Everyone is trying to do their bit to help people out at the moment including a North-East church who are delivering hundreds of afternoon teas in a bid to combat loneliness.

According to the Evening Express Skene Parish Church teamed up with several Aberdeenshire-based organisations to form the Westhill Community Resilience Support Group. They provided 190 teas to people who were shielding or at risk of loneliness over lockdown.

The Resilience Support Group has also been involved with delivering shortbread to sheltered accommodation alongside a card made by a local primary school pupil. The group also plans to deliver an afternoon tea to a care home. To find out more about Skene Parish Church, or to donate. go to the Skene Parish Church website.

From tapas to afternoon tea : 18 Sunderland cafes and restaurants doing delivery in local lockdown. The Sunderland Echo write that with restrictions changing regularly as part of the local lockdown, Sunderland businesses have had to adapt to survive. While some cafes and restaurants have had to close their doors to sit in custom temporarily due to the difficulties caused by social distancing, they are still offering a takeout and delivery service.

The Sunderland Echo has rounded up some of the ways locals can still support local businesses from the comfort of their home. The ”Crumb On In’, Holmeside is a tearoom that kept everyone’s spirits up with their afternoon tea and treat boxes- and they continued their delivery options with plenty of sweet treat choices such as Biscoff cheesecake.

Other tea shops happy to delivery delicious afternoon teas include –

Once Upon A Time Tea Room in Cheltenham – local delivery area covers a radius of 10 miles from their Cheltenham based Tea Room.

Afternoon Tea for One-A Selection of three finger sandwiches, a scone with jam and clotted cream, a selection of two miniature cakes, a macaron, your choice of soft drink & our hot drink home kit (contains Tea & Coffee). £14.95


There are several traditional Devon and Cornwall cream tea companies who are open to delivery, and they don’t just delivery to Devon and Cornwall.

You can get a delivery to your home from any of the following companies:

  • Devon Heaven – Cream Tea Hampers from £19.95 by post
  • Delimann – Cream Tea Hampers delivered to your door from £20.95
  • Devon Hampers – Cream Tea Hampers delivered to your door from £13.95


I don’t know about you but I could spend literally ALL day looking through kitchen accessory sites and still end up with a list of must have’s. My favourite four which I’m always browsing are –

1. The White Company – I just love everything white in my kitchen so I can accessorise in another colour. This mince pie cake stand is on my list of must have’s before Christmas of course, so I can put my mince pies on it. This sleek and stylish mince pie stand is made in Portugal from local stoneware clay that’s renowned for its quality. Painted with a lovely white glaze with a soft-grey patina along the edge, it’s just the thing to showcase freshly baked mince pies, canapés or other nibbles. The perfect accompaniment to a drinks party or relaxed get together, it makes hosting easy. £40

Also The White Company apron, yes it needs replacing annually as it gets so mucky but I use the old one for when I’m painting. It would make a great Christmas gift. And who doesn’t like to pose in a White Company apron? This high-quality apron is a wonderful choice for any kitchen. Made from 100% cotton, it features an adjustable neck strap for extra comfort and deep front pockets to store your kitchen utensils. This smart style provides maximum protection against spills and splashes and is finished with The White Company logo. Pair with our matching The White Company oven glove for a complete look, or lovely gift idea. £28

2. Ikea – You can walk 10,000 steps getting around their stores and still miss something in their kitchen range that you had seen in one of their designer kitchens so I prefer to go online. One of my favourites from Ikea is their over the top Chopping Board. The chopping board collects meat and fruit juice in the milled groove and prevents it from spilling on to your worktop. Made of bamboo, which is an easy-care, hardwearing natural material that is also gentle on your knives. You can also use the chopping board as a serving tray for food such as cheese or cold cuts.The weight provides a stable base for cutting.Wash this product before using it for the first time. What’s not to love at a cost of only £10

Also, Ikea’s food containers with lids, of which they have many, and yet again at very reasonable prices from £2.50 but I especially love the ones with the bamboo lids.

3. H&M Home – they have a great range of linen napkins which I am really into at the moment. They can change the whole room colour by adding a completely different colour although these black are my favourite for £8.99 for two. The tablecloth is £34.99

Also, their Stone Salt & Pepper Bowls ( which could be used for something else) will look fab on your table and would also make a great Christmas Gift for a very reasonable price of £17.99

4. Graham & Green, if you love vintage then you will some of their vintage inspired kitchen accessories. Like their enamel range and this great enamel pie dish for £12 Large enough for meals for the whole family, this pie dish can handle everything from deep filled pies to layered pasta dishes. Durable and classically stylish, this recognisable white and blue enamelware has been a British kitchen staple since the 1920’s.

Or, their vintage-inspired milk bottle holder, crafted from powder coated steel with four compartments and a handy wooden handle for ease of carrying. Perfect for those joining moving away from plastic and back to old-fashioned glass milk bottles. £20


I don’t know about you but once the temperature has dropped I start craving for more filling loaf cakes especially fruit ones and with all the different types of tea infusions available today it can change the taste easily.

I used Twinning’s Turmeric with Orange & Star Anise for this recipe as it has such a strong taste and I thought it would really compliment the fruit. I wasn’t wrong it was really tasty.

In the recipe I had put 300g of caster sugar but over the years I have made lots of fruit cakes for my Dad who was a diabetic and I just cut out the caster sugar and added a couple of tablespoons of Canderel or similar. It tastes just as nice.

Ingredients – Serves 12

4 Twinning’s Turmeric with Orange & Star Anise teabags, 400g dried fruit, 1 Orange, 1 Large Egg, 300g Caster Sugar (or 2 Tables Canderel), 400g self-raising flour, 2 tablespoons Orange Marmalade (Diabetic Sugar Free if preferred).


Put your four teabags into a measuring jug and add 300ml of boiling water. Leave to brew for a few minutes then remove the tea bags. Put the dried fruit into a large mixing bowl and grate over the zest of the orange. Stir well. Pour over the dried fruit and leave to infuse for about four hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line a litre loaf tin with loaf tin liner. Whisk the egg and add the bowl of fruit and the sugar. Add the flour and squeeze in the juice of the orange.

Mix until you have a dough like consistency then spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for around 1 hour 10 minutes until cooked through after testing with a skewer to see if it comes out clean.

Pop two tablespoons of the orange marmalade into a bowl and pop into your microwave for 20 seconds then brush over the top of the cake.

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Damsons make delicious jam, gin and mixed with apple for a tasty crumble. Or, how about this role-poly doughnut pudding with custard from Delicious Magazine.


Damsons offer great health benefits as they have a good sauce of Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E, K and high in Vitamin C which can all help support a healthy immune system.

They are a blue-black fruit that look like small plums. The wild varieties are extremely tart so not something you would pick and wasps love them.