Thursday, 30 October 2014

All Hallow's Eve

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Image via.
It’s Halloween!
Well, the witching hour is nearly upon us once again. As a child, being Canadian, Halloween was almost as important to me as Christmas. The excitement would set in as soon as the calendar was turned to October. I’m not sure if it was the sweets or the costumes or the fact we were always allowed hot dogs for dinner on the night, but the powerful combination of all those good things at once meant it could never come quick enough.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Winter Nights by Candle Light

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends It gives a lovely light

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Some examples of our candlesticks and candelabra in popular styles.
Well, if the weather itself wasn't an indication that we are heading towards winter, then the clocks going back surely is. Those long dark evenings are upon us once again and the need to create a cosy atmosphere becomes ever stronger. What better way to create more light and ambience than with the glow of a candle?

Of course, for more than a hundred years, we have had access to electricity and are able to provide our homes with more light by the simple flick of a switch. It enables us to have the light we need for getting on with our daily lives, but sometimes candlelight creates that ambient mood we simply cannot achieve with mere electricity.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Beer Flood of London

200 years ago today, on the 17th October 1814, a freakish and bizarre event occurred. Right here in the heart of London, in the parish of St Giles, the Horse Shoe Brewery (Muex and Company) on Tottenham Court Road had a disastrous accident.

Due to structural failure one of the huge vats containing 135,000 gallons of beer ruptured. The vat burst with such force it caused other vats in the brewery to erupt as well and, as a result, more than 323,000 gallons washed onto the streets.
An artist's impression of the incident.

Friday, 10 October 2014

That Takes the Bake

There has definitely been a nip in the air recently and the nights seem to be drawing in ever closer. Reluctantly, I will be soon putting away those summer outfits and bringing out the autumn jumpers again.

The one thing that I do look forward to as the chill begins to creep in, is the return of comfort food.
I do love a great salad and a simple grill, but come September, I start to yearn for the warming foods of winter. Along with all the delicious soups and stews to warm the cockles, there is of course the excuse to bake, and with the Great British Bake Off finals done and dusted it’s hard not to feel a little inspired. Over 13 million of us tuned in, more than the World Cup Final!
The 3 Bake-Off Finalists. Image via.
Huge congratulations to Nancy, by the way, whose showstopper Moulin Rouge with moveable surgarwork windmill sails, won the day. The result of the programme means, once again, the nation is in a frenzy of caramel and custard.
Nancy with her winning creation. Image via.
Now, I’m never going to be the kind of girl to make a three-tiered extravaganza, but it does make me want to pull out the old recipe I learned at school. Though creating nothing as complicated as a choux bun tower, the aroma still wafts through the house as though there might be a star baker nearby.

The Great British Bake Off has really captured our hearts and, I reckon, most of us who have been watching are looking at our tins and loaf pans and feeling as though it may be time to don the pinny and give it a whirl.

It has been said that as a direct result of the show, supermarket sales have risen in the baking aisles. Apparently, membership for the Womens Institute has reached its highest levels since the seventies as well. I guess that’s the power of the fondant fancy.

Now, if you have been inspired and have managed to whip up some delightful treats to be admired and enjoyed, maybe all that hard work merits a bedazzling way to present and serve them.

Nothing makes a sweet sweeter than a beautiful stand to showcase all that effort and creativity. Or a lovely basket containing your freshly baked bread. An antique silver cake slice would surely be a fitting way to serve up that cake you've worked so hard on. And, of course, a lovely silver dessert fork so you can scoff the lot in style.
George V Sterling Silver Bread Dish. Click here to view on our website.
Victorian Silver Plate Revolving Top Breakfast Dish. Click here to view on our website.
Devour that dessert in style with this sterling silver dessert set. Click here to view on our website.
Adding a touch of elegance to the table can surely be no more than all your effort deserves.

Friday, 3 October 2014

London Cocktail Week

To paraphrase W.C. Fields :

“Everybody believes in something. I believe I’ll have another cocktail.”

With London Cocktail Week upon us again next week I thought it would be the perfect time to share with you a little history of the cocktail.

This event, which is now in its 5th year, will see bars all across London participating in a celebration of the cocktail.  

The fine silver cocktail service of the Rivoli Bar at the Ritz, London. Image via.