It's the day when I am queen, when I am allowed to wear a crown of flowers and walk around in my widest petticoat no matter where I'm going even if it is a farm or going on a clifftop walk on my favourite Sussex coastal path.
Today - I bloom - like fiery red flower in a colorless world.
It's a big birthday this year -29- for the second time. Some part of me wanted to do a big party, another part just wanted it to blow over. I decided on a last minute posh afternoon tea at Kensington palace with my friends Sassy and Jo when we were gathered in London for Bruno's exhibition.
I had a special dress, made by my friend Jo, you might remember her from her Hotpot recipe a few months ago. Jo designs and produces beautiful bespoke wedding and special occasion gowns and after months of working on the design together it was ready to flaunt when we went for our Afternoon tea.
I call it my England dress, it shows the story behind my love for this country and its ways in an illustration Bruno designed and Jo embroidered onto the dress. I felt tears coming to my eyes when she revealed the dress... Aren't I a lucky lady ...
Jo's craft-wo-manship is exquisite, the detail is amazing. Her brodeuse captured Bruno's every line, flower and every tiny apple. The dress is all kinds of perfect and if you know me -being a perfectionist- I hardly ever find things perfect...
It is a special feeling when a friend makes you a dress, it will never feel completely mine, it will always be hers as well.
Thank you darling Jo, for making me the most special dress in the world x Thank you my dear friend Sassy for taking these pictures as a keepsake to remember x
A few of you were eager to see my dress so if you aren't interested in a girl running around in a red dress feeding swans and getting attacked by squirrels - scroll all the way down for a good pudding!
Earlier this week I posted my recipe for Hot Cross Buns, while testing the recipe I had mountains of buns leftover and I didn't want to waste them so I froze them. Now I use the buns to make my Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding. I guaranty you that a Bread and Butter Pudding has never tasted better! As the Hot Cross Buns contains spices and currants already, there is no need to add more.
Enjoy lovely people x
Now for a sweet treat ...
What do you need
2 enamel 20cm pie dishes
2-3 stale hot cross buns sliced in 1 cm wide slices
350ml/12fl oz whole milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
2 free-range eggs
2 teaspoons of light brown demerara sugar
2 teaspoons of raw cane sudar to sprinkle on top
Nutmeg, grated to taste
- Butter 1 side of the hot cross bun slices
- Arrange a layer of bun slices, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the dish.
- Gently warm the milk and cream in a pan over a low heat to scalding point, be careful not to let it boil.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl, add three the sugar and lightly whisk until pale
- Add the warm milk and cream mixture to the eggs and stir well
- Pour the custard over the prepared hot cross bun layers and sprinkle with nutmeg and the remaining sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is nicely golden-brown
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All pictures except for the ones with the Hot Cross Bun & Butter Pudding are copyright by the talented Sassy of Assassynation photography.
Gown handmade in Britain by The Couture Company in Birmingham.