I recently visited Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire where they produce remarkable British sparkling wines. I’m a massive fan of English wines and really believe we produce some of the best wines in the world. They are often made with love in small vineyards and have so much more character than many I have tasted from elsewhere. I’m more used to the wines from Kent, particularly enjoying Chapel Down in Tenterden, but it’s brilliant to have found something even more local. In fact, it only took me 15 minutes to reach the vineyard from Emsworth!

Whilst it is often true that English wines may cost more than your average bottle in the supermarket, I am much happier drinking superior wines on a less frequent basis!

Hambledon Vineyard offer tours for small groups for £10 pp – which can be redeemed against any wine purchased. The bottle of Mill Down I bought is reserved for a special occasion – I just need to think of a reason to celebrate asap!


Lemon curd cupcakes

posted by Barbara Crick on Tags: ,


Food often brings back memories, and for me, lemon curd reminds me of the pot my Mum bought back from Harrods. It was a real treat and I remember it to this day! These cupcakes use that favourite flavour of mine to create a beautiful sweet treat, I hope you enjoy them.


for the cakes-

2 eggs
see below caster sugar
see below self raising flour
see below unsalted butter
about 3 tbsp lemon curd
splash whole milk
half lemon, zest only

for the icing

75g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon curd



1. Firstly weigh your eggs (in the shells), make a note of this weight and put the eggs to one side.

2. Whatever the weight was, weigh out the same amount of unsalted butter and caster sugar. Beat these together.

3. In a separate bowl, weigh out the self-raising flour. Crack the first of your eggs into the butter and sugar mix, along with a spoonful of the flour. Stir in and then repeat with the second egg.

4. Once both eggs are in, add the remaining flour. Then add a splash of milk to loosen the mixture (the amount you need depends on how thick your mixture is, you are looking for it to be ‘dropping’ consistency).

5. Add the lemon zest and stir well.

6. Transfer into 12 cupcake size cake cases. Add a small amount of lemon curd to the top of each cake.

7. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until golden at 180C/ fan 160C.

8. For the icing, beat together the butter and icing sugar. Add the lemon curd and stir well.

9. Once the cakes are cooked and cooled, cover with icing.

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes