How to create that campfire magic with Campfire Cologne

Beards are pretty big in East London. But not as big as they are in America. Hell, is anything?! And while the shorter, more manicured man-lawn seen around these parts may not be enough to qualify as a beard by American standards, this may just be the product that kicks people into hirsute-ville. Ditch the beard trimmers men, and get onboard! Respect. The. Beard.

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These hilarious scents are created by American brand Campfire Cologne. Order some here. Buy it for yourself or convince your man to turn that stubble into more of a growing concern.campfirecologne-1campfirecologne-3

 

 

Images via Campfire Cologne with thanks.

 

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Camping Gear you never knew you wanted: The Salt Plate

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You’ve got your trusty BBQ tongs, your Camp Bistro stove and your perfectly-sized enamel mug, but don’t you sometimes, just sometimes, want to pack something to wow yourself with when you go camping? Oh yeah you would. And here it is. A gloriously blushing Himalayan Salt Plate. Hand-mined from ancient sea salt deposits from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, Himalayan salt is mineral rich and believed to be one of the most pure salts in the world.

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Choose a plate that is 1.5″ to 2″ thick and these can be used not only for serving food (while seasoning it) but also for cooking food (while seasoning it)!  Salt plates can hold specific temperatures for extended periods of time, so chill them and serve ice creams, or heat them up – slowly – to cook delicately seasoned fish, meat and vegetables.

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These salt plates will go directly on a gas grill, over a charcoal BBQ and on a stovetop. For loads of information on how to use and care for a salt plate check out Salt News. And order one – you know you want to – from aFire Inc or Food52. Prices start at $US39.99.

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Images via Food52 & aFire Inc with thanks.

Thrifty Thursday camping gear: Tell the Best Ever Tent-Time Stories with Projecteo!

 

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No one seems to dedicate enough time holding a torch below their face and telling stupid stories around the campfire in order to freak kids out before sending them to sleep in a tent. What’s wrong with us these days, eh?! Maybe it’s because we’ve been hanging out for something better? Well here it is campers. Projecteo, the world’s first Kickstarter-fuelled, teeny tiny instagram projector.

 

 

 All you do is sign in with Instagram, choose nine images which are then developed onto a single frame of 35mm film which is inserted into a wheel. Then it arrives in the post and away you go! They work using little watch batteries and are so small you could easily squeeze one in alongside your now redundant spooky-story-telling-prop torch.

So here’s the plan. Come up with a story. Take some illustrative insta-pics for it. Send them through to Projecteo and you’re away. Once the kiddies are tucked into their sleeping bags, get the story started and someone in or outside the tent can flick the slideshow on and flip the pics as the story goes on. Cool, right? The kids will love it!

Or you could just show great pics from old camping trips, but you know, that’s not nearly as exciting ….

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Get started here. They’re only $US34.98/£21 with worldwide shipping. projecteo-11projecteo-9

 

 

All images courtesy of Projecteo, with thanks.

 

 

Camping Gear: The Coolest Camping Accessory by Blofield

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And so, in just over a week, I’m off to the fantastically wonderful, serious family-fun-fest that is Elderflower Fields. This week however, I’m stuck at home nursing a nasty cold and indulging in a little fantasy camping packing. What? It’s not that strange. Really.

Anyway, today these DoNuts by Blofield (of cool inflatable sofa fame) are seriously helping me get my funky camper on. It’s Studio 54 meets Bear Grylls.

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I mean this is how to rock a festival. An inflatable table and seating combo that fits six people. They’re easy to move around, are sturdy and come in enough colours, patterns and waterproof fabrics to suit even the highest maintenance campers: DoNuts Original (black), DoNuts Solids (17 colours), DoNuts Leather-Look (18 colours), and DoNuts Animali (black, bronze, white).

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All DoNuts are UV-proof and you can use them both indoors and outdoors. An electric Big Pump is included to inflate and deflate the tube within minutes.

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Who knew camping could get so down and groovy?

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Friday Foodie: The Gloriously Delicious Yvette van Boven

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That got your attention didn’t it! Have you ever seen a more decadent, glorious, mouthwatering reveal of a cake?!! One picture and I was seriously in love. The mastermind behind this divine cardamom cake with poached pears (recipe here) is the utterly fabulous Irish-born-yet-Dutch Yvette van Boven. She divides her time between Amsterdam and Paris and for me, her cooking is a great way to get more European about what the food I make, which is nice feeling for an Aussie in London.

Yvette van Boven is not just a cook. She’s a food stylist, recipe writer, columnist, author (she has written five cookbooks) and she’s a shamingly good illustrator as well. The woman even makes her own butter for crissakes. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s bloody gorgeous to boot.

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I  love flicking through her books. They’re filled with her undeniably obvious delight of cooking, creating and eating and she makes it all feel utterly contagious! Resistance is futile. Her husband is her photographer (and a pretty mean cocktail maker as well) and if anyone asked me to put together a fantasy camping crowd, they’d be top of my list.

So here’s my choice of divine van Boven goodies to make for a camping trip:

Crab legs with garlic butter, recipe here.

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Homemade mustard, recipe here.

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Watercress with smoked almonds and goat’s cheese, recipe here.

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Thousand tomato salad with goat’s cheese ricotta, recipe here.

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Italian chicken stew, recipe here.

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Beef stew with red wine, recipe here.

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Quinoa apple cake, recipe here.

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Gooseberry and orange jam, recipe here.

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Make them at home. Make them when you’re camping. Make them for camping. Just make them and you’ll fall in love just like I did.

Enjoy campers!

Pictures & illustrations from Yvette van Boven with thanks.

 

Thrifty Thursday Camping Gear: Brilliant Mason Jar Drinking Lids by Cuppow

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Old Guy downs beer in one gulp.

Old Dude: “Why do you drink your beer all in one gulp?”

Old Guy: “I have ever since the accident.”

Old Dude: “What accident?”

Old Guy: “Someone knocked over my beer…”

Sound familiar?! Yeah, you know it does. Serious accidents like that are just waiting to happen around a campfire. Drinks are put under chairs on uneven ground. Campers milling about. Shit happens. Bad shit.

Luckily for you, me and anyone else out there who likes a civilised campfire tipple, the clever blokes over at Cuppow have come up with a solution. All you need is a Mason Jar. Now, I don’t know about you other campers, but we love getting our hobo on and drinking out of  jam jars and Mason Jars. They’re much cooler than enamel mugs or  plastic cups. There’s just something about it. I know you know of what I speak.

 

cuppow_4cuppow_1Created by American designers Joshua Resnikoff and Aaron Panone, Cuppow is simply a little disk with a sippy slit in it that you can stick inside the top of your Mason Jar and voila! No more spills. It’s just like the coffee lid on your urban morning flat white. Well, I say that, but it’s BPA-free, 100% recycled and recyclable, and dishwasher safe.  Oh, and it comes in great colours and two sizes: regular and wide mouth.

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And the best thing? They’re only $US8.99 and Cuppow ship internationally. Order yours from here. Have a look at their latest ranges too.

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P.S. Check out this great Mason Jar cocktail shaker and really get styling around that campfire!

 

 

 

The Grill of Campions (!!!): The Plancha

VUE_FACE-PLAA-REI’m flexing my camping muscles for the first time this year. They’re a little rusty, but packing is underway for this weekend’s camping trip. When I say underway, I mean I’ve relieved four new sleeping bags from their packaging. And put them on the couch. Anyway …, I’m enjoying the fantasy that I’ll have space in the car for some bits of new camping kit. I may have to leave one kid at home, but hey.

Top of my list is a Plancha gas grill. I mean just look at this baby. Glorious.

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They heat up in three minutes, are easy to clean, can handle cooking lots of things that don’t work on a barbie and you can cook for up to 12 people at once. Seriously. Think about it. Millions of burger-flippers the world over can not be wrong.Verycook_20

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See for yourself how great they are over here. I’m seriously in love. Now comes the hard part. Choosing the colour. There are 10 of them. Oh, and deciding which kid to leave behind…

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Don’t go camping without these delicious marshmallows by Mallow and Marsh!

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Okay, so word association games are properly naff, I’ll give you that. But if someone yells “campfire” at a group of people, someone is definitely going to shout “marshmallows”! You know it, and I know it.

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Once the kids have burned their little fingers toasting dodgy big-packet marshmallows on your next camping holiday and gone to bed, it’s time for the big humans to bust out a stash of more grown up marshmallows—and by that I mean these glorious goodies by sweet start-up Mallow and Marsh.

While the company was the result of a nifty workshop weekend, since launching in November last year, they have travelled fast and straight up. And today, Mallow and Marsh launch across 40 Sainsburys’ stores across London.

Founder Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie was running an online jewellery business when she went on a working weekend to improve her business and innovation skills. Now I don’t know about you but I never actually thought those things actually worked, but that one sure did.

“I was working on a food project and I was challenged to make some marshmallows. Having never made them before, I spent most of the Saturday night slaving over a whisk. I came back to my group the next morning with some blue bacon marshmallows, and some other strange flavours. We handed them around and the reaction was amazing,” says Harriot. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I was hooked. I had no idea you could make a product that was so different from what you could buy. I started playing around with recipes, ideas, and flavours and marshmallows just got under my skin. In April last year I made the move to actually looking at the marshmallow market from a business perspective and by July I was working on it full time. ”

Roasted coconut is their biggest seller (try it dipped in Greek yoghurt).

Roasted Coconut - smallCappuccino started as a Limited Edition flavour, but has proven so popular, it’s soon to launch as an official flavour.

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But my favourite? It’s definitely the raspberry with some freshly squeezed lime juice. Majorly divine.

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Harriot promises they’ll roast beautifully too. I’m definitely taking a stack on my next camping trip in May to dangle over the campfire. Just for the adults mind ….. these are way too good for my lovely, (but far less discerning!!!) kiddies….

Sunday Best: Like Enamel? Check Out Our Favourite Pieces for Camping

enamel12I have a thing for enamel. It’s serious, not some fleeting interest and it’s been going on for a while now. There are just some things a girl can’t help. So my first Sunday Best post is dedicated to the stuff. These new posts are my little round-ups of favourite camping kit. Maybe you’ll discover some new crushes of your own, or maybe we’ll just validate your secret passion for items of camping gear. Either way, it’s a nice way to start a Sunday in our opinion. And if reading is followed by a quick online-shopping spree … Well, so be it. Things could be worse after all.

I’m loving the two-tier lunch pail (£55) from Objects of Use, pictured above. There’s a campsite my family and I sometimes visit and it runs along a little canal-like river. There’s fishing to be had and afternoons spent clambering over old boats tied to the shore. This would be great for packing little snacks and even bait, and it’s small enough for little ones to carry themselves. Adorable.

enamel5If I could figure out how Father Rabbit, a cool-as-cucumber Auckland-based lifestyle store got their hands on this Falconware enamel milkshake tumbler ($NZ16) when I can’t find it anywhere in the UK, I’d be one happy bunny. I want one. Badly.

enamel7It was only a matter of time before cutlery found itself dipped in enamel. And these pieces from Cachette are yummy. Finished by hand, so each piece is ever-so-slightly different, there are matching salad servers too, for those so inclined. Prices start at €11.50. To the Wish List with you immediately!!

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I recently gave two of these large, lidded mugs (£22) to friends who spend weekends tending their allotment. They’d be brilliant on a camping trip too. Your tea/coffee/soup will be kept warm, and safe from ash from the campfire too! And I couldn’t resist this little candle holder (£12). Is there a better way to light up the loo? Both are from Labour and Wait.

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enamel1If you’ve visited my site before, you’ll know I love a camping, cooking and eating delicious dishes. So, your orders are to make a hefty curry in this round food canister (€41.50) from Le Repere des Belettes. Pop the lid on. Pack it in the car. Bung it on the campfire. Voila. Dinner. Love. It.

Happy Sunday Campers!

Friday Foodie: Try Some Super Delicious Sandwiches by The Butty

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Alright, alright, I’ll confess. I. Have. Never … had a chip butty. There, I said it. I’m sure it will happen one day. I’ll be up North, it’ll be cold and late. There’s a high probability there’ll be rain. I’ll have had a few jolly beverages and BAM! That’s when it’ll go down. Thick white bread packing even thicker, hot potato chips. I’m not sure if I’m exactly looking forward to it. Really, I’m just resigned to the fact that it will happen. Hey, if you wind up living in the UK and you make friends, it’s only a matter of time before they’re gonna hit you with it…

I’m hoping though, that they’ll be reading this and will get a chance to check out the butty-Heaven that is to be found on The Butty. It’s sandwiches like you’ve never seen them. Sandwiches raised to their full glory, bars fully raised, lips well and truly smacked. Start with this flatiron steak sandwich with chimichurri, method here, (picture above). (Use the leftover chimichurri in a frying pan with some sweet corn kernels and you’ve got a fabulous side dish in minutes for later in the day).

What’s better, you can just make up a few things ahead of time, grab some handy store-bought ingredients, head to your campsite and you’ll have a lunch in moments, hearty enough to satisfy even the greatest cravings.

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Like the manly meatballer, method here.

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Need something hearty to start the day? French toast, bacon, duck egg and sausage sarnie, method here.

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Or try mackerel with pickled sweet pepper, method here.

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Grab a BBQ’d duck from your nearest China Town or take-away and you’ve got these yummy duck and spring onion butties, method here. Simple but good.

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Posh things up a bit with Etruscan pepperoni and Ardennes pate, method here.

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Bring some Italian flair to a camping lunch with this salami, chorizo and goats cheese sandwich, method here.

Feeling inspired? Yeah, me too. Chip butty be damned ….