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RECIPE: Foraged “Kekkle Boil” Rosehip Syrup

hedgerow22I used to get Rose Hip syrup with warm water before bed everynight… “kekkle boil and clean water” is what I used to call this hot sweet drink by Mum served up to me.

It is the richest source of Vitamin C and has a super sweet delicious taste – it is meant to also have a calming effect on children – and was given by the spoonful back in the day (so my mum says!).

The rose hips are readily available in hedgerows and some gardens at this time of year – and usually are picked now to make into candy and jelly..  and after the first frost (when they are much softer) are used to make syrup.

You can either wait until mid October – or pick now and freeze to emulate the frost.  It may mean they are not quite as sweet – but none the less still taste good, and the early fruiting may mean they spoil come October and our warm summer means that Sussex hips are ripe about now.

The BIG TIP is DO NOT USE AN ALUMINIUM PRESERVING PAN – as this strips out the Vitamin C – you need to use an enamel pan or stainless steel.   We have tried a couple of recipes (some way more complicated which is not me at all) but like this ones simplicity and result – which is why it is in my recipe notebook (as posted in 2010).


  • 2.5 litres of water
  • 1 kg of rosehips – yes a lot but its free!
  • 500g of sugar (granulated is fine)

(MAKES about 75ml)

 How to make it:
  1. Top and tail the rosehips – if you have picked them before the first frost stick them in the freezer for a couple of days – to a week, then defrost.
  2. Bring 1.5 litres of the water to boil.
  3. Whizz up the rose hips in a food processer – so they make a pulp
  4. Add to the boiling water, make sure it comes back up to the boil and then remove from the heat and let it stand for around 15 minutes to cool, and for the Vitamins and flavour to go into the water. (Note I have been told that boiling water (100C) is a lot less than boiling vitamin C (about 185C) which is why it doesnt dissolve with boiling water)
  5. Pour through a pre boiled or ironed (to steralise it) muslin square and allow the liquid to drip through.  Alternatively you can use a colander and then a mesh sieve – which does leave a bit more pulp but does the same job)!
  6. Return the pulp to the pan and add 1 litre of fresh boiling water from the kettle and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to cool.
  7. Strain through the muslin (or double sieve technique) again – I use the sieves and push through the last bits with the back of a ladle to make sure I get all the good stuff!.
  8. Pour extracted liquid this time into a clean saucepan and boil to reduce the liquid to 75 cl (a wine bottles worth)
  9. Add the sugar and boil rapidly for around 5 minutes to create the syrup.
  10. Pour into hot sterile small stopper top bottles and seal immediately.

NOTE: We bought a job lot of these on ebay for about £5 2 years ago – and you sterilise them by washing and placing upside down in a 160c oven and then turn off while you make the syrup – sterilise the tops in the dishwasher – or boil for 5 minutes.

The bottles keep – but once open – keep in the fridge and use within a week for best flavour – which is why we use small bottles on all our cordials!
Seriously this is delicious – let us know how you get on or if you have any questions.


blackberry09We only have a small Red Russet tree in our garden…  Sweet and crisp (and disease resilient) we managed to get about 4kg of fruit from a 3 year old tree.  So we munched some, stored some and decided to make a twist on my Sussex apple cake .. mixed with a handful of Brambles from the riverside.  It is super gooey and moist and delicious hot or cold.


  • 500g Apples
  • A handful of Blackberries
  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 2tbsp demerara sugar (to sprinkle on top)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 160 c
  2. Grease and line the bottom of a 20cm loose bottom tin
  3. Peel, Core and slice your apples.  Cut the slices in half.
  4. Meanwhile cream/beat  your butter and sugar in your mixer for at least 5 mins until super light brown (for an extra light cake)
  5. Beat in the vanilla, then eggs 1 at a time – (NOTE you can add 1 tbsp of the flour out of your flour quantity with each egg to stop the mix ‘curdling’)
  6. Add the apples – stir through.
  7. Sift the  rest of the flour, baking powder and spices together, add to your mix and fold in thoroughly
  8. Pour into your cake pan
  9. Sprinkle your blackberries on top, then add the sugar
  10. Bake for 55 mins until golden and a skewer comes out clean
  11. Serve warm or cold with cream, ice cream, custard or a lovely cup of tea

Enjoy x

Calendar: Buy British Day


Not a day goes past without some kind of new way to celebrate a day it seems… but Buy British Day has to be one we must support!
As a small British Design Company, we create everything we make and use local British companies to support what we do.
So go on then.. what are you waiting for!


Calendar: World Coffee Day

FRONT-PE85-CoffeeDay2So Monday is World Coffee Day…  who knew we needed an excuse to brew up on a Monday.  Make mine a double shot..  oh and why not treat yourself to a new personalised Mug in celebration, as we have 20% off all mugs for today only.


Calendar: Autumn Equinox

LOOK02-autumnharvestToday is the Autumn Equinox. Equal night and day and the official start of Autumn.. the misty morning turning into glorious sunshine in Sussex today we think was the perfect start to one of our favourite seasons. Happy Autumn
Shop Handmade Paper Decorations >>

Gifts: Ideas for Teacher


End of term is nigh!  and we have collated a little range of personalised products to show your favourite teacher a little appreciation


Crafts: A love of Loombands


Back in February my daughters friend bought her a ‘friendship bracelet kit’ …  at the time I didnt give it much thought ..  just another kids friendship bracelet kit.  Then she made me a fabulous neon pink striped bracelet and I gave it a better look.

Since then Loombands have become not just an obsession in our household, but in many others too.  I have literally been obsessed stretching rubber bands onto a grid and seeing what happens when they are hooked off…  sometimes it works, sometimes it unravels.  Like all really cool crafts – it is simple in concept .. with a very broad appearl my 5 year old is able to create simple but effective pieces and those more adventurous and older folk use them to make all sorts of products..  even clothing.

I am off to play and am thinking about posting a few of my ideas on our You Tube Channel…  watch this space

Life: Arundel Corpus Christi 2014

carpet of flowers

Last week was Corpus Christi at Arundel Cathedral – we are not Catholics but every year we visit the cathedral (along with hundreds of tourists) to see the theme of the carpet of flowers laid along the cathedral aisle.  This year the theme was the First World war – and I always am in awe of the talents of the local ladies who create this fantastic annual celebration

#lovewhereyoulive indeed

Carpet of Flowers

News: Pearl and Earl in the Venus Awards


Last month we discovered that Pearl and Earl were nominated in 4 categories for the 2014 Natwest Venus Awards.  Dubbed “The Working Womens Oscars” they are a national award recognising Women in Business – and are probably the most well known.

So last Thursday we were invited to a networking ‘do’ where they were to announce the regional Semi-Finalists.  Whilst coiffing a glass of Rose on a lovely Summers evening we were both surprised and excited to be whittled down from 1000’s of entries to be in the final 5 companies in all of our 4 categories.  So now we are heading off to the regional Semi-Finals in July to see if we can make it through to the Grand Finale in November.

The last few years have been a roller coaster of the good, bad and the downright ugly as we have endeavoured to build our Brand as well as bring up 2 small children and deal with all those things that life insists on throwing at you.  So moments like this are truly treasured by each and every one of our very small team at Pearl and Earl.

As part of the process we were asked to make a couple of videos to gather votes for the public categories and it was a very strange experience stepping out from behind my keyboard to speak out loud about what we do.  I had to miss the professional session – as it clashed with my childrens Sports Day.  So armed with an i-phone and a candlestick (to balance it on) we made own own videos in our studio and edited them on imovie (God bless Apple for making this easier for us).  They are our first – so please be kind.  We will send the link when they are complete!

Whether we make it through or not – we are sincerely happy to have been recognised thus far.  The awards we are up for are:

  • Small Business
  • Online and Technology
  • Business Mother
  • Customer Service

We will let you know how we get on, thanks to all our customers and friends of the brand thus far … x


Home: Happy Feet! Our New Wool Rugs are coming…


We are thrilled to let you know that our brand new interiors collection is starting arriving at Pearl and Earl!   First up.. a collection of HAND TUFTED RUGS which are not only made from British Wool, but each and every one is handmade to order to create a thick luxurious pile.  There is the option to CUSTOMISE the colours to match your interior, from our collection of 48 Wool Colours.  We also have a choice of sizes too, helping you express your individual style.  We like to think we are offering something a little different!
Why not order a set of WOOL NUGGETS to pick and mix the colours at your pleasure…  and we can mock up your rug look for approval.  If you are after something completely bespoke, we now offer this service too.  Just ask the team.
Our favourite item?  The GRANNY SQUARE in RAINBOW colours … but the PASTEL shades are also divine.  Matching elements are on their way.
As a bonus for launch – we are offering 20% off Rugs until the end of June with code WOOLYTOES.
Plus remember you can also collect HAPPY POINTS on your purchase too.
Why not make your feet happy!

News: Happy Points have arrived at Pearl and Earl


We are really excited to be launching our very own loyalty scheme this week – called HAPPY POINTS.  It’s FREE to join and all you have to do is shop on our website and create an online account.  Points will then automatically be added to your account, ready for you to swap for discount vouchers or free stuff!  Offers change every week!

As a little LAUNCH BONUS if you shopped with us this year we have added these points to your account – so some of you already have a healthy stash to spend!
Plus if you REFER A FRIEND to shop at Pearl and Earl and you get extra points (for each and every one of them) and they get a discount off their first shop!  Just click HERE and then log into your account to get the details
Just think of it as a little thank you from us


Party: New Neon Paper Straws

straw-neons2Oh hello there!  We have another new exclusive Pearl and Earl design in our party store…  it took a while to develop to pass our rigorous EU and FDA food standard tests .. but at last our Flourescent Neon Paper Straws have arrived!  In stock now for your partying pleasure.


RECIPE: Foraged Elderflower Cordial


May / June (depending on the weather) is when the hedgerows in Sussex begin to fill to the brim with Elderflower.  A few years ago our Autumn hedgerows could be foraged at our leisure for the brambles and sloes to make our Autumn foraged foods… but the trend for all things home made has seen us have to strategically plan our hedgerow attack..  to ensure we dont get pipped to the post!

At the moment Elderflowers are still not widely harvested… so our stash is safe for now and we are making bumper batches to keep in the larder.  Over the years I have used different recipes – but have decided that this version makes the most potent brew with the least amount of ‘faffing’

Firstly pick your heads on a dry (preferably sunny) morning – for maximum flavour.  The flowers should be in bloom – neither in bud nor wilting brown..  and I pick the whole head and count the bounty like this.

For my recipe you will need 30 heads of elderflowers – which makes approximately 1.5 litres of cordial.


  • 30 Elderflower Heads (pick them on the morning of making)
  • 1.5 litre of water
  • 1.5kg sugar
  • 3 unwaxed lemons
  • Campden tablet (optional)


  1. Gently shake the flower heads and leave then in a bowl in the shade for any bugs to scuttle away. DO NOT WASH.
  2. Boil the water
  3. Zest and slice the lemons and place in a large bowl along with the sugar
  4. Put the flowers in the bowl too and pour over the boiling water
  5. Gently stir until the sugar is dissolved
  6. Leave to steep for at least 24 hours – covered with a teatowel
  7. Place a muslin in a seive and place this over a large pan – pour over your concoction and allow to drain into the pan
  8. Gently bring to the boil and then allow to simmer (bubble gently not furiously) for 10 minutes
  9. Meanwhile prepare your bottles by running through the dishwasher or rinsing under a hot tap
  10. Using a funnel – pour the cordial into the bottles and close
  11. NOTE: The citrus stops the cordial fermenting and so this should keep for about a month in the fridge.  If you want it to store for longer you can replace the lemons with 7g of citric or tartaric acid …  or just before bottling you can add a dissolved campden tablet, used in winemaking, which means you can store your produce for up to 1 year!

My favourite mix?  A large dash of cordial, an measure of botanical gin topped with soda water and a cucumber icecube..  a taste of Summer






GIVING: Fathers Day Last Minute Gifts


Fathers Day is on SUNDAY 15th…  and we have some fabulous exclusive lines which can all be personalised… even if you leave it until the last minute!  We offer Express until Thursday – for Friday delivery and also offer a premium Saturday delivery service.  So what are you waiting for?  Standard delivery is only £3.95 (or free on orders over £50) and we only ship First Class as standard!

My favourites?  The Dad Poem – that I wrote for my Dad is now available in Teal and Ink colours… and the custom FUND box for that car that they never get round to buying.


ADVENTURES: Notes from Hay


The last week of May is always the now internationally renowned Hay Festival – in Hay-On-Wye on the Welsh borders.  We love the town and often visit out of season, spending hours with the kids browsing the many book shops – in particular BOOTHS, probably the most well known, and certainly the biggest.  Filled to the rafters with vintage and new books, it is a place to sit cross legged on the floor and lose yourself for hours reading about whatever takes your fancy.  It is the one shop in the world where my children dont drive me crazy!

This year they had a veritable feast of celebs and authors, from Benedict Cumberbatch to Bear Grylls and Stephen Fry.  From business inspirations to a day in the life of a fly – the single field (it is not big) packs a punch of fabulous things to listen to and interact with.

We have booked next year again already…  I recommend you do the same

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HQ NEWS: A New Look


Today we unveiled the first stage of our new branding look.   At PEARL AND EARL we believe in hip, happy, colourful living.. and that the simplest things can bring the greatest pleasure!   Plus at our heartland we are a Sussex Based studio who create exclusive designs which are based on Jacqui’s ‘Nostalgic Chic’ British design style.  How about that for a brief?

As our product collection grows into interiors and other product areas we wanted to simplify our message…

After much umming and ahhing we decided on …  Swallows to represent Arundel – our hometown where the brand was born and a simpler palette featuring our signature Turquoise with the addition of a little grown up blue. The website has been refreshed along with our packaging – and we hope you like it.


Happy Cinco de Mayo!


Happy Bank Holiday!  ..  But today is also the Cinco De Mayo festival – which is a big celebration in Mexico and the US.  Initially a date to commorate a great battle, over the years it has become a festival of all thing Mexican.  As such it is filled with paper flowers and vibrant festival colours….   things that we at Pearl and Earl LOVE!
To commemorate this we have created a vibrant FLORAL FIESTA summer paper wreath, filled with some of our favourite paper blooms (all created in our Sussex Studio).  We think these are the perfect back drop to any celebration and are perfect for wedding back drops, as we offer custom sizes and colours.
Whatever you are doing this Bank Holiday weekend, we hope the sun is shining and all is Hip and Happy in your world.

May the Fourth Be with You!


One of my favourite random celebrations…May the 4th is STAR WARS DAY!   I will forever be a Star Wars geek.  Off to make some intergalatic lego with my son.  Happy Sunday!

Life: Bluebell Woods


April / May  is one of my favourite times in Sussex… Why? it is all about the Bluebells which festoon the woodland floors.  As much as we love our Pearl and Earl decorations..  nature trumps us every time.  Happy Times

Mothers Day Crafts


As MOTHERS DAY is on the horizon – I decided to add a new cross stitch to my granny squares CROSS STITCH collection…  with this MUM cushion.  The perfect gift for crafty Mums.


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