Thursday 18 July 2024

Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Recipe

Double Strawberry Sheet Cake Recipe
After spotting these beautiful strawberry and chamomile cookies from 'Eat Your Flowers', I knew that I had to turn my hand to making them in cake form. I wanted something light and fluffy, but with double the amount of strawberries - perfect for strawberry season in the summer! I adapted my recipe from my Lemon and Blueberry Sheet Cake and this version is now something I think I'll come back to making time and time again. 

There's extra helpings of strawberries in the sponge, as well as decoration on top, but the possibilities are endless with this recipe. You can add a sprinkling of crushed meringue for a take on the 'Eton Mess' or even swap out the double cream topping for a strawberry icing for triple the strawberries! 

Ingredients (Serves 10)

200g butter or margarine 

200g caster sugar 

4 eggs

250g self raising flour

200g chopped strawberries

2tsp vanilla extract

150ml double cream

Sprigs of mint 


Preheat the oven to 180ยบ oven and line a 7x10 inch baking dish with parchment paper. 

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. One by one, add the eggs in the mixture. 

Add in the vanilla extract. 

Sift the self raising flour and mix slowly until combined. 

Add the chopped strawberries and stir gently. 

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cook for 45 minutes or until when you inset a knife into the cake it comes out clean. 

Leave the cake to cool completely. 

In a clean dish, whisk the double cream until thick. This should only take 60 seconds or so with an electric whisk. Be careful not to over-mix as you'll start to make butter if you're not careful! 

Dollop the whipped double cream on top and with the remaining strawberries, decorate the top of the cake. 

You'll want to slice the strawberries length way and place them facing up. Use a sprig of mint as the leaves of your flowers.



Wednesday 17 July 2024

5 Cosy Home Decor Ideas

Cosy Autumn Bubble Bath
Cosy Cottage Bedroom

Want to know how to achieve a cosy and inviting home? Well look no further! As a self proclaimed queen of cosy, I have just the tips for you. From seasonal decorating to all year round comforts, here are five cosy home decor ideas that you can adopt today. 

Soft Furnishings and Softer Light

Are you a big light person or a small light one? Personally, I'm the latter. I love nothing more than switching on my lamps as soon as it gets dark, often lighting a candle for extra ambience. I like a warm lightbulb and pair it with a soft lampshade for the perfect cosy pairing so that the light is not too harsh - you get extra points for a dimmable light! 

It may sound quite obvious, but I like to emphasise my soft furnishings and opt for duvet covers that you want to dive into and always have a blanket to hand no matter the season. 

Don't Neglect The Bathroom

I get it, the bathroom should be a sterile and clean environment, but that doesn't mean it can't also be inviting especially for your bath or shower routines. I have recently made the habit of buying myself a bunch of eucalyptus to hang in the shower as not only does it add greenery to the room, but it gives off an invigorating scent once it gets steamy in there. 

Having candles and bubble bath to hand is always a cosy must have and I also like to have easy access to a way I can watch my favourite TV show or listen to some relaxing music - whether than be with on an iPad or waterproof speaker. 

Sometimes More is More

Think adding different textures and filling up bare spots, covering your walls in art work you love and not worrying that there are clashing rugs in the same room. As someone who struggled for years with trying to love 'minimalist' decor, I have simply learnt sometimes, more is simply more and that having decor that I love to look at is enough to make me feel at home and relaxed. 

Cosy Cottage Living Room

Add A Bookshelf 

Books to me are the epitome of cosiness. With cracked spines and a mismatch of colourful covers, bookshelves bring me joy like no other. I love looking through my endless to-read piles to find my next read, whilst also admiring the books I read many moons ago. For me, having a bookshelf or a way to display my books, instantly gives a room a cosy feel. I love incorporating them in the kitchen, with stacks of them on my open shelves as well as in my bedroom sporadically placed around.

Dopamine Decor 

Dopamine decor is the idea of bringing happiness into your home through pieces of decor that you enjoy without the worry of it clashing in colour or pattern. I personally like to adopt the 'dopamine decor' trend when decorating for the seasons. Autumn to Halloween and through to Christmas are probably my favourite times to decorate for my home and whilst my normal cosy cottage decor doesn't usually go with a ginormous skeleton cushion or pumpkin door draft, I have to ask myself if it makes me happy - then why not?   

How do you make your home cosy? 

Thursday 4 July 2024

5 Beautiful Rose Gardens To See In June

Haddon Hall Derbyshire Rose Garden

Haddon Hall Derbyshire Rose Garden

Haddon Hall Derbyshire Rose Garden

June is my favourite month of Summer as rose season is in full bloom and I get an excuse to visit all the beautiful gardens. Roses come in a variety of colours, have a delicate scent that lingers in the air and when paired with a stately home, they're something I look forward to seeing all year. If you want some recommendations on where to see the best display of roses, then make sure you check out the locations below. 

Haddon Hall, Derbyshire

If I had to be pushed for an answer of where my favourite rose garden is, I'd have to say it's Haddon Hall. The Tudor hall surrounded by Elizabethan gardens makes every corner of Haddon Hall, not only full of history, but utterly beautiful too. The walls are donned with an array of roses in a variety of colours, making it hard to pick a favourite spot of the gardens. 

My one recommendation would be to always have a look out the windows, especially on warm summer days when they're open as you'll often see views you wouldn't be able to see otherwise. 

Bowood House and Garden Wiltshire

Bowood House and Garden Wiltshire

Bowood House and Gardens, Wiltshire

Bowood House and Gardens has been on my list of places to visit for a few years now and it did not disappoint. The Georgian house itself is beautiful with big opens windows and a manicured Italian inspired terraced garden out the front, but it was the roses I came to see. They were well looked after and the gardens had roses in every colour - yellow, red, pink and white!

Whilst I loved Bowood's array of flowers, I was also surprised with how vast their parkland was. You can not only visit the roses, but also go for a walk around their lake on a beautiful summers day. If you time your visit right, you can also get over to Bowood's woodland gardens which has rhododendrons in every colour you can imagine - perfect for a relaxing day out. 

One of the stand out roses of Bowood gardens was a delicate pink rose from David Austin called  'Gentle Hermione', the scent could be smelt all the way around the gardens and I knew I had to ask the gardener what rose it was. 

Kiftsgate Court Gardens Cotswolds

Kiftsgate Court Gardens Cotswolds

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Gloucestershire 

On the edge of the Cotswolds lies Kiftsgate Court Gardens, a garden created by three generations of women gardeners. I was absolutely floored by how beautiful this spot was as the pink roses were out in full bloom as soon as you entered the main part of the gardens. 

There's lots to explore including modern art installations and their wild garden, but their rose border and terrace were the star of the show. Donned with an array of pink and red roses, you felt like you were stepping into a secret garden. 

They even have a rose called the "Kiftsgate" rose which I didn't manage to see this time as it blooms around early to mid July, but Kiftsgate has claims that it has the largest 'Kiftsgate rose' in England! 

Hever Castle Kent Rose Garden

Hever Castle Kent Rose Garden

Hever Castle, Kent 

Hever Castle in Kent is known for being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn with the Boleyn apartment as well as the castle itself with the mote around it to see. I've previously seen Hever Castle when the daffodils and cherry blossom were out and I also now have plans to see the tulips next spring, but it was the roses that I think would be hard to beat. 

I visited as part of their 'Hever in Bloom' event running from late June to early July. They have over 5,000 roses on display in their beautiful walled gardens and depending on when you visit, different roses will be in bloom. Even though I explored as much of the gardens as possible, I'm still not convinced I explored it all which means a return visit is definitely on the cards! There's rambling roses, climbers and scrubs, so you get flowers at every height making Hever Castle a feast for the eyes in the summer. 

Penshurst Place Rose Gardens Kent

Penshurst Place Rose Gardens Kent

Penshurst Place Rose Gardens Kent

Penshurst Place, Kent

Last on the list is a gardens that I personally think are underrated and I haven't heard much about. Penshurst Place in Kent is only 15 minutes down the road from Hever Castle which means you could get to visit the two gardens in a day. 

The manor house itself built in the 14th century is a sight to behold, so it's a strong statement to make to say I think their roses may just come out on top when it comes to choosing my favourite corner of Penshurst Place. Hidden away in their spacious gardens, lies a series of pergolas lined with climbing roses in both white and pink varieties. With benches underneath, you can seriously see yourself getting lost in a book here one afternoon. I wouldn't suggest loosing yourself too much as there's still lots more roses to explore in the gardens! 

They've also got a beautiful peony border which comes in bloom a little bit before the roses, so worth a visit if you're in the area in mid to late May. 

Where are your favourite places to see roses in June? 

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