Sunday, 1 July 2012


Present 1: from me to a lovely boyfriend

Object: Ticket made with painted cotton embellished with a sewing machine, wooden frame from a summer spent in Spain

Textile artist: Sarah J Wolfe

Present 2: from a lovely boyfriend to me

Objects: Pressed Valentine's Day rose petals in a car boot photo frame, chocolate box, homemade chocolates 
Chocolatier: Mark Ross-Smith
Photographers: Sarah J Wolfe and Mark Ross-Smith

In my opinion, the best presents one receives are personal, unique and handcrafted. I'm not a fan (and possibly even have a slight phobia) of mass produced products and mass market trends so the joy brought by a box tied up with a cream ribbon (another to add to the hair bow collection) containing homemade chocolates was very great indeed. I'm slightly sad however as since receiving it I've misplaced the little menu. The little chocolates were perfect for sharing together in the evening with a cozy pot of tea or being transported in a little box to the library for a coffee break. My favorites were the caramel chocolates that had little blobs of caramel in, mainly because it makes me smile to think of the lovely boyfriend trying to lure the little caramel blobs into the designated space in the chocolate. 

A trip to The Ritz has also made for an extra special treat. The old style handmade ticket was also fun to create. 

An evening spent at The Ritz will make your taste buds very happy for an extremely long time. We dinned on a cloudy soup served in a sherry type glass (with complements from the chef) which we had to ask our lovely waiter how to consume, a watercress and duck egg soup, a roast dinner 'done the expensive way', the most amazing pudding, presented in a tower consisting of a sugared rusk type biscuit, a sweet small orange, chocolate mousse topped off with a small fruit salad of finely chopped fruit and finished the meal with a shiny silver tray of mouth watering chocolates (admittedly not as good as the homemade chocolates) and coffee

We had our own collection of staff: a waiter to take our order (a lovely young short French man whose oversized tailcoat caused the shoulders to slightly bunch up when he clasped his hands behind his back), another for serving us each course and a separate one for reading us the wine menu- if I was a wine enthusiast I would have reveled in this pleasure, unfortunately I cringe at even a drop of the liquid. Having an excuse to dress up in one's finest garments is also always a fun activity. 

It is also a terrific place to people watch- a rich elderly man with two delicate Chinese woman who walked behind him sat down on the table behind us. They ordered a fillet of salmon and a tray of chocolates triple the length of our's. Half an hour later, when we were still savoring every last crumb of our pudding two hours into our meal, the gentleman announced to the waiter "That was quite pleasant thank you, I only wanted a light meal anyway".

Happy handcrafting.