Dholki party

I was recently asked to take photos at a dholki party that a friend of my sister’s was having. A dholki is a party that takes place before a wedding which involves dancing and singing traditional songs to the beat of a drum – a dholki. The event was held in a private space in a restaurant meaning that we would be able to have good food and then have a space for the entertainment. Dholkis are mainly for women (and young children), giving the women a chance to let their hair down without any inhibitions.

The theme of the event was peacock feathers with colours pulled out to decorate other parts of the space which I really liked.

The bride-to-be’s friends set up dessert tables near the entrance that I though were really creative and colourful. I thought the popcorn was a nice way to keep the kids happy until food was served. I also loved the cake shaped in a cushion.

After everyone had dinner cushions, the drum and song books were placed together so that everyone could sit and sing songs together.

Once everyone had sung enough songs, the floor space was cleared so that people could dance. The bride and her friends had choreographed a few dances together, which was fun to watch.

It was a fun evening and a nice way to give women close to the bride-to-be a chance to spend time together with the her and her family.

Halal Street Food Festival

I recently went to a halal food festival in London with a friend. I usually don’t go to food events as I’m never too sure what I can eat, but as this was one where I could have my pick and not hold back I was keen to see what they would have. The event was held in London’s iconic Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch. There were lots of stalls with food on offer, so it took us a while to look around and decide what we wanted as well as it being super busy.

We finally decided on masala cheesy chips and chicken wrap to share and delicious looking waffles on a stick for dessert with freshly squeezed orange juice to wash it all down. We then headed towards the games section where we played giant noughts and crosses and connect four and just soaked in the atmosphere.

The event was very popular and queues were super long, but the food was varied and enjoyable. I’d be interested to go to such an event again but maybe on a weekday to try and avoid the rush.

Let them eat cake

I went to a cake show in London this weekend with my sister and niece. I’m not much of a baker but I wanted to see all the creative designs that would be on show, and eat some delicious cake of course. And I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed! There were some amazing cakes, as well as other seriously delicious looking treats that were enough to make my mouth water.

On arrival we were greeted with the huge, happy face of Roald Dahl’s BFG made entirely of sugar, with great colour and detail.

Sugar BFG

There were cooking classes going on with famous tv chefs as well as general sessions to help create treats from well known brands, We didn’t join any of these sessions, preferring to take a look around the stalls. There was almost everything you could think of related to desserts on offer; from cake embellishments and tools, to edible buys like cupcakes, macaroons, meringues and pastries.

I thought some of the cakes on display were great and you could see a lot of time and effort went into making them. Available were kits and tips on how to make and decorate them as well as demonstrations. The biscuit Eiffel Tower was impressive as was the level of detail that seemed to go into some of the sugar craft pieces.

As we wandered we tried some samples and brought some tasty goodies, trying not to get carried away and buying one of everything. We also boarded a red double decker bus set out for afternoon tea.

There was also a cake and cupcake competition that the public could vote for so we walked the aisles wowed by the entries. The theme was myths, legends and fairy tales and there were some great creations. I think my favourites were the Frog Prince, the pretty peacock cupcakes and Disney cake.

After spending most of the afternoon and too much money we headed home with delicious goods, dead batteries and weary but happy smiles. It was a great show and there was something for everyone, avid bakers or not.

Colourful fruits of labour

For my younger sister’s wedding day we thought it would be a nice touch to have a fruit table for the guests. We asked the catering company if they would be able to provide one for us but at a price of £400 (for fruit!) we said thanks, but no thanks! So, me and my older sister decided to have a go ourselves and as me and my sisters are quite a creative anyway

The day before the wedding day, my sister and I went to the local grocers and fruit stalls in our area and brought a whole range of fruits to give us different shapes, colours and sizes for our table.

As my sister’s wedding was an evening affair, my older sister and I got together in the morning of the wedding day and started prepping the fruit. We washed and cut up the fruit to make it easy and ready to eat

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We then started placing the prepared fruit neatly in flat plastic trays that would help make the fruit not only look good but also make it easy to transport to the wedding venue.

We added small bunches of grapes and slices of oranges to the cut pieces of watermelon and melon, to add colour and also help fill the gaps.

My sister also had a good idea to make small cups of fuit that people can just take away. We used the leftover bits of watermelon, melons and grapes and added strawberries on top. She did this in a rainbow colour order which I thought looked great.

We had asked the venue to provide us with a couple of extra tables with tablecloths for us to use for our fruit. I got to the venue early and set this up before the guests arrived.

At previous parties and events my sisters have always set up a pretty sweet table for guests to enjoy. They decided they would like to do one for the wedding too to sit alongside the fruit table. In the weeks running up to the wedding we all kept an eye out for any sweets that fit our colour theme; red, gold and white (to match the bride). We then put them in colour blocks in various clear pots we had to make it all look neat when put together. I think the birdcages with the roses threaded through them are an especially nice touch and help bring the whole table together.

I think we did a good job (even if I do say so myself) and I think the bride was happy and the guests enjoyed it too, as most of it was eaten. We learnt that we can use our creative ideas to put together something that is well presented and enjoyed by all, at the fraction of the cost. I’d love to hear what you think of our efforts and if you have any other good ideas.

Vintage bridal shower

Wedding season is in full swing at the moment and this year we have a big wedding in our family too; my youngest sister is getting married. To get the ball rolling with the celebrations my older sister decided to throw her a bridal shower, the theme; vintage, which means florals, pearls, pastels and polka dots. We held the bridal shower in the garden so we can enjoy the good weather, the extra space and also have my mum’s pretty flowers to add to the theme.
To add a bit of shade and colour we hung some pretty, flowery scarves from the fences, across the garden and added my sister’s handmade banners. We also added lots of other little touches to make the garden pretty

We each made some food for the day; my older sister made macaroni salad, my younger sister brought along chicken sandwiches and my sister-in-law made a pretty trifle. My contribution was chocolate dipped strawberries, plates of cut summer fruits and old fashioned lemonade which I thought would add a nice touch to a summery party. Our guests also brought along food and other tasty treats to share so we had lots of variety

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For fun my sister-in-law arranged a quiz for my sister who is getting married where she asked her fiancé 20 questions and asked my sister to see if she could guess how he answered. For each question she got wrong she had to put to put a piece of chewing gum in her mouth – I think she got about 2 right so she got through several packets!

Overall, it was a lovely bridal shower and everyone was able to enjoy the good weather, food and company. I think it was my baby nieces and cousin though, who stole the show with their pretty smiles and polka dot and flowery dresses, who got away with being cheeky and running off with numerous biscuits and cakes

Next up my sister-in-law is hosting a 1920’s themed party for the bride-to-be which we’re all looking forward to

Colourful cupcakes

My sister has become quite talented at making cupcakes, all she needs is to be told what colours you want them in. These bright and colourful cupcakes were made for a henna party recently.

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And the best thing is not only do they look great they taste delicious too