Over the past few months I’ve worked with Red Plum Fine Food on a re-brand to carry across business cards and printed catalogues. The vibrant teal and red Pantone colours compliment each other and demonstrate the unique artisan food and drink produce Red Plum distributes.
Thanks to Pedlars, I won tickets to go to a unique new festival over the weekend, created by Cerys Matthews and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone called ‘The Good Life Experience‘. It was one day of culture, music, good food and the great outdoors held on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden in Flintshire. On the Friday evening, we were on the guest list at The Glynne Arms to be sung to and have poetry read to us by Cerys, then for a deliciously fresh last-of-the-summer sharing meal put together by Aussie chef Bill Granger. Cerys’ Welsh songs made me very emotional, as it reminded me of my grandma and I was inspired by the Granny Smith apple incorporated into the crushed chive potatoes! After camping overnight, in the morning I did some archery and yoga, met Charlie Gladstone, discovered nice products by Best Made Co. and drank craft beer for lunch with Beer Bods. In the afternoon, we had a coffee brewing masterclass by London coffee roasters AllPress, bread making with Tom Herbert from The Fabulous Baker Bros and shared in the joy of baking vegetable cakes with Harry Eastwood. Around the site were craft tents for learning how to tie knots, stitch tote bags, screen print and even a vintage fairground. The atmosphere in the music tent was lively and this echoed across the festival with lots of families and dogs wandering around, with kids especially enjoying camp fires and activities. Sorry my photos aren’t fantastic but hopefully they show a little taste of the good life.
Popped under the water to France last weekend on Le Shuttle (mainly to re-stock ourselves with wine) and paid a worthwhile 24 hour visit to Lille. We ate vanilla filled waffles, canard with thyme and honey, drank cocktails and gazed at beautiful shop windows, pastries, fresh market produce and modern art. For photos, follow @onesugarplease over on Instagram.
We stayed overnight at a fantastic little B&B called Le 35 bis. Situated conveniently around the corner from a metro line into the city, the B&B was clean, stylish, comfortable and run by the lovely and helpful Jamila. Can’t recommend a stay there enough.
Tea is an amazing drink. Calming, restoring, thirst-quenching and balancing, I find a lot of happiness in putting the kettle on. There’s extra happiness to be found in the various green teas from Tea Pigs. Their handy cartons of Matcha Super Power Green Tea drinks in Elderflower, Grapefruit and Apple are a completely new (and convenient) way of drinking the health-boosting matcha green tea. Blended with juice and spring water, the drinks are really fresh and full of the natural flavonoid energy that matcha green tea contains.
I like to make a ‘Matcha Green Tea & Manuka Latte’ using the matcha green tea powder….
You only need a small amount of the powder in your glass or mug, then use a little warm water to make a smooth paste before adding hot milk and some manuka honey before whisking up using a battery powered whisk. Who needs to go to Starbucks when you can make these?
The whole leaf Mao Feng Green Tea is lovely and clean tasting infused in it’s ‘tea temple’ for no longer than 3 minutes. I like to then add a slice of lemon for a bit of zing!
I have a super green selection to giveaway to one person which includes, 3 Matcha Super Power Green Tea drinks in Grapefruit, Elderflower and Apple, a box of Mao Feng Green Tea, a box of Super Power Green Organic Matcha Powder with a glass, measuring spoon, an AeroLatte whisk and mini badge.
To be in with a chance of winning all of this, please do all of the following if possible…
TWEET “I’m seeing green with the @teapigs giveaway on @onesugarplease’s blog” on Twitter.
UK entrants only please. A winner will be selected at random on 29th August 2014. For all my readers and subscribers, there’s a unique 10% off discount code valid now to use on http://www.teapigs.co.uk until the end of August (excludes matcha kits, cheeky deals and pick & mix) Enter ‘fika’ at checkout.
For the last few months, myself and other ladies from the Made By collective have been planning and organising an art and design fair to be held in an old light aircraft top hangar. Selecting artists from applications, arranging a pop-up tea shop, and styling the big wide space was a huge task but the day was fantastic. Around 500 people walked through the large open metal hangar doors, cakes sold out by 2pm, dogs pottered around with their owners, and the feedback we had from the sellers and visitors was amazing. Above are some of my favourite photos from the day but more can be seen here.
I spent last Friday helping to spruce up an old light aircraft top hangar into a creative venue for artisan craft workshops, music, and for the Made By Affordable Art & Design Fair I’ve been organising for the last few months. At the end of a few hours hanging banners, sweeping and painting, the reward of sampling the very first warm, freshly baked bread from the newly built earth oven on site was wonderful. The wood burning earth oven was made by artist/chef Lizzy Bean using cob – a mixture of earth, clay and straw – on top of a cut down tree trunk. Lizzy made some quick but tasty chilli, rosemary and sea salt flat breads and the oven will be used to cook fresh pizzas during events at the Top Hangar this week and on Saturday for the fair. The beautiful willow baskets and servers were made that same day on site by Lodge Wood Basket Makers.
2 weeks ago, I had an afternoon tea party to celebrate my 30th birthday at The Spark in Lichfield. I decorated the room with bright multi-coloured bunting, helium filled balloons, yellow daisies, and made mini paper bunting and washi tape flags to decorate the (already pretty) cakes with.
The Spark did such a super spread of cakes and sandwiches for us all to tuck into while we chatted and listened to mid-century jazz. Everything was delicious. Big cake favourites were huge slices of chocolate Guiness cake, courgette and lime cake, and raspberry coconut whoopie pies. A lovely afternoon with my lovely friends and family.
How nice it was for Spring to say hello this weekend. How nice it was too, on Sunday morning, to collect pungent bright green leaves of wild garlic sprouting out from the sunshine dappled woodland floor to turn into a simple pesto.
I used two handfuls of wild garlic leaves for the pesto. I firstly washed and blanched them in boiling water for a few seconds then blitz them with a couple of tablespoons of sunflower seeds, a little fresh parsley, rapeseed oil, salt and pepper. I would’ve also added a good tablespoon of parmesan but didn’t have any in.
The pesto was such a welcome addition to a simple lunch of boiled potatoes and leeks with lemon roasted chicken thighs. The subtle garlicky flavour really lifted the whole meal. I need to do more of this from-ground-to-plate-in-less-than-2-hours business. For me, it’s a case of being a bit more confident and knowledgeable in what I’m picking and from where. More advice from the regular foragers I know will help with that!
Finally got around to visiting Goscote Greenacres community garden today after planning to go since I heard about it opening a few months ago! Goscote Greenacres provides opportunities for people with disabilities who use the onsite centre as well as for residents, community groups and schools in the Goscote area of Walsall. It offers growing opportunities as well as education in food production and the natural environment. The site has 48 gardening plots, poly tunnels, a shop selling local produce, putting green, wildflower meadow, woodland walk and soon to include fishing
platform and canal side walk along the Wyrley and Essington canal. It’s a great place and and I bought some freshly picked veg (picked before my very eyes in fact!) The bunch of kale, rainbow chard, red pepper, a mix of chillis and garlic bulb cost a bargain total of £1.80. Cheap, avoiding the supermarkets and pesticides, and supporting a fantastic local scheme. I love it.