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We here at STELLAR Towers are all for spotting trends, whether it’s the latest microtrend for knuckle-dusters or our recent penchant for all things leopard print. So when this latest must-have began creeping in, we were all over it…so what is the latest object of our affection?The humble cup of tea.

 

Why is the cuppa so en vogue then? Well when cupcakes became bigger than Madonna last year, and the Laduree macaroon counter at Brown Thomas was as busy as the MAC counter, it was only a matter time before their perfect  accompaniment – tea – achieved rockstar status too. 

With hotels around the country offering the luxury service to rival the likes of Harrods and Claridges in London, Afternoon Tea has become an activity of choice for a growing number of hen parties. It seems in these cash strapped times, us ladies are on the lookout for new ways of achieving luxury and elegance, without having to fork out for a Chanel handbag. 

Tea and cake is also an increasing first date and mate date option with our favourite Dublin hidden gem, The Cake Cake (shhh don’t tell anyone) and the Tea Gardens on Ormond Quay Dublin among many cafes doing a storming trade in quirky teas. 

It seems Irish tea too is the choice of celebrities, with Sarah Jessica Parker recently admitting that the one thing she misses most about her Irish hideaway is a good cup of Lyons tea. As for Lovely Bones (we’d like to jump his lovely bones) star, Reece Ritchie, he recently told STELLAR that on the set of the movie Saoirse Ronan’s mother kept him in good supply of Irish tea while on set in the States. 

And if you’re thinking that summer is more the season for cocktails than cuppas, think again. Lipton’s new range of Fruit and Herbal tea, is just the ingredient for some cheeky afternoon cocktails with your mates. Our fave is the Lipton Pink Citrus Daiquiri – to make four, here’s what you do…

Blend 8 Lipton Pink Citrus in 200ml of Hot Water

Let cool and then add:

100g Sugar

100ml Grapefruit Juice

100ml Orange Juice

4 Shots of Rum

Lemon Juice

And then garnish with some orange peel and drink…

Lipton Pink Citrus Daiquiri

 

Details below for the ultimate tea fixes…

For an opulent afternoon tea see The Westbury at www.doylecollection.com  or for something a little more quaint and a bit less pricey check out www.thecakecafe.ie

If your tastebuds should lead you to Taste of Dublin this weekend in the Iveagh Gardens, make sure you visit the Lyons Masterclass for tips on making the perfect cuppa from Lyons master tea taster, Caithriona Murphy, and the Lipton Garden Party to watch their regular fashion shows, and sip on a fruity tea cocktail. For all you need to know about Taste of Dublin, click here… 

Now, who’s turn is it to put the kettle on?

One half of one of STELLAR’s favourite blogging duos, Stylebitches, the goigeous Blanaid Hennessy has been on to us about a new event she’s running that’s pretty darn exciting. The inaugural ‘Absolut Style at Set’ event takes place this Easter Bank Holiday weekend (April 2nd,3rd,4th), in the opulent surroundings of the new Set theatre at Langton’s House Hotel in Kilkenny. 

A three-day event of vintage fashion, furniture and films, along with makeovers, style talks, live photoshoots and performances followed by fun nights out, all in association with ‘Absolut’ Vodka. 

The line-up goes a little something like this…
On Friday, guests can relax into the plush SET seats and indulge a full day of fashion inspired movies, from ‘The September Issue’ to ‘HBO’s Grey Gardens.’ 
Saturday and Sunday are the official ‘Absolut Style at Set’ days, with a vintage fashion and furniture shopping centre, the Gosh cosmetics makeup room, the Kerastase hair salon, along with live photoshoots and performances, The Courtyard food fair, and, for  the beleagured blokes, chuck them in The Men’s Den in Harry’s Bar, for live sport and whiskey tasting.
Guests will also have the opportunity to get fashion advice from top stylists Annmarie O’Connor (The Irish Examiner) and Laura Cunningham (TV3) and interiors advice from premier interior designer Simon Rawlings (Creative Director of the international design company, David Collins Interiors).
At night time, SET will be transformed for two full-on club nights out:
Saturday Night is ‘The Stylebitches Night Out’ , with a ‘demented’ dress code, ‘Absolut’ cocktails, crazy performances, neon warpaint and while the ladies themselves, The Stylebitches, take to the decks. 
Sunday Night is the ‘Soul Kitchen’:  DJ Davey Holland plays urban and soulful sounds, with a retro dress code, Absolut’ cocktails, make-up ladies and alcoholic cupcakes, (sound’s like our kind of cake).

And that’s only the start of it, with lots more to be announced. In you’re interested, (eh, yes please!) or want to pick up some tickets, contact http://www.set.ie, email styleatset@gmail.com or call Langton’s on 056 776 5133. 


 

We see ourselves as quite the young Martha Stewarts here in STELLAR Towers and like nothing more than to kick back in the late afternoon with a cup of tea and a cupcake for a good chin-wag – This magazine gig is tough, we swear…

We spotted this recipe on MarthaStewart.com and it was too good not to pass on, so if you’re stuck for something to do this weekend, or really want to impress your relatives/mates/inlaws, whip up a few of these and they’ll be sweet as frosting for you…

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkles, for decorating

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.line the cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (a 2-ounce or 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop is good for this).

Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack before frosting.

Prepare frosting: in a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat unsalted butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in up to 1/2 cup more sugar or a few more teaspoons of milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.

Frost cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles before frosting dries to ensure that they stick. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

They should look something like this…Yummy

Cupcakes

Don’t forget to lick the bowl – that’s the best part x

ms_cupcakes87379

We’re crazy about cupcakes here at Stellar HQ and even crazier about the non-calorific kind! This micro trend has been taking the shops by storm… gracing dresses at Fornarina, key covers at Urban Outfitters and chains at Claire’s. To get your fill of these tasty treats and more, check out the May issue of STELLAR, on shelves next week.

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