• Archive for July, 2013

    Country craft: Place setting

    by  • 21/07/2013 • Country craft, Country food • 0 Comments

    Place setting

    Try this oh-so-simple place setting idea at any time of the year. Choose different flowers according to the season. Doily, ribbon and striped paper from a selection at Hobbycraft.

    This delightful place setting decoration lends a stylish touch to a summer table and it’s so easy to make!

    You will need
    Mini doilies
    Ribbon
    Seasonal flowers
    Napkin
    Cutlery

    To make the cutlery roll, place a set of cutlery into a folded napkin, roll up into a tube shape and tuck the ends underneath.  Place a doily on the top of the roll and secure in place with a short length of ribbon tied at the back. Add decorative flowers by tying two flower stems together with ribbon then position on your table.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. And for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not buy our  Country Home Ideas app?

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    Country garden: herbs in flower

    by  • 20/07/2013 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    What makes a packed vegetable garden so attractive – apart from the promise of all that lovely fresh country produce – is that every inch of it can be put to good use.

    That’s certainly been the case with our rooftop garden, where space is at a premium. Now that our beans and much of the soft fruit have been harvested, and a wigwam of sunburnt sweet peas is soon to be cleared, there’s room for more tasty crops. Tomatoes, currently growing in pots, will be popped the ground to fill the gaps and the cabbages will at last have more room to breathe.

    The herbs are looking especially pretty at the moment (thank you, Mr Fothergill’s), with a lot of them in bloom. Proof – if needed – that a productive garden can have just as much interest as a flower-filled garden.

    See what we mean…

    Mediterranean herbs in their element this summer

    Purple sage showing its true colours

    Thyme keeps on flowering

    No, not a herb, but doesn’t it look lovely? Caterpillars haven’t found it… yet

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    Country Buy: Rolfe & Wills

    by  • 19/07/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Looking for something bright and cheery for your home? My latest discovery is Rolfe & Wills who create vibrant, bold designs with a fabulous collection of cushions, home textiles and bespoke upholstered furniture that’s sure to make a happy colourful home .

    1. Geometric Chevron design cushion, £25 2. Jelly fish armchair, by commission 3.Goldfish dining chair, by commission 4. Park Street cushion, £25, all Rolfe & Wills.

    1. Geometric Chevron design cushion, £25 2. Jellyfish armchair, by commission 3.Goldfish dining chair, by commission 4. Park Street cushion, £25, all Rolfe & Wills.

    The story behind the brand is a charming one of two school friends, Alice Rolfe and Chloe Wills, who decided to combine their talents to create a unique homeware collection. The harmonious partnership of Chloe specialising in upholstery and Alice specialising in drawing and print allows them to produce original and creative pieces.

    The friends working in the studio; Alice Rolfe & Chloe Wills.

    The friends working in the studio; Alice Rolfe & Chloe Wills

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    Country food: apple and elderflower pie

    by  • 18/07/2013 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Apple and elderflower pie: oh go on then, just a small wedge…

    The elderflower season seemed to be over in a flash this year and I only managed to get one batch of cordial made. I put it to good use though making this pie last weekend. Usually fruit pies make me think of lashings of custard and autumn comfort food but this one was just as nice served cold straight from the fridge with cream.

    340g plain flour
    225g butter
    4 tbsp caster sugar
    1 egg yolk
    7 Pink Lady apples
    250ml elderflower cordial – Bottlegreen is the next best thing if you haven’t got any homemade
    100ml water
    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    25g ground almonds
    115g white marzipan
    Flaked almonds
    Icing sugar for dusting

    1 Put the flour and butter into a food processor fitted with a plastic blade and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar and whiz again. Now add the yolk and whiz again until your pastry comes together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 45 minutes or so.

    2 Quarter and core the apples. I don’t peel the apples as I love the pink colour of the skin but peel them if you prefer. Cut each quarter into slices, about 3 mm thick at the thickest part. Put them into a saucepan with the cordial and water, cover and simmer very gently until they are just beginning to get tender on the outside. Strain off the liquid and measure how much you have. If it is more than about 75ml then put it into a small saucepan and boil to reduce it to 75 ml. Stir in the zest, pour the liquid over the apples and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 190 C and put a metal baking sheet into it.

    3 Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and line a pie dish (measuring 25cm in diameter, 5-6 cm deep) with it. Sprinkle the ground almonds on the bottom of the pie. Break the marzipan up into little chunks. Spoon the apples (with the elderflower syrup) into the case, scattering the chunks of marzipan as you go. Roll out the rest of the pastry and make 6 strips with which to form a lattice on the top. Moisten each end of the pastry strips and lay them across the top of the pie. Press down to seal. Put this into the oven on top of the baking sheet and cook until golden, about 30 minutes. About 8 minutes before the end of cooking time, scatter a handful of flaked almonds on top and return to the oven – the almonds will toast in the final stage of baking. Dust the pie lightly with icing sugar before serving. [Serves 8]

    *For more delicious recipes using Pink Lady apples, visit pinkladyapples.co.uk

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    Country style: Pamper parlour

    by  • 17/07/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    When the weather is as beautiful as its been lately its time to get into the holiday spirit, even if you are at home, and relax and invest in some well earned ‘me’ time. Perhaps you just want to escape out of the sun and into the cool. A home spa is just the solution. In our August issue (out now) we have lots of ideas for turning your bathroom into an indulgent pampering  parlour, including natural home treatments such as salt scrubs, pedicures, aroma scents, raw food juices and quiet zones decorated with meadow flowers and scenes from the French  vineyards.

    La Source Ultra-moisturising Foot Remedy and Effervescent Sea Foam Foot Soak, Crabtree and Evelyn. Sandalwood Intensive  Hand & Foot Treatment, Cowshed. Brushes, pumices etc, John Lewis. Soaps, The Wellington Herb Company.

    La Source Ultra-moisturising Foot Remedy and Effervescent Sea Foam Foot Soak, Crabtree and Evelyn. Sandalwood Intensive Hand & Foot Treatment, Cowshed. Brushes, pumices etc, John Lewis. Soaps, The Wellington Herb Company.

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    Country room: retro dining room

    by  • 16/07/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Hot weather and ice cream shades go hand in hand. And here’s a wonderful light and airy country dining room that’s perfect for summer entertaining.

    Those white washed beams and painted floors evoke a cool Scandi look that combines beautifully with the chic retro furniture from Sainsbury’s, inspired by Ercol’s classic designs, as well as the nostalgic accessories such as the ice cream parlour glassware and pastel striped dinner set.

    I’m also a big fan of bunting and this colourful design is a great way of adding a party feel and prettying up the dining area, as well as pulling all the different shades together.

    Copenhagen extending dining table, £610, Copenhagen pair of dining chairs, £206, TU sorbet striped 12-piece dinner set, £35, TU glass bottle, £3.50, TU sundae glass, £2, TU soda glass, £1.50, TU beach hut, £6, TU seabirds, from £2.50, set of three fish, £5; all Sainsbury’s

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    Country moment: Coronation Festival

    by  • 15/07/2013 • Country food, Country moment, Country style • 0 Comments

    If you’ve ever wondered what it means to be a royal warrant holder then the Coronation Festival last week was the perfect place to find out. The Queen opened her Buckingham Palace gardens to showcase and celebrate the companies that supply services and products to the royal households with the famous phrase ‘By appointment to…’

    From John Ross Jr smoked salmon and Pimm’s to Barbour and Hunter, upmarket country-based brands were on display. I went along on Friday morning to view the House & Gardens pavilions where some of Country Homes & Interiors’ favourite British home brands were present, including Brintons, which is celebrating the Queen’s 60th anniversary with a new range of beautifully designed rugs. Here are a few snaps…

    The gardens of Buckingham Palace

    Sanderson’s display of wallpapers

    The catwalk show featuring British fashion brands

    Hunter wellies on display

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    Country craft: Simple vases

    by  • 14/07/2013 • Country craft, Country moment • 0 Comments

    Simple vases

    Jam jars bring effortless style to freshly picked flowers

    Arrange freshly cut flowers in collected jam jars for easy summer styling. Either group the jars together or place in a line with single blooms or a jolly mix of pretty posies.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. And for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not buy our  Country Home Ideas app?

    Read more →

    Country garden: summer fruits

    by  • 13/07/2013 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Have you noticed how the glorious weather has suddenly brought on the summer blooms? In fields, hedgerows and along the banks of country lanes, masses of flowers bask in the warmth of the sun. And gardens are looking lovely, too.

    In the Country Homes & Interiors rooftop potager this week, we’ve been struggling to keep up with the sweet peas and broadbeans, and now it’s the turn of the soft fruits. With blackcurrants, strawberries and raspberries ripe, plump and ready to harvest, we feel a summer pudding coming on… Take a look at the latest pictures.

    Beautiful blackcurrants

    Best eaten straight from the bush

    Just add cream!

    Herbs happily jostling for position

    Wish you could smell these sweet peas!

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