Monday, 28 May 2012

Lazy Afternoon

Feeling a bit over-heated and thinking it is perhaps time to cool down after this hot hot heat? We think you should try out our kiwi and lime meringue mess summer cooler.

IngredientsServes 2
1 stick rhubarb (needs to be washed and trimmed, chopped and gently poached or baked in thick sugar syrup to absorb the juices)
2 kiwis (thinly sliced)
Handful of green grapes
½ Melon (cubed)
½ Coconut (cut into small cubes)
Crème Fraiche

For the lime juice
50ml Icing Sugar
2 tbsp coconut milk
Juice from whole squeezed lime

For the meringue
For quickness these can be bought, or to make:
2 eggs
4oz caster sugar

For the meringue (if you’d prefer to make your own)
-       Preheat oven 150C
-       Separate the eggs, placing the egg white in a bowl ready to be whisked
-       Switch the whisk on to a slow speed and whisk the egg whites for a couple of minutes, or until bubbly
-       Then continue to whisk the egg whites for another minute or so at a medium speed and then at a high speed until stiff peaks are formed
-       Still at a high speed, add in the sugar by tbsp, until you can see the mixture is stiff and glossy
-       You will then need to spoon the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet
-       Put into the oven at 150C, but reduce to 140C until they are baked. Leave them in the oven until they are cool.

For the main dessert
      -     Place prepared melon, rhubarb, grapes and kiwi at the bottom of a bowl
-       Add the crushed meringue and bits of coconut on top
-       Decorate with any left over fruit (we used raspberries as well)
-       Drizzle the lime juice on top
-       Best served with a dollop of crème fraiche or vanilla ice-cream and a cool glass of homemade pink lemonade (use sparkling water with juice of lemon and homemade raspberry syrup and mint)

Enjoy and cool down in sweet style.

By Melodie Walter

Friday, 25 May 2012

Something for the weekend

Roll up! Roll up! Its the weekend and what better way to get the fun started than a visit to the circus! 'The circus!?' I hear you cry, but this isn't your average circus...

Circus is a new cocktail bar located in the West End of London and although the entrance may be inconspicuous, the interior is sure to take your breath away - silver balls adorn the ceiling, miniature umbrellas spin in turn on the wall, and the entirely mirrored bathroom is sure to confuse!  Guests drink exquisite cocktails garnished with real flowers from regal looking metal goblets, and the maitre'd takes on the role of ring master.  Michelin style pan-asian food, including bamboo boxes of steamed dim sum and the interesting sounding Bang Trang rolls, is served on a banquet sized table fit for a king.  But that's not all - every king's party requires entertainment...

The lights go down, the table is cleared and in an instant is transformed into a stage! A fire-eating ballet dancer takes to the stage wearing ballet pointes (and little else!), and where guests were once enjoying their banquet there is now balls of fire, high kicks and splits.  Following the ballet dancer is a male acrobat who performs a thrilling gymnastic routine on hoops suspended from the ceiling accompanied by gasps of exhilaration from the crowd, and without giving too much away, there may be one or two familiar faces...

Needless to say, a visit to Circus won't be forgotten in a hurry.

Circus, 27-29 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9BA

By Eve Hegarty

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Strawberry Semifreddo

So it seems like summer is starting to get underway here in the UK (not that we want to jinx anything!) and here at Cellardoor HQ we've been starting to think of yummy treats to help cool us off - and this yummy frozen strawberry dessert is one of our faves! 

500g (1lb 2oz) strawberries, hulled  - plus a 
few extra (whole), for decoration 
3 eggs 
2 egg yolks 
1tsp vanilla extract 
200g (7oz) caster sugar 
400ml double cream 
biscotti, to serve

- Line a loaf tin or small brownie pan with non-stick baking paper.  
- Halve the strawberries and crush with a potato masher to make a chunky purée.  
- In a large glass or heatproof bowl, add the eggs, yolks, vanilla and sugar.  
- Place over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Using an electric whisk, beat the mixture over the simmering water for 4 minutes. Remove and continue to whisk until thick, frothy and completely cool.  - Whip the double cream and fold into the egg mixture along with half of the strawberry purée.  
- Spoon some of the strawberry mixture into the bottom of the tin and then cover with ¼ of the semifreddo. Cover with more of the purée and repeat until it’s full. 
- Freeze covered for 4-6 hours until frozen. When ready to serve, cut into thick slices or spoon out with an ice-cream scooper. 
- Serve with little biscotti and extra strawberries.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

When I Grow Up....

Here at Cellardoor Magazine we love promoting up-and-coming brands, and Brat & Suzie is right up our street! Here we talk to Polly, head designer at B&S about where she gets her inspiration from, and who she's loved to see in one of her designs. Enjoy! 

For those of us that don't know, who are Brat & Suzie? 
 Based in East London, Brat and Suzie is an animal-inspired fashion brand that creates a collection of super-cute, playful, easy to wear and desirable T-shirts, sweaters, dresses and tops. If you want to wear a raccoon riding a bicycle or a Rabbit in Victorian costume on your T-shirt, Brat and Suzie is the brand for you.

What made you want to start it up? 
 Both Charlotte and myself have always wanted to be creative and both went to study fashion. Charlotte had worked as a designer for high street fashion stores, including working at Miss Selfridge as a casualwear designer and I was working on the production side of things at a supplier and also in the tailoring department at River Island. I got bored with the job I was doing and needed more of challenge so I decided to start Brat and Suzie. At first it was more of a hobby then it started to grow it was now or never. Charlotte then joined the brand 2 years later to work full time.

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from? 
We come up with ideas for the designs by looking at old vintage story books about animals, vintage science/nature books on wildlife and combine them with the modern world - for example putting a Ferret on a scooter or a Squirrel in glasses. We also look at trends, for example Flamingos are pretty on trend for this summer so we got the artists to draw a flamingo in a very 'Brat and Suzie' way by putting her in high top trainers and pearls. 

 Who would you most like to see wearing one of your designs? 
 We love to see everyone in Brat and Suzie but we would love to see Katy Perry in our smitten with kitten tee as she loves cats! 

What does the future hold for Brat & Suzie?
 It would be great to get more UK stockist and to grow our profile at home as well expanding into more stores internationally. We would like to continue to grow the brand in other product areas - we have already started doing dresses, playsuits and snoods in our main collection. Continuing to raise our profile among celebrities and get some really great people wearing Brat and Suzie. 

 And finally, do you have any advice for anyone who is thinking of starting up something similar? 
 Try to be organized and keep on top of all your paper work... its really boring but its a must! Keep track of your spending and set yourself budgets. Remember if it was meant to be easy everyone would be doing it. Don't expect overnight success and try not to listen to negativity If you believe in what your doing you can do it.

By Lizzie Evans

Monday, 21 May 2012

Through the Night

Finally! There is a sniff of summer in the air but not a lot of warmth in it, we’re afraid to say. However, we’re supposed to be getting a heat wave in the next few days! This week we’ve been listening to the female vocalist Ren Harvieu from Salford who released her first album Through The Night on Monday. Being tipped as one of the artists to watch out for this year - we decided to find out for ourselves what all the fuss is about!

In a nutshell, Ren Harvieu’s voice is beautiful and timeless. Although she is only 21 years of age, she manages to use it in a distinct, mature fashion. The listener becomes drawn to her voice as she is able to intertwine volume, emotion and a subdued sultriness.

Ren’s style is unique, she dresses a little like she was meant to be born in another time and place which reflects her singing style down to a tee. She channels the 1920s/30s which we’re big fans of, as are many of you vintage-loving girls too, no doubt!

 Why not take a peek at Ren’s video for the single Open Up Your Arms taken from Through The Night? We love the romance story throughout as well as her extraordinarily smoky look – let us know what you think!

By Melodie Walter

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

When I Grow Up...

Khara Ledonne, miniature painter for her eponymous etsy shop, creates beautiful canvasses fit for a borrower. The Brooklyn-based artist’s necklaces are ideal for those who want to keep their hopes and dreams hidden away and close to their heart, it’s clear the oil paintings are given all of Khara’s time, love and attention. The perfect gift for your friends and family or if you are like us, for yourself, if you want a stegosaurus hanging from your neck.

When did you know that you wanted to take your creativity and work in fashion? 
You know how little kids will sometimes dress themselves in all the things they love most, without any regard for how it looks together? I still have the urge to do that. Painting lockets became this fantastic outlet where I can squeeze in all the color and imagery I dream up, yet keep it contained in a more presentable capsule. One can wear black from head-to-toe, but still have a hot pink mermaid dangling in their v-neck. It was a very slow and organic transition - I made things that I loved for myself until some of those ideas were noticed and gained momentum in an outside market. 

Where did you find the inspiration for your latest collection and what were your influences?
Though I live in Brooklyn, I grew up in a rather small and earthy town on the Pacific Ocean. Many of my designs are simply my daydreams, where I want to go when I close my eyes. When I'm riding the subway underground, I long for green trees, roaring campfires, and stormy oceans. Often there are elements of escape and fantasy - full moons, mermaids, and pirate ships. I find the locket is the perfect format for these tiny worlds because it can be exposed or kept secret. 

 How would you describe your creative process and what part of it do you most enjoy? 
Mixing new colors totally floats my boat. It's just silly how much I love creating fresh colors to paint with - the oil enamel I use is intoxicatingly vibrant, and sometimes color alone is enough to give me an idea. Also, the requests of people for whom I paint custom orders open so many doors into new territories. They take me where I might be uncomfortable or unskilled and force me to adapt. 

What do you find best helps you get out of creative ruts? 
Usually when I'm in a rut it means I need to take a break, and remind myself that I am not a 24-hour creativity robot. After a few days away I am almost always refreshed. 

 What keeps you motivated? 
My studiomate - she's a gem! Re-reading positive feedback from customers also gives me a lovely boost. 

For anyone thinking about taking their creativity and turning it into a business, what is the biggest piece of advice you would give them?
 For me, it has always been to work with your clientele. I've been painting murals, signs and miniatures for 13 years, and I think the reason it has proved so sustainable is because I try to meet others' visions with my skills. I can get a blissful kick out of painting what I love for myself, but I can't necessarily expect to pay rent that way. It is both a struggle and a delight to adapt to what others want. Being an artist or designer can also be a solitary pursuit, and I find interacting with buyers and clients keeps me grounded and open. 

What inspires you as an individual and who has influenced you the most? 
Nature and the love of my close friends. There is just nothing compared to the rejuvenation of laying under a leafy tree and the affirmation of someone I respect. In a more official realm, though, I would say the immensely talented painters that I worked with at a mural studio in Manhattan a few years ago. From China, Russia, Korea and Tibet - they were all bizarre characters who had much more experience than I. They put me through painter's bootcamp (I literally cried over the shape of oak leaves, facial features and faux plaster), and I am much better off for it.

If you had the chance to take a sneaky peek inside the studio of another creative (dead or alive) who would it be? 
William Morris - that man was a force to be reckoned with. The way in which he applied strict function to lush and wild beauty is astonishing. That and the variety of his skills and workshops - wallpaper, weaving, woodwork... what I wouldn't give to lay my paws on those tools! 

When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing? 
My work and play are so thoroughly integrated that it's hard to say. If I'm not painting then I'm building, sewing, cooking or writing. Having tea with friends. And, you know, that occasional bloody mary or nap under a tree in the park.

 Where would you like to be in ten years time?
Building a house. With my own hands and lots of raw, organic materials. Foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing - everything! With as many nooks and cubbies as a house can hold. Essentially I just want to make an enormous locket.

By Holly Taylor

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Sew talented

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a sewing enthusiast who feels right at home with a needle and thread? Then check this out...  the BBC are bringing sewing back to our screens and are on the hunt for contestants for their Great British Bake Off style show but with sewing machines!  We can’t wait to check it out when it airs. 

If you're interested in taking part just fill out the application form here

Monday, 14 May 2012

Morning Treat

What’s that? Eggy French baguette with bacon, banana, and Maple Syrup, thickly drizzled on top – tempting and toothsome! We think it’s time to share with you one of our most-loved parts of the day – breakfast – here is how we like ours best at Cellardoor.

 Serves 2
 1 baguette
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 eggs (beaten)
Knob of butter
2 rashers of bacon
1 banana (sliced)
Maple syrup (drizzled to taste)

- Cut a good chunk of the baguette (1/4 roughly) and carefully remove the top layer of crust (this is done by thinly slicing it off – make sure you have a sharp bread knife to do this)
- Now cut across lengthways so that you get 2 long and thin slices of bread
- Soak the slices in a bowl with the beaten eggs for 5 minutes (make sure all the bread is covered). Then while your bread slices are soaking, grill the 2 rashers of bacon
- Now heat the knob of butter in a frying pan at a medium temperature 
- Place the slices in the frying pan and pour the leftover egg on top then sprinkle your sesame seeds on top of the slices and let the eggy bread cook until golden (tip: place pan under grill to cook the top of the bread) 
- Lay your eggy bread slices on a plate and layer with the bacon and banana slices and drizzle lots of maple syrup on top. 
- Enjoyed best with fresh orange juice.

By Melodie Walter

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Summer Breeze

It's no secret that we're huge fans of Orla Kiely, especially their vintage styled lookbooks. So it was only natural that we fell head over heels for their latest instalment, which was styled by none other than Leith Clark and shot by the talented Venetia Scott. Perfect....

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Summer sounds

Over the May bank holiday as there is little else to do, we curled up on the sofa with our comfy warm layers on, listening to American California-based indie folk artist Lissie.

 Let us give you a brief overview of why we love this flaxen-singer-songwriter lovechild so much.

 Lissie. A no nonsense woman, she sings with a power that will make you stop what you are doing and listen. Her voice will pleasantly surprise you as you encounter interjections of dusky melodies that bring rest to the soul. That is, until you are gently awakened again by occasional yee-ha twangs and croaks. A raw talent and superb song-writing. What could be better? 

 We spotted Lissie in her latest commercial project with Twinings for their TV advert aired in March, which features her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s song Go Your Own Way. 

 Since then we’ve been enjoying all of Lissie’s music, including Everywhere I go, which suits our mood just right today. Note her adherence to wearing no make-up – what a natural beauty she is.

 You can purchase Lissie’s latest EP Covered Up With Flowers here 

Lissie’s next live performance in the UK will be at Boardmasters Festival in Newquay on August 11.

By Melodie Walter

Friday, 4 May 2012

Sweetie Pie

Inspired by national coffee week (and this pie!), we decided that we would try incorporating coffee into this week’s recipe! And luckily, we found that Oreo and coffee beans blend together wonderfully. Follow the instructions if you too would like to indulge in our nutty coffee Oreo cream pie delight.

¼ cup peanut butter 
1 tin sweetened condensed milk (397g) 
25 finely crushed Oreo biscuits 
6 tbsp melted butter 
 10 crushed digestive biscuits 
1 pot extra thick double cream (600ml) 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
¼ cup coffee beans 
50g milk chocolate

- Crush Oreo biscuits in food processor. 
 - In a bowl, mix 2/3 melted butter in with crushed Oreo biscuits. 
- Put firmly onto the base of a round baking tin or pie plate of 20x20cm width and 4cm deep. 
- Crush digestive biscuits and mix in with the remaining butter. Put layer of digestive crumbs on top of the Oreo crumbs. 
- Put in freezer for 10-15 mins. 
- In a large bowl, whip together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and the peanut butter. - Whip the cream, and then add to the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and peanut butter mixture. - Evenly pour on top of your pie base. 
- Decorate with chocolate syrup (we chose swirls!). - Put in the freezer for 7-8 hours. - While your pie is setting, melt your milk chocolate, put it into a small bowl with the coffee beans, and mix together. Leave in the fridge for the chocolate to harden and cool. 
 - With a dessert spoon, crush the beans and chocolate 
- Once pie is set, serve immediately from the freezer and sprinkle on crushed chocolate-covered coffee beans (it is ice-cream-like in nature and WILL melt if you leave out too long!). 
- Served best with a cup of mild Columbian blend iced coffee with milk. 
 - Store in freezer. 

 We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

By Melodie Walter

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Night at the Museum

It’s fair to say that the Natural History Museum After Hours evenings are far from the norm when it comes to a Friday night out in London. Soft jazz and mood lighting wouldn't normally be paired with a giant dinosaur skeleton and visitors walking around wearing Haz-mat suits, however on this occasion it worked a treat. 

The museum appeared to have had a mini makeover - where there were once screaming school children and stressed out tourists, there were dining tables and bars. The Blue bar in the Central hall served mini "tapas" dishes such as Smoked haddock and coley pie and Greek pitta souvlaki. The Red Bar on Dinosaur Way served bellinis, wine and beer, nibbles and soft drinks. 

For those wishing to take in some culture, that night hosted the first late opening of "Animal Inside Out" exhibition featuring almost 100 plastinated animals. It may be a bit gruesome for some of the more squeamish, but for most it provides a unique insight into the inner workings of some of the planets most fascinating animals, from sharks to giraffes, rabbits to elephants, and everything else in between. 

The evening also holds unique events such as "Crime Scene Live" which allows guests to solve their own crime. These events have limited tickets and sell out quickly, so booking is advised. 

Entry to the museum is free. The next Natural History Museum After Hours event will take place on Friday 25th May from 6pm.

By Eve Hegarty

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Lately we’ve been enjoying the mesmerizing music of Brooklyn-based band Firehorse. They bring a resonance of sunny days spent lazing on the beach and running through grassy fields to us, through their dream-like trimmings of delicate drums, guitars, rapturous electronic beats, and enchanting vaporous vocals.

Band members consist of Leah Siegel on vocals, Steve Elliot on guitar, Tim Luntzel (Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III) on bass, and Brian Wolf (My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens) on drums.

The brains behind the project is Leah Siegel who is a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. Leah writes from the heart about her feelings, fears, and her youth, thus, resulting in lyrics that beguile and entice the listener – her voice is particularly captivating in She’s A River.

 We love their ethereal video to Our Hearts and Leah’s quirky almost Edward Scissorhands styling right through to her showgirl red and glitzy gold outfits.

With compliments from Prince, who has referred to Leah Siegel as a ‘brilliant performer’ after seeing her live performance, Firehorse are surely one to watch out for.

You can purchase their latest album on iTunes And So They Ran Faster.

And if you're lucky enough to be stateside, she will next be playing at the 78 Project benefit at City Winery in New York.

By Melodie Walter

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

When I Grow Up...

Here at Cellardoor, we do love the odd cupcake or three. And who better to discuss the delicious treats with than Ms. Cupcake herself! We speak to her about her business, and what she has planned for the coming year!

For those of us that don't know, who is Ms Cupcake? 
 Ms. Cupcake is a fabulous 1950’s esque housewife with a dream to bring decadent vegan cakes to the masses. She is also known as Mellissa Morgan! I began the business from my home kitchen in 2010 and began selling my homemade cakes at markets around London. In April 2011 we opened London’s first entirely vegan bakery in Brixton. 

Where did the idea originate? 
 I have always baked as a hobby, but had no formal training in either running a business or baking professionally. I’m a vegan and really struggled to find the kind of cake I wanted to eat (indulgent, over the top, decadent, celebration style cake!) in the UK so I thought I should give it a go and see if I could create cakes that were not only suitable for vegans but also for people with intolerances and allergies. I wanted to prove to the general public that vegan cakes could be just as good – if not better!- as traditionally made cakes. 

 What do you do when you're not baking? 
 My life is cake! I am currently writing our first cookbook which is due out in 2013. I am also passionate about helping others to get started in their own businesses so I teach classes on running food businesses from your home at our bakery and also speak at conferences and trade fairs around the country. 

 What have been your biggest achievements so far? 
 In September last year I was awarded Rising Star of the Year by the Baking Industry Awards – this was unbelievable to me as I had only been baking professionally for 18 months! I have also just been named a ‘Lambeth Champion’ for the work we do in our local community. This award is especially lovely as it was one of our customers that nominated us. However, I think the biggest achievement for me would be the fact that I now employ 8 people. I am unbelievably proud that my little business has created jobs in the workforce that didn’t exist before.

And tell us more about your summer classes?
We began offering evening classes at our bakery in January 2012 due to customer demand. We now offer classes in Cupcake Decoration, Vegan Baking, How to start a food business from your home, and How to run a successful market stall. We also run classes for children on Sunday mornings. Currently we are booking classes up to September 2012. 

 What does the future hold for Ms Cupcake?
 We are excited about our cookbook being published next year! We are also starting Supper-clubs and Pudding-clubs at our bakery this summer. We are in preparation for national distribution from next year – and who knows what else?! 

And finally, do you have any advice for anyone who is thinking of starting up something similar? 
Be prepared to put your life on hold. You need to eat, sleep and breathe your business in the beginning. I worked 16 hour days, 7 days per week for the first year and a half of my business. Also, NEVER take on more than you can handle. It is always better to turn down business because you are too busy, than it is to take it on and mess it up. Finally, always listen to customer feedback, but trust your instincts enough to choose when/if you should act on it or disregard it. 

By Lizzie Evans