As we are slowly easing in into new normal (and hopefully this will feel like a distant dream soon) we thought it would be good to set the day for our grand re-opening. Are you ready to hear the date? Our Fair style reopening is going to be on 23rd-24th of October, just before half term. The reason for choosing this date is because we believe this is when most of the restrictions will be lifted, but even if not then I think we will still be able to have some of the activities we are planning. Either way, let’s save the date and get ready to celebrate!
So far we have been open for takeaways for a few hours per week and added some seating outside. We have been also been finishing fit out works as well as this wall mural that is coming along very nicely! We are hoping to open for sit down service very soon as well, although we will still be using takeaway boxes etc till after the grand re-opening.
At the opening we hope to have stalls where you can sell your handmade stuff that you created during lockdown. Currently we have JEMAUS amazingly beautiful pottery, but there are plenty of stalls available for the day. If this is something that interests you then please contact us soon!
There are of course many other ways you can involve. We would love to promote or collaborate with small businesses locally. Currently we are thinking (restrictions allow) to have singers performing, face painters or even caricature artists? So if you think you would like to be involved please contact us! The possibilities are endless, you just need to think outside the box ;-).
The other idea we have is to start preparing for being the cafe that we originally wanted to be. Our core goal is to bring community together through various activities such as crafts, gardening or a book club. Wouldn’t be great if you could sign up for various groups at the launch? We imagine it might be like freshers week at Uni. I have some exciting memories when starting university and signing up for groups made this extra special. So if you like to lead a group based on an interest or a hobby we would love to hear from you! Maybe we can keep those ready for when we are good to go and socialise and meet new people in our area once again.
Finally we would like to thank everyone who helped with our community rainbow bunting. It is looking great! It has been moved onto the ceiling already as we started realising that the sun is bleaching them at the windows (oops). If you still want to contribute with the bunting flags we are still accepting them at the cafe (we even have a drop off box for it!).
Since sharing about this exciting project we thought we would give you more information.
For those who have not heard, here is where you can read how our idea came about. Essentially our idea is simple. We want to bring joy to the community and shift focus from being anxious, scared, or bored to a more positive perspective. We hope you can join us and make some triangle flags to be joined together so we can put them in our windows. We hope this will bring smiles to people who passes our cafe while we are on quarantine. The more bunting the larger the smiles and we have plenty of space in our windows!
When we reopen again we are going to use the same bunting to decorate our ceiling. We are planning on a fun fair style celebration with stalls selling handmade goods, fun activities for kids, and much more. So while we wait, we need to prepare for this exciting event. Which is why we would love to see your handmade touch on our opening deco.
The address to either post or drop off your handmade flags is:
5 The Crescent
The flags can be made up from any material, as long as it can be stitched together onto our binding. For more ideas keep on reading! The possibilities are limitless! Although there are two rules to keep it neat:
The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
All flags need to be roughly the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.
Paper is the easiest way to make flags! It also makes a good template for making fabric flags. Paper can be painted, printed, cut, glued, and even stitched! The options are limitless and doesn’t require much skill therefore kids can be involved too!
Fabric flags require slightly more skill and work compared to paper ones. However this is a more traditional material to use for the bunting. The key is to find a good method to finish off the flag edges. Our method is as follows:
Cut out two flags from your chosen fabric, leaving a 1cm seam allowance on two edges
Pin those two flags together leaving “wrong side” out
Stitch the two edges of the flag where you left the seam allowance
Invert the finished flag and iron to press it down
Of course some fabrics do not require such edge finishing (felt for example) and if you use serrated scissors to cut the triangles out then you won’t need to do any stitching.
Finished flags can me embroidered (for embroidery stitch inspiration go here), appliquéd, dyed, and/or printed. Edges can be further decorated with various trims.
Knitted flags are fun and very good for meditation ;-). But seriously, knitting is so much fun! If you don’t know how, I think this is good time to start and this project is quite simple to begin with!
There are many knit stitch patterns out there to create different textures, but we will go with the most basic one, called Garter stitch pattern. All you need to know is a knit stitch with this one!
When knitting you can also play with different colours if you want to create all sorts of patterns. Finished knitted bunting can be embroidered or decorated in other ways (like here with a mini bell)
Crocheted flags can be equally fun. It all depends what you prefer. Some people swear by only knitting, some are totally in love with crochet. I love both! I think crochet is good for lace work or other intricate patterns. For this pattern I will keep it simple. Only double crochet stitch is used here!
row 1: work 22 chain stitches
row 2: dc (double crochet) 22 (stitches)
row 3: dc 20, skipping 1st and 22nd stitch (row 2)
row 4: dc 18, skipping 1st and 20th stitch (row 3)
row 5: dc 16, skipping 1st and 18th stitch (row 4)
row 6: dc 14, skipping 1st and 16th stitch (row 5)
row 7: dc 12, skipping 1st and 14th stitch (row 6)
row 8: dc 10, skipping 1st and 12th stitch (row 7)
row 9: dc 8, skipping 1st and 10th stitch (row 8)
row 10: dc 6, skipping 1st and 8th stitch (row 9)
row 11: dc 4, skipping 1st and 6th stitch (row 10)
row 12: dc 2, skipping 1st and 4th stitch (row 11)
Again, I just wanted mention again, there are so many lacy crochet pattern patterns out there! This triangle stitch pattern is my fave! I even think that it might be unique to me as I never came across anybody doing it! My source was an old book of trims, I just adapted it into a pattern.
All flags you make will be joined into one big bunting using our black binding material. I thought it will blend in well with black ceilings :-).
We really really look forward to your creations (and I am really getting excited about this!). And of course I am very very thankful to everyone who may participate or even consider participating!
Hey everybody! Hope you had a lovely Easter. I was very excited to hear the Queens speech this year: yes indeed, Easter has not been canceled!
A lot of people have been telling me that it is such as shame that our cafe is closed right now. Yes, I know we only opened recently, but we still feel very very lucky because of all the support we have had since then. We are serving a need in the community and that means huge success to us! And I know for some of you these uncertain times are so so hard. I heard lots of sad stories around how some of you are not well, feeling lonely, really bored with monotonous daily routine. I hear you and we really want to help!
When I was in labour with my first (sorry that I am sharing my labour story here), I did not know when my pain would end. It was over several days and I was loosing my hope. I did not know when my suffering would be over and what really helped is to focus on the end. Or more like prepare for the end. The midwife I had by that time (when I was loosing my hope) was very good with shifting that focus. She kept saying “shall we get the bed ready for the baby?” and “should we make sure all the notes are done?”. These were only small, unessential questions. It’s not like it would take a long time to prep the bed for the baby once it arrives. But it really really helped to set my mind on the time when I can just celebrate!
I feel the same applies here. Currently we are in some sort of labour. It does not depend on you, but you are so tired of waiting! Waiting to resume to your normal life! So shall we work together and maybe shift this focus to something more positive? We decided to get ready for our second re-opening, and as a community focused cafe we would like to involve you too! So can you help?
A few weeks ago, Suzannah (one of our team at the cafe) suggested we re open the cafe in craft fair style. “Everyone will be making, so definitely will want a place where they could sell their produce” she said. And I must admit we fell in love with this idea! We elaborated a little, this could be so much more! This could almost be like a fun fair, but indoors! Lots of bunting came to my mind when I tried imagining all this!
So how can you help you may ask? Well, we thought wouldn’t it be lovely if we made gigantic bunting for this event! As it gets made, flag by flag, it could be displayed at the window to hopefully cheer you up as you walk by. Eventually it could cover the whole ceiling!
So the idea right now is for everybody to make up some bunting flags that we could join together to make it longer one as we go along. We have a bit of bunting in already, but would it be not great if every triangle flag is unique and and has a personal touch? Any material is welcome, as long as it is strong enough to be stitched together into a binding. It can be made of paper, fabric, yarn. Whatever suits your craft skill! It can be painted, dyed, embroidered etc to make your mark.
We are new to this idea still, so any suggestions are welcome. There are two rules to begin with so this project works as a one:
The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
To keep all uniform we thought it would be good idea to keep all the flags the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.
As I already mentioned, this is still a new idea and currently we are trying to get all the vibes from you. How do you feel about it? Would it help?
Once we see if this works we will post more details on logistics such as where to post the flags. Also we can then give you some suggestions on how to knit a flag for example or a few embroidery tutorials perhaps.
I usually take great pleasure in baking birthday cakes for my kids. However I made Lukas birthday a little differently this year as it was made entirely out of ice-cream! This might be odd for some, but in my childhood ice-cream cake was normal. Besides, don’t you find that kids tend to eat the icing of the cake first? With ice-cream cake the whole cake gets eaten by your little party guests. Trust me! Ice-cream cake is the best! You can thank me later 😉
This ice-cream is super easy to make. I chose this recipe as it does not need churning therefore it can just be frozen in a dome shaped dish. I used a metal mixing bowl, but I would recommend a silicone dome shaped baking mould.
MOON ICE-CREAM CAKE
1l whipping or double cream
2 cans condensed milk (784g)
1 tbsp vanilla essence (optional)
black food colouring (as needed)
1. Whip the cream and add the rest of ingredients into the bowl.
2. Mix to combine, add more of food colouring if necessary.
3. Transfer the mix into the mould if using. Otherwise freeze it in the bowl overnight.
4. To remove the cake out of silicone mould should be easy. But if you froze it in a metal bowl there is a trick you can use for safe removal. Put the bowl upside down and place damp hot cloths on top. Keep swapping cloths for freshly heated ones till ice-cream comes out. With this method the cake came out not in the best shape, but considering it is meant to be a moon like I decided the wobbly lines give an authentic character to it.
Once tidied up, decorated with some authentic craters 😉 , and with space themed candles I think it turned out pretty well!
Another good reason why this cake is good to make for birthdays is because it can be prepped weeks before and decorated with very little to be impressive.
Last month we have celebrated Lukas 4th birthday and we decided to host his party at our home. I always dreamed to host kids parties so I was quite excited about it! The only problem we came across was the lack of space. But then we thought to rely on doing some activities in our back garden. And this is when we learned the lesson, never rely on British weather! Seriously! What were we thinking. All 14 kids and their parents got stranded indoors, because it was pouring all day! That of course would not have happened if we hired a venue. And if you are local to us, we will certainly be hosting kids parties at the cafe once it opens!
I began planning the party two months in advance and because I am very visual I started with a theme. Prior to deciding on the theme I asked Lukas what he would like to have, it was instantly clear that we were having a space themed party (he loves rockets!). It was easy for me then to create the invites as this is an area where I thrive. As usual with my design I made it as visually interactive as I could.
Next up is the cake, I wanted something unusual but certainly moon shaped ;-). I will be sharing how I made this ice-cream cake very soon!
Food? I went with a simple menu! I have been very fortunate to work at a kids cafe in the past and I quickly realised that kids are very simple, they prefer their party food fun and uncomplicated.
Snacks, star shaped sandwiches, pizza, and astronaut food pouches (aka fruit puree baby pouches) were our favourites! We had a separate food platter laid out for adults too.
Besides the food we had party activities! In fact we had a whole party program planned out, which of course was messed up by the bad weather we had on the day. We ended up taking most of messy craft activities indoors.
Luckily kids painted their rockets, but not the walls (phew!).
The moral of our story? Unless you have a mansion or want to host a small party we recommend to hire a venue. At our cafe we will help you to come up with the best decorations for your chosen theme, simple or more experimental menu, activities and more. Check out our shop for more details ;-).
I always wanted to try and bake a cake using sweet peas, but I never had an opportunity. Sweet peas is such as spring vegetable and no one in our family have a birthday in a spring. Eventually I decided to just go for it for Tomas birthday. It almost feels like a spring now! SWEET PEA CAKE WITH BEETROOT FROSTING adopted from Veggie Desserts
(for the cake)
180g sweet peas, steamed or boiled
130g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest and a drizzle of juice
2tsp baking powder
(for the frosting)
250g soft cheese
70g icing sugar (plus some more for later stage)
1-2 tsp beetroot powder
1tsp other type of natural frosting such as turmeric, matcha etc (optional)
1. Puree the sweet peas in the food processor and set aside
2. Cream the butter with sugar either in the large bowl with the wooden spoon or in the mixer. 3. Add the rest of the ingredients (including sweet pea puree) into the butter cream and mix again to combine. 4. Bake the cakes in the 15cm (6inch) tins in 180C preheated oven for about 20 min. Alternatively you can bake these in the sheet tray and use a large cookie cutter to cut out the rounds. I ended up cutting off the crust as I wanted bright green colour to show through the frosting.5. Meanwhile make the frosting. Using the whisk, mix the soft-cheese with sifted icing sugar.
6. To assemble spread a little of the frosting between the layers of the completely cooled cakes and sandwich together. Cover the cake with some more frosting reserving a little for later. Using palette knife gently scrape of the icing creating that naked cake look. 7. Split the remaining frosting into 2 or more bowls, unless you only want to dye it in one colour. I personally would have had only one colour (pink) now when I tried the multicolour. Add the beetroot powder (or other natural colour) and more icing sugar till the frosting reaches the right consistency. It needs to be stiff in order to keep its shape. 8. Pipe the frosting on the cake using a piping bag and large round nozzle. 9. Decorate the cake with wild flowers and herbs. It is amazing what you can find in the garden or in the park. These daisies are actually edible and were growing on my lawn.Happy spring waiting everyone!
Me and Joni have not gone out for ages. When you got kids it’s just not easy. Everyone who have young kids I am sure can relate how difficult it is to find a babysitter! And when you do find a babysitter this once in the while outgoing can cost you at least £40. Am I right or am I wrong?
Recently Joni had an idea to have date nights in. And that changed the dating game completely! We set to have the date night in every Friday and we reduced the amount of tasks we need to do that day so we are free. This gives me something to look forward every week! Since the Valentines day is coming up I though I will share how we do these night ins ;-).
Me and Joni take turns who organises the date. If any money spend we budget into our own budgets. This time it was my turn therefore I could share the preview with you. I picked games theme and this is often what we like to do on our dates. We (I mean me) get a bit competitive sometimes!Since I decided to do paper and pen games this time round I used craft brown paper for the table layout. To be honest I don’t even have that many dining table setup props! This is why I mostly used what I already have. Kitchen towels instead of napkins for instance was one of those replacements when I did not want to buy something I may not use again.
First I rolled brown craft paper out on the table and drew what is needed using permanent oil pen. I am sure you can use any other pen you like. I was tempted to use metallic pens and I used black marker pens before. I used plates and cutlery to trace out the table layout. I wrote out the menu here as well.I decided to play battleships for the night. So I did make a grid so we did not need to do that on the date. Next I arranged some items related to games such as dices, pens and books (for protecting the battleships). Candles and some leafy twigs were not related but pretty and I could not help myself.The date night was a complete success. Joni was very very surprised! I did not want to spend too much time in the kitchen so I used the take away to order some of the food. I made the dessert and rice myself. So I only spend £20 (half of the price to compare how much we would have spend if we went out). And do you know who won the battleships this time? It’s Joni. I may not want to play this game again ( ha ha).Happy Valentines day everyone and don’t forget the dates does not have to be spend with you husband or boyfriend. I am sure your BFF would appreciate this kind of date too ;-).
So here it is, my vision became a reality. This year I made Lukas birthday cake aeroplane themed which he really enjoyed. I have been dreaming about this cake for ages (not really I practically copied the idea from here). The only thing I wanted to do differently is to try and dye the frosting with natural dyes….
But as you may know the colour blue is hard to find in nature! I know i know, the sky is blue, but you can’t exactly put that in the icing. With a bit of research and friends recommendation I went with butterfly pea tea that is sort of blue. You see I had fun with experimenting and realised that butterfly pea tea changes colour according to the ph of the liquid you mix it into. With a bit of lemon it turns to a burgundy violet and with milk it turns into bluish sky blue. Although this might sound easy, the blue that I get from mixing the tea with milk is not concentrated enough for what is needed when you try to dye large amounts of frosting. I ended up using it in soft cheese frosting and it turned out a little more lilac then sky blue. Shall we imagine that the planes are flying over a sunset sky? BLUEBERRY YOGURT CAKE WITH BUTTERFLY PEA FROSTING
(for the cake)
350g caster sugar
450g greek yogurt
180g rapeseed or olive oil
300g ground almond
250g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3tsp baking powder
2 handful blueberries
(for the meringue)
3 egg whites, room temperature
100g icing sugar, sifted
few drops of lemon
pinch of salt
(for the frosting)
600g soft cheese
icing sugar to taste, sifted
butterfly pea tea, brewed in little water
(for the “aeroplanes”)
wafers in the finger form
1. To make the cake beat the eggs with sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix again to combine. Pour equal amount of cake mixture into two lined baking tins. Bake in 180C oven for 40-45min. 2. Meanwhile prepare the meringues for baking. Baking these will take few hours on the low heat once the cake is baked presuming you don’t have two ovens. Mix the egg whites with drop of lemon, salt and half of icing sugar. Start whisking the mixture while gradually adding the rest of icing sugar. In the past I struggled to make meringues and later I realised that all it needs a little patience. It takes really long time to achieve stiffly whisked egg whites, so bear with it till you can see the results. Don’t worry you can’t over mix it ;-)! Pipe the meringues on the baking sheet into cloud shapes using large round nozzle or no nozzle at all. Bake in C60 preheated oven for 3-4h. I find the longer the baking the whiter the meringues! 3. To make the frosting whisk soft cheese with icing sugar (I like it less sweet so I don’t add much). Gradually mix in the butterfly pea tea till you like the shade. 4. For the plane, cut the wafer finger into aeroplane body shape and small triangle for the fin. Glue the plane using icing sugar and water mixture. Use the cocktail sicks to hold the plane together.5. To assemble the cake apply the frosting starting from the top and working your way to the bottom. Arrange the “the clouds” and “the planes” as closer to serving as you can. Sadly, the meringue have a tendency to go soggy. I especially liked the cake. Although it was difficult to apply the frosting due to it being crumbly and moist, I feel it was worth it!Hope you enjoy it!
As a follow up from a previous post here is what we had as a decoration for Tomas’s birthday last month. These triangle garlands fitted really well with our “cheerful, exciting and bold” theme. If you would like to make these for your next party (does not have to be kids party at all) then you are in luck, I am sharing how I made mine (along with the struggles I had too). So first I cut some card/paper into triangles. I used the same technique to cut it as I used to make confetti just on a bigger scale of course! I was not bothered about being precise, the important thing is to be fast as there are quite a lot of them to cut in order to make an impact. Having done this myself however I do not recommend choosing different thickness paper/card (will tell you why later). Next up is stitching all the triangles together and this is where I struggled the most. You see the different thickness paper/card can really confuse the sewing machine (unless my machine is not very good… hmm). It stitched either tight or loose or was cutting the thread in the middle of the job, it was really really frustrating for me. So if you can avoid it, please do! I think this project could be relatively quick otherwise. And there we are, its done! I hung mine from the light fitting in the centre to different corners of the room. I am sure you can hang from corner to corner too!Hope I inspired you xx
Few weeks ago we celebrated Tomas birthday, which is why I baked the cake. Anyone who knows me I like the cakes with minimum frosting, made with natural ingredients and most of all I like good flavours. This cake ticks all the boxes for me!!
When I was thinking of Tomas birthday party theme I was thinking of something cheerful, exciting and bold (exactly how I would imagine Tomas when he grows up). This is why I thought bright yellow frosting on the cake would be ideal. But what natural colouring could I use for a bright yellow? I did not need to think for too long, I suddenly remembered the power of turmeric that is vibrant with not much taste to it. The flavour of the cake followed of course. I thought what goes better with turmeric then other spices such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I was completely right, when testing the cake I realised everything just work really well together. I used plum jam to neutralise the taste of richness which also turned out a very good choice.
Hope I got you seduced to try to bake this cake yourself. You will find the recipe below ;-).HONEY SPICED CAKE WITH TURMERIC FROSTING AND PLUM JAM FILLING
(for the cake)
100g light brown sugar
100g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3tsp baking powder
3tsp mixed spice
finelly grated zest of 2 oranges
(for the frosting)
150g softened butter
150g soft cheese
150g icing sugar, plus a bit more for white frosting
1/2 jar plum jam
1. Over the hob melt the butter together with sugars and honey till everything is incorporated and the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix again to combine everything well.3. Split the cake mixture into two ready tins (same size, springform are the best). Bake in 150C preheated oven for 1h and 15min.4. Sandwich the cake with some plum jam. My tip is to put the cake upside down so the top is completely flat (really felpful when you do frosting).5. To make the frosting place all the ingredients except turmeric into the mixer and let it run for few minutes. Put few table spoons of frosting aside for the white frosting. Add turmeric and let the mixer do its job one more time. 6. Next job is to apply the frosting. I always add almost all the frosting on top to begin with and then push it down gently to the sides and then I work with frosting palette knife to the top again (I make the frosting thin for a reason so it flows easily). Once the base frosting is done I recommend to place the cake into the fridge so it sets.7. Meanwhile add more icing sugar to the frosting left on the side. Continue adding the sugar till you are satisfied with the stiffness of the cream. Transfer white frosting into the piping bag with large round nozzle attached. Carefully pipe your decorations on the cake.8. Finally decorate with any cake toppers. I used water balloons to make these mini balloon cake toppers which made the cake look very fun like I expected :-).Hope you like it too!!