Tuesday, 22 November 2016

DIY Gifts - Sleep Masks!

So last summer I (note: when I say "I", I mean with a lot of help from my Mother!) decided to make some sleep masks as handmade gifts for my friend's Hen do!  With these cold, dark days it seems like forever ago now, but I thought it would be fun to share what I made as I think they would make fun DIY Christmas gifts as well.  I picked coral and turquoise fabric from the shop, but for this time of year you could have fun picking some really festive fabrics!   

Not sure I recommend making 11 of them as it took me forever, but they'd be great for a couple of stocking fillers!

Here they are all ready to go to Spain where I was expecting they would come in handy after a few late nights! 

I'm not usually much of a crafter and haven't sewn much since my Prom dress in '98 but I got really into it!  After the hen do we moved house so the sewing stuff is still packed away, but I hope it's not long before I can make some more cool gifts, especially some tea themed ones! :-)

Monday, 14 November 2016

Afternoon Tea - Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons

I love it when a friend reports back to me about a special tea or tea experience they've encountered.  In this case, a friend went on a romantic weekend to Oxfordshire and stayed in a lovely looking hotel called 'Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons'.  

Photo from the Hotel's Website

Looking on their website, I found an 'About' page:

"Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is renowned for offering one of Britain's finest gastronomic experiences.
Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is also one of the country's most cherished manor house hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites.
The hotel received two Michelin stars in 1984, the first year of its opening, and, remarkably, has held them ever since.
Surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards, the luxury hotel enjoys an idyllic, typically English setting. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchen—and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School—with ultra-fresh, organic produce, ensuring the Michelin-star restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence."

I saw her Afternoon Tea piccies on Facebook and asked how she found it:

"Beautiful!! The teas were lovely ! And some really unusual ones! The scones were the best I've EVER had and the jam was home made!
The sandwiches were lovely, as were the cakes! And there was LOADS!! 8 quarter sandwiches .. a large scone each and 4 cakes.. EACH! All at Top quality x 
Pricey, but would recommend for a special occasion x"

Here are some pages taken from the Afternoon Tea menu.  As you can see, they offer a wide range of highly specialized teas and offer the sort of info about them that isn't always on offer, showing us that this hotel really means business.  I can see they offer Britain's own Tregnothnan tea from Cornwall, which is lovely to see, and many tea choices by 'Mariage Freres', which is a French gourmet tea company, based in Paris, founded in 1854 by brothers Henri and Edouard Mariage.  

This looks like an amazing hotel, and as my friend suggested, perfect for a special occasion.  I may need to save up somewhat before being able to enjoy it myself, but if the Tripadvisor reviews are anything to go by, it will be money well-spent!