Month: April 2015

The ibbi list : May


Northumberland in the Spring

On our way to to ibbi HQ today: Northumberland woodland in the Spring


Welcome to our May list and hurrah: Spring has most definitely sprung. Don’t these longer sunny evenings make you feel good! This month we’re talking Hardy and Hepworth and we’re revisiting our favourite Indian reads. We also felt we had to mention ice cream  (the sun’s’s essential!) and we have gorgeous beauty finds for you too. And we long to tell you about our new ibbi 100 product which helps to support our favourite charity: Magic Bus.

Have a great month!

Claire, Anna and Eliza


barbara-hepworth-sculpture 3    barbara-hepworth-stone-sculpture 2

Isn’t Spring the perfect time to enjoy art outdoors! And if you find yourself with enough time to venture to the far South West then we’d suggest you call in at St Ives and discover the magical Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden at Trewyn Studios in Cornwall. Barbara Hepworth first moved to Cornwall with her husband Ben Nicholson in 1939 and she worked at Trewyn until her death in 1975. The bronzes in the garden are seen in the environment for which they were created and most rest where Hepworth placed them. The beautiful garden was laid out by Hepworth and her great friend the composer Priaulx Rainier. It’s a magical experience. One not to be missed!

Open: March-October 10am-17.20pm daily



Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba everdeen in Far From The Madding Crowd

The gorgeous Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene in Far From The Madding Crowd

Director Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Hardy’s 1874 novel hits our screens today! Carey Mulligan is brilliant as the impetuous and not always wise Bathsheba Everdene and Matthias Shoenaerts plays the almost saintly Gabriel Oak; a sturdier and truer character you’d be hard pushed to find. The plot: Everdeen refuses Oak’s initial proposal and soon regrets it. The spirited now-heiress attempts to run her Uncle’s farm and soon finds two more suitors at her door: the handsome Sergeant Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge) and the rather wet Mr Baldwood (Michael Sheen). But nobody can stack hay and handle a scythe like Oak..what is Everdene to do?

This film has it all: beautiful countryside, windswept moors, breathtaking Victorian costumes, galloping horses, tempestuous maidens, and seriously handsome redcoats. A visual feast.



hand painted ceramic ramekins: our new ibbi 100 product

hand painted ceramic ramekins: our new ibbi 100 product: £11 each at

As you know we are huge fans of the fabulous charity Magic Bus which supports and inspires many children from the poorest slums in India. It’s a charity we often visit on our travels and back here in the UK we support Magic Bus through our ibbi 100 product, with 100% of the profit from sales of the ibbi 100 product going straight to Magic Bus. This month our new ibbi 100 product is our fabulous hand painted ramekin. These little ceramic gems, each one unique, are brilliant for oils, dips, treasured trinkets, nuts, fruits and they are oh so perfect for ice cream too! Earlier this week I mentioned in our blog Eliza’s 15 year old son Sam, my local food guru! Look out for his utterly delicious ice cream recipe on the ibbi blog next week..

ibbi ramekins: £11 each and oh so perfect for ice cream

ibbi ramekins: £11 each
and oh so perfect for ice cream




This has to be one of our favourite reads and it’s riveting from start to finish. Shadow Lines weaves history and memory together and chronicles the story of two families, one English and one Bengali, as their lives intertwine from WW2 to modern times. It’s packed with engaging characters: eccentric Bengali matriarchs, doomed rickshaw drivers and languid Indian aristocrats to name but a few. Told by an unnamed narrator, the story reveals how its characters intermingle in a world not as members of distinct cultures but in a world where geographic boundaries have become ‘shadow lines’ . Set against a backdrop of historical events (WW2, the Partition of India and the riots of Dhaka and Calcutta in 1963-4) this book is wise, amusing, horrific.. and unputdownable too.




Handmade By Doune: the best body scrub we've ver found: packed with Rosemary, Siberian Fir, Mint essential oils and Tea Tree. £25 plus p&P

Handmade By Doune: the best body scrub we’ve  found: packed with Rosemary, Siberian Fir, Mint essential oils and Tea Tree. £25 plus p&P


It’s not often you find something that actually perks AND calms but this sumptuous Spring Scrub does just that! We’ve searched and tested and this is undoubtedly the best scrubby scrub we’ve found. Made with sweet almond oil (rejuvenates, conditions and softens) and olive oil (great for mature and dry skin), exfoliating sea salt and pure essential oils, Doune’s fragrant pots are pumped full of natural ingredients which leave your whole body tingling. Our favourite is her Morning Glow Scrub with rosemary, tea tree, Siberian Fir and mint essential oils. Perfect for tired muscles at the end of the day or great to get you up and running first thing. A 900gm pot is £25 plus p&p.

Available at




Spring with a Zing: Sam’s Icy Homemade Lemonade





How incredible is this Spring! It’s April, the sun is shining and day after day our streets and parks are heaving with people revealing bare knees and bare shoulders and constantly commenting on the fact that it’s simply TOO hot. Even here at ibbi HQ in the far North of England, temperatures are soaring and the other day, in need of ideas for delicious ice cold refreshment I chatted with our own local culinary genius, Eliza’s fabulous 15 year old son, Sam. Sam is an incredibly talented young baker who can effortlessly throw together seasonal ingredients and locally grown produce to create all manner of mouthwatering goodies. Here’s Sam’s Icy Homemade Lemonade recipe and we say it’s the perfect treat at the end of a long, hot day. It uses an ice cream maker and if you don’t own one then we’d suggest you either beg or borrow one as this recipe is to DIE for. The lemonade tastes and looks best when poured in to empty jars and served with a few chunks of fresh lime, fresh mint, lemon basil or even a tiny hint of fresh ginger. Should be consumed outside and sucked through a straw. Feet up, guzzle and enjoy!

Sam’s Icy Homemade Lemonade

2 or 3 unwaxed lemons

140 gms sugar

1 litre cold water

fresh mint/lime/lemon basil/ ginger

Place the sugar into a blender and pulse 3 to 4 times on the high setting

Remove the top and bottom of the lemons then chop the lemons in to quarters and place into the blender with the sugar and half of the cold water. Blend on high until the lemon is fully chopped

Strain the lemonade mixture through a sieve into a bowl and add the remaining water

Chill in the fridge for a good 2 hours (or preferably overnight)

With the gelato paddle fitted, pour the chilled lemonade into your ice cream maker and set the timer for 30 minutes. The lemonade’s ready when ice crystals start to form

Serve immediately with a sprig of mint. Equally delicious with a little lemon basil, a hint fresh ginger or a chunk of fresh lime


Mmm..lemons..looking pretty in hand painted ceramic bowl from ibbi £25

pretty in hand painted ceramic bowl from ibbi £25




ibbi loves: Fiona Caulfield and the Love Travel Guides

Fiona Caulfield's fabulous Love Travel guides

Fiona Caulfield’s fabulous Love Travel guides are now available at ibbi

Love Jaipur, Rajasthan Travel Guide by Fiona Caulfield

Love Jaipur, Rajasthan Travel Guide  £27.99

Thinking of travelling to India? Put these on your must-have list. We are delighted that we’re now stockists of our favourite Indian travel guides by Fiona Caulfield. These beautiful books, lovingly crafted from eco-friendly hand-made paper, are packed with glorious illustrations and spectacular recommendations, which will enable you to access an abundance of authentic experiences whilst on your travels. Fiona developed the Love Travel Guides back in 2007 after making India her home. The books are bursting with gems which reflect both her own recommendations and tips collected from her vast network of local friends and travellers. Our early visits to Rajasthan were undoubtedly all the more fascinating thanks to Fiona’s guides. Without her, we’d never have discovered so many of our favourite hidden corners, including a personal favourite: the glorious Gulab Ji Chai Stall, where purveyors of the City’s most delicious tea have maintained the ritual of giving bread and chai to hundreds of homeless people now for over 60 years!

So if you’re hoping to learn more about local customs, forts and palaces, book shops, street food, metal trunks, kite makers, camel nose pins, specialist textiles, sitars, spas, balloon safaris or, of course, where to stay, then simply enjoy poring over the pages of these essential, honest and most knowledgeable guides.

Fiona is committed to conscious travel too. Her books recommend wherever possible supporting socially and environmentally sustainable organisations which make a significant contribution to livelihood support and improved living conditions in India. And 10% of the profits from her books go to the Love Travel Foundation ( to contribute to conscious travel in India) .

We can’t recommend these reads more highly and we hope you’ll love them and share them, just as we have. Spread the word!

The Love Travel Guides available are: Love Delhi, Love Jaipur, Rajasthan, Love Mumbai and Love Goa.

At £27.99 each + p&p


One of the many beautiful illustrations from the Love Jaipur, Rajasthan Travel Guides

Beautiful illustrations from the Love Jaipur, Rajasthan Travel Guide

love travel illustration 1



ibbi Introduces You To Parvati Pujari at Magic Bus

Claire with Parvati at the launch of the Magic Bus pilot project in Vauxhall, London, last month

Claire with Parvati at the launch of the Magic Bus pilot project in Vauxhall, London, last month

We can’t say it enough! We are huge fans of the Magic Bus charity at ibbi and in London last month it was great to have the opportunity to chat with 24 year old Parvati Pujari who works as a training officer with Magic Bus in Mumbai. The daughter of unskilled construction workers, Parvati grew up playing in the dust and rubble of building sites..something we see all too frequently on our travels through India. Parvati is the fourth of six girls. Her three older sisters all finished education after primary level and two of them were married by thirteen. Parvati joined Magic Bus at the age of nine, was mentored by young people from her community on the importance of education, livelihood and gender equality and despite all the pressure from her parents to marry young, she resisted. She is now a confident, articulate and very engaging young woman, with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and an extraordinary determination to achieve. As she says: ‘one girl can change her family, her community, her society and her village…even India’.

It was such a pleasure to spend time with Parvati who had travelled to the UK to help launch Magic Bus’s pilot programme in East London. We’ll be keeping you in touch with her progress now she’s back in Mumbai.

All info on our ibbi 100 products which support the work of Magic Bus are on the website