HOUSEKEEPING BOOKS THROUGH THE CENTURIES…

Before 1800, housekeeping books tended to be handwritten collections of recipes and instructions tried and tested by the household cook. By the 1850’s they were developed into books for ‘adult women’, in particular for your brides who were setting up home.

They were intended as work manuals, they were without lavish photography or even set in fine bindings but if you can get hold of one from a book shops they will amaze you. They tell us about the lives of the women in the past from where you can see social change and the disappearance of domestic servants.

Mrs Breton’s Book of Household Management, which was published in 1861 was a huge success and sold 60,000 copes in its first year and two million by 1868. Of course with no television at that time these books were inspirational.

By the time Helen Simpson wroteThe Happy Housewife‘ in 1934 modern appliances were starting to pop up everywhere, not only helping with the housework but also removing the servants of that time.

In ‘Keeping House’ with Elizabeth Craig (Collins 1936) she said ‘ I have no use for elaborately decorated or furnished homes or for elaborate meals. The simpler the home, the simpler the housekeeping.

Some of these vintage home books can now fetch a lot of money at auction. A book published in 1687 ‘The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closit of Rarities’, by John Shirley sold at Sothebys for £1,625. So, if your great aunt or grandma are still alive and have some old cookery books make sure they don’t end up at the tip.

Even the National Trust ‘Manual of Housekeeping of 2006’ sold 10,000 copies in 2006.

The Good Housekeeping Institute have written a book The Art of Good Housekeeping in 2010 which is packed with tried and tested answers to every household query, from how often you should clean your duvet, to how to maintain the exterior of your house.

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THE VINTAGE TEA PARTY…

The Vintage Tea Party is a baking cookbook, but much more than just your average baking book by  Angel Strawbridge (Author).

Its a trip down memory lane, it’s a discovery fo the five things in life and it’s a book that will just as happily look good sitting on your coffee table.

It will definitely look good propped up in your kitchen being used again and again.

A talented book by a talented woman.

Product Description –
Vintage Patisserie is a vintage hosting company offering bespoke tea parties from a bygone era, delivering everything from music, makeovers and – of course – a customised menu of tea party treats that elevate any function into a swanky soiree. The Vintage Tea Party Book embraces the style and class of the trendy London Vintage scene and illustrates how to beautifully recreate the tasty treats and classic styles at home. With a unique mixture of recipes and feature spreads with accessible tips on hairstyling, makeup methods and where to collect vintage china — The Vintage Tea Party Book has it all.

“The Vintage Tea Party helps you plan not only stunning recipes for all sorts of delicious treats but also gives you countless styling tips for the perfect occasion.” – Glamour Magazine (SA)

GIFT IDEAS FOR CLASSY WOMEN…

If you are thinking of ideas for the women in your life this year, you might have a few different things on your mind. Classy women need classy gifts, and there are a huge wealth of things you can buy for the elegant lady in your life this year. If you are stuck for birthday or Christmas ideas, here are some essential ones for you to try.

WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE…

One of the best things you could buy for a woman is a wine tasting experience. Most women love wine, and going for a tour of a vineyard followed by an afternoon tasting different wines is like heaven. You can make a day of it and go for good beforehand to soak up the alcohol and you can have a relaxing afternoon trying lots of wonderful drinks together. It can be a really fun experience and you will learn a lot about different wines too.

CHAMPAGNE HAMPER…

If you are looking for a gift idea for your Nanna or your aunt this year, there is one really great idea which you can put together yourself for maximum impact and class. Buy yourself a basket and some crepe paper, and then you can buy a bottle of Odd bins range of vintage champagne. alongside some chocolate, a cheese selection and some cheese knives. It can be a wonderful classy gift and one which looks impressive when you hand it over to them on the day.

AFTERNOON TEA AND A MUSICAL…

A great idea for a day out with your Mum, sister or your partner would be to take her to an afternoon tea in the city and then follow this up with a musical of her choice. It can be a great way to catch up and spend some quality time together while enjoying some lovely food and drink. You can make a holiday of it and stay in a hotel afterwards so that you don’t have to worry about getting home after!

JEWELLERY…

The easiest thing you can possibly buy for a woman is jewellery. There is always jewellery to suit any woman, and you can find lots of amazing styles online and in stores which will suit the woman you are buying for this year. You could buy a pedant for them to put on a chain, a pair of earrings to wear on special occasions or even a ring if you are buying something special for your partner. It can be a fun thing to buy because the choices are endless so you can really have some fun.

FLOWER SHOW…

An ideal gift for your Mum or your Nanna this year would be a trip to a local flower show. There are many flower shows which take place during the summer and they can be vast and expansive with what they have on display. You can book the tickets and enjoy a day trying gin, cheeses, beers and ice cream and you walk around and view some stunning flower displays as well as art and crafts. You can even buy some plants while you are there so make sure you have some room in the car!

NATIONAL PICNIC WEEK 15th-24th JUNE 2018…

It’s National Picnic Week this week 15th-24th June.

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National Picnic Week aims to encourage people to take the ideal opportunity to get together over a picnic with advice, tips, recipes, and information to make sure everything from the food and drink to the location and surroundings are spot on.

​Picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions and is a great way of taking advantage of any open spaces in your local area over the warmer months of the year.

Since National Picnic Week was founded a decade ago, it has grown significantly and become a staple date in the media calendar. Timed at the peak of the picnicking season, broadcasters, radio and television channels are keen to get involved.



With the likes of ITV’s Lorraine, national newspapers and both BBC and commercial radio stations covering the week in the past, it is a great platform to promote your brand.

Here are their top ten facts about picnics to get you inspired:
  1. The average person picnics at least three times a year, that’s 94 million picnics per year.
  2.  According to research done in 2013 the average family spends £26 per picnic, totaling a cool £2,479,720,000.
  3. Originally a picnic was a fashionable social event to which each guest contributed some food.
  4. The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
  5. The use of the phrase “no picnic” to describe something difficult dates back to 1884.
  6. The most popular picnic snack fifty years ago was the humble cheese sandwich. Now, it’s a bag of crisps.
  7. The most popular day for picnics in the US is the 4th of July. In Italy it’s Easter Monday. In France, it’s Bastille Day. In the UK, it’s (weather dependent) rapidly becoming National Picnic Week.
  8. Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738. They still sell them today.
  9. Picnic food is as popular as if it’s ever been, in 2012, an average of ten grams of meat pies and sausage rolls were consumed per person per week.

THE SECRET TO COOKING GREAT FOOD WITH LIMITED INGREDIENTS…

When you get home after a hard day at work, open the fridge and realise that there’s basically nothing in there, you’ve got two choices. You could go back out again and buy some ingredients or you can try to make do with what you’ve got. You can cook some pretty incredible meals with just a couple of ingredients but there is a certain art to it. Use these three simple tricks to master cooking with limited ingredients.

1. KNOW YOUR FLAVOUR PAIRINGS…

Strawberries and cream, cheese and tomato, lemon and garlic. Some flavours just go well together and they create such a delicious combination that you don’t need much else in your meal. Identifying the food pairings made in heaven is the key to cooking well with a small number of ingredients. You’re going to be experimenting with flavours a lot which is always a good thing, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you can end up with some disasters. If you just start throwing things together without some idea of whether they’ll taste good, you’re probably not going to end up with a nice meal. But if you find those flavour combinations, they’ll stand you in good stead.

2. MAKE USE OF SPICES…

Often, if you don’t have a lot of fresh ingredients to use, you need to rely on flavourings. If, for example, you’ve got a load of beans and pulses in the cupboard and not much else, you can still make a delicious meal out of them if you know how to use herbs and spices properly. The correct combination of a couple of spices can really elevate even the most boring of dishes. The staples that you need in your cupboard are cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, oregano, parsley and paprika. You can create all sorts of different flavours using different combinations of those. You should also keep a tub of curry powder in the cupboard, it’s a great shortcut that you can use to make a delicious curry in no time at all. You’ll also need to learn when spices should be added to the pot because some need to go in right at the start while others only need to be cooked for a few minutes to release their flavour. Over or under cooking spices can completely ruin the flavour.

3. BUY VERSATILE INGREDIENTS…

When you’re only working with a couple of ingredients, you want things that you can create lots of different flavours and textures. Buying these versatile ingredients and keeping them in the cupboard will allow you to create a meal out of anything. Eggs are a great one; you can put a boiled or poached egg on top of a meal to add extra protein and nutrients, you can use them in baking or make a sauce with them. Chickpeas are another great ingredient; they make a good substitute for meat in a curry or chilli, you can make them into hummus or you can drizzle them in a bit of oil and bake them for half an hour for a delicious crispy snack. Knowing how to use versatile ingredients will make life so much easier for you.

Follow these 3 tips and you’ll be able to cook amazing food with just a few ingredients.