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Here's a little autumn deko inspiration to end the weekend. Don't you just love the mix of warm whites, blacks and geometric shapes? Happy Sunday eve everyone, I'm off to have a cup of tea and enjoy my weekly dose of Downton Abbey now.

Etta xo


Oh hello colder season with all your earthy yumminess of beetroots, pears and figs. I do like you!
I like you because you let me turn a fine dining dessert into a super simple dinner for four. I mean who doesn't love a sticky, sweet and piping hot tart tatin with a creamy dollop of bourbon vanilla ice cream on a cool September evening? But even better (well just as good) is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Baby Beetroot Tart Tatin. It's buttery and sweet and earthy and so, so  yum with it's tangy shallot vinaigrette and a generous crumble of feta. 

It's one of those dinners you make to impress but is super simple and fairly quick. 

Etta xo
SERVES 4 (as a light meal)
COOKS 1-1.15hr

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 25g butter
  • 500g baby beetroot (no bigger than a golfball), scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g ready made puff pastry
For the vinaigrette
  • 2 shallots really finely chopped
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 70g feta to crumble

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C. 
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 5mm. Take an ovenproof frying pan (or tart tatin dish) roughly 20cm in diameter, pace it upside down on the pastry and cut around it. Wrap the pastry disc in cling film and place it in the fridge.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottom, oven-proof pan large enough for all the beetroot to sit snugly (approx. 20cm). Add the beetroot and toss to coat in the oil and butter. Add the sugar and vinegar, season and taste, adjusting the vinegar and sugar if necessary.
  4. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the beetroot are tender.
  5. When the beetroot are cooked remove from the oven and arrange the beets neatly in the pan.  Carefully place the pastry over the beetroot tucking the excess pastry into the pan. Return to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden and puffed up. 
  6. Make the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients in a clean jam jar and give it a good shake. 
  7. When the tart is ready remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes. 
  8. To serve place a large plate over the pan and carefully, but quickly, turn upside down, remove the pan, crumble the feta on top and pour over the vinaigrette. 
  9. Enjoy with a lovely green salad and a strong red wine.


More recently I have developed a bit of an obsession for the monochrome, alongside my love for Skandi design. With autumn finally here IKEA have hit the nail on the head with these beautifully styled photographs. While blacks and whites are always a winner with me I love how the use of natural materials, woods and brown papers adds just the right amount of warmth.


When I think of funfairs at home in Germany, I think of crazy roller-coasters, of cotton candy, cheesy music, "Lebkuchenherzen" and sugared almonds. Oh it's sugared almonds every time! Lets just dream about German Christmas markets for a little bit, where there's stalls covered in heaps and heaps of sugared almonds. Still hot, they come in large paper cones and you munch on them alongside a steaming mug of mulled wine. Good right? It makes you not feel that bad about summer being over.

Oh and then I came across the lovely Jessica's Sugared Toasted Almond cupcake recipe and I was sold! Only waited for an occasion (my boss Dave's birthday!) and of I went to my little laboratory that is my kitchen to do some yum, yum baking.

You all know I am not a big icing fan, but oh boy this one is out of this world.

Etta xo

PS Jessica mentions the sponge being quite firm and if you guys love Hummingbird and Buttercup cakes then absolutely use her recipe. They are a little dense for me so I decided to use my classic vanilla sponge recipe next time. 


MAKES 12 cupcakes
COOKS 30mins


For the sponge
  • 110g soft butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1-2tbsp milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1tsp almond extract
 For the icing
  • 170g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 45g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed
For the sugared toasted almonds
  • 40g sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases (use cupcake cases not muffin cases).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until well combined, fluffy and pale (for about 5 minutes). You can either use a whisk, hand mixer or kitchen machine for this. 
  3. Add the eggs a little at a time and mix until you have a smooth batter. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Fold in the flour. Once combined add the milk a little at a time until your batter is of a thick, dripping consistency.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, making sure it is distributed equally.
  6. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Once done check whether your cakes are cooked by piercing with a cocktail stick. If it comes out clean the cakes are done. If the batter sticks to it, bake for a couple more minutes. Leave to cool completely.
  7. Heat a small pan over a medium heat and add almonds. Toss and stir constantly and toast for 1-2 minutes, just until almonds start to brown. 
  8. Reduce the heat to low and toss in sugar, stirring to coat. Stir constantly and cook for another minute, then remove and place almonds in a bowl. After a few minutes of cooling they will harden and you can break them apart.
  9. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugar and cocoa powder with the mixer on low, speeding up once combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat on medium, scraping down the sides if necessary, for 2-3 minutes. If your frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of milk at a time, beating for another minute or two to smooth it out. Repeat if necessary. If frosting isn't thick enough to be spreadable, add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar while beating until it thickens. Frost and top with sugared almonds below.
These are amazing!! You have to try them. You could make a whole cake of this, just make sure you bake it for about 40 minutes (depending on the size of your cake tin). 


  Malala Yousafzai, 2013 // Portrait Study (Dennis Hopper) 2005
Erin O'Connor, 2005 // Kevin Spacey as Richard III, 2011

A few years ago I worked on the design of the National Portrait Gallery's book 500 PORTRAITS - BP PORTRAIT AWARD. I was absolutely thrilled when, after a lot of discussions and toing and froing we settled on a clean white jacket displaying Jonathan Yeo's portrait of Erin O'Connor. Yeo is known for his paintings of celebrities as well as of fellow artists such as Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry and I am a big fan of the way he manages to capture his subjects' persona while still maintaining his unique, artistic style. I absolutely adore his use of negative space, bold brush strokes and the revealed pencil sketches and grids that peak through the layers of paint.

Yeo currently has a display on at the National Portrait Gallery which runs until 5th January 2014. Go and check it out. Read more here.


I haven't had any time to blog, to cook, to plan meals or to start enjoying autumn's beautiful ingredients. Life on the work front has been so, so busy - which is good, because after all I love what I do tremendously.  I might even be sharing a bit more of my designy stuff on here in the future - you never know.

For now I have been working hard and have been incredibly grateful for a boyfriend who has been rustling up and feeding me the most delicious dinners. If I am lucky I manage to sneak in a minute or five every evening to browse through my Pinterest and dream about all these beautiful autumn/winter dishes that scream yummy comfort food.

Here are a few of my current favourites.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 


I just came across this when browsing the Kinfolk Magazine website and I could not be more excited. Yup it's a cookery book and just look how beautiful it is. I absolutely adore Kinfolk's ethos and aesthetics and can't wait what recipes they have come up with. All this across 400 pages. The book is out 15th October, so head over there and pre-order.

Etta xo


Do you guys like Pizza? Oh what a question, who doesn't. Even better if it's homemade, right? But then you face the whole dilemma of kneading and proofing and kneading and things turn out to not be a quick 'n' easy dinner solution. And then you end up grabbing the phone and ordering Papa John's or venturing out to Pizza Express and your wallet hates you a little more.
Oh trust me I know this feeling all too well. All those times we have called Papa John for 2 for 1 delivery (millions of calories included) and I disliked myself a little afterwards.

As so often, Good Housekeeping comes to the rescue here with their incredibly delicious Blonde Pizza. Yes blonde... no passata here my dears. Pure squidgy mozarella, courgette and garlic goodness.

Make some extra dough and keep it in the freezer for a quick and healthy pizza dinner.
Of course you can substitute the toppings with anything you like.

Etta xo 

PS Excuse the lousy pictures. The camera died and the iPhone had to do. :(

COOKS 30mins


For the base
  • 125g strong white flour, plus extra to dust (or 65g wholemeal flour and 60g white flour)
  • 75ml warm water
  • ½tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 4tbsps olive oil
  • 1tsp salt
  • any herbs you want to add to the dough
For the base
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 3tbsps olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 courgette thinly sliced with a peeler
  • 1 red chilli 
  • 1 red onion finely sliced (if you have a mandolin slicer, use it ;))
  • 2 balls of mozzarella
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put the flour, yeast and 1tsp salt into a large bowl. Quickly mix in 75ml (3fl oz) warm water and 4tbsps of the olive oil to make a soft, but not sticky, dough (add more flour/water as necessary). Tip on to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead for 5mins (or use a kitchen machine with the hook attachment). Form into a ball, put back in the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 15min (I heat my oven to 40˚C and place the bowl there. Next to the heating is good too.)
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C. Mix the 2tbsp of olive oil, crushed garlic clove and a generous pinch of sea salt in a bowl.
  3. Flour a large baking tray (you can also use polenta/corn meal). Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to make a rectangle roughly 20.5cm x 30.5cm. Transfer to the prepared baking tray and brush with the olive oil garlic mix.
  4. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook in the oven for 5min until the base is just beginning to dry out.
  5. Take out of oven and lower temperature to 180°C. 
  6. Top with toppings the mozzarella, courgette and chillis, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Return to the oven for 15-20min until pizza is golden.
  7. Enjoy with a green salad.  


I look forward to August every year. Every year it is busy, verging on the stressful, filled with a ridiculous amount of birthdays, but when it's over I look back on it and think - yes you've been good August, we've made some memories worth remembering. So here are a few little snaps from my August. I hope yours was a sunny and happy one. Welcome September, I wonder what you've got in store for us. A big move for sure and some exciting creative projects.

Etta xo

ONE - Bank holiday Monday in Brockwell Park, just chilling with the girls, sipping on Gin and Tonics, munching on Nachos and tanning those pasty legs.
TWO + THREE - My sunny commute over the Thames and past Bayswater.
FOUR - Drinking the craziest Cocktails at the Blind Pig at Social Eating House in Soho (Cereal Killer this concoction was called and included Coco Pops milk - yup you heard right). Read Alice's review here. 
FIVE - Recovery strategy to cure the pains caused by our night out at the Blind Pig. Big BYRON order all around.
SIX - Yup I did it, chopped my hair off again and couldn't be happier. Alexia has once again done a brilliant job. 
SEVEN - Flowers from my best friend Susie, just before she went off to enjoy the rest of her summer in Berlin. I miss her terribly!
EIGHT - We've really been into Bloody Maries recently. Secret ingredients: chilli vodka and lots of lemon juice. Recipe to follow soon.
NINE - Spontaneous breakfast dates with the boys. Travelling all the way to Earlsfield for some serious Eggs Florentine and Hash Brown goodness at Mel's Vintage Beats & Breakfast.  
TEN - Late night walks home.
ELEVEN - Some exciting branding projects going on here. There is still so much more to do but this project has been a true labour of love. Check out my friends at 37thState's blog here.