Friday, August 3, 2012



It's all well and good to sell a half tonne solid stone warrior statue, but exactly how do you transport and place in situ?
This really did put our 'no job too big or too small mantra to the test', but thanks to Gavan from 'Smart Crane-Truck Services' the delivery was like a walk in the park.

We pride ourselves on our ethical client dealings and although we could have sold this statue many times over, it had to be situated in an area where the weight could be tolerated....which meant saying no to clients who were looking to place him on a decked area....being so very heavy eventually he would have fallen through the boards!



..checking out the view on the way down...I could get used to this!



..safely on solid ground

...goodbye hugs from Michael...

Our lucky client had the perfect position for him as you can see in the photos.  Every care was taken with his delivery and we would like to recommend Gavan for his skill and professional approach at all times which gave not only us piece of mind but also the client.

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WE LOVE.....THIS....

Combine books and stunning interiors and this is the result.....

Images Credit to Christoph Steelback via Lost at E Minor Website

German photographer Christoph Steelback's new series, Bibliotheken, explores the elaborate interiors of beautiful libraries around Europe.  The architectural style of the featured libraries ranges from Victorian to Modern, and each interior is a great example of design from different eras.  It might be a little too distracting trying to read a book in such a beautiful space though!

You can find more of Christoph's work on the latest Lost at E Minor website page
Here's the link:
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We have been in full swing over the past weeks with our exciting new Showroom makeover!
Once our flooring is finished all will be back to normal, but to help the workers with this last section of works to be completed we have had to close our showroom doors until Monday 6th of August...only a few days and it will be well worth it once this rather major process is completed.  In the meantime though the design girls are out and about sourcing new and enticing product for the showroom.  We are absolutely bursting to welcome you through the doors!

This week it is my pleasure to share with you all the most wonderful personal discovery for me since the espresso automatic coffee machine and non-clumping mascara....I bring you...the Baked Risotto!

Having the Risotto flops of attempts years previously I had written off this most delicious of treats and popped it into the Too Hard Basket and never, ever, ever to be to be tried again.  Risotto is one of those meals that needs constant babysitting and stirring for up to an hour...who has time for that?...not me!

And so, this week there was a facebook posting from a cooking site with lots of yummy photos of Risotto dishes and one very clever lady who will I will now be completed indebted to, suggested trying a Baked I got to googling and found this!  You combine all the ingredients like a casserole and bake it in the oven...stirring once...its foolproof and leaves plenty of time for a gazzillion other things that you could do in the space of an hour....I like to use the time to sit with a red wine and my kindle :-)  Thank you facebook lady....xx


(serves 4)

3 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
50g butter
400g mixed mushrooms, sliced (see note)
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Place stock and 1 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until needed.
Melt half the butter in a flameproof dish over high heat. Add mushroom. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned.Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Melt remaining butter in pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add rice. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine. Bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated.
Stir in stock mixture and mushroom. Cover tightly with foil. Transfer to oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 5 minutes or until liquid has absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in chives and cheese. Serve.


A 'fancy' meal out for me is always known for the standard fabric serviettes and always, always finishing off at the end of the evening with a lovely dessert wine.  If you havent tried dessert wine yet, its worth the tipple...long gone are the super 'syruppy' sweet vinos of the past, replaced with more sophisticated palate friendly and balanced wines like the Woodstock Botrytis Semillon.  

If you havent visited Woodstock Winery in the beautiful McLaren Vale region of South Australia, then I highly recommend the trip.  When I discovered the Vale region years ago, Woodstock was the very first winery that I stumbled upon.  Its a really beautiful spot with a restaurant that serves amazing food (we had the seasonal platter) and separate tasting room and cellar door area staffed by those who clearly know their wines as we felt quite educated by the end of the visit.

The Botrytis Semillon is for those fans of honey, citrus and a finish of creme brulee on the palate (hello!!...the entire population!)....and matches perfectly with strawberries or lemon tart.  
Serving a dessert wine such as this is a great way to end a dinner party at home with dessert, a platter of cheeses and fruits etc...  

I highly recommend Woodstock Winery for a visit next time you're in the Vale.


And its the end of another week which saw the start of the Olympic Games in London and the sad and untimely death of one of the greats of Australian Rock in Darryl Cotton...taken from us at age 62 after a very short battle with liver cancer.  He certainly was one of the good guys.

Darryl Cotton credit to The Age

  My Aunty dated him years ago and she always recalls the time with fondness.  For those who are too young to remember, or from overseas check out 'Zoot' on youtube...Rick Springfield was also one of the members as was Beeb Birtles from Little River Band.
So live every day with gusto...Love...Light and Laughter...The Charcoal Team xxx

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