AS SUMMER APPROACHES IT’S GARDEN PARTY TIME!  WIN A HANDMADE VINTAGE CAKE STAND!

I’m giving you the chance to win a handmade vintage cake stand!  Summer has arrived early.  I can tell you I am over the moon.  It’s a challenge getting up on the dark mornings, so when it’s the sun streaming through the curtains that wakens me, I’m truly delighted!

 

Summer also means the opportunity to spend time in the garden.  Sitting back and relaxing is great.  While drinking a cocktail isn’t compulsory, it certainly helps!  You can read my blog post on making vintage cocktails here.

 

I also love to host parties in the garden during the summer, especially vintage themed ones.  You can read my ideas for a vintage themed garden party here.

 

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I’m giving away a handmade mini vintage cake stand.  All you have to do is enter below.  The draw will close on Friday 30th June and is open to UK entrants only.  There are several ways to enter so make sure you do all of them to be in with a chance to own this delightful vintage cake stand.

 

Good luck.

 

vintage cake stand

 

 

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Christmas Decorating Inspiration

It’s nearly time for the annual cheer and festivities of Christmas.  I really want to do something special with my table setting and home decorations this year so thought I would share some inspirational pictures with you.

I’m not that imaginative when it comes to decorating so having something to look at like these pictures is an excellent way of being able to have Christmas decorations you can be proud of.

 

This first picture is a lovely table display in silver and you can buy most of these from Next here.  What appeals to me about this one is the elegance of the silver and black – very classy!

 

next-table-1

 

These stag candle holders are just to die for and would look elegant on your dinner table!  They are available from Marks and Spencer here.

marks-and-spencer

I have just discovered the Christmas range from Matalan here, and they have some lovely decorations.  This glitter wreath is just lovely.

glitter-led-christmas-wreath-50cm

I’ve been told that Christmas bedding is more of an American tradition, well I have just adopted it!  I am so thrilled to own some beautiful Christmas bedding, like this one from Debenhams which you can buy here.  I mean your bedroom will look so festive with this .

christmas-bedding

No home is complete at Christmas time unless there are lights, and you can never have too many lights in my opinion.  I would say that you can’t go wrong with lights from Argos here.

Just look at these lovely path lights!

 

lights

If you are looking for something special for your tree, why not try these beautiful decorations from Debenhams here? There are just so many decorations deciding which ones to choose will be very difficult!

decorations

And Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a cake stand upon which you can place all those lovely treats we are going to eat over the festive season, you can order vintage cake stands from my Etsy shop here or by contacting me directly for a one off vintage cake stand.

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4 SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKING VINTAGE PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

Below I tell you how in 4 simple steps you can make vintage pineapple upside down cake.

 

I am just so excited that the Great British Bake Off 2016 is finally here.  The programme gives me so many great memories such as Brendan from Series 3 and his baking that just looked like something out of the 1950s. What about Howard when Deborah accidentally used his Crème Anglaise?  Who could forget “bingate” when Iain dumped his Baked Alaska?  And finally the heart-warming and passionate winning by Nadiya in season 6.

 

So, in celebration of the GBBO 2016, I have decided to share my favourite vintage recipes, this week it is Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  You will need to keep coming back each week to see what vintage recipe I will be sharing with you!

 

I hope they take you back down memory lane and bring back some happy memories, as they do for me.  If you’d like to make some of these recipes head over to my related posts:

Making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Making Vintage Carrot Cake

 

Alternatively if you’d like to order ingredients to make these desserts head over to Tesco Groceries for the items.

 

What you will need for the topping: 

50g softened butter

50g light brown sugar

Tin of pineapple rings in syrup (drain them and put syrup to one side)

Tub of glace cherries

 

What you will need for the cake:

100g self-raising flour

100g softened butter

100g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

 

Method:

Heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas 4.

Start with the topping.  Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until creamy; spread this on the bottom of the cake tin (I use a 20cm tin).  Take the pineapples and arrange them at the bottom of and place the cherries in to the centre of the rings.  You can also add more cherries to fill the gaps left by the pineapple rings.  Put this to one side.

For the cake, put all the ingredients in a bowl; add about 3 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup together with the lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly.  I use an electric whisk for this as it’s quick but you can use a wooden spoon or hand whisk too.  When all the ingredients are mixed to a soft consistency, spoon it over the pineapples and cherries.

Before putting in the oven I recommend putting the cake tin on a baking tray to catch any of the juice in case it bubbles over.

Bake for 40 minutes and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

 

I hope you give this recipe a try.  After making this one, I just couldn’t resist the vintage tea cup  and vintage cake stand and sitting down to have a slice of the delicious cake with a lovely cuppa.   Let me know how you get on or what over vintage recipes you like.

 

Elf x

 

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PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

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It’s Afternoon Tea Week – Here’s my favourite vintage tea sets and cake stands

I am so very happy it is Afternoon Tea Week!  I just adore all things vintage as you know but I also adore vintage tea cups and vintage cake stands.  So having the opportunity to show off my favourites on the week that is Afternoon Tea Week is just perfect.

When I am having friends over I like to be a bit more creative with Afternoon Tea, I love bringing out a selection of different tea cups and saucers ranging from 1920s to the 1970s.  I also have a beautiful vintage linen tablecloth that I use for the table setting and of course some shabby chic bunting.  I finish the look off with an array of handmade vintage cake stands.

I don’t just use my vintage tea sets and vintage cake stands for special ocassions with friends – oh no I use them on a daily basis. Gandhi said “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Which is why I often take a break and sit down with my cup of tea in my vintage tea cup and contemplate.  It helps keep me grounded and it helps me refocus.

I hope the following vintage tea cups and vintage cake stands will give you some inspiration for Afternoon Tea Week and beyond!

 

Royal Albert Tea set

This has to be my favourite, Royal Albert Old Country Roses, it just oozes vintage charm.

 

Vintage tea set

Richmond Rose is another beautiful tea set, how sweet is this little cup?

 

Vintage Cake stand 2

You can’t have an afternoon tea without a cake stand!  This one is Tuscan Windswept design with beautiful leaves adorning the plates.

 

Vintage Cake stand

Another handmade cake stand, this time I painted the cake stand fittings yellow to match the yellow roses on the plates. This adds another splash of colour and uniqueness to your own cake stands and makes them personal to you.

You can see my full range of vintage cake stands and vintage tea cups and china in my Etsy shop.

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The British Ritual of Tea / Afternoon Tea: Etiquette

July has mostly been spent concentrating on fashion accessories of the 1950’s, approaching August I thought it would be fun to put my efforts in to my vintage cake stands and my all-time favourite hobby of eating cake!

I, along with most Brits, put so much faith in to believing a lot can be solved by a cup of tea, after all we drink more than 165 million cups of it each year.  Who hasn’t had a cup of tea that is soothing or sits down to enjoy tea and cake?

There are some traditions which many of us still follow today when making and drinking tea, particularly in the afternoon.

It was around the 19th Century that drinking tea in the afternoon became very fashionable.  Even today, there are a number of tea shops opening up offering afternoon tea but you don’t have to go out to enjoy the experience.  Below I have listed some of the essentials…

What you need

To make it traditional I recommend leaf tea, a tea strainer, milk jug and sugar basin, vintage tea cup and saucer, teaspoon, vintage cake stand, sandwiches, cakes and scones and a linen tablecloth.  For some beautiful cake stands and vintage tea cups visit my Etsy Store.

 

Royal Albert Tea set

vintage cake stand

How to Serve

If you have invited friends round, as host it is your job to pour the tea in to each cup, do one at a time and hand to your guest one at a time rather than doing a ‘batch’.  The milk and sugar can then be passed round so everyone has the opportunity to add their own.  There is much debate about milk before or after, it really is personal taste.  The reason milk was often added before was due to the delicate nature of the china cup, by adding the cold milk first it protected it from cracking.

 

Eating

If you are opting to add sandwiches cut these in to small squares or rectangles with the crusts removed.  It is also traditional to have a selection of cakes but these should be small, of course you can add some cupcakes (although these are not traditional but they are cakes nonetheless!). Scones are another addition to the traditional afternoon tea and adding jam and cream brings them to the next level.

What to wear

I hear you all asking what on earth has clothing got to do with afternoon tea?  Well, for me it is an excuse to dress up, if you are going to all this trouble with afternoon tea why not dress up for the occasion?

Whatever way you decide to do, overall have fun and enjoy.

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