Price Points: Loose leaf afternoon tea

February 5th, 2016

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Selection of loose leaf afternoon tea

We love to punctuate the day with a few cups of strong tea. The 4 o’clock sit down with tea & biscuits or slice of cake is a particular pleasure. It’s the time to take a moment – rest the feet if we’ve been on them, reflect on the day, think about what’s next – an enjoy the hot cuppa of course.

Our daily brew is usually supplied by Taylor’s loose leaf Yorkshire tea which we like and is readily available in any supermarket. We haven’t sampled the Whittard Robert Fortune as yet, but it sounds good. We were actually given a present of some Fortnum & Mason Queen Anne blend a while ago – it was delicious and immediately became a favourite.

  1. Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire leaf tea – £2.10 (250g)
    A proper brew. Pure and simple. To give our blend its refreshing flavour, strength and colour we use top quality Assam and African teas.

  2. Queen Anne tea – £9.95 (250g)
    Created in 1907, our bicentenary year, this popular blend commemorates the reigning sovereign in the year that Fortnum & Mason first began. The smooth blend of carefully selected TGFOP Assam and Ceylon FBOP teas produces a strong, smooth tea that is refreshing at any time of day.

  3. Robert Fortune Blend – £8.00 (100g)
    Something of a hero in the world of tea, Robert Fortune was the James Bond of the British tea trade… We’ve tracked Fortune’s travels with a blend of teas from India and China, adding a delicate touch of high-grown Himalayan tea and an elegant homage of white Camellia tea flowers. You’ll find the rich, fruity notes of Chinese Yunnan tea is a superb match for the varieties first cultivated by the British in northern India – all in all, it’s a tea which tells a story, and a rather delicious one at that.

Cakes & Bakes: Marzipan refrigerator cookies

February 4th, 2016

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Home-made marzipan refrigerator cookies and mug of tea | via @hisforhome

I had a large lump of marzipan and some chocolate ganache left over from making last week’s petit fours. I HATE throwing food away so I decided to make a batch of marzipan refrigerator cookies.

Marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

It was a quick and easy recipe.

Slicing marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

They can be cooked off in small or larger batches – the dough can live happily in the fridge for a week or so – or freezer more indefinitely.

Cooked marzipan refrigerator cookies cooling on a wire rack

Nothing beats a homemade biscuit – and we loved the sweet, almond flavour of these. If you prefer your cookies to be soft & gooey rather than crisp, lower the heat of the oven to about 150ºC.

Marzipan refrigerator cookies
Yields 35
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Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 1tsp baking powder
  3. 110g/4oz butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  4. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 100g/3½oz marzipan
  7.  
  8. Home-made chocolate caramel chestnut cake ingredients
  9.  
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl
  2. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Stir the sugar, add the eggs and combine to form a soft, loose dough
  4. Cut the marzipan into small cubes
  5. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured work surface, roll in the cubed marzipan and shape the dough into a log shape about 3cm/1¼inches in diameter
  6. Wrap the log in parchment paper or cling film and then in foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until required (I put one of the logs in the freezer to use at a later date)
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  8. Grease a large baking sheet (or a few if you're making a big batch)
  9. Slice the dough into as many 8mm/⅜-inch slices as required
  10. Place the slices on the greased baking sheet, spaced well apart
  11. Return any remaining dough to the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 6 months
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  13. Leave on the baking sheet to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes before transferring to cool completely
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Forthcoming Attractions: Early February 2016

February 3rd, 2016

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vintage homeware items from H is for Home

Here’s a selection of this week’s vintage finds.

Large vintage Asco shop scales

We’ll start with the big lump that’s trying to hide in the background! These vintage shop scales by Asco are absolutely huge. They’ve got lots of character and would look great on a kitchen worktop or table.

Vintage brass horses and gold goose necked desk lamp

Next up, some mid century modern style with the brass horses and flexi-neck lamp with similar colour metallic finish. We mentioned the good selection of lamps we keep at our antiques centre space in last week’s Forthcoming Attractions post – two sold this week, so this one will fill a gap!

Pair of brass verdigris horse figures

This pair of Etruscan-like horses date from the 1960s era and are in the style of Frederick Weinberg. They have a very stylised, striking form with impressed decoration and original green verdigris effect finish.

vintage Gie Gantofta pottery tea jar

We love this 1950s pottery tea canister. In fact, we keep our cooking salt in a similar pot by the stove. This one’s actually better than ours as it’s got its original wooden lid. Still, Justin uses so much salt when cooking that a lid would seriously slow him down! :-)

vintage Danish breakfast set comprising wooden base, stainless steel toast rack, lidded plastic marmalade jar and wooden spoon

This breakfast set is a wonderful example of its type. Made from teak & stainless steel, it combines toast rack with lidded preserve pot. It’s Danish and dates from the 1960s. Condition is excellent and it retains its very nice original spoon. The perfect accessory for a lazy breakfast in bed!

corner of a vintage Rally-Klad tartan travel rug

Last, but certainly not least, is this gorgeous travel rug or picnic blanket. We find these vintage rugs much harder to source than we used to once upon a time. The rich colours in this tartan pattern are gorgeous.

All items are heading to the web shop or antiques centre space in the coming days. Please get in touch if you see anything of interest.