Monday, 14 March 2011

Ina Garten's Irish Soda Bread and a peek inside the Presbytère.

(The Graphics Fairy)
Lynn @ Happier Than a Pig in Mud has invited us all to take part in her Celebrity Cook - Along this month with TV Chef and prolific Cook Book author Ina Garten.

Cuisine Kathleen is also hosting the 3rd Annual St Patricks Day blog crawl.

Click on the links or the sidebar buttons to join the parties.

To celebrate St Patricks Day I made Ina's Irish Soda Bread and invited a couple of dear old friends, Brian and Bree Bear, to share this tea time treat.

We'll be taking tea in the 16th century part of the house today, in the Bishops bedroom of the Presbytère.

Click here to get Ina's Irish Soda Bread recipe from The Barefoot Contessa At Home cookery book.

Brian sends his apologies but he didn't have time to change out of the holey aran sweater which he likes to wear when gardening.
As you can see Bree has gone to a lot of trouble with her appearance and is wearing a favourite linen dress trimmed with Irish lace and a matching hair ribbon.
She's not too pleased that Brian looks a little scruffy, but at least he took off his muddy boots and put on indoor shoes, and he did bring me daffodils from his garden.
I popped them straight into a cherished Waterford crystal pitcher, a wedding present many moons ago.

Why not pull up this wooden rocking chair and join them for a slice of soda bread, the orange zest and currants make this a tasty tea time favourite.

There's mascarpone cream and black cherry preserves in the Waterford crystal bowls, do please help yourself.

Perhaps you'd prefer to settle back amongst the cushions on our comfy sofa?

Excuse me just for a moment, I must go and see if the kettle has boiled.
I'll be back in a jiffy with the tea.
In the meantime, if you would like to know a little more about the Bishops bedroom why not sit back and enjoy these photographs of a very special place.

It's a beautiful, peaceful room which still has the handcut terracotta tile floor original to the house, circa late 1500's.
Simple white plaster walls and an eclectic mix of antique and vintage pieces.
We discovered the beams in the ceiling, above the windows and doorway, and the Caen stone surrounding the doorway when we were renovating this part of the building.
Chiselled into the stonework, at the side of the doorway, we also found the date 1787, which we believe was done to mark the "new addition"  to the house.
The fireplace and decoration on the chimney breast are original too, we think.

It is the perfect place for a Reiki treatment.
Click here to see the post of how I use the Bishops bedroom as my Reiki space.
I've so enjoyed your visit and showing you around a part of our Normandy home.
 I hope you'll come back again soon.
There may be crumpets for tea next time.


  1. Maggie,
    I made Ina's Irish soda bread too. Great minds, you know.

    Your home is beautiful.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day.


  2. Maggie, if only those walls could talk, and tell their stories. I so enjoyed seeing more of your lovely home.

    And you know I like bears as you saw them here. Cute, cute.

    Also love anything Ina Garten does.
    If you haven't tried her coconut cupcakes, be sure to one day.

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day to the two of you as well as the animals.

  3. Maggie, what fun to have tea with Brian and Bree Bear in that very special room. Is the Bishops' bedroom the guest room? ;-) Such a lovely space!

    Still working on my St. Paddy's post. Hope to have it up by this evening. Been spending time with my sister and sweet Miss Annabelle. ~ Sarah

  4. Tea and crumpets? I'll be right over. What a sweet tea party with Brian and Bree - and perhaps a gentle lingering presence of Bishop?

  5. Well the Bishop of Armagh in the heyday of C18th scholarship would have reposed well here- tres tres bon pour le jour du Saint Patrick! Flip is that hop thing tomorrow- I said I'd sign up for that too!!!

  6. Thanks so much for the link to the soda bread recipe! I want to try it!!! :D

  7. This is such a wonderful post Maggie. I love the glimpse inside your home. I have a trunk similar to yours and just posted about my old sea chest today - an Irish post as well - The luck of the Irish to you!

  8. I just know that if I sat down in that sofa, among those cushions, I'd never get up.
    What a sweet post - a little whimsy, a little glimpse of your beautiful home and a link to a post with some good reminders.

  9. Wonderful post.

    What a lovely home!

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

  10. Hi Maggie! Your soda bread looks great and cherry preserves sound amazing! Cute company today and lovely flowers, the orange trumpets are just beautiful! Thanks for joining the cook along, hope to see you at the next one:@)

  11. Oh, what a perfect way and place to enjoy this yummy soda bread! Lovely post and sweet companions :)

  12. What a delicious looking tea party :) And I love your guests! Beautiful home.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  13. Maggie,
    Thanks for the tour of your wonderful home. I almost can't wrap my mind around the idea of living in a home that is so wonderfully old and a true treasure.

    Your soda bread looks fabulous. I would love to have a piece for breakfast this morning!

  14. Ina's soda bread looks so good-I keep seeing it and now I want some!!! Your reika post was so interesting. I have heard the word but did not know much about it. Linda

  15. Wonderfuly post and the bunnies are so adorable.

  16. Ummm, the bread looks fabulous.
    Love your pretty home.

  17. Your home is so warm and welcoming and that bread looks like a fabulous tea treat. Happy St Paddy's!


  18. What a fun post. I would love to join you for tea and Irish soda bread! I hope you have a wnderful St. Patrick's day!

  19. Your Irish soda bread sure looks very tempting and delish, Maggie. I want some right NOW!, lol. Your home is very inviting...Christine

  20. Maggie, your Irish cut crystal is gorgeous! The soda bread looks delicious! And I always enjoy seeing your beautiful home. Happy St Patrick's day to you!

  21. Holy Moly! You actually LIVE in Normandy??!?!! That is just so cool!!!!!!!! And your home is beautiful! I can only imagine the satisfaction it has brought you and your husband over the last 14 years. What a wonderful treasure! Those floors in the bedroom are amazingly beautiful! It is always so nice to visit with people in far-flung places. Normandy is a new one for me! I hope you and your family enjoy St. Patrick's Day and that you continue to find peace, comfort and joy in your gorgeous home. Oh...and thank you so much for stopping by my blog earlier today!

  22. What a lovely home, Maggie! And the bears look completely comfortable there!

    Kathleen's blog crawl is such fun and Ina's soda bread is a fine addition!

  23. Oh goodness! Your pictures are wonderful. My father was part of the D-Day "event". Maybe he passed by your place. ;-)
    Thanks for your visit.
    Ladybug Creek

  24. I love Ina. All the recipes of hers I've tried are wonderful. Thanks for the peek into the Presbytere.

  25. Hi Maggie,
    I sure enjoyed having tea with you today. Your home is lovely. Your Soda Bread looks very good. Thank you for sharing and you have a great day!

  26. I like the way you think. I chose the same recipe. :o)

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  27. Your home is so fascinating. People here really don't know what "old" means do they? That floor is wonderful! I'd love a slice of the bread...I'm without a kitchen for a couple of weeks or I'd be baking some!

  28. What a lovely blog you have! And your bedroom is just beautiful. Love those sweet bears and that gorgeous trunk!

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog ~ I do hope you will visit often!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  29. Oh Maggie, this room is beautiful! I love the linens hanging around the bed, and I love the beams and the door frame. And oh, those wonderful floors! Your little bears are precious, and the Irish bread looks delicious. laurie

  30. Brian and Bree look like the perfect guests! (Love your trunk also)
    I tried soda bread this year too, it's nice to see the color and texture of everyones since I didn't know what it was supposed to look like.
    The Bishops room is beautiful..could sleep well there!!

  31. What a beautiful home, and adorable bears!
    Thanks so much for joining in the Blog Crawl!
    Happy SPD!

  32. Had to come bacl and look at your new addition - Fleur is gorgeous!!


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!