Category Archives: Coffee and walnut

New year, new cake?

Hello – well it does seem a long time since I last posted on my blog. I find the beginning of the year a bit of a struggle. After over indulging at Christmas (who doesn’t? do you know anyone?) I always feel I need to be restrained in January. Lots of pounding the treadmill (which is just not the same as running in the great outdoors, but I don’t enjoy running in the dark, gloomy half light of January or February so I make do with the gym; needs must). Lots of cooking with a ton of veggies. “Being good” perhaps you could call it. But BOY does it get boring after a while! So as we’re more than half way through February surely, SURELY it’s time to EAT MORE CAKE?! The rest of the year I don’t have this dilemma; I bake. I test. I lick the spoon. I eat cake. I share my cakes. And I run/keep fit and do my best to burn off some of the calories. It’s a nice life. So please, please can the winter be over so I can get back to normal? It’s not that I haven’t done ANY baking, that would be unthinkable. I’ve made brandy snaps (SO easy, SO nice, SO  retro, SO difficult to photograph!!), I’ve made coffee and walnut cake, I’ve made orange and almond cake – and that was actually wheat and fat free – take that January!! I’ve made chocolate sponge to soak in coffee and alcohol to turn into chocolate tiramisu. And I made Mr Tea a chocolate cinnamon cupcake, with chocolate fudge frosting and hand made plump red hearts (just a small cake you understand, what with Valentine’s Day falling in blooming self righteous February). But I want to bake MORE! I want to share more cake, I want to take tea sitting in my lovely little summer house, with Mr Tea or some other family and friends. It’s TIME – make it happen, somebody, please!!!

And as I’ve been focusing so much on thinking about baking lately (nothing new there) – I’ve also noticed just how many other people are getting into baking. People I wouldn’t normally expect to see sharing a cake or two have been bringing them to meetings. Even at a meeting at the Food Standards Agency recently, sshhh, don’t tell anyone – they baked and ate chocolate brownies!! Another running/baking colleague and I might even run for Sport Relief in March – and bake cakes to eat and sell afterwards – it’s a new trend, bake-share-run – you heard it here first! We even discussed having a Sport Relief Bake Off in our department – but we’d need a bank of ovens, oh and the time to bake all morning rather than doing any work…..

So the baking trend is not only continuing but reaching out to new bakers young and old in 2012. I commented on nostalgia and the need for us to have civilised, sophisticated tea parties in the article that Nene Valley Living Magazine published in January (you’ll find it online).

So bring on the warmer weather, spring flowers, green not brown roadsides and verges, bird song and more opportunities to bake and share cake!

Why not treat your Mum, Daughter, Son, Grandchildren, Wife, Friend, or Yourself! Sunday, 18th March 2012 – Peterborough

Join me and my co-host Tilly at a beautiful vintage barn venue in Peterborough for full afternoon tea on Mothers’ Day. Enjoy finger sandwiches made with Hambleton Bakery bread, savoury and sweet scones (everyone loves them!), and a selection of cakes and bakes. All served on pretty bone china, with starched white table linen and fresh flowers, with lots of loose leaf tea (or coffee if you’d prefer), friendly chatter and time to browse the pretty surroundings. Just what you need to drag you out of the winter slush and gloom!

Email mslemonydrizzle@sky.com to book and pay £20 per guest in advance via PayPal.

Lots of love, care and cake

Lemony Drizzle x

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Top-Secret-Tea-Parties/159296277491762

 

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Review of Yaxley vintage tearoom

Sophie T’s Vintage Tearoom opened in Yaxley, Peterborough, a few months ago and it’s already become very popular with the locals, including me! I first read about it in the Yaxley Gazette and had my first cuppa there 24 hours later – I couldn’t wait to see whether it was going to be a welcome addition to a village that, whilst having a large population has a woeful number of places for tea and cake (or coffee or sandwiches for that matter). Sophie’s is run by Lynn and when I first visited I recognised her husband, Andrew, who was helping out with the weekend rush, immediately – we were at infant, junior and secondary school together!! Also checking out the tea and cakes that weekend was another amazing reminder of my childhood in Yaxley – the wife of our wonderful head teacher, Mr Ash, who lives in Yaxley. This brought back such memories for me – I loved Yaxley infant and junior school (liking school wore off by age 12!) despite being forced to eat cabbage on Day 1 and getting my first (and I have to confess, last) detention from Mr Ash for talking in the dinner queue. Oh Happy Days!!

Lynn and Andrew have kitted Sophie’s out like a vintage living/dining room with well-worn furniture and even vintage hats and coats hanging from the coat hooks. There is a vast array of mismatched vintage crockery – I love the tea cups all hanging on the wall and the wonderful tiered cake stands (which are available to buy). There are vintage newspapers on each tea table too, a nice touch.

Lynn serves soup, sandwiches, eggs/beans on toast plus, of course, scones with jam and cream and a selection of homemade cakes. On previous visits I’ve tried the sandwiches and soup which were both very good. Last weekend I finally got to try a piece of cake – which was a difficult choice because they all looked so inviting. I plumped for a piece of coffee and walnut layer cake and, to my surprise, so did Mr Tea – he always maintains it’s not a cake he likes but he was seduced by the depth of coffee buttercream in the middle and neither of us were disappointed. It was sweet, moist, rich with coffee and most definitely the nicest slice of coffee and walnut cake since I last tasted my Nan’s version, circa 1982.

There is a function room upstairs which is available to hire and this is also kitted out like an old fashioned dining room. A piano was a new addition downstairs and a lovely gent was playing Christmas songs whilst we ate; what with the twinkly lights in the window and a steaming pot of tea (with wonderful double layered, hand knitted tea cosy!) I’m only too happy to while away time in Yaxley again..many, many years after I last did so.