Monday, 30 July 2012

Althorp Trip

I went to Althorp on Saturday home of the Spencer family.  I had not been for a while so figured it was time to go again.  I had a lovely day there - only marred by my camera batteries packing up early despite having been on charge overnight and the lights being green - very annoying! Anyway I was able to leave the Estate to go and find batteries and come back no problem.

The House as you see it from the road.

First up the Royal Wedding dress from 1981 - it was 31 years to the day yesterday.  Photos aren't really allowed but with my monitor off and flash off I managed to sneak some pictures that is why they are a bit fuzzy!
The huge sleeves on the dress.

The Royal Wedding ensemble.

Photo of Diana dedicated to her Father.

Wedding cake box.

The dress by Emanuel.

Bespoke wedding shoes by Clive Shilton.

A 1980 Christmas card from Prince Charles to
his "tap-dancing partner".

Another group view.

The magnificent diamond earrings Diana
wore on her big day.

A nice shot of the bodice with
 floral basket of lace. 

Wedding parasol, pochette and shoes.

2 of the bridesmaids dresses.

A side view.

And another close up of the bodice.
The Spencer Tiara.

I am very lucky to own a copy of the book A Dress for Diana which is signed by both David and Elizabeth Emanuel and this tells the story behind the dress - can you believe I have not read it yet!  Must do better.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Strawberry Flan

I made a lovely strawberry flan yesterday:-

First I made a basic Victoria Sandwich sponge mix:-
100g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
100g butter or margarine
2 eggs beaten
1 pack of red gelatine glaze
Heat oven to 375F/190C Gas#5
Put sugar and butter/margarine in bowl and 
cream together until light and fluffy.....

...blend in the beaten eggs gradually to avoid 
curdling - add a bit of the flour if it does curdle.

Next add the sieved flour in gradually...

...until you have a stiff smooth batter.

Get a flan tin/mould ready.

Put the batter into the tin/mould and try to 
spread evenly across it. Put in the oven and bake
for about 20 minutes until golden brown and 
the sponge bounces back if you press it gently.

Once baked remove from oven allow to cool a 
little, then turn out cake from the tin/mould onto
a cooling rack. (My middle stuck  bit!).

Once cold start to put the fruit onto the flan....

....until the flan is full - fill any gaps with sliced 
up fruit if you wish.

Next make the glaze - use 1 pack of gel you
can buy in any supermarket.

Add the powder to a pan of water and sugar 
as per instructions on the pack.

Bring to the boil.

Once boiled the mix goes clear, you then allow 
it to cool for about 20 minutes - stirring 
occasionally to stop lumps forming.
Once the gel starts to thicken/gloop it's time 
to spread it over the fruit/cake QUICKLY with a 
spoon or one of those Teflon brushes.

Ta-da the finished article!
Serve with cream and enjoy - yum!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Anyone for Tea?

When I was in London recently for the ballet I went for afternoon tea at The Berkeley famous for its "Pret a Portea" it was lovely!
My place setting.

Bespoke china by Paul Smith for Thomas Goode.
Champers to start and a posh pink 
shoe name plate!

Inside the menu booklet.

The menu - blown up so you can read it hopefully!

Delicious sandwiches.

The tea stand arrives!
The savouries and gaspacho soup - yum!
The first layer of cakes.

The fancy top tier.

Top tier mousses and Louboutin Shoe!

Detail of the mini cakes - flowers and all.

This cake had popping candy on it!!

Think you can see the detail better here.

A little early present - today's the day though!

I love this flower art!
What a great tea pot!

I would highly recommend this afternoon tea for its novelty factor, and they were very generous with the helpings too - you could have seconds of everything!!  Some ladies had goodie bags to "pret a portea" their uneaten nibbles! The waiters explained the cakes etc to you and there was a small handbag shaped leaflet detailing the season to take home - I forgot to take a photo of mine to put on here.  No matter, I hope you enjoyed seeing this little treat!

Monday, 16 July 2012

This and That

It's ages since I posted - my apologies - Blogger's Block!  I have lots to blog but need to process the photos first.  Anyway just touching base is still cool here in the UK and very very very WET!  Today I wore my Christian Dior Anselm Reyle scarf with a scarf ring:-

Last week I wore my Hermes Carre en Cravates in the same way.  I like this bow as it stays out of the way nicely when working at ones desk!
Hopefully I will be back with some more blogs as soon as I get the photos sorted out!!