Sunday, 3 July 2016

Malta Regency Weekend 2016 - Part 2

On the Saturday night we had a ball in the Chamber of Commerce. A lovely old building in the centre of the city. Here are some photos of the evening.

On Sunday we spent a lovely day at the President or Prime Minister's (can't remember which one!) summer home. It was a beautiful old house which used to belong to one of the original Knights of Malta.
Below are a few photos of the rooms

Relaxing in the Drawing Room

Admiring the paintings. :)

The Ballroom

During part of the Napoleonic wars Malta was occupied by the French. In to the floor of the ballroom, french officers carved two chess or drafts boards (not sure which they are). The floor has been re-tiled since then, but the two boards remain.

The rather breathtaking stairwell (this photo no way near does it justice)

The gardens

We had a lovely sunny afternoon enjoying the house and grounds. There were also archery and watercolour classes. Not being much of an artist, and thoroughly enjoying the archery class I took at JAF last September, I decided to turn my hand to archery once again. However, apparently I seemed to have lost any talent I had for the sport (at JAF I came second in the class competition - which I am now thinking was pure fluke!! :) ). This time I was awful at it, and managed to get a giant bruise on my arm in a place that is apparently really hard to bruise whilst doing archery!! The instructor was completely baffled about by how I managed to to do it!! Still enjoyed attempting to do archery! :) 

A traditional Maltese farmer's tool shed, in the grounds

We had a lovely tea on the terrace. :)

Overall I had a wonderful time in Malta. It was lovely to spend a few days sightseeing and then rounding it off with a regency weekend. I would love to go back though as there is so much more to see. :)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Malta Regency Weekend 2016

In April I spent a lovely week in Malta with some friends. It is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a while, mainly because my father was born there and my grandmother talks about there time there quite a bit.  We spent most of our time in the city of Valletta. 
The Grand Harbour

A very picturesque street

Georgian playing card stamps

We wondered around quite a few lovely museums. In one we found a sedan chair which rather suited Zack's outfit. :)

Meditating in the garden

Taking a boat across the Grand Harbour

Another view of the Grand Harbour

Old Mint Street - the steepest street in Valletta. 

Next - Regency Malta :)

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Tea Update: Soho's Secret Tearoom

A few years ago I wrote a post on what was once one of my favourite tearooms in London  - Soho's Secret Tearoom. It was a fabulous 40's inspired tea room with beautiful china and table linen, delicious cakes, and polite staff who all wore 40's clothing, oh and there was 40's music playing. :) Suffice to say it was pretty fabulous. :)

However, a few months ago a friend and I decided that it would be fun to go back there. We were really excited, but sadly we couldn't have been more disappointed. The beautiful table linen, 40s music and clothing had all gone. The tables were covered in ugly plastic table clothes, the staff were dressed in modern clothes, the china was dirty and the chocolate cake I had was, well Mary and Paul would give it a thumbs down, (so not great!). Also my tea cup was particularly dirty, but when I showed it to one of the waitresses and asked for a clean one, all she said was "oh they are all like that, it's just a stain", and walked off!! I decided to try to clean it with my napkin, and surprise surprise it wasn't a stain! So I ended up having to take a clean one off another table!! The whole experience was pretty dismal. The only conclusion I have come to is that it must be under new management. It is so sad as it used to be such a lovely tearoom.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tea at The Original Maids of Honour

It's been a while since I did a proper post on a tea trip. The main reason being that most of the tea places I have tried recently really haven't been worth posting about. However, a couple of weeks ago, a friend and I decided to try The Original Maids of Honour, which it turned out I couldn't not mention! It's is quite a well know tearoom which has been around since the mid nineteenth century, but I hadn't been to it before as it is all the way out in Kew. All I can say is that it was definitely worth the trek to get there!!

Proper sized tea cup. Not one of those tiny ones which can only hold a mouthful. 

Rather a pretty one too. :)

I would have preferred the tea pot and milk jug to have been china and not metal, but otherwise all was fabulous. :)

Delicious food. Fabulously light and fluffy scones, yummy chocolate flake cake, and lovely ham and cucumber sandwiches. (They usually give a wider selection of sandwiches, but I am rather picky when it comes to sandwich fillings, so they kindly offered to give me a plateful of only the ones I liked!) 

A Maid of Honour - the recipe is a highly guarded secret. Of course I had to try one. Not much to look at, but was a deliciously lemonny tart type thing with lovely fluffy pastry. Absolutely scrumptious!! :)

Outside they had two wonderful old delivery vans. 

So the curtains are looking very tattered,the carpet could be less psychedelic, and the loo needs to be refurbished, but those are just cosmetic things. The food is delicious, the staff are polite, friendly and efficient, and the atmosphere is fabulous. I half expected to see Miss Marple walk through the door as it looks exactly like the tearooms shown in various tv adaptations! It is the perfect place to go on a wintery afternoon, and without a doubt one of the best teas I have ever had in London.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Regency Picnic at Mompesson House

This post is unfortunately evidence of how appalling I have become at posting! It seems to be a talent of mine!! I can't even remember when this event was, though for some reason September is coming to mind, so September it shall be.

So back in September :) , Mompesson House (National Trust) in Salisbury, put on an exhibition of artefacts from the 95 version of Sense and Sensibility. It was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film, as the house was used as Mrs Jenning's London residence. For the opening weekend the NT invited a local regency group to have a picnic in the garden. A few friends are in the group so I was invited to join. 

Compared to most National Trust properties, Mompesson is on the small side, and has a relatively small garden. It's really just a lawn, but a decent sized one. So we arrived with our food and lawn games and took over the garden for a lovely afternoon of eating, game playing, dancing and chatting.
Unfortunately I didn't end up taking many photos of the picnic as we were trying to be as historically accurate as possible for the public.

One of the picnic tables. Everyone (except me!) bought baskets full of amazing regency food.

An delicious flummery . I made an eighteenth century version of a cheesecake for the occasion, but of course left it at home!! :)

A few fellow picnickers playing a game of Battledore.

At one point in the afternoon I escaped into the house to view the exhibition. I have been around the house before so my photos mainly concentrate on the costumes and artefacts from the film.

Colonel Brandon in the Drawing Room (So sad about Alan Rickman)

Tea caddies!! There were a few gorgeous items around the house that were too just pretty not to take a photo of. :)

Coffee set, but still pretty. :)

One of Elinor's ball gown's

Underclothes, which I think are Victorian. (Not entirely sure why they were part of the exhibition. Maybe they are on display all year round).

One of Marianne's outfits  

Mrs Jenning's bonnet

An embroidered handkerchief of Edward's. Sadly I don't think it was the original one he gave to Elinor.

Fanny Dashwood's bonnet

The rest of the photos are of a few original Regency items that the house owns.

Would love this fan.