Recent Posts

Lemon Rosemary Shrub Recipe

Lemon Rosemary Shrub Recipe

Lemon Rosemary Shrub An herbalicious summer drink with or without alcohol…making this Lemon Rosemary shrub is simple and will last you year round. This is a refreshing and versatile sipping vinegar and just the thing to make your mocktail sing or tart up a glass […]

Whites, a tasty series now on Acorn TV

Whites, a tasty series now on Acorn TV

A busy kitchen, a country hotel…Whites Whites centers around the bustling kitchen of a grand country estate turned boutique hotel in the English countryside. The hotel’s star chef, Roland White, a once driven and brilliant man about kitchen, now spends most of his time dreaming […]

Revisiting the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC

Revisiting the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC

Biltmore House

The largest privately owned home in the United States is the Biltmore. Originally built in 1889, the ‘house’ is a fabulous mansion in the French Renaissance Chateau style with much gothic detailing…spires, gargoyles, steep pitched roofs, and gardens that go on and on. It took six years to build, and it has stayed in the Vanderbilt family since its inception.

Note: all interior photos and panoramic exterior photos are courtesy of the Biltmore.com 

The Tapestry Gallery at the Biltmore Estate in Ashevill NC
Tapestry Gallery, with 16th century tapestries.

Before I show you more of the exterior details, let’s go inside.

This was my favorite part of house…the Tapestry Gallery. The series of tapestries are referred to as The Triumph of the Seven Virtues. They were created in Flanders in the 16th century.

Don’t even get me started on that fireplace…I mean, can you even imagine being served tea in a setting like this?
I can.

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Delicious, a British television series for Foodies

Delicious, a British television series for Foodies

Delicious, a show for food lovers (sort of)… If you’re a British television lover as I am, you may also be a subscriber to Acorn TV. If you’re not and you’ve never heard of Acorn, then most likely you’ve missed Delicious, a British television series […]

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook Review, along with a recipe for Devon Scones From historic houses to castles, forests, mills, pubs, parks and ancient monuments, the National Trust works to preserves Great Britain’s heritage. As it happens they also put out cookbooks, quite a few of […]

A James Bond Breakfast & Vesper Cocktail

A James Bond Breakfast & Vesper Cocktail

James Bond Breakfast according to Ian Fleming…

“Then there were two thick slices of wholewheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam…” – Ian Fleming on James Bond Breakfast

Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ is a conserve (aka preserve) made with a special tiny strawberry that only Tiptree grows…yes, they’re the only growers in the world. But that’s not what made me buy it.

It was Bond. James Bond.
Or rather, the author of that super spy series, Ian Fleming, with his description of James Bond’s breakfast.

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Evil Under the Sun

Evil Under the Sun

Evil Under the Sun, starring Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Sylvia Miles, Denis Quilley and Jane Birkin is the 1982 big-screen film version of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel. Mystery, Romantic Intrigue, Murder…Evil Under the Sun A missing jewel, an island […]

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

Vintage Cocktails, Inspiration from Evil Under the Sun

White Lady, Side Car, Main Brace, or Between the Sheets? NOTE: to go straight to the Vintage Cocktails and recipes, proceed to bottom of post. If someone asks you what your favorite movies are, often times the list will change over the years. But for […]

Outlander Kitchen Cookbook Review

Outlander Kitchen Cookbook Review

Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for Outlander Kitchen.
There’s something about books that are sort of ‘off-shoots’ of bestsellers that often disappoints. This was not one of those.

After watching the Outlander series on tv (I haven’t read any of the books yet – eek -but will!) I was intrigued by the cookbook enough to buy it.

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Bite of History: Victorian Tennis Cake

Bite of History: Victorian Tennis Cake

Tennis Cake, a Victorian Charmer Victorian Tennis Cake, anyone? I have to admit, I’m a big Great British Baking (or Bake-Off) fan. And I especially like it when they do theme weeks. In the series that’s showing in the U.S. right now, they have a […]

Father Brown Mystery series and Mrs. McCarthy’s Strawberry Scones

Father Brown Mystery series and Mrs. McCarthy’s Strawberry Scones

Father Brown is a BBC television mystery series based on books by GK Chesterton, starring Mark Williams. It’s the 1950s, it’s in the English countryside, and it’s all about a progressive, mystery-solving Cathlic priest named Father Brown and his circle of parishioners, staff, and friends. […]

Food Lover’s Movie: Toast…and Pain de Mie recipe

Food Lover’s Movie: Toast…and Pain de Mie recipe

An indie movie that leaves a lovely taste…and a Pain de Mie recipe to accompany it

Toast is the memoir film about famous food writer and chef Nigel Slater’s beginnings in a household that was anything but gourmet. It stars Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. I loved this movie and all it’s British-ness. It relays  Nigel Slater’s journey from shy kid to the beginning of his awakened interest in food and baking, through to the start of his career in cuisine.

Movie poster for Toast.

His young life is told through a series of vignettes in which food takes pride of place, especially when a certain housekeeper woos his father with her enticing baked goods.
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Victorian inspired Prints of the Natural World

Victorian inspired Prints of the Natural World

Victorian Print Inspiration This week has been my Victorian Week – making Tennis Cake, Charlotte Russe, writing about a Victorian remodel… Something else I’ve been working on, are print designs for my shop. When I was doing this I ended up with a group of […]

Bite of History: Charlotte Russe

Bite of History: Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe, A Very Victorian Dessert Charlotte Russe is an uncooked dessert which features an exterior and bottom of lady fingers (sponge), and an interior filled with a Bavarian Cream or Mousse. Often the latter is flavored with coffee, or fruit (as shown, Strawberry). Because […]

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

POSH, European Vintage Shopping in Chicago

P.O.S.H. Chicago, Vintage shopping in River North

Last weekend I visited P.O.S.H., a unique shop in Chicago that I make it to about three or  four times a year. It’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood and it inhabits one of the many long, narrow retail spaces common around the city. The buildings in this part of town have a lot of character in their old brick walls and wood floors – a far cry from  the cookie-cutter stores so frequently found in Any City, USA.

POSH chicago shop in River North. Posh Chicago

In fact, P.O.S.H. is housed in a historic 1894 building of note – Tree Studio. It was designed as an artists’ residence and commissioned by a philanthropist who happened to be married to the daughter of Marshall Field, the department store giant. Since its inception the building has housed over 500 artists, according to the P.O.S.H website. John Singer Sargent was one of the most famous.

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All Time Favorites

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea with The Allis

Afternoon Tea at The Allis in Chicago You know I love Afternoon Tea…or maybe you don’t. Well, I do, and I am well on my way to sampling all that Chicago has to offer in the way of this pleasing between-meal repast. Let’s see…I’ve enjoyed […]