Twinwood Vintage Festival 2014 Review

posted in: Events | 2

twinwood, old is now, vintage blogAs someone behind me in the wristband queue said, “we are about to step onto the bus and pass through the portal into the 1940’s.” It’s a pretty accurate way of describing my Bank Holiday Saturday spent at Twinwood.

I could write possibly the longest Blog Post ever imagined talking about Twinwood Festival in the most precise detail, but for impacts sake, I will keep this a short excited bubble of a post.

I loved it! I could finish it there, but I won’t. Eve couldn’t make it, so sorry but you are going to have to get some details and serious green envy.

I have been to Goodwood Revival before, so I thought I knew what to expect from this retro festival. However the event managed to exceed all expectations and to me… knocked Goodwood out of the park, or should that be vintage suitcase? (Although to put that into context I don’t know anything about cars so I am slightly biased.) Twinwood swapped Goodwood’s racetrack for dance floors, and had the friendliest people attend that I have ever experienced meeting at a festival. This was all then topped off with a really celebratory feel to the whole event, which kept my excitement topped up even when my taxi turned up late.

twinwood, old is now, vintage blog, carMy first impressions were good; I made friends on the Bus, which as it turns out is a good sign. The bus transports you across a field to the arena, through an imaginary portal, and whilst chatting away I spied some cute retro campers and airstream trailers in the camping site. So far so good… To make matters better, when I rounded the corner of the festival I was met with a bar (with Twinwood’s own Ale – Hooray!); a very cheap vintage stall, where I instantly bought a black handbag for £12 which completed my look, and the main stage where newbie dancers were already learning Lindy Hop. Insert big girlie squeal here.

The event was on point with little wartime mementos in hidden bunkers, an amazing Officers Mess Bar and the addition of The Soul Shack where I was stunned watching the footwork of Northern Soul dancers.

Music wise, high points for me were Fedora Café; who were the house band at the Casablanca Club, my god can that woman sing! But my favourite performers were The Electric Swing Circus who introduced me to my newly favourite music genre, electric swing. If you haven’t heard of electric swing before, then definitely give them a listen. They are so much fun to listen to live, or via the Internet and I thoroughly enjoyed their lively set, joining in with the Charleston dance moves and singing along to many of their recognisable numbers, including ‘Everybody Wants To Be A Cat.’

Oh and how could I forget Terry’s Late Nite Lounge in The Tin Hat? On the Saturday they were having some issues with the sound and at one point all the power went off. And it was actually a magical moment. With everything off someone put a torch onto the floor and a bunch of guys with what I would assume were tap shoes started hitting the floor making a new beat for people to dance to. That was a cool moment.

twinwood, festival, vintage, friendsOver all, I am sure you can guess, I had a great time whilst rummaging through the stalls and trying my hand at dancing. Thank you once again to the gentleman who risked his toes to sweep me around the dance floor in a Waltz; despite playing bumper cars with a few other dances I loved every second of it. It has in fact made me realise how much I enjoy dancing and I am now determined to find a Swing club local to me, so if you know one in Hampshire or Berkshire let me know!

If you are remotely interested in swing dance or ‘oldie’ music, as I have eloquently described it in the past, then get yourself to Twinwood. It’s a great day or weekend of escapism, dress up and enjoy the infectious good vibe. Yes it’s an exciting atmosphere and celebration for all things vintage but I don’t think you would even need a strong interest in it to be impressed by this very well put together event. I forgot to mention the remote control army car! There was a remote control army vehicle being driven by a bear… tell me that isn’t ridiculous and that you don’t need to see it!

Whether you are a Goodwood or Twinwood lover it just depends what exactly you are looking for. This post isn’t about one being better than the other because they are both marvellous events. For me an exciting festival involves a music filled and foot tapping time, accompanied with browsing vintage stalls, stepping on people’s toes (sorry again) and enjoying just a hand full of gorgeous cars and a few loop de loops from a Spitfire. Could you need anything more from a weekend?

Next year I will be there all weekend. I look forward to seeing you there too.

Chocolate, Bacon and Marshmallow Scones: You know you want to…

posted in: Foodies | 1

 

As if it was Afternoon Tea Week a couple of weeks ago and I was completely unaware! Not impressed at having missed the perfect reason for eating cake and drinking tea around the clock, I didn’t eat a scone once cuhh. As a result, I decided this week that I needed to rectify the situation.

scones, cutter, baking, old is now

Obviously to celebrate a little late is better than nothing, but to do it properly I chose to think about alternative scone flavours. Below are just a few of the ones I came up with (and if my friends are unlucky I may experiment with them later this year).

  • Marmite and Cheese
  • Mustard and Chocolate – Apparently Colman’s did Macaroons with this flavour! I’m not sure how I feel about this
  • Olive, Feta and sundried Tomatoes

But in the middle of my brainstorm I realised that despite believing that sweet always conquers over savoury; most of my crazy fillings didn’t reflect this. Hence… and drum roll please…. The idea for Chocolate and Bacon scones with an extra special ingredient… MARSHMALLOWS! Sweet, and savoury, and sweet. Perfect.

So without further ado I will put up the recipe I adopted. It comes fresh out of Mary Berry Cooks, released by Mary Berry earlier this year following a short TV series with the BBC. The only difference is that I have tweaked it to include my wacky ingredients.

 

TeaTime Scones

By Mary Berry as amended by Blaire

(If you want to just make normal scones ignore the text in *stars*)

cat, scones, old is now
Why haven’t you made scones yet?

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 250g (9oz) self raising-flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
  • 40g (1 ½oz) softened butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 25g (1oz) caster sugar (If I am feeling healthy I put even less in – Means you can put even more cream and jam on!)
  • 1 egg
  • About 100ml (4fl oz milk) (Stick by this… too many times have I added extra liquid and it just doesn’t need it.)

The following is a rough guideline, add more or less depending on how much you like each ingredient:

  • 6 rashers of Bacon
  • 50g Chocolate(I used dark however it made my scones quite bitter – We would love to hear from someone if they experiment with different types of chocolate.)
  • Two handfuls of Marshmallows (I made some with and some without for my first batch. Although a lot messier, I found that the scones including Marshmallows rose better. Probably because they exploded!)

 

Now to Baking:

 

  1. You will need a 4cm (1 ½in) flutted cutter. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7. Grease two baking trays.
  2.  

     

    frying bacon, baking, old is now chocolate, baking, scones, old is now
  3. *First off, cut the Bacon into small pieces and fry it. Whilst this is frying cut up the chocolate. With this out of the way you won’t have to rush things later.*
  4.  

     

    Sifting flour baking powder, scones, old is now scones, flour, old is now
  5. Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  6.  

     

    whisk, baking, old is now

  7. Beat the egg and place in a measuring jug. Pour in enough milk to make the liquid up to 100ml (4fl oz), then put about 1 tablespoon aside for glazing the scones after.
  8.  

     

    dough, scones, baking, old is now Bacon, chocolate, scones, baking, old is now marshmallow, scones, old is now
  9. Gradually add the egg and milk mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring it in until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. *Once as a dough add each of the extra ingredients; chocolate, bacon and marshmallows. I found adding each one separately and taking the time to work it in easiest to get an even mix.*
  10.  

     

    flour, baking. old is now IMG_4242
  11. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured surface and pat out until it is about 2 cm (¾in) thick. Stamp out the scones using the 4 cm (1 ½in) cutter. Make sure you don’t twist the cutter or the scones will not rise evenly.
  12.  

     

    scones, baking, old is now

  13. Gently gather the trimmings together and pat out again to make more scones. Arrange the scones on the greased baking trays and brush the tops with the reserved milk.
  14.  

     

    bacon, scones, baking, old is now chocolate, scones, baking, old is now cooling rack , scones, marshmallow, baking, old is now
  15. Bake for 8 minutes until well risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  16.  

     

  17. To serve, cut each scone in half horizontally and top with strawberry jam and clotted or whipped cream. *However if you included Chocolate, Bacon and Marshmallows why not spread on some butter, honey or mmm mmmm maple syrup? *

 

Something also to note is the fact that scones can be frozen! I only learnt this upon buying the book and reading the extra notes. Obviously this means that my scone addiction is probably going to cause waistline issues but never mind!Once cool seal them in a bag and freeze them. To defrost leave them at room temperature and refresh in a hot oven (220C/ 200C fan assisted) for five minutes.

So please, go forth and make these delectable Chocolate, Bacon and Marshmallow scones; or feel inspired to throw in your own quirky ingredients.

Just let me know how it goes! Even better, send in your scone photos so we can put them up on our Twitter. Or better still Tweet us them @OldisNow

chocolate and bacon scones, baking, old is now Bacon and chocolate scones

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Why should you shop local?

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

Being the owner of a small business myself, means that I understand the importance of choosing to shop with independent retailers, over the mass retailing giants.

One of the main positives you get with small retailers is the customer service. Smaller business’ are usually staffed by the people who own them so there is an obvious level of care & love of the business.

Vivian Poon owns a small independent fabric shop, Purple stitches near Basingstoke. Vivian is actually a trained pharmacist, who had a passion for making and sewing.

Purple Stitches 1 (1)

‘My fabric stash grew so large that I needed a way to make some money back, so when the opportunity came to open the shop I had to take it.’

Vivian has a lot of local customers, who return because they enjoy the personal touches that you do not get with larger chain shops. They also find the village location more convenient, than having to go to the near by town.

Another positive that I value is the uniqueness of the stock you can find in smaller shops. You never know what sort of treasures you might find. By buying vintage or second hand clothes you are reducing that dread of bumping into someone wearing the same outfit as you.

vjvintage

Victoria Kennedy specialises in selling vintage clothing and accessories. She sells mostly at markets and fairs, but also hosts events at her home in Basingstoke.

‘For me vintage clothes are a piece of history. Each item has it’s own ‘story’. I often wonder who might have worn it, made it, etc. Usually the fabric used in vintage clothing is far more hard wearing than high street clothing. It washes well, and despite it’s age looks good! I’m also passionate about the fact wearing vintage is ‘eco friendly’. Today’s society is very much a throw away culture- this concerns me!’

10501874_334212990071401_7776805083967799302_n

Independently owned cafes and restaurants will often use locally sourced produce which is very good for the local economy. And also local bakers, Handmade cakes are just so much better than shop bought cakes. It’s much more comforting to know where your food is coming from. In my tea room, The CuriosiTea Room I use home cake bakers and get fresh bread from my local bakery.

 

The main reasons you should shop local;

  • Better customer service
  • Unique treasures
  • It’s good for the community
  • It’s good for the local economy
  • You’ll be happier

50’s Inspired Swimwear

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 0

So is it just me or did summer start early? I’ve been to the beach (an experience I’ve been sharing with the whole of Britain I swear) numerous times already. I hate to complain, but with the frequency I’ve worn my swimwear, I just feel like I already need a new addition. So this summer I am going to splurge on another bikini. Sorry savings. I’ll post the newest edition to my slightly Floozie dominated swimwear family as soon as I have happily settled on ‘the one.’ But in the meantime look at these gorgeous 50’s, vintage inspired swimmers!


50's, vintage, swimwear,

From top left to bottom right:
For Luna: White Retro Cherry Print Swimsuit, £65
Next: Monoswimwear Bralet, £16, Bikini Briefs, £10
Floozie at Debenhams: Yellow Ice Cream Print Underwired Swimsuit, £42
For Luna: Red Gingham Swimsuit, £65


3reds

From left to right:
New Look: Kelly Brooks Pink Polka Dot Frill Trim Bikini Bottoms, £10.99, Bikini Bralet, £19.99
Motel: Fruit Pastel Halterneck Swimsuit in Red Daisy, £35
Motel: Lolly Cutout Swimsuit, £39


50's, vintage, swimwear,

Left to right:
Next: Floral Swimwear, Underwired Bralet, £20, Black/White ZigZag High Waist Pants, £10
George at Asda: Animal Swimsuit, £14
Next: Soft Bandeau Top, £12, Floral Swimwear, High Waist Briefs, £14

Blaire Xx

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