Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adventures in Perfume

I've been thinking about the role perfume can play for the quaintrelle at large. We have our spaces and persons decked out to the nines with old world glamour, but if there is one thing that can really draw a person into a time, or a mood even better it's the right perfume! It floats past and vanishes as you move, and it seals off the impression created with all those teased tresses and big dresses.

With that idea at the front of my brain lately I decided to start hunting down quaintrelle-tastic perfumes. Scebts that really fir the lifestyles moods of the quaintrelle, and stand apart in the age of plastic synthetic base notes and pop star branding.

Today's perfume is French Lime Blossom from Joe Malone

V-Day Dress Maggie Rouff 1944
It's supposed to be inspired by a stroll down the Champs Élysées, and it imediately makes me think of the fantastic photo of Maggie Rouff's V-Day dress from the V&A.

It's kind of fresh and powdery, with just enough of a vintage feel to have a kind of old fashioned nostalgia, but still smelling clean and young, which is perfect for todays quaintrelle!

I love the packaging too, it's simple and chic and reminds me a little of the glass bottles you find in a lot of vintage travel cases.

I've been pulling this one out a lot lately since the weather keeps flirting with warming up, and it optimism seems perfect for that post-war style we all love so much!

I've got my sights on a few other fragrances lately which should be fit for all kinds of different times and styles. I'll keep you posted as strike the next winner!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day Trip Ending!

Just a quick heads up.  We are DISCONTINUING DAY TRIP ITEMS items! The fabric used has gone out of print, so we will be taking orders till March 3rd (1 week from today) and after that we will buy in as much fabric as possible to fill just those orders.

It's first come first served, and we can't guarantee enough fabric will be available to fill all the orders.

I know a few people had been waiting to buy some of these designs, so get in fast if you've been waiting to snag one now is the last chance!

Available from...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rose Sunset Soda

I've been on a terrible sugar kick since I got back to the States. Last night, inspired by a traditional phosphate I had in Philly (at the amazing and not to be missed Franklin Fountain), I put an Egyptian twist on a current favorite soda (orange juice and club soda) by adding delicious rose syrup!

Rose Sunset Soda
  1. Fill a 10oz glass 1/3 full with orange juice
  2. Add a dash (about 15ml 0.5oz) rose syrup
  3. Fill the glass with club soda
  4. Drop in a maraschino cherry
  5. Mix gently and serve!

The flavor is kind of like an Orangina with a subtle hit of rose at the end. This has become my new favorite drink! I think the main reason I love it is because it's not as sweet or fizzy as a lot of sodas can be, so it's really refreshing and light. It'll be perfect when Summer hits!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Passion Fruit Creams

Been experimenting trying to make candies with monin syrups! Today we made some passion fruit creams and they came out pretty neat!

Sadly I made a full 2 trays of them with dark chocolate before finding out that it really overpowered the filling :( had just enough fondant left to make 6 milk chocolate versions, much better! I was worried the Monin syrups wouldn't be strong enough, but these came out zesty and very passion fruity!

Want to make you own? Ok here's how!

  • 3Tbsp Passion Fruit Syrup
  • 3Tbsp Heavy Cream
  • Yellow food Coloring
  • 2 Cups packed down, confectioners sugar (10oz)
  • Enough milk or white chocolate for melting and filling your mold
  • Candy Mold
  1. Mix Cream, syrup and 2 drops of food coloring into a bowl
  2. Sift the confectioners sugar to remove lumps, and slowly mix into the cream and syrup mixture till it forms a soft paste.
  3. Next melt your chocolate (double boiler or chocolate melter, never over direct heat!), once it's nice and melted paint the mold with a layer of chocolate, and put in the fridge to set up.
  4. Now transfer your cream filling to a pastry bag with a 1/2" nozzle and pipe the filling into your chocolate shells still in the mold.
  5. Fill the rest of the molds with the melted chocolate and tap a few times on the counter top to level the chocolate and remove air bubbles.
  6. Put your molds back in the fridge to fully set up. Turn them out and wow your friends!
 For a super English treat hit the violet or  rose syrups to make your creams, the sky is really the limit! the best thing is the syrup also makes an outstanding soda! just a shot (30ml) of the syrup in a 10oz glass, fill it up with some club soda and you have a smashing Italian soda ready to go!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vintage Marie Antoinette

This post is in honor of a recent Marie Antoinette kick!

I'm a total sucker for vintage period films, I love the way they mix the aesthetic of the times they were made, with the period they are trying to capture. I recently ran into a new-to-me one the other day when researching some jewelry. L’Affaire du collier de la reine (1946)

Another vastly expensive movie for it's time it has some great costumes, and super hair! I love how they used some of the waving techniques and pompadours of the 1940's, and blended them in with the iconic Antoinette pouf. Leonard would be proud!

Another treat for me was finding the leading actress's name was Viviane Romance! Now there's a name for any neo-burlesque dancer if ever I heard one?! Plus, as a Vivien myself, no matter how it's spelled I always get a thrill finding famous people with the name!

It's supposed to be more historically accurate the the more modern movie "Affair of the Necklace" with Hillary Swank (some of the best 18th century costumes ever in that film though). The one downside is the movie might be tough to find, and even trickier for those who don't speak french, but for fellow fans of vintage period movies, we can still enjoy a little eye candy from the stills!

Win a Choker

Hey guys! Did you know there was a Vivcore giveaway going on right now over at Marie Antoinette's Gossip Blog? If you're a follower of the Queen of Fashion, you can enter to win a coral Empire Choker. Check out contest here... The Give Away

Also to celebrate further we've extended the period fashion sale till the end of the month! So still a chance to save 10% on Marie Antoinette inspired goods!

I hope this will bring some cheer before the weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Time for Elevenses?

So we're both back from our England trip, half way through unpacking and getting back to the business  of being back at home. It's always tough coming back, I miss my family and I miss a lot about jolly old England. Still, give me till lunch time and I'll be in the American swing of things again. (but not before then, because I'll be having elevenses!)

When I was a kid I first experienced the joy of "Elevenses" at brownie camp. It's basically a cup of tea and light snack such as a cupcake or some biscuits (British for cookies), eaten around 11am, like a morning afternoon tea! Mostly because the name is kinda funny, and because it's an excuse for cake after breakfast, we've been deeply into elevenses lately at chez Hoffpauir. After beginning to unpack from the trip it looks like we brought back quite the haul of snacks and tea perfect for the "meal"!

Fox's biscuits, Hob Nobs and a new trifle spin on the Bakewell tart (not to mention a few hard to find baking bits and bobs)! The current star for me though is finding a tea company I'd missed before, Tick Tock rooibos tea. I loved the packaging so much I brought back a big box for the house! It's definitely one of the tastiest rooibos teas I've had too, so tastes as good as it looks. I love the ad they made with various Tick Tock drinkers too (watch for the awesome 1940's lady).

To cater to the harder to find items I miss from the homeland we also picked up a couple of candy making books. Between the 2 there are recipes for some of my favorite sweeties like rose and violet creams, various toffees and rhubarb and custards. Can not wait to try some of these out! I especially love the presentation of the little Life is Sweet book. it's full of quirky personality and some of the cutest retro illustrations!

So there we have it, all our sweet stuffs are unpacked, clothes are in the wash, we're getting back to work and if you can't get hold of me around 11am, I'm probably enjoying some of the above and planning what to have with afternoon tea!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tasty Teatime Treats

Had a great time baking with my mum! We made a cake from a new recipe she had picked up recently, and 2 of my favorite treats from when I was a little girl, Coffee Kisses and Melting Moments! They are both cookies of sorts, one filled with coffee flavored butter cream, the other covered in coconut with glacé cherries tucked into the top.

The Be-Ro recipes are all online these days. You can check out the links above and give them a shot!

The ingredients are all US friendly, the only thing you might need if you wanted to try them yourself would be a weighing scale. Caster sugar is just regular granulated sugar, and we always use vegetable shortening instead of lard, but you might be more traditionalist with that than me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mother Land!

I love getting back over to England, for the next couple of weeks I'm back in old Bighty to see my family, and catch up on some of the little things I always miss since leaving to live in America.

So far we spent an afternoon out in Stratford-Upon-Avon just walking around. I love looking at all the Tudor buildings (including Shakespeare's birthplace) and the Swans along the river. There is a little pastry shop which has the best tea and lunch foods, plus its right next to my favorite sweet shop! I stoked up on my favorite English candies you just cant get in the states floral gums and rose/violet creams. With all the frilly shops and history everywhere it's a great quaintrelle destination! 

The other day was especially lucky! I've been wanting a vintage (faux)fur coat in a blond mink color all winter. Yesterday we found a great 1950's faux fur coat, just my size and a perfect match for my hair in a local antique shop! (They say to buy a fur close to your hair color to get the most complimentary fur shade). With the weather here being rather chilly I was pretty thrilled to not only end the search, but to find it in time for all our big trips around the country next week!

Now for another cup of tea... (Twinings have a couple of great limited edition flavors here right now!)

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