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Homemade Elderflower Cordial

June 12th, 2010 § 3


It’s that time of year when elderflowers are beginning to show themselves, so I thought it would be perfect to post a recipe for one of my favourites…elderflower cordial.

I used this recipe last year to make my first ever homemade cordial, which was delicious and extremely self satisfying to make.  The recipe will make approx 3 litres (5 pints) of cordial…plenty to see you through the rest of the year.

Here’s what you’ll need:

30 elderflower heads
6 pints (approx 3 litres) of boiling water
900g of caster sugar
50g of citric acid (you’ll find this at any local chemist)
1 unwaxed lemon
2 unwaxed lime

Gently rinse the elderflowers…this will remove any dirt and little critters!

Using a very large bowl, carefully pour the boiling water over the caster sugar.  Stir the mixture well and leave it to cool.

Add the citric acid, sliced lemon and limes and finally the elderflowers.

Leave the mixture to cool in a safe place for approx 24 hrs, stirring occasionally.

The final step is to strain the mixture through muslin.  Once this is done the mixture is ready to be bottled (bottles should be new and ideally sterilized).  What I love about the cordial is that it keeps well and it also makes a great gift presented in a bottle with a tag.  The cordial will keep for months and even longer if you freeze it (if you decide to freeze some, make sure that it’s in a plastic container or bottle).



the next fabulousplaces.co.uk event!

January 25th, 2010 § 0


I am delighted to announce that the next fabulousplaces.co.uk event will be taking place on the evening of Thursday 4th March at the stunning Blackbrook House nr Belper.

Indulgence Evening
Shopping, demonstrations & indulgence
Thursday 4th March 2010
Blackbrook House nr Belper, Derbyshire
Tickets are £5 each (event is free to Derbyshire Card holders)
Click here to get your ticket

Guests will receive a drink, mini cupcake & goody bag on arrival.  There will be a selection of fabulous places and producers to browse and there will be demonstrations being held throughout the evening.  Blackbrook House will also be holding cheese and wine tasting.  With the event being so close to Mothers Day, it will be the perfect opportunity to find something special for Mum.  Even better…why not take your Mum with you for a treat.

The event will be supporting the Wirksworth Rotary Club Aquabox Scheme, which sends vital resources and water filtering units to locations of natural disasters like the recent Haiti earthquake.  Proceeds from the entry ticket and raffle will be donated to the charity.

Exhibitors include:

Quirky Cookies & Cakes
Cocomine Chocolates
Lucy Sheeran Cards
Anney Grace Jewellery
Cameo Cupcakes
Housley & Co
Blossom Tree
Jamie Oliver Home & Giftware
Hearts & Homespun
Nina Carolyn Jewellery
Carol Cummins (handmade home accessories)
Lavender grey
Jack Rabbits
Eco Eco

More fabulous businesses added daily…

Click here to get your ticket to the Indulgence Evening
Click here to get your Derbyshire Card.  If you are already a Derbyshire Card holder please click here to let us know you will be attending.

I would like to say a big thank you to the following businesses for supporting this event:
Blackbrook House, Belper
Dorset Cereals

Cameo Cupcakes
Quirky Cookies & Cakes

holiday food

December 28th, 2009 § 0

For me, and most people I know, this time of year is mostly about food, food and food.  With that in mind I’ve been in touch with Claire, my friend and domestic goddess from Ambergate, to ask what she recommends and here they are…two fab recipes to breakaway from the usual type of food on the menu at this time of year!  For breakfast there are pancakes and risotto for dinner…enjoy!

Breakfast Pancakes


For a small batch of around 8 pancakes just mix:

125g plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder (if you have not got baking powder you can use self raising flour instead and miss it out)
1 large egg
150mls of milk
1 tablespoon of melted butter.

Lightly mix or whisk together and use immediately.  Spoon tablespoons of the gloopy mixture into a medium hot, lightly oiled non stick pan and flip them over when the edges start to bubble.

Serve with maple or golden syrup and cream or fruit.  Double amounts is our usual order of the day and makes around 14 pancakes. For Christmas Day Brunch we tripled the amounts (3 eggs) and served them with sausages, bacon and maple syrup.

Risotto time

Here’s a great recipe for winter warming risotto.


Chop 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1-2 sticks of celery, 2 garlic cloves, 1 pack of thinly sliced pancetta. In a sauce pan heat a litre of good hot chicken stock…or turkey stock!

In a large, preferably non stick pan, fry off the pancetta until all the fat has run out. Then stir in the carrot, celery, onion and garlic. and cook down until most of the moisture is gone and the quantity has halved, adding a bit of olive oil if things start to brown too quickly. Stir in half a pack, 250g, of Carnaroli Risotto Rice and stir until it crackles.

Flamboyantly throw in a glass of Vermouth or white wine and stir well. Then start adding ladles full of hot stock, one at a time, as you keep stirring and stirring. Only add a new ladle full when the last one has been absorbed. When you have added most or all of the stock and the rice is just about done, take it off the heat. Add a handful of parmesan and an ounce of butter. Stir and leave it with the lid on for 10 minutes. This is when I add any interesting extras like skinned and deseeded tomatoes or fresh peas.

The great thing with risotto is that the additions can change with the seasons or whatever you fancy at the time…fish, mushrooms, pine nuts, prawns, asparagus etc.

Here’s one I made earlier:


A big thank you to Claire for kindly letting me include her recipes in the fabulousplaces.co.uk blog…I hope you decide to have a go!  Click here to visit Claire’s blog, ‘Things We Make’, where you can find lots of other fab recipes.

Also, if you’re looking for somewhere to go during the holidays click here to go to the fabulousplaces.co.uk search page for some fabulous inspiration for some trips out and about in Derbyshire.  Happy Holidays!


the Derbyshire Card is here!

November 24th, 2009 § 0

I am delighted to launch the fabulousplaces.co.uk Derbyshire Card is here!  For many years I’ve been looking for a local card which is Derbyshire based and after no success I decided it would be perfect to launch one through fabulousplaces.co.uk for Derbyshire!

The Derbyshire Card is your perfect companion when visiting fabulous shops, cafes, farm shops and with many of the producers featured on the website.

The Derbyshire Card costs just £10 and gives you 12 months of fabulous offers and discounts.  In addition, there will be exclusive Card holder events held throughout the year for you to attend.  You will also receive a fabulous cotton shopper bag absolutely free!

Click here to find out more.

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