The Biscuiteers of London

I don’t know about you, but there are few things that make me smile in this digital age quite like receiving a really good package in the mail.

Recently, instead of the usual acknowledgement email or notecard, a lovely person sent me a gingerbread biscuit dressed like Her Majesty as a thank you card. It was so cute (and such a lovely surprise) that I nearly squealed with glee when I opened the package (and then smiled the whole way through eating her, with a cup of tea of course – it’s the only fitting way for a Queen to go). I may be a bit of a food snob, but there’s something so wonderfully silly about food that doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

I thought the idea (surprise edible thank you gifts) was so cute, I tweeted Biscuiteers to tell them. They so kindly sent me one of their Paris tins (regular readers will know how most things French make me swoon), and I couldn’t help but literally “oooh!” out loud when I opened it to find little chocolate iced Eiffel Towers, Moulin Rouge can can girls, and so on.

Because they’re (almost) too cute to eat, they warrant being savoured a little. So one rainy Sunday, the Clever Boyfriend and I decided to make the day a little more fun and made a pot of tea, set the table, put on Midnight in Paris and threw a little mini French tea party (any excuse really) just for ourselves, with these adorable biscuits in place of cake. They are just the right side of fun and silly, sweet but not saccharine, and such a cute idea for next time a friend deserves a ‘thank you’ or a little surprise mail to make them smile.

Thank you Barbara and Biscuiteers for the happy surprises to make me smile!

Do you love getting good packages in the mail as much as me?

Love, Miss B xx

Raspberry, parma and goat’s cheese salad

The last long days of Summer have this week definitely turned into the crisp days of Autumn. To me, that spells the end of long breezy evenings with the windows thrown open, long afternoons lazing by the river enjoying the smell of the grass (even though it makes me sneeze), and stone fruits and berries so juicy they trickle down one’s arm.

I love the changing seasons, but always panic at thought of not being able to have something for another 6 months. Wanting to make the most of these jewel-coloured treasures before they disappear for the year, I stocked up on raspberries, blackberries and the last of the English strawberries at the farmer’s market. Some have gone into tarts, others into clafoutis. But my favourite way to enjoy them is to honour their beauty in a blissfully simple way.

Though the combination of flavours in this salad may sound somewhat strange, it absolutely works.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2):

Rocket (that’s arugula to my lovely American readers), baby spinach or other salad leaves, mixed with a few torn basil leaves

I small wheel of soft goat’s cheese (at room temperature or slightly warm), torn

I small punnet raspberries

5-6 slices parma or prosciutto ham, torn

Small handful of cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 red onion, sliced very finely (optional)

Large drizzle of good quality olive oil

Balsamic vinegar (raspberry or pomegranate vinegar also work beautifully), freshly cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste

Throw the lot in a bowl, toss, done. Best served outside in the fading sunset, chilled rose in hand.

Do you have a favourite seasonal recipe at this time of year?

Love, Miss B