Delicious, Lifestyle

Mum’s lemon drizzle cake

My Mum passed this recipe on to me when I began making my own home, you can make it for a song and its lovely to have to hand when someone calls over. It reminds me of her whenever I make it – which makes it taste all the more sweet!

lemon drizzle

6 oz self raising flour – sieved

4 oz margarine

6 oz caster sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 lemon rind -grated

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Chuck everything in a mixing bowl and mix well

Pour into a greased 2 LB loaf tin and bake for 1 hour at 180C gas mark 4

Make icing with the juice from the lemon and ice the cake when baked before you turn it out to cool.


Lovely with a pot of tea…

or a cheeky glass of fizz!


Antiques & Antiquing, Delicious, Inspiration, Lifestyle

The easiest recipe in the land

These days I am concentrating (quite) hard on abstaining in an effort to look ‘fabulous at forty’ which is on the horizon. It ain’t easy and I am alway looking for shortcuts while trying to enjoy those simple pleasures in life (like, for example, a cheeky glass of chardonnay in the sunshine )

So I heard rumours about this bread and decided to give it a go last night. It could. not. be. easier.



I took a 500gr tub of low fat natural yoghurt and emptied in a bowl, then filled it twice with organic porridge oats and poured them in, a teaspoon of bread soda and I grated some cinnamon (optional). mixed it all together, poured it into a greased loaf tin and chucked it in the oven at 180 for an hour.

and that is it

have just had a slice with my sister’s gooseberry & elderflower jam and a cup of tea




Photographs & Styling by me

Spring blossoms from down the road

butter dish from Industry Design

teaspoon from an antiques shop in the mountains

knife from my Granny

plate by Judith Rowe at Made in Hastings

napkin from Cabbages & Roses

jam dish by Hilary Jenkinson at Crannmor Pottery

metal tray from Avoca Mount Usher

bud vase from Petersham Nurseries




DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style

Making an Entrance 1


I am lucky enough to be a volunteer gardener at the world renowned Mount Usher Gardens (or maybe they are lucky to have me and my sunny disposition, I don’t know). I work alongside the Head Gardener Sean with Minnow & Max (his two jack russels) in tow. Then there is Emma, Graeme, Noel and Si each with their own talent & passions that they dedicate the Gardens. It is hard to believe such a small number of people are caretakers to such an expanse of stunning natural beauty.


Anyhow I will write about the gardens themselves and all their glory in a separate post, today I want to write about our new entrance in to the gardens. Some industrial buildings have been lying empty for the past few years – commercial space that had become unused since the ‘downturn’.  It was a sorry blot on the beautiful landscape of the courtyard at Mount Usher which is tended to by Sean and his team. Here we have the garden restaurant, and the fantastic garden shop – which is where I buy all my plants and pots and any gifts I am ever buying for people – I could not do without it, there is also a handy Avoca deli for artisan foodstuffs and Strawbridges which is great for home  items,  especially good for tablecloths as well as furniture. I digress… up to now the entrance to the finest example of William Robinson’s way of gardening was a small (but beautifully simple) gate. Now Avoca have cleverly incorporated that empty building so it has become a more befitting entry to the gardens that lay ahead – with a nod to the history of the gardens


Ros, Avoca’s talented and tireless stylist has created an airy space with museum style cabinets full of historical paraphernalia to peruse, including a lovely tribute to head gardeners past and present….



They have also made use of the existing stove and added some apt decorative touches throughout …



We are enticed to enter the gardens with style –  with the use of paint colours that sit so beautifully with the greens of nature,  simple wainscotting and recycled windows…


Old fashioned …in a good way…. well worth a visit.


Lime Curd

I was wondering what to do with all the limes I had used as display on my stand at the Ideal Home Show last week


yes the obvious solution was to have a G&T party! but I felt I ought to be a bit more sensible and upon my sister Fiona’s suggestion I decided to make lime curd. It is dee-lish!

Here is the recipe…..

6 limes – juice & rind

1 lemon – juice only

12oz sugar

4 free range eggs

4oz butter – ideally unsalted


Put on some good tunes.

Finely grate the limes and squeeze out the juice from all the limes and the lemon.

Melt the butter in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water on a low heat.

Add the sugar, juice & rind and beaten eggs and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Continue to stir and cook until the mixture thickens.

Sieve the mixture to remove the rind and pour into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Label and when cool, dollop onto a piece of toast and enjoy with a cup of tea (or a gin & tonic).

Best stored in fridge and it will keep for a couple of weeks.


I couldn’t resist making little labels!