This bank holiday weekend was a little full on for me. So much so that I hurt my back (again) and my daughter is ill (probably from exhaustion).
I always wondered why we have ‘Bank Holidays‘. As a kid I always thought that it was the day that only the banks did not have to work.
And why is it called ‘bank‘ holiday? A day which I love because I get a day off from work.
One of the cutest answers I found was from the website The AnswerBank:
Q. Why ‘bank’ holidays
A. It’s as obvious as it sounds. Bank holidays are days – literally – on which banks may close for business.
Q. Why ‘bank’ and not ‘fishmonger’ then, if fishmongers are also closed
A. Because on these days, when the financial system comes to a stop, the law makes provision for certain payments to be deferred until the next appropriate day without penalty. The same exemption doesn’t apply to fish.
So, I started off the weekend with a little baking. My favourite cake to make these days is the raspberry ripple cake. A very retro flavour that has definitely made a comeback in my family. I even got my daughter in to eating Arctic Roll. You know, that British ice cream dessert that is just full of raspberry yumminess.
For my cake I opted for using raspberry coulis instead of raspberry jam. I feel that jam just makes the cake far too sweet. The slight tart-ness of the raspberry coulis is just perfect with the sweetness of the vanilla sponge. I made this cake with fresh cream rather than buttercream because I just love freshly whipped cream. I have an obsession with dairy.
I also made pavlovas and profiteroles. I basically made anything that involves cream. That’s how obsessed I am.
But what is the special occasion you may be asking? Well, it’s my sister-in-laws birthday and she also moved recently so we were having a double birthday / housewarming party at her new house.
She recently moved to Faversham in Kent. Trading in her Victorian ‘three up – two down‘ house in East London for a five bedroom cottage in the countryside. I’m not a big fan of cottages. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are beautiful and there is something quite magical and endearing about cottages, but I have had some spooky experiences with cottages in the past and I wouldn’t want to live in one. My sister-in-law’s cottage is 200 years old and sitting on two acres of land. That’s pretty awesome!
So we went there on the weekend to hang out, eat and breath in some fresh clean air. The kids loved it. The open space, freedom to run around without contant supervisation.
We found out that her front garden was featured in a BBC garden rescue show. The previous owners applied for help with renovating their front garden because a mudslide caused the whole of the front garden to sink. The show featured Charlie Dimmock which I found pretty crazy.
I was pretty exhausted by Bank Holiday Monday and I just wanted to hang out at home. No suck luck. My husband wanted to go out so we spent the afternoon in Hamstead Heath.
We visited Kenwood (which is also part of English Heritage and is free for all to visit) which is situated in Hamstead Heath and is an 18th century mansion which currently houses an amazing collection of paintings. It was first owned by the Earl of Mansfield in 1754.
Inside the house itself …
… it is just beautiful.
The ceilings are stunning. A work of art within itself. This is one of the most famous if them all. The Zucci ceiling which is found in the library. Painted by Antonio Zucci and the intricate plasterwork was done by Joseph Rose. It is truly a breathtaking piece of art.
The library is situated in the Great Room and contains an abundant array of literature. Beautiful furniture are purposely placed around the Great Room and allowed Lord Mansfield to ‘receive company‘. The room was decorated as a result of his love for Italy which he visited often.
The actual former stately home sits on beautiful landscaped gardens. An abundant array of flowers, woodland, sculptures as well as a large pond home to ducks and other wildlife.
Kenwood is not for everyone. If you love art and paintings then you would love it here. But don’t let it detract you from visiting the grounds though. Beautiful land, great for picnics, kite flying or even just a nice stroll along the grounds.
My kids wanted an ice cream and not too keen on the vegan ice cream that was on offer at the Kenwood outdoor cafe, we decided to pop down the road to Golders Hill Park which is situated near Hamstead Heath (they have amazing homemade ice-cream in their park cafe). This is my most favourite park in London. It’s a beautifully maintained park, with an abundance of open space, lots of flowers and trees and there is also a little small zoo and a butterfly garden.
Golders Hill Park is one of those parks where you know that a lot of love and pride has gone in to maintaining it. It is always so clean which I find a little rare these days. The flower garden is beautiful, particularly now that the flowers are starting to bloom and the foliage has turned a lush green.
Fallen trees are always fun to walk along and provides a much needed habitat for insects. My daughter likes to stand on them and think she is queen of the world.
The weekend took its toll on us and we decided to head home. My back is killing me and it’s time to get home and put my feet up with a cup of tea. My little munchkin fell asleep in the car which just goes to show that they were exhausted too.
The weekend is now over, time to get back in to mother mode. School and back to work so no rest for the wicked.
Hope you had a great bank holiday! Do drop me a comment and let me know what you’ve been up to.
Much love to you.
~ The Cake Lady xx