Author: After Noon

anotherescape

Talking media: indie mags

Is print media on its way out, like some people think? Not just now, we reckon. The discussion has been around for a while. Do media like magazines have a future in their print format? Or will we all be forever reading from computers, tablets, i-watches or whatever else we’ll have plugged in our hands? Hasn’t there been a similar debate around music? People foresee a time when all music will be downloaded, stored in the Cloud or simply stolen from somewhere. Of course, there’s the big worry about artists being paid at all for what they do. But an interesting thing has happened in music. Away from the download charts, a loyal fan base has gone back to that very tangible format, the LP record. CDs were always a bit space-age. From the moment they landed on the planet, when people were smearing butter and jam on them to prove their invincibility, you – like me – have never really trusted them, right? Records, in comparison, request your love and care. In return they reward you with warmth and nostalgia. Can we argue …

pokey

Talking music: old-skool

How old is old-skool music? Perhaps it depends on who you’re asking? At the moment, we keep seeing adverts on television for those terrible ‘dancefloor bangers’ compilations of the ’90s and ’00s. For those of us who are a little older, we might think about ’80s rap acts like Run DMC and early Beastie Boys. But, what if we go older-skool than that? The After Noon team has been checking out some cracking old-style acts recently. (It just so happens that a lot of them have toured around the same time.) Here are some of our favourites: Curtis Harding (website) CW Stoneking (website) Delaney Davidson (website) JD McPherson (website) Josephine Foster (website) Marlon Williams (website) Nick Waterhouse (website) Pokey LaFarge, who’s pictured above (website) So, what does old-skool mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Marry berries, not Mary Berry

We’re After Noon – lovely to meet you. We bake organic, free range, Fairtrade cakes. Our principle is to take simple, fair, good-quality ingredients and turn them into wonderful things. Lots of cakes swap sugar for taste. But ours aren’t just pretty faces.

meg and lindy website

Talking childhood: Mr Kap (by Meg)

I’ve been wondering why I love cakes so much. And thinking far back to when I was a little girl, one memory stands out… We used to travel for two days in my dad’s old VW van to get to my extended family in Knysna (in the Garden Route of South Africa) for our summer holidays. They had a pretty little white stone farmhouse in the middle of the Knysna forest. It was a magical place to a little girl, with no electricity, surrounded by dense forest, the heady smell of pine, wild bramble bushes, and no visible neighbours nearby, reached only by a long dirt track through the woods. There were rumours that wild Knysna elephants still roamed the forest. These elephants had been hunted to near extinction by that time, but they still left occasional signs of life now and again. I remember the adults talking once about a weasel that had gotten in to the chicken coup and killed a few birds. I was absolutely terrified it might get me in the …

marques toliver

Guest list: Marques Toliver

AN cakes find their way onto the guest lists of these great occasions and are always rubbing shoulders with interesting people. Much more than the bakers do, damn-it! Like, we recently delivered to this great venue in Hackney Wick called Shapes. It was for the birthday of musician Marques Toliver (above), who’s been on Jools Holland and who the bakers saw as a support act not long before. Sure, we’re name-dropping a bit. But his music’s ace. Check out his Black Cab Session. The truth is, we’re excited when After Noon cakes are invited anywhere, whether that’s a birthday, wedding or plain-and-simple weekend treat.

Vanilla and rosewater cupcake

What’s in a cake?

We always choose organic, free range and Fairtrade where we can. Apart from adding some magic to the cakes, here’s why. Fairtrade Buying Fairtrade ensures better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainabiliy and fair terms of trading for farmers and workers in the developing world. It allows people to improve their position and have more control over their lives… which is a right we all deserve. Organic Organic agriculture covers more than the non-use of fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, animal drugs and additives. The bigger picture is about sustaining and enhancing the health of ecosystems and organisms, from the smallest in the soil to human beings. Healthy soils produce healthy crops that foster the health of animals and people. Animals get conditions that suit their physiology, natural behaviour and wellbeing. Human relationships are also taken into account, as organic agriculture looks out for farmers, workers, distributors and traders. It is about high-quality, nutritious food. It is about respect among people and towards the other living beings. And it’s about passing on healthy natural resources to future generations. Free …

doves

Why organic?

There might be more to organic than you think. Of course, there’s always a temptation to fall in with the gang who sees it as just a bunch of irregular-shaped products that haven’t been washed properly – at twice the price. But that misses a lot of important stories. Organic agriculture covers more than not using fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, animal drugs and additives. Looking at the bigger picture, it helps to sustain and enhance the health of ecosystems and organisms, from the smallest ones in the soil to bigger ones like the birds and the bees – and us. Healthy soils produce healthy crops that foster health. With organic, animals get conditions and opportunities that suit their physiology, natural behaviour and wellbeing. What’s more, this kind of agriculture looks out for farmers, workers, distributors and traders too. The Soil Association, when describing the organic movement, talks about four main areas: health, ecology, fairness and care. So, over and above quality, nutritious food, choosing organic means you look out for your local corner of the planet, you respect people …

chocolate

Sweet like chocolate

Cor blimey, chocolate’s good, isn’t it? But is it the only choice for cake? We’d say definitely not. There’s no doubt that a chocolate cake is a wonderful thing. Moist cake sponge, gooey centres, and there are lots of worthy tweaks to the classics when you start throwing things like salted caramel into the mix. But, there’s a world out there and new adventures to be had, Afternooners. Think lemon, lime, nuts, seeds, pears, marmalades, syrups, ginger, blood oranges, coconut, cream cheese, cherries, coffee, raspberries, elderflower, toffee, biscuit, pastry, blueberries. Even something as stripped-back-gorgeous as chocolate-chip banana bread with toasted walnuts. We’re not saying  you shouldn’t eat chocolate cake. But, you could do worse than check out our seasonal menu for some other ideas.

plate licker

Plate lickers

There’s nothing we like better than someone deep in the throes of a cake. This page is dedicated to Jerry from Hackney (above). Jerry joined our table for a birthday celebration in 2013. Five minutes after this photo, someone heard him whisper, ‘How can I get out of here with that cake?’ Here are some other things we’ve heard said about After Noon cakes: “Best birthday ever. Wow. That’s so cool. It was really nice. Wish you could have attended. Let’s do it again next year please.” (Marques Toliver, @MarquesToliver) “I just wanted to say thank you so much for making such a wonderful cake, it was such a surprise and I LOVE cake so it was the best birthday ever. It’s honestly the best cake I ever had in my life. It is beautiful and delicious at the same time. Won’t ever forget it.” (Gizelle) “I’ve just eaten one of your very amazing cakes at my hair salon for the first time and I’m actually sat in the chair typing this after devouring it. I think …