Afternoon Tea


I hope you are all ok in Blogland. I am so sorry I have not typed my blog for so long. I have been a bit busy making for Craft Fairs at a National Trust, Upton House and a Sunday Craft Fair in the Cotswolds. I have chatted to lots of interesting people and had a lot of feedback about my makes, mostly positive though someone didn’t like my eyeless crocheted lavender mice on my stall. I have become a stockist of Sam Wilson goods and my lovely supportive husband has set up a new website for me.

We decided after all the manic few weeks we would take up the offer of an afternoon tea in the Cotswolds from two of our oldest friends. We should have gone a year ago, but as usual we left it to the last minute. The children have finished their Alevels and GCSEs respectively, so we just wanted a bit of us time.

We set off early and arrived at Hidcote House which we have been to before, but never in the sunshine it was so pretty and we spent an hour and a half walking around the garden.

We then got in the car and had a ride into Chipping Campden and of course I had to stop at the Sam Wilson shop there, I wouldn’t sell anything I didn’t love would I.

I was then dragged to the car (my husband hates shopping)  as we were running out of time for our Afternoon tea, we were both starving and we were not disappointed with our late lunch.

Great British Cake Off

Well, what a busy few weeks of cake baking and sugar crafting. My family seem to have birthdays very close together sometimes, but you cannot have a birthday without cake can you.  My first cake was to celebrate my mums birthday, a very tipsy fruit cake covered in marzipan and icing. She likes flowers and pink, so pink roses and white hydrangea flowers were what I chose to do.


Next it was my beautiful nieces 18th birthday party so two cakes had to be made super quick. I chose a four tiered velvet cake and vanilla sponge covered in jam and buttercream combo for one of the twins and then I baked another alcohol soaked fruit cake for the other one.




I dressed my fruit cake with a girl in pink ,but when I set up the cake for cutting, I placed mini champagne candles around the figure and in her arms, it was a celebration after all. I hear from my brother in law this morning that any left over sponge cake has been eaten for breakfast ! it sounds like the celebrations are carrying on for another day.


Healthy Eating


Happy New Year everyone, well out with the old and in with the new. My lovely husband has eaten his body weight in Christmas cake and chocolates which is always the way this time of year so I played around with some old recipes. I made us all an alternative Sunday lunch, vegetable hot pot with broccoli and peas with a pudding of baked apples. It was really tasty. All of the ingredients I had in cupboards or the freezer.


Vegetable Hot Pot

Serves 4 with leftovers.

Sauce ingredients

Small amount of oil or butter
1 onion, chopped ( I prefer red onion, but I am sure any will do)
2 carrots diced
garlic granules to taste or a couple of cloves if using fresh
half a pack of mushrooms diced ( or to taste)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 can green lentils in water
50ml or a big splosh of red wine ( optional)
600ml vegetable stock ( to taste depending how much sauce you like)
2 tablespoons tomato puree

For the crispy topping

2 big potatoes sliced up after being washed ( I did not bother peeling)
big handful grated cheddar
salt and pepper


To make the sauce heat up the oil and fry off your onions, carrots and garlic until soft ( do not let them brown). Add the mushrooms, then cook for a few minutes. Stir in the herbs, and the tin of lentils. Pour over the wine and stock and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until everything is looking sauce like. Keep checking and stirring and if it is too watery just keep simmering.

While everything is cooking wash and slice the potatoes into thin slices and part boil. Then drain them.

Heat the oven to about 200 C , I think that is about a Gas 5 or 6. Then assemble the hotpot, the filling on the bottom of a casserole dish then arrange the potato slices over this. Scatter the cheese over the potatoes and I cover this in foil and baked for 20 minutes then I took off the foil to brown the potatoes for about 10 minutes.

I then served this with lots of broccoli and peas my favourites.

Now the baked apples were just four big green apples I had in the fruit bowl. I washed them took the centre out of them leaving a bit of apple in place at the bottom so I could fill them with dried fruit. Each apple was filled with the fruit, a small knob of butter and a tea spoon of honey. I popped them in a high sided metal tray and covered the whole thing with foil. I then cooked them until the apples were soft which took about 30 minutes as the apples were big, but I did check them after about 20 minutes.