>A tiny spot of Friday UK love

I have really enjoyed the “Features” and “Course notes” from From Britain with Love and want to share a few lovely things and websites from England.

I like this “Lucky Rabbits” paperweight and mailing labels {which means you can recycle envelopes where possible} from Lollipop Designs.

I love these clever little songbirds from Old Favourite.


>Love, walking and pie week

We have been in chilly England for almost three weeks, and although it is cold and windy, I keep on looking up through the trees and feel inspired by the silhouettes of the branches. Even more exciting, are the daffodil and tulips that are pushing through the ground and quietly telling us that dear Spring is on her way. I went walking along South Bank yesterday and then on to St James’s Park, which is looking very promising for April!

Yesterday was my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s last full day in London, so we picked the walks #32 and #34 out of this box of City Walks:London by Craig Taylor. It is a funky little box set that fits in your handbag. On a day when you think, “Hmmm, what to do today?” you can pick one, get your wellies or walking shoes and hit the streets of London town. With a brolly. It poured buckets but we loved the walk along South Bank {thought of you Gina!}, past the National Theatre, into Gabriel’s Wharf to Pieminster for yummy hot pies and gravy, even in the rain! Then we walked on to the Tate Modern for a hot chocolate with sweeping views of the Thames and glorious St Paul’s. We walked back all the way to London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of P, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, the Mall, St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace. Whew. Nothing like popping past the Queen’s House. We deserved our Italian dinners before going to the Apollo Theatre near Victoria Sation to watch the musical, Wicked, which was brilliant and heartwearming and made me very happy that I am not green.

Speaking of Pieminster, they are a very cool pie company started out by two blokes who made good pies. Apparently even the Queen had them at her Christmas party and they have come out with this Royal Wedding pie for Kate and Wills. Oh yum. Better have one of these on the 29th April!

But then again we might be in Italy, not in England for the big royal wedding! We might take eleven days over Easter to explore Tuscany {dream**} and so I went to the library and got this “Italian for Beginners” kit. Very exciting bellas!

Oh, and on the subject of love and marriage, and pies, happy Valentine’s week. Here are some sweet love notes that I found somewhere online {sorry I can’t credit the creator!}. I am going to try my hand at cut-outs soon…

PS I am going to be changing the name of Shelley Sherbet and moving all of the content to either shelleyahrens.blogspot.com OR shelleyjaneahrens.blogspot.com. If you are a follower or reader or friend, and you can’t login to shelleysherbet anymore, then you know where I have gone. I am also starting a business, so will be telling and showing more of that soon. 2011 is an exciting one! For all of us.

>Autumn finds

Love this pic of an end of Autumn walk by Michelle Fennel
…it captures these wintery London days that make one want to eat and be extravagant in the face of long, dark afternoons. Last night I indulged in a candelit bath, steaming and spilling over the edges thanks to my host’s generous bath preparation! These are a few things that I would love for the winter…if I were not seeking the sun in India for two months that is! We fly next week and, I know that all these desires and “things” will seem silly and pointless in the face of abject poverty, need and humility. But {and I know it is wrong to start with this}, this is what it is to live with one foot in the materialistic First world, and the other foot in the Third.

I am not usually a fan of multiple rings {as many of you know, I still wear only my engagement ring and am continuously asked how my wedding plans are coming along!}, but I really have taken to these stackable rings by Annoushka. Particularly the Poppy Seed Ring. I also have found this set that I really LOVE the look of.

Today I completely indulged in more me-time with a slice of banana and honey bread {baked by my hostess last night {along with a roast with all the trimmings. Yes, she is superwoman, I assure you}, another hot bath {this time, shallow and brief but nonetheless a bath} and sat on the couch in the winter sun reading through the entire copy of Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights. I must own my own copy as soon as we are back from India. Even though there has been a balanced mixture of malicious critique and high praise for this collection, I personally love her view on food and eating it, and I want to make elderflower jelly in an old tin mould next Summer.

While on the subject of food, Gina recommendedCrush!to me. I would say sign-up soon, it has some fab recipes and ideas.

I could make bathing a more regular habit. It feels so good to wallow, especially in Winter. I could play some Josh Pyke on this Orla Kiely radio and lie in the steam for an hour at least.

Aren’t these Household Words home decalssweet, from Etsy?

I really likePale and Interesting for their subtle shades and lush stock.

>Windy and cold

>I really like the logo and the collections of this South African fashion company called Silver Spoon. I really want to order some gorgeous items from the Winter collection. It is freezing, windy and rainy in London! And I keep missing buses {if you are friends with me on the time-grabbing social network, Facebook, you will know my predicament}.

I also would love to buy one of these love bird rings, which I first discovered in Cosmo, designed by Alex Monroe.

>Today’s sweet thing


This morning I went to Petersham Nursery for tea and cake with a special friend. We shared a big pot of English Breakfast tea, a luscious slice of carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a slice of parsnip and maple syrup cake. Mmmm. A wonderful thing to do on a cold and rainy day in London. The teahouse is like a big conservatory with mismatching furniture and beautiful plants. These beautiful images which give you an idea of this gorgeous little treasure on the border of Petersham meadow and the Thames, are by photographers Nick Maroudias and Simona von Woikowsky which I found on a delightful blog which I just discovered, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I am inspired to bake this afternoon…so I am going to give Smitten Kitchen’s Best Birthday Cake a go.

>Autumn moodboard

>The other day on my way to work I was kicking leaves in my brown leather brogues, and having such fun…it reminded me of living on a farm in the Drakensberg, South Africa, as a young girl. I used to collect leaves, press them, stencil them, rub over them, build big piles of them to jump in. I felt inspired for the first time in ages to make a collection and mood board. We can become so grown up and busy too quickly I have decided.

This is the perfect little treat to take with a thermos of tea and a picnic blanket to the park. Red velvet would be my choice. You?

This is the perfect time of year to knit…I love this photograph of ladies knitting in London. I think I might start a knitting group…go shopping for luxurious wool and then get the needles out {thanks to my friend Gina who gave me some very beautiful pairs that once belonged to her special grandmother who knitted up a storm}. Here is the said friend at her felting classes earlier this year…it looks like fun!

This time of year I usually clear out the email list and address book and send old friends postcards and make contact again…

I love this pistol ring. The metal reminds me of Autumn as it has the edginess of crisp, cool days.

A milky yet strong latte is the perfect start to an Autumn day. My love makes the best cuppa…

Autumn in London means three things: coat, scarf and gloves! I bought a gorgeous coat last season but am considering a second for this winter…Zara has a really fun selection. I especially love the shoulder pads and the Peter Pan coat.

I found Handpicked last week, a clever but not altogether pretty website for quirky gifts. My absolute favourite are these framed silhouettes.