Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tea, Cake, and a Great Day Out

First of all I feel honour bound (after having, though with considerable help from the Scottish one, eaten most of it) to share the details of Mondays very successful cake. It’s basically the chunky Fig Prune and Apricot cake from River Cottage Every day. It was baked on TV Thursday night and the link to the recipe is here. I used ordinary self raising flour and as I’m not overly fond of figs (which is why there’s been a packet at the back of the cupboard in need of use for a while now – I wish I could remember why I bought them in the first place) when I make the cake again, which will be soon, I think I’ll use dates instead. Prunes on the other hand are something I love to cook with and I’m very pleased to have another use for them because there always seems to be half a pack hanging around.

Anyway not for the first time, and most likely not the last, I’m singing the praises of a book from the River Cottage stable though I do think I need to break out and do more than bake cakes – there’s a venison stew that looks good...

Saturday was a day I’ve been looking forward to for a while – a planned day in London where I got to go not only to the Glasgow Boys exhibition at the RA but also meet up with some other book bloggers. We made the pilgrimage to The Persephone bookshop (one small purchase, which would have been very virtuous if it hadn’t been coupled to a few more extravagant acquisitions earlier in the day – all necessary I assure you) and then headed to the British Museum for afternoon tea which was extremely proper (cucumber sandwiches, scones, a choice of tea’s, and little cakes all on a stand – very pretty).

The catalyst for the occasion was a UK visit from the very charming Thomas of My Porch. He bought presents which was unbelievably exciting (as well as extremely generous); and had in fact chosen appropriate American books for everyone; I got Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening and Selected Stories’ which I’m delighted with. I’ve read ‘The Awakening’ before but none of the other stories, and have been looking out for more Chopin. Paperback Reader personally recommends one of the stories so all in all it comes with glowing testimonials.

This is the second time I’ve met up with like minded bloggers and it’s been great both times. Normally meeting new people socially is something I’m a poor hand at. For some reason I can never think of anything to say and so generally hang around feeling uncomfortable, fellow bloggers are an interesting mix of total strangers/people I feel I already know. Most of the conversation was about reading which didn’t leave much time for anything else but learning more about the people behind the screen was a pleasure – even the very real possibility of being trapped in a lift with these people wasn’t as awful to contemplate as I would normally fear (don’t use the British Museum lifts, they don’t behave well.)


  1. That is very exciting and I wish I had been there. Although K felt so guilty when O said wistfully last night that I wished Id gone (I hadn't mentioned it before) that he bought me a new swimming costume with the John Lewis vouchers he'd been hoarding. Some compensation tho I would have loved some bookish chat

  2. Verity, It's a shame you couldn't make it, but as you're saving it's maybe as well - I can't go to London without spending far to much. We did miss you but I think you were there in spirit. I got a very nice book about afternoon tea - but more of that later!

  3. I can't go to London without spending too much either ... oh, wait, I *live* there now :s I am amazed by my restraint yesterday and still managed to arrive home laden with books.

    I don't do wonderfully well in new social situations either but being able to discuss books always puts me at ease.

    Lovely to see you again and looking forward to the next encounter (as long as it doesn't include lifts).

  4. Our afternoon almost became too cozy in that lift. (It was those last two women who pushed their way on that got us stuck...)

    It was so much fun meeting all of you. I can't wait to get home and blog about it all.

  5. What a wonderful time. Books as a common theme do have a way of making social gatherings a tad easier, don't they? I'm putting the museum's lifts on my list of things to avoid based on this thread. :)

  6. That sounds like brilliant fun! Shame I couldnt make it (I was on holiday)

  7. It was so lovely to meet you. I have been since pondering a career in wine in a sort of whimsical way. The lift was a bit of a fright, but as you say it could definitely have been a worse bunch of people to potentially be stuck with!

  8. Novelinsights - wine best drunk rather than worked in (may day started with several smashed bottles) Lovely to have met you too:)
    Jessica, sorry not to have met you, next time?
    Susan - avoid the lifts!

  9. I am so envious of your afternoon tea with all the book bloggers! It sounds lovely.

    Interesting to see Rachel Ray on your stack. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. (I'll write about it in early December for the Classics Circuit.)

  10. Wasn't it a lovely day, Hayley? And lovely to see you again. I had blocked the lift incident from my mind, somehow...

    I love Kate Chopin's short stories, which I read six years ago, just after reading The Awakening. I don't remember much about them, except that they were very powerful in short bursts.

  11. Lifetime reader. Looking forward to the classics circuit, and to seeing what you thought of Rachel Ray. It's one I have no imediate plans to read but your review might make it imperative:)