Tea Room Review 1 -The Ivor Novello Afternoon Tea at the FourTeas 1940s Tea Room


A few weeks ago, when Richard said he had booked afternoon tea for us at ‘The Fourteas’ 1940s Tea Rooms in Stratford-Upon-Avon, I got terribly excited…

I love afternoon tea, I love that kind of friendly, homely, happy atmosphere that one associates with a nice day out, where colour, creed, wealth, status and dialect pale into insignificance when faced with a mound of simple sandwiches, colourful cakes and a huge pot of loose leaf tea…cue bunting, wartime music and smiling, helpful staff and you have the perfect afternoon.


We ordered ‘The Ivor Novello Afternoon Tea for Two’ (from a replica ration book menu which already had me giddy) and a few minutes later we were presented with simple, green vintage style crockery, and a huge teapot of ‘Fourteas’ blend loose leaf tea in a special teapot filter as well as a timer so we could brew the tea perfectly.

We ordered simple cheese and pickle sandwiches on granary bread which had been baked locally, this was then followed by huge scones with clotted cream and jam and finally, the top tier had a selection of little cakes…Did we eat it all? You bet!


The attention to detail was excellent at the tea-rooms. The staff were adorable and they all looked like they thoroughly enjoyed their jobs, had delightful manners this therefore gave the place a lovely atmosphere.


Out in the garden we found an Anderson Shelter as well as several tables and more garden bunting. Having had such a lovely time on Saturday we went back on Sunday for cheese and pickle sandwiches and another large pot of tea, this time enjoying our afternoon tea outside next to the bomb shelter.

We came away with a feeling that is hard to describe but probably the words pleased and comforted would be appropriate. It’s an experience you HAVE to make part of your visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon.

5 out of 5 STARS!




A long weekend in Sicily


I’ve been away…

Mr Tiddles and I went on a fabulous long weekend to Trapani in Sicily. How did we pick our location? A leap of faith based on a return flight on Ryanair for just £50 if we are honest…

s90We travelled light with just a small backpack each (so as not to incorporate a baggage charge) and Richard booked a convenient  B & B called Piazza Vittorio which had got great reviews on Trip Advisor and was only something like £20 per person, per night. It was just 1 minute from the beach and a short walk into the old part of the city which was filled with beautiful old buildings and lovely cafe’s and restaurants..

It was indeed impossible to eat 1940’s… but we did enjoy lovely food and Sicilian wine!




Our B & B room at Piazza Vittorio – Guiesseppa, our host, was wonderfully helpful

We had an absolutely wonderful time, so much to tell have decided to set up a travel blog just so we can keep a track of where we go, what we do and build memories.




The 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy Landings


Over 156,000 allied troops landed in Normandy on the first day of invasion (Operation Neptune) on June 6, 1944. These compromised of…

61,715  British soldiers, 73,000 American and 21,400 Canadian.

All of them someone’s child…

Lest not forget that “All of them someone’s child… ALL OF THEM SOMEONE’s CHILD..”


Remembering the brave veterans who took part in the landings and who fought in the war….

CLICK HERE for D-Day 6th June 1944 as it happened..


‘The Fallen’ is a tribute to the 9000 civilians, German forces and Allies who lost their lives during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944.

Homity Pie – Recipe No 134


Here it is… the promised Homity Pie recipe! Let me tell you, it’s totally delicious, TOTALLY!

Homity Pie is an open topped pie said to have first been made by Land-Girls during WW2 and supposedly to have originated in the West Country.

It’s REALLY difficult finding the original recipe as there are so many bastardised versions hanging around on the internet, so after having researched for hours (yes I am a food nerd) and comparing recipes with rationing, the below recipe is likely the closest version to it’s origins taking into account the scarcity of eggs and onions.

You HAVE to make this. It’s delicious and so easily portable when cold, that it makes it perfect to take on a picnic!


Homity Pie

  • 4 largeish potatoes
  • 2 largeish leeks
  • 1 eating apple, cored and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 egg
  • butter or margarine (generous)
  • 4-6 oz cheese (use more if you have lots to spare)
  • fresh or dried thyme (to your own taste)
  • salt and pepper (to your own taste)
  • Shortcrust pastry made with 6 oz flour and 3 oz fat


  1. Make the shortcrust pastry using plain flour (we used half strong wholemeal and half white) and 3 oz fat (I used 1/2 veg shortening and 1/2 hard margarine). Rub fat into flour to make breadcrumbs and then bind together with a little water to make a pliable dough.
  2. Roll the dough out into a greased pie dish, mine measured about 10″ x 6″ and place it into oven on 200 c for about 10 minutes or so to half cook.
  3. Leave skins on your potatoes and chop into chunky cubes, place in boiling water and simmer until tender
  4. Chop up leeks and garlic and saute in a pan gently (with butter or marg) until cooked. Add in plenty of thyme and the chopped apple and toss
  5. Drain potatoes then add to pan of leeks, 1 whisked egg, add more butter or marg and 2oz of the grated cheese and loosely mix, add in lots of salt and pepper until it tastes good!
  6. Dollop mixture into the pie dish on top of the pastry, then top with 4 oz of cheese (or more if you have more available in your cheese ration as it completes the pie beautifully), a sprinkle more of thyme and pepper
  7. Cook in oven at 220C until the top is browned
  8. Remove and leave to cool a bit before serving

Makes about 8 portions

Total cost: £2.50

“This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post”


Baked Chips with Thyme – Recipe No 133


Here’s a very tasty side dish I made tonight for supper out of just two potatoes with their skins on, some fat, thyme and salt. Infact I ate these with a salad and quite honestly they were simply delicious… Baked chips with thyme.

As fat was rationed during the war, deep frying was out of the question but this recipe uses little fat. I used a bit of oil and a blob of margarine but lard or vegetable shortening would work well too.


Baked Chips with Thyme

  • 2 large potatoes, washed but with skins left on
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Clove of fresh garlic or garlic powder
  • Oil, lard or vegetable shortening


  1. Slice each potato into chunky chip size pieces
  2. Drizzle oil or place lard in pan
  3. Heat in oven until warm or melted
  4. Put in the potato and toss until covered in oil/fat
  5. Sprinkle with salt and thyme and garlic powder/salt or cut a clove of garlic in half and add these to the pan also
  6. Bake in the oven at about 230 C for 20 minutes or so until potato is cooked and edges are nice and brown


Makes enough for two side portions with a main meal or for one person with a side salad

Total cost: 30 p



Pea and Potato Stew – Recipe No 132


The cupboards were bare this morning. I need to go grocery shopping this evening but as I have an appointment this afternoon in the city it was a case of whipping up something for lunch that was quick, nutritious, tasty and above all, using what little ingredients I had left in the fridge.

I created a Pea and Potato Stew using food that the 1940s larder would have had available

I’ve already eaten it all up and it was indeed delightfully robust, yummy tummy moreish and working it out cost me less than £1 to make- way less!

Pea and Potato Stew

  • 2 handfuls of peas in edible pods (mine were on the turn)
  • 1 large potato skin on
  • 1 celery stick (again on the turn)
  • 1 leek (or 1 onion)
  • Couple handful of soft, on the turn tomatoes (or a can of tomatoes)
  • Any leafy veg that needs using up- I used a small handful of lettuce leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme to your own taste
  • Clove of garlic


  1. Chop leeks or onion, cube potato into small pieces (about 1 cm in size) and chop garlic and saute these in a little margarine or butter until they smell delicious
  2. Add in the chopped celery stick, the while peas in pods and any other leafy veg that needs using up and continue to saute for a few more minutes
  3. Add in the soft tomatoes or can of tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and stir and taste and adjust seasoning
  4. Add some veg stock if too dry or some thickener such as a little Bisto gravy browning if too wet.
  5. Cook until potato pieces are tender (20 minutes ish)

Serves two with a chunk of crusty bread or 1 hungry person

Total cost: Less than £1

PS: Also watch this space! Vintage Cooking …