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Just wanted to let you know that you will find the videos, mentioned in this month’s tutorial, on the Belle and Bright Youtube channel! If you type ‘Belle and Bright’ in the search box you will find our channel.

We hope they are useful, this is something new to us and we hope to improve and do more tutorials. They were fun to film and believe me when I say that there was a lot of giggling going on!

If you need any help with your projects, feel free to email us at and we will do out best to assist.

Belle and Bright


Tilda Surprise Box

Unsurprisingly, we are massive fans of Tilda! Whether it’s a floral fat quarter, polka dot notebook or heart-headed pins then we can not get enough.

Our love of Tilda inspired our Tilda surprise box. For £16.99 you will receive a box of Tilda gorgeousness in the post, handpicked by us and the value of the box will always be higher than the cost.

This is not a subscription box, just a one off treat! Of course, if you want to buy more that’s awesome – we will always ensure that you get different goodies.


Belle and Bright

Who we are

Who we are

Hi! My name is Claire, known to many as Claireybelle. I recently found myself at a crossroads in my life, having been made redundant when the school, at which I had worked for many years, closed. My first thought was: ‘I need to start applying for jobs!’, but then I realised that this would be the ideal time to pursue my love of sewing.



Chocolate and Brioche Pudding

I was cooking dinner for my folks earlier and, after a consultation with my favourite homebird, I decided to blog the pudding. This is without doubt my favourite winter pudding – a real crowd pleaser and super easy. It is based on Nigella Lawson’s chocolate chip bread pudding; I replace bread with brioche and add extra chocolate and vanilla.


300g brioche

150g chocolate chips (I used a bar of chocolate cut into pieces)

40g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

500ml full fat milk

125ml double cream

Good splosh of vanilla

Butter for greasing


Start off greasing your baking dish with butter and preheating the oven to 170℃.

Roughly cut the brioche into pieces and put it into the baking dish.


Sprinkle the chocolate chip on to the brioche. Make sure you distribute them well throughout the brioche (obviously sneak a few – a cook’s got to have a perk or two!)


Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, milk and cream until they are combined.

Pour the egg mixture over the brioche. Doing it slowly is the key! You want each piece of brioche to get coated.


Leave to stand for at least 20 minutes before baking.


Bake for about 40 minutes. It should be puffed and golden.

Just to make this even naughtier, I serve it with a custard cream. Simply whisk about 300ml of double cream until it reaches soft peaks then add about the same amount of fresh custard and whisk until combined. I grated in some clementine for chocolatey orangey goodness.


Off to loosen my belt and plan a rigorous exercise routine.


Claire and Nicki

Brussels Sprout Risotto

I remember as a child, doing battle over a token a brussel on my plate. Moving it around like a mini football and doing pretty much everything to avoid actually eating it. I tried them a few years ago, sautéed in butter and served with chestnuts – I wanted to turn that combination into a risotto but wasn’t sure what I’d make of it. Yotam Ottolenghi has a recipe for brussels sprout risotto in his book ‘Plenty More’. Mine is a slightly adapted version of his recipe, I use everything he uses, but with a few small tweaks. My theory is: if Yotam recommends it it must be good!

Me and the niecey were chatting recently about being braver with food and trying to eat a little more seasonally. For me, this recipe ticks both boxes!

Brussels Sprout Risotto


30g unsalted butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp of fresh thyme (I used lemon thyme and a tiny pinch of dried thyme)

Tarragon, about 5g

1 lemon, zested and juiced

150g risotto rice

250g shredded brussels sprouts

100ml dry white wine

450ml vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

30g gorgonzola, dolcelatte or taleggio

100g chestnuts, crumbled

20g grano padano


1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and butter and add the onion. Fry for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, thyme, sprouts and lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.

2. Next, add the risotto rice and stir and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer for a minute, before adding hot stock a ladle at a time. Stirring often until the rice is cooked – around 15-20 minutes. Season to taste.

3. Add the tarragon, chestnuts, gorgonzola and grano padano and stir gently.

4. Serve immediately with a spritz of lemon juice.

I love this recipe so much and it will definitely be a winter staple here at homebird and belle HQ!




A little catch up

So, how was Christmas and New Year?  We were super lazy casual this year and had Christmas on our own, in pyjamas and my folks came for dinner on Boxing Day for round 2 of festive food and fun. New Year was spent in Welsh Wales with the in-laws. We had our annual family cinema trip, lots of eating, late nights, lots more eating and sleep ins. At my in-laws’ house you do not go for longer than 15 minutes before being offered another drink or having chocolate/cheese/peanuts thrust upon you and I blooming love it, but, as you can imagine, it’s hard coming home and having to fend for yourself! It was all lovely, but it is nice to have some normality back and I am so ready for 2016.

There are lots of things in store for homebird and belle this year. My niecey and I have been plotting and planning and there are exciting things ahead for us and homebird and belle. To kick things off, I am having a wee sale on all my remaining Christmas stock – there are gorgeous stockings, bunting and charm packs available.  

I will continue to stock my small line of lanterns, homewares, handmade bunting, cushions, etc and, by popular demand, I am extending my range of charm packs. I was overwhelmed by the popularity of mini charm packs – some went as far away as Brazil! Anyway, more of that to come soon!

I loved posting recipes for my Christmas kitchen section this year and I recieved some lovely emails and comments on Instagram about them so I am going to continue posting recipes regularly. Can not begin to tell you how excited I get when someone tries one of my recipes! I was thinking that I would try and focus on seasonal cooking. Believe it or not, I have a wicked sprout recipe to post soon and as a lifelong sprout hater I never thought I’d type that sentence!

Back soon with the aforementioned sprout recipe!



White Hot Choc

Is it white hot chocolate or hot white chocolate?! The former sounds right to me, so that’s what I am going with! I made some last week and had a few queries on Instagram about it so I thought I would share my method. I know adding corn flour to hot chocolate sounds odd, but you can’t taste it and it makes for the most gorgeous velvety drink. It is just super simple and super yum! This is a versatile recipe (it’s not really a recipe), you could add: a tiny splash of orange oil, peppermint extract or a shot of espresso.


Enough milk for your favourite mug

About 40g white chocolate, chopped

1 level teaspoon corn flour mixed with a splash of water until it makes a smooth paste


1. Warm the milk until it hot but not boiling, add the white chocolate and stir until melted

2. Add the corn flour paste and mix until the hot chocolate has slightly thickened.

Best served on a chilly evening, under a blanket with a good movie or book.



PS any Gilmore Girls fans out there that call hot chocolate ‘ho cho’?!