Never one to miss out on a worldwide collective bake off, I got dolled up in my best baking outfit this afternoon, flinging on my favourite pinny and spent an hour or two throwing pots and pans around the kitchen to take part in World Baking Day.
I thought I'd better try out a couple of simple but new recipes and my unsuspecting guests were the perfect guinea pigs. The results of my efforts were a homestyle Prosciutto & Vegetable Tart followed by a Marbled Black Sesame Japanese Baked Cheesecake. I might just add that not a crumb was left at the end of the tasting and there were even requests for second helpings!
Did you take part in World Baking Day today? What did you bake?
Gazing up at the romantic, fairytale turrets and sun-kissed cupolas set against azure blue skies, you'd be forgiven for thinking for a moment that you were at Chateau de Maintenon, Amboise or possibly even Chambord. However, last weekend we were not in the Loire valley but tootling along, fifty miles from central London in the heart of the rolling Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire. Welcome to Waddesdon Manor.
Click images to enlarge
The Magnificent baronial mansion was built between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the neo-renaissance style of a French chateau by the architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur. Waddesdon is one of my favourite places to visit at any time of the year and on this particularly glorious Spring day it's positively-glowing, honey-coloured Cotswold stone façade was to prove the perfect foil for a French market that had landed on its doorstep.
Anyone who was anyone was there.......
Monsieur Canard & Monsieur Grande Fromage
Monsieur Brioche Fraîche & Monsieur Chou-fleur
& the lovely Madame Pâtisserie
After spending much of the afternoon filling our bags and faces with all manner of delicious French goodies, we saved some quality time to stroll the beautifully laid out gardens, admiring the gorgeous garden statuary Waddesdon has to offer.
Then, right on cue, the ever punctual Hercules arrived in the balloon to whisk me off home, away from my French chateau shopping adventure in the middle of the English countryside .
If that has whet your appetite then stick around, we will be returning to show you a few of the other delights and surprises at Waddesdon Manor later in the season. x
There is nothing I like better on the weekend than to enjoy a naughty but nice afternoon tea. Give me a lovely pot of Earl Grey, dainty finger sandwiches, fresh cream scones, scrummy cakes, some good old juicy gossip and I'm in seventh heaven. In honour of such afternoon delights I thought we could have another one of our fab giveaways.
Gorgeous cake related paraphernalia always grabs my attention and I love the cheeky Tina Tsang petit four stands that they use at Beas of Bloomsbury, one of my favourite London Tea establishments.
After Tina graduated from Central Saint Martins, she began fusing ceramics with antique lace. By blending nostalgia with a little naughtiness, she created the witty, seductive and iconic Blaue Blume tea service which now has a huge following. It isn't any wonder that they named her fashion's favourite ceramicist. Blaue Blume is also a Vogue favourite and has been featured in countless fashion and interior publications.
We have a unique all-white version of the Blaue Blume petit four stand currently being made right here in London for us to giveaway worth £128.
The giveaway is open worldwide. There are three options to enter.
Follow or begin following our blog and leave a comment below. Or Follow us on Twitter and RT one of our competition tweets. Or Follow us on Pinterest, repin any of our images and return here to let us know.
You can complete all three options to triple your chances if you wish!
Entries will be complied on 23rd May 2013 and a winner will be chosen at random.
Simple and oh so saucy! Good luck!
Whilst cruising through town yesterday I was thrilled to see that one of my favourite corner shops is celebrating the much anticipated upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann's, The Great Gatsby.
Harrods have gone all out with their opulent windows which always get me in a spin. Well, they've certainly popped the cork this time, not only do the windows look fabulous but they are transforming the Harrods wine department in to a jazzy 1920's style speakeasy where you can indulge in an old fashioned martini or a Hendricks cocktail served in china tea cups until 20th May !
Click Images to Enlarge
Well, what are you waiting for Flossie? Crop your bob, rouge those knees, kick up your heels and head down to Harrods!
I spent much of the week coiled like a spring in anticipation of the upcoming bank holiday weekend. So yesterday morning I woke with the larks, ready to leap into action with clearly no need of my daily Berocca. Scrubbed, preened and coiffed, I packed a scrummy picnic and called out to Hercules to finish polishing his wing mirrors and to get us to the Ouse valley pronto, so that I could unleash some energy.
Situated in 200 acres of glorious countryside with unobstructed views over the rolling Sussex Weald sits Borde House and gardens, our destination of the day.The Elizabethan Tudor mansion built in 1598 is home to the Clarke family who have been in residence for over four generations.
Upon gazing out of their dining room window they could quite easily see me, fuelled on sandwiches and fizzy pop, cartwheeling across their lawns, running through the bluebell woods, watching Treecreepers ascend majestic trees, looking for tadpoles in the beautiful Italian garden pool, following bumble bees around the Azalea ring and generally noseying around.
The primary objective of our well timed visit was to see the extensive and diverse collections of rhododenron and magnolia which hail from as far afield as the
Himalayas, China and the Andes and are currently at the peak of Technicolor perfection.
Several hours later, with energy levels subsiding, Hercules scooped me up into the rear seat of the car while I dozed all the way home, dreaming of returning to Borde Hill in the summer to see the infamous Rose garden designed by Robin Williams in all it's glory.
Borde Hill Garden
Bordehill Lane, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1XP
Our fab Giveaways will make a return at the end of the week, stay tuned for details!
Just a quick post, popping in to say Hello, I am still very much alive and well, just taking a short blog break. As you can see from this snap taken yesterday I've been a busy little bee catching up with some of our projects and am now back and raring to go!
Now, if somebody could just get me out of my ever so comfortable egg then we'll begin!