Eggs for Breakfast

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Hop & Peck Tractor Egg Cup

So it’s been a little while since I was able to post as my computer was a casualty of a small house flood caused by one of our little residents. But I’m back now, and thought I’d kick things off with these gorgeous little wooden egg cups by Hop & Peck. These are great to take camping, especially if you and your kids like dipping soldiers into gooey eggs. They pack flat, are light, and when you’re not using them, they could easily serve as a great addition to any bunting you have hanging around. Seriously, how cute!

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Hop & Peck Scooter Egg Cup

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Hop & Peck Rocket Egg Cup

Hop & Peck is based in Essex and each piece is handmade, hand finished and sourced from sustainable Oak. Simple. Clever. Functional. I think these Egg Cups (from £15 each) certainly fit the bill. Check out the Hop & Peck website here.

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Hop & Peck Bunny Ears Egg Cup

Label Your Camping Crockery

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Porcelain pens

Yes, yes, I said crockery. I don’t like paper plates and plastic cutlery. I could explain why, but it would descend into a bit of a whinge. So, I have a collection of enamelware, which I take on every camping trip. Plenty of my friends have also succumbed to the allure of an enamel mug or two (does anything else really say ‘camping’ like enamel?). As the days go on everyone’s collections become communal which is great. But this does mean we all lose or gain random pieces. Plenty of people rely on a blob of nail polish, but I find it chips off as fast as painted nails on an East End night out. And microchipping is possibly excessive. What to do …?

Porcelain pens: The. Answer. They work, are cheap and are available online. Just write your name, or draw a picture and leave it to dry for four hours. Heat fix in an un-preheated oven for 60 minutes at 190 degrees C, then cool down fully in the oven (some may work differently, so check first). Voila!

Enamelware, never to be lost again

Enamelware, never to be lost again

A hearty campfire soup

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This disturbingly chilly London Spring day has got me thinking about a fabulous soup I made earlier in the year. You know, when temperatures are actually allowed to be this low. It’s warming camping fare and is a fabulous way of getting sausages out of the way (anyone else tired of BBQ sausages when camping?). Best of all it makes an awesome ready-to-go first night meal when the tent is unpacked, the air-bed pumped up, the light is fading and, seriously, if you had to do one more thing…

I saw this on Smitten Kitchen. It’s Deb Perelman’s lentil soup with sausage, chard and garlic, and I haven’t changed much.

Here’s the what:

1/4 cup of olive oil; 3 or 4 of your favourite flavoured sausages, casings removed (I like The Ginger Pig’s Classic Italian with pork, garlic and fennel seeds); 1 medium onion, chopped; 2 celery stalks, chopped; 2 carrots, chopped; 4 cloves garlic; Maldon Sea Salt; as many sprinkles of chilli flakes as you like; 1 cup of puy lentils, rinsed; 2 bay leaves; 2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes; 6 cups of water; 3 to 4 cups of thinly chopped kale and spinach; grated pecorino, parmesan or cheddar (whatever you’ve brought with you).

Here’s the how:

Heat half the olive oil in a large pot on a medium heat. Add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown. Add the onion, celery, carrots, four garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and chilli flakes. Cook all this until the vegetables start to soften, around 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender (20 to 25 minutes) and feel free to add more water if it’s all thickening too much.

If you’re taking this soup camping, this is when to cool or freeze it in a ziplock bag, ready to go. Pop your chopped kale and spinach in a separate ziplock bag and cool in the fridge until you leave. When you’re ready to eat, simply heat up the soup over a campfire or camping stove. When hot, throw in the kale and spinach and cook until they are just soft. Serve and grate your cheese over the top. Deb Perelman also pours over chopped garlic sizzling in oil, which is a delicious addition if you can muster the energy.

You could make this to eat at home. No one said you had to be camping…

Campsite Lighting

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I love lights: tiny fairy lights wrapped around the branches of trees; tea lights like lines on highways stretching along tabletops; lit candles over lunch. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the chances of me camping with nothing more than a head torch are seriously slim.

The first time I went camping I bought lights from very serious online camping stores. They were great. But it’s all function, function, function. But I went into this camping thing with visions of a romantic kind of gypsy camp—hanging lanterns shining a cosy glow around a campfire-oasis. Distant little lights casting a bit of magic in the dark.

I can’t remember how I discovered my three large solar-powered lanterns from Ikea. Did I make a special trip just for them or were they an impulse purchase while buying a chest of drawers? Whatever happened, they are now things I would never camp without. They’re flat when they’re not hanging up, which is perfect. I went for white, but it’s up to you. Pop your tent near some trees or hook up a line of bunting, and you’re away. Or use those cute little ground hub lights (above) to light a path from the campfire to your tent. Can you imagine how beautiful that would look?

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I’ve had mine for three years now. I even hang them at home when it snows because they make everything look so beautiful. My friends borrow them for their Summer garden parties. Sadly, they only seem to do them with a 30cm diameter these days. The first three I bought are around twice the size. But they have introduced other pieces that would be just as lovely, like these skinny pendant lights:

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I also have a thing for eating around a table. When you’re camping with lots of people it really pulls you all together after the madness of getting kids to air-bed and eating in random spots around a campsite. It gets everyone talking and focuses them on dinner. Now I’ve never used these, but why not? Who couldn’t love a more formal table lamp appearing out of context at a campsite? Anyway, all these are from Ikea. Just so you know.

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Welcome to campfirestyle.com

bunting dishes

As a new convert to camping, I originally spent hours online trying to find ideas and inspiration for our camping trips. Firstly, I needed hardcore info on the gear I would need to survive out there with my husband and three small boys, but I also wanted something more. I wanted to be able to build a campsite each time we went camping that made everyone happy to be there. I love being outside, but I also like to be really comfortable. I like to feed my friends and family well and I want everything to look great. It’s a particular approach to camping that I found hard to find inspiration for, mainly because people think it’s slightly OTT I expect! But why have a tin of baked beans for breakfast when you can have shakshuka and soft fried eggs? Why use a headtorch when you can use hanging lanterns to light your way? And why not throw a sheepskin rug down so that your toes hit something warm and welcoming first thing in the morning? My man used to camp and could fit everything he needed in a backpack. I need the world’s largest Volvo and a roofbox and even then we only just manage to squeeze the kids in each time. I don’t pack light!

So, with a gentle shove from one of my blogging friends, I decided to set up campfirestyle.com. Having worked in magazine publishing for 20 years until leaving to have my boys, I guess it makes sense to turn all my ideas, imaginings and scraps of paper into something more. So here you’ll find some great ideas, wonderful stuff and some fun ways to inject a little style into your space around the campfire.

Welcome and thanks for visiting!

Angie