Posts Categorised: Recipes

Inspire Me with Jackson and Levine on their Debut Habitat Collection.

There’s no stopping Laura Jackson and Alice Levine. Not only do they have their own very successful careers broadcasting on television and Radio 1 respectively. They also run the the very cool London ‘ Supper Club ‘, have written a book to inspire the perfect dinner party and now have their debut collection for Habitat.

I love the Habitat designs and so had several questions for Laura and Alice about their journey together and how they manage it all …

Where did you originally meet and how did you decide to work together ? 

It’s a romantic story. We met at a jumble sale about 5 years ago when we had stalls next to each other. We pretty much talked about food non-stop the whole time and became friends following – going to new restaurant openings together and also trying out new recipes on each other. We then decided it would be fun to take on the challenge of setting up our own supper club together – hosting evenings in our apartments that would bring together strangers over food, drink and music. We both work in TV and Radio and this is a great change from what we do day – to – day and is a real passion project. Held every 2 months in a warehouse in Haggerston, we seat 16 people around our communal table and serve up seasonal treats from our kitchen. In the past we’ve made ricotta filled ravioli with deep fried sage, hare ragu and lemon posset amongst other things. We always try and source ingredients locally or celebrate the great produce around us by using neighbourhood bakers and wine merchants.

How did your famous Supper Club evolve in to working on a range with Habitat ?

When we started our supper club, we got a bit carried away on guest numbers for our first event meaning that we didn’t actually have enough crockery ! So we basically approached Habitat with a bit of a love letter email to ask if they would be up for potentially giving us some spare dinnerware that we could use at the supper clubs. We didn’t actually expect them to come back however they did and sent us some beautiful hand-glazed tableware which was a bit of a result ! As the supper clubs have grown in popularity over the last few years, Habitat has helped us out with a few different events and we both love the focus that Polly Dickens, Habitat’s Creative Director, has put back onto hand-crafted textiles and ceramics in the collection. This hand-crafted look has always been a key visual element of our supper clubs and last year we got discussing a potential product collaboration with Polly – and the rest is history !

What reaction have you had so far to your new Habitat range ? 

We have been thrilled with the reaction to the range – it’s become one of Habitat’s fastest selling kitchen linen collections so we are genuinely delighted! When we started the project, Polly suggested working with a khadi based fabric from India, made using traditional skills that are becoming less commonplace due to mechanisation. This means that each piece is entirely individual – not machine uniformity – and the cloth has a wonderful loose quality that gives a relaxed, informal feeling to it. You can see that human hands have worked on these products and we think this is what people are really liking about the collection.

Did a particular era inspire the range and why ? 

We tend to bring a lot of different ideas to each supper club that we produce – we like to make each one entirely individual so we don’t necessarily have a house ‘ style ’ that defines us – so the whole process began with us producing a mood board that included design inspiration from ornate Chinese wallpapers, delicate 1900’s embroidery and French fashion illustrations to botanical prints and floral sketches. Working with Habitat – especially their Pattern Designer Martha Coates – we started to narrow these conceptual ideas down to focus more on botanicals as we both felt it appropriate as it gives a nod to the foraged herbs we use in our cooking and table decorating.

Were you both involved in the design process?

Yes – it was a really fascinating process working alongside Habitat. We wanted a range of products that would be classic, chic and timeless – products that would appeal to everyone and that were genuinely useful. We wanted the linen to be washing machine friendly, so it could be washed hundreds of times and still retain its shape and beauty. We knew we wanted to have a print – which we worked on with Martha – but in terms of colour, we wanted a cool, neutral base and a stripe to underpin the whole collection – allowing you to layer colour on your table on top. The apron was also a massive triumph for us as we spend most days in the kitchen wearing aprons but we’ve never struck on the perfect design that is simple, stylish and practical. If you’re spending a lot of time lovingly preparing something, then we think you should you have something equally lovely to wear and hopefully we’ve achieved that !

With radio and tv presenting – how do you find the time for designing this gorgeous Habitat collection and running Supper Club ?

Haha – the secret ? A lot of our Rocket Fuel cocktail to keep us going ! It’s been quite a whirlwind year – we’ve just launched our first recipe book  – Round To Ours – too alongside the collection with Habitat so it’s been a lot of hard work but a lot of fun as we’ve done it all together. We both really enjoy the spontaneity of ‘what’s next’ and love being busy – never say no and always say ‘ why not give it a go ? ’

If you were holding a Supper Club for colour lovers which pieces from your range would you use and what menu to accompany it ? 

The printed napkins look amazing with coloured glass or a glazed plate in a punchy pigment. The radish, radicchio and sweet pecan salad we created for Habitat is almost too pretty to eat – a total pin up of a plate with all the pinks.

What are your tips for creating the perfect atmosphere when hosting a Supper Party ? 

  • Making the table look striking doesn’t have to cost a fortune – sprigs of herbs as place settings are a lovely touch and make the table smell wonderful. Flowers and houseplants can make a huge impact on a room – we have hung giant alliums from the ceiling, had a regimented row of dusty pink hydrangeas in pots and pressed auburn Autumn leaves to scatter on the table. For something inexpensive – separate out a bunch of flowers into individual stems and place in glass jars or just use foliage on the table for a fresh green look.
  • Ambiance is very important – you want everyone to feel welcome and relaxed. No one ever felt that way by sitting under a 100w central light! Soften the room with table lamps and lots of candles. Music can also make or break the night – if you’ve run out of time to curate the perfect party playlist, stream one of your favourite movie soundtracks or check out the ‘ Mood ’ sections of Spotify.
  • If we’re cooking a menu for friends we’ll always ask what their favourite ingredients are and work up a menu around those. It’s a really nice touch to do this – it shows you care and have made an effort and means they don’t have pretend to love tripe! The same goes for drinks. Find out their favourite cocktail and as soon as guests arrive, make sure they have a drink in hand. In the summer, we make up large jugs of gin, elderflower cordial and prosecco with lots of ice. It’s much better than fussing with making individual cocktails.
  • Don’t get bogged down with the food being perfect – rough and rustic is perfect for a dinner party. Try sharing platters rather than plating up everyone’s portions individually as it really creates a more intimate, shared experience that will make everyone feel part of the dinner. Everyone likes seconds so make more than you think you need.
  • Try not to be chained to the oven – the best way to do this is to have some elements that can be made in advance or that just require compilation. We find serving a cold starter and cold dessert makes life a lot easier. Timing food for big numbers can also be daunting – so try cooking a large cut low and slow. Lamb shoulder or silverside of beef are great ones for a crowd and they just get better and better, so even if guests are little late they will have a melt in the mouth meal.

Can you both describe your style in 5 words ? 

It changes all the time.

Will there be any more collections for Habitat ?

Stay tuned! We both loved the process of designing a range with Habitat so hopefully there is more to come next year !

Big thanks to Laura and Alice. It’s made me hungry !

What do you think of the Jackson and Levine Habitat Collection ? Has it inspired you to run your own Supper Club ? It has me.

Do leave me a comment under this post. Would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

How About These Valentine’s Day Treats in the Post ?

 

If there is one place we like to visit as a family when we are in Noting Hill then it’s Biscuiteers. We like to support small businesses , especially ones that make sweet treats – yes I know I’m being virtuous at the moment but one or two can’t hurt can they ?

Anyway, I was pretty overjoyed to receive some mutual love in the form of a personalised Valentine’s Tin as a gift from the lovely people at Biscuiteers, full of treats from their personalised Love Letter Collection.

You’d have to have a steady hand to ice a name that well wouldn’t you ?

Obviously the girls and Andy were pretty chuffed too so I’m not sure they will last too long but that one literally has my name on it ! It’s mine.

Here is the whole selection from the tin. So cute ? You can find out more about ordering gifts on their website. I really love their cupcakes and they also do hampers and gifts for him, her and kids.

  1.  Heart Card – Studio Sarah London 2. Postbox Flowers – Bloom & Wild 3. Roses Candle Diptyque 4. Molecule Spritz – Liberty London 5. Heart Dishes  – Oliver Bonas 6. Love Print  – Showler and Showler

Here are a few more ideas here too on some ideas if you want to order something to surprise your Spouse / partner / BFF on the day or just treat yourself ( and why not ? ) with something special in the post. Or if you are reading this on the morning of the 13th and realise you’ve forgotten that .. it’s tomorrow ! Fear not.

I wear Molecule perfume and it’s unisex so suitable for anyone if they like earthy scents. It smells different on everyone as it enhances natural pheromones. Of course these things are all my taste but the shops here stock lots of different things. Hopefully this helps if you’re still on the look out :)

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m off to eat a Biscuiteers love letter before someone else does !

Do leave me a comment under this post if you have any mother ideas or just to say hi … always good to hear from you.

Lucy x

A Little Pasta Sauce Recipe for You, Using My Dotcomgiftshop Happy Homeware

dotcomgiftshop

This post is a chance to show you some lovely new interiors products from dotcomgiftshop and share a very simple recipe at the same time. It’s a pasta sauce instead of using basil, which is what I tend to add usually – I’ve used mint instead.

Before the recipe though as promised – I need to show you my new home additions –  this flamingo being one of them.

My love of flamingoes is a longstanding thing. I’m kind of fascinated by them. They’re so elegant yet quirky at the same time. So needless to say – any opportunity to add one here to our house – I’m in.

img_6786

This pretty pink lady is actually a little watering can. What a cool idea ? Kind of looks great just hanging around the house anyway but has a purpose too. She’s perfect for tending to the herbs in this arboretum / indoor herb garden.

It’s really useful to keep all the herbs I use in one place, but in a compact and stylish way.  The arboretum is metal, sturdy and I love the green colour. I’ve found it’s a good way for my girls to learn how to cultivate food.

dotcom-chives-pot Inside it has six plant pots with labels that you can chalk the names on to – and easily wipe off and change if you need to. Dotcomgiftshop always seem to come up with interesting new home goodies. They have variations on this style in different colours if you’re more of a blue or ivory kind of person.

dotcomgiftshop-bowldotcomgiftshop-items

It’s really handy reaching over and grabbing a few herbs in the kitchen when I’m making a meal.

We use chives in loads of dishes but on a salad it’s particularly yum !

olives-in-dotcomgiftshop-bowlsdotcomgiftshop-bowls

The bowls as I mentioned are also from Dotcomgiftshop – they’re from their Japanese range of tableware. The striped ones are called  ‘Sunburst ‘ and the floral plates and bowls are from the ‘ Daisy ‘ collection. The ‘ Green Circles ‘ are a nice contrast  – they have lots of different colours and patterns. I do like a mix and match, eclectic look. I think it’s great for a relaxed feel for a dinner party. They’re good quality also.

They have side plates, dinner plates, small bowls for snacks, salad, main and dessert bowls mugs etc in this range – so a whole set that you can buy individually. The colours compliment each other and the prints look great against colourful meals.

Which leads me to the pasta sauce …

dotcom-plates

For this quick recipe you will need:

2 cans of chopped tinned tomatoes.

1/4 cup of olive oil.

few pinches of fresh mint.

1 onion finely chopped.

1 garlic clove – crushed. ( optional  – nice without but some people love garlic in any pastas sauce )

1/4 cup mozzarella.

black pepper.

Salt.

Pasta of your choice.

Method.

Add the oil to a saucepan and heat on a flame or hob. Put in the onion and garlic and gently fry until golden. Add the tinned tomatoes and mozzarella and mix in well. Stir until it is has thickened a bit and then add a pinch of salt and as much pepper as you personally like to use.

Let it cool for a few minutes and then add a little chopped mint and the mozzarella. Mix all together and then add a sprig of mint on top to finish it off.

Mix it in to cooked pasta and enjoy.

It’s quite refreshing and I eat this well in to the Autumn. That’s the handy thing about having the herb garden. You can keep them going for longer !

dotcomgiftshop-espresso

As you can see for dessert here, we had a few tasty florentines and an espresso with some shot cups. The espresso coffee pot is fantastic because you use it on a stove or electric hob with fresh coffee  beans. Maybe a widely known fact but news to me ! It smells amazing – I so wish you had the option scratch and sniff your screen.

dotcomgiftshop-lunch

The coffee pot is a  good way to complete a meal with friends. Especially an Italian dinner.  Again dotcomgiftshop makes these in different colours and slightly different finishes.

If you’re inspired by my new home pieces or fancy having a look at their lovely colourful store – then you can do so here. I really want to get some of the other different designs now  – the ‘ Blossom ‘ print is really pretty.

Do you love trying out new recipes? I hope you like this one if you do give it a go ? Also – hope you like my new homeware ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with dotcomgiftshop  – all opinions are my own.

Chilling Our Boots with a Homemade Raspberry & Choc Ice Cream Recipe

rasp-choc

It’s still very much trial and error with my attempts to grow fruit and vegetables in the garden. We’re enjoying it though. My friend Lou told me that raspberries grow easily so of course I rushed out and bought a plant last year – and she was right. They do.

Hoe Grown Raspberries

Betsey loves them and there’s nothing nicer than popping outside and helping ourselves to a few organic raspberries – and I seriously don’t want to waste any of them. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I’m obsessed with not wasting anything that we’ve grown. It tastes so good and we’ve spent so long nurturing everything. I probably sound like that lady with the dungarees from the 70s sitcom ‘ The Good Life ‘  – but we have a long way to go before we have pigs roaming in the garden.

Home Made Ice Cream

Anyway, we decided that as we have practically been melting in the heat this week it would be a good time to use our new ice cream maker and try out our own simple recipe for raspberry and dark chocolate ice cream with fresh mint. As we have sampled it and like it a lot..  ( it’s so intensely fruity ) – thought you might like it for yourself ? You don’t actually need a machine to make this but if you do have one  – saves a little bit of time. It’s really quick and easy.

Ice Cream RecipeIce Cream Recipe on Lucy Loves Ya

Ingredients.

1 and a half cups of raspberries.

200 ml  extra thick double cream.

75 g white sugar.

40 g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces.

1/ 4 teaspoon of vanilla bean extract.

a few sprigs of fresh mint to decorate.

Method.

Puree 1 cup of raspberries and chop most of the other ones in to little pieces – adding them a bit later in to the ice cream mix for texture and also save a few for topping.

Add the sugar, chopped raspberries and vanilla extract to the puree and mix together. Then add the chocolate, saving a few pieces back. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool for 30 mins.

Next put it on the ice cream maker or mix steadily until the consistency has thickened a little. Pour it in to a bowl suitable for the freezer and then sprinkle the last few bits of chocolate over the top.

Pop it in to the freezer, ideally over night but for at least 4 hours. You have ice cream !

Raspberry ice cream recipe

To serve  – add a few fresh mint leaves and raspberries to the top – it looks nice and colourful but also adds lovely flavour.

If you try it out – hope you enjoy it – do let me know how you get on ?

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Palms Trees, A Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry Recipe and Coconuts.

The Elephant Stamp Napkins

After the last curry recipe here on my blog, I figured another one might go down as well. You all seemed to like it and the feedback I received was ace.

Thankfully my clever Dad was very happy to oblige and came up with a recipe for a Sri Lankan style curry and let me tell you – it is good. I ate it all and then scraped the plate clean at the end.

I also thought it would be a great opportunity to try out my lovely new napkins and matching cushions. They’re really tropical and match the curry theme perfectly, don’t you think ?

If you don’t know of them already – I’d like to share a bit of background info about The Elephant Stamp who I received my Safomasi tropical textiles from –   and then I will move on to the recipe and a tasty non alcoholic cocktail too.

Monkfish Curry

If you love homeware that has a story to tell then The Elephant Stamp online store will be right up your street.

They personally selects all of their homeware designs by global brands. The printed illustrations are inspired by places such as Devon, The Netherlands but then further afield in Kerala ( I have a feeling this is where my napkins and cushion print inspirations are taken from ) and they even have hand embroidered items from Women Artisans in Mexico. All very beautiful.

Elephant Stamp Cushion

The Elephant Stamp’s aim is to connect us to the maker of each piece and to understand the origin –  which also will helpfully enable them to carry on making their carefully, well made products for a long time to come … Which is good news for us all.

They sell some beautiful throws that I am sorely tempted by. Do check them out.

Sri Lankan Curry

Now on to the Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry recipe.

If you’d like to give it a go then here is what you will need. This should serve 4.

1 kilo Monkfish – diced, skinned and de – boned.

Turmeric powder.

1 red onion – thinly sliced.

2 tablespoons groundnut oil ( you could use sunflower oil instead )

3 medium sized tomatoes – well chopped.

1 teaspoon seasalt, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 inch cinnamon stick, handful fresh curry leaves, 1 tablespoon of tamarind water ( you can find this online or in some supermarkets )

1 litre –  coconut milk.

1 lime.

Rice – enough for 4 people.

Coriander, extra lime pieces and 1 grated coconut to garnish.

NB: Keep the shell of your coconut for serving your cocktail  – you will need 6 ice cubes, coconut milk ( you will already have enough from the carton from the curry recipe )  and 3 mugs of fresh pineapple juice.

 

Monkfish Curry Recipe copy

Method

Marinate the monkfish in a light powdering of turmeric for 10 minutes and then set aside.

Heat the oil gradually and then add the onion and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry together with the onion until well blended. Now add the salt, crushed garlic clove, grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds and sugar. Also the add the cinnamon stick plus a handful of fresh curry leaves  and a level tablespoon of tamarind water. Stir well  before adding a full mug of coconut milk and stir well until all well mixed together.

Now introduce the marinated monkfish and cook gently for for only a few minutes until it is tender. Finally add the juice of one squeezed lime.

If you are cooking this to eat with rice – prepare and boil the rice ready to co – ordinate with the curry being ready to eat.

Monkfish Sri Lankan Curry

Plate up your meal and then dress with coriander, extra lime pieces and some grated coconut.

Pina Colada

All you need now is a refreshing drink to have with your curry – so blend the ice cubes or crush if you don’t have a blender with the coconut milk and pineapple juice  and serve in the left over coconut shells. Add some straws  – and you’re away !

Pina Colada Non Alcoholic

Hope you enjoy this recipe by my Dad, if you do try it out –  and love my new napkins and cushions from The Elephant Stamp as much as I do ?

Any questions or comments – leave me a comment under this post and I will get right back to you.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

The cushions and napkins were gifted to me by The Elephant Stamp. All opinions are my own.

 

Joseph Joseph Elevate Wood Carousel Giveaway

Joseph Joseph Giveaway

It has been quite a while since I offered up a giveaway here on my blog. I’m a big fan of kitchenware brand Joseph Joseph though and jumped at the chance to work with them and their innovative and contemporary designs and thought you might be up for winning a colourful Elevate Wood Carousel for your home.

But first, I want to show you a few other Joseph Joseph items that might tickle your fancy from my own kitchen because I am always fascinated by the ideas they come up with and how they combine it all with such style.

What I find with Joseph Joseph, is that the items are often multi functional and practical , saving space but also really well made. I’ve had some pieces for years and they still work just as well. Their brand always stands out in kitchen shops to me, with aesthetically satisfying designs in bold and beautiful shades along with their neutral colours.

They have some lovely new pastel coloured goodies arriving too in their store in the iconic designs. Good timing for Mother’s Day.

Joseph Joseph Bread Board

This double sided bread and cheese board is brilliant for sharing a little bread starter with oil or houmous and then flipping the wood board over to have some cheese and grapes at the end of the meal.

Joseph Joseph Items

It’s really handy and easy to tidy away. I can’t wait to use this when we next have friends over. I’m so in to chilli cheese at the moment so it will be used in front of the tv before then too !

Joseph Joseph Worktop Saver

The selection of glass worktop savers Joseph Joseph are pure joy to a colour lover. They’re so fun and really practical also because they are odour and stain resistant and perfect for putting a hot pan on. It would be very hard to pick a favourite but I obviously love this pastel palette one and also the record player worktop saver on the website.

Joseph Joseph Salad Bowl

Do you love this ‘ Hands On ‘ salad bowl with built in servers ? I just think it’s such a good idea but looks so cool too. The bowl itself is a good size and sits proudly amongst the other dishes on the dining table.

Joseph Joseph

I do find that the more I get in to cooking, the more products like these ones are important for an overall ‘ look ‘. I used to serve food up in whatever I could find in the cupboard but now I look forward to having friends here and making them feel special.

Joseph Joseph Carousel

Now, the giveaway. The Elevate Wood Carousel ! A set of 5 made from beech wood and heat resistant silicone, it has all the 5 utensils needed in any kitchen with a trusty stand that rotates making for an easy life and especially when you’re busy at the stove and need everything all at once ( or maybe that’s just my style of cooking ) … ;)

I can recommend it – tried and tested. It is £55 RRP usually and worth every penny. But, you can get yourself entered here on my Rafflecopter giveaway to win one for yourself free … courtesy of Joseph Joseph.

It’s the first time I have used Rafflecopter and it’s so easy for you to use. You can enter below, nice and swiftly. This giveaway is open to UK residents only and I will email the winner at the end on March 6th 2016 and also announce it on my social media.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Ts & Cs

Postage and packaging supplied by Joseph Joseph. No alternative prize offered.

I will contact the winner as soon as the giveaway ends .If I do not have a reply within 24 hours, a new person will be chosen at random.

Wishing you lots of luck.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Joseph Joseph. I have received no payment  – only some products for the purpose of the post. All opinions are my own.

Say It With Flowers …. And Doughnuts.

Gluten Dairy Free Doughnut

A Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

These home made doughnuts are for my daughters and husband to remind them how much I love them. They’re actually gluten and dairy free too but you really wouldn’t know it.

The edible flowers, I thought, would be a nice colourful touch instead of the usual sprinkles  – after all – it is the day of the year you give flowers, right ? Plus I can pretend it’s Spring. If you remember, I made a lemon drizzle cake last year and used some flowers from the garden.

The recipe is so simple. I used a silicone doughnut mould to bake them in but they can be put in cupcake cases too.

Doughnuts With Flowers

Here’s what you need for the recipe to make 6 doughnuts:

Gluten free flour – 125g

Caster sugar – 125g

Eggs – 2 medium

Butter substitute – 125g ( I used  ‘ Pure Sunflower ‘ )

Baking powder – 1.5 tsp

Vanilla essence  – 3 drops

Icing sugar – 200g ( for the topping )

Edible flowers of your choice ( make sure you check whether they are edible before using them ) or decoration of your choice.

Icing sugar – 250g and water to mix.

Gluten Dairy Free Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. If you have a food mixer, great, but if not then with a wooden spoon until a smooth texture with no lumps.

Spoon in to the moulds or cupcake cases in their tray. Bake for 18 minutes ( although check at 15 minutes ) then remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for half an hour.

Add some water to the icing sugar until you have a consistency that isn’t too runny and then ice them and don’t forget to lick the bowl !  Adorn the doughnuts with pretty edible flowers or sprinkles.

Then eat them all up. Yum …

Flowers Yum!

Honestly, I’m a bit of a picky eater and I love these. Hope you do too :)

Do you know of any other good gluten and dairy free recipes ? I would love to try out some more, now that it is part of our daily family routine … Please leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog  – you can also see more pics of these delicious doughnuts on my Instagram.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings

Pumpkins

Every year we try and make sure we go to the weekend of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival based at Snape Maltings.

Apart from it just being a fun day out for us all, it’s stacked full of really good local produce from East Suffolk. There is live music throughout the day which adds to the already buzzy atmosphere.

Flowers

This year it was the 10th Anniversary of there were ever 90 different producers along with demonstrations, masterclasses and an area for kids to get hands on with some cooking.

One of the first stalls I spotted was full of beautiful seasonal flowers. Needless to say, some came home with me and ended up on my Instagram.

Bread Snape

It’s surely criminal to pass freshly made baguettes without buying at least one ? Why doesn’t my homemade bread look like this ever ? :)

Buns

So many tasty pies and buns … not enough time to eat them all … but we took some home with us too.

Tomatoes

These tomatoes  – perfectly ripe and sweet. It’s making my mouth water, just thinking about them again. Local and homegrown veggies definitely taste different don’t they ?

Macarons

The chocolate and salted caramel macarons were our favourite. I would really love to learn how to make them. Do you know of any good recipes ?

Snape Maltings

As well as the concert hall, famous for being converted from an old malt house by Benjamin Britten in 1967, there are also many shops, all transformed but still with exposed, old red brick. One of my favourites is the interiors department, because it is full of colourful inspiration for the home.

Snape Maltings InteriorsSnape

I really recommend a visit here if you’re ever in the area. It is beautiful and the views of the river Alde and beyond are stunning. On this particular day the sky was blue so I will leave you with a picture of the bright bunting that completed the festival.

SkyDo you have any food festivals that you don’t like to miss ? Please do recommend some. Leave me a  comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog :)

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Tea Treats With Bettys and Friends

Bettys-Cup-and-Saucers2

SO much fun this weekend, I couldn’t wait too long to blog about it.

I was really lucky to be invited to Bettys Tea Party in London. What an amazing spread and such lovely people. The only time I had been to Bettys before was when I was appearing in a play a long time ago in York and I remembered that it was quite a special place – it instantly took me back.

We were all given a talk about Betty’s – and found out who started the famous family run tea rooms and why. It was started by a chap called Frederick Belmont who ended up in Harrogate by mistake, after travelling from Switzerland to the UK. Luckily for them all up North, he stayed and created what has now become six tea rooms, a craft bakery, a cookery school and online shop.

Books

Cake-Deocrating-at-BettysMy favourite thing was the fondant fancy decorating competition. We were given a demonstration by one of Betty’s expert confectioners and then let loose to do our own. We were given four each and ten minutes to come up with our own designs. To be honest, I was pretty busy gas bagging to the other bloggers on my table and taking in all of the wonderful surroundings and the lovely vintage pastel colour palettes  – but got my skates on when we given a five minute countdown. Amazingly I came third ( my ones are bottom, second from left ) – there were some lovely cakes with really pretty little drawings, so I felt honoured – and won some yummy truffles. Whoop !

Bettys-Cup-and-Saucers-Pretty

Bettys-Macarons1Our next task was to dress our table with selected cakes, plates and cups and saucers. Lots of beautiful delicate, colourful pieces of china to choose from. We were incredibly restrained and managed to put together some pieces without eating anything. We took some photos and then sat down to tuck in.

I drank lots of Elderflower Presse while others drank champagne and then we all had a nice cup of their very own Yorkshire Tea. I had no idea that they made that too.

Bettys-Fondants

The cakes – oh, the cakes. What can I say ? They were amazing. There were macarons, fondant fancies, cupcakes and then there were florentines and chocolates … so many delicious handmade treats to try. I’m not sure I will ever be able to eat any other make of pralines again, they were so good.

Fox-Cake-Bettys

I think we all left feeling really happy, full, like we had made some new blogger friends and that we were lucky to have been treated to a very special afternoon.

Mice-Cakes-Bettys

If you live up North and have been to a Bettys before for one of their famous afternoon teas, then you will know what I mean, if you haven’t then I recommend – and if you don’t live near one of their tea rooms, there is always their online shop where you can buy all of their products. Thank goodness for that. :)

My next visit to a tea room has a lot to live up to !

Have you been to Bettys before ? What did you try ? I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experience  – leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog – look forward to it.

Lucy x

My New Bike And A Lemon Drizzle Floral Cake …

Bike Flowers

How has your weekend been so far ? There are two reasons for this post.  Bear with me …

One is to show you my new bike. I am beyond excited about it as I’ve wanted one for ages. Everyone else in the family has one so I have felt a bit left out when they’ve all cycled off for a little road trip. Not anymore !

Bike Flowers 2

I haven’t stopped since I got it  – cycling is the new running. One of my the stipulations was a basket on the front so that I can pop to the shops or visit my family with cake…. more on that in a minute…

Bike 3

On this trip I was on the way back from the local garden centre ( far more appealing than night clubs these days ) and stopped off to take a few photos. The bike is designed by Victoria Pendleton and I chose the mint green as this colour would always be my first choice as its subtle and inspired by times gone by.

It has seven gears by the handle at are really easy to change too. Whoop ! You might have guessed that I’m a bit in love with it ? You’d be right.

The second reason for the post is that the flowers in the front were to dress a lemon drizzle cake that I made and wanted to blog.

Lemon Cake-1

I left half for my Mum with the edible flowers and we took half for a long journey. It’s something that I had wanted to try out for ages and it was fun decorating with the pansies, violas and marigold petals. The lavender was just for extra aroma, although lavender and lemon works well together as a cake too. If you’d like the recipe then leave me a comment and I will get it over to you in two shakes of a lambs tail ! I hope you like it ?

Have a good one …

Lucy x