Thursday, November 26, 2009

thanks for cake and tea!

Well yes I know at the Golden Afternoon Tea Company, we are the epitome of all things delightful and English tea and crumpets, of course we are! But we couldn't not wish all our friends across the pond and those far from home over here now a very happy thanksgiving now, could we?
And if we didn't have those yankee- doodles to thank, we wouldn't have such wonderful things as
MGM musicals, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, amazingly stylish 50's cars, rock n roll, red velvet cakes and cupcakes(would we still be calling them fairy cakes?!) and oo so many things to make life more fun,glamorous and cooooool!
So in honor of that ( lookee I even spelled it the American way for the occasion!) here is the recipe for Pumpkin and Walnut cupcakes, I promised in this post.
It comes from Lola's Cupcakes via Marie Claire,
and is something truly to be thankful for!
Have a great day y'all.


450g of plain flour
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice or ginger
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
400g of caster sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
400g shredded fresh pumpkin
100g of white chocolate curls

For the cream cheese icing:

250g of unsalted butter
1000g of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla paste
500g Philadelphia Cream Cheese


Slice open the pumpkin, remove the seeds and chop the pumpkin into smaller chunks.  Then grate 400g of pumpkin chunks.

Sift together the plain flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice. Add the walnuts now too as this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cupcake.

Measure the sugar, oil and vanilla into a large size bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition.  This is the wet mixture.

Add the majority of the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just combined. Add the remaining dry mixture very slowly until all incorporated.  This will result in a very thick batter.  Do not overbeat!

Fold the pumpkin and white chocolate curls into the batter with a large wooden spoon.

Pipe or spoon the mixture into cupcake cases about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees, until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick comes out clean, which should take between 20 and 25 minutes.

Finish the cooled cupcakes with generous helpings of cream cheese icing, dusted with cocoa powder and decorated with chocolate shreds

(original recipe found here)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

teacup tuesday

Somebody pass the smelling salts, I may pass out with the excitement...

Over on Etsy, the superbly named Trixiedelicious creates these fabulous teacups and plates, vintage china enscribed with insults, flirtatious messages, or just random words to make you chuckle .
Vandalized Vintage she calls it.
Just feast your peepers at her other creations,
uh-oh... some more things to add to my ever increasing Christmas list!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm late, I'm late!

Have a look at this darling White Rabbit necklace that the very clever Janine has created and is giving away over on her blog Cherished Trinkets,  pop over and leave your comment and it could be yours. Isn't that a wonderful way to start the weekend?

 Adorable, non?
And would look perfect with a waistcoat and jaunty hat- one could gaze admiringly at it in until you get a proper pocket watch.. Oh no! I have a sudden compulsion for one of those as well!
I am almost as bad as the White Rabbit when it comes to timekeeping, it just seems to slip away from me like a melting Dali Clock.. perhaps this would make all the difference!

And what excuse would I need to don an outfit like this I wonder..
The necklace would go perfectly!

Love it! From Look Book.
Tick tock- a whole site devoted to the pocket watch.

Well before I get too distracted by watches and top hats too much, where were we.. oh yes..

Janine's site is such a dreamy place to while away the time , we share a love of vintage bobbins, Alice and pygmy hedgehogs!! I am so green- she's getting a pygmy hedgehog!! I have been asking The Chap if we can get one for months now..maybe Santa will bring me one in my stocking! Look at this snuffly little thing. I would call it Mrs Tiggywinkle. She's already in a teacup, ready for me!

Have a peek at her other gorgeous Alice inspired necklaces, an afternoon tea bracelet- just the thing to jangle against your vintage teacup whilst you sip and these tea and cake earrings
(oo can I put in a request for those please, thank you, please.)

Cherished Trinkets can also be found on Etsy and lovely pictures of her work on flickr
Hurrah- we love pretty things.

Am brimming with excitement as work starts on the Golden Afternoon Tea Company  website this week, much as I love our holding page - can't wait to create some magical graphics with my super talented designers. Inspiration will be helped with lots of tea and cake, no doubt!
  I also have a mammoth bake-athon ahead of me. Will be made even more fun by my current obsession with this band and renewing my love for this smooth fella..

Do you find music whilst you bake helps the cakes? I think it fills them with all the good things.

Hope your weekend's full of singing love and blue skies.
Tootle pip!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recipe: Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

(click on image for ingredients)
Get baking...
Makes 12

Preheat oven to 180°/Gas 4
Beat together eggs and sugar
Melt the butter, pour in the milk and add to egg mixture
Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder, fold into mixture
Add lemon juice, zest and poppy seeds
Spoon mixture into muffin cases
Bake in middle of oven for 15 minutes
Leave to cool

Make the frosting by mixing the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and zest until creamy
Smooth frosting over cupcakes and sprinkle with poppy seeds and lemon zest


Friday, November 13, 2009

Vote For Us!

Vote for us, and others at the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards.......

At the end of every month, the blog that has received the most votes wins a lovely Dorset Cereals goodie bag and a coveted Little Blog Awards egg cup.

Plus everyone who votes is entered into a monthly FREE prize draw to win a case of Dorset Cereals - Scrum-diddly-yumtious!

Dorset Cereals little awards

Put a smile on our faces and click on the egg cup to vote

Thank you


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Having your tea and drinking it

Ideally a cake should both look and taste a treat and when applying this to tea you can really not go amiss with tea from teapigs which are beautifully packaged and absolutely delicious. Both Lula and I love their peppermint tea, and I am tempted to taste their chocolate flake tea and perhaps even the chilli chai.

I also love tick tock teas, whose boxes look as though they been dusted down after hiding in a pantry for the last 50 years...

And of course once you’re ready for a brew, what better way to serve it than in a vintage china teacup

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A WW2 teacup tuesday

 Last sunday was Memorial Sunday, a day when we remember the huge sacrifice made by so many  so that those who would come after could live lives of freedom and liberty. And it was not just the soldiers fighting on the front that we remember but those that stayed behind and whose day to day life would be full of small sacrifices in order to keep the spirit strong.
As seen in this American poster, showing how holding onto your chipped teacups was even patriotic and had the 'nation's welfare at heart'!
( Do click on it to read the text, I can't seem to size it properly!)

I guess we could learn a little something from these words in our thrifty times and besides, I know that this Tea Maid has cupboards of imperfect bowls and plates I can't bear to throw out! My Chap can't understand it but now I shall just say I'm following the example of the 'Patriotic Mrs Jones' as I add another slightly chipped saucer to the collection!

Pic from here

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A cup of tea...

Makes everything better...
 Whatever the weather, shake those blues away with a cheery cup of sunshine in a pretty flowery teacup and life seems so much brighter. Tra- la-la!

And if we get a little raucous and start dancing on the cupcakes,
well who could blame us..

Kick up your heels and dance on tables!
Now doesn't that put  a flounce in your petticoats ?

Tootle pip..
Have a lovely weekend filled with tea and dancing(table not necessarily required!)

pics from here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tea o' Clock

So following on from Ingrid's question after this post, it set me pondering on what time is the correct and proper time to partake of a cup of tea, a cucmber sandwich and a slice of cake..
As the Golden Afternoon Tea Company prize ourselves on being proper in the most English of ways we had to find out,and donning our best Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat and popping a musty pipe in between our pearlie whites we went off to investigate....

The 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Marie Stanhope is credited with inventing the ritual of Afternoon Tea in the early 19th century, 1841 to be precise, in order to avoid that 'sinking feeling' in the late afternoon!  The peckish Duchess summoned her butler to bring her tea and light refreshments to her boudoir and  soon was gathering all the other Duchesses and Marquises and Ladies to join her in a nibble, and la-dee -daa, the Afternoon Tea was born!
Etiquette suggests that tea should be served between 4 o'clock and 5, but I am really of the same opinion as the Mad Hatter who believes it's always tea time.

A bright idea came into Alice's head. `Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?' she asked.

`Yes, that's it,' said the Hatter with a sigh: `it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles.'

And as Henry James put it:
'There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.'

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

teacup tuesday

How fantastic is this DIY teacup candelabra..
A breeze to make too- all your pals will be gasping with amazement, even better! Would be perfect for the centrepiece for an afternoon tea.
Dig out your some lovely teacups, maybe the one with the saucer you dropped, or the lonesome saucerless one you couldn't resist at the boot sale.
Blow the dust of that old candelabra, then with some
ceramic glue fix the base of the cup to the candle bit of the candelabra. Et Voila!
Fill with flowers, little plants, cupcakes,candle and you could decorate with ribbons, twist ivy or clematis foliage around the arms, or drape with sparkling beads.

from portovert

Sunday, November 1, 2009

late pumpkin post, vintage style!

Well Halloween has spooked it's way back into the night and it was all so quiet round our way..hardly a ghoul or a ghost to terrify us in exchange for some sweet treats and goodies, well we did have an adorable black cat and a what looked like a squished tomato! But the pumpkins were finely turned out on the doorstep casting their ooky glow, and I made some darn fine cupcakes with their insides.
Recipe to follow later

Even the pooch was admiring the pumpkins.
So even though we're a bit late for this years halloween decorations, I have been all a buzz thinking of vintage style decorations with a few pumpkins and gourds.
Lina and I were at a wedding yesterday, a bright and clear Saturday, and they were filled with russet and rich red berries and flowers.
Looking for inspiration turned up these..
 Am loving these ones covered in gold leaf...

fabulous finishes

And these vintage tins perfect for a rustic style.

from wishpot
And a soft and elegant look.

from Brides

And always Martha turns up the goods, how gorgeous is this filagree  style, would take a lot of patience though!
Would be perfect for our The Golden Afternoon Tea Company Autumn menus.


That reminds me, my pumpkins really should come in now shouldn't they?
Till next year my pretties!

Getting to Know You........

Well I guess it's high time I introduced myself! I'll just pour myself a cup of tea and then we can sit down for a little natter.....

I'm Lina, a good friend of the lovely Lula and her partner in, well cake mixture! But we share a love of so many things from pretty vintage nik-naks found at car boot sales, to reams of pastel pink polka-dotted fabrics and a penchant for dressing up and dancing!

With my first wedding anniversary just passed, and amidst a tide of weddings and engagement announcements, it seems appropriate to tell the story of mine and Lula's meeting, whilst we were both ensconced in our own wedding plans. For those of you who are married or on the wedding path and have experienced the creative flow of wedding flavoured juices will know a friend or two, to bounce off the hundreds of ideas are worth their weight in gold. And Lula was a true find, sharing the excitement, the highs and the lows plus having the most jaw-droppingly beautiful vintage afternoon tea wedding garden party this side of 1950, for inspiration mid-way through my planning.

Picture perfect: A shot from Lula's wedding afternoon tea

And now that our weddings have long since passed, well the joy and finger tapping excitement that the words 'wedding planning' bring us is still as strong, but we can now share in our friends’ happiness, as they make their journey towards wedded bliss and look back on fond memories and the friendship our weddings forged.