today in lodeve

:: by Lizzie
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As you may have noticed from my Instagram feed, I’m on holiday. My parents have had a house in the south of France since I was 3 and I’ve been coming at least once a year since then. I’m a lucky girl. Lodeve is in the Langueduc region which produces wonderful cheese and wine as well as sunshine (if you’re lucky). It’s a great place for me to come and have a break from the day-to-day running of SMUG and give myself a little time to think about the bigger picture for the business and do some planning for the year. I also try to get a healthy glow and a big old rest! Here’s a little look at what a day in Lodeve is like for me.

 

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I can be pretty lazy when it comes to exercise in Lodeve. I blame the heat! But as I promised in my recent Fitness Files post I have been trying to swim every morning here. I’ve been doing 50 lengths before breakfast and on some days 20 more later in the afternoon. Don’t be too impressed though, it’s a pretty small pool, but it does leave my heart a little bit pumpy and my limbs and tummy feeling worked and stretched which feels really good.

 

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We have of course had the odd pain au chocolate for brekkie but mostly I’ve been consuming, post swim, a warm cup of lemon water followed by Greek yogurt and fruit salad. Peaches, nectarines plums, grapes and melon have all made an appearance one day or another. I’m pretty fruity anyway but the fruit here is so delicious it’s super easy to get your 5 a day.

After breakfast it’s either time for a bit of sun, a catch up with work or a trip down to the market. Wednesdays and Saturdays are market days and we pick up yummy fresh produce for lunch and dinner but also visit our favourite stalls selling soap and ceramics. Danny and I have a tradition of choosing a small caste plastic animal from the toy shop in Lodeve which we tend to do on a market day. This year I chose a chipmunk. As you do…

 

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We also like to go with my dad to his choice brocante where we never fail to find something we want to take home. Last year we picked up a large pearlised ceramic fish that we named Pikey, this year we bought a peach and lustre mortar – just because. The brocante we love is in Saint Jean de Fos which is also the location of my favourite place to swim in France – le Pont du Diable. It’s a lake with amazing Romanesque bridges and pebbly banks. The perfect place to unfold my 50s floral camping chair, paddle with my red jellies and basically chill/swim/chill/swim.

 

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Then when it’s time to fold up those chairs, climb up the steps and make our way home for lunch, the Volvo and dad are happily finished at the market and ready to swing by and collect us. ‘We’ really do need to learn to drive. Daniel!?

 

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Lunch in Lodeve is usually a combination of leftovers from dinner the night before as well as the staples we’ve come to know and love – tomato salad, lettuce leaves, parma ham, a baguette and of course, lots of delicious dressing. Mama often rustles up a spinach quiche or some yummy pasta to pull everything together.

 

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After lunch it’s nice to sit by the pool and have a bit of a sunbathe and a read. I’ve been particularly enjoying flicking through the latest issues of frankie and Wrap magazine. One of the many nice perks of having your own shop is that there’s always a good design mag to grab on your way out the door when off on your hols. I find time by the pool is when I come up with my SMUG eureka moments and get all excited about priorities for the next few months and plans for the future. It’s so nice to have the space to ponder the possibilities and to set creative goals and targets.

 

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I’ve been doing a fair amount of work on my holibobs. Mostly focusing on the Islington Design District and what we’ll be putting on during London Design Festival 2015. I think it’s going to be pretty great. Do take a look at the IDD website by clicking here to see the sorts of things that design stores in Islington will be putting on especially. I’m pretty proud to have set the whole thing up and really enjoy co-ordinating the district.

 

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We take it in turns to cook din-dins. I’ve been giving a lot of ottolenghi love as you may have expected. We bought ‘Plenty’ along with us. I think I’m going to do the Yogurt and Broad Bean Soup tonight, followed by a cod and cherry tomato number my auntie Julie and uncle Peter recommended when they were here earlier in the holiday. I’m also keen to griddle up some pineapple to be served with a little coconut cream. You just know that’s going to rock! If it does I’ll be sharing the (very simple I’m sure) recipe here soon. The above was whipped up by papa – pulled beef, grilled vegetables, cous cous and creamed potatoes – because who doesn’t love double carbs!? I’ve been swimming remember!