The Travelling Parlour

A rather self-indulgent post from HV Towers today I’m afraid, but it is our blog and we’ll talk about ourselves if we want to.

We love what we do – we get to shop for pretty things.  A lot.  But our favourite thing is when we get to meet other people – we love meeting couples for the first time, we love seeing people on the day of their wedding, we love bonkers hen parties, we love them one and all.

So we thought, we should do more of this, more meeting people, more laughing, more making people happy.  So that’s what we’re going to do.

It made sense to us to incorporate other things we love too – good food, beautiful spaces and just a hint of secretiveness and naughtiness and so it was that The Travelling Parlour was born!

We’d sort of been aware of supper clubs for some time, mainly because of the awesome Ms Marmite (AKA Kerstin Rodgers), whose book Supper Club, Recipes & Notes from The Underground Kitchen  has proved such a huge inspiration to us in planning this new adventure.  Even if you’re not planning a supper club it comes highly recommended as a great, heartwarming read!

Firstly, we realised we wanted a logo that would encapsulate all of the ideas that were being furiously emailed, we we called upon Natalie Ramsell of super cool designers I Am Nat to step in and make design sense of it for us.  After many barked instructions, including ‘ Make It Look French!’ and ‘We Like Grey, Y’Know, French Grey – It’s Like French Pink – Sort Of Grey!’ (eh?) , Nat has dreamed up our perfect logo, and here it is (looking both french AND Grey!).  We love it.

‘So what next?’ we thought. We love cooking, we do – but it would be overestimating our talents by quite a lot to suggest we’d be capable of producing a several-course-supper for quite a few strangers without out heads exploding, which frankly, we felt would put a bit of a dampener on the whole affair. 

Luckily, we know lots of brilliantly talented chef types who keep bringing all sorts of exciting ideas to the table, including our friend, and owner of Love to Eat, Louise Brogan-Hewitt who we’re teaming up with for our first event in October (we talked about her here).

And now for the plug:

We’d absolutely love you to come along to our very first super supper club event on Thursday 27 October in York, which is part of the fringe programme for the Illuminating York festival. 

Here’s our menu:

Tickets are £45 per person, dress code is black tie with a twist.  Our venue is…….well, you’ll have to book to find that out won’t you, but it does have fancy lights, as proved by this picture I took on my iphone when we first saw it (I love hipstamatic, don’t you?)…..

So, if you’re a facebooker, do come along and like The Travelling Parlour page, and if you’re a tweeter, tweet us.  For more information and to book places, visit our page on the Supper Club Fan Site.

Hope to see you in The Parlour xx


A Right Royal Knees-up!

At the risk of coming across as Royal Wedding obsessives (ahem!), we though we’d put together a little moodboard of all the fabulous and funny things we’ve seen recently to help you stage your own celebration next Friday.  Heck, you don’t have to be into the royals – or weddings for that matter to enjoy yourselves on our extra day off.

Clockwise, from top left:

sweet cupcake toppers from Hunky Dory Home, make champers even more fun with the Royal Wedding Bingo card to download for free from Boden, Union Jack paperchains from Dotcom Giftshop – if you’re really good, you can use them again next year for the jubilee!, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding book by Fiona Goble, do the washing up after your afternoon tea with a Corgi Tea Towel from To Dry For,  Fun paper bunting tutorial from What Katie Did Next – great fun to make with kids and pretty cheap to make too!

If you’d rather be part of a crowd on the big day, there are plenty of events you can join – here are some happening inYork…..

York’s City Screen is hosting a live screening from 10am, and you can pick up ‘picnic boxes’, have strawberries & cream and Pimms, and even stay on afterwards for a special screening of The King’s Speech if you want a day of patriotism!  If you’re not in York but you like the idea, check out the Picturehouse website to see what’s happening near you.

If you’re hoping to drag out a posh frock and pretend you’re invited the to the party, you could head down to the beautiful Middlethorpe Hall for a special wedding breakfast and champagne, perfect for princess fantastists!

There’s also a fascinating sounding exhibition on at the moment at York Minster (running until 11 May); featuring a display of both wedding and royal-related items in the Minster’s treasure trove – you can learn more about the Royal wedding held inYork that ended in a brawl!

But if you really aren’t bothered (who are you, really, we want to know!), there are still plenty of things you can do with your day off without resorting to staying in with the TV off and the curtains closed!

Why not head off into the countryside for a picnic – there are some amazing spots across Yorkshireand there won’t be a wailing onlooker in sight!  One of my favourite spots has to be Beningbrough Hall, just outside York.  It has a beautiful walled garden and you might be lucky enough to catch the lovely cherries in blossom.  If you’re feeling particularly lazy (and why not), you could pop into the Home Farm shop at Beningbrough and pick up some tasty treats for a spot of lunch.

If it’s no to the wedding, but yes to the pub – the perfect event for you is taking place at the Fulford Arms in York – an anti-royal wedding party, with a swear box for anyone uttering anything about the wedding!!

Me?  I’ll be heading over to a friend’s house to have strawberries and champagne whilst wearing a posh frock.  I’m embracing it as a day to do something different and not be judged for drinking before midday……!

Whatever you decide to do on the day, make sure you enjoy it, they’re only going to do this once.

Katie xx

PS – if you’re just a *teensy* bit traumatised that you’re not going to be a princess – don’t worry!!  : )

Royal Wedding Inspired Street Party

So, you know by now about the photoshoot we co-ordinated and styled recently – and I’m proud and delighted to say that it was featured yesterday on the fabulous Love My Dress.

You can read all about how the shoot was put together and which lovely people we worked with on Love My Dress, but we’re so happy with Cat Hepple’s gorgeous pictures, we just HAVE to put some on here too!  Hope you love them.

It’s made us think about what we’re going to do on 29 April – old fashioned street party or head in to York and join in with the crowds, we can’t decide.  Tell us your plans – we’re totally prepared to be influenced!! xx

We love, love, love, Love To Eat!

You may not have discovered York’s newest and tastiest place to be yet, and frankly I’m not at all sure I should be sharing it with you, since it will inevitably mean there’ll be no room for me on a Saturday morning to enjoy a leisurely coffee and cake.  However, in the interests of cake-sharing, I’ll let you in on the secret – as long as you promise to share your table.

I first met the lovely Louise Brogan-Hewitt, food fanatic, new cafe owner and maker of the most fantastically squidgy and naughty brownies this side of the moon a while ago when we met up for a glass of wine in town.  It became obvious to me straight away that not only was Louise passionate about good food, but that she was also determined to create a place for local people to meet, in the most welcoming surroundings you could hope to find.

Tempting Love To Eat cupcakes
Tempting Love To Eat cupcakes

Well, Louise hosted the Grand Opening of Love To Eat last weekend (and asked Hello Vintage to supply the china!), and I am happy to say she’s achieved it all!

Around 50 people headed down to the cafe in Dringhouses to enjoy some delicious treats made by Louise and her team including almond mince pies, and the aforementioned brownies, as well as some still-warm-from-the-oven blue cheese tartlets with my favourite Yorkshire Blue cheese, yum!  All this was washed down with some warming mulled wine, served in our vintage china, and we met some lovely people – including Louise’s auntie who charmed us all, and who you can see enjoying herself below!

I should also mention that there are plenty of reasons to visit Love To Eat other than the food – Louise is also the only stockist of Rebecca Downes, purveyor of gorgeous vintage homeware textiles including fabulously frilly aprons inspired by 40’s & 50’s designs that will make baking a joyous experience.  If antiques are more your thing, you’ll be pleased to hear that the furniture in the shop is all for sale too – from solid country kitchen style chairs to vintage cabinets painted in decadent colours and an old desk which took me back in time!

We’ll be blogging more about Louise in the future, since we’re planning some future events together……but we’re keeping schtum for now! 

So in the meantime, pop and say hello to Louise – Love To Eat is open Monday – Friday 8am-5.30pm and on Saturdays from 9am-4pm, so I’ll see you down there – I’ll be the one in the corner, guarding my seat….

Christmas at Love To Eat - pop in and pick up some treats for your foodie friends.
Christmas at Love To Eat - pop in and pick up some treats for your foodie friends.
Tempting treats on one of our handmade vintage cake stands - plus Louise's grandma who kept us entertained!
Tempting treats on one of our handmade vintage cake stands - plus Louise's auntie who kept us entertained!
Louise at the Love To Eat opening event with another happy customer
Louise at the Love To Eat opening event with another happy customer

Creative FLARE

OK, so hands up if you’re still Christmas shopping.  Be honest now.  Yes, I thought so, me too!

I don’t have masses of people to buy for – so for me, it’s even more important to get my family and friends something I know they will treasure, something personal and maybe even totally unique.  What this means of course, is that high street shopping is out, and the hunt for that perfect gift is ON!

If you’re facing the same dilemma and you’re in the York area this Sunday, I’m going to play at being your Christmas Angel and let you know about FLARE, my very favourite craft fair in York, which holds it’s final market of 2010 on 28 November.

Whether you’re on the look out for a small stocking filler or are planning on pushing the boat out, if you Y homemade, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something special.

There’s a glorious selection to choose from, including ceramics, brooches and buttons, prints, photography and textiles – all handmade of course. Frankly, the FLARE poster below only gives the merest hint of all the gorgeous treats you can pick up….


…….and since you’re asking, I’d be the opposite of disappointed to find one of these fabulous crochet scarfs by Donna Taylor under the tree on Christmas morning………

Donna Taylor's Curly Wurly Crocheted Scarves
Donna Taylor's Curly Wurly Crocheted Scarves
Enjoy! x