Introducing .............Mr Ferrari

You already know that he is a a wonderful cook, has a thing for food preparation equipment and that The Hound worships the ground he walks on. Did you also know that he is tres bon at DIY? Or that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything that is weird and wonderful? Or that he knows a lot about growing roses? or that he is possibly the last person in the world to still be using teletext? Or that if you need help he will be there in a flash? Or that he is a snappy dresser? No? Well now you do, and even though he supports those wretched red cars, and puts the milk in first, The Hound and I think he is quite the thing, the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas.

Tomorrow pictures of wedding flowers to drool over


Flowers so loathsome they should be banned - part 2

The spray carnation - useful for? looks good with? I have no answers. Do you?

Also, today I was hoping to bring you a behind the scenes look at how we do a wedding. in real time like off of that 24 programme, but we are too busy so instead I will give you the highlights on Friday. Enjoy the sunshine, be grateful you are not here, The Hound is howling, and the queue at Costa coffee was so long we have had to have instant.

Currently loving.........Sophie Dahl

Don't you just love a cliche? old gypsy caravan? - check, vintage apple crate?- check, odd shaped squashes?- check, wellington boots? - check

This book is bound to be a bestseller it has everything for the ultimate "lifestyle" book, recipes, glamorous "down to earth" model author, and I bet you there are some tips on keeping chickens, and growing lettuce on your balcony.

I will be first in the queue to purchase tomorrow

Also images via Daily Mail - Quelle Horreur.

Edit: Primrose Hill has just notified me that there is a video.....


Cooking for Mr Ferrari

The picture is of a few heads in a crystal bowl used to decorate my dining table, parrot tulips are just beautiful - also please note change of table linen.

Last night I cooked for Mr Ferrari. I am a competent cook, more Nigel than Heston comfort peasant food more than Nouvelle cuisine. Lately Mr F has pulled out all the stops, with his accomplished knife skills, deftness at filleting fish and shucking oysters, so it was time to up my game and make meatballs a la Miss P. They are divine as they are made with (vegetarians look away now) pork and veal, pancetta and parmesan. I forgot to photograph them, I was hoping to achieve a look of Smitten Kitchen, arty step by step photos and the recipe - damn.

This week we are preparing for a wedding up at The Big House This is possibly my favourite wedding venue, I know I shouldn't say that but to hell with it, at the risk of alienating all the others........ It could be because it was such a big part of my school life, meeting boys in the park, or having to run around the place during wretched cross country. Or it might be because the gardens are beautiful, and the staff are all lovely, either way if they licensed the old kitchen for weddings, even i might consider taking the plunge.

This post title is completely robbed from a book entitled Cooking for Mr Latte, a fabulous read with recipes. Don't you love that sort of book? Novels with added information. Anyway the book was purchased here either by myself or by The Man who wears a lot of Linen, either way it is now in my possession and the whys and wherefores of who bought it has nothing to do with this post. Also is this the most links ever in one post?


Harrogate Flower show

The Other Miss Pickering and I took another one of our famous road trips, a rendez-vous with Monsieur Pickering and other members of the clan at the flower show.The bottom picture shows The Other Miss Pickering trying to find the car (can you see her? ) whilst uttering the immortal line,
"It all looks different when the car park is full"
Lesson learnt........ always remember to look at the big letter.

This family meeting meant that we missed the Bahrain Grand Prix, and my attempts to listen to it on Radio 5 were sabotaged by a sister who didn't want to know the result. The Hound also missed it as he has spent the weekend at a health farm, he has returned drinking white tea, and declaring his body a temple.


Because sometimes only a vintage rose and clematis trails will do

Charlotte and Simon's wedding at Rushton Hall.

Roses, roses and more roses, and clematis trails snipped from the garden of The Mother Hen whilst she was away.....sorry. xoxo


A simple supper

Is there anything better than fresh asparagus with lashings of butter? After a taking us for a deliciously rich dinner last night, The Aristocrat cooked us this simple feast. Perfect for eating on the sofa whilst watching Kirstie's Homemade Home. The programme has been slated, but I love Kirstie, for her range of interesting coats alone.

Also if you are in need of a giggle I urge you to click here.

Huge thanks to Julie for the asparagus, and I promise I will dig out a new tablecloth, are you as bored as me of seeing this one?


Vintage roses for a wedding

By now they should need no introduction, but here we have Roses of Amnesia, Hypnose, Diadeem, Mimi Eden, Pepita, Avalanche and Sweet Avalanche. Waiting patiently to be arranged in vintage pressed glass vases. Got to be better than reading the budget report.

n.b. My Darling Mr Salvador, I agree that red roses are beautiful, and depends on how you use them, I just don't happen to like them at Valentine's, however I challenge you to show me anything at all decent with an Aqua rose. A belated Happy Birthday to you - that new Facebook layout has me foxed so my apologises for missing it. xoxo

High waisted trouser report - 4 people have commented on my imaginary weight loss - they are a keeper.

A whiter shade of pale

Some of the flowers from Ruth and Michael's wedding

Last night The Hound and I had supper out at The Norris of Tobie, because he likes to eat where everybody knows his name. We dined out with Wilf a fork lift truck driver - a man full of "interesting" facts did you know that Letchworth was the worlds first Garden city? No, neither did we, The Hound and I feel our lives have been enriched. We might start a new series....Wilf and his "interesting" fact of the week. I can feel a video element to this blog coming soon, The Hound much enlightened to the wonders of Stamford College is off to enrol on a BTEC in film making.

We also have it on record by a man that was actually an F1 engineer (can you imagine the delight) that Mr Dennis is indeed God, and that Mr Hamilton is the best driver en ce moment.

Today the shop is full of everybody's favourite........Vintage roses. Pictures to follow.

Also today I am experimenting with high waisted jeans, I will report back.


Good things

1. Bouquet made from odds and ends, 2. The Hound fired up his Quattro and became engrossed in Ashes to Ashes, 3. You can keep your peonies, I am still hanging on to Paper whites - just one more week. 4. We have been invaded by pom poms.

Soundtrack of the day a true Ashes to Ashes vibe.


It gave them wings

So China started as Malaysia ended - in the pouring rain and all following a Mercedes saloon.
It was a fabulous race for Red Bull, and in particular Mr Vettel - it seems our fears go unfounded.
McLaren finished 5th and 6th, scored points and showed the glimmer of finding some race pace. Ferrari? Yet to score a single point.

Out of order

We are experiencing a few technical problems.....mainly a lack of camera battery charger, so wedding images will follow in the week. Meanwhile with the last juice in the battery of the other camera I bring you a picture of my latest shoe purchase.A pair of red wedge shoes.
The Other Miss Pickering (who works in fashion) today announced that she detested wedges, she said it in French so it was obviously heartfelt. Perhaps I should return them?
The Hound and I made a rather monumental decision today, and have spent most of the afternoon getting our ducks in a row. It took a while, I had them all lined up nicely, but The Hound seemed insistent on chasing and nipping their tail feathers.
Thank you for all your comments lately, in particular the suggestions for most loathsome flowers, I have a real treat for you later in the week.


Running with the night, playing in the shadows.

Flowers that are not loathsome

Does the first song you hear in the morning set your music choices for the rest of the day? 3.a.m. this morning I heard (click on the image if you dare) Market trips must be accompanied by hits of the 80's, it is mandatory, they won't let you in unless you are toe-tapping, humming and wearing massive shoulder pads. On Friday's we all wear ra-ra skirts.

and then spent the rest of the day listening to this and this


Flowers so loathsome they should be banned - part 1

Ladies and gentleman I give you the Aqua rose. A ghastly flat solid colour no tone or variation, and to make matters worse it has a long vase life. You might see one if you happen upon a supermarket flower stand, they love 'em. If you are reading this thinking
"Miss Pickering I totally disagree, I love them, I had a wedding bouquet made of them and beargrass"
I would reply.....never mind better luck with the next one.
Do you have a flower you just can't stand? Do you have nightmares about Solidago? Think alstro is best a la poubelle? Suggestions for part 2 being taken now.
Fear not my dear readers, tomorrow we will be back to photos of gardeny bouquets, vintage roses and The Hound. That is why you come here isn't it? Please tell me it is not just to see what Mr F has been cooking this week. TTFN


Easter a la Miss P

1. Lambs frolicked in the garden where 2. Bleeding heart and Magnolia are in flower 3. Mr Ferrari exceeded himself in the kitchen, 4. and The Other Miss Pickering even used an oven to bake cakes. 5. The Hound took the opportunity to put his feet up.

May I just say to one exceedingly polite gentleman - how very nice indeed it was to meet you too.
I hope your Easter was as thrilling xoxo


Happy Easter

A breakfast of daffodils and Easter eggs. Have a great Bank holiday weekend filled with chocolate and I feel quite sure some more rain - this is England after all.

Back on Wednesday with a new feature - "Flowers that are so loathsome they should be outlawed" Stay tuned folks.


Vintage pot of flowers

Miss Pickering and the mystical case of the world's most expensive loaf of bread

If you are fortunate enough to dine out with Mr Ferrari, chances are by the end of the evening you will end up in the kitchen looking at an oven. It could be a tandoori oven, a range or a wood fired bread oven shipped in from Barcelona. He has a penchant for commercial food preparation machinery - it is most endearing.

One Sunday morning we headed to Hambleton Bakery to buy some bread and in particular their English muffins. Needless to say we ended up having a tour of the bakery, mixers, dough hooks and the aforementioned wood burning oven (beech and ash for anyone interested) Conversation turned to wild yeasts, starters and bigas. Before I knew it Mr F had purchased ingredients for a pear starter to make sour dough. For the uninitiated the process involves adding flour and water everyday to the pear juice, and beating like mad until 3 weeks down the line you have a bowl of bubbling elixir (top picture).

It should be noted that as soon as this process was started, Mr F went off on a hefty week of work, leaving The Hound and I to rise every morning and administer 300g of flour and 200ml of water. The Hound developed a wheat allergy after the second day and took to his bed.

To cut a very long story short, after 3 weeks, a lorry full of strong flour and very developed biceps, a loaf of bread has been acheived (bottom picture). It was far from perfect.

Moral of the story, beware men bearing bowls of biga, and buy your bread from Hambleton Bakery. Also today I am wearing a new scarf, which has a cunning strip of elastic in it to enable shaping scarf into fancy ruffles - very Parisien for 5 minutes until it unfurls and chokes me.


Living in a world of gardeners

Before stepping out for a dinner of scallops on Friday night, The Hound, The Aristocrat and I watched the "new and improved" BBC Gardeners world.

Sadly we didn't find it improved, it has become a mix of Ground Force and Top Gear, but without the funny bits of TG. I much preferred the more authoritative voice of Monty Don (on the right) even if he did have a dreadful predilection for loose linen clothing and man bags. The new chap Toby (on the left) has a much more "let's all muck in " sort of approach, and I didn't hear a single word of Latin.

The Aristocrat did however like Alys and her new "sparkly eye shadow "look , also am I the last person in the world to use the phrase "stepping out"? Later I may bring you the tale of the most expensive loaf of bread in the world.


My name is Luka

I live on the second floor. It has been a Suzanne Vega kind of day.
Mini arrangement of things from Le Jardin in a mirrored votive x 5 for a clients dinner party. Lots of my customers have been in for a cup of Earl Grey and a discussion on seating plans at Downing Street, and the goings on of McLaren. Mr Dennis your team needs you.

Introducing.............Leen and The Flower Boutique Linton

Earlier in the week, we travelled to a wedding venue far away. The Hound and I decided that whilst we were in the adventuring mood, we would turn left and travel cross country to see Leen. She is Miss January in The Book. Her shop is so pretty, all fireplaces, vintage French postcards, charming original floor, and very beautiful flowers. The Hound disappeared off to undertake some business on behalf of Mr F, leaving Leen and I to discuss suppliers, foliage, brides and other things we florists chat about.
Thank you for the euc top tip, it has been a great addition. xoxo


Herbs de Provence and Parma Violets

Herb and anemone buttonhole for a wedding in Provence. Vintage teacup with Parma Violets