Period Drama for the Festive Season

5 Dec

I have the most exciting news! There is to be new period drama for Christmas Leonora and Beatrice! Whilst I was hoping for a marvellous return of Dame Judi Dench as Cranford’s Mattie Jenkins, I’m afraid my daring hope hasn’t been fulfilled. However, the BBC have revealed that Cranford writer Heidi Thomas is to reignite that iconic series Upstairs, Downstairs!

Returning to our screen for three hour long episodes, the first will aire on BBC ONE, Boxing Day. Original character parlour maid Rose (Jean Marsh) has risen through the ranks to housekeeper and now has a brand new collection of staff to help run her 1936 household. Keeley Hawes will be playing Lady Agnes, lady of the house. She’s that one from Spooks Beatrice, you know, the original woman from the first series and the No’7 actress who acted with Lady Shropshire’s son. And you know how we both love Spooks, even though you fall asleep without fail at the very crux of an episode!

I simply cannot wait. After the delectable Downton Abbey, which thankfully has been commissioned for a second series, we now have this wonderful iconic entertainement to settle down to after turkey and pudding. Dame Eileen Atkins will be Lady Maud Holland, Ed Stoppard as Sir Hallam Holland, and Claire Foy, the lead from Little Dorrit, Lady Persephone Towyn.

I know I could enjoy a festive marathon of previous drama in my collection – Little Dorrit, Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, and by a mix up of Christmas presents I now also own Downton Abbey – but I simply cannot wait for Upstairs, Downstairs. It’ll go marvellously with cheese and port.


Wheat-free Baking

1 Dec

Leonora dearest I am distraught.

I have nearly finished the beremeal I brought back from my jaunt to Scotland this summer with the  gun dog. I found this wonderful flour made from a type of primative barley,  just perfect for Bunny and her wheat allergy. I’ve been making this lovely recipe with apple, a sort of  sultana fruit cake. I am going to make one of these cakes for the weekend but then my stock will be gone and I have just gone on the website for Barony Mills in the Orkneys and they don’t seem to supply it on the internet and the other supplier Golspie Mill in Sutherland is “out of stock until further notice”. What am I to do?

Cheap Yet Chic Christmas Decor

28 Nov

Oh Beatrice,

That knitting bag really looks quite lovely. Whilst my knitting skills are well under par, I’m sure that you’ll be making a wild and wooly wardrobe in no time. But please, let it not negate your cake making delights!

I must tell you, you know how fond I am over Liberty’s. Well, though much of the shop is an extravaganze that even I cannot afford, their Christmas store is rather super. It’s delightfully themed to colour so you can find anything you might wish in a moment. Located on the highest floor, it’s beautifully presented, and they have everything you could want for from glistening white paper birds, to fur cones in the shape of squirrels. Squirrels I tell you! AND the most important thing, it is really quite, quite affordable. I bought some delightful pink fairy tree decorations for just £5 each, quite a reasonable bargain. There’s really nothing like emerging from Liberty’s, glistening bag in hand, to feel you’ve had a chic shopping spree.

Beatrice’s New Knitting Bag

28 Nov

Oh Algenon and Leonora, I have found the most wonderful knitting bag. Now I’m expecting a grandchild it is frightfully important that I have everything in order.  I’m going to knit your baby a matinee jacket too Leonora. The perfect time for knitting is during our wonderful afternoon tea. I just have to be so careful not to drop a stitch.  I haven’t knitted anything since  Bunny was on the way, but now she’s having her own baby I really must get back into knitting.

I was perusing the counters in John Lewis when, what should I come across, this perfect bag for my knitting paraphenalia. Don’t you think its just ideal? With so much to knit before the baby arrives I’m going to be in scarf, bootie, and bib heaven!

Perhaps next time we take tea we can all knit together. I’ve found some lovely patterns by Debbie Bliss.



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