marte_marie_forsberg

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg

Norwegian photographer and author, living in the English countryside. Photography and Cooking workshops. Cookbook out October 2017 by Clarkson Potter

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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Last night, returning home by train after having watched a documentary about the works and life of the Italian renaissance painter Raphael. I fell pensive as I gazed at the landscape slowly passing by, all engulfed in a twilight summer haze. His genius and talent left me a bit breathless. At 37 years of age he passed away having just finished the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace in Rome. Accomplishing more in those years than perhaps the inhabitants of a small village combined do in a lifetime. Michelangelo was painting the ceiling that Raphael got a sneaky peak at, when a friend handed him the key to the chapel one night. Lit up by a torch, he climbed the wooden scaffolding to get a first glance at Michelangelo's work. When he was later given the commission to clad the ground walls of the Sistine Chapel with ten tapestries, he thought of the ceiling and eagerly commenced the work hoping to outdo Michelangelo. These personal stories around incredible artists that have shaped our art world, paints their very human image which I'm ever so excited to share more of with you on my next retreat in Italy in September. Light and composition, the very basic fundamentals of an image can be as simple and complex as we'd like it to be. The more I learn about the great masters, the more it fuels my work as a visual storyteller forward, and takes my gaze off the digital world and into the tangible and real world of galleries, museums, churches and private homes filled with art, like open notebooks from masters gone before us... After the train came to a halt that evening in my little village and I reached the cottage, my mind was wide awake. I opened the rooftop windows and let my mind wander amongst the stars above feeling ever so inspired and eager to push myself as an artist... click on the link in my profile for more information. artfoodandphotographyworkshop mmforsbergworkshop matera

17 Hours ago

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Even with all the windows wide open, a sweltering summer heat has filled every corner of our cottage these past days. You'll find Mr Whiskey sprawled out on the cool surface of the ground floor, while I'm writing at my desk in the shade with a cold drink. Mid day, we pack our picnic baskets and head down to the river to cool down before returning home to yet another round of chilled drinks. The homemade elderflower cordial is gone, and so is last years black currant toddy that I've served with ice. Bottles of Rose and Prosecco are being kept in the fridge ready to be popped at a moments notice, and a pitcher of lemon water covered with a linen cloth is stationed in the middle of the dinning room table, being refilled every five minutes. My only activity apart from our daily river excursion and a few words scribbled on paper that I call work, is quick trips to the butcher to restock my fruit bowl. Everything feels slow, warm and holiday like, so we're embracing the heat knowing English rain will return soon enough... Hope you're all enjoying the heat and staying hydrated! myenglishcountryside englishsummer

2 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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Yesterday's sunny wander around the island of my parents home in Norway, enticed me into thinking summer was here to stay. I embarked the morning train to the nearby city of Fredrikstad, in light ballet flats, silk trousers and a lace like little white top. My wellies beaconed at me as I dashed out eager to entice the weather gods into sending yet another warm sunny day. I should have known better... Norway's longest river, Glomma, bubbled with wild undercurrents on its grey surface as the train came to a halt, and as I gazed towards the old part of town engulfed in fog, I got caught out in the rain. Drenched like a cat I met up with the lovely @hverdagslykkelise in a nearby cafe. She smiled, and told me her family were BBQing that afternoon come sun or rain. Spoken like a true Norwegian, I thought to myself, as I wrapped ny hands around a warm cup of chai latte and sent a few thoughts to my dry wellies at home... ineverlearn evertheoptimist onecanneverhavetoomanywellies

11 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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As I'm filling pages with teaching plans, menus, and travel details for our upcoming workshop at the most beautiful grotto hotel @sextantio in the UNESCO protected hilltop town of Matera in the south of Italy, I'm going over images from last autumn, when I taught a workshop in Beaune, France with the lovely @thecooksatelier . We went to the market, cooked, styled, photographed and told visual stories around food and this very beautiful part of France. In September, for my Matera retreat, we found you an out of this world location, where we will again cook together, style photograph and tell visual stories, but I also wanted to incorporate art, the art of seeing, the art of creating, and the art of making a business from our dreams. The 9000 year old grotto walls of our home away from home will create the backdrop for our morning sessions where we will explore the old masters in painting and sculpture to better our understanding of light, composition and movement in our visual storytelling. In between shoots we'll gather together for cooking sessions with the in-house cook of @sextantio . The ever so lovely @eminchilli will guide us on our day trip to the nearby seaside town of Bari, and the avid mixologist @theo_maxfield will lead us in pre dinner cocktail sessions. It would be an understatement to say I was excited about this retreat. mmforsbergworkshop (link in profile for more information)

13 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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After a naughty glass of my favorite smoky whiskey last night while we played a round of cards at the local pub, we woke up early all bushy tailed and wide eyed this morning. Hand in hand we walked down the hill to the train station, while our sleepy village opened their shops fronts and brought the day to life. Across the river Nadder we bought warm breakfast tea and freshly baked croissants, and said our goodbyes as the train to London came to a halt on platform 1. Travel always makes me excited, even if it's just the train to the next village or road tripping to a nearby county. The green rolling hills of the countryside passed my window while I write into my day planner ideas for upcoming shoots, workshops, visits to see friends and ideas for what the future may hold. This business of travel never gets old or fails to inspire. And while my the train began picking up speed, scaring resting birds of its tracks, I took a bite of the freshly baked pastry next to me, and placed my tea on top of the pile of books I'm planning to read on this weeklong trip back to Norway. I blew England a kiss and told her I'll be back soon...

13 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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After our afternoon wander in the rain, we returned home, blond hair windswept and wavy like a wild nest, and Mr Whiskey all muddy, wet and ever so happy. I put the kettle on. Warm steam soon emerged followed by the familiar whistle, calling the "troops" in for tea. These days it's all about turmeric, ginger, and lemon tea with generous heaps of summer honey. It's perhaps a small change of diminishing my caffeine consumption, but every little inch counts. I've found it's never really about the big leaps and big steps, it's more about the little things, the little inch that moves us forward daily, and the small changes that leads us closer to our goals. Anything is truly possible, it's just about steady putting one foot in front of the other, and never giving up... thursdaymusings whiskeyandmoi moi

14 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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Ferocious winds have swept across the calm rolling hills around the cottage. Broken twigs and branches cover the narrow country lanes, and green leaves whirl about covering the grounds like we were in September. I've been all cooped up inside watching the garden tremble outside. Even Mr whiskey refuses to go outside and stays warm and snug on the sofa. After a failed attempt, of what I thought was going to be the most glorious almond milk and elderflower baked rice pudding, I returned to the familiar and ever so simple, my mothers summer nettle soup with flaked almonds and olive oil. It never fails to nourish. Perhaps it's the glorious combination of nostalgia and nutrient dense ingredients that always feels so comforting, especially on stormy Summer days... myenglishcountryside nettlesoup comfortcooking

16 Days ago

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It feels positively autumnal with cold winds tugging at the treetops and breaking flowers in my little garden. So while summer is on hold, I put flowers in vases around the cottage, brew fresh mint and turmeric tea with a heaping spoons of honey from the local butcher. His stock is to die for and so is his honey and preserves. Yesterday we drove down narrow country lanes and filled our baskets with a heaping amount of Elderflowers. This afternoon they are bubbling on the stove with sugar and lemons, and being made into a quick syrup that will soon be used in my baked rice pudding. And if I'm lucky the Englishman will stir together an afternoon cocktail or two with it when he gets home. I've vowed to use up 80% of what I have in the pantry instead of buying tempting new ingredients this year. It a goal after feels like 50% of the boxes unpack after moving earlier this year were labeled "food" i.e. Pantry items. Hopefully I'll only be left with ingredients that we actually use daily. That way nothing goes out on date and we always have the basics we need. I don't know why I had such an abundance of risotto rice after finishing up my recent cookbook testing, must have bough new packages each time instead of using up the opened ones...so now I try to cook with it at least two of tree times a week. I normally make rice pudding with milk, but today I'm topping up the saucepan with almond milk and freshly made elderflower syrup, and then baking it in the oven with a lid of sugar that will caramelize...quite excited for how it will turn out. What do you consider your pantry basics? myenglishcountryside pantrybasics visitwiltshire

17 Days ago

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Fennel ready to be baked with lemons, a generous drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Any vegetables and fruits will do, and I regularly switch this simple baked side dish up depending on what I have at hand, but today I yearned for fennel's comforting licorice aroma to infuse my little cottage kitchen with warmth. Cooler summer winds sweep through town, and a crisp white is chilling in the fridge, Saturday's are for easy comfort meals that literally bake themselves while I snuggle up with Mr Whiskey and read a book I've been meaning to tuck into. I've admired Anna del Conte since as far as I can remember, her cooking, her passion for food, and her knowledge of Italian food. Her book "Risotto with Nettles, a memoir with food" has been on top of a pile of "must read books" underneath my nightstand collecting dust. So today, I blew the cobwebs off its cover, put the fennel in my darling @lacanche_us and dove right in. Have any of you read it? What books are you currently reading? weekendmeals mycottagekitchen booklist

19 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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From one day to another, Summer arrived with warmth and blue skies, and I unpacked every single summer dress, shook off a few dead moths and aired them out in the garden. Our sleepy countryside town came to life, and people spilled into the streets chatting and enjoying a chilled glass of wine in the shade. It's the Wylye Valley art trail week where we live, with artists opening up their private studios and workshops to the public. People with walking boots and maps in hand, trail pass the cottage on their way to my brilliant neighbor artist Jenny de Sausmarez who paints and sketches beautiful still life, people and the calm surrounding landscape where we live, and just down the street the wonderful Jeweler Pepe Argo is showcasing her stunning work. This countryside community of mine never fails to inspire. The Wylye arts trail lasts till Sunday the 4th of June with many a cozy countryside pub to pop by when you're wandering feet gets weary. Tap the photo for some of my favorite pubs and shops in the area to visit in between exploring the local arts scene. wylyevalley localartists (Photo by "the Englishman" @theo_maxfield )

24 Days ago

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A wee corner of my English cottage. Slowly each room is beginning to feel like home, and I'm starting to love the process, embracing renovation and unpacking madness that still ensures, and finding joy in the parts that are taking shape, the imperfect journey. Yesterday the garden was basking in sun and we pulled up plants by the root, cleared our little stone terrace from a feisty ivy attack, and replanted lilacs, primroses and a few budding roses. They bay tree stands proud at the bottom of the garden enticing me to use its leaves in more than just autumn stews and soups. I read somewhere that bay leaf ice cream was ever so tasty, have any of you ever tried it? I love that the cottage encourages me to simplify my life and to uncluttered. Something I'm sure many of you can relate to. Lovely Beth Kirby @local_milk has written about it often too these past months. Perhaps it's the pace of the time we live in, and the constant pressure of creating more, be more, that's beginning to stear us towards a slower life, a life perhaps filled with the mantra of every single one of us being enough. That we are enough while with steady footsteps growing and learning, and perhaps letting go of the constant pressure and misconception that this life is a race. Every day I take bags of clothes and props to the local charity shop feeling lighter by the hour. One wall of the cottage is coming together slowly, whitewashed and with summer hats and baskets gathered from my trips to France and Italy carrying nostalgic memories of the world beyond the thick stone cottage walls. My home is coming together much slower than anticipated, and much slower than is comfortable if I listen to my inner pressure of being more, doing more and comparing myself to other's journey. But in the end this is my journey, my life, my short time here on earth, and my little home in the countryside. So we potter in our small garden, nest and picnic under our favorite tree more often than not, and I'm feeling full, full with happiness and a newfound excitement for each new day, and the dread of facing the never ending list of to-do's is beginning to lift... weareenough picnicmore slowingdown

27 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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It's full on asparagus season and I'm not holding back. Almost every day I find a way of incorporating it in a meal, and since many of the pubs and cafes in the area work with local and seasonal produce, eating out has way too many tempting asparagus options on the menu. The other day I drove past lush green fields to @pythousekitchengarden nestled inside an old Victorian walled garden on the Pythouse estate. Their sautéed asparagus salad with burnt lemon, goats cheese and wilted spring onions was nothing short of luscious. At home I simply slice a few raw asparagus lengthwise, drizzle with the lovely Italian olive oil I recently got from @redbeetlefood , season with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper before topping it off with generous shavings of Sicilian pecorino cheese. So simple, so quick to make and ever so good for you. Researching plants for my wee allotment up the street, I read up on the asparagus and was a bit blown away by all its nutrients and benefits. I don't like the term super food, but did you know that this little vegetable in its raw form is packed with antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties in addition to containing large amounts of vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, and magnesium and calcium? I believe in a well balanced diet, but I can assure you my allotment will sport quite a few asparagus. I haven't even began digging or even planting in my garden yet, but all this research is making me all kinds of excited. Luckily, since asparagus will take a few years to begin yielding results, there's plenty of organic farms around locally where I can get them until my own pop above ground.... allotmentplanning seasonalproduceistheshiz

31 Days ago

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Rain is tapping gently on the windows and Mr Whiskey and I are working from our desk in the corner of the blue room. In my childhood home in Norway my mother had a lavender colored blue room that was filled with fabric, sewing machines, knitting and crocheting needles, feathers, rhinestones, an old weaver and lots of patterns, big sheets of paper, coloring pencils and paint. It was the creative room. After school I would throw my rucksack on the floor in the hallway and run upstairs to disappear for hours in her creative world. The blue room was an oasis of possibilities, an Aladdin's cave for a creative soul. I cherished every minute of time spent there, sewing, knitting, gluing, painting, tearing, and inventing. It was the best of times with no boundaries, no rules, just endless supplies of products to create with and her ever changing mood boards spicing up every wall. Blue has, even if it may be quite a conservative color, become my color for creativity, and in every house I've lived in after moving to England, I've made sure to paint one room blue to remember to keep playing, keep inventing and keep to approaching any task with a creative mindset... keepplaying everyoneneedsablueroom

33 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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On our recent trip to Norway we stocked up on liqueurs and botanical syrups to bring home to England. Cloudberry and Crowberry syrups have quickly become some of my favorite ingredients in cocktails, and since both berries carry nostalgic notes from my childhood in Norway, it's like a kiss from the past whenever we mix one of them a drink. For our retreat in Sassi di Matera in Italy in September we've incorporated two evening cocktail sessions, where we will be working with local botanicals and drink traditions led by mixologist and avid cocktail maker @theo_maxfield I'm so very much looking forward to this pre dinner cocktail hour, that I have a sneaking suspicion will be ever so photogenic as well, as these liquid treats will most definitely forever remind me of my time in the south in Italy. Do you have a warm or cold drink/cocktail that instantly transports you to a place, memory, person or event? Warm black currant toddy always brings me back to winters in Norway during my childhood. The fireplace was crackling away and mum stirring the pot warming up this ever soothing dark purple drink, leaving me with a purple smudge from ear to ear that I wiped away with the back of my hand with a smile. drinkmemories mmforsbergworkshop cocktailsession For more information on the retreat in September click on the link in my profile or email us at workshop @mmforsberg.com

34 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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We drove back to the English countryside from the airport in the dark, past midnight and in the rain, yet I knew I was home. After the most glorious whirlwind visit to my beloved Norway, spending our days with my family celebrating Norway's constitution day, I ordered a mediocre cup of tea at a service station and felt like I belonged. After moving out of my parents lovely countryside home in Norway I yearned for years to be able to put my suitcases down and feel like I'd found my spot in the world. I never dreamed it would be England, a country I barely had visited a few years back, yet it fit like a glove the moment I tried her countryside on. Life is unpredictable and filled with so many opportunities around every bend. At any given moment we can alter its course by signing up for an evening class, begin baking bread every morning, take up painting, go back to school, chose to adopt a child, quit your job, or go for a walk. Some events can be more life changing than others, and I'm so glad I gave England and it's countryside a chance to change my life... myenglishcountryside picnicmore

35 Days ago

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Without me, he asked and lowered his head, and we had a heard time nodding. We'll bring you along on our next adventure we told him, trying to sooth our own aching hearts. We hurriedly carried our luggage through the rain to our car and turned our noses toward the airport after giving him plenty of snuggles and wet kisses. When we landed in Norway for our short 48 hour visit to see family and celebrate Norway's constitution day on 17th of May, we'd brought the rain with us, and the temperatures outside indicated that Spring hadn't properly reached my home country just yet. On the fridge in my parents home on Jeløy, a beautiful fjord island, my mother has hung a quote that reads; You can take a Norwegian out of Norway, but you can't take Norway out of a Norwegian. I smiled at the quote as I reached for the brown cheese, a speciality brown goats whey cheese that I believe is unique to Norway, still my favorite after over 15 years abroad. Happy 17th of May!! Take a peek at our constitution day celebrations on my insta stories 🇳🇴 17mai

36 Days ago

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The garden is covered in snow my mother told me over the phone a few days ago, and we both laughed at the absurdity. The week before Norway had sported summer temperatures and everyone hit the beach, sunbathed in their garden and life was good. Her garden flourished within hours, and sleepy plants kickstarted their summer modus. But that was all before the snow came and draped every budding flower and plant in a thick white blanket of snow. Spring is unpredictable she told me, and so is life. So we made a promise to picnic more often, to embrace all that good and to take full advantage of every day. A package from my lovely friend @redbeetlefood arrived not long ago, filled with the tastiest olive oil, balsamico and hazelnuts from Italy, and we didn't waste a minute before we threw it all in a basket and went to our new favorite tree nestled between two green rolling hills overlooking a small thatched village. Sprawled out on a blanket, Mr Whiskey was his usually cheeky and energetic self, while we slumbered underneath the tree he covered what seemed like every field from here to London and back before falling taking a seat next to us. The nearby Ansty farm shop offered freshly picked asparagus, so we threw together a raw salad topped only with shavings of Sicilian pecorino cheese, @redbeetlefood 's heavenly olive oil before a wee sprinkle of seasoning. Pastries and peaches for dessert, and after a wee snooze under the tree, we packed up our little spot of paradise and returned to work. Every day he has a few hours off in the afternoon and we don't waste a minute. Our basket alters between carrying a blushing Provence rose on a sunny day and @dorsetteauk breakfast tea for when it rains and we sit underneath an umbrella wrapped in our wool blanket to stay warm. Come sun or rain, (or snow!) there isn't a beat to be missed... everydayhappinesses picnicmore

39 Days ago

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I woke up with a quote from last night's incredibly inspiring evening @messumswiltshire where Hugo Spowers founder of the Riversimple movement and the Rasa, a zero emission car spoke on the future of the car industry. His last slide lingered as he came to his closing remarks, and my eyes caught hold of a quote at the bottom of it that read; " We are called to be architects of the future...not its victims." ( by Buckminster Fuller) I smiled and wrote the quote in my journal as soon as I returned home that night. It reignite my inner fire of creating the future I want to live in, and made me all kinds excited about the many work and life projects ahead. Isn't it just the most empowering sentence!? This morning I took a blank sheet of paper, wrote the quote in big bold letters and hung it above my desk so that I never forget that in the end, I'm the creator of my own destiny and the future I want to live in... saturdaymusings wordstoliveby

40 Days ago

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@marte_marie_forsberg


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So incredibly excited to be launching my Food, art and Photography workshop in the south of Italy today! With the beautiful @sextantio cave hotel as our home base, we'll explore the local cuisine, work daily on visual storytelling, styling and photography looking at the grand old masters in painting and sculpture for inspiration and guidance. Our in house cook will lead us in pasta making sessions, and the wonderful @eminchilli will take us on a day trip to the nearby seaside town of Bari for a food wander to local markets, through town, shops and lead us to secret little spots for lunch and dinner. The keen mixologist @theo_maxfield will host evening cocktail sessions working with local botanicals and drink traditions. This is a five day retreat that aims at honing your photography and visual storytelling skills both on and off line, work on your social media presence, further open your eyes to art in photography, introduce you to the locale food traditions with hands on cooking classes and for you to slow down, relax and enjoy the ever so restorative atmosphere this unique place has to offer. We travelled down to this magical spot last month and completely fell in love, and I cannot wait to share it all with you come September. For more information and to reserve your spot click on the link in my profile. See you in Italy! mmforsbergworkshop

43 Days ago

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His favorite spot in the cottage, overlooking our little village while making sure no one enters our garden unnoticed, especially the neighbor's cat... myenglishcountryside mrwhiskey

46 Days ago

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I rolled down the car window as I drove from one little English town to the next yesterday, cold air gushed in and I turned the heating up. This is English Spring. Warm sunny days one moment, and brisk cold winds the next. Last week I was determined to head down to the wee river that runs on the outskirts of town. A gentle drizzle of cold rain accompanied us from our cottage to the river banks, where we warmed our hands on steaming hot tea from a thermos and wrapped ourselves in a thick woolen blanket. Nothing but birdsong and the sound of trickling water broke the silence. These days I'm taking it slow. In a way it feels like I'm learning to walk again, learning to overcome the feeling that urges me to fill every second of the day with something "productive". Simply being is ever so important too. I'm about to embark on so many wonderfully exciting projects, but I'm fiercely editing these days. Editing my life, my work and projects that I'm involved in. These edits cuts into every aspect of my life, from how many plates and cups I allow to take up space in the kitchen, to my closet and to people in my life. These days I'm ever so inspired to simply be, to walk slow but with intent, and to build strong foundations in work and in life, that enables me to give more. The wet drizzle turned into rain, and soaked my hair and jacket. The cold wind and wet weather whipped my face pink, and I felt alive. Let's take our afternoon tea here more often, he said with a smile. I took his arm. I carried the basket with teacups and an empty thermos, and he the heavy soggy blanket, and together we made our way home through muddy paths and slippery wet grass... takingtimetosimplybe myenglishcountryside ( 📷 by @theo_maxfield )

48 Days ago

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Up the stream and across the bridge, is a big old tree standing tall in the middle of a green field. I pass it almost every day on my way to Shaftesbury, the biggest nearby town. Early this week I had the pleasure of creating a two day private workshop for the wonderfully talented photographer @lizbanfield We explored the world of photography, wandered through ancient castle ruins talking about the grand old masters in painting and sculpture and how they approached light and composition. After having done a baking shoot in a wonky old Tudor tea house, we swung by the local cheese monger filled our basket with the necessary ingredients for a picnic and journeyed on to my favorite tree. The cool Spring air blew hard, and we nestled up by its roots in the shade of the wind and talked about the future of photography as we nibbled away and uncorked a bottle of a full bodied red. I think there's adventure ahead, I said to her as I popped a warm grape in my mouth and smiled, and we agreed with a nod. I recently read in a magazine tear out my mother sent me attached with her weekly letter. It read; 'If you want something you've never had, you must be prepared to do something you've never done...' We finished our picnic in silence as we packed up our cozy little world, and I think we both felt the wind change... adventuresahead mmforsbergworkshop myenglishcountryside

53 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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Warm rays of spring sun is playing on the rug in the blue drawing room. Mr Whiskey is vigorously devouring his marrow bone from the local butcher in Tisbury, and I'm leafing through my new favorite magazine @luncheonmagazine that I bought in @10corsocomo Milano last week, and opening a package with a recent purchase from the loveliest vintage home ware shop @looptheloopuk (see story on Instagram stories in my profile) I love copper and couldn't be more happy with my new bottle opener and scissor set. Downstairs the kettle is whistling and upstairs my dress for tonight's dinner with darling @belleannee and her husband is ironed and ready for a night in Bath. It felt good to just be today. Little to no agenda, lunch in a pub and dinner in the city, wanders in the fields with the pooch, letter writing on my favorite stationary...and a cheeky glass of my new favorite red wine from @babylonstoren ) weekendfun looptheloop

54 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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Sometimes I get it right, and sometime I get distracted at the very end of making my creamy Risotto Milanese. I run out of stock, and it ends up a bit dryer than I want it to be. Today was one of those days. The mountain of dirty dishes piled high above the sink, I'd forgotten to put the lid back on the oak smoked garlic so my whole kitchen was infused with this rather strong "perfume" . Catching up on work I'd forgotten to walk Mr Whiskey this morning and he loudly made sure I realized it was way passed our usual morning wander time, and the laundry baskets were overflowing. So I decided to just embrace it all, and ate my less than perfect risotto at the table by the window, agreed with myself to let the dirty dishes wait till the evening, and put the rest of the emails on hold while I took my rather unamused pooch for a walk. But this is life, our imperfectly perfect lives, where I get to enjoy a Champagne picnic under my favorite tree on a mere Wednesday, and wake up to a bit of prop and home chaos on a Friday. No day is alike. No day is perfect, but some days are definitely better than other days... myenglishcountryside whiskeyandmoi

55 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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One of my favorite trees down the street and across the river was the perfect destination when lovely @hverdagslykkelise came to photograph us for an upcoming story in Norwegian interior magazine @vakrehjemoginterior The warm Spring sun was battling it out with freezing winds as we went to "my" tree for a wee picnic yesterday. I put down old books in each tablecloth corner for it not to fly away, as we sat in the shade of the tree with afternoon tea treats and popped a bottle of Prosecco. Sheep were grassing nearby, and every now and then a train would pass under the nearby bridge. Happy, I asked...very, he replied...Read the story and get the recipes in our upcoming feature in @vakrehjemoginterior myenglishcountryside vakrehjemoginteriør countrysidepicnic

56 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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It's all about the service isn't it. You can forgive poor decor, and every now and then below par food, but if the service fails, I'm not very likely to return. To me it's all about how they made you feel. Don't get me wrong, the quality of food is important, but the atmosphere created by the staff is essential to a dining experience. On my recent trip to Italy we wined and dined in some of my favorite restaurants, enjoying that old school kind of waitering, where everyone involved from seating you to bringing you the wine list, and ultimately serving you the anticipated food, has that unmistakable elegance that indicate they take pride in their job. It all ooze of hospitality from a bygone era. Italy does this so well. Dressed in traditional black and white, and with a quiet charm, I'm easily swayed when they suggest a wine to go with the dish I just ordered. Call me weaksauce, but when a charming Italian waiter, dressed to a tee and with his manners and elegance makes you feel like you're dining at the Ritz, suggest you have a Recioto Della Valpolicella instead of the lovely French red wine you were leaning towards, you forgive him for possibly promoting Italian wine over French, and simply say yes. And of course, when has a Recioto Della Valpolicella ever disappointed... wheninitaly veniceitaly whatitalyis

65 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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Milano was like coming home, it always is. After living there as a fashion design student when I was 19, I've returned again and again. The city feels like my pocket, and even if it's ever evolving and ever so exciting to spot new restaurants and bars pop up, I have my favorites that I always visit when in town. Marchesi, in Via Santa Maria alla Porta 11, is a must for breakfast, however their newly opened sister pasticceria in Via Montenapoleone is chic and so brilliantly designed it's up there as well. We met up with the wonderful @milanosecrets there one morning and talked about the future. She's definitely the one to go to for city eatery advise and gave us lovely tips on dinner that night. Then there's Giacomo Caffe in Palazzo Reale next to the majestic Duomo, at the very heart of the city. I prefer to go there alone, having a cup of tea and listening to the buzz of fellow tea and coffee drinkers. It's their decor that had me at hello the first time I visited, and it still does, every time. Al Matarel feels like my mother's kitchen and serves the most delicious Risotto Milanese, which is again, a must. However on this last trip we were too large of a group and had sadly forgot to book, so we strolled the Naviglio area in the afternoon sun and dined at the charming Asso di Fiori. Milano is classic, yet young at heart, and is home to some of the most inspiring designers I know! One morning just as the Spring sun began to warm up the city I met up with the lovely @tamumcpherson and headed to @dimorestudio It was design week after all, and they didn't fail to create the most magical space and experience. With weary feet and full bellies, my Englishman and I fell asleep that night with the window open, listening to the city quiet down. Do you mind if we come back soon again, I asked, he just before he fell asleep. Not at all, he replied, and I could hear him smile as he closed his eyes and took my hand. mmforsbergmilano

70 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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So there we stood overlooking Matera and talking about the future... I'm impulsive in so many things in life, spontaneous and ever curious. However when it comes to relationships I'm slow and cautious. I listen to the wind, observe, take notes, analyze, and withdraw as soon as there's any hint of anything that can threaten my safe world and my lovely little life with Mr Whiskey here in the English countryside. I listen to others advice, whether it's asked for or not and continue my note taking, hopefully I won't miss a thing, and can figure him out so there's no chance of hurt on the horizon. A silly habit of trying to protect myself and staying in my comfort zone. He on the other hand stands tall and steady. When I withdraw, he steps up. When I make mistakes, he shows me he's not going anywhere. When I say we simply can't because I'm afraid, he just holds me. And when I get quiet, protective of my safe world and my wee home, he gives me space and time, without letting go of that warm embrace around my heart. It's a leap of faith in the end, he says, and I know he's right. But when do you know when to leap and with whom! At what point do you let go and trust. As we hopped on and off trains, hungry, tired and thirsty checking in to new hotels on our trip through Italy, he would hold the door open, carry my bags and massage my weary feet at night. Every evening he says thank you. Thank you for this day with you, Marie, he whispers, and I nestle my body next to his, smiling and feeling safe. Perhaps I can't protect myself or my little home from wild storms and cold winds, but I can choose with whom to face it with, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be facing it all with him. Because in the end it is just a leap of faith, as it is with everything. In Milano I walked passed a wall where it was written in bold black paint, 'It's your comfort zone that kills you'... and I couldn't agree more. leapoffaith myenglishman @theo_maxfield

71 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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We're finishing up the last few details of our upcoming workshop in Sassi di Matera in Italy, and we couldn't be more excited! The winds will be mild and warm the first week in September, perfect for afternoon strolls through this ancient hill top town. Ancient caves @sextantio will be your home away from home during our time together. You don't have to be an avid cook or photographer to attend our retreats, everything will be hands on catering to all levels. During our retreat in Matera in September, we'll have cooking and photography sessions, working on visual storytelling, post production and slowing down how we work. Both analogue and digital camera users are welcome, as we'll have teachers in both on location, and I cannot wait to tell you who will join us sharing her awe inspiring knowledge for film photography, inspiring us with her visual storytelling talent and incredible photography work. We'll launch this Art, Food and Photography retreat within the next few days, however should you want to be put on the list, feel free to email us at workshop @mmforsberg.com workshop matera

71 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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Just before we boarded our train Milano bound, we climbed the tall bell tower next to the Duomo in Firenze. There was a warm breeze at the top, that danced with my blue dress as we walked around taking in the majestic view of the city below. People seemed like ants, and the rooftops a sea of terra-cotta. We wanted to stay longer, but the sun was already beginning to dip its head on the horizon and it was time to kiss yet another Italian city goodbye. In the name of research we bough one more 'Cornetto con crema' and had a caffe d'orzo. I love that in Italy almost every bar will have caffe d'orzo, or roast barley coffee, giving everyone a lovely alternative to normal coffee, that after a few too many cups makes my heart race. With our newly purchased books and coffee in hand, we found our seats and watched Santa Maria train station disappear in the distance... whatitalyis

72 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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And there it was, the most magnificent sunset, coloring Florence in the dearest version of pink and orange. We stood there gazing out onto the Arno river and the brightly colored horizon, listening to the buzz of the city quiet down, before cheking into our room with a view @lungarnocollection The many jewelry boutiques on old Ponte Vecchio closed their shutters and locked up for the day as we passed, the bells chiming in the distance, the evening was still young. We gazed up at a window high up on a wall where the Medici family had a secret corridor going from one end of the city across the bridge and onto the other side. This city never stops intriguing. With the backdrop of ancient Florence we had cocktails to the soundtrack of modern Italy at The Fusion bar @lungarnocollection As the bells rang in a new day, we were still out, wandering its streets admiring its many sculptures at night, only lit up by a faint moon and modest street lights... florence (Photo by my Englishman @theo_maxfield )

73 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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There was a warm glowing sunset as we passed @hasslerroma on our first night in Rome a few days ago, and there was a warm glowing sunset when we arrived Florence yesterday. It must have been luck we agreed. A gentle breeze greeted us as we disembarked the train and made our way to Hotel Continentale @lungarnocollection a room overlooking the famous 'Ponte Vecchio'. A street musician played a cheesy old ballad in the distance, yet we both felt a surge of blood rushing to the heart. I love this city, he proclaimed, as we stood there midway across that ancient bridge that connects both sides of Florence, with the river Arno running beneath. Apparently not even Hitler could resist it's charm, according to both legend and @tommyonweb who with his dear @julskitchen kindly walked the streets of Florence with us until the bell tower chimed at midnight. It's easy to fall in love with Florence, home to the powerful Medici family, and creative playground for the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. We weaved in and out of narrow cobblestones streets dotted with small family run trattorias and grand basilicas. We'll have to come back soon again, he said, as we finally took a seat at the ever charming hole in the wall 'La Mescita' for lunch, taking the time to indulge in a handful of homemade cantuccini's paired with an indulgent little glass of Vin Santo. Late for our train to Bergamo in the afternoon we darted off, blew a few kisses in the general direction of the Duomo, and ran as fast as our legs could carry between well dressed florentine men and women...See you soon again Florence! checkthetraintimesbeforeyouhav

75 Days ago

marte_marie_forsberg

@marte_marie_forsberg


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I sank into the deep bathtub in the middle of the room, and surrounded by lit candles, my heartbeat slowed down. This trip has been nothing but restorative. Did you know we are sleeping in one of the oldest dwellings on earth, he informed me from the bed at the back of our cave. He was reading up on the Paleolithic time period, when our cave first open it's doors to the public. Wow, I replied, in lack of a better, perhaps more educated reply. In fact I was a bit stumped for words. I mean, when I first visited our local pub in England @compassessinn where good cider has been served for more than 600 years, I was in awe, so the best I could muster as a reply was indeed wow, learning that our grotto hotel @sextantino had cave rooms that was the oldest still inhabited of its kind in the world! That night, the night before we hopped back on the train that would take us from the south of Italy to the north, I took time to write in my journal. I wanted to capture this moment, to bottle our adventure in this incredible place, to write a page filled with words that would help me relive this day, should I one day leaf back and read the page dated 06.04.17. So I put pen to paper and wrote; This place is bloody marvelous... and signed my name... stumpedforwords

76 Days ago