Thursday, 25 September 2008

A Feast, some foraging and a little fame...

Well.. life is never dull.. that is for sure..and after a stretched Birthday celebration and a fairly manic week so far.. I am ready for the calm oasis of next weekend..
I have much to tell you so I would like to start with my Birthday feast that was lovingly created by Mr Custard, as promised. After barricading himself in the kitchen for two hours I was summoned, along with our friends to sample the culinary delights of his repertoire..
Here is the menu..
It was truly truly scrumptious and all four courses were consumed with great relish !
It is a small miracle that I managed to save a corner for some of these .. Not one .. but two .. Birthday cakes.. made by some of my dear friends. I think word has got out that I am rather partial to a slice or three!...
I even managed to keep my eyelids propped open until the witching hour of 1.30 a.m.. I can't remember the last time I stayed up so late.. so bed was most welcoming and I was soon tucked in to a wonderful slumber.. dreaming of cake funnily enough and eating candles..!!
Sunday.. saw me fit for very little other than a fleeting visit to our local car booty and I gentle stroll around one of my favourite hidden valleys of Bath.. St Catherine's Valley...This idyllic, rural corner of England is placed on the southern edge of the Cotswolds and is amazingly only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle and smog of Bath..but another world away.
It was just the pick me up I needed to clear my tired and foggy mind and burn off some of the recent cake consumption ... It felt so good to walk along the sun soaked lanes and breathe in some fresh air and gaze upon the sublime hills of this very pretty valley. There were treasures to be found around every corner.. from conkers, to pine cones, hazelnuts and these tasty jewels...I managed to pick a small bag full and squeezed two pots of jam out of them.. my first ever attempt at jam making... most satisfactory! It set for a start and tasted wonderful on toast in the morning..
Some years another life.. I came to some parties here.. hosted by Jane Seymour the actress who owned this magnificent house called St Catherine's Court an Elizabethan Grade I listed manor
It is possible to visit the lovely little chapel within the grounds but the house itself is not open to the public..

I enjoyed every minute of our walk along this lane and after some successful foraging it was home for a siesta... No stamina any more!

Well.. my moment of fame arrived yesterday when Jayne came for coffee and arrived brandishing a copy of the BBC Homes & Antiques magazine that contains our article about the Vintage & Handmade Fair. I must confess that I opened the magazine with a mixture of apprehension and great excitement. Jayne and I have been waiting since August when we were interviewed in my kitchen by Natasha..and I really couldn't remember much of the day other than the jangling nerves...
It was well worth the wait and now we are finally having our fifteen minutes..or fifteen paragraphs.. of fame.
So here is a sneak preview before the magazine goes on sale October 1st ..or for you lucky ones who subscribe to the magazine you can read all about it now!

It will be fantastic publicity for our humble little fair.. and we have already received requests for the next one.. so watch this space!


ArtShades said...

Hi, I've just discovered your blog in BBC Homes and Antiques - it was great to read about other UK bloggers who have a passion for the handmade. What a brilliant article (and blog too!).
I love your Edwina Bridgeman piece - I met her at an art and recycling conference here in Worcestershire earlier this year and have my little 'wood and wire' lady I made during her workshop sitting here on my desk.
I have made a note of your Vintage and Handmade Fair in my diary and hope to come and visit - I am sure it will be a great success.
All the best, Sarah
PS I don't like old bananas either!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Michele

I shall of course be purchasing my copy next week! The Fair is 'real' now, isn't it! No getting away from it! Thanks for the mention in H&A and I'm looking forward to meeting you at last.

Congratulations on reaching a certain age.You obviously had a super day/evening. I'd forgotten about that lovely area around Jayne Semour's home. Part of everyday life when we lived in Bath.


Garden Girl said...

I hope you collected some of those conkers on your walk...ha!
You and Jayne look fabulous in your article, and I can't wait to buy my copy. Well done girls, you did us bloggers proud!!
Ooh, maybe the next fair could be held at No.9?! Although will possibly have to hire Olympia at this rate..
Nice work on the menu, Mr C, and verrrry nice cakes.

Kitschen Pink said...

Love that he cooked your burfday meal - adore that he produced menus! Well done on the article- can't wait to get my hands on a copy! t.xx

BusyLizzie said...

the article looks fab, looking forward to getting my hands on a mag next week. Well done!
PS Jane Seymours nanny came to help me out after the birth of my first baby! (and she was brilliant!)

Sal said...

It's the birthday menu which intrigues me!

Firstly, the 'respecting his elders' bit..which made me laugh a lot.
And secondly,I want to know what happened in the 'interval'!!!
Was there 'entertainment' ? ;-)

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Michele - what a super-duper Birthday you had! I'm sure it will be one that you never forget.

I can't wait to see your (LONG!) article in H&A - they must have been soooo impressed with you ladies!! (You both look gorgeous BTW!) I'm so pleased for you and it is sure to help make the fair a fabulous success.

Hope you enjoyed toast and jam this morning - have alovely weekend,
Niki x

Gingham and Flowers said...

Wow, fantastic article! I'm sure it is going to bring you hundreds if not thousands of visitors to the fair. I will definitely be purchasing a copy of the magazine. Glad you had such a delicious Birthday dinner. Well done Mr Custard!

carolyn said...

Great article, hope it generates lots of visitors to the event.

Redwoodhouse said...

What a fab post and amazing article pages of it how wonderful, the fair would have been a great success anyway I'm sure, but now it will be a great event can't wait.
I wish I had looked as good as you at 50!!!!!

Ragged Roses said...

I knew Mr C wouldn't let you down!!!! I think I can eat soft toast this morning so please. please send me over some of that jam!
Now Mrs Custard for the important bit - well done you on such a wonderful article. You look fab (especially loving the "come hither" look in your second photo!). I am so proud of you

Alchamillamolly said...

Well what lovely ladies you both are - looking good for 50 I might add. We are looking on the internet for B&B but arent seeing anything that excites us. We thought that there might be more in the area. Are there any that you can recommend - I will bring the books to the do!!

Alchamillamolly said...

Just forgot to say I remember seeing Jane Seymour in one of my old Victoria magazines articles when she was doing up St Catherine's. It looks a lovely area might put it into google for a B&B round there.

julia said...

I shall be printing out the birthday bash bit and leaving it in prominent places about the house as a non too subtle hint!
The magazine looks great, I shall be first in the queue on Oct 1st.
Julia xx
ps. Have to say if eating cake makes you look that good at 50 pass me the gateaux.

summerfete said...

Great write up! It makes our blog land seem so real now!

Clare x

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about the Interval as well. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Airfares for Nov.22 have dropped to $790(US) round trip from Ohio to London! So tempting to do a little shopping at your Vintage Fair. The article and photos look beautiful. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele,
Congratulations,this is just so fantastic!
So i have a friend who's a celeb eh? lol...did you not say you where 50? Michele you are one of the hottest 50 year olds i know
Love Kristina XxX

A Saucerful Of Secrets said...

Hi Michele,what a lucky,lucky girl you are!your man really did you proud did'nt he? bless him.The article looks the business and what a foxy pair you are!Hope work is going well.Best Wishes,Annie x

LiLi M. said...

I'll buy one too! I can imagine you both are excited about this!

Last week I gave your link to the clip with dr. Ken Robinson to someone. Thanks again. Enjoy your weekend, we are having wonderful weather, I hope you have too.

This Vintage Life... said...

Dear Michele,
What a wonderful meal your beloved prepared for you and your guests. you can tell him he's got a job here at Erin Brae any time he likes, cooking great veggie food like that!
You look terrific; I don't know why you were nervous...what fantastic publicity for the fair too. I so wish I could be part of it.
Deb xx

Alchamillamolly said...

Hi Jayne says that you have some addresses to send me my email is

Vintage Amethyst said...

Aahh glad you had a wonderful feast & a lovely birthday.
Congratulations on the article, you both look wonderful, I will definitely have to get a copy.

Petticoat Lane said...

You both look fabulous! What a great article, I'm so looking forward to going and buying it to read through when the children have gone to bed.
I must now find St Catherines Valley, it looks beautiful. The girls would love it, not to mention the grown ups. I do love living in this beautiful area don't you?
Jane. x

Dana Jones said...

How lovely to see a photo of you Michele! I had imagined you blonde. I do not know why! But I am pleased to see you have a lovely chestnut mane.

Your article looks splendid! What a lovely way to kick off the event you have planned.

And as for cake... I love cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I can see we have many things in common. Many happy returns of the day to you! As Pooh would say!

Love, Dana

Pipany said...

Hello and wow!!! I was thinking about Jane Seymour and that house only the other day. I saw an interview in a magazine years ago which showed sher in some of the rooms and it has stayed in my mind ever since. So strange to see it mentioned here AND you went inside!
Congrats on the fantastic mag feature. So wish I could come to the fair but I just can't get away. Have a great time xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele. Didn't want to comment until I'd got the mag and have today just read the article and isn't it great. They've done you both proud; I'm sure you'll get stacks of visitors. Re that pic in your post of the view through the hedge in the lane.... its identical to the BBC1 intro to programmes (rabbits and fairies). What a magical place. Hope the crafting is going well. All the best. Eli

prettyshabby said...

Wow what a fantastic article..well done you two lovely ladies! x

I think your Mr.custard needs to be teaching my Mr.shabby how to do lovely scrummy birthday dinner wonderful!

Hen said...

I bought the mag today especially to read your article and it is really enjoyable. I'll definitely be re-reading it. I've even had someone buy one of my bags today after she discovered my blog through the blogs listed in the article, so thank you very much for widening the circle for us all. I am pleased to say I passed my driving test today so shall be able to visit your fair in November.
Best wishes
Hen x

Sea Angels said...

Hi Michele, your birthday sounds brilliant your HOW old!! well my goodness you look brilliant, at least 10 years younger both of you look all glamourous, it's a fabulous article, absolutley fab!!!
I must admit to my tummy churning just a little bit, seeing the pictures and then when I think of all this's very exciting and just a little scary...good scary...but I keep thinking oh my goodness then I calm down again...
Your birthday that was so wonderful, how kind, good menu too.
Lets hope the week continues just as lovely. xxx
Hugs Lynn xx

Donna said...

Wonderful article Michele. I was so proud to see you and Jayne in print. I hope it brings lots of lovely buyers and new blogging friends to the fair

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

First off.....HAPPY BELATED 50TH 'BURFDAY' MICHELE!!!! You do not even look 50!!!!!!! Sure wish I could drive over and treat you to a nice lunch with chocolate cake as dessert!! Maybe someday my travels will take me to England. But, in the meantime, congrats are in store for this most awesome article!! Way to go sister!!! I am so excited for you both! If I could, I'd be there at the fair! I do wish all of you the very best.

Skipping with delight for you!!


huggies to Pickles!!! Tell Chicken Licken cluck cluck for me!!!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

PS: Tell Mr. Custard I am very impressed with his skills in the kitchen. Way to go!!!

bj said...

Hi, sweetness...remember me...the one that loves Johnny Dep ??? :O)

I just wanted to say how IMPRESSED I am at your FAME! How wonderful this is....CONGRATULATIONS !!
love, bj

LOUISE said...

I only went and bought the magazine too early and you weren't in it! I am so pleased you have published the pages on your blog Michele as I was so eager to read the article and see you of course! x