Monday, 25 June 2012

Secret Tea Cup in Yorkshire

Rachelle is a big fan of clogs. My childhood was spent in red clogs bought from Prisunic in France.
The Secret Teacup caravan in the Yorkshire Dales
It's been a busy couple of weeks which is why I've had my longest blogging pause since I started this blog in mid 2008!
What have I been doing? I appeared on the Kirstie Allsopp vintage home Christmas show as an 'expert' (ahem) in gingerbread houses. Watch out for it ....
I also talked on Radio 4's The Food Programme about the future of cookery books. This will be broadcast on the 2nd of July.
I hosted an edible flower banquet at Clifton nurseries and a Secret Garden Club workshop on the same with Zia Mays.
I've been updating the supper club lists on my Find a Supper Club site (do join) which was/is very time consuming. This is for the supper club app that I'm creating in conjunction with graphic designer Maria Grist and app designer Ian Paterson, the husband of supper club hostess Wendy Paterson. 
Last weekend I drove up to the Yorkshire Dales to visit Secret Tea Cup hostess Rachelle Blondel who is not only a fantastic baker but an incredibly talented seamstress and crafter. She has a book coming out this autumn entitled Granny chic which she co-authored with renowned crafter Tif Russell also known as Dottie Angel.
Last year she hand-made 500 napkins in different flowery materials (some were Liberty fabric) for The Underground Restaurant at Bestival. Details like this really impress guests. I also wore her apron for my recent appearance in the Daily Mail as an urban woman who likes to make her house look a bit like the countryside. The comments are hilarious! For example:
Stupid women. Real country living is dirty, you don't dress up in floral prints and heels. I bet these idiotic, posing women are members of Mumsnet!

What a load of old twaddle. This is a bit like Marie Antoinette playing the shepherdess. 
Rachelle's house, in the flinty and verdant Yorkshire Dales countryside, is inspiring. She hosted a secret tea on the Saturday afternoon which included two tiny but extremely well-dressed customers. Even though I wore my tomato dress and fascinator I felt positively upstaged. The quality of the baking at the tea was superb, particularly the home-made jammie dodgers. Here are some pictures and look out for her book Granny Chic, out this autumn. 
The Secret Teacup
Details from Rachel's house
The caravan where I stayed
Cake, scones, jewel coloured sarnies, the most scrumptious jammie dodgers and tiny tea time tots!
Rachelle is very knowledgeable about vintage homeware. She collects vintage pyrex. Did you know that vintage Tupperware is also fashionable?


  1. Wow, is that caravan for rent?! The whole thing looks fabulous, Rachelle is very talented, home made jammie dodgers sound fab:)

  2. It probably is. In fact I was trying to persuade Rachelle and her husband to open up a boarding house. Both of them come from hotelier backgrounds and I think they would be fantastic at it.

  3. What lovely pictures, I wish I was as creative:)

  4. morning, and what a great feature to wake up to, absolutely love your pictures, you've captured the *vintage spirit* beautifully. In fact I now feel deprived......been to Yorkshire often but never stumbled across something quite as pretty as the Secret Teacup ^-^ keep up the good work and keep wearing floral prints'n heels in the dirty countryside, ha!

  5. Just joined your Find a Supper Club Site even though I don't get to your side of the world very often. Love the look of those sandwiches and jammie dodges= must give those a go. Still have my original tupperware that my daughters consider vintage!

  6. Busy times indeed! I love those pictures on the text background - so nice! I love all your photos too! You really are carving out your niche! :) xxx

  7. These photographs are so beautiful, almost magical. You have a really great blog!

  8. what a nifty caravan! - you couldn't find a finer way to enjoy the countryside. I'm loving these snaps ;)*

  9. Those jammie dodgers look marvellously scrummy. The caravan, the homeware, everything looks stunning in the photographs and I bet they look even more so in real life.


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