Cherry Blossoms & Tea Parties

As Spring falls to end, the cherry blossoms welcome summer with open arms

It is that time of season again, when the pink oxygen of the sky is in full bloom. Cherry blossom season is in full bloom in Helsinki and traditionally, I could not miss the chance to photograph them at sunrise. I enjoyed a cup of tea there and played around with lens flares. It makes me breathless everytime. Yesterday, I had some friends over for a tea party, we celebrated the upcoming birthday of my friends baby girl. It feels so good to make others happy, I notice that I thrive when I take a nurturing role in the lives of others and I love dressing the table.  I love a good tea party too, setting the table with porcelain cups, crystal and antique finds that I have collected throughout the years. Now, if only I had a garden where I could have tea setups surrounded with daliahs and peonies with French cast iron tables and chairs.

Teatime with Venetian Flair

‘Tea time bliss in Salone del Doge at Palazzetto Pisani’

This little pink room gives a feeling of old Venice that steps back into its golden age with its 16th century walls and traditional style. I loved the mixture of tones and texture; Venice suits all the pattern, the pink hues and velvet details. I walk through the double glass doors and take another sip of tea on the balcony. I see views of the Grand Canal, the Basilica della Madonna della Salute and Punta della Dogana on the left side and in front the beautiful white Guggenheim Museum and Palazzo Barbarigo. With boats and gondolas passing by, you get lost in this calming view that feels comforting over tea time. You get lost in the true beauty of Venice and all you want to do is soak in every detail your eye can catch. Meanwhile, my friend was getting ready in our room so I decided to have a tea break with honey yogurt while scrolling through coffee books on art to get into the Venetian mood.

Butter-eyed Buns & Gentle Pinks

The weekend is here and with the chilly temperatures and gentle snowflakes falling into the ground, all I want to do is stay indoors under a warm black, light some candles and sip on numerous cups of delicious tea. And what is best accompanied by some tea? A little sweet bun that screams of comfort! My hubby and I spent yesterday in Tallinn for a little Valentines Day getaway and came back home really late, so today it’s all about a cozy friday in.

Get your blankets and books out! Home made butter-eyed buns (voisilmä pulla) are a finnish sort of “buttery bun” that are devilishly good with an eruption of butter and sugar oozing from the center. The more sugar and butter you put in the middle of each bun, the better they become. This cardamom infused bun makes a lovely simple weekend treat if your sugar craving is kicking in. Ps. Despite it being full on winter outside, my mind has transitioned to spring already and I’m loving the sunnier longer days. I’m all about the gentle pale colours from dove greys to pink cablis and ready for delicate spring flowers.

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Traditonal Butter-eyed Buns

ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 dl milk
  • 10g yeast
  • 1 egg (+1 extra for brushing)
  • 0,5 sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 30g butter (room temperature)

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons cold butter (or 6 cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the crumbled yeast into warm milk. Add sugar, egg, the spices and part of the flour. Mix into a smooth dough. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time while kneading the dough until it easily comes off from the side of the bowl. Mix in the butter. Double the dough in size by leaving it to rest in a warm place with kitchen towel on top of it.

Knead the dough (may need flour for this) and form 6 buns out of it. Place the buns onto a baking tray with parchment paper underneath. Let them rest and raise some more.

Poke a dent with your finger into the middle of each bun. Brush the buns with the remaining of the egg. Into each dent, add some butter (about 1 teaspoon), sugar (1/2 teaspoon) and flour (1/2 teaspoon). Sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of each bun.

Bake the buns in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for about 10 minutes.

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Christmas Masala Chai & Tiny Wreath

December 14th,

As it gets so dark early these days, I thought I would cozy up under the blanket with a holiday masala chai made from black tea, fresh ginger, cardamom pods and cinnamon. This warm drink is the perfect after dinner date as it’s soothing and sweet allowing you to feel relaxed and comforted right after the first sip. Before inserting myself under the blanket to watch a christmas movie, I nibbled on some macarons and made a little wreath to bring some green to the table! Oh and Ps. my hyacinths are finally beginning to smell gorgeous!

I love the way the wreath looks around a traditional candle holder during the holidays or they can be hung from door nobs or made into small napkin holders for a dinner party. These are fairy simple to make (see more here), you can use some wire or blueberry twigs as a base that you shape into a circle. Around this circle you attach twigs of lingonberry branches put together with the help of a wire. Lingonberry is great to use as it lasts a long time, but pine and juniper is pretty as well!

With these images, I wanted to capture the dark and moody feeling of the pitch black evenings here in Scandinavia that can be extremely cozy if you put your mind to it.

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Masala Chai

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger grated
  • 5 tablespoons loose leaf black tea (or 5 bags and remove tea from inside)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups oat milk (+ extra for frothing)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a saucepan add the grated ginger, crunched cinnamon stick, water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add the loose leaf black tea, cardamom pods, oat milk and let it gently simmer for 5-10 minutes. Sieve the liquid into cups. For a little extra, froth some milk in a frother for garnishing and sprinkle some gingerbread spice on top. Enjoy with macarons! 

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Boudoir Springtime

‘Fishnets, ruffles, blooms & high heels’

Hello black patent loafers and pointy heels, a hint of boudoir is a springtime essential, that has been popping on the legs of many street style influencers! Currently social media is flowing with the combo of fishnets and light-wash jeans that has risen as a nostalgic formation from 80s inspired fashion. I love when the ripped jeans hang from the legs as it looks quite flattering, so the more distressed the better revealing the tights from underneath or flash from the ankles. At a time like this when the embrace falls on genderless and effortless clothes, a pair of fishnet socks/stockings add a degree of femininity and sexiness to an otherwise “boyish” style creating that eye-catching balance. Currently, I’m loving oversized preppy ruffle shirts paired with boyfriend jeans that make it fashionista worthy with classic black louboutins.

They have promised spring weather for next week, I got some fresh tulips from my hubby and friday started off with a cup of hot tea and freshly booked tickets to Paris. Who doesn’t love Paris in the Spring? Time to seek those cherry blossoms and scout for cute hotels with balcony views. A little fishnet can add a seamless extra touch to an outfit and the right amount of edge and will for sure join me to Paris.

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One step closer…

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Time for tea & a bit of wedding talk.

It is finally here, my wedding dress that I have been waiting for over half a year! DHL dropped it home last night after traveling across the globe all the way from France & Australia. I was so nervous opening the package, as I’ve ordered the dress without ever having tried it on and just through picture reference. However it turned out more perfect than I could have anticipated, it by far exceeded all my expectations even though I’m not the easiest to please. Its magical, sensual and slipping into it makes it all feel like a dream come true. I didn’t want to take it off once putting it on and I can’t wait to show it off when the big day comes! It is so me As this huge burden is lifted off my shoulders, I’m celebrating my success of a dress with white blooms, fresh mint tea and juicy summer peaches.

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When it Snows

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A moment to slow down..

When it snows, all you want to do is stay inside with a warm cup of tea, slow down and avoid the blizzard outside. It’s a cozy feeling, when the streets calm from the chaos and the large snowflakes gently float across the winter sky while the rooftops fill with piles of snow. It is Monday again and this week is all about positive vibes! Let’s make the most of it!

Sunday Fresh Mint Tea

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freshly brewed mint tea, a sunday favourite

My sunday morning is a crowned by freshly brewed mint tea, a quiet soothing moment to start the day. I dropped Mr. N at the airport early this morning, so I decided to make some herbal tea once home, to slow down and unwind from the morning rush. Home made herbal tea is easy to make and the flavour combinations are endless. A batch of fresh mint is simply delicious, a favourite of mine either hot or cold. Generally I tend to drink this in the evening, it has become a bit of ritual this winter to mark the end of the day and relax.  A tea moment is wonderful because it cannot be rushed and it forces you to slow down.

Ingredients

  1. 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
  2. honey to sweeten
  3. 2 cups hot water (this makes quite a strong infusion, so you can add more water to dilute the flavour)
  4. squeeze of lemon

How to make? Tear the mint leaves and place into a strainer placed over a glass bowl or teapot. Pour boiling water over the leaves so they are covered under water at all times. To release the oils, bruise the leaves with a wooden spoon. Let the flavours infuse with a covered lid for about 10 minutes. Squeeze excess flavour from leaves and remove. Pour into a cup, sweeten with honey and squeeze a bit of lemon. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

 

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Tea time, Italian Riviera

 

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‘tea time & preppy vibes in Rapallo’

That moment when you can stop & slow down. After a busy morning of exploring and pure wanderlust, it feels great to pause for a brief moment and enjoy a large cup of tea and its blissful surroundings. Finding that good cup of tea is quite rare in Italy, as they are more of the coffee type! But when you do find it, the decadent taste of earl grey with milk lingers down my throat and it feels like heaven! We stayed at this old manner in the Italian Riviera, I loved its creaky old floors, high ceilings and bits of antique here and there. This manner suits a slightly more preppy choice of wardrobe, so I went for the timeless linen dress and pulled my hair into a somewhat tight bun. I absolutely love the dark blue lining for some sharpness along with the waist band to create a bit of silhouette. The dress has a nautical feeling to it, it is elegant and classic, just perfect for the Riviera. Ps. look at the amazing sunlight passing through the overly large windows, quite gorgeous to stand behind it overlooking the rose bushes in the backyard! 

 

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