Autumn Scenes from our Cottage Kitchen

Just like that, summer is over & autumn is here. I can see the light slowly starting to change, so I wanted to share some early autumn scenes from our cottage kitchen. I’m also sharing a few more kitchen details and glimpses. Plus a bit of what I’ve been cooking up lately.

Summer might be finished but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of flowers just yet. This week I was given the most incredible abundance of some of the most astonishing dahlias I’ve ever seen, from some dear friends. Can you believe they grew these dahlias in their garden?!

They are one of my all time favourite flowers, along with peonies (which were my wedding flower). Actually dahlias were meant to be my wedding flower but unfortunately weren’t in season when we got married in November (in New Zealand). There’s nothing like that last flush of dahlias as autumn rolls around.

Dahlias in the sink - Cottage Kitchen
Such a treat to be given these magnificent dahlias from our dear friends garden.

I’ve only ever grown dwarf dahlias but they flowered for about 6 months! You can see my dahlias and more autumn scenes from our former kitchen garden here. Next home, I am determined to plant masses of larger dahlias, and peonies.

Flowers aside, I also wanted to share a kitchen update and few more sneak peaks. Our custom range hood is being made, as we speak, by my brilliant cabinet makers, Woodmarque. Hopefully that will be installed in a week or two.

Cottonwood green country kitchen and dahlias
So in love with our traditional inset, hand painted deep green kitchen cabinetry. Designed by me and made by Woodmarque. And dahlias from our friends beautiful garden.

I was elated to find out about Woodmarque (from my lovely friend, Sue) not long after we moved into the cottage, as they do more bespoke and traditional style joinery – which is exactly what I wanted. As soon as I met Gary & Clare I knew they were the ones to bring my vision to life. We have such a shared love for traditional-style joinery, and a deep appreciation for classic English design and decor. And bonus, they’re based here in the Southern Highlands!

Autumnal scenes from my cottage kitchen - Cottonwood & Co
Beautiful produce & homemade goodies from our friends garden, and my favourite bread (Miche) from Moonacres.

To say I’m thrilled with our kitchen cabinetry is an understatement! I love the hand painted finish (which took us about a week to paint), the inset cabinetry, and the traditional European styling. And even though it’s not completely finished, it already is the most beautiful kitchen I’ve ever had, and designed. I honestly can’t wait to share some of the final details with you. As always, I’ll be sharing it all here first.

Autumnal scenes from my cottage kitchen - Cottonwood & Co

Cooking in this kitchen is one of the most pleasurable things of my adult life (I know that sounds dreadfully sad. haha). But it’s true. Between our beautiful Falcon Elise oven, my handy little cookbook corner, the feel of the hand painted cabinetry, and the simple but functional layout, it’s such a joy to be in this kitchen.

Cooking in my cottage kitchen - Cottonwood & Co

When autumn arrives, I’m always secretly thrilled as it’s such a great excuse for more intense, slow-cooked and hearty meals. Lately, I’ve been making things like homemade pasta with lamb ragu, slow cooked lamb shanks, Moroccan chicken with corn puree, bolognese with black bean spaghetti, shepherd pie with cauliflower mash top, low carb creme brûlée and lots of roast/baked chicken dishes.

I tried this chicken supreme recipe from one of my new cookbooks the other week. It was nice, but the recipe was a little bland and lacking some “oomph”, if I’m honest. I’m going to make a few tweaks and give it another go though.

Cooking - chicken supreme
Chicken supreme and Luneville plate
Dinner cottage kitchen table - chicken supreme

I’m also currently working on posting a lot more recipes (as well as more design related posts). Since sharing so many food & recipes posts on my Instagram the past year, I’ve received a LOT of messages from people asking if I could to post them all on my website. So I’m listening, and excited to share more recipes, particularly some of my low carb dishes like the cauliflower puree. I had so many ask for the recipe, and also said how much you love it, so I’ve saved it as a highlight on my Instagram too .

I’m constantly trying new recipes, and creating my own, although I often tweak things based on what’s in season or what I have on hand. The lamb ragu with fresh rosemary Pappardelle I made the other weekend when friends came to dinner was absolutely IN-CREDIBLE! I’ve linked the original recipe in that same post – which I then tweaked slightly – from the esteemed Danielle Alvarez. This dish was probably one of the most delicious things I’ve made in years.

*Note: I swapped the oxtail for lamb shanks (4 x 500g), omitted the chill (because of the kids), and used a bit more lemon rinds. You could just make any fresh pappardelle recipe and it would still taste incredible.


Hope you all enjoyed seeing a few autumn scenes from our cottage kitchen. I’m really looking forward to sharing more food recipes, and more kitchen updates, with you soon.

Have a great week ahead!

Nicki xo

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  1. Such beautiful photos and kitchen! That chicken looked so good but totally agree to tweaking recipes. I cant seem to stick to recipes 100% 😂

  2. I adored your post on the unfitted kitchen. I remember my grandmother preparing many meals at her big square table in the middle of her small square kitchen. I wish she were here to see how popular her “out of necessity “ kitchen style has become.
    Love your new kitchen! Lamb ragu looks delicious and your warm wood table is the perfect backdrop. I am so enamored of your charming dishware. Thanks for a lovely accompaniment to my evening cup of Lady Grey.

    1. Oh Donna that’s just the loveliest comment to receive and it makes me so happy when posts of mine resonate so strongly (and how lovely over a cuppa as well!). Your grandmother was ahead of her time in many ways. I think many kitchens today are far too clinical, & have lost that warmth and personal touch. But given how many messages and comments I’ve received from people on this post, and about the style of unfitted kitchens, perhaps it’s making a comeback! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  3. A true vision of fall perfection! Thank you for sharing

    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie! ☺️

  4. What a beautiful site this is. So warm and comforting. Would you mind sharing what your wine glasses are? The clear, squarish (not sure if that is a word) glass with a stem – no pattern. Are they french?

    1. Thanks Ros. The wine glasses are from Williams Sonoma but not sure they still sell them anymore. But try Hunter & Gatherer Collectons in Moss Vale as they sell similar smoke wine glasses. 🙂

  5. Elizabeth says:

    You have such a lovely kitchen!
    Enjoying cooking in a beautiful kitchen is not the least bit sad! Learning to find enjoyment in things like that is truly a learned skill that few ever achieve, and yet they could be enjoying themselves daily if they chose to do so!

    1. Oh thanks, Elizabeth! That’s reassuring as I thought I perhaps sounded like I need to get out a little more haha. This past year I’ve definitely learnt to slow down and appreciate the small things, and find joy in things I previously considered a bit mundane.

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