Monday, 9 June 2014

We are all in this together!

Here is a heart-warming story of everyday life in the countryside. From the political party with its finger on the pulse of public need. From the party who brought parliamentary expenses claims to a whole new level of understanding.  After all, who has not had worries about maintaining their moat. Or how to fund a replacement duck house?

Our worries are all over. 

Once more a 'Tory Peer of the Realm' (£300 a day) has come up with a plethora of ideas that will save everyone a great deal of money. In a 'let them eat cake' moment of lucidity that stretches the limit of even my credibility. Baroness Rawlings comes riding to hounds to our rescue. The former Member of the European Parliament and Government Whip has taken her thrifty approach to life to a whole new level. But that has not stopped the A-List Aristocrat, who gets by, day to day, in a £7million 13 bedroom home (next door to the queens Sandringham shed) from sharing her list of money saving tips.

This is the time of year when everyone will be thinking about entertaining guests. But before you send out the gold embossed invitations to your first Garden Party of the year. Read the baronesses tips on saving the pennies. Lady Rawlings has been throwing parties at Burnham Westgate Hall, her country pile in Norfolk for over 20 years.

Baroness Rawlings urges people to save cash by letting guests help themselves to lobster and reusing linen napkins (which can be reused for breakfast and lunch provided that holders with guests names are used) and saving the crusts from Melba toast. To use as soldiers to go with a boiled egg. The economies she suggests also include the use of electric blankets as a way of cutting energy bills. Socks should be purchased from the Pope’s tailor Ditta Annibale Gamarrelli. They cost £16-25 but the excellent quality means they last longer. People should also grow their own quinces, apples and pears.

Baroness Rawlings also has a thrifty tip for anyone planning a party, forget the garden marquee and buy Panama hats for guests instead. "A summer party in England can present the marquee dilemma: to have one or not? They are expensive, my solution is this, I buy 200 Panama hats. Then if it rains, people can go inside. If it is hot and sunny, give them a Panama hat. These can be bought cheaply out of season. Add a personalised pin. They double up as a souvenir present for each guest when they leave.”

Lady Rawlings stresses that guests must also be allowed to serve themselves, “Never serve plated food. It’s a waste. Let guests help themselves. That way, they can take exactly the amount of food they want, and no more. They can always have seconds, but you won’t be left scraping luscious lobster into the bin. Supermarket waste is minor compared with plate waste. I feel strongly about this – it’s an unmentioned disgrace. I love Melba toast, but it does mean cutting off the crusts. We have it with dinner on Friday and Saturday, but keep the crusts. These can be fried and served as soldiers with boiled eggs for Sunday breakfast. Very simple, and people love them.”

Lady Rawlings also suggests using eBay. Recently she picked up a dinner gong on the website, after I spotted the sort of thing I was after in the hall of a house for sale in Country Life. They wanted far too much. I am currently selling some old Christian Louboutins online

Lady Rawlings does have a limit on how far she will go to save cash. She will not use “horrid little bars” of soap for guests. Instead she provides them with a fresh bar of Lebanese soap from the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove shop which is “not expensive” at £8.50, she then re-uses it herself. When it’s nearly finished, put it in drawers and cupboards to keep moths away. Never throw anything away. Keep baskets and pots for plants, send old newspapers to the fishmonger. Don’t pull the plug once you’ve had your bath, leave the water in the tub for a couple of hours to warm the room. Use electric blankets, open fires, hot water bottles, sausage-dog draught excluder's and if possible, get yourself an Aga.

For the full insider information, get a minion to nip down to the that village newsagent oik, to collect your copy of Tatler! remember, we are all in this together!

1 comment:

  1. awesome post, clearly your politics are aligned with my own, keep blogging.


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