Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco
With the clocks going back today, winter is approaching and it is definitely the time for getting cosy at home. Whether you buy into the hugely popular Hygge trend or not, everyone loves some candlelight, cushions and cosy rugs at this time of year!

This year I decided to dress our sitting room for winter with Patrick in mind. All too often us girls take the lead (or total control!) when it comes to interiors, so I decided for a change to make the focus on him relaxing and feeling cosy after a long day’s work.

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Vase from Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco.

I was thrilled to discover the stylish new homeware range Fox & Ivy, exclusively at Tesco. A beautiful collection of affordable accessories for the home and a number of items that work perfectly in our dark blue sitting room to enhance the cosiness and create a perfectly Hygge winter hideaway.

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Candle & Picture Frame from Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco.

The first items I chose were candles! I have a small addiction to scented candle (can you ever have too many?!) and this collection didn’t disappoint. With a wonderful range of designs and scents, I opted for the Rose Gold & Pomelo luxury scented bell jar and a lovely striped candle with the same scent to create atmosphere and fully scent the room.

I also fell in love with these vases – again regular readers will know how I feel about flowers and this gorgeous teal vase was perfect for my newly dried soft green hydrangeas. I paired it with this larger teal and rose gold vase, which beautifully compliments the colour scheme in the room.

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Candle, Picture Frame and Vase all from the Fox & Ivy range, for Tesco.

Finally I chose this pretty art deco style frame – we never frame enough photos (it’s an ongoing saga and just something we never seem to get round to!), so I wanted to frame one of Patrick’s favourite pictures of Coco and I when we were first together and living in Mallorca.

Combined with come cosy rugs, a couple of fluffy dogs and his whisky collection, I think this it now the perfect space for him to relax in the evening during the long winter months – and I think I might quite enjoy it too!

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Fox & Ivy, exclusively for Tesco

Candles & Vase from Fox & Ivy.

This post was in collaboration with the Fox & Ivy Range, exclusively for Tesco.

All styling, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden

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Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to visit The Clock House restaurant in Ripley (formerly Drakes) for a gourmet mini-break. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time as have heard such great things about the food and the restaurant, which was last week awarded a well-deserved Michelin star.

We stayed next door to the restaurant in the most charming Bed & Breakfast, run by a lovely lady called Mindy. The Broadway Barn is stunning place and so, so welcoming. Mindy is clearly very passionate about her home and the overall guest experience. She also loves food and cooking, growing most things herself and making everything from scratch.

It was a beautiful early Autumn evening and we arrived just in time for a little potter around the village of Ripley, which is really charming, before spending time in Mindy’s beautiful garden, getting changed and heading next door for the main event…

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

The Clock House is set in a beautiful building and, like Mindy’s next door, also has a stunning garden. The perfect place to sit and sip a glass of champagne with delicious canapés. When the temperature started to drop, we heading inside to start our tasting menu.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

It was a really creative and seasonal mix of flavours; we started with red pepper, ham hock and lavender, which was followed by smoked eel, Isle of Wight tomatoes with horseradish. I was a little nervous about this second option as the only eel I have liked to date is the teriyaki eel in Itsu, otherwise it’s something I’m a little frightened of! It was absolutely delicious and the tomatoes has been cooked in three different ways to create the most intense, yet delicate flavour. A real triumph.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Red pepper, ham hock, lavender.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Smoked eel, Isle of White tomatoes, horseradish

After the first two courses we were then served Beef, sweetbread, kohlrabi, peas and mustard, which was also utterly delicious and full of flavour. That was followed by a palate cleanser of Thai basil, cucumber and lime before our beautifully presented pudding of Blackberry, hibiscus, apples and shortbread. The meal was such a treat and we opted for the accompanying wine flight, a delicious selection carefully chosen by the charming Sommelier.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Beef, sweetbread, kohlrabi, peas, mustard.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Blackberry, hibiscus, apples, shortbread.

Feeling full (but not over full, which again is testament to the restaurant for serving just the right amount!), we pottered happily next door to bed. Our bedroom was so cosy and comfy, we were asleep in minutes. The following morning we awoke to gorgeous sunshine and a lovely view over Mindy’s garden.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

This really felt like a gourmet mini-break – as if supper hadn’t been delicious enough, Mindy’s breakfast menu was amazing. I had planned to just have some toast and fruit, but her homemade sausages proved too much to resist, so I opted for the English Breakfast.

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

Broadway Barn & Clockhouse Ripley

We had the most wonderful stay in Ripley. If you are also a foodie and fancy a trip away then I can’t recommend it enough. You can book a double room at The Broadway Barn from £120 a night for Bed & Breakfast. Mindy also has a selection of cottages available for larger groups. A tasting menu at The Clock House starts from £55 per person.

For this feature we were hosted by The Broadway Barn and The Clock House, but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden

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And here we are again at the start of another month. Autumn is a time of year that I normally adore, but I have to confess that this year I’m finding it slightly less exciting. I think it’s because the summer was a little disappointing weather-wise and September, which can so often be glorious, was mostly cold and wet. Sadly no Indian Summer for us this year, but never one to focus on the negatives, I am trying to get myself in the Autumn/Winter spirit and the blog will  be doing the same soon too!

September was mainly a month for us of settling in to the house – the builders left at the end of July, we were away for a large part of August, so September was the first time that we could really sit back and appreciate the house now it’s finished. We had our Christmas shoot with Homes & Gardens at the very end of August (coming out next month), followed by a shoot with Essential Kitchens Magazine (for early next year), so those meant we really had to make a final push to tidy and sort all the rooms. As a result I’m now able to share more room tours with you on the blog – I started with the Summer Room last week, which if you missed, do check it out and there will plenty more coming soon.

We’re also starting to make the house work for a living too! We’ve registered it with a location company and have already had our first shoot, with another booked for later this month. We also have launched the Chauffeur’s Flat on Airbnb, so it’s been quite a busy time, but lovely to see all our hard work finally paying off.

I hope you have had a lovely month and wish you a warm, cosy October.

Laura x

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Summer Room in Dorset designed by Laura Butler-Madden

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September MomentsLaura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's September Moments

Images by Patrick Butler-Madden

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Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

And here we are again…saying goodbye to one month and hello to another. We are now transitioning into my favourite time of the year – and that’s not just because it’s my birthday this month, I love September for many reasons! More of that later, but for now I want to remember the moments that made August so special…

August is a slightly funny month – it’s the height of summer, but when the weather always tends to break and give us a glimpse of the Autumn or Winter to come! It’s also when almost everyone is away on holiday, so even if you want to be productive at work, it’s tricky, as everyone else has their out of office on.

So we tend to spend the first two weeks of August every year in Mallorca. My parents live there for half the year and when it gets to August the temperatures get a little too hot for them, so that’s when we step in and head over to look after their lovely dog Rafa, while they return to the UK for a few weeks. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

This year more than ever I appreciated the beauty of the island and in particular, the town of Pollensa, where they live. I’ve always been aware of its beauty, but having not been back at all in the low season this year, it really felt like a long time since we were last there. If you haven’t been, you must! It’s just perfect – for more information on the town and why we love it so much, check out my Mallorca Notebook blog post, which I wrote while we were there.

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

I also found this year’s visit quite emotional – it was here in 2009 that Patrick and I started our property development journey and this summer is the first time since that we don’t have a major renovation project lined up. I touch on why in this blog post, but there will be more posts to follow about our property development journey and why we have decided to pause for now. It was lovely to see our first project again though and reflect on our adventure! We are so excited about the next few years and having a shift in priorities; Patrick will be focussing on his photography again and I will be able to throw all my time and energy into writing this, which I’m super excited about.

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Which leads me on to why September is my favourite time of year. It’s the time of new beginnings, I think we all still have that ‘back to school’ feeling, no matter what age we are. And I love that feeling. Dusting off your pencil case, buying some new shoes and getting out your winter wardrobe! Also a time for new beginnings and re-focussing on whatever your priorities are for the year. As I said, for me the blog is now going to finally take priority. I’ve been writing it since 2010, but always alongside my property development and design work, so I’ve never really been able to give it as much of my time as I would like.

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Although the content will always be based on my passion for properties and interior design, I will be expanding the lifestyle content to make it more varied, which I’m really excited about.

Another project that I’m excited about this month, is working with my friend and fellow blogger, Anneli Bush, to design her nursery. Her baby boy is due in just over a month, so the pressure is on for us to get it finished in time! I can’t wait to share the results with you when it’s done.

So for now I want to wish you a very happy weekend and happy 1st September! I would also love to hear what you are excited about this month. Oh and if you have anything specific you would like to see more of on the blog going forward, then please do let me know. Whilst I’m planning the new content, it would be lovely to get your input!

Laura x

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

Laura Butler-Madden's August Moments

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Laura Butler-Madden's July Moments

I’m sitting at my desk after a slightly frantic day trying to get everything sorted before going on holiday. Is it just me or do you ever feel that the amount you have to get done, sorted and organised before going away, almost justifies a mini-break to recover before your actual holiday?! Needless to say I am exhausted and very much in need of a few weeks R&R.

Which leads me onto my next point – how is it August tomorrow? Where has that time gone? All year I’ve been saying to friends and work mate that things will calm down soon and that we’ll be back to normal soon too (i.e. focusing on blog and design work and not renovating two properties at the same time!). We are now finally in that position – when we return from holiday we genuinely will be just working on ‘normal’ things. I can’t wait to spend a lot more time on the blog, I have lots of exciting plans and now I will hopefully have the time to put them into action.

So July for us has been mainly a month of completion. It began with the most gorgeous reunion at my prep school, Hanford in Dorset. The most glorious English country day – picnics  on the lawn and so many lovely friends that I have known now for a frightening number of years! A gorgeous way to start the month. Then it became about finally finishing the house and the flat renovation we’ve been working on in London. I really thought I would have been typing that a few months ago – the aim was to have all done by April, but as always these things run on.

So we are now there and I get to go away on holiday for a few weeks and reflect on all the hard work. When we return it will be ‘normal’ work for the first time in years, and I am really looking forward to it. Just after we are back there is a very exciting shoot happening in Dorset (more of which I will reveal soon), and I’m really looking forward to relaxing and enjoying our home at last. It’s been an 18 month project, but really worth it – it’s such a special place and I look forward to sharing more rooms over the coming months.

I hope you all have a lovely month and let’s hope the summer sunshine returns to us soon, if it’s not back before I am, I’ll try to bring it with me!

Laura x