Flavourtown Bakery

Forget Lola’s and the Hummingbird Bakery, if you want the best cupcakes in London (and beyond, but they are based in London) you have to go to Flavourtown Bakery!

I only discovered these guys last weekend whilst wandering round Old Spitalfields Market. To be honest, I’d started to go off cupcakes a bit, most of the ones I’ve had recently have been quite disappointing – too sweet, too dry and just not really achieving the flavour they were aiming for. However, my eyes were initially caught by their Bad Ass Brownie cupcake – an amazing combination of chocolate cupcake and cheesecake and frosting. I was pretty sure it contained a whole days calories in a single cake, but it did look good.
As we still had stalls to see, we wandered off with the intention for returning for cake post-shopping.
Sadly, when we returned, the Bad Ass Brownie’s had sold out!! This was a little disappointing, but the rest of the selection available was plenty to take my mind off the disappointment πŸ™‚
I ended up getting a box of four, as narrowing the selection down to just one would have been far too hard. I went for a Salted Caramel, Cookie Dough, Caramel Apple and Carrot Cake. The guys on the stall were really friendly and we had chatted for quite a while, so they also threw in a free Gingerbread cupcake which was their free secret cupcake of the week (if you like their Facebook page and show up at their stall in Old Spitalfields Market and ask for the secret cupcake by name, they’ll give it to you for free – while stocks last!)

Clockwise from left: Salted Caramel, Caramel Apple, Carrot and Cookie Dough
Gingerbread Secret Flavour Cupcake

I was not disappointed. The cakes were moist and the flavours were great without being ridiculously sweet.
The Carrot Cake cupcake was possibly a contender for being one of my favourite carrot cakes and definitely better than any carrot cake cupcake I’ve ever bought. The cake was moist and had a good amount of carrot and cinnamon. The cream cheese frosting was beautiful and complimented the cake well, without being too rich or sickly sweet.
Caramel Apple was also really, really nice and amazingly moist. As with the carrot cake, the cake itself was moist and had the amazing cream cheese frosting on top, plus a hidden centre of caramel that made this a very special cupcake.
Salted caramel was unusual, but not in a bad way, it made me think of toffee popcorn πŸ™‚ With a caramel cupcake, a salted caramel centre and a caramel drizzle on top this threatened to be a seriously overpowering sugar hit, but the salt provided a great balance that gave the popcorn-y impression.
Cookie Dough was the first one I had whilst still at the market, and I wolfed it down so quickly it’s hard to comment on, but it was definitely enjoyable πŸ™‚
Gingerbread was also amazing! It was like Old Jamaica Ginger Cake, which I love, with the addition of frosting. Plus the little fondant gingerbread man on top was super cute!

They also had a really interesting festive Mince Whoopie Pie. I didn’t get one, as I’m not a big fan on mince pies, but one of my friends did and I tried a bit – it was actually really nice. Turns out I dislike the texture of mince pies more than the flavour.

If you go to Old Spitalfields Market I strongly recommend you check them out. They do also take orders, but only if you live in London (booooo). Their menu is positively mouth-watering, I’d love to be able to try their maple bacon cupcake, Malt Teaser cupcake and Cheesecake cupcake πŸ™‚ Plus, the guys are really nice to chat too.

I really want cake now :/

Love,

Old Spitalfields Market Pop-Up Vintage Fashion Show

On Saturday, I made the trip up to London to take part in a vintage fashion show for Pop-Up Vintage Fairs and Old Spitalfields Market.

It was a pretty early start for me, having to be up, ready and out of the house in time to catch a train at 8am, much earlier than I’m usually up, especially on a Saturday! At least the tiredness distracted me a bit from how nervous I was! Having never been to Old Spitalfields Market, met any of the other great bloggers who had been invited or styled anyone other than myself, I was pretty terrified.

I managed to get myself to the market and met up with Jayne J Read of Jayne’s Kitschen and ReeRee Rockette of Rockalily. It was lovely to meet both the ladies, as I’ve often chatted with them on Twitter but haven’t had opportunity to meet up with them before. Needless to say, they’re both lovely!
After a bit of a chat we got shown to the stalls that were taking part to have a look at what was on offer. We were each to be assigned a model and a stall from which to put together two outfits for the catwalk show.

I got to work with the lovely Cat and picked outfits from Vintage Glitz N Bitz, with shoes from Rock on Ruby Vintage. I unintentionally ended up putting together two 70’s outfits – not a decade I normally go for, but the items just all came together that way and I was really happy with how it all turned out.
Candy Pout did a great job on the hair and make-up for all of the models.

Outfit 1
An orange shirt dress under a brown suede coat with fur collar and tan suede boots.
At first I wasn’t totally convinced by the tan boots, but they grew on me and I ended up very happy with the outfit.
Outfit 2
Dress with white, heavily beaded bodice and pale aqua chiffon skirt with white stiletto shoes

Cat was a brilliant model and totally worked it on the catwalk, as you can see in the gif below (created by the lovely Skin and Blisters – check her blog out!).

resize

The other bloggers also put together some gorgeous outfits (apologies for the quality of some of the pictures, it’s very hard to photograph moving models!). All the ladies were great and very stylish, you should check their blogs out!

Styled by ReeRee Rockette
Styled by Jayne J Read
Styled by Alison Tang
Styled by Sarah Ruppin

As well as the catwalk shows there were performances from Swing Patrol dancers. I got involved and did a bit of dancing too, although my friends were totally resistant, one of the dance group members was on hand to be my partner. It was loads of fun, everyone else totally missed out by not joining in!

I had to take my shoes off as they kept falling off when I was kicking :/

I had a brilliant day, even if it was a bit exhausting. I hung around the market with some of my old uni friends for the rest of the day, exploring all the stalls. If you’ve never been to Old Spitalfields Market I really recommend you do, there are so many great stalls selling brilliant handmade items by some very talented crafts-people. If I’d have had the money I could have bought a lot of stuff! In the end all I did get was a new watch necklace for Β£5 and some cupcakes from Flavourtown bakery – which were so good they’re going to get their own post πŸ™‚

I wish I had the money to get up to London more often.

Hope you all had a good weekend.

Love,

Old Spitalfields Market – Pop Up Vintage Fair, Saturday November 17th

This coming Saturday (17th November 2012), Old Spitalfields Market will be hosting a Pop-Up Vintage Fair Fashion Show!

I have been invited to come along on the day to put together outfits for the fashion show alongside some other great bloggers; ReeRee Rockette, Jayne J Read, Sarah Ruppin, Alison Tang and Amy Elizabeth Hill.

The market will be open from 11am with runway shows at 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm and performances by Swing Patrol at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm.

I am really excited about this event, but also really quite scared – I’m a big fan of the other ladies who will be styling outfits on the day and don’t really think I can even come close to what they can do!
Do let me know if you’ll be able to come along on the day and come and find me when you’re there, I think I’ll need all the moral support I can get πŸ™‚

For more information check out the Old Spitalfields Market websiteΒ or the Facebook event.

I look forward to seeing some of you there this weekend!

Love,

Bargain Hunting

Before you even think it, no, not the TV show. I’m sure I would be quite awful at that, the things I like other people tend not to like and I’m very bad a haggling.

Anyway, last weekend my friend Emma and I had a bit of a day out bargain hunting in Southampton.

We started off visiting the Guildhall for The Vintage Fair. I often find vintage fairs can be a bit hit and miss, there are usually some nice items at good prices as well as a lot of horrible stuff and a lot of over-priced stuff – although at least that way I suppose there is something for everyone!
In fear of a massive queue of bargain hunters I arrived early but only found a handful of other people waiting for the doors to open. It was quite nice to be able to wander round and check out all the stalls while it was still quite quiet. The main Guildhall area, which I’d pretty much only been in for gigs before, was filled with vendors selling a whole range of vintage and vintage style clothes, accessories and homewares as well as a little stand selling cupcakes and tea.
There was actually a lot of stuff that caught my eye, sadly not much of it within my extremely limited budget. I actually got so caught up in looking at things that I didn’t take very many photographs. The pictures below show a few of the things that caught my eye.

  • Fur coats – obviously. These places are usually full of fur coats, both fur and real. I’m a major sucker for fur, although don’t think I could ever buy real, even if it is vintage. If I had the money I expect I’d have a small collection of fur coats by now, but I couldn’t even afford one right now!
  • An awesome/weird ram head belt. I actually photographed this as an example of the weird shit you can see at a vintage fair, but it’s actually grown on me since.
  • Hats. I love hats! Sadly, every one I tried on was way too small for me 😦
  • So much jewellery, vintage, vintage reproduction and hand-made. Again, if I had a bigger budget I’d probably have bought tonnes.

I actually only bought one thing from the fair, a dress to wear at the Old Spitalfields Market Pop-Up Vintage Fair event next week – which I will write more about soon. I’ll keep the dress in full under wraps until the event, but here’s a bit of a sneak peek.

After we’d seen all the vintage fair had to offer us, we still had an itch for bargains so went on a bit of a charity shop spree. Emma found several lovely dresses, including one by Henry Holland for Β£10. I didn’t find any clothes but did get a lovely set of Chinese bowls and spoons for Β£2.99 – ok so there are four spoons but only three bowls, Β£2.99!!

It’s been ages since I’ve done any proper charity shopping, it was a bit disappointing not to find any clothes – I really would love some new clothes but am working on a super limited budget in the run up to Christmas 😦 I’ve even struggled finding good stuff on eBay, my mind seems to only be drawn to expensive things lately :/

Has anyone else found any good vintage or charity shop bargains lately?

Love,

I had a scream!

It’s no secret that Halloween is one of my favourite occasions of the year. I love the dressing up, themed food and cheesy not-very-scary camp horror (not so much the proper scary horror).

As Halloween fell on a Wednesday this year, we only had a small gathering of a few friends, a few drinks, loads of cake and a scary movie. I would have quite happily gone with Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (if you haven’t seen it you really should) but we ended up watching The Woman in Black. Everyone spent the week telling me how scary and jumpy it was, so I was pretty scared to watch it, but it honestly wasn’t that bad – thankfully.

I struggled to come up with a costume idea this year, especially as I’m working on limited funds. My dilemma was resolved thanks to The Vintage Fair who ran a competition to win a Pearls & Swine Devil Horn Fascinator, which I won! So that obviously had to be the centre piece of whatever I wore. In the end I just went for a demon type look, pale face, dark eyes, dark lips, blood and horns.

My boyfriend Pete dressed up as some kind of scary Viking warrior. He completely covered his face in fake blood. Fortunately it was slightly easier to get off than the masses of black face paint he wore last year that took forever to scrub out of his beard. It’s probably a good job we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters.

I also did a fair bit of baking. We recently had a new oven fitted in our flat, and I was very excited to find out how much better it was at baking cakes than the old one. They turned out fantastically πŸ™‚
In recent weeks I seem to have had a fair amount if luck in competitions I have entered. As well as the horned fascinator, I also won a Halloween Modelling Kit from Renshaw. The Kit was only available to buy at The Cake & Bake Show, or through this competition, so I was pretty excited to have won one! Fondant modelling has never been a strong point of mine, but I gave it a go. The ghosts and pumpkins were much easier than the witches hat, black cat or spider, so I mostly stuck to those.
I went a little crazy on the decorating front and used a mixture of rice paper eyeballs, sprinkles, plastic toppers, fondant models and fondant covered biscuit shapes. Oh yeah, and edible glitter, lots of edible glitter!!

Of course we had pumpkins too! We were both set on out-doing last years efforts. Mine didn’t work out to be quite as impressive as I had intended, and Pete very nearly bit off more than he could chew. In our own tradition, our pumpkins go to the vote to see whose is best – based on judgement of our guests, I think I won this year. What do you think? Mine is the haunted house, Pete’s is the howling wolf.

I hope you all had a great Halloween. It is a great excuse for a party, some indulgence and a bit of silliness πŸ™‚ Any good ideas for next year’s fancy dress would be more than welcome!

Next event on the calendar – Thanksgiving! So I’ve only got a few weeks to work off all of the Halloween cupcakes before then :/

Love,