I have been away, without any proper excuse other than the fact that I have been filling my evenings with watching Downton Abbey on DVD, several months behind the rest of the nation.  It has become something of an addiction and it is not without some relief that I say that I am about to watch the last available episode (The Christmas Special) this evening.  I am hoping that there will be some resolution but I fear it will not come.

So, with that important distraction almost over I am making a return to baking (before you ask, I haven’t forgotten to feed the children during this time) and a visit from some lovely friends this afternoon was a perfect opportunity to show off the cake stand my parents bought me for Christmas.

The brown sugar cupcakes with malty frosting, lemon and basil mini-meringues and cheese scones seemed an appropriate ‘cake stand-christening’ menu (the left-overs might be an appropriate accompaniament to Downton viewing too)!