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WITH EMMA AT HOME


Name: Emma Sims-Hilditch Hometown:


West Kington, Wiltshire Occupation:


Interior designer


Must-have kitchen item: Quooker boiling tap


Go-to recipe: Ottolenghi’s broad bean salad


You love the taste of…


a glass of wine in the garden on a lovely summer day


Coffee or tea? Fresh coffee Beer or cider? Beer


Five people you’d invite to your dinner party, dead or alive? My husband;


Helen Green, who was an interior designer; Ken


Howard, the artist; Jude Law; and Barack Obama


The look of your kitchen in three words:


Classic, contemporary and light


Flashes of colour are added to the neutral decor by Emma’s collection of cookery books – and the cat, of course W


i fe, mother, inter ior designer, project manager, stylist, decorator, marketing manager, cat owner and caffeine connoisseur; these are just a few of Emma


Sims-Hilditch’s roles and job titles. So it’s little wonder that, when Crumbs arrives at


Emma’s thoughtfully renovated Wiltshire home, she’s in the middle of a team meeting. The coffee is brewing, paperwork is being rifled through, and the creative buzz of swatches, fabrics and paint wheels are awash across the oak kitchen table. Meeting over, and with a fresh mug of Joe in


hand, Emma begins to potter about her much- loved kitchen while we chat. Fresh vegetables from Allington Farm Shop lie across the counter tops, a treasured Quooker boiling tap is used to refill my tea in a flash, and piles of colourful cookbooks are bookmarked for lunch. After a career working alongside Ridley Scott


in film production, 1995 saw the birth of Emma’s own company, Sims Hilditch. While husband John owns a Swindon-based design and furnishing company, Neptune, examples of Emma’s work can be seen throughout the South West. Visit Calcot Manor’s restaurant, or the Westonbirt Arboretum café, for signs of her calming, muted shades. Restoring listed buildings, sourcing furnishings


or choosing the perfect light arrangements – “both functional and aesthetic lighting are important in every home” – comes naturally to Emma, but her biggest project began five years ago, with the


decision to renovate the adjoining old school house and neglected barn, incorporating them into their home. With the clever use of a mezzanine layout,


the kitchen diner and full-height sitting room are flooded with light thanks to big windows, Cotswold stone, a limestone rendered fireplace and timber board ceiling. There’s also a Beauty and the Beast-esque library of out-of-reach books. Emma’s eye for drama and scale are shown


by her simple but effective use of a raised area surrounding the central, marble-topped island. “It subtly divides the cooking area of the kitchen


from the rest of the room,” she explains. “And it stops too many cooks getting in each other’s way. It’s my stage – that’s the theatre of food. My quests are the audience and, this way, I can cook and still see what’s going on.” A beloved white AGA brightens the alcove,


treasured Thermolon ceramic Mauviel saucepans (bought from Kitchens Cookshop in Bath) are used daily, while gadgets are hidden away behind either white or grey Neptune cabinets. A magnificent dresser, which Emma painted to match, is a focal point for entertaining. “A dresser is a great accessory,” she says. “They’re


easy to dress to match the seasons, whether with crockery, baskets or candles. I also have two sets of cutlery, one for summer and one for winter. I love simple Libeco Belgian linen placemats and muted crockery, which leaves the colourful food do the talking.” ✱ www.simshilditch.com


48 Kitchen uniform?


With my office at home, I’m usually dressed in comfortable but smart clothes


Preferred midnight nosh? Chocolate


Your kitchen is


awesome because… We restored a barn and


incorporated the space into the old part of the house, so


the kitchen is in the barn with lovely high ceilings, and it’s wonderfully light Secret skills?


I cut my husband’s hair!


What’s on your cooking playlist? Michael Bublé


What are you going to cook this weekend?


Risotto with butterfly lamb on the barbecue from Marshfield Butchers


Unexpected item in your kitchen cupboard? German honey


Most prized item? My family You can’t live without… My iPhone and my iPad –


both essential when running my own business and travelling often


Favourite condiment? Soy sauce


Top five 5-a-day?


Pineapple, nuts, apple, pumpkin seeds and my daughter’s homemade


smoothie made with prunes, yoghurt, seeds and honey


crumbsmag.com


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