Easter 2014 at Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum and Mason is one of my favourite stores in London – and when it comes to holidays and celebrations, they always push the boat out with a great range of beautiful presented food and amazing displays!

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Obviously, the main attraction for Easter celebrations in the UK is chocolate, moulded into the shape of eggs or Easter animals. I really liked the chocolate duck eggs, encased in a cardboard egg container!

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There were a variety of edible animals, including this sweet little pig – although I don’t remember pigs being an Easter animal!

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There were also various chocolate offerings, varying from the restrained to the extravagant.

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You could also get an Easter egg hand decorated in the store, which was a nice touch!

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You could also pick up a pretty batch of macarons if you preferred something less traditional, but still colourful!

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There were loads of simnel cakes – can’t say I’ve ever had one at Easter but I’d love to try it!

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One of the best addition to the range in my opinion, were the Easter biscuits. Again, they ranged from the subtle:

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To the adorably over the top!

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You could even buy a little meringue chick!

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And there were some spectacular yellow flower arrangements in the basement too!

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If it’s Easter, it has to be lamb – and the butcher had some very tempting morsels on display!

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All in all, Fortnums is definitely worth a visit at any time of year, but particularly during holidays and festivals! (If you’re not into food, there’s also an amazing millinery selection, accessories and toiletries on another level, including a beautiful perfume department!)

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(Obligatory Fortnums selfie!)

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You can find Fortnum & Mason online at www.fortnumandmason.com, or visit in person at 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER. It’s a short walk from the nearest Tube station – Piccadilly Circus.

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2 Dec: Ciate Mini Mani Month – Boudoir

2 Dec text Boudoir

The second day of Mini Mani Month brings with it one of my favourite colours for nails – red, in the form of Boudoir!

2 Dec opening Boudoir

Ciate’s site describes it as: “A sassy flirtatious red. Pink may make the boys wink, but this red will knock ’em dead. Team with that figure hugging dress and killer heels to unleash your inner diva.” (Buy it here.)

A bit heartier and darker than last year’s cheery bright Mistress, and lighter than the brooding Dangerous Affair, this is another brilliant red for Christmas. The only criticism I’d give it is that it’s very slightly sheer – I used two coats (plus bottom and top coat) and my nails were still slightly visible.

2 Dec montage Boudoir

I decided to have a little fun with a matte top coat (from OPI), and then tipped my nail’s with last year’s Ladylike Luxe for a festive finish! I’d definitely recommend this one for anyone who was after a classic red for nails. It practically screams Christmas.

2 Dec Bleached

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: grey tote and River Island skull flats

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have already seen these awesome new grey flats I bought from River Island in the ASOS sale – perfect for Halloween! I love the pointed toe – I used to think pointed toes were slightly crazy, but I’ve definitely warmed to the look, provided they’re not too pointed at the tips… If I was mathematical I could probably work out the exact angle that hits my sweet spot, but that was never my strong subject at school…

Bag and Shoes grey skulls

I decided to pair them with my grey tote bag seen in this post – not very exciting, but it is pretty voluminous and handy for carrying my secret weapon… SLIPPERS! That’s right! When I visit folks I take slippers with me, because that’s just how I roll.

River Island skulls Montage

If you are convinced of the awesomeness of these shoes, they are still available in limited sizes at ASOS here.

Halloween fondant pumpkin tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to have a go at making some cute little pumpkins to go on top of Halloween cupcakes.

Fondant pumpkins

These are easy to make and don’t require any equipment beyond fondant, orange dye and toothpicks. (And green and brown dye if you want to make stalks, leaves and vines.)

Equipment

If you have orange fondant, well, you’re one step ahead… Hurrah! If you want them to be hard, you should make them a couple of weeks before when you need them, so you can sit them in a cool, dark place to set.

Fondant pumpkins, step one

First of all, roll your fondant into a small ball, then squash it down so it makes an oval. This will give it a much more interesting shape than a plain old sphere.

Fondant pumpkins, step two

Now it’s time to use your specialist equipment. First of all, pierce the centre to mark it. Then, rolling the toothpick, create a dimple in the centre of your ball.

Fondant pumpkins, step three

There you go – now you’ll have what looks like an orange doughnut gone wrong.

Fondant pumpkins, step four

Now, use your toothpick to create lines from the centre down the edge of your pumpkin, using a rocking motion. I do this by doing the four compass points, then filling in the spaces in between.

Fondant pumpkins, step five

Like so! With the heat of your fingers, your pumpkin might get a little floppy. You can fix this by placing it in the fridge at any point if it starts getting hard to handle. Don’t be a pushover for a vegetable made of sugar.

Fondant pumpkins, step six

That’s pretty much it! You can add a stalk (I’ve seen people use cloves for this, but obviously they’re not really edible like that) or even make a curly vine from green fondant curled around a matchstick.

Too cute to eat? Never!