Perfectly English oven-baked recipes for St. George’s Day

Perfectly English oven-baked recipes for St. George's Day

In England, we seem to love sticking things in the oven. The Americans grill, the French sauté and the Germans brew, while here in England we won’t touch it if it hasn’t got that oven-gilded glow. As St. George’s Day is on a Sunday this year, we figured there was no better time to do a little baking in the true English spirit, but we think well try to change things up a bit. The oven will still play a central role – don’t worry, but let’s see if we can’t come up with a few creative ideas to make St. George proud. Here’s our run down of some favourite recipes for St. George’s Day.

Oxtail stew

Jamie Oliver's oxtail stew

This recipe comes straight from Jamie Oliver and is sure to please any crowd. From the look of it, it seems like a typical English stew, but delve a little deeper and you’ll see that it’s anything but. The fantastically chic ingredient oxtail is tender and delicious, and the addition of dark fruits and spices makes this one a true adventure.

Ploughman’s scones

Ploughman's scones

Ploughman’s + scones = English overload. It’s also delicious! You might have trouble deciding whether these sweet and salty morsels are best for breakfast, lunch, dinner or tea, but we say why not munch on them all day long? Fresh fruit and fluffy, cheesy scones will remind you why it’s so great to be English.

English muffin pizzas

English muffin pizzas

We owe it to the English muffin to top it with everything humanly possible, and just when we thought that that had already been done, in walked the English muffin pizza. All you need is to toast a few English muffins, top them with tomato sauce, cheese and your favourite ingredients, and stick them in the oven. They’re a perfect idea for a movie night or a St. George’s Day party with friends. If you’re worried about your oven being occupied by pizza-making fiends all day, you can always order the sides on one of the UK’s many food delivery apps such as the Hungry House app. Don’t worry, we won’t tell!

Caramel and whiskey bread pudding

Caramel and whiskey bread pudding

This traditional dish is known for having origins in the poorest of houses in the country, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do a bit to turn it into something fit for a king. This bread and butter pudding uses thickly cut bread, Irish whiskey, raisins and salted caramel to make every bit moist and exploding with flavour.

Manchester tart

Home-made Manchester tart

An incredible, decadent dessert or accompaniment for tea, the Manchester tart makes the top of the list for English tarts. This reimagined recipe was crafted by the renowned English chef Marcus Wareing and includes caramelised bananas, jam and thick cream. Making it isn’t so hard; it’s the waiting an hour while it cools in the fridge that’s the difficult bit!

Bonus: Dragonfire gin & tonic

Dragonfire gin & tonic

One last bonus to pay homage to St. George’s famous nemesis, the Dragonfire gin tonic is a colourful and creative take on the classic cocktail. It’s easy enough to make, just make a classic gin and tonic, add a spritz of mango juice and garnish with a thick wedge of dragon fruit.

What’s your favourite English dish?

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Putting Britain on the map

Collection of vintage British maps | H is for Home

We’ll certainly have no excuses if our knowledge of home isn’t up to scratch any more. We recently made a bulk purchase of about 20 large vintage school wall maps. Produced by G W Bacon in the 1950s, many feature the British Isles – and cover every aspect of its geography – towns, roads, railways, population density, industries, geology, rivers, relief, contours, isotherms, isobars and rainfall.

It’s been very enjoyable sorting through them. They’re 60 years old – so slightly out-of-date in some respects, but no less interesting. It’s often the differences between ‘then & now’ found on these old maps & globes that are fascinating. The ‘traditional industry’ map illustrates this perfectly. If you click on each image you can view them in greater detail.

Vintage 'Reduced' school wall map of England & Wales Vintage 'Rainfall & Isobars' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Railway' school wall map of England & Wales Vintage 'Population' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Physical' school wall map of England & Wales Vintage 'Isotherms' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Industry' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Industrial' school wall map of England & Wales Vintage 'Contours' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Communications' school wall map of the UK Vintage 'Bold feature' school wall map of England & Wales

In addition to their educational value, these vintage maps are also very decorative in terms of graphic design and colour. They look great in a library, study or office space. We’ve hung a row of them along a long hallway. We’re going to keep a few and sell a few of this particular batch. Some have gone into our antiques centre space and we’ve also listed 3 or 4 on eBay this week.

World Dolls Series: England

'World Doll Series' blog post banner

World Dolls Series, England vintage children's book | H is for Home

So here’s England – the first of those World Dolls Series posts we mentioned last week.

list of books in the World Dolls Series | H is for Home

These illustrations are by C. Jones from the Birmingham School of Design.

illustration of a pair of dolls in the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

Each book has doll-like characters to show you round their country – it’s George & Elizabeth taking us on the tour of England.

illustration of Tower Bridge from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

We start in the capital…

illustration of horse guards and a British Bobby from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

…with some classic landmarks.

illustration of a tube train from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

We just love the depiction of this busy underground tube station.

illustration of a metal smelter in Sheffield from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

We then move to other, diverse areas of the country – rural landscapes, industrial towns & coastal villages.

illustration of Yorkshire moors and mill chimneys from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

Elizabeth comes from Yorkshire and the moorland landscape is very familiar to us here in Todmorden. Lots of sheep still live here!

illustration of a fishing boat from the World Dolls Series, England | H is for Home

We think these little books are so charming – hope you agree! We’ll be heading to Scotland next week.

London Calling!

"London Calling" blog banner

detail of vintage Trans World Airlines menu depicting a Coldstream guard

We’ve had this London blog on the back burner for some time – exploring London-related designs in books, ceramics and fabric.

vintage 1960s Beefeater tile designed by Kenneth Townsend

It was in featuring Kenneth Townsend tiles in our last post that brought it back to mind. We focused on his ‘Menagerie’ series of tiles in that blog, but did briefly mention his ‘London’ series.

vintage 1960s city gent tile designed by Kenneth Townsend detail of vintage 1960s city gent ceramic tile designed by Kenneth Townsend

This Beefeater and city gent are two more great examples from this latter series.

vintage Chance Glass dish depicting a double-decker bus designed by Kenneth Townsend

He also did London landmark designs for Chance Glass during the same era.

detail of vintage Carltonware moneybox in the shape of a British Bobby vintage Carltonware money box in the shape of a British Bobby

Carltonware Pottery produced a series of money boxes – also from the 1960s – their Coldstream Guard and this Bobby on the beat are also at home in a London blog.

detail of cover of vintage book entitled "A View of London" by Edward Pagram showing a Beefeater and a raven

We picked up this copy of A View of London by Edward Pagram in our local book shop. The cover was calling out to us from the window display – when we saw all the sketches inside, it sealed the deal! This is just a small selection:

mosaic of sketches taken from vintage book entitled "A View of London" by Edward Pagram

Another must-have book for the vintage London-ophile is the children’s book, This is London by Miroslav Sasek. His illustrations are truly stunning!

cover of vintage "This is London" boook by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of the Parliament buildings from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of Smiths the newsagents from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of an elephant taken from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of London Underground tube platform from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of the interior of a packed London Underground tube train taken from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration depicting a ship on the Thames passing under Tower Bridge taken from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

illustration of vegetable traders in Covent Garden market taken from vintage "This is London" book by Miroslav Sasek

This lovely little booklet produced by TWA in the 50s is full of great advice for the US visitor.

vintage TWA "Travel tips for Britain" booklet with illustration of Coldstream Guard

We found this sweet vintage felt picture on Todmorden flea market recently.

vintage felt artwork of London scenes

detail of felt artwork depicting a London policeman at a zebra crossing between a pair of Belisha beacons

We’re particularly fond of this row of Beefeaters marching in front of Tower Bridge.

vintage felt artwork depicting 3 Beefeaters at the Tower Of London

And what do you think about this fantastic vintage tea towel of Oxford Street and its famous Christmas lights…

vintage teatowel of Oxford Street lights in London at night

detail of vintage tea towel showing Oxford Street lights at night in London

…eager shoppers and famous Routemaster buses.

London design tea tray designed by Maria Holmer Dahlgren

There’s some pretty tacky stuff on your average souvenir stall – but there are some fabulous designs being produced as well. This colourful London tea tray designed by Maria Holmer Dahlgren is one such piece which is on our wish list. The tray’s available from the Visit London online shop.

ceramic mug illustrated with the Trooping of the Colour designed by Aldo Cosomati

Or how about this mug from the LT Museum online shop? It’s taken from an original poster designed by Aldo Cosomati in the 1920s.

There’s some really good stuff in both shops – well worth a look!