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




Delicious, Nature & the Coast

recipe for Sloe Gin

Its that time of the year again….

Here is the recipe for my (in)famous sloe gin!Image

makes 1 bottle

Preparation time: a year or more

450g (1lb) sloes

225-450g (8oz- 1lb) organic caster sugar

580ml (1 pint) gin

2  kilner jars

Wash and prick the sloes all over with a clean needle. Alternatively you can freeze them overnight in order to pierce the skin.

Feed them in to a large sterilised jar (I find Kilner jars are best). Pour the sugar over the sloes – how much depends on how sweet you like your liqueur. Finally add the gin. Seal tightly and give it a shake. Store in a cool dark cupboard. Shake it every other day for the first week and then every week for a couple of months. The sloes stop doing their flavouring after about 3 months so you can then strain and bottle your liqueur. The colour lightens and the flavour improves with age.

It is delicious served neat in a vintage liqueur glass or as a kir with some fizz in a champagne glass.


So get thee to the hedgerows and gather…. for in the Winter months this will keep you warm!

Delicious, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration

Rose Geranium Syrup

My latest recipe making use of the garden….

A delicious syrup made from the aromatic leaves of rose geraniums. I love my rose geranium and can’t resist giving it a rub whenever I sit near it – I have located it by the garden table so it is always to hand. It smells of turkish delight – and actually the essential oil drawn from it is used to give a rose flavour. This recipe is more simple and quite immediate.



This syrup is very sweet and therefore works well with fruit that has a bit of tartness to it like raspberries for example. My Autumn raspberries have just started producing so I married it with them and some meringue.


I got this recipe from Gillon Meller from River Cottage

Simply dissolve 200g of caster sugar in 200ml of water in a heavy based saucepan and simmer for a few minutes. Pour this into a kilner jar, add 8 rose geranium leaves and leave to cool & infuse.


These leaves will go brown so replace them with fresh ones when it has cooled down. If stored in the fridge, this syrup will last well. 

I drizzled it over raspberries and left them for an hour. and mixed a little more with some creme fraiche and served it with crushed meringue….delicious yet not too naughty.

My small but fruitful garden keeps giving.



Delicious, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration

Blackcurrant Coulis

I have a couple of blackcurrrant bushes. I decided this year, to make a useful coulis with this Summer’s bounty.



I filled a bowl with berries, cleared them of stalks and leaves, heated them gently in a saucepan with a little water. I then sieved the mixture into a bowl pressing the pulp to get every bit of flavour. While it was still hot I mixed in a dessertspoon of golden syrup and a dessertspoon of caster sugar – its up to you how much really, suit to taste. Et voila! a gorgeous sauce to drizzle on your desserts, pancakes or simply over your ice cream on these hot summer days.




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!



Auntie Lizzie’s banana bread

Now I thought I didn’t like banana bread  until I tasted this one! It’s a very handy snack to have in the press – great with a bit of butter on it and a cup of tea. I have even started buying bananas on the turn so that I will find myself having to make some more! – it’s easy and cheap as chips to make and keeps for ages or can be sliced and frozen. Yommers!.


The recipe

3 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

6 oz caster sugar

8 oz plain flour

1 tsp bicarb of soda

pinch of salt

2 oz walnuts or almonds, chopped

Handful raisins or sultanas

A few chopped cherries

Mash bananas in a large bowl and gradually work in beaten eggs, sugar, sieved flour, salt and soda. Stir in the nuts, fruit and cherries.

Grease a 2lb (or 2 x 1lb) loaf tin. Place the mixture in the tin(s) and bake for approx. one hour 325oF/170oC.