• Archive for September, 2011

    Andrew Martin

    by  • 30/09/2011 • Country style • 1 Comment

    To round off our exciting week of viewing all the latest fabric and wallpaper collections, David Harris, Director of Fabrics at Andrew Martin, came in to see us to talk us through the inspiration behind the new collections, Compass and Engineer. With a nod to vintage and retro, Andrew Martin manages to create a casual, lived-in look that’s just right for the country home. I love the way this much-loved leather armchair has been given a smart edge with a hearty vibrant stripe. Look out for the feel-good kilim fabrics and the statement wallpapers, from log piles to oak panels, in our March issue.

    Vintage leather armchair, from £1295; Seat cushion in Chinook Multi, £89.90 a metre, both Andrew Martin.

    Vintage leather armchair, from £1295; Seat cushion in Chinook Multi, £89.90 a metre, both Andrew Martin.

    Read more →

    Garden news

    by  • 29/09/2011 • Country moment • 3 Comments

    It is with a little sadness that I bring you the last of our garden updates for this  year. As the  growing season draws to an end we’ve decided to give the ground, and the gardeners, a rest for a few months so the plot is gradually being put to rest. There are still a few crops to harvest such as tomatoes and beans, plus it looks like we may have some raspberries to look forward to in the autumn months.

    Highlights from this year include being part of the company garden open day event, our summer harvest raffle, getting the magazine team green-fingered and of course watching everything grow. Thank you for your support, tips and ideas you’ve sent to us over the last few months. Please keep them coming – we’ll be planning next years garden very soon. In the meantime, enjoy the last of this seasons sunshine and harvest.

    A ladybird enjoys a light lunch

    A ladybird enjoys a light lunch

    Read more →

    Autumn craft course

    by  • 28/09/2011 • Country craft • 1 Comment

    With the kids now back at school, why not learn something new for yourself and attend a craft course. One of our favourite British fabric and wallpaper designers, Lewis and Wood are holding a series of creative workshops throughout October and November, tailored to discovering a new skill such as upholstery, block printing and lampshade making. Each day course, priced from £95, includes expert tuition in Lewis & Wood’s Gloucestershire studio, a delicious lunch and refreshments.

    Lampshade making at Lewis and Wood

    Lampshade making at Lewis and Wood

    Block printing at Lewis and Wood

    Block printing at Lewis and Wood

    Read more →

    New country fabric and wallpaper collections

    by  • 27/09/2011 • Country style • 2 Comments

    The last few days have been a mad whirl of viewing all the latest fabric and wallpaper collections at the leading interior design events, Focus and Decorex. My job and that of the CH&I team is to whittle down the looks we think you’ll love for your country home from the hundreds of new designs on show. Here are my favourites (in no particular order)…

    Sanderson‘s Bloombsury canvas prints and embroideries inspired by Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex. The large-scale prints are just right for making a statement on sofas and curtains.

    I love the freeflowing design energy of these prints

    For coastal lovers, Prestigious‘s Westward Ho and Maritime casual nautical collections hit the spot for beach and summer houses, and kid’s rooms.

    Bring a little bit of sea air to your home

    Clarissa Hulse’s Kallianthi collaboration with Harlequin is a fabulous example of how you can be brave with colour on cushions and accessories. Choose the same scale of shade so that there is a rainbow of mutual colour.

    Heart-stopping, joyful colour!

    Nina Campbell’s Montacute collection at Osborne & Little is inspired by Montacute House, a Renaissance manor in Somerset. If you after some quiet grandeur for living rooms and bedrooms, this is a calm and peaceful choice.

    Quiet country house elegance

    Jane Churchill‘s classic country style of beautifully drawn florals look fabulous with satisfying bold and wide stripes…

    Charming country prints in blue and taupe

    Romo‘s Fougere fabrics and wallpapers are inspired by the classical grandeur of the stately home. Line curtains with a thin stripe for truly beautiful window treatment.

    Vivid shades inspired by botanical gardens in springtime

    Looking back at these pictures, I realise that I have chosen a lot of colour. A move away from neutrals to strong colour and pattern is the way to go. Do you agree?

    Read more →

    Shop of the Month… Horse & Crook

    by  • 24/09/2011 • Country moment • 3 Comments

    Every month, Editorial Assistant Columba Colivet hits the road to seek out country villages and market towns that we think you would like to visit, stay in, or move to…

    On her travels, she always comes across the most gorgeous shops that we don’t always have space for in the magazine, so we’ve decided to feature a regular Country Days shop of the month. Here’s Columba’s choice:

    ‘For the November issue of Country Homes & Interiors, I visited the medieval village of Dunster in West Somerset. While I were exploring the beautiful high street and quaint lanes I stumbled upon this rustic gem. Filled with vintage home and garden accessories and contemporary bespoke gifts, the shop offers a constantly changing display of stylish-sourced treasures…

    shop front Horse & Crook, Dunster

    The Horse & Crook 

    The Horse & Crook is housed in an historic seventeenth-country inn with views towards the National Trust’s Dunster  Castle and Conygar Tower…

    Views of Dunster village & Castle

    Heritage Steam Train arrives at Dunster Rail Station

    Arrive in style  on the a heritage train with West Somerset Railway

    Read all about this beautiful destination in the November issue of Country Homes & Interiors, on sale next Thursday’

    Do you have a favourite country shop or market town? We would love to hear about it…

    Read more →

    Country style buys

    by  • 23/09/2011 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Cloudberry Hill is an online shop set up earlier this year by friends Fleur Lloyd and Annabel Stickland. I love the story of how their joint business venture came about ‘one wintry afternoon while out walking with five children and two dogs in tow’.

    With a shared passion for interiors, the friends began sourcing classic pieces with a mix of modern design and vintage style that they felt would fit into their country homes. The collection is beautiful and here are some of my favourites…

    Handmade wooden hare bookend, £19.95, Cloudberry Hill.

    Handmade wooden hare bookend, £19.95, Cloudberry Hill.

    Embossed espresso mugs, £10.95 each, Cloudberry Hill.

    Embossed espresso mugs, £10.95 each, Cloudberry Hill.

    Read more →

    Garden update

    by  • 22/09/2011 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    We’re still crop harvesting on the roof, despite the ever changing weather. Tomatoes, beans and chillies make their way from plot to plate this week – see our pictures below. Hopefully they’ll be a few more pickings before the big plant clear up takes place and we free the beds for winter growing.

    Tomatoes and mini snail!

    Tomatoes and mini snail!

    Chillies and beans

    Chillies and beans

    Brussels and beans

    Brussels and beans

    Read more →

    Sew an easy bench cushion

    by  • 21/09/2011 • Country craft, Country style • 0 Comments

    Our November issue features these lovely squab cushions, which we’ve used to soften up a kitchen bench. We liked them so much, we made three! Easy to make using a duck feather cushion pad (you can buy similar ones from Merrick & Day), all you need to do is choose a fabric that co-ordinates with your kitchen or dining room… we used a lovely print called Macapa by Swaffer.

    For a neat finishing touch use a heavy cord (or cover buttons in the same fabric) and stitch in place. The instructions are easy to follow – just click here for a quick and easy way to add a touch of pattern to your kitchen. Happy stitching! For more great do-it-yourself ideas visit the Housetohome website.

    Make a group of three or one long cushion to fit a dining bench.

    Use self-cover buttons and fix in place using an easy upholstery technique.

    Read more →

    Delicious Rosehip Pannacotta

    by  • 20/09/2011 • Country food • 2 Comments

    Rosehip Pannacotta

    Delicious autumn dessert

    This delicious creamy yet tart dessert is perfect for autumn. Try making your own rosehip cordial when the berries are a deep, orangey red colour. Alternatively use a readymade rosehip cordial such as Thorncroft’s Autumn Rosehip Cordial (£2.96, 37.5cl, thorncroftdrinks.com, available from health food stores).

    For more lovely recipes using ingredients from the hedgerow, see our November issue, out next week.

    This recipe serves 6. You will need…

    100ml rosehip cordial, plus extra to drizzle

    2 sheets (about 3-4g) leaf gelatine

    250g mascarpone cheese

    300ml double cream

    25g caster sugar

    1 To make the rosehip cordial, roughly chop 1kg ripe rosehips in batches using a food processor. Transfer to a saucepan with 1.5 litres boiling water and return to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with a square of kitchen paper or muslin. Return the rosehip pulp to the saucepan, add another 1 litre boiling water and return to the boil.

    2 Leave to stand for 30 minutes and strain as before. Pour all the strained juice into a saucepan and reduce to about 1 litre. Add 500g caster or granulated sugar. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves then bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Pour into sterilised bottles, and leave to cool. This can be stored for several months in the fridge.

    3 Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and leave to soften for 10 minutes. Put the mascarpone, cream and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the mascarpone softens. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Using your hands, lift the gelatine sheets from the water, letting the excess water drip off and add the sheets to the hot cream mixture. Stir briefly to dissolve the gelatine. Stir in the rosehip cordial.

    4  Pour the mixture into 6 individual dishes or into glasses and leave to cool. Chill for several hours until lightly set. Serve drizzled with extra syrup.

    For more lovely recipes from Country Homes & Interiors, plus information on how to subscribe, visit our web page here.

    Read more →

    Signs of autumn

    by  • 19/09/2011 • Country moment • 2 Comments

    The haws in the woods at the back of our house

    With the September Equinox due on Friday, it feels like the seasons are changing, don’t you think?

    Instinctively, I have been noticing the signs of autumn all around me at home – the starlings gathering, the blackberries coming to an end, the nights clear and cold with the most amazing golden ‘harvest’ moon, the kids wanting hot chocolate after we have been out, and I have started wearing my Just Sheepskin boots  – I hate having cold feet!

    What have you been noticing?

    Read more →