Monday, 28 May 2012

Curious Diamond Jubilee Spamwich

As the Queen celebrates the 60th year of her reign, the Caravan Club is celebrating its 105th birthday. The organisation reckons that as this year is going to have so many street parties, summer picnics and caravanning holidays, it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce a Caravan Club Sandwich.

One of their members, Samantha Haas, has created a recipe that she feels is perfect for 2012 (see right). I’m not so sure myself, as it includes margarine, Danish salami, cheese, onion and mint sauce… eek!

Now I don’t want to get on the wrong side of the internet regulatory authorities by mentioning Spam, but I’ve been wondering which dishes to make for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations myself, and anything involving this curiously retro ingredient seems rather appropriate – and certainly (even though it's an American import), more associated with our British heritage than salami..

So I’ve come up with an important new recipe for 2012 - The Curious Diamond Jubilee Spamwich. The ingredients are as follows:

Two slices of Hovis bread
A dollop of Heinz salad cream
Two Epicure pickled gherkins - sliced
One generous slice of Spam
One leaf of Webb’s Wonder lettuce

You can make this easily yourself at home, using these or any quantities of the ingredients required. You can even add your own personal twist – like toasted with a slathering of Marmite – a version that is especially tasty after an evening at the local pub. 

To get into the Jubilee spirit, why not serve this on a vintage commemorative plate celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. They're quite a rarity, but one is available at ShopCurious… Order by Friday morning and we’ll make sure it reaches you in time for your Bank Holiday weekend Spamfest.

Will you?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee, Chelsea flowers and tea

I had to capture this photograph of an elderly couple picnicking by the bandstand at the Chelsea Flower Show. For me, the image conveys a sense of love, loyalty, friendship, traditional values and shared memories - the sort of essence of the Diamond Jubilee.

Now cast your mind into the future. How will the scene look in 20, let alone 60 years time? Let ShopCurious know what you think.

Will you?

PS See more photographs of Chelsea’s eclectic vintage British style in today’s post at The Dabbler.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The timeless art of dressing up

For all fashion lovers, I would recommend a visit to the V&A’s newly re-opened fashion galleries and the latest exhibition there – Ballgowns: British glamour since 1950.

The ballgown is the ultimate expression of a designer’s talent – and usually the most glamorous garment in any woman’s wardrobe. And the sense of grandeur of this show reflects the opulent interiors in which the mainly haute couture garments would have originally been worn.

The ground floor level of the exhibition features older designs ranging from classic Hartnell and Hardy Amies to Catherine Walker’s beaded ensemble for the Princess of Wales (which brought a tear to my eye) - and a divinely different debutante number by Vivienne Westwood.

Upstairs, the mezzanine is devoted to 28 pieces by contemporary designers including this Car Wash Dress by Giles Deacon, inspired by the car wash near his studio in London’s East End.

Some of the designers represented are honorary Brits, by dint of being based in the UK – like Atsuko Kudo, whose fetishistic latex dress looks deceptively as though it’s made of lace. There are also the ubiquitous ‘celebrity’ red carpet dresses, and a designers’ replica of the Swarovski crystal covered Ralph and Russo dress worn by Beyonce when she performed for the President at The White House.

In keeping with our royal theme, I found this fabulous photograph of the late Princess Margaret, dressed in a flamingo pink ballgown.

If you’re curious to see more of her stunning outfits, we’ve a selection of royal ephemera at ShopCurious, including some curiously collectable vintage books and magazines featuring fabulous photographs of couture gowns.

I’m really looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee – and two days holiday.

Are you?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Crowning curiosity?

Did you know that the Imperial State Crown travels in its own carriage (along with the Cap of Maintenance and the Sword of State) ahead of the monarch to the State Opening of Parliament?

You may have spotted this crown today, being worn by The Queen, as she led the procession through the Royal Gallery to the House of Lords for the official occasion.

Prior to decimalization, a crown also used to be a coin (worth five shillings in old money) - before it was reissued as a 25p piece. A new £5 crown was issued by the Royal Mint from 1990, and a special Diamond Jubilee coin in this denomination is now available.

Sadly, the half crown coin (as shown here), was discontinued in 1970, though the 10p coin looks rather similar.

Anyway, old or new, most coins are still worth collecting - at least for the moment…
So, whether you’re a budding numismatist, or just saving up for a rainy day, how about this curiously collectable 1953 coronation souvenir crown-shaped money box from ShopCurious?
I think this characterful vintage heirloom could prove to be quite a good investment in its own right – though unfortunately you won’t be able to wear it.

Will you?