oaty Apple & Cinnamon Crumble

I am not a baker. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I can cook. I can follow a recipe, sometimes go a bit off-piste, and I'm definitely OK with one-pot stews and soups and casseroles. But, baking. As in cakes that go in the oven - I prefer to leave these to these...

read more
Seriously The Best Lentil Shepherd’s Pie…

Seriously The Best Lentil Shepherd’s Pie…

...so claimed the author of the recipe on the website. And as we were craving a Shepherd's Pie - we don't eat minced meat and had no Quorn mince left - we decided to test out this rather bold claim and give this vegan option a whirl. It was easy to make, if a bit more...

read more
The Honey House, Ljubljana

The Honey House, Ljubljana

The lovely story of The Honey House in Ljubljana... A respectful attitude towards nature allows us to maintain the harmony of life. We are proud to offer you a piece of nature that has been prepared with the utmost care, immersed in tradition and knowledge, which has...

read more
Always a Way…

Always a Way…

Renovating a property can be very expensive. Even though things out here are often less expensive than back in the UK, we don’t have a bottomless money pit and so sometimes, rather than splashing the cash, we look for alternatives. And, currently, spray paint is...

read more
Lockdown Larder

Lockdown Larder

We're currently in proper lockdown here in Istria. As of last week, a permit has to be applied for if you want to travel to a different municipality. Borders are closed so we can't - and at the moment, definitely don't want to - hop across to Italy to stock up on our...

read more
Very Little Stir Risotto

Very Little Stir Risotto

With our lovely new kitchen, we are trying to be more organised, have food in, take advantage of our new cooking facilities and eat more at home. We love risotto and have been meaning to try out the Three Cheese Baked Risotto spotted in a Donna Hay cookery book –...

read more
First Impressions

First Impressions

A simple bar of soap, but packaged so exquisitely, that I *had* to buy not one, but three bars. The design is simple and quite retro, with a brown paper wrapper, reinforcing the idea that you are purchasing something good. Something that could have been made on an...

read more
All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up

When we travel back to England for Christmas, we don't fly. Flying is a real hassle, even when it's the short two & a half hour flight we do from Pula to Manchester. Plus we're becoming more & more aware of the impact of flying - but, we have to get back some...

read more
The Start of Autumn in Istria

The Start of Autumn in Istria

Summer in Istria is pretty amazing. Once it takes hold, we’re almost guaranteed five months of blue skies, sunshine and hot temperatures. It’s now October, and although the temperatures have definitely fallen, it’s still pretty balmy – currently in the low-mid 20s. As...

read more
Stari Podrum Restaurant, Momjan, Istria

Stari Podrum Restaurant, Momjan, Istria

Restaurant choices in Istria are huge. Even the tiniest hamlet will usually boast a konoba, serving food of an excellent quality. If you love pasta, gnocchi, stews and truffles, then Istria is definitely for you, as these do form the staples of many restaurant menus....

read more
A Taste of Summer

A Taste of Summer

Spaghetti dishes are often our go-to meals, especially if we're a bit short on time. Current favourite is just flash frying, in olive oil, chilli flakes and garlic and mixing through spaghetti, and sprinkling with parmesan. Done in less than 10 minutes. But recently,...

read more
Plastic-Not-Fantastic

Plastic-Not-Fantastic

Italian supermarkets are generally very, very good. Produce is usually always very fresh, and locally grown – great for the carbon footprint – and often loose, so you can avoid the plastic overload. Fish, meats and cheese are often sold in the same way – loose,...

read more
Spanakopita

Spanakopita

No visits to Greece is ever complete, without numerous visits to local bakeries for the delicious spanakopita, those gorgeous filo parcels, packed full of spinach and feta and pine nuts. Back home from idyllic Greek islands, I'd never contemplated trying to replicate...

read more
A Very Taxing Situation

A Very Taxing Situation

You know when your car tax, insurance and MOT all fall at the same time? It’s a hassle isn’t it? Getting the car booked into the garage, crossing your fingers that it’s OK, getting online to renew the insurance etc. We used to think it was a big hassle – but now,...

read more
Finally! It’s Spring…

Finally! It’s Spring…

We know what bad weather is like. We know what winter is like. We're from Manchester. But, winter just gone has been something else. We're used to dismal grey clouds, that hang over you for days/weeks on end. Rain that seems as if it will never stop. Fleeting snow -...

read more
Pizza Sunday

Pizza Sunday

When we lived back in Didsbury, we often used to eat out on a Sunday – and no Sunday lunch was ever really the same, such is the variety of restaurant types in the locality. Here in Istria, we have a lot of excellent restaurants near the house, but the closest are of...

read more
Agroturizam Nežić, Zrenj, Istria

Agroturizam Nežić, Zrenj, Istria

Having lived in West Didsbury for a very long time, we certainly appreciate good restaurants. And now, having moved to Istria, and initially being a little concerned that we would have to forgo culinary delights, we are super impressed with what we’re finding on our...

read more
Spicy Winter Warmer

Spicy Winter Warmer

It's going to be quite a few more weeks, we think, until we have anything that resembles a kitchen, never mind something as luscious as this above. In the meantime, we're just going to have to continue muddling through the dust and the dirt and the grime - which we do...

read more
Settling In…

Settling In…

In a few days time, we go on holiday. Our holiday this year will be a bit different, as we're flying back into Manchester to visit family and friends. Returning to the city that has been our home for so many years, has made us reflect a little bit on the last five...

read more
Banking in Croatia

Banking in Croatia

Since being out in Istria, we have realised that we took so, so many things for granted in England. Of course, having lived in England for 50+ years, you do get used to things – and boy, did we often complain about how things worked. Or didn’t work. But, when you...

read more

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.