My thinkings about baking and cooking and cups and saucers and teapots with lovely lids and sugar bowls and working for myself. Finally. At last. Yippee.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Learn the taste of Christmas

There is something about the SMELL of Christmas - cinnamon and nutmeg; warm chocolate; sage and cranberry. Maybe it's because you know that all of these translate into the most delicious tastes across all kinds of foods.

So, I'd like to share some of my favourite things with The Hidden Lane Tearoom CHRISTMAS BAKING CLASSES. Running over the next 2 Wednesday evenings we'll be making festive brownies and Christmas cupcakes and other edible seasonal delights. We're offering fizz and nibbles (Some stilton and pear pate with home-made cranberry jelly - one of my favourite savoury treats) to keep your energy levels high and you get to take what you bake!

Email to book a space. Bring some friends. Step into Christmas!!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

China cup cakes and other loveliness

We've taken cup cakes up A LEVEL. You can now buy them individually in lovely little china teacups and gift them to someone with taste.

Even better. Buy one for yourself and eat while watching a soppy Christmas film. YULE love it. Promise.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

How to: German spiced Christmas biscuits.

300g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
11/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1tsp black pepper
100g soft brown sugar
100g soft butter
2 large eggs mixed with 4 tbsp of runny honey.

Mix all the dry goods together in a food processor. Blitz, with the butter and then pour in the honey/egg mixture - only use enough for the mixture to come together in a ball in the processor. Once it has, you don't need any more egg/honey. (This bit always affected by the size of the eggs, and chickens being chickens - free range of course - you never know what's inside the shell until you crack it!)

Roll out the dough quite thinly and stamp out biscuits with Christmas cutters. Put them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, make a hole in each biscuit so that you can hang it (use the thick end of a wooden skewer ideally, and wiggle it about.)
Put the biscuits in the fridge for half an hour.

Bake at 150 degrees (fan oven) for 20 mins.

Decorate however you fancy - either with rolled out royal icing or with sprinkles or icing sugar and lemon juice mix.

Dry. Hang. Eat. Enjoy.

snow, snow, snow, snow, SNOOOOOOW! And fat shortbread.

I've been busy making some food gifts that will be for sale shortly in the Tearoom. I really enjoy being able to play like this and love the whole Christmas, food, flavours and smells thing.

Frustratingly this morning, my shortbread tree decorations just kept swelling in the oven until they looked like very fat versions of what they were supposed to be. After shouting at the oven for a bit (I find this usually works) I popped the shortbread shapes into my very cold fridge and left them for an hour before baking them and this time, oh yes, they stayed the shape they should be and I am congratulating myself at having invented this little piece of baking wisdom.

Haven't iced them yet, so no photos. But on this first day of Christmas forget the partridge and the pear tree. I've got hand sculpted starry shaped shortbreads just begging to be hung. Or eaten.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas is coming.........

...and we're getting into the festive spirit here at The Hidden Lane Tearoom!

I love the snow. It comes from having a mum called Carol(e) who once even put our Christmas tree up in the middle of November, so keen was she to start the celebrations. (I should add that all the needles feel off and we were the only family IN THE WORLD to have a discarded Xmas tree waiting for the bin men the first week of December. Oh, the remembered embarrassment!) 

Anyway, childish nightmares aside, Christmas and snowtime is my favourite time of year and we've started decorating and hotting up the menu as the temperature hits zero and below. So, delicious wintery soups and a special winter high tea designed to share with friends as an alternative Christmas day/night out.

Yule love our Yule logs and our orange and nutmeg spiced mincepies. Our edible Christmas gifts. Our festive cheer. And you're very welcome to bring your own miniature of Baileys to spice up our delicious hot chocolate, or bring a bottle of wine to get you in the mood. (My own current favourite is Crabbies Green Ginger wine with lots of ice.) 

Friday, 29 October 2010

Welcome to everyone from Groupon

I'm so excited at the response to my Groupon campaign, and just wanted to welcome everyone who is planning to visit us over the next few months to enjoy their luxury high tea.

Groupon have advised that they inadvertently sent out the wrong telephone number to everyone who bought a voucher - I hope this hasn't caused too much hassle and as you can see, my contact details are on the side panel here.

I really am looking forward to welcoming you all personally to the tearoom. I have put my heart and soul into this little space and really hope that you enjoy your visit here. Please remember to phone/email me to reserve your table.

Again, huge welcomes to you all!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Launching The Loovre - a wee exhibition space...

......opening soon for private viewings!

I'm hoping that artists across all media would like to showcase their work in the first of a series of exhibitions in what is possibly the wee'est gallery of its kind in Glasgow.

Housed here inside The Hidden Lane Tearoom's little lavatory, the theme for the inaugural exhibition is 'vintage' and submitted works should be 8 inches by 8 inches unframed, or 12 x 12 inches framed. You can hand in work until 20th November. The Exhibition starts 1st December, and if you would like to sell your art, please provide an indication of the price you would like.

If you are a regular here, you'll know that The Hidden Lane Tearoom, has fast become a haven for art and craft aficionado's, given its location in one of Glasgow's creative 'lane' communities just off Argyle Street. My own collection of vintage crockery shares display space with homebaking and works of art from up and coming artists, photographers and craftspeople.

Exhibitor works should be handed in to me, Kirsty Fitzgerald at The Hidden Lane Tearoom, 1103 Argyle Street, Glasgow. Alternatively, email me:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Halloween capers and pumpkins.

This year, Halloween is on a Sunday. As I've just started opening 7 days a week I'm feeling a big bit excited at the fun we can have here at The Hidden Lane Tearoom.

The starting point is a pumpkin competition for children, and I'm hoping to get enough parents/children entering on the 31st so that we can line the entire lane with pumpkins little and large. There's also going to be a prize for best fancy dress - adult and children. So get your claws out.

Food wise, I'm open to suggestions. Definitely some finger foods (sawn off finger biscuits with very realistic nails.) Some ghostly meringues - they're already for sale in the tearoom. Maybe some worms and some eyeballs: need to start digging for some.

The best Halloween I ever did have was when I was about 9 and we lived on a farm. My playroom was an enormous empty barn that I could decorate to my hearts content. Down below was a series of stone arches which mum bedecked with spiders and skeletons and various nasty body parts. Ghoul music welcomed my friends. We dooked for apples in black slime and tried to bite marshmallows that were hung from fish wire. Some were dipped in mustard and set your mouth on fire. (That was mean, dad!)

So I like Halloween and as I like baking also, am looking forward to getting creative! I'd be interested to hear any food suggestions you might have (no matter how gross!) and also any ideas you have for some little people fun on the day. And NO! I don't think chilli spiked toffee apples are a good idea. Or maybe I do. MWWAHHHHAAHA.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lovely lovely crockery

When I opened The Hidden Lane Tearoom, my grandad raided every single charity shop for vintage teasets and teapots to compliment my own collection of crockery that I had been building up just because I loved it. The delicate patterns; the prettiness; the etiquette.

So now I have lots and lots. I'm always grateful to people who drop by with the odd bits and pieces for me and I swap my shelves around every day, so that no teacup ever has to endure that left on the shelf, wallflower feeling.

I've recently started hiring out my crockery for weddings and for tea parties. But mostly, I let people drink tea and eat cake from china bits and pieces that make me happy. My teacups do, however, make lovely lovely vases.

Fairy cakes and wedding cakes

I've been perfecting my fairy cakes recently as they sell so well in the tearoom. I recently had a huge order for 400 for a company in Glasgow which tested me to the limit - both in terms of making them and storing them. The end result though is that I am now something of a fairy cake expert.

My favourite toppings are probably quite girly - obviously for the wedding market it's not surprising, and I love particularly the pastel colours and the bright pinks. But I also play around quite a lot with the cakes themselves and in order to make the 400 f
airy cakes a bit special I experimented with apple and cinnamon, red velvet, carrot and honey and chocolate brownie cakes.

Am now practicing some fairly ghoulish ones for next week. Along with some interesting 'finger' foods that should send a shiver down the spine!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Welcome to The Hidden Lane Tearoom

Hello and welcome to The Hidden Lane Tearoom. First of all you'll have to find me, tucked away down a lane just off Argyle Street West, it's not always that easy, its part of the appeal! Once you have found me you will find yourself surrounded my multi coloured buildings and a feeling of tranquility not often found in Glasgow! In the far corner of the cobbled lane rests a beautiful vintage tearoom, celebrating a bygone era where high tea and china teacups were a way of life.

I specialise in home baking, from traditional victoria sponge with cream and jam to triple chocolate cake with the most chocolatey icing you ever did taste! There is always a wonderful selection to choose from, I have two whole tables dedicated to my cake display so the only difficulty will be deciding what you fancy! Just to make sure I'm not leaving anyone out I also have gluten and dairy free delights, which are often more tasty than the real deal!

High Tea is fast becoming a favourite. To do it propoerly start with the delicate finger sandwiches, move onto the scones and jam and finish with a generous selection of cakes and goodies. Served on traditional cake stands and accompanied by beautiful loose leaf teas or fair trade coffee this is a perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends.

The Tearoom is available for private functions...why not have a vintage tea party for your next special occasion? It is also a great space for live acoustic music. Last weekend 3 members of the French Wives did a small set and with no PA or mics the atmosphere was perfect!

I think I have covered everything for now. Watch this space for up and coming events and Tearoom happenings!