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…

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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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......

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 –...

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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...

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