The favorite recipe of Katie Hillier, Creative Director of Marc by Marc Jacobs and accessories designer
Katie Hillier has designed accessories for some of fashions most renowned designers and luxuryhouses for over 10 years. Creating for brands such as Loewe, Marc by Marc Jacobs (of which is the Creative Director), Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham she developed a strong design aesthetic known to many as “luxury with a wink” which spurred her on to launch Hillier her own luxury jewellery and accessories brand. Continuing her signature style, which encapsulates excellence in craftsmanship, directional design and a generous amount of cheeky spirit, Worn by the likes of Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung the jewellery of Katie Hillier are sold at Colette in Paris and Dover Street Market in London, Katie Hillier’s work won her the award of British Accessory Design of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. Katie Hillier loves the ritual of tea and his favorite dessert to accompany a cup of tea is the Sponge Cake, which gives us her recipe.
What is the best way to accessorise for afternoon tea? Wear colourful jewels that sparkle, pretty bright red or pink nails, definitely a bag with something shiny like a chain and some hair decoration.
Describe your perfect afternoon tea outfit. I’d wear a floral print dress, a Victoria Beckham bag on chain, Hillier London hair accessories and a few Hillier London diamonds scattered around. I also have some fabulous black suede strappy flats from Chloe that have bows and crystals that I’d definitely put on for tea!
Where are the best places to take afternoon tea and why? It has to be a grand hotel like the Ritz in London or Fortnum’s [Fortnum and Mason]; somewhere that has a tradition for afternoon tea. It’s like a ceremony and that is how it should be; with perfect little bite size goodies that look like sweets. One shouldn’t feel like you are just sitting there scoffing, the process should be refined and elegant.
How do you take tea Katie Hillier? With milk
Is your design style (both for your own label and the brands you work on) particularly British, or does it vary? It’s generally the same, always quite cute and a bit tomboyish. Personally, I would not say it is particularly British but perhaps from the outside it seems this way? My boyfriend [menswear designer Patrick Grant of label E Tautz] always says I look a bit batty and that’s very British isn’t it? I absolutely love Japanese design and I’m very inspired by Japanese designers so sometimes I feel like I’m more Japanese looking than anything else. But that’s in my dream world!
Victoria Sponge Cake for One’s Afternoon Tea
4oz soft butter 4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
4oz self-raising flour Jam
Preheat the oven to gas mark 170 C
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk the butter and sugar together until you get a pale, fluffy mixture that drops off the spoon easily. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add them a little at a time, beating the mixture as you go along.
2. When the eggs have been included, sift about a quarter of the flour on to the mixture and lightly and gently fold the flour into the mixture (if you beat the flour in, you’ll lose some of the air that gives the cake its lightness). Repeat this with the rest of the flour, one bit at a time.
3. Now the flour has been added you should have a wet, creamy mixture. If not, add a tablespoon of hot water. Now divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins. Place them on the centre shelf of the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
4. When they are baked, the centres of the cakes will feel springy when lightly touched. When they’re cooked, remove them from then oven, then after about 1 minute turn them out on to a cooling tray. Then carefully peel off the base papers and leave the cakes to cool completely before sandwiching them together with jam and sprinkling a little icing sugar on top of them.