woensdag 29 augustus 2012

Tea party at House of Seasons


About half a year ago I planned a tea party in my garden for blog friends from around  Rotterdam. 

Most of the time I am lucky with the weather, but this month seems to be the exception. Last week my tea party was postponed because of the hot weather, this week because of the rain. Lia from the blog House of Seasons kindly offered to hold the party in her shop. I am grateful for her kind gesture. Lia, a big kiss & hug to you!

When I entered the shop on Sunday afternoon, it looked just lovely. Lia and Jolanda, from the blog Franse Lelie, already laid the tables. They used vintage tablecloths, mix-and-match crockery from the shop and added freshly picked flowers from Jolanda's garden. 

We had a great afternoon chatting and laughing, while we enjoyed our tea and all sorts of tea time treats, like blueberry muffins, sandwiches and coffee walnut pie. If you would like to see more photo's, please have a look at Lia's , Ingrid's or Jolanda's blog.

Dear Lia, Jolanda, Saskia, Ingrid, Riet, Arjo & Anita, thank you for a lovely afternoon! I  already look forward to next years party.

Wish you all a Happy Wednesday!


Madelief x

zaterdag 25 augustus 2012

Passage to India

Not far away from Moreton in the Marsh, in the beautiful Cotswold hills, lies an Indian House. While entering the garden, walking over the bridge with little animal sculptures on it's railing, you catch the first glimpses of the the green dome and minarets. They look very impressive from a distance. Once you get closer, you notice the intricate railings and large peacock trail windows. The architect Charles Cockerell did a good job, back in 1810.

Once you walk around the corner and see the orangery at the end of the Persian garden, you realise this must be Paradise. The Hindu Temple in the water gardens, with a statue of the goddess Souriya, is the perfect place to sit down and take in the beautiful scenery. But that's not all, the garden has much more to offer, like spring fed pools, a bit of woodland and green pastures with cows and wild flowers.

Do have tea in the orangery! It's really special. They have the most delicious home made cakes, for when you are in desperate need of 'something sweet'. I can advise you to go on a tour of the house as well. The rooms open to the public are worth a visit.

In 1960 John Betjeman, who used to visit, captured Sezincote's charm in a poem.

Down the drive,
Under the early yellow leaves of oaks;
One lodge is Tudor, one in Indian style.
The bridge, the waterfall, the Temple Pool
And there they burst upon us,
the onion domes, Chajjas and chattris, made of amber tone:
‘Home of the Oaks’, exotic Sezincote.”

If you would like to know more about the house and gardens, have a look at Sezincote's website.

Wish you all a happy weekend! I will spend part of it in the kitchen, preparing all kind of sweet delights for a special tea party tomorrow. 

Have fun!


Madelief x

woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Floral china

Ever since I was a little girl I had a thing for floral china. I loved to peek into my grandmothers cupboard to see the pretty cups she had on display. I did not dare touch them, afraid to drop them and break the spell.

My mother was a collector too. It must have been in the late sixties and seventies that she received Royal Albert cups for her birthday. They were cherished and only used on special occasions. Through the years her collection is no longer complete, but when I visited my mother recently she gave me the cups and plates she still had, knowing they would be in good hands. Among them is her and my favourite, the 'forget-me-not cup' by Royal Albert. I gave it a special place in my dresser at home.

The amount of cups I have has grown over the years. I sold some, gave some to friends and family, but the once I kept all have a story to tell. When I drink my tea, I see images of the person who gave the cup to me. It's not only the cups that I cherish, but the memories to special people as well.

I would like to thank M from the lovely blog oc cottage, who made a beautiful post about my blog. It made me blush, LOL and put a big smile on my face. So very very kind! If you would like to see the post, please have a look at M's blog. Her other posts are lovely too. M creates the most wonderful works of art with shells and beads, has a great sense of humour, publishes beautiful photo's and loves porcelain, just like I do.

Wish you all a wonderful Wednesday!


Madelief x

zaterdag 18 augustus 2012

A warm summer evening in the garden

It was my intention to give this post the title 'A night under the stars', but while writing it down I realised it sounded a bit suggestive for a dinner party in the garden. Although the party ended with a pitch dark sky and stars illuminating our dining table.
Therefore a title which is perhaps a bit boring, but nevertheless more appropriate for the occasion.

When having a dinner party in an allotment garden, it is essential to keep ones head clear. Which is difficult on a warm summer day. Especially when you have been in the kitchen for some time grilling the vegetables, while the cherry tomatoes are roasting in the oven.

When filling up my baskets at home, I always check twice before I leave. Just to be sure. Yesterday being the exception. While I was half way to the garden, I realised I had forgotten the merquez sausages and lamb cutlets. I had to turn round and head back home again. That's not all. While I started on my dessert in the outdoor kitchen, the strawberries seemed to be missing. A summer Pavlova without strawberries is like missing the icing on the cake. Thanks to one of my daughters, who cycled to the garden to bring the strawberries, our dessert turned out fine. I did not even have to bribe her!

When you are interested in the recipe for the char grilled vegetables or the quinoa, avacado & broad bean salad, check out the cookery books by Yottam Ottolenghi.

You can find the recipe for the Pavlova in the little cookbook 101 tempting desserts.

Wish you all a wonderful weekend! We are off to the beach tomorrow for a cooling dip.


Madelief x