242 High Birthday Tea on Primrose Day, April 19 2016


My very real Mother’s 79th birthday, what does Nature have in store for Primrose Day high teas?


The sunshine is out, birds are singing, the air is cool, but it is a certain Spring in the UK and it is a happy day, alive with butterflies, ladybirds and bees, who are invited guests when passing by.

All flowers please be seated (rooted to the spot no less….) .We start with a poem written in the C18th by an English lady, Caroline Anne Bowles Southey (1787-1854) to celebrate the day of this special flower.

Please switch off all mobile drones, whilst we focus on the poem as a new bee zzzzummizzzezz with gratitude from its Primrose pollen gathering hours. Ladybird, held the edge of the leaf. Joint effort, joint effort….ladybird is illustrated below, whilst drone bee zzzzummizzzezz.




I saw it in my evening walk
A little lonely flower –
Under a hollow bank it grew
Deep in a mossy bower.

An oak’s gnarl’d root, to roof the cave,
With Goth fret-work sprung,
Where jewell’d fern, and arum leaves,
And ivy garlands hung.

And close beneath came sparkling out,
From an old tree’s fallen shell,
A little rill, that clipt about
The lady in her cell.

And there, methought, with bashful pride,
She seem’d to sit and look
On her own maiden loveliness
Pale imaged in the brook.

No other flower, no rival grew
Beside my pensive maid,
She dwelt alone, a cloister’d nun,
In solitude and shade.

No sunbeam on that fairy pool
Darted its dazzling light –
Only, methought, some clear, cold star,
Might tremble there at night.

No ruffling wind could reach her there –
No eye, methought, but mine,
Or the young lambs that came to drink,
Had spied her secret shine.

And there was pleasantness to me
In such belief – cold eyes
That slight dear nature’s loveliness,
Profane her mysteries.

Long time I look’d, and linger’d there,
Absorbed in still delight,
My spirits drank deep quietness
In with that quiet sight.

Very nicely spoken. Plaudits all round,  it is now time for our  birthday high tea treats from Flora.
2016 selection, please help yourselves

Tulip Cups – hold the promise of summer


Funny Face Purple Pansies to decorate the chocolate brownie earthcake.

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A nouveau style of Red bush tea and Catkin Twiglets.


“What was the British weather like on April 19  1937 in England?”

It reigned down another new Elizabeth, who has done much good work in 79 years, and especially at family meals,  only excellence, making all dinnertime special. Also a fabulously creative flower arranger – of course. Happy Birthday High Tea.


© 2016 La Floralie 2


241 Flora’s menu, the spice of Life for a curry banquet

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The first time is like no other…..

It is now a tradition, but 10 May 2014 was the first of the accultured continental banquets. Inspired by a love and fascination for Indian food, an old friend of mine asked if I would cook at his family home for a “joint effort” Indian inspired meal.

Eons of years ago, his family would come to my parents house for curries. In the days of old, in the 1960s and 70s, curries were a rare set of foods to find in the UK, but interestingly…away from fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding,  the jolly traditional British, jolly well loved curries.

A taste of the exotic removes one from the boredom of border control, and any reminders of those dashed confining EU restrictions and oddities of the nearby Latins and Gauls….Aaah, the flavours of the old British Empire can be entrancing. After all, Britain’s colonies were all about spice. World dominion has such a flavoursome palette.

Under this week’s theme, there follow some posts for step by step preparation, but too much for insert here, so later in the week. So if Flora’s spice is nice for you, these were the dinnertime dishes. Vegetarian suggestion in brackets.

May the appetite begin.



Sweet and soft meets spice and dry Romano Pepper stuffed with tandoor sausage (Vegetarian version with walnut tandoor sausage)


Fresh green herb butter and lemon roasted chicken Lemongrass, lemon, garlic in cavity. Gravy with coconut water and flesh. Topped with dry fried pinenuts and pistachio. (Vegetarian. Mushrooms, marrows which can give moisture and soak flavour, might work here as an alternative)


Tandoor lamb in spiced yoghurt, oven cooked plum tomato and fresh fennel.     (Root vegetables such as carrots, celeriac, beetroot, aubergine, butternut squash, marrow and large mushrooms could be very interesting baked this way)

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Lemon marinated herring, baked in dry roasted spice and whole fried garlic, baked in lemon zest yoghurt. (Vegetarian – Carrots, celeriac, parsnips work well )


Lime marinated salmon in coconut cream, Thai basil, lemongrass, coriander (Mushrooms, spinach, green cabbage, potatoes) ,

The Accompaniments
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Poppadom with onion
6 mix tomato salad with peashoots and lemon
Chilled cucumber in chilli and mint
3 mix sprouted seeds with lime and dry roast pinenut salad


Aubergine twice cooked. With gingered radish and mint


Dry ginger and garlic potato

Mushroom pillau
The Drink
Rose petal and cashew nut, mango lassi with cardamon



The Dessert


Oriental Fruit Salad of 5 Lands


Self Service

On the hot plate….too many dishes for the table….
Guests and Makers with Spring in their Step
Eventually…..At the table (yours truly, front right)
La Floralie’s Verdict
Emotionally satisfying when warm, and delicious when cold.
Brilliant for friendships for a weekend dinnertime anytime.
A great way to share the time and celebrate Flora’s sheer mystiques in spice.
Feel free to come to dinner and link this blog with your dishes on spice, the more the merrier.

© 2016 La Floralie 2


236 The Annual Spring Dinner . Scent of the Earth appetisers, well watered guests


…some will always be more well watered than others…..




© 2016 La Floralie 2