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#one winter twenty eleven

Sania Pell Uli Schade

sugar & spice & all things nice


Photo Š Uli Schade

Homemade gifts such as spiced fruits, pickles and infused sugars are easy to make and always warmly received. Make the present unique with the addition of silver charms and the lucky recipient’s initial on a label. Source vintage bottles, jars and sugar shakers from flea markets and junk shops and something simple can become quite special. With a few personalised details and creative wrapping these easy recipes can be perfect gifts with style that cost next to nothing. Happy making.

Sania Pell & Uli Schade



Photo Š Uli Schade

vanilla sugar You will need Sugar (granulated or castor) Whole vanilla pod Container

To make Look out for vintage containers on your travels. New kilner jars will work well too. If you use vintage items then soak and scrub thoroughly, ensuring they are clean and free from any old dirt and grime. When dry fill the container with the sugar and add a whole vanilla pod to infuse.

To decorate Simply tie an interesting ribbon or two around the neck, leaving enough length to hang down. Match with a vintage teaspoon to make a sweet gift in both senses of the word.


mulled pears You will need Makes two 1 litre jars Half a teacup of sugar 500ml cider Pears (enough to fill 2 jars)

A small handful of gloves 1 small cinnamon stick Allspice berries Oven-proof glass jars

To make Preheat the oven to 150ยบC. To make the cider syrup, mix the sugar with 500ml water in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Then add the cider, cover and keep warm. Peel the pears but keep the stalks attached. Cut them in half and pack them into sterilised jars, adding spices and a piece of cinnamon as you like. Bring the syrup to boil then pour it into the jars over the pears until full. Place the jars in the oven for 1 hour. Remove, leave to cool and screw on the lids tightly to seal.

To decorate The delicious golden colour of these bottled pears is a wonderful gift in itself but coupled with a handmade, personalised tag with a silver charm and an old games letter it becomes two gifts in one. Cut out a circle of patterned paper and crease over the lid, keep in place with string and hang a tag from this. Tags can be bought from stationers and left neutral or painted in a colour to suit. Vintage charms can be picked up for surprisingly little at antique fairs and flea markets and can be tied on a fine ribbon to make a necklace or added to an existing charm bracelet once the jar has been unwrapped.


Photo Š Uli Schade



Photo Š Uli Schade

pickled shallots You will need 1kg pickling onions or shallots 1 pint cider vinegar 1 cup of honey A knob of root ginger 1 tbsp white peppercorns

A sprinkle of dried chillies A sprinkle of mustard seeds A sprinkle of allspice berries 1 cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves

To make Peel the onions and place in a pan or tray, sprinkle with salt and cover with water. Pour the vinegar into another pan and add the honey, ginger and spices. Cover each pan and leave both overnight to infuse. The following day strain bring the vinegar to the boil, add the bay leaves then leave to cool. Rinse the onions and pack into sterilised pickling jars. Pour the vinegar and spices over the onions into the jars until full and seal the lids. Mature for 6-8 weeks before eating.

To decorate Cover the lid in a circle cut from silk organdie in a neutral shade. Keep the fabric in place with fine twine or string and tie in some slithers of brightly coloured or fluorescent ribbon, a vintage button and a star, to make them personalised pickles with a difference.


table setting When it comes to dinner parties you can create unique place settings for your guests with fruit such as this pear picked from the garden, quinces and other fruits with stalks. Use a ready-made tag or cut your own from thin card, punch a hole and paint it with blackboard paint. When dry, write the initial or name of your guest in chalk on the tag, thread through some fine wire and wind this around the stalk. Add a leaf shape cut from the page of an old unwanted book in the same way or with a slither of double sided tape. The same idea can be applied to figs and embossed paper letters can be used too. Placing the decorated fruit in vintage tart moulds as the base adds a quirky touch. As seen on the front cover, I used a vintage French cake tin to hold my materials as I worked, the compartments are useful for separating the different items and it also creates a pleasing sight to inspire you while you decorate.


Photo Š Uli Schade



Photo Š Uli Schade

personalise This is an easy, instant way update your cutlery for a dinner party that adds a bit of fun and makes each guest’s place setting different. Combining this idea with the individual place setting will ensure your guests have a conversation starter as they sit at the table. Vintage cutlery can be sourced cheaply at flea markets, car boot sales and antique fairs. The fact that it all mismatches is part of the charm and adds character. My cutlery was bought from a man with a huge sack full, all in a tarnished state, for very little. Simply wrap small strips of coloured tape around the handles or cut them to the shapes of the detailing on the cutlery to create a statement. The tape will need to be removed before washing but it adds a little fun. For a relaxed place setting, tie the cutlery together in a bundle with a small piece of brightly coloured ribbon and casually place it at the side of the plate on a napkin.


Sania Pell

Uli Schade

Sania Pell is an author, interior stylist and designer from London. Her first sole book The Homemade Home was published in 2010 and is now a best seller.

Uli Schade is a commercial and editorial photographer specialising in still life, interiors and food.

Sania has a degree in textile design from Edinburgh College of Art and worked for one of London’s leading design studios, where her textile designs were purchased by companies including Armani, Laura Ashley and M&S. From there she moved into interior styling for editorial and commercial projects. She is known for bringing a handmade aspect to her photographic shoots for publications including Elle Decoration, The Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Telegraph


Born in Germany but residing in London for many years, with a stint in Australia in between, Uli has an MA from the Royal College of Art. She has completed editorial work for publications including Elle Decoration, Marie Claire and The Guardian as well as close collaborative projects with award-winning shoe designer Tracey Neuls, and floral and interiors store Visionary Living among other commercial clients.

Her new book The Homemade Home for Children will be published in April 2012.

Uli loves having her creative colleagues around for dinner and the recipe for mulled pears takes her back to her childhood and reminds her of all the wonderful smells coming from her mum’s kitchen.

Sania loves making and posts regularly on her blog at

You can see more of Uli’s work here

Stockists Cookware Ikea John Lewis Labour And Wait Decoration Falkiners Fine Papers Leyland Paints London Graphics Paperchase Shelf VV Rouleaux Vintage Alfies Antique Market Kempton Park Antique Fair

Photo Š Uli Schade


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Concept : Sania Pell & Uli Schade Photography : Uli Schade Styling : Sania Pell Editing & Design : Mark Wilson

Š Nov 2011 All Rights Reserved No reproduction without permission of the authors

Photo Š Uli Schade

Profile for Sania Pell

sugar/spice mini mook #1  

This 16 page mini magazine-book is a little collaboration between author and stylist Sania Pell and photographer Uli Schade. It shows you ho...

sugar/spice mini mook #1  

This 16 page mini magazine-book is a little collaboration between author and stylist Sania Pell and photographer Uli Schade. It shows you ho...

Profile for saniapell