• Archive for December, 2013

    Country crafts: trimmed curtains

    by  • 29/12/2013 • Country craft • 3 Comments

    Learn how to update a curtain with fabric trimmings with Country Homes and Interiors

    Discover how to add colourful trimmings to a plain curtain with Country Homes & Interiors.

    Give your curtains a little love with some jolly coloured border trims. Featuring a stylish frayed look, these updated curtains are featured in our out-soon February issue. Easy to make and a simple way to add colour to a room why not have a go following Country Homes & Interiors simple instructions?

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

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    Country food: tangerine creme brûlée

    by  • 19/12/2013 • Country food • 1 Comment


    It’s time for a truly joyful dessert – serve up this festive brûlée to your family and friends and they will be extremely happy people…

    600ml double cream
    Finely grated zest of 6 medium tangerines
    3 free range eggs
    5 free range egg yolks
    165g brown sugar
    120ml fresh tangerine juice
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place ten ceramic ramekins in a roasting pan. Add hot water to the pan until it reaches about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water and place the roasting pan in the oven. Set the ramekins aside.

    2. In a saucepan, combine the cream and tangerine zest. Over a medium heat, warm the cream to  scalding point, stirring occasionally.

    3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in 110g of the brown sugar and the tangerine juice. Pour the egg mixture into the cream, stirring constantly. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a container that is easy to pour from.

    4. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins – each one should be about three-quarters full. Open the oven door and carefully place the filled ramekins in the hot water bath.

    5. Bake the custards for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are just set (make sure not to overcook them – better under done than over). Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place them on a kitchen cloth. Allow the custards to cool for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate them until they are thoroughly chilled. (The custards will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.)

    6. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150C°). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the remaining 55g brown sugar into an even, thin layer on the sheet pan. Bake until the sugar starts to dry out (about 5 minutes). Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then roll the sugar with a rolling pin to break it up into granules again. Set aside in an airtight container until you are ready to serve the crème brûlées.

    7. Sprinkle the brown sugar in a thin, even layer on the tops of the custards. Pass a culinary blow torch over the custards with quick swirling motions until the sugar melts and burns slightly.

    *Recipe taken from Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu (£21.99, Stewart Tabori & Chang). 

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    Country style: Clan tartans

    by  • 18/12/2013 • Country style, Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    Get the look in 3 steps

    • Find the wallpaper: Look for traditional tartan styles with a twist, such as the diagonal Vivienne Westwood design, shown here.
    • Layer the fabrics: Keep to one colour group such as reds, then mix and match designs on upholstered furniture and consider covering a trunk.
    • Mix with vintage style accessories: Rustic wood and leather work well with this look so team with vintage cases and wooden shelves and notice boards.

    tartanWallpaper, Vivienne Westwood at Cole and Son. Handel Bench, And So To Bed. Fabric on bench, Osborne and little. Trunk, Storage Trunks.  Covered in Iona Russett, Voyage. Suitcase, Ardingly Antiques.

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    Country room: opulent bedroom

    by  • 17/12/2013 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Bring some glamour to a country-style bedroom during the festive season, especially if guests are coming to stay.

    An oversized button back headboard adds a dash of opulence and comfort to a bed and, teamed with a plush quilted throw, brings the comfort factor. Layer the bed with bolsters and cushions in luxurious, soft-to-the-touch velvets that pick up other colours in the scheme, such as the cosy burgundy in the curtains.

    An ottoman at the foot of the bed, meanwhile, provides somewhere to sit, as well as handy storage, while a mirrored dressing table and glittery chandeliers offer a sparkling festive touch. To see more rooms from this gorgeous country house, visit http://bit.ly/1jBmtKD


    Combine velvet cushions and a button back headboard and ottoman for an opulent scheme

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    Country moment: Christmas drinks

    by  • 16/12/2013 • Country food, Country style • 0 Comments

    The end of the year is a good time to gather people around you with a ‘Come for Christmas drinks’ invite. We did just that on Saturday afternoon, serving my favourite Hedgerow Cocktail that everyone always loves. It’s ever-so simple – just pour 2-3 tsps of homemade sloe gin into a champagne flute and top up with cava or prosecco. For the non-drinkers and kids, the festive-coloured Cranberry Crush (as featured in the current issue of Country Homes & Interiors) went down a storm too.


    Love the colour of the Hedgerow cocktails

    I love the colour of these Hedgerow cocktails

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    Country craft: Christmas place setting

    by  • 15/12/2013 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Craft this festive gift box place-setting following Country Homes and Interiors steps

    Mini Kraft gift boxes, £1.75 each, white ribbon, £1.75 a roll both  Paperchase. Natural Raffia ribbon, from £2.59, Hobbycraft. Pine cone and faux fir sprigs from a selection, The White Company.

    Treat dinner guests to their own tabletop gift box place setting filled with festive goodies. Use naturally inspired as decorations for a homespun look or bring a more elabourate style to a table with vintage ornaments. To make simply follow Country Homes & Interior easy steps below.

    You will need
    Mini gift box
    Pine cone
    Cinnamon sticks
    Pine foliage
    Fake snow sprinkles
    Hot glue gun
    PVA glue

    To make decorate the pine cone by brushing on some PVA glue over the surface and sprinkle with glitter and faux snow sprinkles. Leave to dry. Fill the box with gifts and goodies, put the lid on and tie in place with a ribbon. Group the cinnamon sticks, foliage and pine cone and tie tie together with the raffia. Glue this onto of the box with a couple of dots of glue from the hot glue gun.

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

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    Country food: chocolate log

    by  • 12/12/2013 • Country food • 1 Comment

    chestnut and chocolate log web imageThe posh option: chocolate and chestnut roulade with cream liqueur

    Christmas isn’t Christmas without a yule log. But forget plastic robins and holly sprays. This decadent version is just the thing to serve up for dessert at a celebratory dinner.

    Serves 10 to 12

    You will need:

    175g plain chocolate
    6 large free range eggs, separated
    175g caster sugar (plus 1 tbsp)

    For the filling
    142ml whipping cream
    250g can sweetened chestnut purée
    2 tbsps cream liqueur (we like Coole Swan Superior Dairy Cream Liqueur)
    Marrons glacés, to decorate

    1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/Gas 4. Grease and line a 22cm by 33cm Swiss roll tin. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Place the egg yolks and 175g sugar into a large bowl and whisk for 5 minutes, until pale, thick and creamy. Whisk in the melted chocolate.

    2 In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold 1 tbsp of the egg white into the chocolate mix to loosen. Gently fold in the remainder, then pour into the prepared tin and level. Bake for about 20 minutes until spongy to the touch.

    3 Sprinkle a sheet of baking paper with 1 tbsp caster sugar. Cool the roulade for a few minutes in the tin then turn out on to the sugared paper and peel off the backing paper. Cover with a clean sheet of baking paper and a damp tea towel and leave for 1 hour.

    4 To make the filling, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the chestnut purée and liqueur and spread over the roulade. Roll up from one short end, using the sugared paper to help you. Serve with marrons glacés, if liked.

    *Recipe by Mitzie Wilson. Photograph by Laura Edwards

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