The one most important thing which foodbloggers do best is giving/sharing food. Sometimes the effort put into that is enormous, requiring days of preparation or a massive journey, and sometimes it only takes the smallest bit of time. But even that shouldn’t be discounted because of the amount of thought that went into it. Either way, to see the recipient break into a big grin is the best reward and the happiest moment we can wish for. And an occasion without food is simply the end of the world for us, now isn’t it? Doesn’t food just make the occasion completely?
A fellow friend of mine, much loved and adored, is about to leave to travel the world in a couple of weeks. The next two weeks ahead are slightly busier than usual due to a research proposal deadline, of which I have very little confidence in successfully producing one I’m satisfied with due to the lack of preparation. Been too caught up with other things and my two presentations this week. Because a send-off at the airport just isn’t feasible and a farewell meet-up closer to her fly-off date wasn’t wise when the aforementioned deadline contributes a lot to my Masters degree and looms scarily close, I copied A’s move to train it up to Shrewsbury for the weekend with S. Felt wrong to go empty-handed, especially when I wouldn’t be seeing her for about half a year so I made some lemon curd-filled chocolates the day before and made a trip out to LOLA’s before uni on Thursday afternoon for some mini cupcakes. Sad to say, even though I’d gotten only the small ones, they got a little banged up on the train to and fro uni and home. The ‘epic’ cross-country journey up didn’t do them any good either. Buttercream bruises aside though, it seemed the taste and moistness wasn’t at all affected. Or at least, that’s how it seemed to me. Unless the folks were lying. Jokes.
On a cupcake note, I was surprised to find this month’s new flavour to be Pink Champagne: Pink Champagne-laced cupcake and buttercream frosting topped with a ball of coconut-covered white chocolate champagne truffle. LOLA’s always surprises me with simple, exquisite flavours. They’re never over-the-top and I quite like that they pull it off with quality ingredients and not whacky over-indulged combinations. I really enjoyed every bit of my pimped out Valentine’s Day cupcakes from Hummingbird but this pastel pink and lightly silver glittered cupcakes were a nice change and easier on the eye, I must admit. Also, it gave me a few more ideas for my contribution to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle. The ingredient for that is champagne and the deadline is 16 March. If the proposal goes well, I should be able to submit a post for that fingers crossed!
Although it was only a short stay that I had, we managed to pack in quite a bit. A lovely dinner with cocktails at a British restaurant Mad Jack’s, English pancakes (I had mine with golden syrup and bacon) the next morning with two lovely cuppas made by the bestie, and a good ol’ roadtrip with Mama S. behind the steering wheel in Shropshire. Oh and did I mention that getting away from the concrete jungle meant I finally could see some greenery? That helped majorly with my grey withdrawals I think. And my fav cat no.2 (no. 1 reserved for bestie’s black persian Mortimer) Jasper did bring quite a bit of sunshine and furballs into my life. Gave him a big kiss on the neck and felt a purr vibrate up through my lips (which resulted in quite a bit of fur stuck on the lips and down the throat). He might’ve taken part in some cupcake eating as well. What a cutie.
All sugared up and ready to face the world, we wrapped up as warm as we could (I forget it’s always freezing up north), bundled away into Mama S’s snazzy black car and zipped back in time – into the Victorian town of Blists Hill. I like period dramas. I like anything historical. So this was so much fun! A, a geographer by degree, was thrilled! Stepping back into a Victorian village, visiting the old pub (bestie got serenaded to), peering through the glass into the grocer’s, chatting to the nice lady in the local draper’s, teasing the piggies by the pork pie shop, discovering the clever magic of the candlemaker in his dark workshop, etc. There was so much to learn and see – it was both entertaining and educational. We sound like geeks now don’t we? I suppose we are! But it was such good fun. And yes, the people who work or volunteer at Blists Hill are in full costume and character! It’s so brilliant!
The local drapers and the bakery were my two favourite, not surprisingly. The blacksmith’s was pretty cool too. Although I’m not going to share with you my giant haul of photographs because that may simply bore you, check out the rustic homeliness of the local bakery. With 2 ovens the size of single beds, this bakery could churn out enough cakes, breads and biscuits to feed the whole town! The candlemaker makes 1000 animal fat candles (which are a lot brighter and wind-resistant than our usual parafin ones) in 90mins. The level of subsistence of the town to self-provide was amazing. When we visited the bakery, there wasn’t much left on the shelves but the pretty baker was busy cutting up some sort of cake or flapjack. We stood eagerly by the door hoping to be the first ones to buy those warm treats but to no avail. She ignored us. Gah, so gutted!
We waited and waited. But she didn’t get those cakes out. So we settled for what was already on the shelves. As if we would have been disappointed anyway!
Despite the grey, the wet and the freezing cold, we had such a great time. I honestly had a really good back-to-the-past experience in Blists Hill and it made me forget about the depressing drudgery of the big smoke. Felt a little Jane Austen-y as well. That always helps with a bit of literary inspiration I hope which is much needed at the moment. And because it’s about time I continue working on tonight’s presentation, I must love you and leave you.
Watch out for the next post on some yum country pub grub.
17 Responses to “Safe trip dear S. and Victorian Blists Hill”
The Cooking NinjaThe Cooking Ninja Says:
March 1st, at 9:52 am
Blists Hill sounds so cool to visit. Note down as list of things to do with Hub & V if they join me for FBC 10 in June. 🙂
Love that cat – too adorable. Not forgetting those delicious n precious mini cupcakes.
March 1st, at 10:49 am
I think I am starting to fall a little bit in love with Lola’s cupcakes too. Had a cookies & cream one recently which was delish and I just ADORE their mini cupcakes! Brilliant things do come in small packages hehe 😉 x
March 1st, at 10:51 am
I love making food for others…
Those cupcakes are so pretty and the bakery is beautiful!
March 1st, at 11:22 am
The Cooking Ninja: yep, Shrewsbury is about 3 hrs on the train from London and then we drove to Blists Hill. If u need directions gimme a shout 🙂 It was such a lovely place to visit! I’m sure V would love the quaint little sweet shop too.
catty: LOLA’s is nice isn’t it 😀 Allows me to unleash my inner girliness every time.
Rosa: agree! I loved the little bakery and the Victorian get-up.
March 1st, at 11:38 am
Beautiful cupcakes and beautiful cat, too.
March 1st, at 12:52 pm
I also love making food gifts for others,…your cupcakes are allways a succes!
What a lovely Victorian bakery,…Thanks for sharing!
Sarah @ RatatouilleSarah @ Ratatouille Says:
March 1st, at 1:46 pm
Diva they are gorgeous! I would love to visit Lolas one day.
I think I’m going to have to visit you in the concrete jungle and do a foodies tour one weekend!
Do come down and see me soon also in the land of green!
Laura @ Hungry and FrozenLaura @ Hungry and Frozen Says:
March 1st, at 6:41 pm
I’m glad you mentioned Jane Austin because I definitely would have traipsed around pretending I was Elizabeth Bennet or something 🙂 Those well-travelled cupcakes still sound delicious, especially that pink champagne one!
Also I LOVE that cat!
March 1st, at 8:05 pm
Lived in Shrewsbury for 1.5 years and never heard of Blists Hill. Lol. I love the look of that bakery! Craving for some freshly baked bread now 😉
March 1st, at 9:21 pm
Cupcakes. I don’t think there’s anything better, is there? Diva, your photos are always so gorgeous. I need to take some photography classes.
March 2nd, at 12:07 am
Hhahaha fat kitty in the picture made me smile 🙂 What a cool bakery you went to!!! I love the entire set up of the place and the cupcakes look pretty darn phenomenal. It is always nice to cook for others, because I am sure they definitely appreciate your efforts 🙂 Beautiful post Diva!
Girl JapanGirl Japan Says:
March 2nd, at 2:41 am
I love it that, through rain and slush, cold and wet, you are bound to have a fab time. That biscuit looks INTENSE and HUGE.
March 2nd, at 6:30 am
I for one would LOVE to see more pics of Blists Hill- there is nothing I love more than spending the day in a historical village. 🙂
March 2nd, at 9:54 am
Those cupcakes are so pretty especially the pink one. and such a cute cat! =)
Sarah, Maison CupcakeSarah, Maison Cupcake Says:
March 2nd, at 11:16 am
Pink Champagne cupcakes!!!! I don’t know whether to hop on the tube now or get down the off license and make my own. They sound brilliant.
As I said on Twitter, I went to Blist’s Hill after I did my A Levels in around 1991/2 which is a verrrrry long time ago. It won’t be long until someone opens an 80s museum and then I’ll be completely ancient.
March 2nd, at 8:29 pm
Sarah, Maison Cupcake: Instead of having to make a decision, what about doing both?! 😀 You tickle me silly Sarah. You’re not ancient in the slightest but wow. That was a long time ago that you visited. I wonder if it’s changed since then and you experienced in completely differently from me or if it hasn’t changed at all then it has stayed true to its Victorian era.
P/s. You taking part in Meeta’s Monthly Mingle? Ingredient’s champagne. I think I need a candy thermometer for mine. xx
shelly (cookies and cups)shelly (cookies and cups) Says:
March 3rd, at 10:10 pm
Those cupcake look amazing! I have always wanted to try a pink champagne cupcake!!