Artistic Sourdough Bread by Linda Ring

One of the things missing in my life circa Covid-19 — actually, since moving back to the US — is accessible good bread. Although I have no plans to adopt a sourdough starter of my own to be on trend during lockdown, I am completely besotted with the artistic loaves created by Swedish photographer/stylist Linda Sofia Ring. Baking solely for her family, and gluten intolerant(!), the photos she shares on instagram bring a smile with each new piece of edible art. They are Matisse-like in their simple elegance.

(Ring is featured in the new special food issue of Milk Decoration and it was a sublime introduction to her work.)

images via linda sofia ring at pinterest

linda sofia ring at instagram

Oh, The Places (We Hope to) Go: Petit Marché

Still sheltering-in-place, taking walks, scrolling Instagram, and dreaming. Dreaming of Stockholm, and a visit to Petit Marché, a completely charming sort of shop if your interests tend to flowers … and coffee … like me.

images from petit marché stockholm at facebook

Oh, The Places (We Hope to) Go: Shoppe

shoppe, birmingham | simple pretty

shoppe’s bungalow garden shop

2020 travel started off well enough. January brought a trip to Charleston; February took us to Nashville … and March was supposed to be Birmingham, expressly to visit Shoppe, a shop I have been obsessed with of late. Owners Jay Draper and Mark Thompson have created a flower and plant wonderland, complete with an authentic English glasshouse (and yes, that beautiful glasshouse was the gateway drug). I was hoping to escape late-winter Chicago for garden inspiration, do a little gift shopping, and cap off the visit with a bite to eat* at their newest venture, General, a general store and café concept located right next door. Now, with all travel postponed for the foreseeable future, I’m hoping that a late-fall trip will happen. Holiday inspiration and whatnot. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, the Instagram stalking continues …

shoppe, birmingham | simple pretty

an overview of shoppe

shoppe, birmingham | simple pretty

a peek inside the glasshouse

shoppe, birmingham | simple pretty

topiaries in shoppe’s english glasshouse

image credits: 1-3 from shoppe’s facebook page; 4 from shoppebham.com

* my backup lunch plan (if the café part wasn’t open yet) was Chez Fonfon

Oh, The Places (We Hope To) Go: Here

simple pretty: here kyoto canelés and coffee

here canelés

Let’s face it: nobody’s going anywhere at the moment, unless it’s a riveting (and necessary) trip to the grocery store. Which means if you’re a person who likes to travel, you’re trawling social media more than you should for glimpses of what life could be like again. Someday. (Guilty.)

I’m compiling lists of places to visit over my (eventual) trip to Japan, and have just found a new spot to add to my Kyoto itinerary: here. Founded by Latté Art World Champion Junichi Yamaguchi, here is simply the cutest coffee-and canelé shop. It ticks so many travel-happy boxes: sweet tooth. caffeine. design. (Here’s branding is minimalist perfection, so much so that I’m coveting a tote bag and a mug* in lieu of a canelé fix given the distance.)

More wanderlust inspiration to come … recommendations welcome.

simple pretty: here kyoto canelés and coffee

coffee and canelé, please

simple pretty: here kyoto canelés and coffee

here’s latté

images via coffeehere.world, as well as here’s facebook page

follow here on instagram

*yes the mug is sold out, but did you notice the “here” detail at the bottom of the mug?

Quarantine Round-up, Easter Edition

Week three of stay-at-home is underway, with no end in sight (as of now, Illinois’ end date is April 30.I am hopeful, but doubtful). Meanwhile, the daffodils and tulips are pushing through the soil … trees are flowering … and even the grass seems a bit greener than it did a week ago.

I’ve been living vicariously in some of my favorite cities — including the usual suspects,  London and Paris — thanks to Instagram and resourceful companies who are delivering food, bread, and flowers. (The stuff of life.) And with Easter on the horizon, the offerings are even sweeter. Here are a few of the items I’m virtually besotted with:

Daylesford Carrot Jelly Sweets

I’ve been obsessed with Daylesford for a long time. Their shops are bursting with gorgeously displayed produce, foodstuffs and home goods. (A visit to their Kingham farmshop was a highlight of last year’s travels.) And they take it up a notch for the holidays, while remaining true to their consciously-sourced, organic principles. My favorite from this year’s Easter collection is the vegan carrot jellies, sweetly and simply packaged in a reusable bag. (Daylesford are also delivering groceries, and the shops are open at this point for food to go.)

Butter Baked Goods Chick Sugar Cookie

If you live in Vancouver, Butter Baked Goods is currently offering a variety of dinners and baked goods for delivery, frozen and ready to bake at home. But because it’s Easter, they also have plenty of beyond-adorable sweets, from cookies to marshmallows to macarons that will elevate your Easter basket, even if it’s a treat-yourself moment.

Spring Porridge Bread

I was lucky enough over my London experience to attend a party at Plain English, where the parting gift was a loaf of Spring’s sourdough porridge bread. It was amazing (amazing!) but only available in-restaurant. (Yes, I went to Spring shortly after the party for lunch, just to have more bread.) If you are in London, order this. And treat yourself to a bouquet of Fern Verrow’s beautiful flowers while you’re at it. Simple luxuries are the best.

Circus Bakery’s Flying Circus

Speaking of bread, Paris bakery Circus, famous for its cinnamon buns (and charming shopfront), is delivering daily by bike and car to many Paris arrondissements. You can pre-order bread, apple pie, jam, coffee, or even a cinnamon ribbon, because bigger is better when it comes to the quarantine iteration of cinnamon buns. (Follow them on Instagram + you’ll be treated to the doorways of Paris, captured on delivery runs.)

Other delivery options I’m following: Natoora (fruit and veg deliveries in London and NYC), General Store (fruit and veg + in London), Tiny Boxwoods (dinners to go and cookies in Houston),

Not delivery, but Babas on Cannon in Charleston is offering some delicious dinners to take away. I’ve been salivating from Chicago.

Please add any of your favorites in the comments.

image credits: daylesford.com, butter-baked-goods-myshopify.com, springrestaurant-shop.co.uk, flyincircusparis.com