The name zest, comes from the great zest (gusto) I have for life, fashion and cooking. It also reminds me of my childhood around a medieval Italian village situated in the National Park of Gran Sasso. My Mother would use lemon and orange zest for baking delicious biscuits. Once you have experienced country life, you can never forget the taste of fresh eggs for breakfast or being able to eat tomatoes and cherries directly from the land. The flavours and colours are vivid in my mind, even when I am far away.

Ilaria in Abruzzo, Italy
Ilaria in Abruzzo, Italy


The name lavender comes from my experiences in Milan. Why Lavender? And why Milan? This is difficult to describe in one sentence, but relates to a period in my life when I was working in fashion. It was like the pink period that Picasso had; I would say, my lavender period. I remember when we were designing a new collection, we had pinned lavender flowers and pictures on our mood boards to get inspired. The creative studio reminded me of a lavender field in Provence. The scent and the colour blended together to form an infusion of beauty … and this is all how the zest and lavender lifestyle was born.

For as long as I remember, I have been interested in making things. I would spend hours designing dolls’ clothes, embroidering napkins and all sorts of other crafts. But my Mother and Grandmother were the chefs. I would be the one in the family who would simply decorate the cake or set the table for our guests with flowers from our garden. It was when I started traveling and particularly when I arrived in London, that I started cooking for others and creating my own recipes. I’ve found that good food and company keeps mind, body and soul inspired and healthy. My love of other places, culture and colours has inspired me to record my own adventures. This lifestyle has led me to start Zest & Lavender. Welcome!

Joining me in these experiences is my husband, Julian. We share ideas for the website. Julian also designs and manages digital products through his company Woodward-Harris – together we have made this website happen and write for the blog (he has also designed the site and the Zest & Lavender logotype).

Feel free to use and share our photos and posts as long as you credit and link back. For commercial use, please get in touch.

© Zest & Lavender, 2017