Monday, 27 April 2015

Monday Inspiration - Whisky Tea Loaf

Sister and Nieces came to stay on the last weekend of the easter holidays.

Sister had watched a programme about Thomas Heatherwick.  He has designed things including the new London Routemaster buses and the Olympic Cauldron.  In the programme it showed his rolling bridge so we decided to go and watch it curl up!    The footbridge only curls up once a week at Midday on a Friday.   

It's at the Paddington Basin, so we got there in plenty of time to have a wander before joining the little crowd to watch it. We spotted one Shaun in The City.  

Afterwards we walked along the canal to Little Venice.  It's so pretty and it was such a lovely day.  

We then got the bus to Notting Hill to the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.   This was a complete trip down memory lane for my Sister and I, especially the 1970's and 80's!!!  Full of old board games, chocolate bars and crisp packets.   This quirky little museum is definitely worth a visit - we spent the whole time saying "oh we had that" and "oh I loved those"!!!    

We then walked to Portobello Road and had a good wander round the stalls and shops.   

We ended up in Kensington Gardens and a well deserved sit down at Pizza Express for tea!

We also went to see Tom Stoppards new play The Hard Problem at the cinema through National Theatre Live.    Niece1 is a huge Damien Malony fan, they had tried to get tickets to see this at the National Theatre but they had sold out so she was able to see him on the big screen.   This is a great way for people outside of London to see plays.  There was a lovely introduction by Emma Freud and you could see the theatre filling up behind her. Having not seen a Tom Stoppard play before I didn't know what to expect but I enjoyed it, Sister wasn't sure and Niece1 only had eyes for Damien.....

I made a Whisky tea loaf - my recipe came from Stacey Bakes book, there are lots of different tea loaf recipes but the use of whisky in this one is amazing, everytime I opened the tin to have a piece the kitchen filled with the smell!

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. On Top of The World - Imagine Dragons
2. Whenever, Wherever - Shakira
3. Love Me Again - John Newman

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Monday Review - The Garden Gate Tearoom

Minibakebakegirl went out with her friend yesterday afternoon, so I suggested to Hubby we go for a walk as it was such a beautiful afternoon.   

On the edge of Hitchin is Oughtonhead Common, we hadn't been there for years, the last time was probably when Minibakebakegirl was about 8.  I had heard of the Garden Gate Tearoom at Oughtonhead Farm so we decided to go and try it out on the way to the Common. 

We had no trouble finding it, we just followed everyone else!  It's only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11-4.    It was very busy when we arrived but we were in no rush, there are about 3 tables inside and lots of tables outside.   It was very windy so we decided to sit indoors.

We both had cappuccinos, Hubby had a huge slice of coffee and walnut cake, and I had a huge slice of victoria sponge with fresh strawberries.   Both were lovely and very generous slices.   We will definitely go back!

After our pit stop it had clouded over but it was still a very pleasant afternoon. 

Thanks for visiting,

Today's top three Spotify songs:

1. Love of The Common People - Paul Young
2. Wherever I Lay My Hat - Paul Young
3. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Paul Young

Monday Bake - Chocolate and Guinness Cake

As an easter treat I made Edd Kimber's chocolate and Guinness cake, the idea of the added Guinness intrigued me and he is right - you cannot tell its in there.   This cake almost has a devils loaf cake texture and it was actually better the next day.  You can find the recipe here.  

We have got Sister and Nieces down soon and I think I will make this cake for them too.   I went for my easter decoration of choice of mini eggs instead of the chocolate curls.

I bought Edd Kimbers Say It With Cake Book ages ago (in Liverpool I think!) as it seemed to have quite a few gluten free recipes.   I think I will do one for cake club next time.

Hope you had a lovely easter, 

Today's top three Spotify Songs:

1. Lollipop - Mika
2. Grace Kelly - Mika
3. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - Mika