Friday, 27 July 2012

Review: Shelford Delicatessen

I have been a huge fan of the Great Shelford Deli from the moment I stepped foot through their tiny cart shed doors to pick up a sandwich order for my colleagues whilst temping in a nearby village late last year. Even in the bitter British winter weather that we suffered (up to a few weeks ago in fact haha!), people were literally queuing outside the doors for homemade hot soups and pasta dishes, as well as their gorgeous sandwiches, so I had to try them for myself to see what the big deal was all about...


These guys make the kings AND queens of ALL sandwiches. They use freshly baked bread and the most delicious and moreish fillings I have ever had in a sandwich or baguette ever. And I am not being dramatic here, they are the mummy AND daddy of the sandwich world.  You know sometimes when you ask for a sarnie and it’s just two slices of dull *Shop bought* bread with a measly filling inside?... Well, this is the polar opposite, even a straight forward sandwich can make your day at this place... but trust me, if you are hungry and feel like something a little more indulgent, go for a baguette or a bloomer - you won’t be disappointed!

It got to the point with calling our sandwich orders through to Shelford Deli from our office (You can call ahead and order, it’s brilliant!)  that we would all know which *Number* on the menu we wanted each day in the end... although, on a regular basis, our minds could be easily swayed to go for one of their weekly specials which would include new and even more interesting fillings in their sandwiches to freshly made pastas, couscous, salads, curries and so on. You could eat here every day of the week for a month and still not try everything on offer, I just can’t rate this place enough for that.

In fact, the more people I talk to about this little gem on the very outskirts of Cambridge, just a hop from our beloved Scotsdales Garden Centre, the more people I find out already know about it and go there for a little treat from time to time themselves. The Deli has been here for years now, a little unassuming shop front, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on sale for you to buy, it looks like a traditional British Greengrocers from the outside, but step inside and you are greeted with a brand new and huge extension to this Deli, with shelves filling the shop from floor to ceiling stocked full of oils, breads, olives, cakes, vinegars, pastas of all kinds, sauces, jams, pickles, teas, coffees, Italian breadsticks, Ice Creams and nutritious frozen *Ready Meals* ... the drool-inducing list goes on and on.

If you ever feel yourself in need of a good strong cup of Monmouth coffee (or a pot of loose leaf tea) and a slice of something naughty, this is the place for you. Their chocolate torte is so dense and chocolatey, that not even I, the queen of desserts, can finish a slice without feeling very guilty indeed - perfect for a devilish treat every once in a while.
They also have a fresh selection of pastries, strawberry tartlets, tiffin, brownies, as well as gluten free goodies too.

It’s a cake & sandwich lovers’ heaven.

With the recent takeover of the building next door, the owners have been able to knock through and make this not just a takeaway Deli with an ever increasing queue, but a light and spacious coffee shop, so should you wish to stay in and make the most of your visit, you can. They have designed this so well, making the most of the space they have, whilst keeping the charm of the smaller premises they had before, which is now used as their kitchen.  They haven’t neglected the food, I actually think it’s just got better since the expansion, with much more choice, all freshly made on site – the smell hits you as soon as you enter, it’s lovely.

In fact, it’s my go-to place on a Saturday after a stressful shopping trip in Cambridge (stress and shopping go hand in hand for Miss Sue Flay ; )  Sod the queues in town or the more *Cambridge Canteens*  for mediocre sandwiches (Anne you will know EXACTLY where I mean hehe )
There is nothing more satisfying than craving a Shelford Delicatessen “Jarvis” on a brown Baguette (It’s Pastrami, Chicken, Dill Pickle, Roasted Red Onion, Mayo and Cranberry Sauce) ... Just trust me when I say, it’s the best food-invention ever! 

They also offer catering for parties or corporate events, so do take advantage of this service, should you ever feel yourself in need of some culinary assistance. 

The only downside I would say about this place is that there are not too many tables, so if it’s busy, you have to make do with your car as a lunchtime retreat, but there are quite a few green areas in this rather large village, so do take a wander and have a mini picnic instead, should this happen to you when you check it out.

Get your bum down there now, even if it’s just for a takeaway treat or a sit down with a good quality cuppa and a read of the paper with your lunch... Don’t forget, they do hot lunches too should you need to warm up in this cold British summer weather.

Visit Shelford Deli on Woolards Lane, Great Shelford, 


Miss Sue Flay

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Rise Of Pop-Up Tea Parties

.... And hopefully not the fall of them either ; ) 

I am thrilled to bits to have a mention this week on the Jordan’s Cereals Blog. They have been looking into the rise of the Pop-Up Afternoon Tea Party and I’m a very lucky lady indeed to be listed on their write ups
: )

I had a chat with the lovely Cate who wrote this fabulous post and it was so interesting to hear just how many are actually popping up around the country and I absolutely LOVE the look of The Queen of Tart’s secret parlour based in Scotland, as well as Pippa’s pop-up tea room in Kent.

I mean for goodness sake, what afternoon tea lover would turn down a glass of Rhubarb Fizz or Elderflower Champagne (my personal FAVE!)?!... Or the opportunity to indulge in a peaceful and clandestine location whilst nibbling on individual trifles or warm, homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. It’s a once a month treat for myself and one that I look forward to, so these lovely locations are now on my list to visit when I am travelling anywhere near to these areas in the near future.

I am also a sucker for Jordan’s as a company, not just for their lovely products, but for so many happy childhood memories of this oaty brand. If you didn’t know, they are actually a local company to us here in Cambridge, just a drive away in Biggleswade (Bedfordshire) and literally 10 miles down the road from the farm that I grew up on. My dad used to take myself and my sister to this small market town on a Sunday morning for car boot sale bargains and Swimming in their leisure pool, allowing us all to escape from the chores that Sunday (and my lovely house proud mummy : ) brought at home hehe. (I wasn’t a huge fan of swimming, whereas my sister partook in lessons and did really well, however, if it meant I could escape hoovering and dusting duties... RESULT : )

Dad used to take us to the Jordan’s Mills to buy bits and bobs from their farm shop with our pocket money as a treat and I often drive past there now on the way to one of my good friends’ houses and smile when I pass it. It makes me proud to live in this area, seeing a thriving family run business is always nice to see lately and it always offered a nice Sunday morning out for me and my sister growing up, so I was geekily excited to hear I was appearing on their website with The Secluded Tea Party : )

Why not get yourself down there? Shuttleworth Old Warden Park is one reason to head that way for a lazy afternoon one weekend, followed by a pot of tea at Southill Village Stores & Tearoom which I can highly rate for a cute location in the Bedfordshire Countryside, before heading back past Jordan's for a nosey and a few treats in the shopping basket.

However, if you can't get over there, you can buy lots of their products in most shops and supermarkets and I can't think of any other reason to get dreaming up tasty Flapjack recipes and that idea takes me back to my FIRST ever recipe I tried out myself.

I found this very cute cookery book at a Brownies Jumble sale, when I was all *butter wouldn't melt* Girl Guikding material (Yeah, right ; ) and couldn't resist taking it home and making my teddies a little picnic and making this flapjack with my mum. It makes me chuckle looking back at it, however, laugh as I may, I still use this recipe for a basic and tasty Flapjack recipe should I ever crave it.....

Flapjacks - Brownies' Style! *


4oz butter
 4oz soft brown sugar
8oz porridge oats
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Pinch of salt 
(Add fruit or chocolate chips for a more interesting mix, but the plain classic is 
always best for a good old fashioned buttery and oaty flapjack : )

Tools (Ask Mummy's permission first!) : 

Saucepan, Wooden Spoon, Square Baking Tin


1) Rub the baking tin all over with buttery paper

2) Melt the sugar, butter and golden syrup slowly in the saucepan. Add the porridge oats, mixing all the time. Stir them all together. 

3) Put the mixture in the baking tin and cook on a medium oven (160*c) for 20 minutes. 
When cool cut into squares and enjoy.

To view the pop-up tea room feature on the Jordan's blog, click here.

Miss Sue Flay

* Recipe from The Brownie Cookbook written by Verily Anderson. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cambridge City WI – Do you (W)ant (I)n ?!

This week has been one very exciting week indeed for the fabulous and creative women of Cambridge and surrounding areas... A group of lovely ladies, including the likes of local bloggers, Jen from "Jenny And The Magic Feather"  and Claire of "Claireabellemakes" have decided to set up their own branch off the WI (Women’s Institute) in the heart of our very own city.

It actually felt quite clandestine and exciting heading down to the Friends Meeting House off Jesus Lane, walking through the puddles and hotfooting it into this friendly building with crowds of other women actually made me feel very proud for some unknown reason to me... The feminist in me has been ignited lately!
 It was more exciting than I had anticipated, I was in awe of these ladies after we realised that we had 53 women sat here waiting to hear the plans for this new WI group and discuss our ideas with them.

The co-founders of this group had visited a few of the many local WI groups in Cambridgeshire to check them out, to meet the more traditional members, however they felt that the tradition was going to hold their plans back ever so slightly for some more modern activities & pursuits that many of the newer WI groups around the country offer to appeal to a slightly younger crowd.
This may seem a little harsh sounding to the more traditional approach to the WI, however, as one of the Cambridge WI ambassadors who was there to join us for this evening had mentioned herself, it wasn’t causing offence to the other local groups, in fact quite the opposite was true. They were hugely impressed with the turn out and interest from this much younger than *normal* crowd and they were 100% in support of this WI group going ahead which is just fantastic.

Some of the ladies brought along homemade cake and we donated a £1 or so for a piece or slice to start helping to raise funds for this new group and the venue fees. Tea was served and the tables were filled with chatter, with small groups of us sitting together putting down our own personal thoughts & desires on what we would like to see the new WI group doing, either as a large group together as well as smaller spin off groups should the activities or ideas be a little more unusual. Just some of the thoughts that came from the group were ideas such as dancing classes, crafting sessions, knitting lessons, baking & decorating workshops (Wahoo!), circus skills, fascinator & jewellery making, plumbing courses, learning a new language, yarn bombing, self defence & first aid, even role playing games (no not THOSE kind of games you filthy minded beggar ; p ) and even swishing (clothes swapping to anyone else who didn’t know what this was ; ) and much much more besides. Needless to say, we were in fits of giggles discussing each idea and they all went into a suggestion box at the end for the ladies to use to help them put together some ideas for the forthcoming meets.

It was a very informal meet, purely to listen to the local, more established WI ladies telling us about the WI and a little about the history behind it. Did you know that the WI was not in fact started in the UK, but it was started by a farmer’s wife in Canada?!... A lady called Adelaide Hoodless started up a meeting for the wives of the members of the Farmers’ institute in 1897 and the first British WI meeting didn’t take place until 1915 in North Wales where it was set up to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War.
The rest, as they say, is history.

Nowadays, with the latest crazes and noticeable fashions on the climb, with retro clothes and hairstyles dominating our magazines and web viewing as well as the baking phenomenon which doesn’t ever seem to calm down (Which is GREAT news! : ) the WI is appealing to many more younger women and they aren’t scared to admit that they want to be making their own jams and labels whilst sat socially networking with a piping hot cuppa and a slice of homemade Victoria Sponge whilst knitting a scarf or two (Well, some may wish to at least ; ) 
 Just look at some of the quirkier WI groups around the country and you can see why it is starting to appeal more and more, with the lovely ladies offering lots of fun at Buns & Roses and the Colchester Wigs for example.

Cambridge will be the next WI group on the map to do things *Their* way, with the support of the Women's Institute to push forward some of the more traditional values and causes along the way. There will be an open forum for people to push forward their ideas & skills and help to make this group a friendly and welcoming place for local women of any age or background to come along to.

I know personally just how important this is in itself, as many lovely ladies I have met through my own Afternoon Tea events have said to me previously, the first thing that they did when they arrived a new girl to the area was check out the local WI groups, but they weren't full of women our age to meet, so this is going to be huge for the new women of Cambridge, as well as the girls who have been here their entire lives, such as myself!

Now that committee know the interest is there (and growing rapidly!) they plan to get the Cambridge City WI group up and running for August/September time, with membership only costing around £30 a year, it’s steal for the best social life we have all had yet in Cambridge!

You can contact these ladies for more information on their Facebook Page or Twitter account, or email them to add yourself to the mailing list:

It’s not fuddy, it’s not duddy, it’s sheer brilliance. Geekery and perfect for anyone who likes tea, cake and meeting new people!

The next meeting is an open meeting on 5th September 2012, so why not
Come along and join in the fun... even our local men will want to put on a wig and join us when they see what they have lined up for the next year & beyond! - Hehe.

Miss Sue Flay