Rock cakes are another teatime classic, which I love. These are ideal for a beginner baker and taste a little like mini scones. These can be rustled up in no time at all and are perfect for a casual afternoon tea. There are recipes for rock cakes in so many of my vintage recipe books, but this one from the 1930s is my favourite. I’ve adapted it a bit to allow for modern measures, ingredients and ovens. 

Ingredients:

225g Flour

½ tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

85g Butter

85g Caster Sugar

1 Egg

115g Mixed Dried Fruit

A little milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230ºc and prepare a greased baking tray.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Add the egg, dried fruit and a little milk until it forms a stiff mixture.

Place the mixture in small rough heaps onto the baking tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at the top of the oven.

Cool on a wire rack.

If you try these delicious rock cakes, let me know what you think. I love seeing pictures of your versions of my recipes. I am really enjoying sharing recipes on here again. I have done so much experimenting and baking recently, so watch this space for its more. Also be sure to check out the Baking section of the blog for lots and lots of vintage recipes.

I have a new article in this months Vintage Life magazine. This time I’ve made my own Brownie in a Jar recipe, based on several vintage brownie recipes. Buy your copy of the magazine here.

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Last week on a sunny Thursday afternoon I headed to Camden for an afternoon tea at the gorgeous York and Albany. The tea was hosted by Johnny Loves Rosie, a premium jewellery and accessories brand. I was joined by several other fantastic bloggers and it was absolutely lovely getting to know everyone, while checking out all the pretty things.

Johnny Loves Rosie Blogger LunchWhen I arrived the tables were beautifully set out with displays of the latest collection of jewellery as well as lovely personalised gifts for us, including a monogrammed clutch bag and little initial necklaces.

Johnny Loves Rosie Blogger Event

Johnny Loves Rosie Monogram BagThe latest collection is filled with lovely sparkly statement pieces, as well as more modern on trend items. They have also launched a bridal range which includes hair pieces, corsages as well as beautiful jewellery for your big day. I particularly liked the hair accessories and I have my eye on quite a few of them for the summer.

Johnny Loves Rosie Corsage

Johnny Loves Rosie Earrings

Johnny Loves Rosie Necklace

Johnny Loves Rosie Statement EarringsThe afternoon tea itself was absolutely delicious and included a cream tea, as well as a delicious selection of mini open sandwiches and cakes.

York and Albany Scones

York and Albany Smoked Salmon

York and Albany Lemon CakeThe whole event was absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed looking through some of the beautiful accessories and I’ve spotted lots of things that I’d like to add to my collection over the next few months. If you’re looking for the perfect accessory for a wedding, festival or just a treat for yourself I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the Johnny Loves Rosie website.

Two of my very favourite things to do are visiting historic houses and drinking cocktails. Up until now the two have never been combined. This was until I received an invitation to try out the Little Nan’s pop-up at Sutton House, a National Trust property in Hackney. I was familiar with the concept of Little Nan’s as I know someone who used to work there. This fantastic pop up bar, has done the rounds in London bringing it’s kitsch and quirky teapot cocktails to several different locations. The bar which recreates your gran’s living room and serves all it’s drinks in vintage china has won a host of awards and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Little Nan's Pop Up Cocktail Bar Sutton houseLittle Nan’s is now offering a boozy afternoon tea at Sutton House on Sundays from 10th July, which includes their infamous tea pot cocktails, along with a classic British afternoon tea. I went along with Rob for an afternoon date and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Little Nan's Afternoon TeaOn arrival we were given a fascinating tour of the house from an absolutely lovely elderly volunteer. Her knowledge of the house and surrounding area was absolutely amazing and we both enjoyed listening to her insights and anecdotes on the history of the house. The house is originally tudor with many later alterations. You can see it’s diverse past in the different bricks and windows which make up it’s beautiful structure. I would love to go back and look round the house again. It was a great visit and right in the heart of Hackney.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea Teapot CocktailOn to the afternoon tea, which was in a pretty room at the front of the house. The table were decked out in Nan’s best linen tablecloths with carnations in a vase and lovely mismatched tea cups.

Little Nan's Sutton House Cocktail MenuThe selection of cocktails was great and all laced with some of my favourite ingredients. Unfortunately I was committed to driving my daughter somewhere later that day, so they mixed me up a tasty mocktail instead. Rob had a King Henry 8th, which I had a little taste of and it was absolutely delicious. The teapot it came in was huge and you certainly get a lot of alcohol for your money! Rob got quite a few tea cups out of his pot.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon TeaThe afternoon tea consisted of a great selection of finger sandwiches along with scones and two types of home made cake. These were all absolutely delicious and beautifully presented on a vintage cake-stand.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea SconesThe tea was served by little mum, who is the mother of the owner Tristan. She was an absolutely delight and definitely made the whole experience even nicer.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea SandwichesAfter the tea we were offered yet more cake, there was a choice of carrot cake or Victoria sponge. By this point after all the jam and cake and the sweet cocktails, I didn’t think I could handle any more sugar! But I gave it a go. I chose the carrot cake and it really was lovely.

Little Nan's Sutton House Afternoon Tea Carrot CakeWe left on a bit of a sugar high, with Rob more than a little tipsy.  We had an absolutely lovely afternoon together. This would be perfect for a date or a nice afternoon out with friends. I loved the combination of the culture of the house, the sophistication of the afternoon tea and the naughtiness of cocktails in the afternoon.

Little Nan's Sutton House CakesThe afternoon tea costs £20 and £30 with a cocktail. This includes a viewing of Sutton House. 

The tea will be running on Sundays from 10th July – 25th September. The tea runs from 2-4pm.

Find Sutton House at – 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ The nearest Station is Hackney Central. 

Find more information and booking details here

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Last week was a real treat for me. To celebrate the launch of Disney’s Into The Woods being released on DVD on 18th May, I was invited to Sketch for a fairytale themed afternoon tea.

Disney Into the Woods Sketch

Sketch is an absolutely amazing venue on Conduit Street in Mayfair, as well as offering amazing food and cakes it is also so much fun to have a look round the amazing decorations and themed rooms. I have wanted to go there for ages, I even worked on the same road for a couple of years but never got round to eating there!

The Glade Sketch

The event was held in The Glade, a beautiful woodland themed room with beautiful trees painted on the walls and wicker furniture, which really makes you feel like your having afternoon tea in an enchanted forest. The Disney Into the Woods theme was fully embraced with cakes and pastries inspired by fairy tales. I loved the Red Riding Hood Choux and Jack’s Beanstalk Tart best.

Into The Woods Tea party Sketch

The afternoon tea will be available at Sketch from Monday 18th May to Sunday 7th June at £39 per person. You can walk in to enjoy the treats in the Glade or book online and have your afternoon tea in the Gallery, which is an absolutely beautiful pretty pink restaurant area. The first 30 people to book will also receive a copy of the film on DVD as well as the soundtrack. Perfect for die-hard disney fans.

Sketch was the perfect match for the film as it incorporates fantasy and magic in it’s decoration and menus. Everything tasted absolutely delicious and it was such a luxury to try everything as well as indulge in a little champagne before switching over to one of the many teas offered on the menu.

Tea in the woods Sketch Menu

The film is a modern twist on several traditional fairytales which we are all familiar with. Meryl Streep leads an all star cast in this musical which incorporates Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Repunzel. The original story is all about daring to venture Into the Woods. The Blu-Ray DVD release includes lots of fantastic bonus features including a never before seen song.

Pre order your copy of  Into the Woods from Amazon.

To find out more about Sketch or to book your afternoon tea visit the Sketch website