Saturday, 3 November 2012

A Little Christmas Styling!

I know it is still a little early, but I couldn't help but share some of the lovely decorations that have arrived in the shop over the last week or so.  I don't know about you but I love planning how I am going to create a different festive 'look' for each room [and I mean each room!] in my home.  Yes, I am one of those - a Christmas addict!  I love it and everything that goes with it!  Thankfully the shop provides me with plenty of inspiration...

Scandinavian style silver for the hall

Shaker style whites and creams for the kitchen

Rich golds & bronzes for the sitting room

So, get creative & have fun!

Angel x

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

It's Apple Time!

To celebrate Apple Day on Sunday, I made this gorgeous Apple & Ginger Pudding, from 'Recipes for Everyday' by Jane Cumberbatch.  If you haven't already purchased a copy of this book, then I can highly recommend it.  Not only is it full of tasty, seasonal dishes, that are easy to prepare and even easier to eat, but it is also beautifully put together, by the multi-talented Jane Cumberbatch, style-guru and author of many of my favourite interiors books [including Pure Style & Pure Style Outside].

Apple & Ginger Pudding

For the Syrup:
4 cooking or large eating apples
juice of 1 lemon
90g butter
90g caster sugar
4 tbsp ginger syrup [from a jar of preserved ginger]

For the Cake:
125g butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs [beaten]
125g self raising flour
4 'rounds' of preserved ginger [chopped]

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a 1kg [2lb] loaf tin.

For the syrup - peel, core and slice the apples.  Mix with the lemon juice to stop them going brown.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the sugar and preserved ginger syrup and stir until creamy and a pale toffee colour.  Arrange the apple slices neatly in the bottom of the tin.  Gently pour over the syrup mixture and put to one side.

For the cake - cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, add the beaten eggs and mix well.  Fold in the flour, with a metal spoon, and stir in the chopped ginger.  Spread the cake mixture evenly over the apples.  Tip - you may find it easier to put dollops of the cake mixture all over the surface of the apples and then gently push these together so that the mixture covers the apples.  

Place the tin on a baking tray [to catch any bubbling syrup that may escape] and bake for around 45 minutes.  If the top browns too much, cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper.  To test whether the cake is ready, push a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it is done.  Leave the cake to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack before turning out and peeling away the greaseproof paper.  Eat with ice cream, cream or custard.


Angel x

Monday, 1 October 2012

Its been a while...

Yes, yes, we know we said last time we would 'do better', with more frequent blog posts, but all I can say is, with apologies in advance to Burns and Steinbeck, "the best laid schemes of mice & overworked small business owners often go awry"!

In our defence, we have been very, very busy here at Angel HQ.  The last couple of months we have launched new designs...

These natural vintage linen scented squares are all filled with French lavender and decorated with a combination of antique mother of pearl buttons, ticking striped ribbons and original monograms.  We think these simple designs let the tactile nature of the antique hemp and flax linens shine through but don't just take our word for it!  Available in store and online now.

Added lovely new things to our online homestore... 

These gorgeous merino wool throws are woven in England and we have chosen three co-ordinating designs, in pinks and greens, to feature in our Autumn/Winter collection.  Just imagine snuggling up in front of the fire with one or more of these lovely soft throws?

Started 'growing our own'...

We've had such fun this year with our new raised vegetable beds in the garden.  Despite the truly appalling weather, the plots have been very productive with peas, radishes, spring onions and lettuce in abundance.  Our new potatoes, however, rotted in the ground before we could dig them up and our cauliflowers look very deformed and extremely unappetizing!  The strawberries plants did well, as did the birds who ate all the fruits!  We will have to tackle those blighters next year.  I don't share my strawberries with anybody!

with love from the Angel Girls x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

An Apology and Some Cake!

We have been very remiss with our blog lately.  No posts at all in June!  Sincere apologies to all.  If you have missed us, thank you so much for noticing our absence!  In our defense, it has been a very manic time.  Not all good, not all bad - just life I suppose!  A persistently leaking roof in the shop, a banking fiasco [not my fault - this time], ageing parents, a very busy workshop, a quick trip to Scotland, another banking crisis [still not caused by me - I am getting good at this], a couple of photo shoots and a bad back!

In an attempt to redeem myself, I thought I would bribe you with cake.  Well, it always work with me and mine!

Elderflower & Lemon Cake

Every year I promise myself that I will make our own Elderflower cordial using the masses of flowers we have on bushes all over the farm.  Yet again, this year, we were too busy so I have cheated and used the bottled variety for this recipe.

225g Unsalted Butter - softened
225g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
4 Large Free Range Eggs
Zest of 2 Organic Lemons [2 tbsp]
225g Self Raising Flour
70ml Elderflower Cordial [undiluted]
Juice of 1/2 Organic Lemon

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a standard loaf tin.

Cream together the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Mix in the lemon zest.  In a small bowl, whisk the 4 eggs together and gradually add to the butter/sugar mixture, a teaspoon at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift 1/4 of the flour into the bowl and lightly fold in with a spatula.  Repeat until all the flour is incorporated.

Pour the cake mixture carefully into the loaf tin.  Place in the centre of a pre-heated oven and bake until a tester/skewer comes out clean - around 50 minutes.

While the cake is baking, mix together the elderflower cordial and the lemon juice in a small bowl.  Place the cake, still in the pan, on a wire rack and prick all over with a skewer.  Drizzle the elderflower and lemon syrup over the cake so that it seeps into the holes.  Leave to cool completely then remove from the tin to serve.

I made this cake on Saturday and we took it to the beach with us, as part of our picnic, on Sunday.  It went down really well, so I think it will become a family favourite!
You can also serve this with some Elderflower Cream as an extra special afternoon tea dish or a wonderful pudding.  Simply whisk together double cream with elderflower cordial [to taste] until thick and then spoon onto slices of the cake to serve.  Garnish each with a slice of lemon.

I am hoping that my recipe/cake offering will see me forgiven for my neglect?!

Angel x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

By Royal Appointment!

No, don't get too excited we haven't received one of those, just yet, although we have sold our designs to a certain palace-dweller before.  Sorry, sworn to secrecy!

This is us getting all JUBILEE'D UP [I will have to stop inventing new words - the spell-check is having a heart attack!].  First came our Jubilee Cushion Collection.  May I have a small drum roll and maybe a little bit of a fanfare please?... thank you!

Each of our Jubilee cushions is being produced as a Special Numbered Edition and there will only be 60 of each design available EVER!  Numbers 1-25 in the Jubilee Crown cushion have already gone as have numbers 1-40 in the God Save The Queen design [my personal favorite, if it's okay for me to say?].  So, if you would like one, or more, of these lovelies then we recommend placing your order fast.  As with all our cushions, they are handmade, using genuine vintage linen, in our own workshops here in Yorkshire so you can be assured that they are most definitely a uniquely British design!

We also have some really lovely and unusual products from other British designers, all of which are made in Great Britain - not something that can be said about a lot of the Jubilee designs currently available. 

These fabulous Jubilee Tea Towels are the perfect example.  You certainly won't feel the need to put these royal beauties away after the celebrations...

... and we are almost overcome with excitement at having these designs available in store.

I mean, how can anybody have a Jubilee celebration without an owl wearing a crown?! If the tea-set is further than you want to go, on the whole 'crown-wearing owl' thing, then we have mugs in this design too - perfect as a commemorative gift or for toasting 'ER Majesty' at your very own street party!

If you are looking for something to celebrate, what is going to be, a very BRITISH summer, then how about one of the designs from our Vintage Brit collection?  Each one a little piece of history in the making!

Whatever you decide to do for the Jubilee, have a great time and remember.... 'God Save The Queen'!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A trip to Norfolk, a sad farewell & a lovely store!

It was with sadness that we planned our fleeting visit, to one of my favorite parts of England, to attend my Aunt's funeral in Norfolk earlier this week.  We may have said our goodbyes on a very wet and cold Tuesday morning, but this was most definitely a celebration of the life of a very clever and stylish lady!

As with all things in life, our sadness was mixed with happiness at meeting up with my cousin, her lovely family, and finding out all that they had been up to since we were last together - lots of great news, including an amazingly romantic New York wedding!

On our trip down we took the coast road all the way from Hunstanton to Sheringham.  The weather was glorious with blue, blue skies and verges filled with, what I now know as, Horse Parsley. Unfortunately, we did not have time for a walk along the beach, also having with us an elderly parent for whom walking any distance is now an impossible task!

We did, however, get to stop off at Thornham village to visit the lovely Jo Griffiths in her equally lovely store, Vintage Home and Garden at Drove Orchards.  If you are ever in North Norfolk, on holiday or just passing, then I can highly recommend a visit to this beautiful little shop...

Angel x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Seeing the wood for the trees!

I thought I better do a follow up on my last blog post about the garden makeover.  Before you get too excited, it is still 'a work in progress' and, thanks to a shortage of both spare time and funds, will probably be so for some time to come!  Despite this, I hope you will follow our rather amateur, but hopefully entertaining, attempts to get the garden in order.
Well, the first clear-up of the season took place.  Gerard [still not Butler!] and his brother did an outstanding job clearing away years of accumulated debris.  It is truly amazing what can be achieved when you are motivated - or a professional gardener getting paid!  We could, at last, see the wood for the trees...
The driveway border, which we have 're-inforced' with a wall of sleepers, although I called it 're-upholstered' [that's a textile designer for you], was completely cleared ready for planting. Those of you with eagle eyes, will see some of our cows in the background of the image.  You can do very little, around the farm, without their natural curiosity bringing them over to watch!
We kept the three lilac trees, even though they are rather old and send shoots out all over the place, as they create a lovely wall of greenery, not to mention beautifully scented flowers, that shields the house from some of the less attractive 'farm workings'!  All planting suggestions for this border gratefully accepted...
The pond looked a little forlorn, after it's 'short back and sides', but the grasses and marginal plants are already sending up green shoots and the newts and frogs seem to appreciate having access to a little more sunlight, now that the jungle has disappeared.
The path leading to the workshop is bordered on one side by lawn and on the other by the wall of the fold yard [this being where the cows spend the winter].  This border had become very overgrown, so much so that the path was almost impassible.  It has now been transformed into a neat, slate covered area with the rambling roses and clematis firmly put back in their place!  I hope to have a few tomato plants along the wall this summer - variety and growing method [pots vs grow bags] to be decided...
I have wanted some raised beds, for vegetables, close to the kitchen door for as long as I can remember.  So, with some railway sleepers going spare, this seemed the ideal opportunity...

After much huffing, puffing [those sleepers are blooming heavy things] and hammering, we now have two lovely raised beds ready for filling with soil and planting with any number of wonderful vegetables, salad leaves and maybe even a bit of a cutting garden?

Angel [aka Kirstin] x