As regular readers of the blog will know, we spent our Summer holiday this year in Denmark visiting both Copenhagen and Tisvildleje on the Danish Coast. It was a dream of a trip for a Scandophile like me. I came home more convinced than ever before that I am in fact a Danish Girl trapped in a Geordie Girl's body (Danish girl in the sense of a female from Denmark rather than the Eddie Redmayne man wanting to be a woman film sense). Unfortunately my actual body returned home looking less Helena Christensen and more Danny Devito owing to my excessive consumption of kanelsnegles. Whilst I am waiting for Nationality realignment surgery to become available on the NHS I thought I would share with you some of the fresh Danish interiors inspiration for the kitchen and garden that I picked up on the trip and how I have been translating it into the Malmo & Moss house now I am home.
Let's Go Outside.....
Whilst staying in Tisvildleje we stumbled upon a cafe somebody had set up on their front garden to sell their own home brewed slow drip coffee. The contrast with our own front garden couldn't have been greater. There wasn't a wheelie bin or fox poo in sight. What they had instead, which I fell more than a little bit in love with, was a garden seating area constructed out of palletts. It was totally inexpensive but looked amazing and I loved the seating cushions they had made to fit it which were a mix of muted greys and monochrome and looked great against the backdrop of abundant lavender, mint and rosemary growing in the planters.
I had already seen pallets used in other Scandi gardens on pinterest and loved them so when I got home I started scanning skips in search of some I could use to recreate the look. Luckily @vintagecuratorinteriors came up trumps before I had to go full #StigOfTheSkip. My long term plan for them is to create a coffee table on wheels but it has been a busy Summer and any time I have started the sentence "could you just pop to B&Q to get some castors" Mr Malmo has given me the kind of look that suggests I have got more chance of getting him to go on a crochet blanket making course with out 75 yr old neighbour Margery. But for now I kind of like the way the look just stacked one on top of the other.
I have also added an extra shot of Scandi to my outdoor seating area through the purchase of some new cushions and a rug. All in a mixture of patterns and textures but sticking to a monochrome palette. I sourced some of the cushions from two of my favourite independent stores for Scandi homeware, Grey September Store and Jo & Co Home, but also picked up a cushion and the rug from B&Q who, in amongst the endless drill bits and polyfiller supplies actually have some really great soft furnishings at bargain prices (this is not a sponsored blog either!). The large zig zag cushion was just £7 and the rug a mere £15.
Now that Autumn is upon us, I have also borrowed another trick from the Danes and introduced a shot of hygge to the garden with a gorgeous rusty firepit from Cox & Cox. I did a lot of research before choosing this one #firepitbore. You can easily spend hundreds of pounds but this one is just £80 and is super lightweight and easy to move around the garden. We gave it a debut burn at our tenth wedding anniversary party in October which was themed around recreating a mini version of the Woodstock festival in our garden.
Unfortunately as we are only amateur urban arsonists we did not dry our hastily purchased petrol station logs before chucking them on the fire. Therefore, instead of creating a warm blaze around which people could huddle, drink hot chocolate and chat, we instead had a smoking inferno on our hands that sent people running inside for a drink of water. I have since discovered that you can actually buy smokeless logs from Tesco should anybody else find themselves hosting a middle class party and not have twenty four hours to dry their wood out in advance.
Bringing Scandi to the Kitchen Table
I follow lots of beautiful Scandinavian instagram accounts for inspiration but my all time favourite has to be that of Signe Bay, a photographer and stylist based in Copenhagen. Her feed often features of two of my greatest Danish loves: cinnamon buns and ceramics. Our Summer holiday featured lots of both. I could have piled the car high with pottery but the reality of going away on holiday when you have 3 children is that you have to travel with essentially all of your possessions so slipping a small dinner service into the footwell was sadly not an option.
When we got home I started looking for places I could source some of the beautiful ceramics I had seen on holiday here in the UK. My inner Signe lit up when I came across Feather & Marble, a small independent business set up by Emily & Ollie in 2016 after they too visited Copenhagen and fell under the Danish spell. They now stock over 1000 handpicked items from Danish brands including the beautiful tableware of Broste Copenhagen whose Salt cup and saucer is my new favourite mug and believe me I don't bandy that title around lightly. It takes quite a cup to come along and turn my tea drinking head.
Having secured ceramics fit for a flat lay, I started researching cinnamon bun recipes so I had something #suitablysigne to serve up on my Danish table. I am not, by nature, a patient baker. If a recipe features more than 5 steps I tend to turn over. This BBC Good Food recipe for "simple cinnamon rolls" has, therefore, proved perfect for me. If I had to sum it up in 4 simple steps it would be mix dry and wet ingredients together to make a dough, roll out into a rectangle, smear huge ammounts of melted brown sugar, butter and cinnamon on said rectangle, roll up and cut into segments like a swiss roll, cook for 30 mins then cram into your mouth fresh from the oven. The slightly more detailed version is set out below should you be the kind of person who likes to know actual quantiies of ingredients, cooking times and the like.
I made them on the morning of the Occasional Home Store Autumn Fair for our stallholders and they got hoovered up very quickly. I have had a few mishaps along the way witht them though. For example, if you add more cinnamon to the dough than the recipe dictates because you don't think they will be cinnamony enough all you will achieve is giving your buns an off brown appearance that is reminiscent of a pair of corduroy trosuers your dad might wear in. Leaving them in too long/cooking them at too high a temperature has also caused me problems as then the sugar filling bubbles out and goes black leaving you with buns that look more like lumps of coal than kanalsnegle. But other than those two small glitsches I would say they are pretty much fool proof and I would love to know how you get on with making them.
Simple Cinnamon Buns
350g/12oz self raising flour
Pinch of salt
2tbsp caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
100g/3.5oz butter, melted and extra for greasing
2 egg yolks
200ml/7 fl oz milk, extra for glazing
1 tsp ground cinnamon
55g/2oz brown sugar
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
125g/4.5 oz icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter, softened
about 2 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence
Grease a 20-cm/8-inch round tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
Mix the flour, salt, caster sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Whisk the butter, egg yolks and milk together and combine the dry ingredients to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a large piece of waxed paper, lightly sprinkled with flour, and roll out to a rectangle 30 x 25cm/12 x 10 inches.
To make the filling mix the ingredients together, spread evenly over the dough and roll up, Swiss-roll style to form a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 even-sized slices and pack into the prepared tin. Brush gently with extra milk and bake in a preheated oven, 180C/350F, for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.
Sift icing sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Place the cream cheese and butter in the centre, pour over the water and stir to mix. Add extra boiling water, a few drops at a time, until the frosting coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the vanilla essence, then drizzle the icing over the rolls. Serve warm or cold.
Recipe reproduced from BBC Good Food.