Monthly Archives: January 2014

Play dress up

I love wearing dresses. They are my favourite thing to wear for any occasion, whether I’m cooking, dancing or gardening (erm, potting plants on my balcony.) They make me feel swooshy. And swishy. And feminine (which is important when one is gardening.)

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Theatre: From Here to Eternity

Just before Chrimbo, Red and I popped off to see From Here to Eternity at the Shaftesbury Theatre. I saw the film ages ago. SO long ago I could barely remember the plot, but I did remember Frank Sinatra looking dashing. So, with that in mind I was excited to see what the clever Sir Tim Rice had come up with in his stage adaption.

The story is set in Hawaii and follows the troops at Schofield Army Barracks in Honolulu during the languid days before the attack on Pearl Harbour. The 1953 film received 8 Academy awards and some of its scenes are still considered some of the most iconic in history – remember Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr writhing in the ocean as the waves crashed over them? You see – big shoes to fill.

First and foremost, the show looks gorgeous. It’s big and sparkling and there are huge ensemble numbers with the highest of high kicks, spins, twirly girlies, backflips, bed jumping (yep) and scary lifts amidst the AMAZING choreography (well done Javier de Frutos), which for me was the thing that stood out for me the most. It made me want to don my dancing shoes and jump on stage with the cast. (They would not have best pleased. So I didn’t.)

Early on in the show, a very tall and strapping man strolled on stage and I whipped round to Red with my eyes wide like saucers – “IS THAT DARIUS?!” I whispered in that weird hissy whispery way when you can’t be loud but you need to be heard.

“Uh huh” (Red’s cool)

Darius (First Sergeant Warden) was great! He sang and danced and totally held his own. I was impressed. I was impressed by Darius Campbell. Yip. He also managed to carry off the line “I want to go to bed with you” without a snigger and before we knew it Rebecca Thornhill was lying in her smalls, inviting him to ravish her on the kitchen table. Good work, Darius.

My favourite cast member was Ryan Sampson (Private Angelo Maggio) who was so dynamic and animated, that the show appeared to be driven along by his energy and charisma. His rendition of ‘I Love the Army’ was amazers and was definitely a goose bumpy moment for me. Joshua Lacey (Private Isaac Bloom) was also fantastic and gave it everything he had.

This show manages to feel enormous and intimate simultaneously. The cast give it their all and although the story is essentially very simple, the beautiful sets, cast and choreography make it a twinkly and dazzling musical to watch.

I didn’t come away singing any of the songs, but I did come away with an emotional tug in my tummy. Tim Rice’s depiction of love and loss during a turbulent war was a stark reminder of how fragile we all are. How everything can change in an instant. And how very lucky I am.

Shaftesbury Theatre
210 Shaftesbury Avenue
London, WC2H 8DP

National Chocolate Cake Day
and a heavenly flourless
chocolate cake recipe

Poppy Loves Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake with buttercream – found on Pinterest; originally
from Half Baked Harvest


Oh thank goodness. Thank goodness it’s National Chocolate Cake Day today. I had no idea this day even existed, but thanks to me eye spying Kate Spade tweeting about it on Twitterdom last night, I am very pleased to announce that it’s true.

And not a day too early as far as I’m concerned, seeing as I had a superiorly rotten day yesterday. Cake is the answer. Cake brings friends together, it makes sure tea is brewing.. and magically, it heals wounds.

Gem brought me chocolate cake yesterday – she’d made it herself. She’s clever. This recipe is not for the cake above (you can find that recipe here) but its for an amazingly easy, delicious, rich and luxuriously chocolatey Nigella recipe. There are 5 ingredients and 4 stages. When I say easy, I mean easy, with a capital peasy.

Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake

5 eggs
200g butter
200g sugar
200g plain chocolate
200g ground almonds

1. Melt the chocolate and butter together, then mix in the almonds. Set aside to cool a little.

2. Separate 4 of the eggs. Mix 1 whole egg and 4 yolks with the sugar. Blend this with the chocolatey mixture.

3. Beat the 4 remaining egg whites until they are stiff. Using a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolatey mixture.

4. Pour into a non-stick spring-form baking tin and bake at 175-180 for 45 mins.

That’s all there is to it. If you make it, please let me know how you get on.. and of course, feel free to post me a slice…

One more thing, if you love the gooey deliciousness of the picture above as much as me, you can see the rest of the chocolatey pics I’ve been dribbling over here on my Pinterest board.

For now, I wish you a very happy National Chocolate Cake Day and a tip-top-tastic Monday.



Poppy travels: Havana, Cuba


Oh Havana. What a magical place. A musical city, with sea-scented air, singing and dancing in the streets, mojitos around every corner and an intoxicating pulse you can feel resonating in your bones as soon as you step off the plane.

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Sara J Beazley launches new SS14 collection

Do you know what day it is today? Do you? Well let me tell you. It’s National Handwriting Day. Bam.

When the hand-written letter, note or card is fast becoming a thing of the past, the art of elegant (or even legible – *looks sheepish*)  handwriting may well be under threat. Handwriting Day encourages us to put pen to paper, and to practice our handwriting.. and what better way to inspire us to do so, than by winning some gawgeous new stationery from the ever so talented artist and printmaker, Sara J Beazley.

She mixes up old and new, prints and patterns, architectural drawings and vintage motifs and gets busy in her studio employing all kinds of traditional printing techniques, such as drypoint, etching and silkscreen printing. Ooooo.. All of these elements mean she has carved her own twinkly path in the design world and her works are always original, contemporary and pretty darn gorgeous too.

Blue Banner

Sara J Beazley’s first collection of cards for SS14, which she designed and hand printed herself (clever clogs)  is being launched today! Fancy winning a beautiful box set of 16 cards with matching envelopes (worth £28) to write your thank yous, hellos and thinking of yous on? I thought you might.

It’s easy as pie – just enter via the Rafflecopter thingy below and a name will be pulled out of the ‘hat’ on the 30th January.

Sara is also offering her box sets for the special price of £20 for just one week from today – this also includes free delivery. So if you’re a bit of a scribbler and want to jump aboard this train, just pop over to her corner of the webby world before she sells out!

Happy Handwriting Day pickles – I’m off to doodle a doodle…


I’m Home!

Oh HELLO! It’s you! It’s me! We’re all back together again. Hoorah! 

As many of you know, I’ve been away on holibobbles and this is my first post after arriving home. I rather missed blogging you know.. so I’m jolly pleased to be a) using the word jolly and b) to be back in touch with you lovely lot.

There will be lots of lovely pics and stories of my travels coming soon, (the one above is one of my faves from Havana, Cuba) but for now I just wanted to say hello, I’m so pleased to be home and a huge thank you for all your lovely emails and tweets while I was away.

What a lovely bunch you are… you’ll be hearing from me shortly… oh yes you will.