Hair of the Dog, Flapjacks, Period House magazine, and a happy customer in Oxford

A lovely new high class pet shop is opening soon at 4-8 Highgate High Street in London called “Hair of the Dog”. Sophie, we wish you all the very best and thank you for keeping Sue in employment! All of our pet beds are made to order by Sue who remains remarkably tolerant of her house being filled with wool fluff and gingham off cuts …

Last night I decided to make a tried and trusted Banana Cake for a meeting we held in the office today, but the moral of the story could be “don’t let a 15 year old son loose on a recipe book”. 2 teaspoons of baking soda mysteriously translated themselves into 2 tablespoons! I should have had my suspicions when it came to washing up the measuring jug and finding soda sediment at the bottom … naturally it necessitated some urgent rethinking and I resorted to another favourite which always works perfectly:

Flapjack (otherwise called Whole Oat Crunchies by Delia Smith!)
Makes 12 (never enough, I always double the recipe)

4.5 oz porridge oats
3 oz demerara sugar (can use golden caster for less granular result)
4 oz butter (if doubling the recipe I only use 7 oz)

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 or 190 degrees centigrade

Well grease a large shallow baking tin

Weigh out oats and sugar, place in a mixing bowl and mix together evenly. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan, only just melt it and do not allow to go brown.
Pour the butter into the oats mixture and mix together to blend well.
Fill the baking tin and use a knife to flatten evenly.
Bake on centre shelf of hot oven for 12-15 minutes until a pale gold colour.
Remove the tin from the oven and cut into slices while still warm. Allow to cool in the tin until cold and crisp.

Period House magazine is currently running a competition to win a King Size winter weight White Cloud duvet– part of Kat and Marisa’s task in life is to help us find magazines where we fit in well. We trust their judgement 100% and it is really pleasing to find that all their hard work is now beginning to pay off. At the Cheltenham Gift Fair last weekend a number of customers came up to our stand to say they had heard of us, what a lovely name, what a great story behind the business and that they knew about wool staying warm in winter and cool in summer. Hurray, job done girls, you work really hard on our behalf and we really are indebted to you.

This leads me on nicely to a really heartfelt email we received from a special Italian customer in Oxford, for whom we have just made a huge special order pet bed, made specifically to sit along the length of her sofa. It was sent yesterday and it looked wonderful, here is part of the email she wrote at the end of last week:

“I’ll tell you something, in praise of your website and company. Just before contacting you about the duvet and ordering from White Cloud, I found exactly the same was being sold for £151 from a big on-line retailer. But it has been like going to a nice shop run by a family to touch and look at the material and ask some kind assistants all the information about the product and then go off to another shop to buy it for less. It didn’t seem right”.

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