Tea Towels – Tea Versus Coffee

I love a tea towel and I am very easily sold pretty tea towels!
When you have wonderful illustrations or lovely quotes it’s nice to decorate the kitchen with them and they are also useful.

No one likes doing the drying up but with a nice tea towel it makes the job a lot easier. I sometimes get a little distracted by tea towels and forget to do the drying.

The latest addition to my collection are these fabulous Tea and Coffee 100% linen tea towels from Culture Vulture.

Of course having one with tea and one with coffee on there was going to be a competition. As a self confessed tea addict of course I prefer the Tea tea towel.

I also absolutely love the quote. I really fancy keeping this for something but I’m not sure what. I just want to keep it clean!

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The Tea tea towel has already been admired by most of friends all wanting to ‘help’ me use it and some even asking if they can have it! Cheeky!

The coffee quote is cute too and although I’m not a huge coffee fan I like this. Coffee and the face of an unreasonable world.

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I think the reason apart from the quotes is the design of the tea towel. As a glasses wearer I have seen so many of the opticians charts with the letters which go from big to small like this it makes me feel excited like I’m going to get a new pair of glasses. Yes I know that is very geeky but if you have bad eyes you have to learn to love glasses.

The tea towels are good and large 73.5cm x 48cm and for the set of tea and coffee tea towels is only £12.50.


Which of the tea towels do you like best – tea or coffee?

Oatly Dairy Free Milk Review and Incredible Pancakes

There is a lovely new dairy free milk substitute available which I love and it’s called Oatly! I have to admit I didn’t know what milk made from oats would taste like but it is delicious. I mean DELICIOUS! It is a bit yellow compared to normal milk but the nutty taste is stunning. Millie Mackintosh recently featured her love for Oatly on her instagram account with a photo of her breakfast using it. It works really well and has changed a few of my recipes to enhance them with a really lovely nutty taste.

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Plus for the sweet tooth’d of us there is a chocolate variety which is also really nice. When it gets a bit colder I will be trying it warmed up with a little more cocoa powder for hot chocolate. The nutty taste doesn’t always go with tea but it’s good beside that little bit.

The oat taste works very well especially in making porridge. The oaty milk and oats just makes the oat taste super strong and it’s a delicious breakfast. It also goes very well muesli and cereal.

The milk substitute is tasty and with so many milk substitute being bland and unappetising this is a lovely change.
If you love milk shakes try this milk. You will never go back to normal milk again! It makes a banana milkshake a very happy drink.

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The gorgeous thick pancakes with hot summer fruit compote

The best recipe I’ve found to use it in is Pancakes. I have tried this recipe a lot to make sure it works *wink wink* certainly not as an excuse to eat more. heehee

This recipe is based on the pancake recipe from Oatly


250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300ml Oatly Oat Drink
2 eggs
30g unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly

Fruit compote
A mix of fresh or frozen summer fruit warmed and soften with sugar to taste.


-In a large bowl sieve the plain flour, baking powder and sugar.
-In a jug beat the eggs with the cooled melted butter, vanilla and Oalty milk until combined.
-Whisk by hand until the mixture is smooth
-Leave in the fridge or somewhere cool for 30 minutes.
-Heat a non stick pan and add a little butter or oil.
-Pour or spoon in a spoonful of mixture in to the pan and cook for a few minutes. I like doing small pancakes and having a stack of them.
-Flip the pancake and cook until both sides are both golden brown.

Serve with the warm squishy summer fruits and enjoy.

Maple syrup also tastes amazing with them.

These have a fabulous oaty taste which is lovely to have with the fruit.

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Maple syrup and the last of the juice from the fruit compote. Not a great photo but I was so hungry!

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Oatly is available in most supermarkets and Holland & Barret have it too.

Gin Bank Holiday Cocktails

Hopefully the bank holiday will be filled sunshine and warmth plus a cocktail in the garden would be nice too.
I’ve recently discovered gin in cocktails and this London Dry Gin from Aldi is lovely plus it is very affordable at only £10.19. It’s nice to not have to spend a fortune on big items like this. Plus it’s also a award winning (International Wine & Spirit Competition Silver and Spirits Challenge 2014 Gold).

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I have had the very hard job (wink wink) of trying out gin cocktails. My friend and I had a lovely evening with different juices and fresh fruit to play with. We came up with 2 lovely cocktails one with raspberries and one with apple juice and both with a splash of lime.

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Gin and Apple Cocktail

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I really liked this cocktail. It didn’t have a too strong gin taste but was refreshing and the gin left a nice after taste with the sweetness of the apple.


- 2 shots of London Dry Gin (Aldi)
- 1 shot of sparkling water or tonic if you want a stronger taste
- 1 shot of apple juice- a good splash of lime


- Mix the ingredients together with ice and serve with a wedge of lime and ice.

I don’t have a fancy shot measuring thing so I used a little shot glass I had.

* to make this cocktail even better add an extra shot of elderflower cordial – wowzers *

Raspberry Gin Cocktail

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The raspberry cocktail is gorgeous. It’s worth taking the time to make some raspberry coulis or buy some to add to the drink to boost the berry flavour.

Raspberry gin
- squash some raspberries in to a bottle of gin and leave for a few days.
- Sieve the gin to take out all the pips and fruit and pour the gin back in to the bottle ready to use.

Raspberry coulis or shop bought
-Take 200g raspberries and 50g caster sugar and press through a sieve into a bowl. Save the juice and discard the pulp. As well as cocktails this coulis works amazing well on pancakes.


- 2 shot of raspberry gin
- 3 shots of tonic
- 1 shot of raspberry coulis
- splash of lime
- ice


Mix all the ingredients together and serve.
The coulis will sink and the cocktail looks very deep with the dark coulis at the bottom and the lighter raspberry gin at the top.


The Aldi gin is only £10.19 a bottle and is available in Aldi stores

Happy cocktail time x

Mai Thai Wimbledon Lunch Review

Sometimes lunch out is a really lovely and special thing especially when the food is amazing and affordable.

Mai Thai in Wimbledon by the theatre is a favourite Thai restaurant of mine and they are doing a brilliant lunch menu. A dish with rice for £6. Bargain!

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I of course had my favourite dish which was luckily on the lunch menu; chicken with pepper, onions, chillies, garlic and Thai basil.

It was just the right hot spice for me and tasted amazing. I love spicy food! The portion was a little small but it was enough to be fair. I could eat far too much of this dish without any problems. Delicious.

A fabulous lunch and a great price.

Flower Heaven Tea Biscuits

Last week to celebrate biscuit week on the Bake Off I did some experimenting and came up with these amazingly good flower petal tea biscuits. They have an amazing smell and taste stunning too. I tested them all on my friends and they loved them too. They have a gorgeous tea taste and the flowers make it a really special treat.

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When I emptied the tea bag out I decided to remove some of the bigger flower buds and lumps so the dough would roll flat. How gorgeous do the cornflowers look against the yellow tone of the dough. Stunning!

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100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar1 medium egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
200g plain flour
2 higher living flower heaven teabags

-Cream the butter and sugar. Don’t over work as it might cause the dough to spread when baking.
-Add the egg and then the flour to form a dough.
-Cut open the teabags and add the tea. Remove the larger flower buds and lumps so the dough will roll flat later when you roll it out.
-Gently work the tea in and when it’s evenly spread through the dough wrap it up in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 30mins.
-Prepare a few baking trays with greaseproof paper and set aside
-Take the dough out of the fridge, dust with a little flour and roll out to about 0.5cm and stamp out as many as you can using your favourite biscuit cutter.
-Place the biscuits on the prepared trays and place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
-Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
-Bake for 8-10 minutes until just starting to go until light brown.
-Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy. They taste very good with a cup of Earl Grey.

Enjoy x

After mixing the flowers in I rolled the dough out and started stamping out the biscuits using a flower cutter. I thought it would be nice to make flower shapes to work with the floral taste. How gorgeous is this dough!

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So cute. I love being able to see the flowers so clearly.

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I used 2 teabags for the recipe as I wanted a strong taste. I know it sounds wrong but it did produce a strong delicate flavour. It was a pleasure to work with and the house smelled amazing. The lavender smell made me feel very sleepy though.

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The biscuits looked so cute and were a perfect size to dunk into tea and of course having tea in them tasted very good with a cuppa.

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Roasted Tomato Salad

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It is the time of year for garden fresh tomatoes and this year our tiny veg patch of only 1.5 metres by 50cm deep has yielded over 3kgs of baby toms already and there is so many left! We have had tomatoes with everything in the last few weeks. I think we are all starting to feel a bit over whelmed with tomatoes!

As well as using the tomatoes in simple salads I am also going to have a go at making ketchup this week. Many photos to follow I’m sure. One of my families favourite things that uses tomatoes in is the roasted tomato salad. It’s really easy and brilliant if you are already using the oven for a cake as it only needs 10 mins and then an hour in the hot oven or over night to allow the tomatoes to go extra soft an the juices to come out a bit but the tomatoes still hold a little shape.

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This recipe is based on Nigel Lawson’s Moonblushed tomoatoes

I have left the recipe simple so you can make as much as you want.


- baby tomatoes
- dried thyme
- dried oregano
- herbs de Provence
- salt and pepper
- granulated sugar
- olive oil

- Lettuce. I like a mix of crisp and baby leaf which is a bit peppery (I used home grown lettuce)
- mozzarella
- goats cheese
- lemon juice


- This is great to do after you’ve the oven for something else as it saves on electricity for just eating the tomatoes for 10 mins in the oven.

- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Cut up as many tomatoes you want, in half and place the insides up in an oven proof dish.
- Cover the tomatoes in a slight sprinkling of all the herbs, salt and pepper and sugar.
- Sprinkle with a light glug of olive oil making sure at least most of them are covered.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees and then turn the oven off leaving the tomatoes in the hot oven for at least 1 hour. Best over night.

When you are ready to make the salad

- Lay a bed of lettuce on a serving dish.
- Top with the cheese. I think hand pulled makes it looks so much better than cut.
- Take the tomatoes out of the oven and spoon them on to the salad.
- Don’t through away the juice from the roasting tin but add a few tablespoons of lemon juice and extra olive oil to taste.
- Pour over the tomatoes and serve.

This is a lovely salad by itself but with a quiche or at barbeque it works very well too!

Enjoy x

If you like spicy food you can add some chopped up chillies to the tomatoes before they go into the oven. It works really really well.

Here are my tomatoes ready to go into the oven.

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Here is the gorgeous finished salad ready to eat. Absolutely stunning.
As the toms haven’t been cooked too long some are more mushy than others but some still holding their shape but very squishy.

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Maki Yaki Wimbledon Review

One of my most favourite Wimbledon restaurants is the amazing Maki Yaki a sushi and roll paradise. The menu is filled with fresh sushi which is made fresh in the restaurant so you can watch it being made as you wait. Even if you don’t like fish there are very yummy vegetarian and meat options too. I love the cucumber rolls as a side dish to my rain roll.

For a starter we enjoyed a soup and it was delicious. I didn’t want it as I wanted to fill up on sushi  but it tasted so good it was worth it.

The Titanic roll ( top roll £12) was a hug portion and was enough to fill you up without any starts or side dish.

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This is the crazy horse item off the menu. The sushi is so fresh and is made with such care and attention.

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My most favourite thing that Maki Yaki serve is the gyoza (below) they are beautifully crispy and have such an amazing taste. I could eat these all day! They are served with a slightly spicy sauce which is addictive by itself.

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A wonderful restaurant and the prices are very reasonable with the sushi roll being about £8 upwards.

It is a small restaurant sort of away from the main Wimbledon thorougher fair and it is a real gem. I would really recommend a visit. Absolutely delicious. You can find Maki Yaki at 149 Merton Road, Wimbledon, SW19 1ED.

Cakes by Robin – Beach Hut Cake Review

The bake off is back and the summer is filled with cake again. This amazing cake from Cakes by Robin from Southfields in SW London combines the two perfectly. It is a lovely beach scene with golden sand, blue sea, shimmery shells, a beach hut, beach ball and bucket to build sandcastles with plus a melting ice cream!

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This is a very special cake and was made more specials by the gorgeous details.
The shells and pearls were so cute especially with the gold and silver shimmer on.
They really caught the light and made the cake a lot more elegant.

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 The little banner on the beach hut was one of my favourite little details. I love it!
It’s so cute and makes the cake even more special.

We were a little sad to find the hut wasn’t made of cake but we sure did enjoy the main cake a lot!

My favourite little detail was the bucket full of sand. I love the texture created by the sugar and the little handle makes it adorable too.

This cake would be fabulous to enjoy at a party or summer barbeque.

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 The cake was a gorgeous chocolate sponge cake with chocolate fudge filling and covering then covered with sugarpaste. I never would have guessed looking at the cake that it was chocolate inside. Cakes by Robin really manages to keep the icing clean and chocolate free. I would have bet it was a vanilla cake inside!
I am very glad I was wrong. The chocolate cake was splendid. I loved it and would have gladly eaten many many more slices. There was a perfect cake to sugar paste icing ratio. There was a very happy sugar high to be had.

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 The details were lovely and the use of golden sugar to act as sand was genius. There was a light covering all over the cake and it added a really nice little extra texture to gooey chocolate and soft sugarpaste.

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 I will visiting Cakes by Robin in Southfields soon to see their shop and little cafe.
It will be lovely to see where all their incredible cakes are made. I need more cake!

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Check out the amazing cakes at www.cakesbyrobin.co.uk and if you’re near Southfields and Wimbledon you must visit too!

Thank you Cakes by Robin for allowing me the great opportunity to try and enjoy one of your amazing cakes.

Sausage Rolls for Colman’s Mustard 200th Anniversary

It is fairly impressive that a company can get to celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary but 200th is crazy. Yet we Brits seem to have enjoyed our mustard so much that Colman’s has been make it for us for 200 years. 200 years ago Jane Austen’s Mansifeld Park was published, The Times Newspaper was first printed using a steam press, Beethoven was writing Symphonies, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and Queen Victoria hadn’t been born yet. A lot has happened since it’s founding including two Women as Queen and head of state, two World Wars, invention of electricity and all the technology which goes with it and the amazing mustard from Colman’s has survived! I for one am glad.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary I have whipped up these gorgeous Colman’s mustard with shallot sausage rolls. Very easy to make and are brilliant picnic and party food.

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Colman’s have bought out gorgeous new little pots with examples of their old posters and advertising campaigns to celebrate their history over the last 200 years.

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This recipe is incredibly simple and can be adapted easily too.


- 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry 320g at room temperature
- 5-6 sausages (I love Cumberland for sausage rolls) with the skins removed
- 5 shallots or 1 onion cut up into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons of Colman’s mustard
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/160 fan.
- Unroll the pastry and place the mustard in a strip down the middle, making the middle third yellow.
- Squish the sausage meat into a long sausage and place in the middle of the pastry on top of the mustard.
- Add the cut up shallots and onions.
- Season with salt, pepper and some dried oregano/thyme too if you would like.
- Fold one side of the pastry over the sausage meat on to the middle third and do the same with the other third.
- Cut up the roll in to good inch slices. I normally get about 12-14 out of a roll.
- Put the slices on to a non stick baking tray or one with greaseproof paper. Don’t put them too close together as they will spread.
- Brush with the egg and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve when hot from the oven or let them go cold to take them for a picnic.

Simple to make all you really need is pastry and sausage meat.

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The mustard on the pastry with sausage meat, shallow, salt, pepper and dried herbs.

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Cup up, brushed with egg and ready for the oven.

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Happy Anniversary to Colman’s Mustard x

Prudential Ride London-Surrey through Wimbledon

After the excitement of the Olympics and the huge cycle race through London and Surrey in 2012 I was so excited last year to see the cycling coming through the streets of Wimbledon. I loved it last year and it was so exciting to see amazing cycling whizzing straight by.

The excitement of last year meant I was excited about this years race as soon as I had the leaflet about it a few months ago. It was in the diary and I’ve been counting down the days. I was very excited to see Bradley Wiggins as I hadn’t seen him cycling before and now I can say I’ve seen a Tour de France winner cycling!

Today was the day and the cycling in both the Ride London 100 and Ride London-Surrey races were incredibly impressive as was the weather for the morning. The poor RideLondon 100 cyclists were caught in the stormy weather while coming through Wimbledon. As were the large crows which had come out to great them and cheer them on. Love Wimbledon had laid on a great street party including bike marking with the local police, ice cream, popcorn, penny farthing rides and music. Sadly the rain put a dampener on the celebration and the stalls had to be shut for a while so the stall holders could hide from the rain.

Here is my video of the impressive rain as they cycled through.

The afternoon and professional RideLondon-Surrey was a lot dryer for the cyclists but also happened a lot quicker. Blink and you missed them.
It was great seeing the cyclists power along our streets and up Wimbledon Hill – no easy feat! I love cycling and I wish the streets of London were always this empty and pro bicycle. I felt very inspired by the cyclists today and I will be out this week on my bike.

I managed to get some lovely photos this morning of the cyclists coming through. It was nice to see the decorated bikes and costumes that people were wearing. I hope they all made a lot for their charities as they did incredibly well. I wish I could cycle the distance they did.

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Everyone cheered this guy on dressed a lady through a very funny t-shirt. A lot of people had to double take as he went speeding by. I love the wig stuck on to the bicycle helmet!

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I picked up candy floss from the lovely team and it was delicious. It did go a bit wrong as the dampness and rain in the air stuck to the candy floss and it reduced in size so fast. I still loved it and found it hilarious how fast it shrank.

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After coming home for a cup of tea and to dry off a bit we headed back out to see the pro cyclists coming through Wimbledon.
We were watching the race on TV and as soon as we saw Kingston we ran up the road and just made it in time.

We knew the cyclists were close as we could see the helicopter in the distance getting closer and closer.

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The power and speed was incredible. I got far too excited and was cheering very loudly.

We stayed along with a lot of people until the last cyclist had passed and cheered and supported them all.

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After the last cyclist had gone through and the roads started reopening a lovely pensioner on his bike going home went through so we all cheered for him too!