Recently I've been...

Baking a citrus Maderia cake because I've scummed to the rule that you can't watch Bake Off without cake! It was also an excuse to try a recipe from last year's recipe book Bake Off Celebrations. I went with a summery citrus cake this time, but can't wait to try some of the autumnal and (dare I say it...) festive recipes, they look SO GOOD.

Exploring the gorgeous Charleston Farm House in East Sussex, the home of Bloomsbury Group members Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It became the Bloomsbury Group's country meeting place in the 1920s and beyond and every inch is covered with their decorative paintings and quirky furniture. The effect is stunning and you feel as though you are walking inside a painting yourself. Sadly, you can't take photographs inside the house, but here's one from the equally glorious and colourful garden.

Reading War and Peace; I didn't know the story before watching the BBC adaptation earlier this year and happened to mention to my Mum that although I enjoyed it I felt like the story line moved quite fast, well now I've seen the size of the book I can see why - there's a lot to get through! I'm not very far in yet, the font is tiny and there's so many Russian names to keep track of... have you read it? I'd love to know if you think it's worth persevering with?

Waiting not very patiently for the last of my tomatoes to ripen. Last year they got this big and then died, so I'm thrilled to have made it this far this year! We've already had lots but there are still some green ones waiting to turn red, which I'm hoping they'll do before it gets too cold for them...

What have you been up to?



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