Loving & Lavender at The Book Fair
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
In preparation for my first LIVE SIGNING at Book Fair Australia this weekend, I’ve been looking into this Regency favourite. I might even have tried making lavender water from my very own garden...
Did you know that lavender is a member of the mint family? No wonder the two scents go so well together. Lavender possesses medicinal properties which have been known and utilised by folk for centuries as both a sleep aid and a calming balm. It's also been used to scent clothes, linen, hair, and corsetry.
Can you eat it?.
Turns out - YES!
During the Regency era, lavender was often included as a flavourful addition to foods and beverages. Some people even believed it inspired romantic dreams of one’s beloved…a powerful plant indeed!
For those of you who are currently enjoying my Regency spies, you’ll know Claire Ryan (one of my heroines) is a parfumeur, which means she’s well-versed in lavender water (and poisons - whoops - no spoilers…but, well, she is). Her first adventure appears in The Case of the Black Diamond Part I, which I’m giving away FREE to anyone who purchases her second adventure (appearing in Christmas Secrets of the Soho Club here.)
Lavender and Loving FREEBIES at Book Fair Australia:
I'll have free chapters of my first romance-mystery to give away at Stall 12 - so do come by, if you're in the mood for lavender, and a little love.
Back to Lavender...
In Regency England, you’d hardly find a garden without lavender in it. It was easy to grow, and had multiple uses making it a valuable cash crop as well as a sweetly-smelling addition to any household.
Making Lavender Water:
You can make your own lavender water with either fresh or dried lavender buds. As my garden appears to be bursting with fresh lavender, I chose the former. However, using dried lavender means you can make your lavender water at any time of year - and you never know when someone might throw a ball…
For those who can't make it to Book Fair Australia, here's my recipe for you to bring both lavender and loving into your heart this Thanksgiving. I truly wish I could deliver lavender water and loving for you all - because you are why I do this.
Anyway, This is the easiest ‘old’ recipe I’ve found:
Step 1: Gather your lavender buds (you can also use the stems and leaves.) (Note: the scent is just as powerful but it depends on how much you wish to strip your plant.
Step 2: Bring 100ml water up to a fast boil.
Step 3: Pour your boiled water over 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried lavender flowers in a glass or ceramic bowl. Avoid using metal or plastic if you can.
Step 4: Cover your bowl and leave at room temperature at least until it is cool or up to overnight. This will allow the scent to infuse more thoroughly.
Step 5: Strain the mixture using a really fine sieve or piece of muslin. (Honestly, this recipe dates from 1841 but I used a tea strainer and it worked perfectly well.)
Step 6: Decant into a very clean glass bottle (ideally dark coloured) and keep it refrigerated.
If you keep your lavender water in the fridge, you’ll find it lasts several weeks, though the scent does fade fairly rapidly after a fortnight.
What else will I have for you at Book Fair Australia?
I'll have all my current releases available, either in paperback or digital versions for you to order at my stall. I'll have my lavender water, and a red-hot contest for you to enjoy.
I'll sign books, doodle on hands, squiggle on toes, whatever you ask - and I'd love to connect with as many Aussie readers as possible.