It has now been a few months since I left my job to run Penny Dreadful Vintage
full time. I’ll use any excuse for a celebration, so on Saturday I held a launch party for PDV
. It was great fun, with friends old and new, lashings of Pimms
, a retro buffet, corny pop music, and loads of dressing up. So much fun in fact, that I hardly took any photos at all. I don’t even have a single picture of my own dress! So you’ll have to take it from me that it had black and white stripes and polka dots, worn with huge gold earrings, bright pink shoes and matching pink lippie. Always one for elegant understatement me. Some of these pictures I had to steal from Perdita
I had thought I had everything under control, but as soon as people started to arrive I realised I hadn’t made up any Pimms
, hadn’t put out all the food, and hadn’t even put my own make-up on. Thank goodness for organised friends: Land Girl
took charge as Pimms
did my eyeliner, Claire laid out the cake, and The Orientalist made sure we were all sustained with pink fizz.
I wanted to label the cups so that people would be able to keep track of where their drinks were. I gave each of them a slang term used for women through the different eras (most of them not very complimentary). I still managed to lose my cup several times, and went from Fallen Woman to Hustler to Haymarket Ware.
But forget people. There are more important things. Like food. I would make a great Italian mama, because my worst nightmare is the idea of people coming to my home and being hungry. I ALWAYS over cater. So we had three plates of triangle sandwiches, tortilla chips, meatballs, Battenburg cake, Swiss roll, chocolate chip biscuits, carrot scones, plain scones (made by Akeela
), mint humbugs, marshmallows, jaffa cakes, lemon cake, Bakewell tarts, and two 70s style cocktail hedgehogs. Stop stop, it’s too much! (as Mole
The sandwiches were made with smoked apple wood cheddar and apple chutney, ham and mustard, and cucumber sandwiches with minted cream cheese. Even with so many, they all disappeared.
I made two hedgehogs, one with cheddar and picked onions, the other with cheddar and kabanosi. Land Girl made the delicious carrot scones from a World War Two recipe, which were designed to use basic rations. You wouldn’t think they would be nice, but they are amazing. I requested she made them specially, you can read her recipe and method here
These meatballs were my own invention. I wanted to do something from the 50s, so these are bunless mini cheeseburgers. They were actually really tasty – I mixed up about 250g of beef mince with 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic, a crushed beef stock cube, 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs, and two slices of bread soaked in milk and smooshed up. Then I rolled into balls and baked in the oven, and right at the end put a bit of cheese on top of each to melt over. After they were cool I speared each with a slice of dill pickle and served with a bowl of ketchup for dipping.
Eventually most people went home, and it was just a few of us die-hards left. I kicked off my heels and changed into a jumpsuit, discovered a soul-mate in Perdita
who happily sang along with me to Dolly Parton (using candle stubs as microphones), and everyone ended up wearing something silly from my hat collection. I won’t embarrass Mr Glasgow or Mr Aberdeen by showing the very feminine hats they were sporting, but here is the little Persian lamb pill box hat I ended up in. Note the candle mic in hand.