DON’T tell Coronation Street’s Carla Connor, but knicker-stitcher Fiz has other talents up her sleeve.
While her work on-screen is devoted to the fictional Underworld factory and dramas on the cobbles, off-screen, Bury-born Jennie McAlpine is enjoying the more traditional things in life.
The former St Gabriel's RC High pupil threw open the doors of her city centre restaurant, Annies, to showcase her skills as a jam-maker.
Donning a hairnet and chef’s apron, the 30-year-old actress said: “It’s simple but easy to get wrong which is probably why I’m not a permanent member of the kitchen.”
After demonstrating the jam-making process — chopping strawberries picked in Carnforth, mixing with sugar, heating, stirring and pouring into cute Annies jars, Jennie served up scones, cream, strawberry jam and tea in china cups.
She said: “The afternoon tea is such a big thing now.
“I never call it afternoon tea. I just call it going round to my nanna’s. There never would not be a doily out.
“It was very much normal.
“There would be a pot of tea; she would never have had a mug, not even builders had a mug; the idea of the ceremony of it.
“I think a lot of people’s grans were like that.”
In May, Jennie revealed she was expecting her first child with partner Chris Farr who has an extensive catering background, and runs the restaurant on a daily basis.
Jennie, who attended the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop in Bury as a teenager, said she was looking forward to spending time with her child in the kitchen.
She said: “I do like baking and I make a nice shortbread.
“This is a family business, our whole family is involved.
“I think that’s what’s really special about it for us.
“That’s the bit I love, absolutely definitely,” before joking: “Probably from about two or three, as soon as they can walk and carry a plate steadily, we will have them here.”
- Afternoon tea is served daily at Annies, Old Bank Street, off St Anne’s Square, and the jams, preserves and traditional sweets are now available to buy online at anniesteashop.com.