• Archive for February, 2014

    Country look: Snowdrops

    by  • 28/02/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Snowdrops are a favoured sight at this time of year, celebrated as an early sign of spring, they begin to form an impressive carpet of white flowers throughout the countryside.

    Artist and designer Susan Robertson, at Wiggles & Florence, has captured the beauty of this humble flower with her new Snowdrop design, seen below on mugs perfect for a country kitchen.

    Snowdrops-mug-on-the-Country-Days-Blog

    Snowdrops mug in a pretty pale blue, £9, Wiggles & Florence.

    Working from her home studio in an old Victorian kitchen garden in Wales, Susan’s designs are inspired by her beautiful rural surroundings. In addition to Snowdrops her designs also feature Alliums, Cow Parsley and Roses. Visit Wiggles & Florence to see more.

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    Country food: lemon mousse

    by  • 27/02/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Lemon Mousse

    A little taste of heaven: lemon mousse

    Spring is in the air (yay it’s nearly March) and crumbles and sponge puddings suddenly seem so last month. It’s time to pack away those big dishes and hunt out the ramekins as the season demands a dainty, light and fresh tasting dessert. These little pots of lemony  heaven are wonderfully tangy and feel so right for now. Even better, they’re pretty easy to do too. This recipe serves 8 (supposedly – we think everyone will be back for another one).

    4 gelatine leaves
    3 free range eggs, separated
    75g caster sugar
    100ml double cream
    juice of 3 lemons
    1 tsp finely grated organic lemon zest

    To serve:
    100ml double cream
    candied lemon zest (see below)

    1 Immerse the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. In another large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until the foam forms still peaks. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks.

    2 Lift the gelatine out of the water and melt it gently in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat, pour in the lemon juice and add the zest. Slowly pour the gelatine mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring all the time. Set aside in a cool place until the mousse is starting to set.

    3 Fold in the egg whites and the whipped cream. Pour into several small dishes and chill for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Whip the double cream until if forms stiff peaks, then serve the mousse with the cream and the candied lemon zest.

    To make the candied lemon zest
    1 organic lemon
    60g caster sugar
    4 tbsp water

    Cut the zest from the lemon in long, thin strips using a zester, then squeeze the juice from the fruit. Combine the zest, juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Separate the lemon strips from each other and spread out on a baking sheet. Leave to cool and dry.

    *Recipe from The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trine Hahnemann (Quadrille, £12.99). Photograph by Lars Ranek
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    Country style: Copper kitchen

    by  • 26/02/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Follow the trend for decorating with copper by mixing traditional utensils such as pans and grinders with contemporary lighting and metallic wallpaper

    Get the look in three steps

    *Opt for floor tiles in a warm terracotta to give the kitchen a cosy feel

    *Add softness with metallic wallpapers, in leafy designs and use stunning floral fabrics for curtains, cushions and tablecloths

    *Get creative – hang pans in clusters and display vintage style metal letters and baking trays on shelves and the mantelpiece

    For more Spring decorating ideas see our March issue, out now!

    Copper, kitchen, decorating, trend, Country Homes & Interiors blog

    Country style: Copper kitchen

    Paint, The Little Green Paint Co. Wallpaper, Casamance. Floor tiles, Fired Earth. Table, Windsor chairs, I&JL Brown. Bossy chair, at end of table, Loaf. Pendant light, The French House. Tablecloth made in Florinda Red, Jane Churchill.

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    Country room: pretty dining room

    by  • 25/02/2014 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Amazing how a pop of pastels gets you in the mood for spring, and a country dining room can easily be given a seasonal facelift with just a few well-chosen pieces.

    The key to the look is a neutral backdrop, which will see you through each season. Here, a classic country scheme  with elegant French-style dining table and chairs is given an update for spring with pretty curtains featuring birds perched on leafy branches and brought to life with upholstered dining chairs in sugar almond shades (all from Laura Ashley).

    The perfect spot for afternoon tea…

    Addington dining chair in Dalton Cyclamen, £300; Aldwick dining chair in Edwin Apple £475; Provencale dining table £925, pair of dining chairs £575, curtains in Aviary Garden apple £34 a metre, voile in floral trellis white £18 a metre; wallpaper floral trellis dove grey £38 a roll, lighting Mercy swag chandelier £325, Fenn cyclamen shade £38, Bellamy base £65, Arianne mirror £150, Ashford natural rug £175

    Addington dining chair in Dalton Cyclamen, £300; Aldwick dining chair in Edwin Apple, £475; Provencale dining table, £925; pair of dining chairs, £575; curtains in Aviary Garden Apple, £34 a metre; voile in Floral Trellis white, £18 a metre; wallpaper in Floral Trellis Dove Grey, £38 a roll; Mercy swag chandelier, £325, Fenn Cyclamen shade, £38; Bellamy base, £65; Arianne mirror, £150; Ashford natural rug, £175

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    Country moment: crocus carpet

    by  • 24/02/2014 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Having been abroad for a week, I was delighted to return home to find Sussex warm and decidedly spring-like. This carpet of happy crocuses welcomed me on a local verge. Huddled together with their deep purple petals and orange stamens, they really stood out in the sunshine against the well-watered grass. Have you seen crocuses near you? We’d love to know…

    crocus

    C. tommasinianus – the prettiest early spring flowers

     

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    Country craft: place setting

    by  • 23/02/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Home-sewn,fabric,place setting,Country Homes and Interiors blog,housetohome

    Brightly coloured home-sewn place setting made with Junkanoo Chillie, £80 a metre, Rapture & Wright, as seen in the March issue of Country Homes and Interiors

    Add a cheery touch to springtime tables with colourful home-sewn place
    settings. This bright fabric style features in our the March Issue of
    Country Homes & Interiors and is easy to make. Lay on the table for everyday
    dining or match with a posy of daffodils for belated St David’s Day entertaining.

    You will need
    Fabric (we used Junkanoo Chillie, £80 a metre, Raptune & Wright)
    Matching thread
    Needle or sewing machine
    Pins
    Pinking shears
    Heat resistant wadding (we used Insul-Bright)
    Fabric basting spray (try The Cotton Patch)

    To make decide on the dimensions of the finished placemat then measure and
    cut out a rectangle of fabric double this size plus 1cm hem all around
    (shortest width at the top of the fabric design). Measure and cut a
    rectangle of heat resistant wadding to fit the finished placemat dimensions. Place the
    fabric right side facing, shortest sides at the top and bottom. Fold over so
    the shortest sides meet and press. Position and spray the heat resistant wadding
    onto the fabric, butting up the longest edge with the folded side of fabric
    and leaving 1cm of fabric showing on all the other edges. Sew along and
    across one short and one long side of the fabric taking in a 1cm hem. Turn out the
    placemat so right sides are facing. Make sure the wadding is still neatly in
    place then turn in the last edge of fabric and slip stitch the seam. Press
    to finish

    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 news: 50 Decorating Ideas

    by  • 22/02/2014 • Country craft, Country style • 1 Comment

    50+ DECORATING IDEAS

    50+ Decorating Ideas

    50 DECORATING IDEAS

    50+ Decorating Ideas

    Looking for inspiration to help you design fabulously furnished rooms, enhance your home or give a look that final finishing touch? Then 50 Decorating Ideas is just what you have been looking for. This special publication is a jam-packed decorator’s bible aimed to bring you the creative know-how to give your home a polished and professional look. Featuring stunning room ideas captured by Britain’s best homes photographers, it includes inspirational images, interior-design secrets and tips from the experts at Britain’s best-loved homes magazines plus an essential guide on how to use colour. Available in stores now or follow this link to buy the digital edition.

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    Country look: adorable pet prints

    by  • 21/02/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Do you have a pet with personality in your country home? You’ll love this fabulous collection of homewares from Bottle Green Homes…

    Bottle-Green-Homes- on-Country-Days-Blog

    Fine bone china mugs, £12.95 each, Bottle Green Homes.

    The silhouette drawings of cute creatures adorn mugs, tea towels and aprons, all designed by Kate – inspired by her own beloved pooch Jackson, a very determined Dachshund. Which design best suits the pet in your life?

    Bottle-Green-Homes-teatowels-on-Country-Days-blog

    Pet inspired tea towels, £9.95 each, all Bottle Green Homes.

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    Country food: chocolate cupcakes

    by  • 20/02/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Chocolate cupcakes with almond butter icing

    Good for you too: chocolate cupcakes with almond butter icing

    Oh my, these pretty bakes rather catch the eye. Other sweet treats come and go – cake pops, cronuts (a croissant/doughnut hydrid), peekaboo cakes (plain on the outside, hidden treats within), homemade marshmallows – but here at Country Homes & Interiors we’ll always have a soft spot for the cupcake.  Sometimes they can be a little on the sickly sweet side though. So imagine my surprise at finding these ones in a healthy eating cookbook (I was browsing for salad suggestions but thought you might prefer these instead…) It’s true: look at the ingredients list and there’s not a refined carb to be seen. You may have to go to the healthfood store to find some of the ingredients but it will be so worth it. Happy (healthy) baking!

    2 free range eggs
    200ml coconut milk
    70g vegetable oil
    300g melted dark chocolate
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    40g brown rice flour
    40g teff flour (wholegrain flour available from healthfood stores)
    45g potato starch
    2 tablespoons flaxseeds
    1 teaspoon xanthan gum
    3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
    3⁄4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    50g cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon espresso powder
    100g coconut sugar

    For the almond butter icing:
    80ml coconut oil
    60ml smooth unsalted almond butter
    375g icing sugar
    3–6 teaspoons almond milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    a muffin pan lined with paper cases

    Makes 9 cupcakes

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Put all the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl then add the wet to the dry mixture a little at a time. Whisk until completely smooth and mixed together. Spoon the mix into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

    To make the icing, beat the coconut oil and almond butter together very quickly until well combined. Add 125g of the icing sugar with a teaspoon of almond milk and stir in slowly. Add the vanilla extract and continue to add a little of the sugar and a teaspoon of milk to the mixture at a time, keeping the consistency thick and fluffy. Then get frosting!

    *Recipe from Super Grains & Seeds by Amy Ruth Finegold (out now, £16.99,  published by Ryland Peters & Small, available from rylandpeters.com). Photograph: Clare Winfield

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    Country style: Spring snuggle

    by  • 19/02/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Stride the gap between Winter and Spring and snuggle under textured layers in soft and soothing shades of stone.

    Get the look in three steps

    • Paper a feature wall with a dramatic parquet flooring pattern
    • Mix and match wide and narrow width fabric stripes on headboards, curtains and bed linens
    • Layer the bed with throws for a casual look and store in a hemp basket as the nights become warmer

    Wallpaper, Farrow & Ball. Bed, Vi-Spring. Headboard, The Dormy House. Valance, cushion, headboard fabric, Mark Alexander at Romo. Duvet, Loaf.  Throw, Nkuku.

    For more spring decorating ideas se our March issue, out now!

    bed

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