Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Flash Fiction - The Loving Tree

Here is this week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

Photo credit @ Sandra Crook


The Loving Tree

‘I love you Charlotte,’ Austin whispered as he held her tiny hand in his.
Charlotte beamed in delight. ‘Why don’t we carve our initials in the tree, as a symbol of our everlasting love?’
Austin pulled back in horror at the suggestion. ‘What? Why would we do that?’
Charlotte’s face crumpled in disappointment. ‘You don’t really love me, do you?’

Austin couldn’t believe what he was hearing, why would anyone want to harm a tree? Cutting its bark would allow a gateway for pathogens. He was quite disgusted in Charlotte. No, she was right, he couldn’t love her, not now.


Hope you enjoyed this story
Bettina x

Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here

My new novel 'Without A Hitch is available to buy now - 


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Afternoon Tea At The Ritz - Review

Having Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite things as regular readers of BeautySwot.com well know, so I was absolutely delighted to find that one of my birthday gifts was Afternoon Tea for Two at The Ritz.

Being The Ritz, we had to book a couple of months in advance and even then one of the few slots we were able to get was the last sitting on a Monday afternoon. So, in early September, off we went all dressed up, the tall blonde one in his suit and tie, me in a little black dress and patent heels, ready to enjoy the sumptuous treat awaiting us.


The first thing to note was the delightful, cheerful and friendly doorman who greeted us on our arrival. It really is the little touches that put a smile on your face. We made our way to the Palm Court where Afternoon Tea is served, and were shown to our table - you can see just how exquisite a setting it is from the photo above.


It was then time to choose our teas to accompany the Traditional Afternoon Tea -

I opted for the 'house' tea - The Ritz Royal English and after the sandwiches I tried The Rose Congou to enjoy with my scones and cakes - both equally delicious and delicate, neither needing milk or sugar to enjoy.

We had advised, when booking, that one of the party was dairy free and they brought separate sandwiches for the blonde one and explained the difference.



There was nothing surprising about the sandwich fillings on reading the menu, the offering pretty standard, but the colourful array of sandwiches were fresh, generously sized and decidedly moreish so we enjoyed a second serving!

Ham with Grain Mustard Mayonnaise on Sliced Brioche 
Cheddar Cheese with Chutney on Tomato Bread 
Cucumber with Cream Cheese, Dill and Chives on Granary Bread 
Chicken Breast with Parsley Cream on Malt Bread 
Scottish Smoked Salmon with Lemon Butter on Sourdough Bread 
Egg Mayonnaise with Chopped Shallots and Watercress on White Bread

These were then followed up by -

Freshly Baked Raisin and Plain Scones with Cornish Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserve Assortment of British Afternoon Tea Pastries and Cake

The scones were served warm and the blonde one received a separate dairy free batch which he said were most delicious. He was also brought his own separate plate of pastries which he appreciated and endlessly gushed about how tasty it all was... I couldn't disagree, the sweets were bitesize and the perfect balance of sweetness, fruitiness and a satisfying chocolate/coffee hit. I did enjoy the alcohol laced profiterole which was light and fluffy and creamy on the inside ...mmmm! These all really hit the spot. Just when we felt we could eat no more, a waiter came around with a cake trolley offering a slice of cake, well who were we to say no.... I enjoyed the exotic fruit sponge, foregoing the chocolate one and one final time they offered the blonde one a dairy free option.

Afternoon Tea is deceptively filling, best enjoyed on an empty stomach. We had two waiters during the afternoon and found the service to be attentive and friendly throughout.


We really enjoyed our afternoon at The Ritz. The Afternoon Tea was exceptional, it was leisurely, relaxing and The Palm Court was wonderfully opulent but not at all stuffy. The guests ranged from young to old, parties of women, couples and families, all appearing to enjoy this very traditional British pastime.

I have heard that some guests feel rushed at The Ritz ( bookings are allocated 90 minutes, which I feel is ample time) but this could be at busier and more popular times of the year and times in the afternoon. We certainly didn't feel rushed and the last setting of the day was a good choice as it served as dinner for us.

Before leaving we were given a book about Afternoon Tea and I couldn't resist having my photo taken with the pianist who had been playing live music throughout.




Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Flash Fiction - Like Father, Like Daughter

Here is this week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt


PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

*Like Father, Like Daughter

Meri heard the thud against the window and ran to investigate. A tiny bird was lying on the floor, its mouth opening hungrily. Must have fallen from a tree she surmised. Poor thing.

‘Daddy, come quick!’

Rick joined his daughter and surveyed the scene.

‘Can we keep her?’

‘No darling, we can’t. The bird has been startled, you know what we need to do. Box, holes, darkened room.'

A few hours later, the pair released the bird successfully back into the wild. Meri, all smiles, was in awe of her dad.When she grew up she became a vet too.


Hope you enjoyed this story
Bettina x


Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here

*Kindness breeds kindness

Without A Hitch - Available Now!


Without A Hitch 

I am delighted to announce the release of my second novel 'Without A Hitch' which is out now and available on Amazon to buy. I am planning to release the paperback version shortly so watch this space!

The book is a fictional tale about three brides-to-be who are planning their dream weddings but find that however organised they are, there is nothing they can do when fate intervenes... Sienna, Agnes and Bryony experience the highs and lows of planning a wedding. Will it all come together on their Wedding Day? Find out in this heartwarming, contemporary romantic comedy.

To buy -

UK readers click here 
US readers click here 





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