Scenes from Life in Lockdown

If I’ve learnt anything from this time in isolation/hibernation, it’s that we have to appreciate what we have, and make the best out of the situation. And we’ve been doing just that, so I thought I’d share some scenes from our corner of life in lockdown!

Like many of you, our life the past 8 weeks has been mostly about food and cooking (and a few cocktails like my current fave, Campari & Orange), but we’ve also managed to make some progress on our cottage.

As many of you will know, we moved to our little cottage just as Australia was going into lockdown, despite the cottage being only half-renovated. We’ve been living here without a kitchen, a semi finished bathroom, and almost no storage. Thankfully, my little barn studio was built this past week, and our stunning new European style cooker arrived too!! To say both of these moments were a mix of relief and excitement, would be a massive understatement!

Scenes from life in lockdown - Cottonwood and Co

Cottage Barn Studio - Nicki Dobzrynski - Cottonwood and Co

A sneak peek of my little barn/studio. It still needs painting, wall lights, window planter boxes, and we have to insulate and line the inside. I’m going to share all the details in two upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned for those.

And now on to our beautiful new cooker!! I’m so thrilled to have partnered with Falcon, and as soon as I saw their newly released Elise model, I knew that’s what I wanted for our little cottage.

Falcon Elise 90 - Scenes from Life in Lockdown

I’ll be sharing a lot more details in another blog post, including a full review of the Elise in a month or two once I’ve given it a good test run, but for now I’ll share a couple of highlights.

Even though our first meal cooked on the Falcon Elise was actually pre-bought chicken schnitzel (I wasn’t expecting the oven to be installed that day!), our first “official” meal was Ina Garten’s Coq Au Vin!

Falcon Elise 90 - Scenes from life in lockdown - Cottonwood and Co

Falcon Elise - Scenes from Life in Lockdown

It’s one of my all time favourite dishes and I cook it every winter, usually around Tour de France time. It’s a culinary classic and for good reason; bold, perfectly balanced flavours and intensely comforting to make and eat. The most perfect dish during the cooler months. I serve it with a creamy cauliflower puree (I started this when we went keto), and sauteed green beans. It truly is sublime.

Eight weeks of cooking soley on the BBQ was definitely challenging, and even though we don’t have a proper kitchen yet, to just have this magnificent cooker is like a dream come true.

You’ll also see that I’m currently going for an “unfitted kitchen” look, which I plan to do a blog post on as this has actually become a new design obsession of mine. Unfitted kitchens are ones that don’t quite fit the standard model and which usually incorporate a lot of vintage and antique elements, including mismatched cabinetry. It’s a very old world look, and to me it feels incredibly unique and authentic.

Next to our Falcon is my husband’s great-grandmothers very old meat safe, which I’m in the process of repainting. I love it so much in the kitchen I’m considering keeping it where it is. We still have to install our range hood, and I want to add some artwork and hooks for my beloved copper, so I’ll share the progress of all of that with you.

Falcon Elise 90 - Scenes from Life in Lockdown - Cottonwood and Co

To celebrate us finally having a cooker, and since some Covid-19 restrictions were eased a week ago, we had my parents-in-law over for lunch on Friday. It was sooooo good to see them and finally have a little family lunch at our cottage!

Falcon Elise 90 - family lunch - Cottonwood and Co

We cooked up steaks with a mushroom truffle butter, garlic tarragon potatoes, and green beans. The potatoes were sauteed slowly in butter, salt, pepper, a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh tarragon leaves. They were so tender, buttery and golden brown. Heaven!

Falcon Elise 90 - family lunch - Cottonwood and Co

The flowers on the table are actually weeds (I think) found growing over our back fence. I have no idea what they are but I’m quite fond of them and their elongated pink and green flower pod. Does anyone know what this might be?

Falcon Elise 90 - Cottonwood and Co

Falcon Elise 90 - family lunch - Cottonwood and Co

Falcon Elise 90 - Recipe Tin Eats tiramisu - Cottonwood and Co

For dessert, I quickly whipped up this easy Tiramisu from Recipe Tin Eats. This was pretty quick to make and uses marscarpone and eggs, instead of cream, but I actually found it to be better the next day! It is delicious and quite sweet, so next time I might just reduce the sugar a touch.

So lovely just to hang out by the fire in our living room lately, too. I’m loving the mild sunny autumn days and cool nights at the moment.

Cottage style - Cottonwood and Co - Nicki Dobrzynski

The last thing I cooked on the BBQ was this delicious chocolate cake from Recipe Tin Eats, and it worked out perfectly! One of the few dishes that turned out as expected on the BBQ!

Chocolate cake by Recipe Tin Eats- Cottonwood and Co

Can’t say I’ll miss the BBQ cooking though. Being able to cook inside, on a beautiful European style stove and not stand out in the freezing cold, is a true luxury that I won’t take for granted.

Love to know what you’ve been cooking during this time? I think soon I’ll be getting back to our low carb lifestyle as none of my jeans are fitting anymore!

Nicki xo

Join the Conversation

  1. Jacqueline Lewis says:

    Hi Nicki

    I have just discovered your blog & Instagram page & I just love it! Your cottage & style is so lovely & dreamy. We are currently renovating our house & doing it in a modern farmhouse style & I was wondering what colour paint is on your walls & where your curtains are from?

    Many thanks,

    Jacqueline

    1. Hi Jacqueline,

      Thanks for the kind compliment! So our walls are all painted Dulux ‘Natural White’. First time I’ve used it and it’s a lovely white.

      Also our curtains were custom made years ago and we kept them from our last house, but Pottery Barn do lovely off the shelf curtains. Sorry can’t be more helpful on the curtain front!

      Best of luck with your renovation!
      Nicki xo

      1. Jacqueline says:

        Thank you so much for your reply, I so appreciate it! I love what you do & I can’t wait to see more pics of your sweet cottage 🙂 take care x

        1. Aw thanks so much, Jacqueline. Really appreciate it. xo

  2. Hi Nicki. I’m loving your new place, it really speaks to me and the idea of an “unfitted” kitchen seems just right. I also have a couple of questions if I may? How do you find the TV above the fireplace? Do you find it doesn’t get affected by the fire? Also, your curtains look fabulous and I was wondering about your curtain rods. Are they from a local supplier?

    Cheers
    Lesley

    1. Hi Lesley,
      Thanks for the kind words and love that you also share the same interest in the “unfitted kitchen” look!

      Regarding our tv above the fireplace, we have no issues at all. Our mantle is quite big and deep so the TV sits well back and we find not a huge amount of heat goes out and up. We do get a little smoke but that’s actually because the previous owners had a flue and hat that was far too small for the size fireplace, so my husband is actually replacing this to a larger flue as we speak!

      And our curtain rods are actually just from Bunnings! We installed these as a quick temporary solution and I get so many questions about them! Pottery Barn actually do lovely black curtain rods too, if you are looking.

      Hope that helps! Nicki xo

  3. I love your aesthetic! Congrats on being able to cook inside. Can you share where your kitchen table is from? I’m looking for something similar. Thank you!

    1. Hi Susan, thank you! Very exciting times here and small wins! ha. So our kitchen table is vintage, bought at a vintage place in Sydney called Lunatiques. It’s a fabulous place and lots of amazing stall holders. Dirty Janes in Bowral and Canberra is another favourite of mine for amazing vintage finds and treasures. Hope that helps! xo

  4. Hi Nicki,

    Your flowery finds look like a type of Hebe from here. Definitely something you would find at the garden centre.

    It truely is the little things to be grateful for isn’t it?!

    Sending love from Tassie, Jude x

    1. Hi Jude,

      Thanks so much for that info! I did look up Hebe, and definitely looks similar, almost identical except ours is very small. Still could be Hebe, just a smaller version perhaps? It’s lasting a long time too which is amazing! Xo

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