Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Down in a green and shady bed, a modest violet grew ...

Good morning lovelies!

What better way than to be greeted with a beautiful bunch of hand-picked wild flowers? These gorgeous displays are part of the setting at Violet & The Peapod, the unique and very lovely teashop which I visit often.  I was very lucky to actually work there a couple of weeks ago ...

The cakes are all home made on the premises throughout the day, so the smells of home baking mingle with the scent of fresh flowers ... a very heady mix! Kris, the owner of Violet's, is a food tech teacher in her other life, so the quality is first class ... Mary Berry eat your heart out!

The iced gingerbread is always very popular, as is the delicious double chocolate cake, above.

Ahem, this is my contribution! I mentioned to Kris that I hadn't made a Swiss roll since I was about 14, and weren't they very complicated? With that the mixing bowl was placed in front of me and I made a Black Cherry and Chocolate Roulade!

 It wasn't to Kris's high standard, but some did get sold, and I took the rest home, where it was wolfed down before it reached the tin eaten with relish. Not literally, as that wouldn't be a good combination.

Ooh, decisions, decisions!

Kris also sells genuine vintage clothes, and I can just imagine Jackie Kennedy wearing this gorgeous pink lace suit in the 60's ... unfortunately it is only a size 6 to 8, so I'll definitely have to lay off the cake for a little while ...

Everyone is encouraged to have a try-on!

 I always think coming to Violet's reminds me very much of tea at my Nana's house.  Crisp, embroidered tablecloths, rosy china, spotless white walls with shelves overflowing with treasures.  The nice thing is that complete strangers start chatting to each other, the staff pull up a chair and join in ... it's that sort of place, everyone feels welcome and you could quite easily go there alone, which is something I'm not usually comfortable about doing.

This pair of lovebirds recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary, and came to Violet's to celebrate.  They visit every week, and I love to hear their tales.  Mary is also an accomplished cook and has appeared on tv several times ... this just shows the quality of the cakes served here, as Mary is often called upon to judge at country fairs! Isn't the dress in the background gorgeous? Very 'Granny Chic', don't you think?

If ever you are lucky enough to visit the lovely market town of Ulverston, South Cumbria, don't forget to pop into Violet's (down the ginnel next to Tesco), open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  You won't be sorry!

Back home I've been getting my house ready for Summer.  Looking out of the window today, the hot days of the last fortnight seem a distant memory! I change my curtains and cushions for lighter, flowery ones, and sort my shelves out ...

I remember doing this last year when we had so much to celebrate! Where does the time go?

I love to pick up unusual seaside mugs on my travels ...

Very Enid Blyton!

A lovely lady from Jamaica ...

And this lively, vibrant couple ... aren't they fabulous? I spotted the gentleman, shaking his maraccas, high up on a wall in a furniture warehouse, thinking he looked a bit lonely.  On my way out, his lovely lady was shaking her booty by the door, so they were soon reunited.  They scrubbed up really well ...

Unlike poor Dolly Button! I was treasure hunting with Millie when she spotted this poor little rag doll hiding under a pile of rags.  She said we couldn't just leave her there, so home she came with us.  The young man in the warehouse always gives me very strange looks when I lug my pile of old tat precious items to him to tot up.  I knew that he was thinking Millie was also slightly deranged. Anyway, we took Dolly home, I washed her not once, not twice, but seven times and still couldn't get her clean.  In the end I removed all her clothes, put her in a pillow case, and washed on a very gentle wash.  Unfortunately a lot of her innards fell out, so it is going to be a real labour of love renovating her.  Millie seems to have gone off the idea ...

I'll just leave you with this sentiment ...

Until next time, my lovelies, enjoy your days ...

Love, Claire xxx


  1. What a lovely post and a wonderful tea shop, I love those tall sponges, mine are never so billowing. Best of luck with Dolly Button!

  2. What a lovely sounding café. A place for everyone to meet up chat and enjoy a bit of tea and cake! If only I didn't live so far away.

    What lovely things you find I hope you manage to renovate the lovely little dolly I think she will be that little bit more special with all that attention poured into her. And I am sure your daughter will come round to her again once she is good as new, if my two daughters are anything to go by! lol.

    P x

  3. I love that dollie :-( xx

  4. Hello Claire,,,Oooh you naughty girl I am salivating at the sight of all those delicious cakes..your friends Tea shop look's so pretty , I would love to share afternoon tea there..(wouldn't that be special)
    Your little dollie sounds like she needs major surgery..bless her!
    Happy week
    Thea xx

  5. Hope Dolly feels better soon!. Julie xxx

  6. That looks the sweetest little tea room - could lower myself into that chocolate cake - it looks scrummy! Dolly - so sweet too - would love to know her past.

  7. It's pouring with rain down here in Herts and how wonderful it would be to be tucking into tea and cake in Violets right now. A lovely post xx

  8. Ah Claire, you know how to torture a cake loving girl dont you? I have been eating ww cake slices which seem to be doing the trick at the minute for me!
    I would have felt exactly the same as your daughter did about the little rag doll and like you, gutted when the innards came out on washing.

  9. It looks a wonderful tea room and those cakes look amazing!
    Sarah x

  10. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon ... Bee xx

  11. I'm not sure whether I've commented on this post - I tried to I think and then my lap top threw a wobbler!! Anyway I didn't get past the second photograph.... but I'm sure the rest of your post is as wonderful as ever. Cake.....caaaaaaakkkkke!!! ;)xx

  12. ~ Hello Mrs Thriftwood, remind me to ask you about some thing vintage to wear for a big 50 celebration coming along soon! ( Big Brothers) I think I need that pink Jackie Kennedy Twin two piece! It has my name on it! Please and thank you! I am dreaming of all those wonderful cakes, I really am! A BIG hug to cute sweet dolly, that just had to be yours...See you next week! ~ Rosey Maria x with 'Twinkles' ****

  13. Love the sound of that tea shop! Poor Dolly, I would've taken her home too :) x

  14. What a lovely post - just full to the brim with all things good!
    Have a happy day and hope the sunshine returns soon too... Xx

  15. That tea shop looks fab! Sweet little rag doll, I'm sure with a little TLC she will shine again! :) x

  16. That shop just sounds perfect. I like to make the house summery too, with different cushions and throws. Then there's just as much fun to be had making it cosy again in the autumn too. x

  17. You've often mentioned "Violet's" so I'm glad to finally get a peak inside the treasured tea room. It looks so inviting and cozy! I would take a slice of the double chocolate cake if you wouldn't mind. Cherries in a chocolate roll sound delicious too ... I'd be glad that it didn't all sell if you were asked to take the remainder home ;) Changing my house from winter to summer has never been something I've done. The seasons seem to fly by too quickly! Your little splashes of summertime do make it seem worthwhile though. We've been having a bit too much rain here now too. I'm ready for some real warmth right up until nighttime! Tonight it's gotten too chilly to leave the windows open, and the rain has come down again! I hope we both get some sunshine this weekend Claire! Wendy xox

  18. Hi,love the vintage tearoom!I love cake too!And I love your posts!'Bye for now Pam.

  19. What a lovely blog post Claire! Now I really, really want some cake! xxx

  20. What a lovely blog post Claire! Now I really, really want some cake! xxx

  21. Hi Claire ... I'm sure the rag doll will be well worth the love and attention she needs ...she's so full of character ...I mean I wonder who made her ..? That shop sounds just lovely and the cakes !!! you were very brave to try a choc roll I remember making a disastrous one at school ...but cherry and chocolate mmm perfect mixture ! Have a happy weekend ! Gail x

  22. The tea room looks a lovely place to spend some time. That chocolate cake looks delicious, I could certainly manage a slice of that. It was wonderful to see the couple who celebrated 54 years of marriage, they picked a wonderful place to celebrate. Hope the sun has shown itself in cumbria, it keeps peeking it's head out and disappearing again here.
    Ali x

  23. Such a lovely vintage tearoom, no wonder it is popular! The cakes look delicious....especially the iced ginger cake.....Must try and visit next time we are in the Lakes :)
    Wishing you a happy week.
    Helen x

  24. 1) I love a Swiss Roll
    2) I love all cake
    3) Sorry about the innards - I hope some surgery will put things right
    4) I love cake....
    Best wishes


I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx