Vintage-inspired Flower Shop in Nelson

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A scattering of rose petals strewn on the pavement outside the front door drew Rachel into Imperial Rose Flowers, a charming vintage-inspired flower shop located in Nelson.

Owner Maree has a great eye for detail and has cleverly and artistically styled floral displays amongst an eclectic assortment of carved-stone urns, rustic tins, wrought iron furniture and other collectible oddities.  So inspiring to find other passionate florists doing something outside of the square.

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Gorgeous healthy cakes

Cake by Anna Worthington  (photographer Kate McCaskill

It never ceases to amaze me the number of clever and creative people here in Christchurch right now,  quietly working away developing innovative projects and launching unique businesses.

Anna Worthington is a good example of this.  I stumbled upon Anna’s beautiful cakes by chance recently at a dear friend’s birthday celebration.  Champagne combined with Garden City cake scattered with delicately violet-hued pansies.  Simply glorious!

Given my life-long passion for baking and love of anything floral, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to discover Cakes By Anna. I just adore her mouth-watering website and the story behind her set up.  Fine Arts Graduate creating edible masterpieces from a tiny, unassuming location in Sydenham using seasonal local ingredients.  Ticks all the boxes.

Ordinarily I’d whip up a cake myself for Valentine’s Day but so impressed was I with Anna’s Garden City Cake that I ordered (feeling slightly guilty and indulgent)  a gluten free, refined sugar free raspberry, orange, almond and pistachio cake last week. The entire cake disappeared within minutes, enjoyed by three generations of cake lovers. And there I was imagining a piece for breakfast the next morning with my cup of tea!

As a devoted fan and follower of Nigella Lawson over the years (I think it’s safe to say I’ve baked every cake in ‘Domestic Goddess’), I find myself now in search of  healthier options to give my family.  Yes sugar is officially evil and addictive!  So instead I am now experimenting substituting dates (soaked overnight)  for sugar in cakes, almond meal for flour (which gives a really moist, longer-lasting cake) and sweetening chocolate brownies with golden kumara.  They taste great!  Truly!

Feel free to share any healthy cake recipes you might have.  Love to add them to my repotoire.