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Leo Stylescope

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Leo, Leo, Leo. With your gorgeous mane, unparalleled wit and dramatic pout, you can’t help but crave the limelight. We don’t blame you, not for a second; like the rest of the cosmos, we tend to gravitate towards your sunny confidence and lionly charisma. This month, rest assured that all eyes will be on you as you celebrate your birthday by indulging in three of your favorite pastimes: primping, relaxing and, of course, cocktail-sipping.

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01: Even if you’ve just returned from a trip, you are tireless in your search for the next exotic locale. Detailing the best spas from around the world, this book is sure to give you plenty of ideas for future glamorous retreats.

02: No one spends more time in the sun than you, Leo, (How else would you get those naturally golden highlights?), so you’re always on the lookout for stylish shades.

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03: Speaking of highlights: Let’s face it, all the other signs are a wee bit jealous of your luxurious lion waves. This tonic is sure to keep your covetable hair in tip-top shape.

04: We all know you like to go-go-go, but sometimes even you need a bit of down time. Light this candle, take a few deep breaths and luxuriate in the scent of orange blossoms.

05: Next step in your relaxation regime: hit the mat with a little om-shanti-namaste. Think about giving one to a friend, too, so you can have a yoga buddy. You are, after all, known for your generosity and spontaneous gifting.

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06: We’re pretty sure a Leo invented the phrase go big or go home, as you rarely do anything that’s not delightfully over the top. This shift embodies everything you love about a statement-making print.

07: And why not pair a bold dress with an even bolder necklace? This one-of-a-kind pendant certainly fits the bill.


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08-09: For you, August entails thirty-one days of celebration (it’s not a birthday, it’s a birth month), which means at least as many cocktails—mixed with sleek bar tools and sipped from gilded tumblers, naturally.

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Make it Happen:
A Rope Necklace, Three Ways

Sultry summer days call for effortless outfitting: think slip dresses, strappy… >

Make it Happen: A Rope Necklace, Three Ways

Sultry summer days call for effortless outfitting: think slip dresses, strappy sandals and one fabulous statement necklace. And what’s a better statement to make, we say, than “Oh, this necklace? I made it myself!” Even if you’ve never picked up a glue gun, worry not, we’ll show you the ropes.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Rope in assorted widths and colors
Bungee cord
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Scissors
Leather scraps
Embroidery Floss
1” Copper coupling (you can get this in the plumbing aisle of the hardware store!)

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Loop-de-Loop Necklace

1. Cut a 27” piece of braided rope, a 30” piece of grey rope and a 22” piece of blue rope. Lay them out as shown in the picture.
2. Loop the ends of the blue rope up and hot glue to secure. Do the same for the grey rope. 
3. Cut four ¾” x 1 ½” pieces of leather. Wrap these around the ropes as shown and glue down to secure. 
4. Wrap sections of colorful embroidery floss around the ropes as desired and glue ends to secure. 
5. Cut three 8” pieces of bungee rope. Glue the pieces together at both ends and add a 1” copper coupling to each end.
6. Glue the ends of the bungee to the braided rope and use the coupling to cover the connection points.


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Variation 1: Nautical Knots

1. Cut four 42” pieces of rope. Split into two bundles of two strands of rope each.
2. On a flat surface in front of you, make a loop with each rope, with the loops facing each other. Place the left loop on top of the right one. The loops will look a bit like a pretzel! As shown in the photo, weave the ends of the ropes alternately over and under and pull the knot taut. 
3. Add copper coupling and embroidery floss as desired for color. 
4. To connect the ends, hot glue together and hide the connection with another piece of copper coupling.


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Variation 2: Lots of Knots

1. Cut 3 pieces of thin rope and one 42” piece of braided rope. Set the braided rope aside for a moment.
2. Holding the thinner ropes,  randomly string beads (we used painted faceted wood beads but you can use anything!) and copper coupling and tie knots throughout. 
3. When you are happy with your design, grab that braided rope again and glue the ends of all four ropes to secure then the two ends of the necklace together to secure. Hide the glued ends with a piece of leather.


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Love a DIY? See more from our Make It Happen series.



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Instagram: National Lollipop Day

Instagram: National Lollipop Day

Make no mistake about it: we’re representing the Lollipop Guild on this sweetest of holidays—passing suckers around the Home Office like it’s our job. How will you be celebrating National Lollipop Day?

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Shot on location at Shane Confectionery in Philadelphia.

                                      Are you following us on Instagram?



Now That’s Entertaining:
Nouveau Campfire Treats

By this point of summer, when we’ve already got a few backyard hangouts and… >

Now That’s Entertaining:
Nouveau Campfire Treats

By this point of summer, when we’ve already got a few backyard hangouts and beach picnics under our belts, we start to feel a little smug about our entertaining abilities. Hot dogs on the grill? Child’s play. S’mores? Piece of (melty, chocolaty, marshmallowy) cake. So, in the spirit of Trying New Things, we decided to turn our typical fireside fare on its ear, amping up the excitement with blazing-bright flavors and surprising ingredients. From chorizo with chimichurri to spicy-sweet s’mores, you might never go back to those old standbys…

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Chimichurri Chorizo Dogs

Mexican-style chorizo sausages
Hot dog buns
Pickled onions
One bunch of scallions, white ends removed
Chimichurri sauce (recipe to follow)
Adobo mayonnaise (recipe to follow)
Roasted jalapeno salsa (recipe to follow)

On a grill, or using a grill grate over an open fire, cook sausages for 15-20 minutes, turning often. Cook scallions directly on grate until charred and set aside. If desired, toast hot dog buns by placing the opened buns on the grill for a few seconds. Once cooked, assemble hot dogs and pile on your toppings.

Chimichurri Sauce
2 bunches flat parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp oregano
zest from one lemon
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Pulse all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. Can be made up to one week in advance.

Adobo Mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) can chipotle in adobo, liquid only

Stir together until incorporated.

Roasted Jalapeno Salsa
1-2 jalapenos
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lime
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Using tongs, place whole jalapenos on the grill and cook until charred, turning to achieve all-over color. Remove from heat and allow to rest until slightly cooled. Remove the charred skin by rubbing with a towel. Dice the roasted jalapeno, removing all or most of the seeds. In a large bowl, mix diced jalapeno, tomatoes, oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.



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Grilled Corn with Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter

Corn on the cob, silks removed, husks intact
Compound butter (recipe to follow)
Cojita cheese, crumbled
Cayenne, or chipotle, to taste

Without completely removing, pull back husks to take off the silk. Replace husks over corn and soak cobs in cold water for at least ten minutes. Drain and shake off excess water. Transfer to grill or grate and cook in the husks 15-20 minutes, turning about every 5 minutes. To serve, pull back husks and generously slather with compound butter. Add a dusting of cayenne and some of the crumbled cojita to each.


Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Juice & zest from half a lime
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1-2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or knife, cut into all ingredients until well combined. Transfer mixture to a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log, twisting each end to seal and tighten. Refrigerate until firm.

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Churro S’mores

Churro Cookies (recipe to follow)
Spicy Chocolate Sauce (recipe to follow)
Marshmallows

To assemble s’mores, roast marshmallows over open fire until soft and slightly charred. Place on top of a churro cookie and pour melted chocolate sauce over. Top with another churro cookie if desired. Serve with plenty of napkins nearby.

Churro Cookies
1 cup water
5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl or dish, mix together 1/4 sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Set aside. In a large saucepan, combine water, butter, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in flour. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla and combine. Allow to cool slightly, and then transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pipe the dough into small discs by using a spiraling motion. Repeat until you have 16-18 cookies, and bake for 15 minutes, or until just browned. While still warm, individually coat the cookies in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Spicy Chocolate Sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together chocolate, ancho, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate mixture. Let stand for about one minute and then whisk until entirely smooth.

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Short & Sweet: A Q&A With
Our Home Office Petites

To celebrate our newest petites-friendly collection, WHIT Two, a collaboration… >

Short & Sweet: A Q&A With
Our Home Office Petites

To celebrate our newest petites-friendly collection, WHIT Two, a collaboration with designer Whitney Pozgay, we asked some of the Home Office’s most diminutive staffers to show off their favorite pieces and dish about the perks of being petite.


Mirim, Brand Artist, 5’2”
in the Rinka Petite Tank and Siroi Petite Shorts

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Finish the following: the best part about being petite is…
How easy it is to score great vintage stuff! I love vintage and I’m usually able to find a lot in my size, especially shoes.

Your favorite styling trick to play up your frame?
A high-waist skirt. It makes my legs look longer while showing off my waist.

Your favorite “small” word?
Puppy! I love puppies—I have three! The word just feels so cute and cozy.


Caitlin, Associate Merchandiser, 5’4”
in the Tropics Dress

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Finish the following: the best part about being petite is…
Not hitting my head on low hanging branches!

The oddest comment you’ve recently received about your stature?
"You don’t look as small as you are…"

Finish the following: when it comes to shoes, my philosophy is…
Stay comfy, stay happy.


Becky, Web Merchandiser, 5’ 3”
in the Shibori Stripe Petite Skirt

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Finish the following: the best part about being petite is…
Wearing high heels—the higher the better! I’m always trying to elongate my frame. 

Your favorite styling trick to play up your frame?
I avoid mid-calf and pencil skirts at all costs.

Your favorite “small” word?
Teacup!



 

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One Duvet, Three Bloggers:
Styling The Soft-Washed
Linen Bedding

It’s no secret that we can’t get enough of our Soft-Washed Linen Bedding—in… >

One Duvet, Three Bloggers:
Styling The Soft-Washed Linen Bedding

It’s no secret that we can’t get enough of our Soft-Washed Linen Bedding—in fact, many of us here at the Home Office have snatched it up for our own master or guest bedrooms. With its softer-than-soft feel and rainbow of hues, the styling possibilities are truly endless. To get a few ideas, we turned to the experts—lifestyle and interior design bloggers from Lark & Linen, Shop Sweet Things and Amber Interiors—and asked them to share their vision for incorporating this versatile bedding into a room.

 Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors

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Two of your looks incorporated fur, as well as other varied textures. Do you have any tips for mixing textures atop the bed and in the bedroom?
Yes, yes, yes! I get asked often how to mix patterns and textures. Here is what I do: I take the pillows I think I like and I throw them all on the floor. The ones that seem to work the best together are the ones I end up using. Another tip is to use neutral bedding as a base, like we did in all these looks. It gives you some freedom when choosing your accent textiles. 


Want to see all three of Amber’s looks? Read the full Q&A.


Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen

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Who do you imagine would love this bedroom? 
The best part about this room is that, at its core, it’s quite neutral which means most anyone can get on board with it—and it’s easy to switch out little details should your vision change down the line. The soft blue bedding is fresh and inviting, and the gold accents feel glam, yet the entire vibe has a modern edge. If you’re looking for some serious brownie points, it could easily work as guest bedroom. But if you ask me, I’d be tempted to keep it all to myself!  



What did you think about the bedding itself?
The linen is of the utmost quality and feels timeless, yet casual in the most perfect sense of the word. The best part is I know it will only get better with age.

Tell us about the artwork you chose.
The artwork is actually my own! It’s a series of photos that I’ve taken through my travels and then manipulated in Photoshop. They were shot in India, Halifax, British Columbia and Spain. 

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What inspired you to select and arrange the items on the bedside table?
Though I’m an interior designer, I have trouble coming to terms with the idea of unnecessary tchotchkes. These items are all things that I use regularly, and lend to my every day life: a stack of really great design books, a utilitarian (yet beautiful) lamp and a hot cup of tea!


Jeanne Chan of Shop Sweet Things

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What inspired you to layer the bed the way you did? 
I love bright colors, and the way to make a bold color pop is to surround it with lots of neutrals. Adding different textures with neutrals also makes the room more interesting and gives dimension to the space. It’s all about finding the right balance. 

What did you think about the feel and weight of the linen bedding?
I love it! I’ve never had linen bedding before, but this set feels very soft against my skin. The weight is great—not too heavy or light. I also love the relaxed look of linen. It’s different from the crisp and clean look I’d normally go for, but this is a good change, especially for the summer.

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What inspired you to select and arrange the items on the bedside table?
All the items I selected are things that help me wind down for the day. A scented candle with a hint of floral and citrus helps me relax. I also like having a variety of lotions nearby—it’s nice to pamper myself each day with a scent that suits my mood. I love keeping my fine jewelry near me. My wedding band, my favorite pair of gold studs, my dainty necklaces—it’s great to have a tray that corrals all my favorite pieces together. 

What’s your sleep style?
I’m definitely a side sleeper. One who loves to curl up and snuggle with my blanket! 



 

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Blogger-Styled Bedding with Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors

Oh, linen—so soft, so breezy, so very versatile. We could sing the praises of our… >

Blogger-Styled Bedding with
Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors

Oh, linen—so soft, so breezy, so very versatile. We could sing the praises of our Soft-Washed Linen bedding all day long, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, we asked interior designer Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors to style and photograph our all-star duvet for us (and for you).

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What’s your design philosophy behind each look?
The goal was to make each of the rooms tell a different story. The “Cali cool” look has a laid back sensibility—a little beachy, a little bohemian, but very collected and effortless. The “Mid-century” look is a really loose interpretation—I don’t ever like to take a style too literally, so I designed this room with Mid-century-style table lamps, side tables and slat bench, and then threw in some fun textures and patterns. The “Boho” room is really just meant to be a funky and colorful space. I added bright blankets, pillows, and a one-of-a-kind rug to show how color can add life.

We noticed each room included seating at the end of the bed—why is that?
I love layers! Be it textiles or furniture, adding cool items to a room give it character. An extra bonus: a bench or a stool is a great place to put on your shoes or just chill out.

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You hung mirrors above the bed in one look and a tapestry in another. Tell us a little bit about your choice of above-the-bed wall art.
I wanted to show how you can totally transform a look with small changes. If you noticed, we did not have a headboard, so I used different methods to create visual interest above the bed.  Adding mirrors gave the room one feel and hanging a tapestry gave it a completely different feel. I love options!

Two of your looks incorporated fur, as well as other varied textures. Do you have any tips for mixing textures atop the bed and in the bedroom?
Yes, yes, yes! I get asked often how to mix patterns and textures. Here is what I do: I take the pillows I think I like and I throw them all on the floor. The ones that seem to work the best together are the ones I end up using. Another tip is to use neutral bedding as a base, like we did in all of these looks. It gives you freedom when choosing your accent textiles.

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What inspired you to use the colors that you did in each look?
The rugs had a lot to do with it. I chose colors based on the colors in the rugs. The neutral linen bedding allowed flexibility to really layer on the textiles.

Who do you imagine would love each bedroom?
I would hope all different types of people would love the spaces! I feel like everyone should have a fabulous place to wake up to every morning, so your bedding is really important. I love this new linen line and it’s affordable enough for a guest bedroom or a master. I say put it in both rooms!

What’s your sleep style?
I take sleep really seriously. If I had to give my sleep a style I would say, “effortlessly relaxed.” I like a down comforter with a linen duvet cover, no flat sheet and two down pillows—simple and cozy. 

What’s the last thing you dreamt about?
I had a dream that I was teaching my four-year-old how to drive—weird since she is only four, but it’s a reminder that it all goes so fast so enjoy every second of life!

Like what you see? More blogger-styled bedding right this way



 

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Sun-Shy Beauty Guide

Reader, a confession: we used to sunbathe irresponsibly. Many a lobster-red… >

Sun-Shy Beauty Guide

Reader, a confession: we used to sunbathe irresponsibly. Many a lobster-red nose had befallen us before we stopped sun worshiping and started embracing our natural skin tones. And while we’ve stemmed the tide of the sunburns of our past, we still get a little lackadaisical with protection. Well, no more. In our ongoing efforts to defend ourselves against summer’s harsh rays, we chatted up Kat, our photo studio’s beauty expert, for the ins-and-outs of preserving (ok, and slightly pumping up) the pale.

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 ”First things first: you must apply sunblock. I put it on before applying moisturizer, and always well before leaving the house so that it has time to absorb; I abide by the 15-minute rule that most sunblocks mention on their labels. And don’t forget your lips, ears and neck, either! The formula I use has a nice slip to it—it just glides right over the skin. But if your sunblock is thicker, try mixing in some moisturizer or foundation to help it go on more smoothly.”

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"As far as summer make-up goes, less is more. A face covered in foundation, powder and the rest can feel so icky. After your sunblock—perhaps mixed with a bit of foundation for sheer coverage—goes on, do some minimal layering. A bit of bronzer on the forehead, bridge of the nose and washed down the cheeks, with a peachy-nude cream blush on the ball of the cheek, will brighten you up. And skip the creasy eye shadows and smeary liners. Just curl your lashes and add a coat or two of mascara. I like this one because it builds from soft and natural to dramatic without clumping up. And finish it off with a simple lip balm or a pinkish lipstick.”

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"We talked sunblock, but you also have to physically block the sun. Grab a hat with a brim big enough to provide shade for your whole face. It’ll also keep the sun off the scalp, which is a place most people overlook when applying sunblock. And don’t forget your shades! Sunglasses really help you avoid squinting and protect your eyes from damaging rays.”



 

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A Collection Most Curious

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Born and bred on the beach, our book buyer Mel is known for her effortless surfer gal style, so it comes as no surprise that she collects sunglasses! Though she’s always had a penchant for fashion—she begged her mother to buy her a subscription to W when she was just 9—Mel’s just as likely to be found in a bikini, catching a wave with her surfboard in tow.

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Ten years ago, her collection started quite accidentally when her husband, an optics aficionado himself, gifted her a pair of white oversized Oliver Peoples frames with pink lenses. Mel fell in love with the sunglasses immediately and the two now house their sizable collection together in a vintage high school locker. Current highlights of Mel’s collection are: sunnies that Ray-Ban used to design the original Wayfarer, a 3-D printed number from a German company that makes Mel feel like Yoko Ono and Oakley Frogskins that she is proud to wear without a trace of ‘80s irony.

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“Marrying a man for his insider connection was an absolute coincidence, I swear! We both love frames and while he is now an optometrist, his dream is to design his own collection. So, I hope one of my next pairs is from our own family business!”

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“Even though I love sunglasses as a fashion statement I often go without. As a bona fide beach baby, I think the squinty sun lines around people’s eyes symbolize a life lived with happiness.”



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Now That’s Entertaining:
Lemon & Blueberry Cake

Blended into smoothies, pumping up pancakes or simply fresh-picked and eaten… >


Now That’s Entertaining:
Lemon & Blueberry Cake

Blended into smoothies, pumping up pancakes or simply fresh-picked and eaten off the bush, there’s no denying the appeal of blueberries. We’re such blueberryphiles that we think they should have their own holiday and—wouldn’t you know it?—the USDA agrees, proclaiming July National Blueberry Month. For a tasty treat worthy of such a high honor, we turned to Gillian, Nichola and Linsey Reith, proprietors of the Glasgow café Three Sisters Bake and authors of a cookbook by the same name, for the most crowd-pleasing, sense-delighting, blueberriest cake they could conjure. We think you’ll agree it’s got the summer blues in the best way possible.

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Lemon and Blueberry Cake
from Three Sisters Bake

This cake is a regular guest in our cake cabinet and has proved hugely popular. With a heaped topping of blueberries, it makes a beautiful and mouthwatering centerpiece for a special event or afternoon tea.

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Serves 8–10

Equipment:
8-inch round springform pan

For the cake
6 oz unsalted butter, softened or at room temperature
8 oz (scant 2 cups) self-rising flour, sifted
6 oz (generous ¾ cup) super-fine sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 fl oz crème fraîche
grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
large container of blueberries (about 10 oz)

For the icing
5 oz (scant 2/3 cup) full-fat cream cheese
2 ½ oz (generous ½ cup) confectioners sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

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Preheat the oven to 320°F

Line the base and sides of the cake pan with parchment paper.

Place the butter, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the crème fraîche and lemon zest and beat the mixture for another 30 seconds. Stir in two handfuls of the blueberries.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40–50 minutes until golden brown. Test to see if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, bake for a few more minutes.

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To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and confectioners sugar together until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir through.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool a little in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack. Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing on top, scatter over the remaining blueberries and dust with confectioners sugar.

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