Tag Archives: cake

snowdrops under a tree at Thorpe Market church

Snowdrop Sundays February 2016

I had a wander around St. Margaret’s Church, Thorpe Market and it felt like heaven itself!

The churchyard was so peaceful and a welcome stop for walkers.

Note the next two Sundays, tea and cake are on offer in the church.

Just a few miles from Cromer it is well placed for a trip to the seaside.

More tea and cake and wonderful views of the sea are to be had from the Rocket house if it’s chilly.

Further along the coast, and slightly inland is worth a visit to Great Walsingham where I have never seen so many snowdrops in one place! It’s such a special place and worth the 40 minute drive from Chimneys.

Don’t miss out! It’ll be bluebells and rhododendrons next! There are so many wonderful walks in Norfolk. Bring your camera and send us your photos to @ChimneysBB – we love it!

http://www.thorpemarket.org.uk

http://www.walsinghamabbey.com

http://www.rockethousecafe.co.uk

http://www.ngs.org.uk

On February 20th, 2016, Horstead House near Wroxham shall be opening their grounds from 11am until 4pm for £4 (children free) taking part in the National Gardens Scheme where there are millions of beautiful snowdrops in its woodland.

snowdrops under a tree at Thorpe Market church

A wonderful bird box in a mature tree in the church yard at Thorpe Market with scathes of snowdrops beneath

dates for snowdrop sundays 21st February 28th February

Enjoy tea, cake and snowdrops. Sounds like heaven

wild flower chart at Thorpe Market church

Wild flowers that grown at Thorpe Market Church

snowdrops in the church yard at Thorpe Market

Snowdrops in the church yard

inside church at Thorpe Market

A beautifully simple church in Thorpe Market

 

Review of 2014 – It’s been a Funny Old Year

How to portray 2014 in a few paragraphs?

A wonderful mix of fun and frolics and cooking, a good helping of hard work and improvements and seasoned with a good smattering of supporting local events and charity might just about cover it.

The year began with lots of exercise being the order of the day. After running for all of 2013 and until the middle of February, my thoughts turned to re-inventing Chimneys to become the very best it could be.

A massive refurbishment ensued as we aspired to ‘Boutique B & B’ status, with a room doubling in size, antiques  bought and re-upholstered, new carpets and painting and it went on and on and so did the smiles.

Everyone has been delighted with our new rooms and 2015 sees the new building work just beginning as we create a new snug and dining room and consider what else we can do to improve.

A new website was built by Wayne Beauchamp of East Coast Group and brilliant he was too.

Afternoon Tea was introduced at Chimneys this year and has proved to be extremely popular as guests take a break in the garden and enjoy a scrumptious assortment of cakes, scones and sandwiches.

June 2014  saw a massive Afternoon Tea Party where 110 people sat down to  Full Afternoon Tea in the garden and were waited on by the brilliant D of E students from Aylsham High School. What fun we had listening to Norfolk’s own Buble, Mr. Dale Bullimore and a very memorable time it was.

This summer was the busiest time yet for Chimneys. When I did get a few hours off it was spent cycling within the Norfolk countryside and further afield and spending time  with family and friends. As usual, I didn’t spend enough time at the beach. I’m hoping to remedy that in the New Year.

The Autumn saw my involvement with Regenerate, a great committee formed to do just that. I feel excited to be part of it and this December saw the first Christmas Farmers Market. it was a great success as North Walsham buzzed with excitement. Lots of quality marketeers and entertainment on the Town Clock made me proud to be a ‘Walsham Gal’.

So what’s planned for 2015 I hear you ask?

More of the same I hope.

I always try to do my very best and you can be assured that I shall play my small part in making Norfolk a Wonderful County that it most definitely is!

A Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Year to you all.

 

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Chimney’s Answer to The Great British Bake Off

Firstly, may I say that I thought Martha was the most inspiring contestant I’ve seen on The Great British Bake Off.

The youngest contestant ever to compete, so talented, polite and original who has realised that cake can get you everywhere in life! Indeed, cake is the answer!!

It was Richard’s birthday this week and as always there is only one cake that is worthy within the Harmer household on such an occasion – Chocolate Fudge Cake.

I have an extremely tatty paperback cookbook that I acquired from McDougalls Home Advisory Service, 28 years ago when I first got married, probably the most useful book to equip oneself for this wonderful union!

There lies within, the foolproof recipe.

Here goes…..

Ingredients: 10 oz. self raising flour, 3 tbsp. cocoa, 6oz. caster sugar, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 pt. milk, 5 fl. oz. oil, 3 tbsp. golden syrup

Method: Preheat oven 350 Celsius, Gas mark 4. Line two 8 inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper. Combine all the ingredients beating well. Divide between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes. Turn out and allow to cool.

Only Delia Smith’s Chocolate Fudge is sufficient to crown this cake.

Ingredients: 3oz. granulated sugar, 3fl. oz. evaporated milk, 4 oz. plain chocolate (I use the supermarket value brand and it does the job well), 1 1/2 oz. butter, vanilla essence.

Method: Place the evaporated milk and sugar in a pan on a medium to low heat until the sugar has dissolved. bring to a simmer and simmer WITHOUT STIRRING for six minutes. add the broken pieces of chocolate and stir until dissolved and then the butter and a few drops of vanilla essence. Put it in a bowl in a fridge until it is thick enough to spread on a cake.

Spread in-between the sponges and on top and decorate with your favourite sweeties.

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A dear friend who is lactose intolerant was telling me that she really missed chocolate cake.

This cake recipe works if you substitute the milk in the sponge for coconut milk and the evaporated milk for an oat cream called ‘The Original Oatly’. Waitrose stock it. It’s impossible to taste the difference so how about that! You just need to be careful what dark chocolate you buy but Waitrose also have a dark Continental chocolate with only a trace of milk.

It’s been said that my husband only married me because I could cook and had a car. There’s many a true word said in jest!

I hope you all enjoy baking this great cake.

After all, cake is the answer, whatever the question. Enjoy!

 

 

Banana Cake – a Recipe from the Queen of Banana Cakes, Mary Rafferty, Maryland, USA.

I never was a great fan of banana cake until I tasted Mary’s. But she is a brilliant cook!

If you can get your head around American quantities, this is so good.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened butter, 2 eggs, 1/3cup soured cream (greek yoghurt works just as well), 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup of caster sugar,1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 ripe large bananas, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.

Oven Temperature: 325 Fahrenheit  or No 3 Gas

Method, cream butter and sugar, add beaten eggs, mashed bananas and soured cream. Sift in all dry ingredient.  Put into a paper lined large loaf tin and cook for 1 hour and a quarter to an hour and a half or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Delicious eaten warm.

Enjoy and we love you Mary!

 

Who pinched the Summer?

There was little me thinking that I’d be blogging merrily all summer, telling you all about the happenings of our beautiful County of Norfolk, and in particular my special North Norfolk bit and the summers nearly gone, all in a blur of baking cakes, the theatre of Afternoon teas in a giant patch of lavender and the inevitable never ending piles of ironing.

Lots of wonderful guests have crossed our threshold and I have had the joy of preparing elaborate Breakfast feasts. The English breakfast is hard to beat but Eggs Arlington has become a firm Chimneys favourite as has Eggs Benedict as we aspire to ring the changes and appeal to those who appreciate something a bit different.

July began with the Sheringham Potty festival, the 18th annual Morris meet and a glorious occasion  like no other. There were 32 sides of Morris dancers from all over England and goodness how many more hundred extra pints of great Norfolk Ale drank that weekend which all no doubt made Sheringham a very happy town indeed. In fact on a beautiful evening in July, I had the good fortune of cycling to Banningham Crown and joined the Kemp’s Men in a fling of a handkerchief or two and an enlightening experience it was! Cycling home as the sun began to set was a memorable experience, one I must make the time to do more often as I reflect that I can’t quite believe where the summer has gone!

The end of July saw Worstead festival once again, a blend of country pursuits and family fun. Started in 1966 and ran completely by volunteers, this festival has helped countless community groups with fundraising. Heavy horses, weavers and military vehicles were well received whilst live music featured local favourites the Booze Brothers plus many others.

The end of July and August played host to North Norfolk carnival Season with Sheringham and Cromer pulling out all the stops! We have been lucky with great weather this season although there has been some spectacular thunder and lightning shows by night.

Every week saw a different Beer Festival in a different town and it was a pleasure to try different local ales and watch local bands doing their thing.

Trunchonbury, a small music festival at Trunch enjoyed yet another successful weekend with local musical groups and comedy talents sharing their talents.

As we enter September, the weather is still behaving and we are enjoying the deserted beaches and cooking up some magic with Autumn fruits, my favourite time of the year.

I shall try harder to tell you all things Norfolk, promise!

Until next time…

Banningham Crown, Morris Men

Flinging Handkerchiefs at Banningham Crown with the Kemp’s Men

Cromer Carnival

The Best Carnival in North Norfolk

Afternoon Tea at Chimneys

An Explosion of Lavender – The Perfect spot for Afternoon Tea, and we did, often.

Jazz at Sheringham Carnival

Sheringham Carnival – the beginning of Carnival Season

Fancy Dress at Cromer Carnival

Hello,hello, hello, I recognise that policeman! All in a good cause…

Sheringham Carnival Parade

Sheringham Carnival – it’s all about Engines at Sheringham!

A Memorable birthday walk, Cromer to Overstrand

The Perfect way to spend my Birthday in August, my family , my dog, Cromer to Overstrand Beach walk, what could be better?

Cromer Carnival Parade

Arabian flavour at Cromer Carnival

 

Another alternative to English Breakfast

Eggs Arlington – because we’re posh!

 

 

Chimneys Luxury Boiled Fruit Cake – This is a Winner!

Once upon a time there was a very famous tearoom in Baconsthorpe, near Holt, where a brilliant cook called Margaret worked her magic!  She published a book called Margaret’s Recipes in 2004. Sadly the book is now out of print and the tearoom is closed but Margaret has most definitely left a legacy in Norfolk. I use her recipes as a framework for some of my own. I have found as long as you use the same quantities and timing and temperature, this recipe is a really marvellous find. If you can find a piece of Norfolk Dapple cheese to go with it, all the better. If you can’t find a tin of pineapple in the cupboard, substitute for another dried fruit, maybe dates or apricots and add 6fl.oz tropical juice instead.

Ingredients: 6 oz Brown sugar, 12oz mixed fruit, 4oz glace cherries, 4oz butter, 6oz chopped pineapple, 6fl.oz pineapple juice, 2 eggs, 8oz self-raising flour.

Method: Place all the ingredients in a pan except for the flour and eggs. Mix well. Gently bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Add beaten eggs and flour. Mix thoroughly. Place the mixture in a lined 8″ baking tin. Cook at 325 Fahrenhiet or Gas No. 3 for 1 1/2 – 2hrs.

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Afternoon Tea is always available at Chimneys Bed & Breakfast, an added treat to get your Norfolk break off to a great start. Special diets can be catered for by prior arrangement. Please book your afternoon tea at least a day in advance.

We are happy to serve Afternoon Tea in the garden when the weather allows or in our stylish dining room.

Let them eat cake!