Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Classic French Macaron


I've perfected the Macaroon
but not the French Classic
Macaron! 



A Macaron baking class with Caroline Hope….
she is an expert on English Tea
and all the goodies 
served with it! 


Five of us crammed into her adorable, efficient, London flat
for an intensive lesson 
on baking.

No electric
Mixer? 

If it falls on your head,
it's not ready!


Cocoa with a chocolate ganache, pistachio with pistachio butter cream,
and my favorite,
ginger with lime butter cream! 


They turned out perfect and delicious,
but honestly…..
So many things can go wrong….
I'll probably buy them!  



Friday, 21 March 2014

Country Living Spring Fair


I have been looking forward to this day….
The annual "Country Living Spring Fair"
at the Business Design Centre in Islington.


It's best to get there before the doors open at 10:00….
it's always packed with shoppers!



It must be time for me to move back to the States…
TOO MANY venders recognized me from past shows!!!


As always … it's fun to end our shopping day at a local pub,
The Horse and Groom

***Do you even recognize my favorite Aussie with her hair down? 





Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lewes for antique shopping

As many times as I have been to the quaint town of Lewes for antique shopping,
I have never posted a blog ~
  Here is Lewes…..

About an hour train ride out of Victoria Station…..
Home to Lewes Castle, Harvey's Brewery, and Anne of Cleaves House…….
and believe it or not, Thomas Paine,
Father of the American Revolution! 


on a beautiful mid-March day!  

On our way up the hill from the train station we are tempted by the bakery windows…..


Sticking to the mission…..
Eve, Sandra, and Natalie at our first stop - the Antique Centre


the Oyster plates are still there….


What, none of us are looking for silver napkin rings???



Up the hill with a left turn at this memorial intersection…..


the Lewes Flea Market always promises treasures…..


some more interesting than others…..




Sandra has a thing for elephants, but this elephant foot planter ~
maybe not!  
(It would be funny to see others reactions with it in the seat next to us on the train!)


Heading back down the hill the village comes alive….


The best part of the day is always lunch at Bill's…..


starting with a refreshing 'spring-like' 
Prosecco and Elderflower spritzer!

There are several more fun antique shops along main street 
where I found what I was looking for…


but not the right 'colours'! 


Time to catch the train back to London….


where Sandra and I, bribed by a piece of chocolate - we are so easy,
filled out a questionnaire from a student in Brighton
majoring in Restaurant Management.
Judging by the look on our faces, we wanted to make an A+!!!

It was another great day out of the city with friends! 




Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rye Bay Scallop Week

When we boarded the train at St. Pancreas,
with a change in Ashford, we had no idea
that it was Rye Bay Scollop week.  The sun
was shining with a hint of spring in the air….
we were just out for another weekend
adventure…...
 to Rye.










For several hundred years from the late 1100, Rye enjoyed Royal Privileges, becoming a wealthy port.  It was made a Royal Borough and was allowed to run its own affairs, raise its own taxes, and operate its own judicial system. Despite the presence of a King's Bailiff, Rye earned a terrible reputation for smuggling and piracy!  


From the Ypres Tower above the Castle Museum we could look across the marsh and imagine this little town's past life as a port in the days before the sea rolled back. 


A stroll along Rye's cobbled streets revealed 
Mermaid Lane….



There's a theme going here with small doors!  


The wharf area is packed with souvenir shops, antique stores, 
pubs, and tea rooms.


But the best part of our day was our sampling of 
Bay Scallop dishes!


Coquilles St. Jacques….
Simply means "scallop" in French,
but remember this……
a sweet scallop grilled in butter atop chopped sautéed mushrooms,
steamed spinach and mash,
topped with a little Gruyere cheese
all tucked into a pretty shell! 
Heaven! 



Rye Rocked! 







Sunday, 23 February 2014

Treasures!



The treasures that got away……
The seltzer bottles were the perfect shades of blues and greens but 
filthy and full of water.  We decided to pass!
The £35 iron clocks with Roman Numerals
(seen in Ballard Designs for $$$) 
would have been perfect for the girls in Boston
but when we went back after lunch,
many of the booths had closed due to the bad weather!


I loved this "Old Hall" trunk,
but not today! 


I did bring home a French bench/foot stool……


It looks nice with the desk I got last year.
www.frenchlavender.co.uk

And I got a deal on a Chinese 'Vahhz'
to add to our Founder's Day Mahjongg Basket…
I thought the color was so soft and pretty, 
who wouldn't want to win that? 






Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Ardingly - Mr. Rick's first visit

Ardingly Antiques Fair …. through freezing rain and flooded fields, the show goes on!


Rick has heard so much about this antique fair that I actually convinced him to take a day off, 
rent a car, and drive a few of us ladies for a day of bargain hunting.  
Of course, this had to be the worst conditions I have ever been to Ardingly!


You can tell from our reflection in the mirror that we were prepared for the bad weather,
 many of the vendors were not!


I thought this time I would feature Mr. Rick and some of the treasures he was interested in…..
"You don't need a cane yet!" 

old bikes

industrial tables

Parts off an old merry-go-round

I'm not even going there!

boats and fishing reels,
but no one was willing to bargain!

The best part of his day,
a ham and cheese toasty!


And NOT getting the rental car stuck in the mud,
needing to be pulled out by the local farmer's tractor, whew! 

Next blog….my treasures!