Wednesday, 29 December 2010

BY JOVE! ....(My visit to....)

Twas the night before Xmas.....


....It was the DAY before Xmas Eve to be precise! And seeing as the mister had started his Xmas holidays a few days earlier still (Lucky for some!), It was about time for me to join him for the start of my own Xmas break, finishing work at lunchtime and being lucky enough be picked up from the front door and whisked off for a romantic lunch. 

I was still on a high from my visit to a local tearooms the previous weekend. I was in the mood for a pot of tea....and to make it a good one was going to be a challenge I felt!

I had spotted a little place on the internet through all my tearoom research...tucked away in the Cambridgeshire favourite sort of location!...and we were torn. 
We could either visit the tearoom from the previous weekend for round two...which was VERY tempting indeed!


We could take a chance and try a new place for a spot of afternoon tea...a quaint looking (And very traditional tearoom with a seemingly modern twist from the look of their website....very appealing to me of course!) in the heart of a village called Burwell. 

So to *By Jove* we went!!!

Not a village that we were very familiar with, but glad we visited! A very easy find a short distance from Cambridge, and situated on the High Street...I squeeled a geeky squeel when I saw the cute Union Jack bunting over the lawn of this old village school house. 
I was excited already...and we hadn't even stepped foot through the door!

The path was a little icy still, so treading carefully up the steps from the main road was a tricky task, but allowed us to take in the beautiful garden and the surroundings. Already impressing us with it's quirky little touches, such as an old bicycle with a flower basket on the front of it and the cute *By Jove* signs in the snow-covered grass.

We were welcomed by an extremely friendly lady in an old black and white Parlor Maids' dress and headpiece and I knew right away that this was worth the visit already hehe! 
She allowed us to wander around and find a table that suited us, and she said that she would come and find us when we had settled. A real change from being told where to take a seat. 
So we took a peek in the main parlor, where there was a piano in the corner, and mis matching tables dotted around this large spacious room. 
You could also take a sneaky peek at the cake selection, which were in glass domes at one wall. Drooling slightly at this view! Yum!

There were also two rooms with lots of things to buy, one downstairs opposite the parlor with jams and chutneys, large cakes to order, loose tea and coffee and lots of really cute nic nacs to buy. Gorgeous jewellery, notebooks, games and toys. It was a retro treasure trove, and you could easily spend a fortune here before you have even sat down to drink your tea!

Upstairs, where, again you were allowed to wander, was another room full of items to buy, with a real boudoir feel to it. 
Luxurious cushions and clothing to purchase, laid out on vintage dressers, chairs and even a full size wardrobe with goodies inside. 
It really felt like we had walked into somebody's house and were let loose on their rooms to nosey at what they own! So much fun! - It was like being in an episode of *Come Dine with Me*, it really was!

We found a free room upstairs, with a scottish feel to the decor. Tweed cushions and heavy dark furniture, a slightly darker, warmer feel to the parlor downstairs. 
Luckily for us, we also had this really cute room all to ourselves for the afternoon which was a real added bonus!
Scottish bagpipes being played through the speakers, and a luxurious sofa in the corner which was tempting, but we decided to be seated at a table to be civilised.

We were also stunned to see such an extensive menu to choose from, which was great to see. We were a little worried that this might all be a bit of a gimic and before we had arrived, we were scared that we might be leaving feeling a little let down.....
This was the only element that had stopped us from visiting until now - The website is impressive, looking very new and modern and easy to use, however, it does not give any menu details or prices, which is a shame for such a great and otherwise informative website. (If we had seen the menu prior to today, we may have come sooner!)

Anyway, once we saw the menu...well....we were more than pleasantly surprised. It was huge and had a lot to offer. 
After a lot of uncertainty of what to try, we both decided to go for the Afternoon tea. 
A classic British Three tier Afternoon tea with a pot of *By Jove Tea* (Mister had a pot of coffee to fit his mood, and again the waitress was very accommodating with this change), a selection of sandwiches, freshly baked warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a choice of sponge cake. 

After much deliberating, I went for a simple Victoria Sponge and the mister went for a slice of delicious Carrot Cake. 
Both were huge portions, and by the time we had demolished our dainty sandwiches (Including a tasty Egg Mayonnaise and cress, a seasonal turkey with cranberry sauce and a refreshing cucumber) and the warm scones (Which again, the finer details were just amazing.... a seasonal twist on these scones included spices and orange peel which gave them a real wintery taste- A winner for us both!) I had to take away my slice of cake and my second scone, as even I couldn't finish off everything!
And the mister was also defeated...He had tried to eat it all, but even he couldn't polish it all off in one go! We would both be very impressed if anybody could!

Real value for money, trust me!

Should you visit *By Jove*...and I STRONGLY reccomend that you do! sure to go with an empty stomach, and wearing stretchy clothing hehe. 
Take your time, and go with good company...or alone with a great book to while away the time. Perfect place to do either!

Don't rush your visit. This, you must take notice of. 
You won't want to leave....we didn't!

We enjoyed our visit so much so...and the friendliness of the lady (Who actually seemed to be the only lady working both floors on her own, she was a STAR, who actually offered to pack up anything we couldn't finish...and by the time we had made it downstairs to pay, she had our leftovers neatly packed up and sat at the desk waiting for us to take home). 

Great British service
Just how it should be!!

We will be going back for my Birthday in the spring for sure!.......If not before!!!

Miss Sue Flay 


Monday, 27 December 2010

My visit to Peacocks Tearooms in Ely (Cambridgeshire)

When I had mentioned to my lovely friend...(the LOVELY and newly hitched Mrs Taylor)... that I have wanted to visit a tearoom in her local town for some time, and had never made it there to be able to enjoy their yummy treats, she jumped at the chance to join me for afternoon tea! 


So the date was finally set, and we met up on a very relaxed.... and very snowy and frosty Sunday lunchtime to enjoy the wonders of
Peacocks Tea Rooms in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
A riverside location, it really is a lovely spot at any time of year. 

Now, I had visited this very quaint tearoom earlier in the year, where myself and the mister had spent a warm(ish!) summer evening cuddled up under a blanket in the orchard at the back of the building. We had attended an outdoor screening of the new Tim Burtons' version of *Alice in Wonderland* which was just the perfect location to watch the movie al fresco. 
We had hoped for the opportunity to try their own tea and cake, however it was cheap boxed wine and popcorn only...a real shame

But today, I got to try both

We walked through the warm entrance to the main parlor, having left my mister walking the pooch along the river whilst we sat and had a gossip...hehe bless him! A little gem, he really is!
... And we were welcomed with a friendly smile from the girl at the counter, and were given a choice of tables to occupy, which is always great when you are as picky as I am when choosing a table....It can't be too dark (I like to be able to see my food and drink, as well as the menu itself!)....However I don't like it too light (No bright synthetic light overhead showing off my roots coming through, or bright sunshine through the blinds straight in my eyes... It needs to be just right!). 

The table was the perfect spot in the very centre of the room...a great seat to spy on other tables and their menu choices before ordering our own ; ) 
The table was Laid with a very cute sugar bowl with a traditional beaded net covering the cubes, as well as a very pretty lace tablecloth which reminded me of my grandmas kitchen table

The choice of tea was extensive, to say the least! 
Having only really just started to get into my tea choices, and learn which ones I actually enjoy drinking...It took me a while to realise that I would in fact like to go with a reccomendation from the lovely Sally, who I have been talking tea parties with via facebook (Thank you Sally...GREAT CHOICE HERE!!!)...I went with the Pleine Lune... a black tea with toasted almonds, spices and honey.
It smells as delicious as it tastes. It really does. 

I am starting to learn that black teas infused with any flavour are my favourite over green teas any day...but I know that I still have a lot to learn...So still (and always!) open to suggestions, should my readers have any to help me try new infusions!

Anyhow...should you be unsure of which tea to try...and, like me, are faced with the difficulty of having to choose one of tens of choices on the menu... this one is most surely one to sample! A real winner... which comes in real eye candy at Peacocks (in the form of Mis-matching teacups and saucers to help make this civilized treat even more fun for us tea geeks!)

Now for the accompaniments.

We all know that you can't have a pot of tea somewhere as special as Peacocks, without some treats alongside it : ) 
Having scouted the menu...and had a nosey at the cake stands towards the front of the tearoom, we both decided on the Peacocks special, this being a Christmas Cream Tea. A festive option that suited the feel of the day. 

We were given plenty of time to choose...we didn't feel rushed...which was great, as the gossip was just as good as the surroundings it did take us some time to decide. 
The lady who took our order even let us change the tea that came with it to our own choice, which was a welcomed bonus. 

The Christmas Cream Tea came with a large (And warm, which is becoming a favored option for these!) scone and a choice of preserve with the clotted cream. 
I went for the Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin option...and it was SO tasty that I actually bought myself a jar to take away and share at home later on. 
The menu also offered a warm home-made mince pie with brandy butter, which seemed a little decadent once the scone had been slowly consumed...but I did try a little with this...just a little...and it was well worth taking the time to try...and I felt very naughty indeed...a seasonal melt in the mouth butter with the already buttery pastry... I am a sucker for this sort of food which will one day, be no good thing!

To the eye, even the plate was decorated with a leafy clementine, which was a really nice touch to such a simple choice.
Garnish is always good to see, no matter what you order...noted for personal (And nerdy!) future reference! 

We took our time, and enjoyed tucking into everything, alternating between the mince pie, the scone and of course the tea.
We were not rushed at all which was a real pleasure. 

And the guilty conscience inside of me (Feeling bad that the mister was waiting outside with the pooch after their walk)..told me to buy a scone to take away for him to try at home..and the staff were extremely accommodating, allowing me to take one away which he did enjoy with my jam later that evening. 

I would highly recommend this place for a spot of afternoon tea or just a pot of there is such a huge selection to choose from, you could try a different pot every day of the week for months and never have the same one twice, I am sure of it!

I should imagine in the summer this place is taken over by tourists and locals alike. It can be a real hive of activity in this area in the nicer months, so if you are anything like may well be worth mentioning this! 
I would imagine the experience would not quite be the same when busier...I may be wrong there, and I may well have a nosey in 2011 to find out myself : ) 

And the next stop...once afternoon tea was consumed...was the antique shop next door....which you could spend hours browsing in!
3 floors of antiques to browse...everything from jewellery and nic nacs through to furniture, military uniforms and even crockery... My first Xmas present bought for me here in the form of a beautiful antique *Tea-For-One* set, which my lovely fiance bought for me when he saw that I couldn't keep my eyes off it ....I still can't... It was the perfect early Xmas present. 
What a lucky girl I am : ) 

A Lovely afternoon! 

And looking forward to more of them if they are going to be as lovely as this one hehe. 

Peacocks Tearooms is worthy of a visit, trust me! - I will be back to sample more tea very soon! 



Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Secluded (NEW YEAR!) Tea Party - NOTE THE DATE CHANGE!

The Secluded (NEW YEAR!) Tea Party will now be held on Sunday 30th January 2011 from 2pm to 4pm.......Just £12 donation per person!

UNUSUALLY this event is actually being held in Cambridge City at a very fun and prestigious location! (I am VERY excited about this! And I know my guests will be too!)....This is a venue NOT TO BE MISSED : )

See the year 2011 in with a difference....attending an underground tea party.... not something your friends will be doing (I would imagine!! Hehe), so why not start the year with something fun and different!?

The Venue...A VERY exclusive and fun location in the very heart of Cambridge itself!
This secret location will be revealed nearer to the contact me to find out more!
It will NOT disappoint! It is a very secluded venue that you would most likely not even know was there should you not have a reason to go along....! (And there really are a million reasons to visit this SUPERB venue!)

..... A chance to get it all out of your system before you make those new years' resolutions....One last treat or two won't hurt you to complete this festive period!

Come and join Miss Sue Flay for some decadent treats and why not bring along a friend or two for some great Post-Xmas/New Year fun?

There are a few places left so come and give it a go! You will have so much fun!


A Glass of something Bubbly
 Nibbles on arrival


Selection of Sandwiches

Free Range Egg with Mayonnaise & Cress
Miss Sue Flay's Ham & Garlic Jam


Fresh home-made Scones (Courtesy of the Hairy Bikers)
Served with clotted cream
Home-made Preserves


"The Final Farewell" (Before giving the dark stuff up!!!) - Decadent Chocolate Ganache cake!

A selection of Handmade treats, to be confirmed
(Recipes courtesy of the fantastic Cambridge Cookery School - Where I have been learning to make various yummy recipes this season!)


Selection of Teas served, courtesy of, including:

English Breakfast Tea

Darjeeling Earl Grey

Chai Tea

Green Tea with Mint

Super Fruit Tea

Plus many others!

To secure your place, just email: with how many guests you would like to take places for, and I will send you further instruction.

Location will be within Cambridge City, and will make for a lovely afternoon retreat, not feeling like a city location at all : ) You will be able to park not too far away, and it is within walking and cycling distance of the train station (Approx 10 minutes).

So why not team this with a day out in the lovely City...I am a local girl, and would be very happy to impart my knowledge on the local area and offer suggestions, should you wish to plan a visit to Cambridge Pre/Post your visit to The Secluded Tea Party.

Also happy to cater for any special dietary requirements...please just contact me for a chat as soon as possible prior to booking, and I can discuss menu options with you : )

I look forward to meeting you soon!




Seeing as it went down so well, and a few of my twitter followers would like the it is!



  • Soft butter for greasing
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
Icing and filling
  • 200g plain, dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Camp chicory and coffee essence
  • Fresh holly leaves or leaves made from ready-to-roll coloured icing
  • Icing sugar or desiccated coconut
  • (I used 2 pretty metallic bird decorations to rest on the log : ) - Use your imagination!


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, grease with a little butter and set aside.
  2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric beater until thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder over the egg mixture and whisk in thoroughly. Wash and dry the beaters and whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold a third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then gently fold in the rest until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread gently with a spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
  3. Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges with a round-bladed knife and leave to stand for a few minutes. Place a piece of baking parchment on the work surface, turn the cake onto the parchment and leave it to cool completely – 30–40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, but do not allow it to set. Put the icing sugar in a food processor, add the butter and blitz until smooth. Add the coffee essence and 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate, then blend until smooth. Make sure the chocolate is cool, or it will melt the butter. 
  5. Take just over half the icing mixture out of the processor and put it in a bowl to use for the filling. With the motor running, slowly add the remaining chocolate to the icing mixture in the processor and blend until smooth. This will be used for icing the cake.
  6. When the cake is cool, trim off the crusty edges. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the filling over the cake, taking it right to the edges. Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the sponge, keeping the first roll fairly tight so it forms a good spiral shape. Spread the icing evenly over the cake and drag a fork through it to resemble the ridges on the bark of a tree.
  7. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the icing to set. Decorate with sifted icing sugar.

This recipe is taken from The Hairy Bikers’ 12 Days of Christmas, which is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Happy Yule-Logging : )

MSF xx

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Secluded (Xmas!) Tea Party - Full Write up : )

The Secluded (Xmas!) Tea Party was hosted on Sunday 12th December at 2pm with the help of my very handy and supportive mister (Who doesn't like to be called *Mister Flay* so is now nicknamed "Mister Scott Chegg"! ; )

And this time it went glitch free : ) Hurrah! - Apart from one of my guests who could not make it at the very last minute, which was a real shame (We missed you Mr Beer!), and for some reason it really threw me as we started haha - I was sat next to the empty seat looking very sorry for itself, but it meant that it didn't matter if I made a mess....and of course I did exactly that at various points throughout the afternoon.... I wouldn't ask my guests to expect anything less sometimes hehe ; )

I set up the room itself with various xmas decorations, wrapped boxes placed in the centre to hold the plates and bowls at different levels and candy canes placed in small vases for guests to help themselves to...and tinsel as well as miniature xmas trees dotted around the room as well as on the table itself.
I was hoping to be able to make the room feel as festive as possible, with the help of some *Tasteful* xmas music in the background. However, this music did seem to make my guests chuckle at just how cheesy it really was, and we ended up changing it to something a little more upbeat and retro, which was welcomed from myself as well as my guests I think!

The menu was a little trial for me, as certain recipes I had never tried before, so it was a little risky from my point of view...but it paid off....The Chocolate Yule Log being my piece de resistance!.... The Hairy Bikers just get better and better in my eyes! Great, tasty and easy recipes....with a wow factor! The chocolate ganache was heavenly...and it was so much fun to actually make the day before, I was just beaming from ear to ear when it was finished...having not taken as long as I had expected either, much to my surprise!
It looked FANTASTIC and it was just so much fun to make, I wouldn't have minded if it didn't look perfect! I decided to decorate with some tasteful non-edible decorations, and served on a raised glass cake stand.... and when they saw me bring it in at the end of the afternoon, it made my guests groan in both hunger for it....but at the same time.... not having enough room to eat enough of it haha! Brilliant.

I also attempted their Brandy Snaps with cream recipe (And again, amazed at the outcome!) I was scared of making these little blighters, but in fact again, they were great fun to make!
I did have to take some help from Mr Chegg for the wrapping of these around the wooden spoons, as I was burning my pinkies whilst trying to spin them haha (I was a little too excitable and keen to wait!)..... We got the knack in the end though and steamed ahead with them....a great team building exercise hehe!
They looked so pretty when they were complete with chocolate drizzle and cream prettily piped into the ends, I nearly didn't want to serve them : )

The menu also consisted of my ever increasingly popular Ham & Garlic Jam sandwiches which went down extremely well again, so I have confirmed that this is not just MY taste buds thinking this is good really does work and will be making a regular appearance at the table for my guests to enjoy....a large order of the sweet stuff has been placed to cater for you all! - Enough Garlic Jam to last a few months yet hurrah!

The scones (Again, a tried and tested Hairy Biker recipe) were warmed and served this time with a locally made Peach & Amaretto Jam which is just delicious and went down very well with my guests.
I also decided that as one of my guests was not a fan of mincemeat (Which was used for my Mincemeat parcels with Bourbon Butter!), I would make up some sweet peach and amaretto parcels with the jam for him to try instead. These in fact were tastier than expected, and I will be making this again in the future! The jam is just so versatile and to die for! Highly reccomend it.

With the mild weather, I decided to opt for a variation on my lemonade recipe and made a pink (raspberry) lemonade for my guests to enjoy on arrival. It was great fun to make, and Nigella was used to make life easy and stress free with this recipe : )
Also, due to it not being the snowy/frosty day that I had hoped for hehe...the spicy winter tea mix didn't seem so appropriate, however a variation of all the teas were tried and tested including's Bollywood Chai Tea, Darjeeling Earl Grey and the English Breakfast tea.
They were perfect to wash down all of the tasty treats : )

We had such a great afternoon, my guests didn't know each other, so hearing the conversation and laughter taking off whilst busying myself in the kitchen was just fantastic to hear! And it didn't stop all afternoon.
In fact, half an hour past the end we were all still chatting away and enjoying each others' company, so again it was just brilliant to see my guests getting on so well : )

I just want to thank my guests SO much for coming and making my second event such a blast! I really enjoyed hosting it and really hope that the elasticated trousers have now shrunk back down hehe!

Until next time.....

Miss Sue Flay


Monday, 6 December 2010

Miss Sue Flay's Virtual Advent Calender!!!.......

Yes....December is here....and seeing as I LOVE my photos and taking random snaps everywhere I go, I thought that I would share them with my guests and followers, by posting a photo each day throughout December!

I have started this idea through Twitter, and have been posting a new one each day...and surprised myself in actually keeping to the idea...albeit only 6 days so far haha.....I forget to open my own advent calender every day so far this month!!!...DOH!

The advent Pictures that I am posting are a mix of Xmassy pictures and pictures that I have taken throughout the year...Including tea party-related scenes as well as cupcakes, and recipe experimentation!
Everything that has basically put a smile on my face this year so far : )

But here are the first 6 days to catch you up.......and more to follow of course!

Happy Count Down!!!!.........

1st December 2010:
    My Cookie Monster Creation for a bit of fun at Cupcake Club (Cambridge)- Nom Nom!

2nd December 2010: 
The Garlic Jam that makes sense in a sandwich! - Promise!

3rd December 2010:
Dreaming of Jam-Serving robots to make life simpler!.....So Cute too!

4th December 2010: 
Dusty enjoying a well deserved cuppa!

5th December 2010:
GIGANTO Xmas Tree at Clarice House Spa! - Overwhelmingly HUGE! 

6th December 2010:
The Puppy getting into the festive spirit! Treats galore for him - Promise!!

7th December 2010:   
A sneak preview of the accompaniment to the Xmas Tea Party's Scones....

8th December 2010:
 Xmas Gift Inspiration...

9th December 2010:      
A Sneak preview of The Secluded Tea Party! ... 

10th December 2010:
An ode to MsMarmiteLover hehe! - Ick!?!

11th December 2010
Secret Santa visited the Pup....HAPPY boy haha!

12th December 2010:
My Xmas Log at The Secluded (Xmas!) tea Party! YUMmy!

13th December 2010:
TASTY Chocolate Ganache - Recipe learnt at Cambridge Cookery School! 

14th December 2010: 

A surprisingly tasty Beetroot & Pecan cake from Abantu in Bourn! Yummy : )

15th December 2010:   
 Miss Sue Flay's Yummy Oreo Cupcake....Everybody should try one! : ) 

16th December 2010:
A really great gift from a fellow Twitterer! - Munich Beer you ARE a star! 

17th December 2010: 
The goodies I made at Cambridge Cookery School : ) So much fun!!!! Highly rated : ) 

18th December 2010: 
...My little snowman hehe....LOVE HIM so much!!

19th December 2010: second attempt at chocolate macaroons! MUCH BETTER YUM!

20th December 2010:
 Have a virtual hot choc with all trimmings for me!

21st December 2010: 
.I am LOVING my first Xmas gift!..antique tea for one set!...Thanks to my lovely fiancé!! X

22nd December 2010: 
Check out the Icicles at the Gog Magog Farmshop in Cambridgeshire! 

23rd December 2010: 
I Found these pretty little advent pockets on a line at Rosie & Dolly in Ely!

24th December 2010: 
Xmas Eve!!! Have some Brussels for me : ) hehe xx

25th December 2010: 
HAPPY XMAS 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 - Thank you for following my Advent countdown!!!
Hope you got spoilt by your loved ones and have a FAB 2011!!!