• Archive for November, 2014

    Festive stocking

    by  • 30/11/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Create this festive stocking follwoing Country Homes and Interiors blog

    At Christmas there can never be enough stockings! All the better if they match this seasons latest colour trend of muted greys with frosted touches bringing a real country winter feel. This one features in our January issue and is so simple to make. To find out how to make click here.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Happy crafting!

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    Pop the kettle on…

    by  • 29/11/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Garden Trading enamelware on Country Days blogOn our wish list this week are these gorgeous new accessories from Garden Trading, who has teamed up with contemporary designers MissPrint to add a touch of pattern to its traditionally plain enamelware. The design is taken from a wallpaper called Muscat, inspired by abstract organic forms.

    You can dress your country kitchen with the complete set, from canisters to store teabags and cocoa to the kettle and mugs for making a warming brew! (Prices start at £12.50).

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    Bake festive treats

    by  • 28/11/2014 • Country moment • 1 Comment

    Bake festive treats | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Whether it’s dropping a coin into the Christmas pud or deciphering the faded print on Great Grandma’s classic mince pie recipe, happy memories fast turn into annual traditions when it comes to home baking at this time of year. Add a few more into the mix by signing up to a festive course or workshop – here’s our top three…

    Festive baking course, Lanarkshire
    29 November, 10am – 5.30pm
    Formerly a Victorian Hunting Lodge built in the 1850s, Wiston Lodge is surrounded by beautiful scenery and woodland. Roll up your sleeves and discover wonderful traditional recipes, including marzipan Stollen, chocolate truffles and gingerbread decorations – take them home for friends and family to enjoy. The price is £50 per person and includes a hot, homemade lunch.

    Christmas baking and wreath making, Devon
    11 December, 9.30am – 4pm
    Get into the festive spirit at River Cottage with demonstrations by leading experts on how to make traditional Christmas bakes, both savoury and sweet. Enjoy a two-course lunch before finishing off the day with a lesson in wreath making and a warm spiced cider. Prices start from £140 per person.

    Seasonal baking demonstration, Hampshire
    Dates available throughout December, 11am – 3pm
    Discover how the freshly milled stone-ground flour from Winchester’s working corn mill can be combined with a wide variety of locally grown produce to make delicious Christmas themed treats and take inspiration for your own home bakes. Booking isn’t necessary, but normal entry fees apply – £4 (adults), £2 (children).

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    Seasonal treat: roasted chestnuts

    by  • 27/11/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    rosemary baked chestnuts

    On a crisp winter’s day, the smell of roasted chestnuts in the air is an instant lift. We love the idea of piling them in to twists of newspaper – so simple yet so delicious…

    Serves 4

    500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh unshelled chestnuts
    10 small knobs of butter
    4 sprigs of rosemary, torn into smaller stems
    1 tbsp coarse sea salt
    finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Use a sharp knife to carefully cut a cross on the round side of each chestnut. Place them all in a baking dish and dot with the butter, rosemary, salt and lemon zest. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until golden and the shells have opened slightly. They are best eaten while still warm, but they are also a great addition to salads. Simply peel off the outer and inner skins (they’ll come away together for the most part) and enjoy.

    *Recipe from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (£25, Hardie Grant Books)

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    Meet Nikki Szabo…

    by  • 26/11/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Nikki Szabo style setter | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Nikki Szabo’s country fabric collections go down a treat here at Country Days. Light-washed watercolours of cute country critters sit beautifully against natural fabrics in subtle pastel shades, creating timeless designs for curtains, cushions and more.

    What made you want to become a designer?
    I set up a curtain-making business with my mother and, over time, I came to realise there was a big demand for beautiful and original fabric prints. I got out my paintbox, started designing and it went from there! I’m most creative at night so the freedom of working for myself is brilliant. I love the hands-on process of printing the fabrics too.

    What inspires you? 
    I spend a lot of time wandering around flea markets, and often come across unusual objects. Many of my designs have also been inspired by nature.

    What ethos do you work by?
    I really care for our environment. I only use lovely natural cotton and linen blend fabrics which are all digitally printed to order in my small studio in Chobham, Surrey. Our eco-friendly pigment dyes are water based, solvent free and environmentally gentle.  We print the exact amount needed to fulfil each order, so there is no unnecessary wastage of fabric or inks.

    Describe your favourite country moment.
    I love spending time by the sea. I often take myself away for the weekend, book into a local dog-friendly hotel (my pup Pixie has to go everywhere with me!) and spend time meeting friends, relaxing and sketching.

    What’s next?
    I’m currently working on a floral collection. I visited Kew Gardens Summer Festival in September and picked up loads of inspiration – I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Fluid, underworked and spontaneous.

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    Table talk

    by  • 25/11/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment


    Love French style? Then you’ll adore this country kitchen with its pretty dining area that’s reminiscent of a chic French manor house or elegant farmhouse.

    The scheme blends classic French-style furniture with pretty faded florals. Set the scene with distressed cane-back chairs that have a characterful, timeworn feel, then add linen seat pads for extra comfort. Make sure the table has the relaxed touch that’s key to informal occasions by laying it with a cloth in a faded floral such as Oyster Christobel fabric by Kate Forman. A mesh-fronted armoire keeps the look cohesive and is the perfect place to store artisan crockery.

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    Pretty panelled cushion craft

    by  • 23/11/2014 • Country craft • 1 Comment

    Panelled cushion made with easy steps by Country Homes and Interiors Blog

    Make a decorative panelled cushion following Country Homes and Interiors instuctions

    There’s no easier way to perk up upholstery and room décor then by adding a stylish panelled scatter cushion. They can bring a fresh splash of colour, add in interesting dimension of pattern or lend a new look to a scheme. Or even do all three! This lovely cushion features in our December issue and is made with a glorious embroidered fabric panel of Braemar Hawthorn, from £75 a metre, Voyage Decoration and bordered with Corin Cranberry 7697/05, £60 a metre, Romo all which adds jolly tones, texture and pattern in one go. To learn how to make your own panelled scatter cushion click here and follow these easy instructions for a similar style.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy country craft projects  for you to try. Happy crafting!

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    Toasty layers

    by  • 22/11/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Mourne Textiles on Country DaysAs temperatures drop our thoughts turn to spending nights in snuggled under cosy layers! The perfect excuse to indulge our overwhelming fondness for luxurious throws & blankets; our hearts feel a little warmer at the mere sight of this beautiful woven range by Mourne Textiles.

    The collection features premium throws made from the softest Pure Merino wool and Mohair yarns. These are handwoven on a traditional Donegal Loom at the foot of the Mourne mountains, the idyllic location of the family-run workshop.

    To ensure a totally toasty home why not add a selection of the complementary cushions and rugs.

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