Celebrate Afternoon Tea Week

Celebrate Afternoon Tea Week

To celebrate Afternoon Tea Week, we’ve teamed up with Portmeirion to give away an absolutely gorgeous Sara Miller cake stand

Win a Sara Miller Portmeirion Cake StandAll good afternoon teas need a truly impressive cake stand.

This 3 Tier Cake Stand from the award-winning Sara Miller, brings the wow factor.

Ideal for layers of sandwiches, cupcakes and scones.

Each plate in the cake stand features Sara’s signature designs embellished with 22 carat gold that sparkles in the light.

Enter now…


Pimm’s Celebration Cake

And just look at how impressive this cake is!

And it tastes divine too. If there’s one bake you make this summer, make it this one!


Pimm’s Celebration Cake


This is just one of many gorgeous recipes – the best ever according to our photography team – in the brand-new 2021 Dairy Diary.

Available to buy online now, or from your milkman very soon.


Watch out for the classic Pimm’s recipe in my next blog.



Dairy Diary 2021 out now!

Dairy Diary 2021

After 18 months of preparation, I can’t believe it’s finally time to reveal the brand new beautiful Dairy Diary for 2021


We just know that you’re going to love this edition.

We said goodbye to our wonderful editor Marion, who retired last year and welcomed Louise, who has brought fresh new ideas and a delightful writing style to the features. She’s a rather fabulous recipe editor too.

The recipes in this edition have been pronounced ‘the best yet’ by our photography team, which must be a reason alone to buy it.

But, of course, there’s also: fascinating features, plenty of space to write, planners, calendars and lists, the handy pocket, the useful stickers…

I could go on, but I won’t, instead take a look for yourself.

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By popular demand: Yogurt Cake

Yogurt Cake

Yogurt Cake


We get many requests, but one of our most requested recipes is the Yogurt Cake from an early Dairy Diary.

It’s yummy, but I think its appeal is down to its simplicity. It’s incredibly quick to make. Give it a try, you won’t believe how speedy it is.


Plus 2 delicious and moist fruit loaves



One of my particular favourite loaf cakes is this Pineapple, Coconut & Fruit Loaf.

It’s moist with the addition of pineapple juice but also has a slight crunch thanks to the coconut. Delicious!



Then there’s this Plum Bread from the Around Britain cookbook.

It’s a classic from Lincolnshire, adapted from a recipe created at The George at Stamford.


Top tip: I always use a ready-made loaf tin liner before I begin. It saves a lot of faff lining the tin and makes the cake really easy to lift out.


Yogurt Cake

Pineapple, Coconut & Fruit Loaf

Lincolnshire Plum Bread



Around Britain CookbookAround Britain cookbook

For more delicious regional bakes, plus mains and starters and more, take a look at our fabulous Around Britain cookbook, available now.


Keep safe and well everyone.

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Cute Decorated Ice Cream Cones

Decorated Ice-Cream Cones

WIN! A Digital Ice Cream Maker


Yet another competition prize I would LOVE to win. Just imagine, freshly made gelato whenever you fancy – it would be like being in Italy…well almost!

With this fabulous prize, you could whip up your favourite ice cream or sorbet in as little as 30 minutes.




And you could serve it in these gorgeous decorated ice cream cones – how cute are they?

Perfect for making with little ones during home-school (and those of us who have been home-schooling for months definitely need new ideas!) or the summer holidays.

Decorated Ice Cream Cones


Enjoy, and keep safe and well everyone.




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How to Get a Great Night’s Sleep

How to sleep well

When the weather is warm, sleep can elude us, when we most need it.


Build these tips into your bedtime routine and hopefully, soon you’ll be getting plenty of zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Keep safe and well everyone.



Sleep tight

Diet and exercise are often extolled as underlying a healthy lifestyle, but let’s not forget the third, equally important factor – sleep. If nodding off can seem elusive, try these few simple tips to help you slip into the land of your dreams in no time.

Everyone feels better after a good night’s sleep and, according to medical science, for most adults that means around eight hours every night, although some people can happily do with less and some need more. The test is whether you feel refreshed, alert and ready to face the day.

The odd bad night doesn’t do any harm, except perhaps to your level of grumpiness, but regular lack of sleep is not good healthwise.

So, short of draping the bedroom with lavender, orange blossom and passion flowers – all sleep promoters, so why not? – what can you do to make sure you get the right amount of shut-eye?

Good habits

How to sleep wellWind down

It may be easier said than done, but going to bed in the right frame of mind is important. It’s better not to dwell on highly emotional issues just at lights out, for example.

If you can establish a relaxing, pre-bed routine, that will help enormously. Do some gentle yoga stretches, have a warm bath, listen to soothing music, read, or listen to the radio (but don’t forget to turn it off or it may wake you up at two in the morning!)

Embrace the dark

Even a tiny chink of light can inhibit the brain’s production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, so thick curtains, or even a blackout blind, will help.

No bright lights at all in the bedroom is a good rule, especially those connected with a mobile phone, computer, tablet or any other electronic device.

The blue light emitted by screens also affects melatonin production. In fact, no screen time for a couple of hours before turning in can make a big difference – and it’s probably better to do without an illuminated digital clock. In any case, whatever you do, don’t keep checking the time. That just makes things worse.

How to sleep wellRestful surroundings

The room should be quiet and cool, around 18°C (65°F) suits most people, and free of any work-related paraphernalia. The bedroom is no place for brain strain. If there’s anything on your mind that may keep you awake, write it down before you go to bed, or make a to-do list to reassure yourself you won’t forget something, and then do forget it until the morning.


If hunger pangs are likely to be a problem, it’s fine to have a light snack, yogurt with banana and honey, for example, or a bowl of cereal with milk, while the traditional milky drink at bedtime is just as comforting and sleep-inducing as it always was.

An alcoholic nightcap may also send you to sleep quickly but probably not for long!

The risk is a night of tossing and turning. In any case, it’s always better to get up and do something gentle for a while rather than put up with that.

Coffee, tea, cola or any other caffeine-containing drink are complete no-nos after the early afternoon. Choose a soothing herbal tea, such as chamomile, instead. Bear in mind, too, that a drink before bed may mean a bathroom visit during the night.


Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even at weekends (you may need to set an alarm to achieve this).

Once you settle into a routine your body will respond, and you will sleep better.




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