Monday, 23 September 2013

Pies and Wardrobes

Hi all

The pie was fab-u-lous. Sorry about the rather awful photo but I snapped this quickly while we were both drooling in anticipation of PIE.

It was very easy to make. I used ready-made pastry to save on time and the addition of big juicy blackberries with the apple was a definite success. My pie dish isn't very deep so there was enough of the filling mix left over to fill two large ramekins and top them off with a circle of pastry. The cinnamon topping was delicious and, although there didn't seem to be much of it when I crumbled it on, it did spread and cover the top of the pie during cooking. I left the sides rustic, rather than crimped, but probably should have brushed them with a little egg or milk too. All in all, it was a great success and no doubt we will be making this again.

I went back to check out those beautiful 1950s wardrobes today and they are on their way! I couldn't pass up the chance of having the matching dressing table too - so crossing everything that they will all fit in the bedroom. There are two matching wardrobes and a lovely mirrored dressing table, all in honey coloured wood, with pretty glass knobs. 

I'm all set for starting my new job - clothes are pressed, new notebook and pen packed ready, nerves on edge. Tomorrow we are having a day off from unpacking - the choice of where we go is all mine so I just need to decide now ...

Take care people,

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Rose Cottage

Hi all

I'm writing this in the kitchen of our new home. It's been a mammoth week and every part of me aches but we've made it here at last. As usual I underestimated the quantity of possessions we (primarily 'I') own but we made sure that our most precious items weren't left behind...

We had to make several trips between Basingstoke and Bath in the end. 

And Leigh had to murder our old sofa ... which was too unsafe for even the charity shop to take. This was the only way we could get it out of the house without taking off the front door!

We've spent the last two days unpacking and still have rather a long way to go. Leigh will be alphabetising the CDs and books - I do believe he loves moving just so that he can do this (!) I will continue to try and squeeze everything into the kitchen although I don't understand how I can have a kitchen twice the size of my last one but still not have room for everything. Where did it all go?

Having said that - I saw a sign today for an undercover car boot sale that starts in October. That's going to be impossible to resist so I'm going to need to organise the spare room pronto to justify bringing any more stuff into the house. 

We're already tried our local chippy - that was our first supper here. It's within walking distance of our new home (if our legs weren't hurting so much) and the fish and chips were not bad at all. We've also tried a local curry house but we have several more to try until we can choose 'the one'. The choice of 'the one' is based on the quality of the Chicken Dhansak (my husband's favourite) and may take some time and a lot of testing. Once chosen 'the one' will be used frequently and it won't matter too much how far we have to travel. We used to drive through snow and ice to get a curry when we lived in North Yorkshire - nothing will get in the way of my man and his favourite curry house.

We're so happy to be here at last - it hasn't quite sunk in. The rooms are light - which is brilliant as our last place was like a cave and we needed lights on at all times of day. We can watch the sun setting from the room at the back of the house too - and it's so quiet. No noisy trains passing in the middle of the night. We have so much more space than before - it feels quite odd though that we can sit in different rooms. We keep checking whether the other one is OK.

It is weirdly appropriate that our front door is emblazoned with a rose - so we have named the place Rose Cottage. It's not really a cottage (more of a bungalow) but it makes the place sound cozy and couldn't be more fitting for our English Rose HQ.

We still have a ton of things to do here. We spotted some lovely 1950s wardrobes in a thrift shop nearby but unfortunately it wasn't open so we will have to go back tomorrow and check if they are the right size. There's also a beautiful dressing table as part of the set - I'm seriously wondering whether the bedroom will look too full if we get that too.

We've already invested in a new sofa from Ikea - after years of second hand ones we thought this would be our main treat. We've also picked up an Ercol coffee table on Ebay that looks great with my Nan's old display cabinet. It can be hard to feel very inspired about rental homes but I'm hoping that I can create the kind of home we wish for even though we're limited to what we can do here. 

My next task though is to make this Sour Cream and Apple pie. I'm going to add some blackberries too as there are so many around at the moment. Fingers crossed it will taste as phenomenal as it looks.

I have two more days at home before I start my new job. Time to find my work clothes and try to get my mind in the right place. I have lots of plans for the future and look forward to sharing them with you...

Take care folks
English Rose

Sunday, 8 September 2013

From B to B

Hi all

Things have been a little quiet on the blog for a while and I've temporarily shut down my English Rose Vintage Etsy shop - but there's a good reason for this - I've got a new job in Bath and we're moving house! Bath is such a beautiful city - we really can't wait to get over there. It also has great associations for us as we took our honeymoon there back in 2000. So life has consisted of packing boxes and bubble wrap for the last few weeks and there's been lots of driving back and forth between Basingstoke and Bath.

We're going to have much more space than we do now and I have lots of plans. I've even been making scaled drawings of the rooms on squared paper and moving around little paper versions of our furniture. Does anyone else do this - my husband thinks I'm hilarious! I find myself lying awake at night, not worrying about the new job or the move, but planning cushion covers, colour schemes and furniture restorations.

Just a few miles from our new home is the fantastic Glove Factory Cafe in Holt. I can see this becoming a firm favourite.

The food is amazing and I love the colourful origami bird mobiles. Next time we go I will even think to take some pictures of the food - I'm afraid I was so hungry and it was so delicious I'd eaten it before it occurred to me. The old factory buildings in Holt are fabulous too.

I'm planning a relaunch of the shop once we are a bit more settled and I can find everything again. I have plans for a new banner and logo - which will depend a lot on learning a new skill - more on that later! I must get off now and do some more tidying and packing. 

Aren't these little fellows adorable?
I saw them under the sink in the cafe loos
they look so sad and forlorn
I may have to go back and rescue some ...

Bye bye peeps,
Take care