Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Brussels Christmas Market

We had a lovely weekend in Brussels it was a Winter wonderland!
Grand place

The Atonium

Friday, 3 December 2010

The vintage style mini-hats are on their way...

My Vintage style mini hat collection is on its way take a look at www.hatsbyhand.blogspot for pics! It's a new blog just for my pictures of my hand made hats. No ads, now wordy blog posts - just pictures!

And don't forget only a few days left of the Napkin competition...http://madeby-me.co.uk/WIN.aspx

Monday, 22 November 2010

Stir-up Sunday & Sloe gin tasting no.1 ...

 Sunday 21st was not only Stir-up Sunday but also one month since the start of the 'Sloe gin experiment 2010', which means it was time for the first tasting.

If you didn't make your Christmas pudding but still want to you can find the recipe at

The tasting went like this:
Firstly Michele set out four glasses labeled A - D so Russell didn't know which was which...

Then Russell tasted the four gins and recorded his notes. Michele also wanted in on the action - purely for scientific research - you can see the results here:

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Stir-up Sunday

This Sunday 21st is Stir-up Sunday. For a delicious recipe and method by Russell Clement visit http://micheleenglish.co.uk/StirupSunday.aspx, pudding bowls listed to the right.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The perfect Christmas gift, exactly what they want!

Show appreciation for individuality, give a unique hat with
'Michele English's' Hat Vouchers

1. Hat Gift Voucher £you Choose

A hat gift voucher can be used for our ‘design it yourself’ hats, our bespoke hats for sale or a Hat design voucher.

2. Hat Design Voucher £15.00

This voucher entitles your recipient to have a hat designed for them.
 3. Hat Design Voucher plus Hat Voucher £15.00 + You choose

As above plus you can specify an amount that you wish to spend towards the final hat produced.
 4. ‘Invoice me’ Hat Design Voucher

This option is suitable if you want to pay for your recipient’s hat but do not want to specify an amount.

'Hat voucher' gift packaging also available

For more details 'Click' the picture

Gift packaging contains:

• Voucher (as applicable)

• Mini felted hat

• Tape measure

• Instructions

• all packaged in a lovely gift box

www.madeby-me.co.uk (gift vouchers)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Win a set of Napkins

Liked the Napkins at The Cheerful Soul? They were so popular we are now selling them in our online shop
http://www.madeby-me.co.uk/ but before you buy any here is your chance to win them...

Win a set of 8 Hand screen printed napkins. Perfect for a Dinner Party!

Click the link below to find out how...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Order your winter hat...

All hats are unique - its up to you just how unique!
A great Christmas gift!! buy a voucher for someone to get their own hat made, just for them as they want it!

Vintage style

For real luxury and warmth go for Angora wool from these little fellows

No bunnies are hurt in the making of an Angora hat!

Angora wool
Visit http://www.hatsbyhand.moonfruit.com/ or http://www.madeby-me.co.uk/ to find out more...

Monday, 25 October 2010

"Micheles" Pumpkin (for her not by her)

This is not a recipe for the faint of heart. Not because of any complexities in the method – it is simplicity itself to make – but because it is a beast of a meal. We allow it only one outing a year, which has made it a bit of an occasion and so for the last few years at least we have made it for our Halloween supper.
It makes a great informal party or family dish, try it for your Halloween supper too - click on the picture for the recipe.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Great Slow Gin Experiment 2010

I only posted my Sloe gin recipe yesterday but already I have had a lot of interest about my experiment so I thought I would broaden it out a bit. I am asking anyone out there who is interested, to perform their own experiment and then we can collate all our data and see if there could be anything to the whole prick the sloes/freeze the sloes debate!

Click on the picture of sloe gin which is a link which will take you to our website where you can view and print some guidelines for conducting your own delicious experiment.

Follow the Blog where we will be uploading our results and you can share your results with us.

I think we could all be candidates for the 2010 Nobel prize for alcohol based research.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Sloe Gin

Sloe Gin

Making sloe gin is one of my favourite autumn rituals and an informal marker in my calendar. It is the first thing I do towards Christmas (we usually give a few bottles as gifts) and it comes at a time of year when we first start lighting our wood burner in the evenings and the nights draw in. Wrapping up on a bright October day and hitting the hedgerows is a satisfying way to spend an afternoon and if you take a small flask of last year’s brew you don’t even feel the cold!

Check out my recipe by clicking the sloes below...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Russells Recipe Page

Russell is setting up a recipe page on www.micheleenglish.co.uk.
His first recipe will be Sloe Gin - if you don't like Gin, you will still love this!
Home made Sloe Gin makes a lovely for Christmas present.

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Knitting and Stitching show, Alexandra Palace

Yesterday was my trip to the Knitting and Stitching show, Alexandra Palace, London with my Mum.

This is the upholstered bus stop outside Alexandra Palace - it was such a lovely greeting to the show!
Inside it just got more exciting with textile artists displaying their work and hundreds of stands selling really well priced bits and pieces for your knitting and stitching projects. There were things for beginners and the more advanced in every sector of textiles.
I have never seen so many women in one building before, it really was amazing.

If you visiting the Knitting and Stitching show this weekend...

There really is no point queueing for the ladies, we used the men's as there were none about - but perhaps get someone to keep guard on the door just in case!

Make sure you take lip balm and eye drops if you have them. The air conditioning is really harsh, it is hot inside and very drying. The stall holders were having the same trouble so I don't think it was just us.

It's best to either take a pack lunch that you can eat outside in the inside picnic area or book in the tea rooms if you are splashing out. The breakfast served until 11.30am is only £5.00 per person - it is better to do this and sit in a nice surrounding away from the hustle and bustle than get tea inside the exhibition.

If you need some fresh air go outside and into the Phoenix bar for a drink - I think they do food to but not sure what.
Have fun,

Monday, 4 October 2010

Are you a designer-maker?


If you are an independent Designer-Maker and are looking for ways to sell your products we may be able to help.

We are offering Designer-Makers the chance to list items on http://www.michelenglish.co.uk/ 'Free' of charge.

There are a limited number of free spaces available. To register your interest please email us at seller@micheleenglish.co.uk with a description of your craft accompanied by a photograph if available at time of email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Goodbye to The Cheerful Soul

After two and a half years of being away from home, filming the TV show ' The Restaurant', planning and creating 'The Cheerful Soul' and running 'The Cheerful Soul' for a year, we have now left to return home to Colchester.

There are some things we won't miss like the long hours, lack of sleep, not seeing our friends or family and board meetings and there are some things we will miss such as our staff who became our surrogate family, our regular customers who showed us great support and the lovely restaurant interior including Holly's paintings on the walls.

We will be having some time off to re energise, sort out all those things at home that haven't been done for years and then start planning our next adventure.

We don't know what that will be yet but we are updating our website so we will let you know when our hand crafted items are available again.

FOLLOW the blog to make sure you receive our updates.

OUR LATEST PROJECT: http://www.madeby-me.co.uk/
  • Find some of Russells recipes
  • How to's
  • Handmade items for sale
Join the FACEBOOK group to stay upto date! You will find a link on the website.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A day of Interior design at The Cheerful Soul

Providing a most enjoyable, informative introduction to the world of interior design by the creator of The Cheerful Soul's quirky interior, Nicola English.

Think like a designer......
......be inspired.....
.....How it all works.....
Gain the confidence and ability to develop your own unique design projects.
An interactive workshop will provide an understanding on the basic principles and consideration of 'colour theory' an essential and powerful element of inetrior design.
Discover an appreciation of location, space and light.
  • Introduction to the design process
  • Colour creation
  • Inspiration effects aith texture and tone
  • Create your own sample colour board
  • Introducing 'colour' through accessories

The day will include coffee and biscuits on arrival

and a two course Nip and Tuck lunch including a glass of white, red or rose wine.

All course materials provided.

Tuesday 15th June, 9.30am - 2.30pm.

Cost: £95 per person (including all course materials, coffee, snacks, water and lunch with wine)

Maximum places available: 12
Please contact us if you are interested in making a group booking of 10 - 12 as further dates are to be arranged.
Gift certificates are available to give this day as a gift.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Cheerful Soul website is now launched...

Our new website is up and running. To look at menus and wine lists and find out other information you can now visit

Friday, 16 April 2010


We don't care what the weather man says because we love wellies!

To add a little bit of fun to your bank holiday walks, or even if you don't fancy that walk but want to get your wellies out, The Cheerful Soul are holding a wellie amnesty!!

Bring your worn out wellies, the ones with the holes in still in your shed - large or small and swap them for a free glass of wine!!

We will make good use of your wellies and you get to enjoy a glass of red, white or rose wine!

Offer valid over the May Bank holiday weekend Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May.
We look forward to seeing you with your old wellies over the bank holiday!

Thursday, 15 April 2010




7.30pm Friday 30th April


A good meal in a fun and relaxed atmosphere!

To book a table call 01628 483343 or just come along to the bar areas!

Those of you who came for Valentines will recognise Euphonic who kept us entertained for the evening!

Young Masterchefs at The Cheerful Soul...

Amy Hall (13) and Ellen Roberts (13)

working with Russell in the kitchen.

On Wednesday 14th April two young masterchefs Amy Hall and Ellen Roberts came to The Cheerful Soul to cook and serve to the public their winning dessert. It was a great success and everyone had a fabulous day.

Finishing touches!

Thank you so much Amy and Ellen for all your hard work! and WELL DONE!

Sugar curls made by Ellen.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Out of the frying pan...

Ali and James's show started on Monday. It is like non-stop challanges from 'The Restaurant'. If you missed it, you can watch it on BBC iplayer www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s1wdl/Out_of_the_Frying_Pan_Dinner_for_Duncan/


Young masterchef winners Amy Hall and Ellen Roberts will be here at The Cheerful Soul cooking their winning dessert on Wednesday 14th April at Lunch from 12 to 2.30pm.

Chocolate and Raspberry - what more could you want!! I can't wait to try it!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Fishy Friday...

It's Fish Friday and Springtime at The Cheerful Soul!

This weeks Fish Friday:
Rebellion ale battered Haddock with hand cut chips and pea puree £12.50
Fillet of Scottish Salmon, crushed new potatoes with chervil butter £12.72
Add a glass of House wine to your fish Friday for £1.50

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Michelin Guide...

The Cheerful Soul are pleased to announce that we are now a recommended restaurant in the Michelin guide.

Thanks to the hard work of 'The Cheerful Team'

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

We had a lovely Valentines at The Cheerful Soul...

The duet (Adrian and Emma of Euphonic) were perfect...

The champagne was flowing...

Russell made delicious food...

Valentines at the cheerful soul was lovely.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Cheerful Soul Lunch Menu..

Our new lunch 'Nip and Tuck' menu was launched today and I think its our best yet. The veggie pancakes are delicious and the chocolate mousse is that real chocolate mousse that I used to get a school - yummy!!!

Nip and Tuck
12 to 3 Tuesday to Thursday

2 Courses £12.30
3 Courses £15.90

Includes a glass of our House White, Red or Rose
“Domaine de la Provenquière VDP d’Oc”
or a Nip of Ale

Leek soup
Celeriac salad, hen’s egg, crispy shallots
Onion, anchovy and olive tart, dressed leaves

Suffolk pork faggot, pot-roast potato
Fish croquettes, steamed kale
Spinach, mushroom and gruyere pancake

Steamed treacle sponge
Chocolate mousse, snickerdoodle
St. Clements

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

St. Valentines day at The Cheerful Soul

We are not normally open on a Sunday night but as it is Valentines we will be opening for a special Valentines evening on Sunday 14th February.

We will have live acoustic music and a special menu.
This special menu is also available to pre-book for Saturday 13th February.

£40 per head

Glass of Joseph Perrier brut NV Champagne
Flageolet bean soup, nettle oil
Little Marlow smoked salmon parcel, olive oil fried bread, beetroot
Crisp golden cross goats cheese parcel, tomato chutney
Butter roast chicken leg, wilted spinach, mash
Seared diver caught scallops, merguez sausage, saffron risotto
Braised lentils vinaigrette, potato and porcini croquets
Set cream hearts, black cherries, kirsch
Chocolate tart, Dundee marmalade and brown bread ice cream
Flaming baked Alaska for two to share
Organic Union coffee and truffles

7pm-Valentines Day
Sunday 14th February

Champagne offer:
Each couple can upgrade their glasses of champagne for a bottle for an extra £24. (Normally priced at £34.85 per bottle)

Friday, 1 January 2010


We are closed from 1st January to 14th January (inclusive) and re-open for dinner on Friday 15th January.

Here is a glimps of our new year celebrations...