Thursday, 27 September 2012

English tea time treat


  • 175g butter
  • 175g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 125g dark coarse cut marmalade
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • juice of half of above orange
  • 175g wholemeal self raising flour

Butter and base- line a 2lb loaf tin (or use one of those liners you can buy - I did - far easier).  Beat the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add each egg a little at a time beating well after each addition then beat in the marmalade, and zest and juice of the orange. Then fold in the flour with a metal spoon. 
Scrape batter into the tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C deg/ 350 deg F for 35 mins or so. A skewer inserted into cake should come out clean.
ENJOY with a cup of tea......

I made this today after finding the recipe last night and realising that yes, I had ALL the ingredients.  It is so easy and definitely worth baking - absolutely delicious.  Oh, and use the best quality marmalade you can find - homemade preferably if you are lucky enough to have a jar or two lurking......

Friday, 21 September 2012

Friday Fashion Feature

So far on my new blog I have done posts on the home, elevating a pot plant to something a little more special and food in the way of a farm shop find so I really think it's about time I did a post on one of my real favourites - clothing and style....

Not that I'm any great fashion expert I hasten to add but I do know what I like and that's an easy relaxed style with a smattering of classic items mixed with High Street finds and more expensive pieces thrown in too for good measure.  Looks like these....
This I would say is one of my favourite looks from Pinterest and I have just bought a pair of shoes very similar to the ones in the  above pic.
Again, relaxed and casual with those  'boyfriend' jeans
Elevating jeans  to smarter wear - not sure I'd wear the hat, but love the whole look
 Have all the components for above outfit but I would give the gold hardware a miss
What can I say? Chic and yes, think I could re-create this one with pieces from my wardrobe.  I 'd  do flat shoes though.
All the images above are a selection taken from my board - 'Inspiring Style - Clothes'  from Pinterest.

Oh how I love Pinterest - way too addictive though. Do you 'do' Pinterest?
And have you worked out your style and are you, as the French say, one of those who are 'bien dans sa peau' ? (happy in your skin, literally!)....  What do you like?

Happy weekend to one and all.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Small Pleasures

I have just returned from the cutest (read, expensive) farm shop near me.  Wasn't going to indulge but I just could not help myself.  For a start the box was too beautiful - here, take a peek :

Tasteful packaging. Reels me in every time.
And then just look - WHITE eggs - love them.  So amazingly pretty I had to have them. Never mind the novelty factor too; ordinary brown eggs are usually the norm round here.
Sometimes all it takes are the smallest of things to bring the greatest of pleasures.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Little Friday project

I was given a little cyclamen plant the other day. Really gorgeous, and I never knew that they have such beautiful and delicate scent. And it's a white one. My favourite. However, it was in a rather ordinary plastic little holder thingy. Wanting to elevate it into something more rustic and befitting I found an old terracotta flower pot and popped it in there. Perfect. And for a finishing touch I took some moss from the garden and nestled it all around.
See take a peek at my little project ....
Exhibit 1 - cute plant, ugly container
To the rescue - lovely antique terracotta flower pot - Mmmm.....
Cyclamen, now planted in the terracotta pot with gorgeous moss all around
And tah dah! Finally allowed  inside - and looking gorgeous too


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

How to make a house back into a home

So here we are - a new blog and a new beginning. A very warm welcome to NEUTRAL TERRITORY - my English blog. Many of you will know that I have recently returned from Australia to spend a year or so back in England in our little cottage.  Most of the time the dear cottage has been empty. Friends and family have used it and my daughter has stayed here on occasions too but for the main part it has been a little unloved and dare I say it, neglected.  Well, that's what it felt like when I put my key into the front door on my return. So, what to do...? First of all I put the heating on (high) to give the house a thorough warm through and also at the same time flung open all the windows.
Flowers were added - these actually were sent from my husband (now will be known as Mr NT!) who is back in Australia - he knows exactly what I like.
Plenty of fruit in the fruit bowl too, always makes a house more homey....
And more flowers still, 'more is more' I say....
Scented candles were lit.  This one I bought when we visited Paris last November from Astier de Villette.
 So with these small changes the cottage soon felt like home again and more like our place.  Of course we also aired the beds (with warm hot water bottles) and I have thoroughly cleaned into every nook and cranny and have used lemon oil on dusters high into the corners to help deter any spiders from returning... Did you know that spiders hate lemon? I read this handy hint somewhere.

Anyway, please adjust your blogs to this new one and follow me if you so desire - the more the merrier and I wonder who will be my first follower?  And thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming with me back to England.
Have you got any wonderful ideas (well, I know you will have) for turning a house into a home?