Month: May 2015

the ibbi 100 update: love is in the air

 

IMG_6963Let’s face it: it’s not often you can add romance to your life for £2.50 but this month our ibbi 100 product can help you do just that! Put the kids to bed,  put the dog to bed , put the cat out, put some old fashioned romantic Henry Mancini on and settle down to a simple peaceful candlelit supper. An ibbi 100 candle is just £2.50 and when you buy this product you’ll not only have a romantic night but you’ll also be supporting the fantastic work of the Asha Niketan ‘Home of Hope’ where the candles are made. The candles sit in simple terracotta pots and come either unscented or Indian Basil scented. All profits from this product go to support the work of the spectacular Magic Bus charity in India.

Available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk £2.50 plus p&p

 

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the ibbi list: June

Welcome to our ibbi list for June!

Claire and Anna unpacking some of the latest ibbi collection at ibbi HQ recently

Claire and Anna unpacking some of the latest ibbi collection at ibbi HQ recently

This month we’re dipping: in to great reads, great art, delicious Summer cocktails and scrummy places to eat . And as we’ve got new collections arriving all the time now, we thought we’d take a moment to recover from the past few weeks of unpacking our fabulous deliveries and do something a little more relaxing..so we’ve been ‘test driving’ our new charpoys (traditional Indian beds) from Jodhpur for you too.

So after the work’s done this month, we hope you have a moment to relax, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the great outdoors and perhaps find time for a Summer cocktail too (why is it that they taste so much better outside!). We hope you have a great month.

Claire, Anna and Eliza


 

READ: ibbi’s Top Five Great Summer Reads

summer-reading

We do hope you find the time to enjoy one of these..and if you’ve lots of time try all 5!

 

1. Akhil Sharma: Family Life

An absolute must read. Brilliant, discomfiting story of the American dream gone horribly sour

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Tender Is The Night

Talented, charming young psychiatrist marries fragile heiress: the story of their exotic lifestyle and the seeds of destruction that lie within.

3. Amitav Ghosh: Sea Of Poppies

Terrific novel set against the backdrop of the Opium Wars in 19th Century India.

4. WM Thackeray: Barry Lyndon

18th Century adventures of a clever, unprincipled member of the Irish gentry as he tries to better himself with little money and bags of charm

5. Stephen Hilton: More Human

Truly spectacular ideological eclecticism from David Cameron’s former Strategy Director, who discusses how change is possible to create a more local, more accountable and more human way of living. Perhaps doesn’t sound fascinating..but truly it is.


 

SEE: Eric Ravilious

eric ravilious
This show is dedicated to the watercolours of British designer and illustrator Ravilious. In a short career of only 20 years he mastered the techniques of the Old Masters yet the intricacy and scale of his works reflect his belief that watercolours were finished pieces and not simply sketches to paintings in oils. His landscapes reflect his love of the English countryside and simple studies of geraniums and carnations in the greenhouse use fabulous forms, colours and textures. As wartime approaches we see military vessels on the high seas and the desperate gaiety of  wartime picnics. It’s all intelligent, emotional and hugely enjoyable stuff from start to finish.

At the Dulwich Picture Gallery London SE21 7AD  until August 31


 

EAT: Dishoom

We think the best dining experience in London: Dishoom

We think the best dining experience in London: Dishoom

Even when the sun shines and the temperature rises there’s still something truly delicious about a great curry and if this Summer you find yourself in our great Capital city could we suggest you pop on down to Dishoom, undoubtedly, we say, the very finest, relaxed and enjoyable dining experience available in town. A Bombay style café with vintage decor and retro ceiling fans , Dishoom is open from breakfast to dinner. The menu is loosely styled on Irani café food and offers all manner of mouthwatering goodies such as birianis, bhel (crunchy puffed rice with tamarind chutney) rajma-chawal and a black dal to die for too. It’s very busy in the evenings but you can book for breakfast and lunch. Dishoom has very kindly offered ibbi a £30 voucher so just be the first person to get in touch with us and we’ll happily send that out to you.

Dishoom: 12 Upper St Martins Lane London WC2H 9FB

http://www.dishoom.com


 

DRINK: Strawberry and Basil Margaritas

Strawberry Margarita

Always looking for great Summer cocktail ideas we love the combination here of  fresh strawberries with beautiful basil. These margaritas come together in seconds and are utterly delicious. You’ll need:

4 oz tequila

half a punnet fresh strawberries

2 oz fresh lime juice

8 fresh basil leaves

1 oz simple syrup

lots of ice

The Making:

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until the ice is crushed. Pour in to 2 margarita glasses. Finish with a sprig of fresh basil or a fresh strawberry and just taste the Summer!

 

 


WEAR: GLASS JEWELLERY BY MARINA AND SUSANNA SENT

fabulous colourful jewellery designed by the Sent sisters

fabulous colourful jewellery designed by the Sent sisters

 

As we’re always on the look out for something new and unique we love this jewellery: recently discovered in Venice. Marina and Susanna Sent are sisters with close family ties to the Murano glass works (both their grandfathers worked in the sector) who’ve chosen to break away from traditional products and focus on minimalist glass statement jewellery. Spectacular pieces in a huge range of beautiful vibrant colours.

Check out at http://www.marinaesusannasent.com for details


 

ibbi STYLE: The Joy Of The Charpoy

Relaxing on his charpoy: the leader of a Bishnoi village close to Jodhpur whom we met on our travels earlier this year

Relaxing on his charpoy: the leader of a Bishnoi village close to Jodhpur whom we met on our travels earlier this year

After a hard day in the office, kitchen, garden or car (no doubt taxiing your kids around) there’s nothing like a quiet hour’s relaxation in the sunshine.  That rug on the lawn always looks appealing, but why is it you’ve only just got yourself settled on the lawn when the damp dog has to come and say hello and then dry off right by your side? So this Spring we decided to get busy testing all manner of outdoor seats, swings, chairs and beds , to get us all a little higher off the ground. And whilst in Jodhpur earlier this year we were delighted to find what we think are the most beautiful and most comfortable outdoor beds around: the charpoy or traditional Indian bed. Over one and a half billion people around the world apparently sleep on charpoys. In India they come outside during the day to be sat on and then go back inside at night to be slept on. Our charpoys have original carved legs and new woven webbing and they easily accommodate 2 adults (with probably enough room for a wet dog too). Please do get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Available at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk


 

and lastly: something ibbiotic..

Egg

How do you like your eggs in the morning? There’s fun available for all the family on the last Sunday in June in Swaton, Lincs, UK at the World Egg Throwing Championships. All details available at http://www.eggthrowing.com

And believe it or not there’s the world Toe Wrestling Championships in Derbyshire, the Swamp Soccer World Cup in Scotland and the World Worm Charming Championships in Cheshire this month too…

Aren’t those strawberry and basil margaritas somehow so much more appealing..


 

Summer Picnics And Rhubarb Cordial

IMG_6125

As Summer fast approaches it’s time to get collecting fresh ingredients from the garden and when the sun’s shining down and you’re feeling hot, bothered and in need of delicious refreshment, there’s nothing better than creating sweet cordials which can be diluted with either sparkling water or Prosecco (depending on your mood). And last weekend we turned to rhubarb, already in plentiful supply. Rhubarb cordial is scrummy (even the anti rhubarb league at lunch yesterday enjoyed it) and it looks so pretty at picnics, particularly when poured in to tumblers and served with strawberries or fresh mint. It’s perfect after a hard day’s gardening and makes a change from crumble..

Rhubarb Cordial: You’ll Need:

3kg roughy chopped rhubarb

150 ml water

lemons

caster sugar

6 whole star anise (optional)

The Making:

Put the rhubarb in  a pan with the water. You can add 5 or 6 strips of lemon (easy if you use a potato peeler), the juice of a lemon and the star anise at this stage too. Cook over a low heat until the rhubarb is totally soft and mushy. Leave to cool for about an hour. Strain through a muslin cloth over a bowl. Don’t rush it or the cordial’s cloudy. The process takes several hours but leaving it overnight is best.

Now measure your juice: for every litre of juice add 750g sugar and 75ml lemon juice. Pour this all in to a pan and heat on a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Allow to cool.  Add 2 tsp citric acid if you’d like to store the cordial for several months (it’ll give it a serious tart kick) but if you’re using it straight away this isn’t necessary.

Bottle in sterilised bottles and seal.

Simply dilute with water or Prosecco. Add chopped berries and fresh mint and have a great picnic!

IMG_8109

 

 

 

 

Lazing on a sunny afternoon ..with our lemonade and cardamom cordial cocktail!

cardamom and saffron cocktailWith Bank Holiday Monday fast approaching here in England, we thought we’d share one of our favourite lazy day treats with you. We’re thinking: the sun’s shining (keep everything crossed!), there’s the hum of a lawn mower somewhere in the distance and you’re treating yourself to a quiet hour in the garden with newspaper, magazine or book in one hand and a delicious drink in the other. And if that sounds like a good plan then why not try this: our deliciously refreshing lazy day cocktail, perfect for your Bank Holiday treat . Whether you’d prefer the alcohol or alcohol free recipe,  they’re both delicious, super refreshing and remind you that Summer is just around the corner.

First you’ll need to make the cardamom cordial:

Cardamom Cordial: The Making:

250g white sugar (caster or granulated is fine)

500 ml water

250 ml lemon juice

1 and a half tsp cardamom powder

Good pinch saffron

First simply add the sugar to the water in a strong pan, bring to the boil for 3 minutes and then allow to cool. Take it off the heat, add the cardamom and saffron and then allow to cool completely. Add lemon juice, stir and strain.

For the Alcohol Free Recipe:  Put 3 tsp of the cordial in to a glass,  add fresh mint and top up with sparkling water

For the Alcoholic Recipe: In a jug mix a bottle of white wine and a bottle of fizzy water. Add 3 tsp of cordial to a glass, add mint then top up with the wine/sparkling water mix.

The drink looks fabulous served up with chunks of lemon, an all important sprig of mint (and perhaps a little chopped mint too) and lots of ice…but if you feel like making it look even more utterly delicious, why not freeze ice cubes with chopped rose petals, borage or rosemary flowers and then finish off  with yellow and blue stripy straws to add a touch of blue summer sky and sunshine to your glass.

The cordial will keep for a month in the fridge.

Happy Bank Holiday Monday from ibbi! Enjoy!

 

New From Peru!

New to ibbi: densely embroidered belts from Peru. Each one unique.

New to ibbi: densely embroidered Fair Trade belts from Peru. Each one unique. The broad belt pictured (5cm w) is £45

Our new collection of densely embroidered belts has JUST arrived from Peru. They are beautiful, vibrant and created by artisans in the highlands surrounding Ayacucho. Each belt is unique. Keep checking the website. They’ll be available very soon at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Please feel free to get in touch for more details!

ibbi celebrates! World Baking Day with Jane Lovett

Celebrate World Baking Day!  Delicious sticky rhubarb and ginger cake

An Excuse To Celebrate! Rhubarb and Ginger Cake

 

 

Yes. Today is, apparently, officially, World Baking Day. Aah..another excuse for us here at ibbi to celebrate with cake! And if you’re thinking of celebrating too, could we recommend, if you are in need of a little inspiration, that you head to the website of fantastic Northumbrian based cook Jane Lovett . We are huge fans of Jane, who has always been passionate about great food, fresh seasonal ingredients and all things culinary and her legendary no nonsense cookery demonstrations around the UK are a source of inspiration for experienced cooks and complete beginners alike. Check out her website http://www.janelovett.com for details on demonstration tour dates and delicious recipes too. For now, we’ll leave you with one of Jane’s mouth watering cake recipes (from her book ‘Make It Easy’). This cake is too scrummy for words, freezes beautifully and served with a dollop of elderflower infused creme fraiche is, we think, the best way to celebrate World Baking Day (or any other day for that matter..)

Jane Lovett’s Sticky Rhubarb and Ginger Cake (serves 8)

You’ll Need:

110g softened butter

110g self raising flour

110g caster sugar

Half tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

5 sticks young rhubarb cut in to small chunks

2 large bulbs of stem ginger thinly sliced, plus a little of their syrup

2-3 tbsp demerara sugar

icing sugar

The Making:

Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C

Grease and line the base of a 20cm cake tin with a disc of greaseproof paper

Place all ingredients except the rhubarb, ginger, demerara and icing sugar in to the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 25 seconds until well mixed

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly

Arrange the rhubarb pieces on the top, pushing them slightly in to the mixture

Dot the slices of stem ginger between the rhubarb and drizzle over some of the syrup (about 2 teaspoons)

Scatter the top with demerara sugar

Bake for 45 mins-1 hour. Test by sticking a skewer in to the middle. If it comes out clean it’s cooked

Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack. Peel off the paper and scatter over some demerara sugar.

Dust with icing sugar before serving with the elderflower infused creme fraiche.

This cake is perfect for Spring picnics and it looks oh so delicious served on a hand painted ibbi platter! New collections of platters available later this month at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk and we’ve beautiful new linen aprons arriving soon too, if you like to keep mess-free whilst creating in the kitchen!

For more inspirational recipes from Jane head to http://www.janelovett.com

 

 

the ibbi 100 update

Thank you! A great response to our ibbi 100 hand painted ramekins this month

Thank you! A great response to our ibbi 100 hand painted ramekins this month

Huge thanks for your response to our latest ibbi 100 product (our hand painted ceramic ramekins). Profits from the sales of all these bowls goes to the Magic Bus charity, which supports some of India’s poorest young people. Our ramekins are still available, each one unique. Great for oils, nuts, seeds, sweeties, spices and perfect for puds. Made to mix and match!

£11 each at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk