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February Newsletter

Old faithful – grab your flowers and chocolates for your loved ones locally.

Step by Step

T&T VIP Kathryn Maile takes a second look at the stepfamily.

Float On: Leann chills out in a floatation tank.

Event: T&T is hosting an exhibition and charity auction to support women in India.

Recipe: surprise your sweetheart with a chocolate pudding this Valentines Day.

Keep Calm & Carry On

Greetings T&T VIPs!

I heard recently that sales of the iconic “keep calm and carry on” poster were falling after many years as a solid performer in the motivational paraphernalia marketplace.

It’s easy to draw some conclusions to this sad state of affairs. It seems that every time I glance at the news (which, thankfully, is rare these days) something else crazy, scary or both is happening out there in the big bad world.

Right now we’ve got the uncertainty of a new captain holding the ball in the Whitehouse, a long and protracted process of unwinding the UK from the European Union ahead of us, groups around the world migrating or afraid of people migrating, border wars, trade disputes, the economy, crisis this and emergency that!

As a younger man I used to get tied up in knots with the pain, anguish and suffering out there in the world. I was passionately engaged in it all, researching it, questioning it and feeding a sense of purpose just by being angry at things a lot of the time.

Sadly, it caused me a lot of personal distress and really didn’t do anything to resolve any of the world’s problems.

As I grew older I realised that the best way to resist anger, sadness and fear was to stop chasing after those emotions and focus on the positive – joy, trust, contentment and a sense of optimistic anticipation.

Two things really helped, meeting Amanda and, with her support, opening Tried & True. I count my blessings every day that I have someone who understands me, supports me and loves me for who I am.

Tried & True is more than just a business to me. It is the place where we work together to shape our little part of the world into a place to be proud of.

The fact that we can all enjoy doing so over pancakes and flat whites makes the journey even better.

This month, lets celebrate the restorative powers of love, trust, happiness and acceptance. It’s easy to be cynical about the “Hallmark Holiday” of St Valentines but love really is something to cherish and nurture.

Inside this month, T&T VIP Kathryn shares her experience of being a step-parent, Leann chills out by floating in the dark and we are gearing up for a charity evening in March.

To cap things off we’ve got flowers, chocolates, pancakes and an awesome recipe for chocolate pudding. Things are looking good in Putney.

Keep Calm and Carry On everyone! RK

A Bouquet to say …whatever you want!

It’s February, which means a month of pink paper hearts, boxes chock full of chocolate and of course, flowers! There’s no better way to say ‘I love you’ than with a beautiful bouquet of vibrant flora.

T&T’s neighbor Ginger Florist can help you with all your fresh flower needs, in February and all year round. The familiar face you see inside is Rasheed, who’s worked there for six years now, however the shop has been a Putney staple for 17 years.

I spoke with him amongst those bonny blooms as he explained the best part of working in the neighborhood. “In Putney there is a sense of community, nice people and loyal customers.”

If you plan to bestow your loved ones with blossoms this Valentine’s Day, you could be one of them. Open daily with same day service, go to or stop in after your Tried & True coffee break!


T&T Manager and chocolate fiend Paddy has been instrumental in adding fine chocolate to our sweet treat offer.

We are excited to stock two super high quality chocolate brands - Artisan du Chocolat from London and Pana all the way from Melbourne.

Currently on display are delicious salted caramel truffles and dark chocolate bars from Artisan du Chocolat and a range of rich, indulgent bars from Pana. Great gifts for that special someone – or just yourself!

Step-by-Step: A second look at the step family

We live in an age of beautifully blended, no-longer nuclear families. However we don’t often give much consideration to the intricacies of how these unions operate, and unsuitable stereotypes still loom over undeserving stepparents.

Putney local Kathryn Maile has written two books trying to dispel the fairy tale myth of the evil stepmother. My Stepmum and Me and My Stepmum and Me: A Boy’s Tale are the first in an ongoing series of illustrated children’s books aimed at exploring the relationship between kids and stepmothers.

Of her own, she is well versed in the ins and outs of parenting, step-wise and otherwise, and encourages reading these books together as a family.

Her writing fosters more positive views of stepparents and pursues a change in the general outlook on how stepmums are looked upon. Have a look for yourself!

The books are available on Amazon, at Waterstones or signed copies directly from the author.

Also check out Kathryn’s website to find out more about her, the books and for fantastic merch such as the ‘I heart My Stepmum’ totebag! LSC

Pancake Day: Tuesday 28 February

You’ve been waiting patiently for it all year and now it has finally arrived: Pancake Day! Those glorious 24 hours before Lent when you can shamelessly devour as many crepes, pancakes and flapjacks you can possibly scarf down. And you best believe Tried & True is going to help you get in on the action. This year we’ll be featuring our delectable coconut pancakes with peach compote and mascarpone. So mark your calendars and clear your schedules; February 28th you’ve got a hot date with some hotcakes! Stay tuned for more updates! Pancake day 28 February at T&T

Float On: Leann takes a dip in the craze of sensory deprivation

After several weeks of discussing the desire to deprive my senses in the shallow, salty waters of a floatation tank, my husband picked up on my not-so-subtle hints and generously gifted me a 3 session pass for Christmas. So in the cold stretch of January, I dug my bikini out of hiding and headed out to test the benefits of buoyancy at FloatWorks in Vauxhall.

A mere two minutes from the station, the place was easy to find and welcomed me with tranquil lighting, calming music and a waiver to sign. I swapped my shoes for the pink flip flops provided, threw my belongings into a locker and was escorted to my personal float pod room. There I was given earplugs, instructed to rinse off in the shower and when ready, enter the chamber and turn off the lights. After ten minutes of music, I am in soundless void, floating with my arms above my head, lulled into a state of blissful relaxation.

Though the 60-minute session did not pass quickly, there was little sense of time or knowing how long I’d been soaking in the salty pool until the music emerged from the silence, signaling the end of my submergence. I showered, redressed and headed to the Chill Out Zone for some light reading and herbal tea. Twenty minutes later and I’m downstairs booking my next appointment, ready for more sensory deprivation-induced relaxation.

“What’s the big deal with this buoyancy in the dark,” you might be asking yourself. The primary function of floating is stress reduction and pain relief, with several immediate and lasting benefits to the body and mind.

Endorphins are released and blood flow is stimulated, while the brain produces alpha waves similar to those yielded through meditation. It can be used as a mood enhancer, easing symptoms of anxiety and depression, or to target specific pain. But generally speaking, floatation therapy helps restore chemical and metabolic balance in the body, creating a harmony within oneself.

For those of you tempted to test the waters, please pay heed to the carefully outlined guidance to using the pod. If you have an itch on your nose mid-drift, resist the urge to touch your face because those salt particles WILL find their way to your tear ducts and disrupt your serene soak, leaving you grasping for the fresh water spray bottle tucked inside the tank for this very type of mishap.

It may take you a couple minutes to get used to the sensation of floating in quiet darkness, and it took me a second session to experience the expansive and elated stillness of the tank. Though without a doubt this is an exercise unlike any other, and I for one will be taking the plunge for as long as there are pods to float in. LSC

FOCUS ON INDIA: A Celebration of Women - 4 March 2017

Next month, on International Women’s Day Wednesday 4th of March at 6.30pm, we are delighted to host Focus on India, a photographic exhibition celebrating the progress of Women’s rights in India.

The evening event is being organised by Miranda Hudson from Snehalaya (Home of Love), an international charity that supports Women, Children and LGBT communities in rural India.

Come learn about the ground -breaking, front line work Snehalaya does bringing rescue, rights and rehabilitation to women & children in India in a relaxed and informative setting.

The event will feature the work of press and travel photographers Joseph Fox and Patrick Wheeler alongside images taken by children at Snehalaya's Children's Home.

Come learn just why Women's Rights are so vital to progress in rapidly developing countries like India while sampling some authentic Indian street food by celebrity chef Angus Denoon.

Enjoy a great night out, while supporting an agent for real equality in an evening of art and photography.

Grab a summer holiday or a case of craft beer in the Silent Auction & Raffle (8pm draw) and visit the Print Shop open throughout the evening selling prints, arts & crafts made by Snehalaya beneficiaries.

For more information about the event, dates, times, ticket sales and contact details check out the event website at: or contact


Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat

First Aid Kit - Winter Is All Over You (Baauer Remix)

Peter, Bjorn & John – Up Against The Wall

Tegan & Sara – Alligator

Rilo Kiley –So Long

Modest Mouse – Bankrupt on Selling

The Postal Service –Brand New Colony

Beach Boys – Don’t Worry Baby

Grizzly Bear – Knife

The Morning Benders – Excuses

Devendra Banhart – Canela

Listen here:

Recipe: Baked Chocolate Pudding

Valentine’s Day, although often victim to cynical assaults by bitter singles, is not about flaunting one’s fling of the month or rubbing anyone’s noses in the stench of True Love. It’s about celebrating the boundlessness and life-affirming nature of love and reminding those special in your life – whether it’s a mere handful or a whole heap – how much they fill your heart with glee.

So this year, why not make them something that fills their bellies with goo? This oozy, gooey, indulgent chocolate delight is sure to say everything that Hallmark card doesn’t.

Serves 6

Cooks In 55 minutes (plus freezing and chilling time)

Difficulty: Super easy


  • 455 g good-quality cooking chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

  • 50 ml hot espresso or good strong instant coffee

  • 125 g butter, plus extra for greasing

  • 6 free-range eggs, separated

  • 200 g caster sugar

  • 100 g ground almonds

  • 100 g rice flour

  • 1 small handful chopped hazelnuts, toasted


  1. Begin by melting 125g of chocolate with the coffee (out of beans? Head to T&T for a fresh bag!), then pour into small ice-cube molds and freeze until hard. Take 6 small 3-inch baking molds or cappuccino cups and grease well with butter. Place in the fridge while you make your sponge mixture.

  2. Melt the remaining chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Then in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the sugar until firm. Fold the yolks of the eggs into the cooled chocolate and butter mixture. Next add the almonds and flour. Finish by carefully folding in the egg white mixture. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

  3. Take your molds out of the fridge and spoon a little mixture into each one, then push in a cube of the frozen coffee and chocolate mixture. Cover with the rest of the sponge mixture so each ice cube is completely enveloped. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes. Finally, remove carefully from the molds while hot and serve immediately sprinkled with hazelnuts.

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