Monday, 30 September 2013

and Heavenly Plate Cafe - Applecross

Heavenly Plate Cafe

A High Tea with a difference.

For my birthday, a friend of mine gave me a voucher for two 'Heavenly Bliss' High Teas at Heavenly Plate in Applecross. I had ridden past this cafe before and had placed it on my 'must go' list. The decor has a French feel about it and the soft blues are very comforting and charming.

The tables were set beautifully with cute pink flowers on all of the plates and the tea sets. We sat down at our table and ordered our first pot of tea. I chose the organic breakfast while my plus one ordered the choc mint rooibos tea. 

The 'Heavenly Bliss' package is the highest of the three options for High Tea packages available and the first thing to come out was a delicious mocktail. It was very light and fruity and oh so delicious. 

After we finished our mocktails the tea arrived in their own little pots.

Once we had settled in and started on our teas a plate of scones came out. We had a plain and a fruit scone each with a generous serve of jam and cream. As you can probably tell, this isn't how a 'high tea' is traditionally served. Normally 'high tea' is served on a tiered server. Historically high tea referred to the working class meal while afternoon tea was taken by the upper classes around 4-6pm. Afternoon tea was a way of filling the gap between lunch and dinner, which was served at around 8pm at night. 

Afternoon tea changed to be better know as 'high tea' and has evolved to what we see now days in cafe's and hotels. So lets get back to it. (For a history lesson click here.)

After the very traditional start to the high tea, things started to get quite unique. Next up was the savory course of sandwiches and soup. You could probably describe this high tea as more of a degustation menu.

The savories came out on a large glass cake stand and were all quite beautifully presented. First up we went with the mini bruschetta style crostini. Oh and a quick note, everything at Heavenly Plate is vegetarian. They also have gluten free, pregnant friendly and vegan options, which I think is fantastic. 

Then we went for a cucumber and beetroot sandwich.

Next on the menu, as we worked our way around the plate, was an antipasto sushi roll. Another amazing idea. I love how it fuses two different cuisines together and is a perfect idea for a dinner party.

The next savory dish we sampled was another sandwich. This time it was a 'chicken and almond' sandwich. Again, vegetarian. At a guess it was probably made out of silken tofu or something similar. I am not a huge tofu fan but this one surprised me and was completely delicious.

The final two dishes was a yam roll and some soup. The yam could probably be classed as sweet and the soup was most likely a pumpkin soup. We dipped the yam in the soup before eating it for a little fun and then drunk the rest of the soup. The soup was creamy and the yam roll was very nice indeed.

From here on in we divert from the standard high tea menu in a big way. When I saw this dish I was shocked, amazed and intrigued but most of all, I was excited. Meet the pot plant cake.

On top we have chocolate biscuit soil with a strawberry and mint leaves 'growing' out of it. Once you eat away some of the soil you come across a chocolate disc. Carefully I broke through the top, trying my hardest not to send the biscuitty goodness flying. Below were layers of sponge, cream and more chocolate discs. Heaven and such a cute idea.

Now for something which you might come across at a fancy high end resturaunt, a deconstructed berry cheesecake. It was lovingly presented with stripes of crumb, cream cheese and berries cascading out of the glass. At this point we were also onto our second pot of tea each. I went for the organic earl grey and my plus one chose the white orchid tea.

Finally we finished up with a berry sorbet. It had me wondering why I didn't eat sorbet more often. I was so light and refreshing. A perfect finish to a great birthday present.

So if you are looking for 'high tea' with a difference try Heavenly Plate. It was fun and quirky and I highly recommend it!!! I am very happy with my birthday present and the whole meal. I left feeling satisfied and only slightly stuffed.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

and my Pin-up shoot - Red Leopard Photography

Red Leopard Photography

For my birthday this year, my family members got together and brought me a photo shoot from Red Leopard Photography. It was a complete surprise for me, but my sister knew I'd love it, and I did! Sarah's home studio is located in Busselton , just shy of 2 and a half hours south of Perth.

As part of the package, I received  full pin-up makeup and a hair-do to match. I then had access to her extensive wardrobe and fun props. A few days before my shoot, I was emailed a quick questionnaire to tell Sarah about what style I liked, as well as if I had skin problems, such as sensitivity, as well as some other general questions. This allowed for her to be ready for me.

When I arrived, Sarah showed me to the dressing room. The room is stocked with bits and bobs for the photo shoots. It was full of hats, dresses, old telephones, umbrellas, shoes and everything else you could think of for the perfect shoot. Sarah also allows you to bring your own props if you'd like them in the photos. I brought down some of my favourite pearl jewellery as well as some of my own shoes, which I wore for the photos.

After putting my hair in curlers she started with my make-up. The first theme was 50's housewife. Sarah told me she had some fun ideas, starting with my hair and a giant curl. When my make-up was done and my hair was up, she went to the cupboard and started pulling out dresses. Funnily enough, they were all red, which is both of our favourite colour.

The first dress was a cute red gingham dress with a fishtail and a frill at the back. I also had a sweet red flower in my hair. First up, was house work, which is always best with a drink in hand.

After all of that hard work I had to stop for a chat.

Then we moved onto a movies theme.

I then got hungry, so we moved onto a baking theme, which always turns into a mess.

I thought, before I started the photo shoot, that I would be nervous, but I wasn't. It was just me and her, oh and her adorable puppy Betty-Lou, in the studio. (Well Betty was out the back, peering through the window). What helped, in my opinion, is the time spent before the shoot. When Sarah was doing my make-up and hair we were just having a chat. A bit like when you are at the hairdressers. So when it came down to the modelling side of things I felt comfortable and had a lot of fun.

The next theme was 1940's glamour. So after a costume changes and some additional accessories, out came a beautiful black chair and a new set of props, as well as a different backdrop. This time I wore my pearls and one of Sara's vintage fascinators and a silky read dress.

Time for another phone call.

This next one was just a spur of the moment thing. We moved over to her curtains for a Hollywood silver screen look.

I absolutly loved wearing the gloves but there was a Wheels and Dollybaby cardigan that I just had to wear.

Before I even returned home I there was a sneakpeak on the Facebook page and not long after I was sent the proofs to look at. From which I agonised over until I found my favourite for her to touch up and send to me. When I was at my dads house, hair and make-up still done but in my own clothes, I showed him a photo of me from the shoot off of Facebook.  He stared at it but didn't pick it was me, even though I was still dolled up and standing there holding the phone showing him the picture. This is a real testament to her amazing talent that my dad was confused. Although she did not hide the real me, just made me into a character for the day.

I had an amazing day, and felt very spoil. I am so happy that my family brought me this gift for my birthday and I have already recommended it to friends. I also recommend it to everyone else!!!

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

and if it was 252

Days 239-252

So Spring has arrived in Australia. Although, you could hardly tell. We have had more rain this month than I can remember in a long time and there has barely been a cloud free day. A lot of plans have been delayed or changed because of the weather and I haven't been able to take my dog on many walks. She is getting old now so I don't want to get her cold and wet.

Day 239:

An evening walk and some gorgeous vines.

Day 240:

Bored at home I decided to try out my new ear muffs
 on my dog. I think she likes them.

Day 241:

The beginnings of Mexican Chocolate Ice cream.

Day 242:

Dinner with friends at the pub for a Friday night. 
I went for the chickpea curry.

Day 243:

I had a great catch-up with a friend for some high tea.
The chocolate brownie was so good I brought
 some to take home with me.

Day 244:

It was fathers day and I travelled home to see my family. My sister 
gave some flowers to my niece but she decided to through them.

Day 245:

I enjoyed my leftovers from a dinner party I went to.
 Tres Leche cake with Mexican Ice cream and fresh berries.

Day 246:

We had a morning tea the next day at work, so I stayed 
up late to make thumb print biscuits.

Day 247:

I liked the reflection of the tree in the dirty puddle in the carpark. 
I just thought it looked interesting.

Day 248:

I went home sick form work, so I rested on the couch and watched T.V..

Day 249:

Back to work, I went out at lunchtime and sat in a near 
by park enjoying the sunshine.

Day 250:

My plus one and I headed out to Bell's Rapids for a walk and to take some photos.

Day 251:

We went for an evening cycle around the river. It was my first ride in far too long.

Day 252:

I love the wrapping paper I used for my sisters birthday present. I went 
and found an art deco card for her to match as well.

There you have it, another fortnight down. It was full of baking and eating and some exercise to try and counteract all that food. I can't wait for more sunny weather so I can go out and enjoy the landscape some more. I think I want to try and get out of the city a little bit more and enjoy nature as much as possible.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.
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