• Archive for December, 2014

    Craft a pocketed wall organiser

    by  • 28/12/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Make this handsome pocketed wall organiser following Country Homes and Interiors easy instructions

    We love an organised home and what better way to plan and sort family affairs than with this smart pocketed wall organiser. Creatively made combining an upcycled picture frame and gorgeous tweed fabric this organiser is lovely to look at with it’s handsome braid finish and serves a practical purpose with deep pockets and plenty of places to clip notes, invitations and must-keep paperwork. As featured in our soon-to-be-seen February issue it is very simple to make. To craft your own click here and follow the simple instructions.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, see our latest issue.

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    Deck the halls…

    by  • 23/12/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Country hallway Country Days Country Homes and Interiors

    Deck a country hallway with boughs of holly (and a Christmas tree!) to create a festive and welcoming entrance for guests.

    The hall is an area that’s often overlooked but it’s the first room that visitors see, so spruce up bannisters with a jolly garland and decorate bare walls with pretty wreaths. For a magical atmosphere, you can even position a tealight on each step  but make sure you don’t leave burning candles unattended).

    A Christmas tree placed at the bottom of the stairs is a lovely idea and, with Christmas Eve approaching, now’s the time to pile up presents underneath ready for the big day! (Decorations and tree from Cox & Cox.)

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    Make Pompom Pavlovas

    by  • 22/12/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes and Interiors, Pompom pavlovasCanapes are the perfect way to keep guests happy at Christmas drinks parties. These little meringues make the perfect little sweet treats to hand around after you’ve done the savouries. Mini in size, filled with Cornish clotted cream and sprinkled with jewel coloured pomegranate they look fantastic when served in a beautiful cake plate. The best bit is you can make the meringues in advance and then add the finishing touches on the day.

    Makes 16

    2 medium organic egg whites

    100g caster sugar

    1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

    1 tsp white wine vinegar

    1 tsp cornflour

    227g Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream

    Seeds of 2 pomegranates

    1 Preheat oven to 110°C/225°F/Gas ¼. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until peaking. Beat in the sugar a dessertspoonful at a time. Whisk well until the mixture is thick and glossy.

    2 Add the vanilla and vinegar and sift in the cornflour. Whisk lightly until the ingredients are combined. Take 1 heaped teaspoonful of the mixture and place on the parchment. Flatten and neaten the sides with the back of the spoon, then make a small cavity in the centre. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

    3 Bake for 1 to 1½ hours or until the cases are crisp. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight container. To serve, place a spoonful of clotted cream on each meringue and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds.

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    Create a festive floral centrepiece

    by  • 21/12/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Create this festive floral centrepiece using Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Here at Country Days we love arranging pretty flowers into festive decorations come Christmas time. This stylish potting up idea is a simple way of adding colour and scent to a room in the prettiest of ways and yet, due to the nature of how it’s made, the flowers stay looking at their best for longer, too. Simply size some florist’s foam to fit the bottom half of a terrine. Soak in water laced with some cut-flower feed, then place inside. Next take three long stems of jasmine and starting from the top push the stems into the foam so they measure approximately two-thirds the height of the vase. Next take the roses and strip them of any excess foliage and thorns with some florist’s snips. Cut them one third shorter than the jasmine and push the stems individually around the oasis to form a soft dome shape. Add volume to the arrangement with the hypericum berries, flowerless rose stems and more spriggy jasmine. Finally fill any spare gaps with ivy trails. The flowers should keep for a couple of weeks if the foam is regularly topped up with water.

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

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    Artist in residence: Forecast

    by  • 20/12/2014 • Artist in residence • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes & Interiors, Artist in residenceSarah Hough, our Artist in residence at Country Days, has been having some end-of-year fun with cones. ‘I’ve been trying to get to know this fir cone as apparently they can tell you the weather,’ she smiles. ‘It didn’t seem to want to speak to me so I looked out of the window instead!’

    To see more of Sarah’s work, head over to her website here.

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    Mak a festive moodboard

    by  • 20/12/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Ready_moodboard3

    With the big day just around the corner, it’s still not too late to add those special finishing touches to your home. Here at Country Days, we’ve been busy putting together this moodboard to inspire you to create your own unique look this Christmas.

    Team traditional reds and greens with crisp whites by mixing a selection of cosy knits and quirky pieces for a modern country look. Finish by styling up your mantle piece with woodland-inspired stockings and lavish winter greenery.

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    Carols by candlelight

    by  • 19/12/2014 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Carols by candlelight | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors With just days to go and excitement reaching peak levels, there’s nothing lovelier, or more Christmassy, then a jolly carol or two. Here’s some seasonal sing-a-longs hitting the high notes for us this weekend…

    Carols by Candlelight, Cambridge
    21 December, 6.30-8pm
    Cambridge’s carolling scene is best known for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held at King’s College. But, with tickets in such high demand, we suggest a quieter service held in Cambridge’s oldest building: the beautifully atmospheric Leper Chapel. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served and it’s free to attend.

     Carols at Treak Cliff Cavern, Peak District
    20 & 22 December, 2-3pm
    Attend a concert with a difference – carolling inside a cavern is not something you do every day! Little ones will also enjoy a guided tour and a present from Santa himself. Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for children and under 5s go free. To book, call 01433 621487.

    Christmas Celebration, Cornwall
    22 December, 7-8pm
    Wrap up warm and join Sterts Singers in a candlelit concert at Sterts open air Theatre. With a mix of traditional carols and festive songs, there’s something to get everyone in the mood. Mince pies and mulled wine are available from the bar (open from 6:30pm), admission for adults is £6 and £3 for children.

    Looking for more weekend ideas and inspiration? Sign up to Country Post, a weekly newsletter from us to you every Friday.

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    Bake and decorate Shortbread Biscuits

    by  • 18/12/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country HOmes and Interiors, Christmas shortbread biscuitsIt’s time to get baking something extra special for Christmas. Shortbread is a classic country recipe but by cutting festive shapes such as stars, trees, circles and decorating them with nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, and sprinkles and icing you can make them look really special. Arrange them in a little decorative box and you have the perfect homemade gift too.

    Makes 22-24

    150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

    25g ground rice

    125g firm slightly salted butter, diced

    ½ tsp rose extract

    75g caster sugar

    Small handful of unblanched almonds

    Decorations, such as white icing, white sugar sprinkles, edible pearls, gold food colouring, chocolate and nuts

    1 Put the flour, rice and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the rose extract and sugar and blend to a firm paste. Wrap and chill for at least
    30 minutes.

    2 Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Grease 2 baking sheets. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 5mm thickness. Cut out festive shapes and space slightly apart on the baking sheets. You could cut out stars from the middle of some rounds or press almonds onto others. Make holes with a skewer if required.

    3 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until just turning pale gold around the edges. Re-mark the holes with a skewer if necessary. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack.

    4 Decorate the biscuits – see picture for ideas.

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