Sunday, 30 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011


The other day I took a trip to the picturesque Cumbrian village of Cartmell. Was it the 12th Century Priory, a day at the races or the gastronomic delights of its Michelin Star restaurant that led me there........

Nope, it was the award winning sticky toffee pudding!

Cartmel is the home of Sticky Toffee.  Handmade, using 100% natural ingredients, many sourced from the same local suppliers and sold in the Village Shop, in my opinion there’s nothing to match it. That’s why Cartmel is the home of Sticky Toffee.

For those of you who are tempted and not planning to take a trip to Cumbria then these award winning puddings are available on the Cartmel Village Shop website.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Christmas Is Coming......

Well it certainly feels that way this week here at Homes and Dreams!

Gift Tags £3.95 for 6, Bell Wreath £4.50
This week we have been photographing our ranges of Country Christmas accessories and decorations in preperation for the website. We stocked up with mince pies, lit the candles, wrapped the presents (well empty boxes!) and these are the results....... 
Lantern & Candle Sets £8.95
Stags Head Decoration £3.75

Set of 6 Tags £3.95
Mistletoe Wreath £9.95

All these items and many, many more Country Christmas Decorations are now available on the Homes and Dreams website

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Step Back In Time - Pickering War Weekend 2011

This weekend I visited the North Yorkshire town of Pickering. The reason for the visit was that every year for one weekend in October, Pickering is transported back in time to 1940's wartime Britain. It is an amazing experience and the whole town really gets into the wartime spirit of things.

As we made my way into town it was like arriving on a film set of a WW 2 blockbuster. Ahead, a couple of officers in authentic uniforms lead the way into the town centre where it was heaving with servicemen and civilians all in their finest vintage 1940's garb. 

Strolling through town we came across the local primary school which had become a makeshift 'Soup Kitchen'. The children, clutching handmade ration boxes and flat caps, sang touching renditions of wartime favourites - more than a few eyes were moist by the time they had finished 'The White Cliffs of Dover'.

The next stop was Pickering Railway Station, as we made our way onto a packed platform a steam train was just departing. All the stations along the railway line take part in the event but unfortunately there just wasn't time to visit any of them this year however just by strolling along the platform there was plenty to feast our eyes on.

We spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the many vintage clothing stalls, shamelessly people watching and visiting re-enactment camps - one of which looked remarkably like the Homes and Dreams stockroom!

It’s unlikely that Pickering was quite so jolly back in the 1940's.
Then, the country was preparing for the D-day landings of 1944. Britain was at its peak of rationing and, for women, make-do-and-mend was not a trend but a harsh reality. In stark contrast to the days events it was a sobering experience to return home and watch World War II:The Last Heroes, a program about the grim realities of the D-Day Landings told through the personal stories of the soldiers who fought in World War II.
Although we had a wonderful time this weekend we must also not loose sight of the reality that took place. By visiting events like this it does help those of us fortunate enough not to have lived through the harsh realities of the war remember those who did and the sacrifices that they made.

Monday, 10 October 2011

In Bruges

For some time I have been hankering for a trip to Bruges. It began when I saw the film 'In Bruges' starring Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson as two hapless hit men who are holed up in Bruges. Its is a great film but in my opinion the starring role goes to the picturesque setting of the city.

Anyway this weekend I was lucky enough to take a trip there......

It did not disappoint, the city is quite simply stunning - and the best thing about one got shot!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Characterful Kitchenware

I have been busy lately sourcing a selection of original vintage kitchenware for the website. I have to admit to having a weakness for kitchenalia, there is something about the way it instantly adds character and a nostalgic look to a kitchen.

For me one thing that is sure to evoke a trip down memory lane is enamelware. Now I know that you can buy reproduction enamelware (we even have some on the website) but for me nothing beats the slightly shabby look of vintage enamelware

Enamelware is manufactured by fusing a thin layer of glass-like material on to a base of steel, iron or aluminium. The process - which takes its name from the Latin for glass, vitrum- is akin to the ancient method of making enamelled jewellery. But its widespread use for kitchen utensils dates from the 1840s following the introduction of a lead-free enamel with a china clay base as an alternative to tin for lining saucepans.

Compared with the heavy, coal-black iron pots and pans in use at the time, enamelware offered many advantages. It was smooth, light, and easy to clean. Soon, almost every item in the kitchen from flour bins and bread bins to fish slices, funnels, bowls and measuring jugs was manufactured in enamelled steel and exported all over the world.

So if you want to add a little character to your kitchen why not take a look at our range of nostalgic kitchenalia? Prices start at £5.00

What a Difference a Day Makes!

I've been looking out over the same view for months now, however all that has changed over the weekend ...

What a difference a day makes!