A creative lifestyle blog by Helen Hobden
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Afternoon tea party

How to host an afternoon tea party

Yes I know it’s not exactly the weather for this in the garden any more, but it can still be done inside! My daughter didn’t want to go out on the piss for her eighteenth birthday last month – partly because she’s the first of her friends to turn legal in pubs, so it wouldn’t be much fun getting drunk on her own – and partly because that’s not really her sort of thing anyway. For now at least! So it was her idea to have afternoon tea in the garden with a nod to an Alice in Wonderland theme….

Eating in, Food, Lifestyle,
Blackberries in Baskets

Blackberry picking

At this time of year, throughout our childhood, my sister and I would go to Nanny Up-the-road’s house (Or Nanna Sharland to my cousins) and then we would venture off to Woodland’s Walk with washed empty ice-cream tubs ready to fill with autumn fruit. I used to look forward to it so much. Proof that you don’t need expensive toys and gadgets to have fun – just nature and family time. This is a gentle post about memories and blackberries….

Eating in, Food, Lifestyle, Musings and ramblings, Writing,

What to do with your leftover rhubarb

Rhubarb is virtually indestructible and is about the only fruit or vegetable I can rely on in the garden! My rhubarb was inherited from previous owners of our old house and moved with us to this one, so is at least seventeen years old. It just keeps on and on growing from March until the first hard frost. If you’re the same and still have some left and are bored of rhubarb crumble and thinking, What shall I do with my rhubarb? then here’s a couple of suggestions: Rhubarb streusels and rhubarb muffins. Both these recipes have been adapted from magazines, and you’ll need plenty of paper cupcake cases. The streusels especially, are a hit in the family…..

Eating in, Food, Lifestyle,
Visiting Oxford

3 days in Oxford – Day 1. The story of the photographs

I was so excited about this little mini-break to Oxford. I love my family to bits, but sometimes it’s nice to be alone and have a little headspace all to yourself! I also find it difficult to relax at home because there’s always so much to do there. I don’t think it helps that I work from home either, so no matter if it’s the evening or weekend, I still always feel I should either be working or doing something towards fixing the house. I was also a little bit nervous because I’m not great at driving and get flustered easily, but the journey was good; I didn’t get lost once and made it to the park and ride with no problems following the sat nav!….

Art and craft, Eating out, Food, Lifestyle, Out and About, Photography, Places to visit,
making a cake

Making a pineapple and walnut cake – a picture guide for beginners

These pictures were taken when I made my favourite cake to celebrate twelve years of this blog. The recipe is nothing particularly special or exciting, and now that the Great British Bake-off is such a hit, this is probably incredibly tame, but I thought I’d share it anyway. (At least I’m assuming that’s likely the case – I’ve never actually watched the show apart from one Children-in-need episode.) There’s a possibility you’ve never put pineapple or walnut together in a cake before, and now is your chance to be inspired! …

Eating in, Food, Lifestyle,
Kingsdon Arms

Birthday dinner at The Kingsdon Inn, nr Somerton, Somerset

It was my birthday! And what better way to celebrate than going out and have someone else cook for you. And clear away. Yeeees! I absolutely love eating out. It’s just such a pity that one meal out for the four of us costs about the same as our weekly shop from Tescos. But you see, (as I sometimes remember to remind myself) if you did it every day, it wouldn’t be special, would it? My lovely daughter, Rain did the research, and hunted out all restaurants within a reasonable distance that served Duck, being that duck is my favourite meal. The Kingsdon Inn came up as one of the top twenty restaurants in Somerset, and when my husband phoned to check food serving hours, it turned out you need to book well in advance if you want a table. We were lucky and got the second-to-last one; which is not what you’d expect for somewhere truly out in the sticks….

Eating out, Food, Lifestyle,