Getting Creative During Lockdown

Getting Creative During Lockdown

Lockdown? There’s only one way to describe it, it feels like you’re reliving the same day over and over again. You keep trying to come up with new things to do but at times you may stop and think ‘okay what next?’. I think we’ve all been there. Some days lockdown feels like the new norm for me and I don’t feel phased at all by it, on the other hand there are some days when I’m totally fed up and desperate to see friends and family, wondering when this will end. It’s human nature, life has changed before our very own eyes and there’s at least one thing we’re all currently missing right now.

For me, creativity is key. We may not be able to see our loved ones or go out for our favourite dish at our local restaurant but we can try and bring some of our favourite things to life at home, and that’s what today’s post is all about.

VIRTUAL AFTERNOON TEA

Lockdown means no more face to face catch ups with my best friends but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend we’re all together. Pre-lockdown our typical meetings would usually involve food and sweet treats, so brunch or dinner followed by a tea/coffee and cake afterwards to draw things out that little bit longer. With that not being possible till who knows when, we have been making sure to schedule a time for a weekly catch up over Zoom, that way there’s more to talk about when it’s weekly. It’s difficult to NOT speak about coronavirus since it’s all we see, hear and read about at the moment, so we’re trying to keep things as normal as possible by having a weekly themed day or night in order to lift our spirits and give us something to look forward to.

Recently I came across a virtualiTEA box from Tregothnan costing only £5, which comes in a box easy enough to fit through your letterbox and contains 10 tea bags. There are 5 different kinds of tea, from chai to afternoon tea, to great British tea so you have a variety of teas to try. Another bonus is that they offer free UK delivery so this is a cheap and cheerful purchase that would go above and beyond for the likes of an afternoon tea, and that’s the very idea that came into my head when I came across their site….I just had to sell the idea to my friends. ‘Afternoon tea anyone?’ They were sold straight away.

We all purchased the tea boxes and looked forward to 2pm on Sunday the 19th for an afternoon anyone with a sweet tooth would be envious of. Everyone went all out, I baked chocolate cupcakes, we made finger sandwiches, Sangeeta brought out her afternoon tea stand, Gillian had fancy breads, and as well as tea we also had alcohol to virtually cheers to. Spending Sunday morning transforming my ‘working from home‘ desk into my own little afternoon tea spread was fun and the sun was absolutely shining through the windows, we couldn’t have asked for a better day and we were all very much looking forward to it (so much so that I ate half of my sandwiches before it even started)

3 hours later after lots of laughter and story telling, I left the zoom call feeling uplifted, hopeful for what was to come when we are eventually reunited and lucky to have such amazing friends to go through an unusual time like this with. We may not be able to see some of our loved ones but getting creative and coming up with cheap alternatives to what we would usually do pre lockdown life can be just as good for now to fill the void.

PIZZA MAKING NIGHT

Everyone loves pizza and in the UK at the moment we’re fortune enough to have some food businesses still open and able to deliver us some good food. For those who don’t have a local Dominoes or Pizza Hut close by and offering delivery, or if you do but would rather spend less and keep yourself busy in the kitchen, why not become the pizza maker and have a pizza making night in your household?

Many local businesses are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own pizza making kits to bring us some lockdown fun. One of these businesses local to me is Café Mariana, a family run cafe/restaurant offering delicious authentic Italian food. They kindly reached out to me and sent one of their very own pizza making kits to try out at home, with enough dough, tomato base and cheese to make two pizzas. I can’t ever recall making pizzas before, maybe when I was young and it was nothing to be too proud of so I couldn’t wait to give this a try and see what they turned out like.

With short and sweet instructions on how long to cook your pizza for and at what temperature, I was eager to get going. I rolled out my dough, spread the tomato base evenly around and added an excessive amount of cheese on top. You could always add your own toppings if you fancy being a little bit more exciting, but with how good the tomato base smelt I knew I would just leave it as it was and enjoy it just the same.

10 minutes later and VOILA…my pizza was ready and my whole kitchen smelt like I had just walked into pizza heaven. I’ve had a lot of pizza in my 24 years of life but this was truly delicious and up there in my top 5. After demolishing every single slice, usually I’d be sad that the pizza party was all over but then I remembered I had another dough and plenty of the tomato base and cheese to make another pizza later on in the week (by later on in the week I mean the VERY next day).

This is definitely something fun and different to do on one of the many free lockdown evenings that we have. For only £10 this pizza making kit is for two people, and this is incredible cheap given that some of the other pizza making kits I’ve come across have been £20, if not more. I’m always looking for new food places to try out so I’m looking forward to supporting a local business and enjoying a meal at Café Mariana when this all blows over.

COCKTAIL MAKING NIGHT

I’m sure this applies to a lot of people when I say that we tend to have lots of leftover alcohol from Christmas or special occasions, am I right? Why not put these alcoholic beverages to good use and have a cocktail making masterclass? I love nothing more than going out for a few cocktails so I’m making the most of my time and either purchasing the good old cocktail cans from Marks and Spensers – I highly recommend the Raspberry Mojito or Pink Pornstar Martini, or when I’m not purchasing the premade ones I’m making my own favourite cocktails with what ingredients I have in the house.

One of my new favourite cocktails that stole my heart in February on a trip to Venice was a Hugo Spritz. It was so refreshing and in a way didn’t feel like I was drinking alcohol until I had 4 or more and then started to actually really feel the effects. Some of the ingredients differ slightly depending on what sites you check, but it’s typically made up of:

  • Prosecco
  • Mint leaves
  • Elderflower syrup/cordial or St. Germain
  • Splash of soda water
  • Lemon or lime wedges as a garnish
  • Top with ice

It’s quick and easy to make and although mines may not have tasted exactly like the ones I had in Italy, the more I had of them the better they tasted.

It’s also becoming more common that bars and restaurants are now offering cocktail deliveries so this is always an option if you can’t be bothered getting your cocktail shaker out and putting one together yourself. In terms of Glasgow a couple of places offering some amazing cocktails include La Vita and Vodka Wodka and each weekend these are becoming more and more popular with people posting these online as part of their weekend activities.

If you do feel like having a little cocktail making night then I’ve provided a few links below to some websites with great recipes that will allow you to use some of that alcohol that’s sitting in your cupboard that you’ve obtained over Christmases and birthdays:

BBC Good Food

Save the Student

The Bar

PYJAMA PARTY/QUIZ NIGHT

The next themed night I’m having with my friends is a pyjama party, which is this Saturday night. YES…any excuse to wear my personalised pyjamas from The Sleepover Club. We’ll pop on our best pyjamas, have lots of snacks, a little glass of wine and we are also going to do a little Saturday night quiz. We’ve each picked a category and have come up with 15 questions each and we’ll see who is crowned the general knowledge queen when it comes to all things food, drink, Netflix, and geography.

Again, I wanted to do something a little different for this night so I’m going to be doing some chocolate dipped strawberries and decorating them with little cake toppers, glitter and food colouring so I’m excited to see how these will turn out. You could always add in some pampering and all put some face masks on if you want to have the ultimate girly pyjama party.

Again, I think it’s good to know that realistically lockdown hasn’t been all rainbows, cakes and happiness, there’s been tears and frustration from my end on occasion. Everyone is experiencing all sorts of emotions during a time like this which is completely normal, but it can be made that little bit easier if you keep yourself busy and in my case, having things like the above to look forward to has been my saving grace. What have you been doing during lockdown?

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44 Comments

  1. Lily Bass
    April 30, 2020 / 3:23 pm

    I love the idea of the virtual afternoon tea! I’m also very tempted to make pizza now 🙂

    Lily Loves | https://www.lilyloves.net

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:14 am

      It was so fun and definitely something different! Hope you’re taking care.

      Holly x

  2. Anna
    April 30, 2020 / 5:42 pm

    These are fun ideas! We’ve eaten pizza quite a bit since this all started but one night we may have a make your own pizza night!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:17 am

      Ugh yeah I’ve had my fair share of pizza too, it’s so fun making it though! Take care.

      Holly x

  3. April 30, 2020 / 5:43 pm

    Pizza and cocktails sounds so fun!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:17 am

      Always a good idea!

      Holly

  4. nortoncharity
    May 1, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    These are all such fun ideas! I need to do a pizza making night. It’s definitely important to do something creative when you feel like you’re living the same day over and over again!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:20 am

      You definitely do, it’s so fun eating your creation! Thanks for reading and take care.

      Holly x

  5. May 1, 2020 / 3:41 pm

    You’ve got some really really cool ideas. A Pizza themed night is definitely enticing and I’ve been meaning to order pizza. Although the idea of reaching our for a pizza making kits is a good shout since ingredients are scarce in supermarkets. It’s getting me thinking quite a bit 🙂

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
    https://johnnystraventures.com

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:25 am

      Thanks Johnny! The pizza making kits are so simple and fun, and the end result is obviously delicious. Hope you’re taking care.

      Holly

  6. May 1, 2020 / 9:10 pm

    Wow, that virtual tea sounds delicious! I do not like chocolate cake but, strangely, I can never stare down a chocolate cupcake without eating it. And there is nothing better then home-baked pizza; we made three pans of it just the other night. 🙂

    Creativity is a great way to escape the funk and realize friendship is still standing strong. Thanks for sharing!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:32 am

      It was so fun!! Best 3 hours of lockdown so far. Oh really? I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading and take care.

      Holly

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:37 am

      Thank you for reading!

      Holly

  7. May 2, 2020 / 8:44 pm

    I love this! A virtual afternoon tea sounds amazing and the pizza making in support of your a local business is fantastic too. This is by the far best and most inspiring lockdown blog post I’ve read in a while. You’ve really motivated me to consider what I can do to make my days more exciting. I especially need to research local Plymouth businesses near me that I might be able to support more.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:41 am

      Awwww thank you SO much, honestly that means a lot! I know lockdown is a struggle at certain points so we all just have to try stay as positive as possible and keep ourselves busy at times to forget of what’s going on. Hope you’re taking care during this crazy time!! Thanks for reading.

      Holly x

  8. May 3, 2020 / 4:44 am

    Creativity is so important. This is how we avoid getting burnt out from doing the same thing all the time. It is great that you got the tea box for a great price! Oooh the pizza kit looks great! Thanks for sharing all of these awesome activities to do during lockdown!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 11:44 am

      It really is. The tea box was such a cheap and great thing to turn into a much bigger idea. Thanks for reading and take care!

      Holly x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much – the afternoon tea has been my favourite by far!

      Holly x

  9. May 3, 2020 / 1:42 pm

    Hi Holly, It does feel like the days are all blending together. I really need to rewatch Groundhog Day. Our pizzerias are all doing the make your own pizza boxes too; it is actually fun constructing them, and my kid loves playing with the dough. We tried the sleepover idea, and it was a blast until it came to the actual sleeping part (on the floor). One of the next things we have planned is ordering and cooking fresh produce from a farmshare. We have a local FB page with dozens of small farms selling directly to the public, which is something I’m looking forward to supporting. Thanks for sharing; it was a great read.
    Cheers,
    Josh

    • Holly
      Author
      May 3, 2020 / 8:06 pm

      It really does but hopefully we’ll all come out the end of it soon – we’ve all done so well so far! Hahah I can imagine the sleeping part was the hardest! That’s so good that you can support local farms, especially at a time like this. Thanks for reading.

      Holly

  10. May 3, 2020 / 2:23 pm

    I love all these ideas! I think I’m going to do the pizza making night tonight – thanks for the ideas. xo

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!! How did the pizza making go?

      Holly x

  11. May 3, 2020 / 5:42 pm

    Pizza making kits look so amazing and delicious. It’s getting closer to dinner time and this just made me really hungry 🙂 Some great ideas here.

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:19 pm

      It was so delicious, I’m tempted to get one again!! Thanks for reading.

      Holly x

  12. aimsysantics
    May 3, 2020 / 8:26 pm

    I love all of these ideas! It isgreat to catch up with friends over Zoom and doing something like afternoon tea isn’t it? The other week we all got together for a games afternoon/night and played cards against humanity line.
    Love the make your own pizza idea as well!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post! Yes, it definitely makes it a little bit different and more exciting than just a video call, especially if you are doing video calls regularly. AHHH that must have been SO fun, I love cards against humanity! Take care.

      Holly x

  13. writtenbycharlotte
    May 3, 2020 / 8:56 pm

    Such good ideas! Need a pizza making and cocktail making night asap x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you! Hopefully you have managed to have one since reading this post.

      Holly x

  14. May 3, 2020 / 11:47 pm

    These are great ideas to try and keep you occupied! I’ve done a couple of these myself, I made my nan an afternoon tea and dropped it off in her porch for Mother’s Day so we could video call her and have it together and it was my mum’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and we had a virtual cocktail night for that too. So cute that your local place are offering DIY pizza boxes x

    Sophie

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you! That’s so sweet that you done that, I bet your nan appreciated it so much! What cocktails did you make?

      Holly x

  15. Lisa Alioto
    May 4, 2020 / 1:38 pm

    Pizza and cocktails sound like such a treat – fun!!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you!

      Holly x

  16. Hannah Louise Blog
    May 4, 2020 / 4:59 pm

    That pizza making kit looks amazing! Such a fab idea!x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      Thanks lovely!

      Holly x

  17. May 4, 2020 / 5:15 pm

    Love this – such fun ideas! We did a pizza making night and had so much fun doing it – definitely going to give the afternoon tea a try!

    Holly x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:22 pm

      Thanks so much! Pizza making nights are great, especially because the end result is of course a delicious pizza. Take care.

      Holly x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks Mark! Hope you’re doing well.

      Holly

  18. May 6, 2020 / 12:12 am

    Love all the suggestions, especially the cocktails! I’ve just been drinking beer and gaining a beer belly LOL. Might try the pizza making with my roommates soon!

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks so much!! Everyone loves a cocktail so it’s always fun making them with what ingredients you have. Hahaha I feel you on the beer belly, except mines is just due to the fact I can’t stop snacking. Take care!

      Holly x

    • Holly
      Author
      May 10, 2020 / 5:23 pm

      Thank you!

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