Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pretty Vintage China Tea Sets and Three Tier Cake Stands

vintage cake standHave you been enjoying the mad March weather this week? It's been unseasonally sunny and warm up here in our corner of England. The cherry trees are covered in a confetti of soft pink blossom and the daffodil trumpets are heralding the grand entrance of spring. At last!

We've been making the most of the pleasant sunshine. Down on the allotment the girls have constructed several raised beds, made a wooden base for and glazed the greenhouse and sown so many vegetable seeds that we ought to be able to laugh at the extortionate cost of them in the supermarket in a few months' time. I certainly hope so! On top of this I've also been making up some pretty vintage china tea sets. It's been a joy to photograph them in the open air after being couped up through the long cold nights of winter.

I hope you like them as much as I do? The beautiful floral patterns remind me so much of being in the garden during the summer taking tea al fresco under the shade of a giant sun umbrella.

'Fashionable Florals' is a mixed vintage English china tea set for six complete with a three tier cake stand a cream jug and sugar bowl. I've chosen pretty floral patterns and added a touch of glamorous gold. There are some beautiful vintage teacups and tea plates in this set including Royal Albert Lavender Rose and Colclough Hedgerow. Sighs!

A collection of softest pinks, sumptuous floral sprays, colourful posies and ditsy red roses. Included in this tea set is a teacup and saucer and matching tea plate called 'Lavender Lady'. The border is filled with a shining golden flower pattern surrounding an elegant young woman in her quaint vintage dress. She looks quite divine on the top of the three tier cake stand too!

We have named this tea set 'Pink Bouquet'. Created from a collection of mixed vintage china teacups saucers and tea plates all with a hint of pink. The centre piece is a delightful vintage three tier cake stand. Perfect for an afternoon tea with girlfriends or a perhaps a vintage wedding table. Pure white bone china with pretty pink flowers edged in gold. Clean, fresh and feminine. I love it! I can't help my adoration of all things pink!

The tea set below is based on a pale blue and pink theme. My particular favourite piece is the Royal Albert Sweet Pea teacup but then again the baby pink Paragon china teacup is also lovely....


...actually it's all beautiful. I'm really satisfied with the pleasing effect of the colours and patterns in this tea set too. 


The vintage cake stand is completed with a teacup top. I was going to fill it with a small bunch of fresh carnation flowers but the buds have yet to open into blooms. It's so pretty it really doesn't need dressing up. 

After all that work there was only one thing left to do - a nice cup of tea or two. By the way, that strawberry cream scone. It was delicious!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Butterfly Cakes and Bread Roll Bricks

Butterfly Cupcakes and Vintage Cake Stand

Sunday night and we were looking for something different to do. "I know!" It was an inspirational moment. "Let's make some bread!" The cupboards were thoroughly rifled through and a packet of dried yeast and strong wholemeal flour were duly discovered. It's amazing what you can find hiding out of sight in a kitchen cupboard. So they were ever so slightly out of date but only just. Mother pummelled the life of out a giant ball of sticky bread dough and daughter chose instead to make some cupcakes. With the help of an electric whisk it's a far less physically demanding and much sweeter than bread rolls. Besides, classic cake mix is the only recipe I can remember without the need for a cookery book. The mixture was nice and fluffy and ready for the oven but the only paper cases to be found in the cupboards were for muffins. Too big for what I had in mind. Luckily after rooting this time through the kitchen drawers I found some reusable silcone baking moulds. A small dollop of the mix was carefully spooned into each one and into the oven they went. Fingers crossed.

They turned out remarkably well. So well that they had risen above the cases like little mole hills. What are you supposed to do with the silcone? Peel it off? Leave it on? I peeled them. Without paper cases they looked more like mini Victoria sponge cakes than cupcakes! Oh dear. This wasn't going too well. I couldn't drizzle icing on as planned or it would be running down the sides. What to do with them now? Butterfly cakes! Here I have to give due credit to the yummy Distracted Gourmet blog for giving me that inspired idea. The bread rolls sadly turned out like bricks. Hard as concrete thanks to the out of date flour no doubt and the cook on this occasion can't be blamed.

I'm rather pleased with the result of my butterfly cakes. My first ever attempt at using a piping bag too. It cost a whole sixty-nine pence from Wilkinsons. The butter icing was squirted on in a bit of a haphazard fashion but once the 'wings' were placed on top and the cakes were dusted with sugar they looked a little more forgiving.

Butterfly cakes displayed beautifully on one of our vintage three tier cake stands of course. Maybe I ought to try baking more often. We have plenty of choice of gorgeous cake stands to serve them on! All that's left now is to eat them all. Bang goes that diet!


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