My Problem with Ice Cream

Ice-cream smI would love to be able to start this little post by saying, loud and proud, that I love ice-cream, but I’m afraid that it just isn’t the case.

I certainly don’t mind ice-cream, but I wouldn’t say that I always feel the need to have some when it is offered.

As such I don’t run the whole gamut of flavours when I choose to have an ice-cream, instead I tend to always plump for a favourite flavour: banana. This seems to be my current favourite.

Fruit Scone with jam and cream sm

Drawing Exhibit A

Isn’t actually ice cream, but a delicious Fruit Scone that I tried to enjoy at a Summer fair. But perfectly sums up my problem with ice cream.

A sunny Summer fair.

Now, bear in mind this was in the early days of my drawing my meals out (And yes, I realise that a fruit scone barely counts as a meal out, but they’re my drawings, so I guess it’s my rules as to what counts as a meal.)

As soon as I started to draw the cream was melting – obviously. Sometimes it amazes me how dreadfully thick I seem to be. Drawing cream in blazing sunshine! Although I suppose it must have acted as some kind of perverse count down – completing drawing before the cream and the scone was a puddle of scone-mush. It certainly gets the adrenaline pumping!

Ben and Jerrys smSo, instead I have to fill in the blanks;

1. Quick outline

2. Snap a few photos

3. Eat

4. Complete later

It’s the only way to capture the ice-cream in my hatching and sloppy-painting way that I can figure out to do.



Building my own burger again

We popped out for lunch just before we were to send Lucy off on a residential school trip to the Lake District.High Park Burger sm

High Park Burger B smThere seems to be a real trend towards Sweet Potato Fries at the moment. They’re everywhere. I guess it’s a sweeting-tasting alternative to the blander, regular fries.

They’re quite moorish already, but I wonder what they would be like with a sprinkling of paprika on them?






High Park Burger A smI had to go for my favourite Build-Your-Own-Burger option from the menu.

(I actually added in a Black Pudding too, but that didn’t really work out for me, so i took it out)

It’s been a while since I’ve used biro in my drawing as well as my regular uni-pin. It’s really useful for getting in the finer shades of grey into a sketch, but most definitely not to be used for anything work that’s going to be displayed in light; as the biro fades over time.



Magazine Masthead

One thing surprised me about my Completed cover smcover of Camping and Caravanning’s June 2015 issue was being allowed to draw in the masthead.

Companies work very carefully to protect their brand image and I thought it was brave of the magazine to cast away the clean lines of the regular magazine masthead and go forward with my hand drawn version.

Overall I don’t think it detracted from the effect of the cover at all; in fact I thought that the overall cover was quite striking and a nice contrast to the clean and crisp photography, which is usually used.

Header sm




The Charms of Halloumi

Halloumi smThe mozzarella-like Halloumi cheese originates from Cyprus, but is now pretty much available all over the place. It is made with goat’s and sheep milk and has a high melting point so is perfect for grilling and frying and barbecue. It has a very slight salty flavour.

I’m still, however, looking for a good UK outlet of Lountza Ham. Again from Cyprus; pork loin is soaked in brine and then marinated in red wine. Then it is dried and smoked. Delicious!

Here I present a Halloumi Salad; with salad leaves, tomato, olives and grated parmesan.Halloumi Salad

“Pitch Up, Eat Local” Official Book Launch – eek!

Pitch Up Eat Local sm

Heading down to Castle Cary for the official launch of Ali Ray’s new book “Pitch Up, Eat Local”

It looks like we’ve got a lovely drive in the sunshine down from Yorkshire to Somerset.

I’ve never been to a book launch before, not have I met Ali – so, an all round exciting day, then! I’ve been illustrating her articles for about three years and we’ve chatted via email and messenger, so it’s going to be fab to meet her in person.

And to watch her in action – whipping up some recipes.

Oh! I nearly forgot! I’ll get to meet her famous camper van, Custard, too. Maybe I’ll be able to sneak in a quick sketch of it too.



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Foraging Around

Whilst we were up in Skipton the other day I got to try an interesting salad dish and an equally interesting serving of it.

Forager salads smWell, actually it was three different ones.

At the Forage Cafe and Deli they offer a selection of home made salads which, if one picks from their Forager’s Board, you can select three (or more) different salads to try together.

I opted for a Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Walnut and Bean – this salad was bright and zingy

Greek-Style Pearl Barley with Feta and Tomato – nice combinations of textures and flavours (But then, they all did)


Wild Rice with Coconut, Carrot, Spring Onion and Almond – The coconut flavours were subtle and light.

They were all super-delicious, freshly made and bursting with flavours.

If only we could be assured of having interesting and flavoursome salads on more restaurants. In far too many eateries Salad means a small handful of wet lettuce leaves with some carrots julienne plonked on top. Uninteresting and unexciting.

More people would try and enjoy salad if they were as stimulating as the ones at Forage.


Something Fishy

Smoked haddock smFor my first (hearty) breakfast at Beck Hall, Malham, I had a full English breakfast and thought I’d branch off into other areas of the breakfast menu today.

One of the really cool things about staying over at hotels and guest houses – or bed and breakfasts is that someone prepare’s your breakfast for you, yes. That is so cool when the sleep is still getting rubbed from your eyes.


Even better when there are items listed on the breakfast menu that you wouldn’t dream of trying to tackle usually at home for breakfast.

So I’m treating myself to Smoked Haddock with a poached egg this morning.

I’m not sure how I stand on the whole ‘teaching fish to smoke’ issue. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that it was a problem.

And I think I also feel rather uncomfortable about the egg, too. Couldn’t they have just bought one from a shop?


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