JULY 2013


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Inspiration

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    Wedding season is definitely upon us and for those lucky brides who have already tied the knot this summer, what glorious sunshine you’ve had! There’s nothing quite like the British sunshine and I think that’s because it’s genuinely unexpected and so we feel grateful for those little rays when they decide to shine upon us for more than two consecutive days in a month.

    There’s no doubt about it, summer is a great time to get married and to be planning a wedding. The sun makes everything look, feel and taste better, it makes people want to get out more and spend time with the people they love and it definitely gets us in the mood for a big celebration.

    So, if you are a bride to be and you’re currently looking for inspiration for your wedding, I wanted to give a shout out to Weddings by Elizabeth. Elizabeth Tomala is a wedding planner based in Monmouth and works with a number of local suppliers from venues, photographers, cake designers and bakers, florists, jewellers, wedding stationers, bridal wear shops and venue stylists across south Wales and the Forest of Dean. She’s a walking, talking contacts book and can help you save money on your wedding. Elizabeth offers a range of wedding packages including hourly consultations, on the day support and an invitation and guest list service. Have a look at her facebook and twitter pages too.

    Enjoy the sun while it lasts!


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Places I've been

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    If, like me, you love finding an excuse to eat cake and drink tea from pretty cups, and you’ve also been known to enjoy a bit of crafting, then read on!

    Cordial & Grace is a modern tea room and sewing cafe in the heart of Clifton Village. I was really excited when I booked an afternoon tea workshop there for my lovely sister-in-law’s hen celebrations as I knew it would be a fitting way to start the weekend.  We’re both pregnant so a spa day or anything adrenaline-fuelled or involving strenuous physical activity was out of the question, so sitting around a table sewing, chatting, eating and drinking was much more of a draw!

    When we arrived we were served a glass of Prosecco (elderflower for the expectant mums!) before being shown to the sewing room downstairs which was a crafter’s paradise – shelves lined with glass jars stuffed with ribbons and buttons, home-made pastel-coloured bunting hung across the ceiling and pretty pictures on the walls.

    A complete crafting kit was provided as the lovely ladies at Cordial & Grace showed us how to make pretty fabric flowers and transform them into corsages, hair bands or clips. An hour on after a dose of patience, concentration and creativity – we all had a flower ready to create into something we could wear.

    The afternoon tea was served shortly afterwards and my, what a feast! Beautifully presented on tiered cake stands and vintage crockery (a big LIKE from Mrs Tea!) we tucked into delicious sandwiches, then moved quickly on to the sweet treats which were clotted cream, jam and scones, chocolate brownies, elderflower and Prosecco jellies (surprisingly boozy – although maybe that’s more of a sign of the effects of my nine-month abstinence!) and some tasty coconut cakes.

    There was far too much for us all to get through but we were able to take what was left back to Claire’s to continue the feasting later on!

    The great thing about Cordial & Grace is that as well as offering private hire for sewing classes with afternoon tea, they run a series of regular events and workshops where you can drop in and brush up on your sewing skills, gain confidence in using a sewing machine or make something under some guided tuition. And of course, eat cake at the same time! Their next workshop is 21 July which is a basic sewing skills class: http://www.cordial-and-grace.co.uk/classes/basic-sewing