Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ladies who Lunch & have cake for breakfast ...

My regular visitors will know that I love getting together with the 'girlies' to just catch up & enjoy girlie time as we don't live close.

A friends birthday was the perfect excuse to get together, celebrate & catch up.

Since we were meeting early, it was tea & cake for breakfast then lunch later. I was up early deciding on a table setting which is something I love.

I found a set of these game letters on a recent charity shop browse & they are just perfect for being random ....

Table setting for tea & cake - a vintage set with delicate flowers because the birthday girl loves roses ....

A vase of roses on the sideboard with some pink bubbly ♥

Candles lit in the window sill and on the table ...

My contribution to the morning - some South African / Dutch melk tert / milk tart ♥, freshly made at 5am ...

 Pleased with the table setting as it is pretty without being fussy

 The cake forks & teaspoons were gifts from South Africa & depict a settler monument - quite appropriate

The table cloth is vintage as is the crockery & they are perfectly at home with modern Ikea napkins

 Candles lit in the window - I love mixing things up & these are a selection of silver & crystal candles sticks

 The Ludlow ladies arrived with the pièce de résistance - a baked chocolate cheesecake to end all resistance; a worthy centre piece!!

So the table was ready for breakfast!

Candles lit ....

 .... and blown out

then time to sit back, catch up & enjoy the spread!

Lunch followed later at a favourite local pub - don't you just love that wall of gold framed mirrors?

A relaxed, day with decadant food, good company & good wishes - how birthdays should be.

Hope your weekend is bright & lovely, look in again soon & leave your blog details so I can return the visit
Dee ~♥~

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Getting the garden ready for Autumn ....

The long Summer always lulls me into a false sense of time then suddenly I realise that the nights are drawing in, mornings are darker, mists are rolling in over the hills & my garden is not ready for the colder weather.

I was out early this morning to feed the birds & take a photo of the dew on the flowers

Dew touched flowers

We have not had our first frosts yet but the I do need to get the garden ready for wrapping up soon.

My winter hyacinths are always tucked under a large bush for the summer to recover & I notice that our resident squirrel has been into them - they will need attention before the colder weather.

But ... they will have to wait for today I have my sights set on the side of the house.  There is a raised side bed that is home to all the herb planters. I cannot plant directly onto that side because there are service covers there that need access in an emergency so I get around it by putting silver planters up on the ledge.  Unfortunately, it had become way too messy ....

Some of it is quite shady but this is home to my herbs because I love using fresh herbs in my cooking so it is very handy to have these close to the kitchen door.

These are some current ones:


Unfortunately the side alley is also home to the my potting soil, spare tubs & large bins with firewood for our chimnea so it is not all pretty ... Ideally, a very pretty green house would be so welcome but in the absence of that, I use this area for potting things up.

This box topiary suffered from frost & box blight but it is showing signs of recovery so I am loathe to just bin it so it is in a pot down the side while I decide what to do with it ....

It was one of several large box plants that the in-laws grew from cuttings for us some 12 -15 years ago so they are rather special so I will hopefully nurse it back to some leaves.

My potting tray has my old hanging baskets which I am thinking about potting up for Winter. 

The bottom part by the gate has the firewood bins & the potting soil bags - not the most glamourous things but they are hopefully tucked away ....

So after moving all the containers off the ledge & cleaning up, getting rid of some stray  slugs, then putting it all back again, I am rather pleased that it will be ready for the colder weather which is on the way!

Some of the tubs have solar insects popping up - they twinkle at night which is rather pretty.

So pleased it was bright & sunny today which made the cleaning much easier.

What do you think?

All done - ready now  - just the rest of the garden to do but - the chimnea is ready for some firewood so we can huddle around it if the weather is bright but cold ....

Most definitely tea-time now. What herbs do you grow & what could I add to my small selection? What Autumn jobs do you do now?

Your comments & feedback is always appreciated - pleased leave your link so I can return the visit.
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 17 September 2012

A fabulous hat festival once again ....

Phew - the rather hectic weekend has come & gone & it is a relief to just be able to get the photos downloaded & back to snooks the hatters as they will be in demand again by suppliers & news folk eager for photos ....

The BBC were the first to request photos & they were sent post haste on Saturday bbc hat festival

We were blessed with beautiful bright weather - perfect for the crowds who started arriving in Bridport from early morning to browse the vintage stalls & soak up the atmosphere ....

Special thanks to all the lovely Hat Festival folk who were so wonderfully obliging by allowing us to photograph their wonderful hats & have a chat

Myself, Andy & daughters Pat & Anastasia were on official duty for snooks the hatters  and we had a brilliant time out there photographing hats & handing out cards for the prize giving.

I was soooo thankful that I only had to find the interesting hats, photograph them & invite them to the judging rather than do any judging because there were so many wonderful creations that it was a really tough call ....

The judges were:

the opening musician again for the Hat Festival hank wangford

Carole of the hat magazine

Bridport Mayor David Rickard

and the adults hat prize

Then indoor judging late afternoon for the best handmade hats by milliners

Bridport Hat Festival - Town Hall prizes

Bridport Hat Festival Town Hall hats

I also loved visiting the Trade stands to see what new hats are about ...

Bridport Hat Festival - trade stands

I love the bottom right hand hat at the wegener  stand - perfect for winter & so elegant; they are also trending some rather nice equestrian style hats due to public interest in all things equestrian after the Olympics ....

Bridport Hat Festival

I wish I lived closer & had time to do a course with these two lovely ladies of the  exeter sewing machine company - they have stunning hats & one like Kate wore; they are also so friendly & lovely - thanks ladies

Bridport Hat Festival - trade stands

The MASS photos show what a popular event it is - daughter & Andy up above a book shop & Anastasia & I up above another on the opposite side.

The sash windows were tricky (understatement) to get open more than a bit but we managed to get some photos by squeezing thru it - thank heavens we could not see ourselves ♥

Bridport Hat Festival 2012

I did not get to see everything I wanted as time ran out while sending photos to the BBC etc so it was a welcome time to have drinks at the lovely Venners Bar  at the bull hotel in Bridport.  It is the perfect place for a cocktail, specially prepared by the lovely barman according to what you want.

Check out our previous cocktails Venner Bar cocktails

He did a fab non-alcoholic one for mother in law, a gorgeous fruity one for me & a selection for the rest of the family party - highly recommended!

Square Meal

We finished off the night at a favourite place olive tree restaurant Bridport
Fortunately, they had the foresight (experience) to place our large 14 person party in the private dining room upstairs where we could unwind & be as rowdy as we liked while enjoying their fabulous food & excellent service.

With so much seafood on the menu, I stayed away from the fish as I have a shell-food allergy; I opted for the  Vegetarian Moussaka and it was absolutely delicious with a large salad.

After feeling virtuous I went all out & had White Chocolate & Amaretti Tort for pudding; heaven on a plate I tell you - pure heaven!

After the cocktails & champagne & wine, it was most definitely time to call it a night at 11pm - a wonderful time in a favourite place!

A perfect end to a wonderful day ... ... oh the hats, daughter wore my vintage hat & the younger one looked stunning too - what do you think?

Thanks for stopping by, comments are always appreciated & I return the visit if you leave your blog details.

Dee ~♥~