22 May 2013

honey and lavender

Damask billows and falls softly to hug the corners of our well worn table. China in pastel hues finds its place with filigreed silver and cut glass. A freshly iced honey and lavender cake takes pride of place amidst all the splendour and I pause to drink it in.

An afternoon like any other bathed in the mundane of folding washing, windowpanes smeared with "who knows what" and tsking at the growing collection of crumbs and oddments on the timber floorboards. No visitors to be welcomed nor grand occasions to be celebrated. An everyday kind of day.

I call the babies and from down the hall I hear sock clad feet clomp their way towards me. Eyes sparkle and melodic oohs and ahhs fill the air. A tea party for us alone.

The bed still lays unmade and damp washing clings to the sides of the machine - a musty presence no doubt permeating the fibres, but for now I will drink tea with my babies. Together we will celebrate our little everyday story in all it's nothing special-ness and yet magnificence. We will avert our eyes from the grimy, the grating and the downright boring and cast them upon the multitude of little moments that we are so very blessed to experience. This is a time to laugh at silly knock-knock jokes and tousle copper locks. To hold up all that is plain and simple and beautiful in our day to day world and take our hats off to it. Time to exhale and revel in the everyday.

We made a beautiful honey and lavender cake for afternoon tea (a slight variation on a recipe from a most beloved book - Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros)

Honey and Lavender Cake

150g butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used rapadura)
1/2 cup honey
1 2/3 cups plain flour (I used spelt)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of finely chopped lavender leaves (the recipe called for rosemary)
2 eggs, beaten

Lemon Icing
2 cups icing sugar
100g butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Grease and line the base of a 22cm springform tin. Put the butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan and add I tablespoon of water. Heat gently, stirring once or twice, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Sift the flour , baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and add the lavender. Add the honey mixture and eggs and beat until smooth.
Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the centre. Leave it in the tin to cool completely.
To make the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter, lemon zest and juice and I tablespoon of water and beat until smooth. Spread over the top and side of the cake.


  1. Every single word you write draws me in. I've been counting down for this recipe! Thank you.
    You'll laugh gorgeous, I have the recipe book Apples for Jam. Xx
    Thinking of you lovely.

  2. I really needed to read this lovely post today... I was feeling bogged down in the mundane and letting the spaghetti strewn on the floor and dirty dishes darken my afternoon. Thanks for reminding me to celebrate and make special those everyday moments. X

  3. Every little simple moment should be celebrated as if it's the most beautiful moment. Your writing inspires and moves me so much.
    Enjoy the day!


  4. Your tea party for 3 sounds divine! What a gorgeous surprise for your little ones! Thanks for sharing that lovely recipe Steph. IO'll be trying it with my girl this weekend :)

    Sophie xo

  5. this is so very lovely, lovely. the photos make me long for tea time with my boys. perhaps I can persuade them (despite their messy-busy-boy-ness) with your honey lavender cake.

    your blog and photos are just so beautiful.

  6. Oh, what I would give for tea and cake at your lovely place xx

  7. What a beautiful story and moment, and this looks like a beautiful cake! I'm keen to try it. :)

  8. That's beautiful Steph. I bet they loved it. We do need to remember that in the scheme of things, nothing else is more important. Hope you have a nice day today too x

  9. That recipe sounds divine and I'll definitely try it out this week. Lavender and honey are such a wonderful combination! Your photos are so beautiful - thankyou for sharing such a special time!

  10. Such gorgeous photos Steph! I especially love the little hands holding such lovely little teacups... what a beautiful tradition to pass on to your little people, they must enjoy the ritual so much : ) Cake sounds scrummy, will have to try it : )

  11. Mmm, that cake looks pretty delicious x

  12. Vos photos sont très belles, joli blog

  13. It's easy to get bogged down in the everyday mundane...I think it's high time I ignored the house work for a few hours to enjoy a tea party with my smalls!

  14. Oh Steph, this is so beautiful. The pictures and the words. Makes me want to have a little tea party with my smalls tomorrow!

    That's my very favourite and most used cookbook too. We made the honey cake for Elliot's birthday last year.

    rachel xo

  15. Oh my goodness I feel like I'm looking at my own afternoon tea table setting! I have my great grandmother's set of those white and gold cup and saucers and I have one of those green and gold plates which I love! I've actually never seen my great grandma's set anywhere else before so it was so lovely seeing it on your blog.
    That cake sounds delish and what a lovely thing to be sharing tea with your little ones. They grow up WAY too quickly. Treasure every moment:) x

  16. oh that looks so gorgeous, delightful and inspiring, a magical little surprise. hmm, now to plan one for this weekend. xxx

  17. Oh, how lovely Steph. Grace and I have been having tea parties this week too on her non-kindy days. Together, we fill the teapot, prepare a tray of pretty crockery and goodies and sit out on the lawn together basking in the warm autumn sunshine where we enjoy afternoon tea together.... it's the little things like this that make our days so special.

    Your cake looks and sounds delicious and your photos are ever so pretty x


Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x