Archive | April, 2011

Our Royal Wedding Do

30 Apr

Yesterday we had some family members round for brunch. It was a lovely day and we all ate and drank far too much.

I made goodie bags for our guests, complete with commemorative chocolate bars and replicas of Kate’s engagement ring:

I made smoked salmon quiche with goat’s cheese and dill,  mini cheese scones, Ina Garten’s sticky cinnamon buns, sausage rolls and fruit salad. And we drank Bloody Marys, using Nigel Slater’s amazing recipe.

We all watched the wedding which was gorgeous from start to finish. What a happy day. And it was a nice for the rest of the world to see how well we do pomp and pageantry!

After the wedding, we lounged in the sun in the garden with a few special guests.

After multiple glasses of Pimm’s and a good old basic barbecue, we set off fireworks and floating lanterns. It was lovely to hear fireworks going off all around us from all over the village.

Congratulations to the happy couple, and thank you for giving us such a joyous day of celebration!

Iced Decorated Biscuits

28 Apr

I’m no Cait and these are far from perfect, but I’m still fairly pleased with them – especially as a first effort:

I’m not sure if they’ll be served along with the Royal Wedding brunch on Friday morning, or after the Royal Wedding barbecue on Friday evening. Yes, we’re planning a full day of fun!

I used Miranda Gore Brown’s recipe for vanilla biscuits. You might remember her as one of the finalists of last year’s The Great British Bake Off on BBC2. If you’re interested in baking blogs, give hers a go. It’s really good.

Knit Wits

27 Apr

Knit Wits is my favourite wool shop. And this week, Julia (she of the world’s largest knitting needles and Britain’s Got Talent) and the gang have done themselves proud with a window display featuring an all-knitted Royal Wedding.

So if you’re in Penzance, take a stroll up Causeway Head and have a look at the window. I’ve been told there’s now bunting as well!

The Portscatho HOMESPUN Fair

25 Apr

Today I tootled off to lovely Portscatho for the HOMESPUN Fair, a glorious mishmash of vintage things, homemade things and recycled things.

There were vintage clothes, jewellery, quilts, tablecloths, china and so many more delectable temptations.

I particularly loved the toys and children’s books and very nearly came home with a bundle of Enid Blytons.

Look at these fabulous 1930s German sewing boxes:

There was so much to tempt me …

Even the ‘dressing room’ was in keeping with the homespun feel of it all:

Still, I managed to exercise reasonable restraint – reasonable being a relative term, of course.

Oh, and did I mention the cakes? There were cakes! Such splendid cakes! But sadly I neglected to take any pictures of them.

I’m already looking forward to the next HOMESPUN Fair … Christmas, perhaps? A big thank you to The Sea Garden and Jane and the Happy Crow for putting together such a fantastic event.

Antique Fairs

22 Apr

Today we trotted off to Wadebridge to the Antique Fair. It wasn’t as big as some of the fairs I’ve been to in the past (oh, Builth Wells, how I miss you!), but it was still very good. Good enough for the BBC to send Tim Wonnacott to film an episode of Bargain Hunt, at any rate.

I managed to resist the temptation of the lovely suitcases in the top picture, as well as some gorgeous vintage clothes and art deco cocktail bits and bobs.

But I still came home with a few purchases. I bought this etching:

I’m not sure where it’ll go yet, but I loved it too much to leave it behind. Then I picked up these amazingly ridiculous knitting patterns:

The husband needn’t worry. I won’t be knitting him a ribbed jumper. But I will be doing something with the pictures. How could I pass them up? 20p well spent.

And, finally, I bought this set of vintage glasses in a wire carrying tray:

If it hadn’t started raining this afternoon, we’d be sitting out in the garden using them with something Pimm’s-y at this very moment.

Buttons

21 Apr

The other evening, I went to a talk by Caroline Cudmore who runs a button-making business. Caroline makes gorgeous fabric-covered buttons for couture designers, theatrical costumes, upholsterers, bridal designers, etc. And they are stunning little works of art.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a top designer to order her buttons. If you just need to match a button for an existing item of clothing, she’s happy to make that one little button for you.

We all had a lot of fun poking around the boxes of buttons Caroline brought with her, but first she told us a bit about the history of buttons – from prehistoric bone and horn buttons through to Queen Victoria’s jet buttons and on to Bakelite and plastic.

She encouraged us all to have a rummage through our ‘button tin’ (we all have one, don’t we?) and see if there’s anything interesting there. I did have fun looking at my button collection but I don’t think I’ll be bequeathing anything to the V&A.

Green Glass

14 Apr

Because of my penchant for all things green, I seem to have been on the receiving end of a lot of gifts of green glass lately. I’m now amassing a small but growing collection of lovely green glass things.

A friend gave me this gorgeous little bowl and jug for Christmas. I think it looks particularly sweet on the stencilled Easter tablecloth I found at a car boot sale. And what better use for the bowl than …

… for holding a heap of mini eggs!

Another friend gave me these green candlesticks:

I love the spring-y butterfly and daffodil motif:

And just last week,  my mother-in-law gave me this stunning art deco green glass vase that belonged to her parents:

I thought it was perfect for tulips.

So I suppose this new-ish collection means I can add yet another item to my long list of things to be on the lookout for when wandering around boot sales and junk shops!

(I’ll leave you with one last photo of tulips since they’re so beautiful!)

Royal Wedding Giveaway Winner!

11 Apr

I’m pleased to announce that the winner of my Royal Wedding giveaway is JoAnn from …And Bob’s Your Uncle!

Congratulations, JoAnn! Your nail lacquer will be on its way to you in a day or so!

Easter Eggs

8 Apr

You only have about two weeks until Easter, so if you want to order any special Easter eggs, now’s the time to do it.

Here are some of the most fabulous eggs available this year:

The Ultimate Luxury Egg from Fortnum & Mason (£85) is actually five eggs in one, nested together like Russian dolls. The eggs are made with different levels of cocoa, starting with milk/white and ending with a 100% cooking chocolate:

These sweet little eggs and soldiers are only £7 from Hotel Chocolat:

The amazing Artichoke egg (£45) from Artisan du Chocolat is one of my favourites:

Chococo has created this fun Union Jack egg (£12.95), coloured naturally with beetroot, turmeric, grape and paprika:

I really love these adorable chicks and eggs (£22.95) from Amelie Chocolat:

The Glam Egg, from Demarquette Fine Chocolates, sells for £35 and includes six mini-eggs flavoured with Yorkshire rhubarb, Cornish sea salt, Kentish apple and pear, Somerset apricot, Devon strawberry and Scottish raspberry:

Theobroma Cacao has created beautiful hand-painted eggs for £30. I like the red one best:

The most amazing egg I’ve seen this year, however, has to be Claridge’s iconic egg (£45) inspired by the shop’s black and white Art Deco lobby. Each egg is filled with hand-made truffles and comes in a lovely eau de nil box:

But I have more modest tastes. The way to my heart will always be with salted caramel. For only £6.95, you can buy a box of Rococo Superior Seagull eggs made of gooey salted caramel and chocolate ganache. Heaven:

Seasalt Cornwall

6 Apr

Seasalt makes some of my favourite clothing around. Relaxed and sporty, yet always stylish and pretty – what I generally aspire to, while usually falling short and winding up slightly scruffy.

At the moment, I have my eye on this season’s jute bags. Their whimsical designs really appeal to me. Just perfect for going to the beach, doing a bit of shopping or just carrying around waiting to be noticed.

At three for a tenner, they’re completely affordable. Why not pick up a few?

This skirt has also grabbed my attention:

… mostly because of the ‘Mallows Mist’ print which I think is lovely and old-fashioned:

If you have a look around the Seasalt website, you might also come across their excellent guide to Cornwall’s gardens.

Good stuff.