Dover Street dining, the amazing ‘Marigold Hotel’ and more bloopers!


Amy Wilcock, Debbie and their KitchenAid cooking creationsFirst, don't miss my current competition to win a copy of Julie Cohen's fun new romance, 'The Summer of Living Dangerously' – see my last blog. Also this week…

– Debbie does fruitcake! Inspired by KitchenAid's Amy Wilcock!
– Some amazing responses online from you guys
– Dover Street dancing 'n' dining with the girls!
– One of the best films I've ever seen – 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
– And another funny from YouTube!

Flint's fruitcake fix
Cakes and bunsOK, so as you know, I ain't no chef! But this week there was some inspiring cooking, which I observed (OK, I stirred a couple of things, handed up the spatula, oh and tasted a lot!) during our KitchenAid shows. So suddenly, a day later, a strange desire overtook me! I found myself making my second ever fruit cake!

Now I didn't have enough zest – I had a lemon but was supposed to have an orange as well – but I hoped it wouldn't matter too much. Despite the fact that, bless her, our WI whizz ,  Aga-expert, and Masterchef judge extraordinaire, Amy Wilcock, DID say that the thing most people do wrong is not read the recipe book properly! Anyway it came out LOOKING OK, just have to taste it now! NB the recipe for her Ice Cream and the Tomato Sorbet are at the bottom of this post.

Hope you enjoyed the shows – but I have a question for you. If you love your KitchenAid, WHY is it so good? What have you made? And what's the biggest difference compared to your old mixer experiences? Let me know – not being a master baker, unlike Julia, I'm fascinated! Leave me a comment below – especially if you've never left one before!

Debbie's fruit cakeAnyway – how shall I decorate the cake? Any suggestions? It's a Waitrose ready-to-bake pack, with weighed out ingredients, from just before Christmas, so it's got all the Christmas cake icing etc, but am wondering if there are any clever twists I can put on a rich fruit cake?!

Fab feedback
Rhonda Shear and Debbie with the Ahh BraDuring the KitchenAid show, and also the fast-selling Rhonda Shear Intimates shows, we had some wonderful comments from our regulars out there! So I'd like to say a huge thanks to all our lovely people online. Over the weekend especially, we had some fabulous input from primarily my Facebook friends, and on Twitter. So keep it up!

Facebook commentsSpecial thanks to all the ladies who make it all so worthwhile – too many to name, but here's a little snapshot of a couple of them from my Facebook page! (click on the image to open it in a larger window to have a read!).

Dover Street dancing 'n' dining
Girls' night out at Dover StNow not only did I spend a lot of time online this week, (as usual! Including chatting to a very interesting Hollywood scriptwriter from LA – OK, from Edmonton, but he works in LA and is very funny!).

But I also had my share of gallivanting. In fact my galli was suitably 'vanted' on Thursday 1st when pal Shyama and her pals and me went to the famous Dover Street Bar and Restaurant in London, quite near Piccadilly. We were impressed with the grub (see EAT below), and then even better, a lovely stint on the dancefloor.

Motown and Soul are almost my favourite types of music, specially for dancing, and the live band suitably entertained us! LOVE big band style!

Heaven on the big screen – do go and see 'Marigold Hotel'!
Or more precisely – 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'! One of the most amazing films I've seen in a long time. It hit me where it was supposed to, making me laugh out loud on so many occasions, then immediately swapping to some of the most earnest heart-tugging moments – good job I brought tissues!

Soooo glad I saw it – really, really uplifting, and a MUST SEE for anyone – especially if you're over 60 or if you're feeling a bit fed up about getting older! The stellar cast included Bill Nighy – one of my favourites – whose understated hen-pecked husband delivered one of the most memorable performances of his career.

And the British institutions that are Judi Dench and Maggie Smith amongst others. Wonderful. Beautiful. Makes you fall in love with India and want to go 'find yourself'. And find the Marigold Hotel along the way. So good, it's one of my main features this week. I really think it's the highest mark I've ever given on a film – 9.5. Don't miss it.


Andrea McLean– I loved being on this weekend with 'Loose Women's' Andrea McLean – and her fabulous 'realistic' range of Diamonique – had a great laugh during the show – she's truly lovely and a real professional.

More of her range soon but check it out online. Andrea also mentio ned she loves the Liz Earle range too! Who was in with me that night as well.

QVC model Joy in the press– Also, did you spot our lovely plus size model Joy in this week's paper, talking about being happy with her size? And with the type of clothes she looks so fabulous in on QVC, like 'Attitudes by Renee', for whom she's a regular, who wouldn't be happy with it!

And this comes in the week that we heard in the news that our vital statistics have changed enormously over the past 50 years or so. In the 1950s, according to a National Sizing Survey, they were 37-27-39. Whereas now, according to a study by the Vitality show, they are 40-34-40! Add a couple on the hips and you might have me! Lol!

Katie Fforde 'Recipe for Love' book– If you missed her on 'The Morning Show' this week, the lovely Katie Fforde's interview about 'Recipe for Love', her smashing romance hardback book, (set in the world of cookery shows, funnily enough), is still available online – click on 'video presentation' to see the interview. Then buy the wonderful book!

She's one of our top women's fiction authors – no wonder – hot off the press – Katie's just won the Romantic Novelists' Association award for Best Novel for 'Summer of Love' – well done Katie!

Take part in a TV show– Do you want to be on the telly? This new Channel 4 show sounds a really interesting prospect – basically, are about to take a big step in your life and are looking for help or inspiration? If you click on the picture you'll be able to read more, and all the contact details are on there too. Good luck if you decide to get in touch with them!

How to get your band name– How funny this is?! Doing the rounds on Facebook this week. What's yours? Do add a comment below immediately – so you don't forget – to tell me what your band name is! Mine is – guess what – Purple Chilli Prawns! Hehe! A friend of mine said he had 'naked jammy dodgers'! Haha!

– This week's Twitter and Facebook favourite – another one of the Mental health awarenesscirculating sayings - hope you enjoy the sentiment! Especially for anyone going 'through it' at the moment!

– Leighton's nails – for those that wondered where my usual Jermyn St got to this week on air, you can thank Leighton Denny for his Debbie tries out the Leighton Denny glitter polishes'Glitterazzi'!

– 'Solo Cougar's Survival kit' #12 – a very clever little book, called 'Smart Dating – how to find your man'! It's a bit tongue in cheek, but quite a good read – you can find it on Amazon for £7.99.

My pal 'Smart Dating' bookJo bought me one, as she thought it was great! Includes things like The Mansearch Checklist; cyberspace encounters – a guide; and your comprehensive Relationship Action Plan! Fun read – give it a go!

Blooper time – well it's a dip back into the archives this week for you – not sure if you've seen this video of some bloopers from years gone by, but if you haven't, take a look at some of the special moments from when QVC UK was only 3 years old!

Spot old original faces – Paul Lavers, Kara Tritton, Katy John, Steve Whatley and yours truly as well as a couple of the other ones who 'never went away'! Love the Joanie sketch – priceless! What other memorable moments stick in your mind from way back when?

WATCH – Apart from the fabulous Marigold Hotel, as above? Well, how 'bout this one for picking a winner! Anyone recall what I said back in mid-December about a certain group of Irish dancers called Prodijig?! How fab they were on Sky 1's 'Got To Dance'? Well I must be psychic! On Sunday they were named the winners of the whole series!

So this week, the other thing I'm recommending for you to see on catch-up TV or on YouTube, is the final of 'Got To Dance'. Now I'm not a dancer, and never was one – I can bop a little but – not a lot of people know this (!) – I can't even jive! So I watched on with admiration as some of the country's best dancers of all ages and types of dance entertained the nation on one of the biggest dates on the UK dancing calendar – and of course with the hunky Adam Garcia and the fabulous Ashley Banjo, what's not to like?! Here's the winning performance – go Prodijig! Breathtaking!

Also well worth watching is the amazing spectacle of runners-up, Fear of the Unknown – a visual feast – I really did have to watch this one twice…

What's your favourite?? And if that wasn’t enough, how incredible was Ashley's Diversity? Their interval performance was the best I've ever seen them – truly awesome and what a great show.  Let me know your faves below. Meanwhile, do watch this – a proper jaw-dropper!

EAT – Dover Street Dishes
Food at Dover StreetAs described above, it was a fab night, made even 'fabber' (!) by the five course dinner our Groupon vouchers afforded us! Mine included a delicious fresh salmon dish – a snip at just £30 – told you, it's always worth watching out for those daily deals!

Am sure there are lots of you who've been to Dover Street when they've Dover Street menuhad other types of live music – if so do tell me what you thought! Very tasty food though – recommended, especially with the live entertainment too! If you were going there, what would you have chosen from the menu?

QVC – for the first time in ages, I'm not working this weekend! Am planning to do some gallivanting! More updates next week… However, do look out for Silver Day on Tuesday.

Elemis Frangipani Shower DuoThen I'm back including on Wednesday night as our Elemis mini-series continues – I have the two hour show at 8pm and I can't wait – amazing smells fill the air and you come away all relaxed! No wonder it's such a top salon brand! One of my fave Elemis products is the Frangipani Shower Creme – makes skin soooo soft!

Also if you're quick, at time of writing, check out the two Bargain Hunter offers – one for the men too!
                                Elemis 6 Piece Bath & Shower Treats Collection                Elemis 4 Piece Men's Travel Collection

And if you're a comfy sandals fan, do join me on Thursday night at midnight to see the new Lotus Footwear Today's Special Value launch – it'll get you through the summer for sure – perfect for when (if?!) we get some nice weather again!

And finally… this week I are been mostly using – our Cuisinart Soup Maker! What Cuisinart soup maker and soupa clever little automatic soup maker  this is – even for someone 'simply' like me! It cooks it then blends it up! This week I are mostly been eating – the huge quantity of vegetable and garlic soup I made – bit too much garlic but at least the vampires will stay well away! Lol!

Next week – 'The Ghost' – out on DVD – Pierce Brosnan takes on a mighty role as part of Roman Polanski's political conspiracy thriller… and hey, anything with Pierce in can't be half bad! Plus – catching up with old buddies, and what happened when Andrew from Gatineau got all embarrassed on air!… (leave comments below – very easy – try it!)

Amy Wilcock's KitchenAid mixer recipes:

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream

1 jar of zesty lemon curd
500ml double cream
500ml ready made vanilla custard
4-5 meringues broken into pieces

Lightly whip the double cream in a KitchenAid Mixer until soft peaks form then fold  the vanilla custard, lemon curd and meringue pieces in to the cream  spoon into an ice cream maker and churn until ready.

Tomato Sorbet

100ml water
85g caster sugar
600ml homemade tomato sauce – anything you like but full of flavour
Tabasco sauce to taste

Make the stock syrup bring the sugar and water to the boil and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.

Mix the stock syrup into the tomato sauce and season to taste. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen. Serve with prawns, a salad, avocados etc.


  1. Susan March 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Man the blog’s long lol! Can’t wait to see the film with my Mum – think she’ll love it. I also loved the photo of your girlie night! What a lovely looking bunch of gals! Sounds like a great night again. Your day must contain extra hours or something lol. I hope you have a nice weekend – no doubt packed! What dating sites do you use btw? I’m a bit dubious but I trust YOU!
    Susan x

  2. Marie Cairns March 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie
    Your blogs are soooo great!!! How do you find the time for everything?
    You give us lots of info. I’m looking forward to going to see the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. By the way my band name is ‘Polka Dot Haddock’.

  3. Julie Smith March 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm -  Reply

    Blue Cheese

  4. Anita Anderson March 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm -  Reply

    My band name is Black Nuts!

  5. Nigel March 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm -  Reply

    Debs – IMO Diversity’s interval performance particularly when the sax was playing ( but biased as just luv 80’s jazz fusion/smooth jazz).
    Witless this week due to Thursdays solar storm frying my brains but then again perhaps Dark Side of The Moon would have sold even more if it was recorded by the Pink Shreddies !
    Enjoy your micro break, Nige :))

  6. Mrs Sharon Windram March 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debbie, great blog as always and i have to agree with you about the film entitled ‘The best exotic marigold hotel’ it was a triumph! My hubby and i went to see it last weekend as he was home for a couple of days before boarding the train to go back down to Kent. Neil didn’t know anything about the film but became hooked very quickly as the story unfolded. The entire cast are delightful and transport you to this wonderful country that is an explosion on the senses. I like yourself was laughing aloud one moment but then had tears streaming down my cheeks the next (the biggest blubber box that i am) I do think the film appeals to people over a ‘certain age’ as my niece went to see it and apparently kept announcing ‘i don’t get it, i don’t understand’ when the rest of the audience were tittering and laughing – but then after all, she is only 14 bless her. The film was taken from a book ‘These foolish things’ by Deborah Moggach which i have borrowed from my local library and i will let you know which i enjoy the best, the book or the film or maybe even both. Have a great week Debs, love to you and everyone at QVC Sharon X

  7. Dolores Mcshane March 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Ahahaha,those old clips,iremember most of them and how young everyone was.priceless.x

  8. Pamela Steohens March 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm -  Reply

    Debbie you are my favourite presenter you always make the shows fun and I just love hearing you were on the other night with Diamonique and a wonderful model but I have forgotten her name Sorry but she also was great fun especially when she didnt stop talking but the 2 of you together made my evening please lets have some more of the 2 of you…also look forward to seeing the film you have been talking about as some of my favourite actors?actresses are in it….keep up the good work..Love Pamxx

  9. Debs f March 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Haha! That’s a shorter version Susan! Lol
    Well yes I pack a lot in, but then I just chill.Spent each morning of my current four days off, languishing in bed till 2 or so – that’s when I catch up on my Zeds!
    Erm – not really on dating sites ATM, as such, but have been to singles night run by single solutions in London – google it. They hav a singles nite in London tomoro/today. Tues 13th for 30-40’s. They asked me to go, at the last do, (!) and I was going to, but I’m actually chatting a lot to a guy I met on Facebook via a mutual friend…. Don’t ask me to tell u more yet – don’t wanna jinx it! Hehe! Let me know if u go! Xx.

  10. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    ps marie – make sure you come back and let me know what you think of Marigold Hotel! d x

  11. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

    Julie – haha – what a coincidence! Good job your knickers weren’t green! lol x

  12. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm -  Reply

    Anita – love it! Sounds like one of those cabaret bands you find in Benidorm! lolol dxx

  13. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm -  Reply

    Nigel – witty as ever! Why the effect of the solar storm? what’s it do to you? You don’t howl every full moon too do you? hehe! d x

  14. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm -  Reply

    Sharon – agree agree agree!
    I would have bought the book too but have a looooong reading list at the moment – you must let me know what you think when you’ve read it!
    do come back and leave me a comment regularly hon!
    love to hear from you all!

  15. debs f March 12, 2012 at 11:25 pm -  Reply

    Dolores – yes you’re absolutely right! fab days! d x

  16. Susan March 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Haven’t managed to see the film yet but still on to do list! Just had to tell you if you haven’t read gorgeous Claire’s blog this month please do.. It’s beautiful. Sad but lovely written and such a relevant topic. I’m sure you think she has a lovely way with words too.
    Take care

  17. Debs f March 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Pam. I have to say it was one of the funniest shows I’ve done lately – Catherine the model was hilarious! Glad u enjoyed it and look out for a clip in the next blog!
    Do comment regularly – lovely to hear from u!

  18. Debs f March 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm -  Reply

    Susan – I just read Claire’s blog and you are write – how poignant. I’ll be sure and give her a big hug next time she’s in. She is truly a beautiful person, behind the scenes as well as on. I noticed my Michelle Roberts has also commented cos she had her own experience of also losing a friend who took her own life. I can speak for all of us when I say it’s humbling and truly inspiring to hear from you guys with messages of support all year round but specially at delicate times.
    Thanks hon

  19. Susan March 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm -  Reply

    Glad you got to read Claire’s blog Debs. I can imagine your life is better having Claire in it. And you can tell her that! I think she’s great. Mental health is a subject close to my heart so glad to hear anyone talking about it xx

  20. Debs f March 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Susan – yes I am, and yes I will. 🙂
    Have a great weekend,
    Ps yes it’s a much misunderstood topic, specially for those that have never been touched by it in some way. Glad to be of help. It was mental health awareness week this week apparently, so I’m putting a little phrase in the next blog to mark it! Hugs.

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