• Archive for January, 2015

    Be inspired by talented designers

    by  • 30/01/2015 • Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    Heal's Modern Craft Market | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Make plans to visit Heal’s Modern Craft Market (2-15 February) – a two-week event showcasing 28 talented craftspeople, all individually chosen for their unique and affordable handmade wares. Having passed on our recommendations, we’re delighted to see that some familiar faces from our My Country Business pages have been selected to showcase their work and host live workshops. Head to the Heal’s Tottenham Court Road store and say hello!

    Gabrielle Vary
    Gabrielle won our My Country Business Awards Craft Category in 2014. She specialises in knitwear design, spinning traditional handmade design techniques with fresh new ideas. Her collection spans a whole range of beautiful items made from 100% British lambswool, ranging from blankets and cushions to scarves and socks. She’ll be teaching a range of knitting skills and techniques on Thursday 5 February, 12-2pm. Tickets cost £7. Book here.

    Justine Wall
    We first met Justine at our My Country Business event in 2011. She is the talented designer behind Hector & Haddock, celebrating all there is to love about paper and traditional printing methods. Her lino-cut, letterpress and screen print designs are inspired by sentimental ephemera, from certificates and tickets to treasured love letters. Learn how to design and make your very own lino-cut on Tuesday 10 February, 12.30-2pm. Tickets cost £17. Book here.

    Zara Day
    Zara of Rosemaryrose was shortlisted in our My Country Business Awards in 2014. She creates bespoke hand embroidered furnishing fabrics, creating unique designs for chairs, footstools, headboards and more. Her workshop gives you the chance to try out your embroidery skills on Wednesday 11 February, 12.30-2pm. Come away with a traditional love token filled with fragrant Cotswold lavender – just in time for Valentine’s Day! Tickets cost £12. Book here.

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

    Read more →

    Winter warmer

    by  • 29/01/2015 • Country food • 0 Comments

    honeyed parsnip quinoa with chilli, cardamon and orange

    When there’s a cold snap on, hearty winter food spiced up with warm exotic  flavours is the order of the day. This vibrant honeyed parsnip quinoa with chilli, cardamom and orange will keep the chill at bay.

    Serves 4
    1 kg parsnips, peeled and cut into 4cm long batons
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    a pinch of chilli powder
    a few glosses of olive or rapeseed oil, plus 4 tbsp for the dressing
    200g quinoa
    500ml water
    3 oranges
    1 tbsp runny honey
    4 cardamom pods, seeds finely ground
    a large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
    a large handful almonds, toasted
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Place a large roasting or baking tray on the top shelf of the oven to warm up.

    2 Toss the parsnips and onion in a bowl with a little salt, pepper and chilli powder. Gloss with just enough oil to lightly coat. Tumble onto the warmed tray and roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden and tender.

    3 Meanwhile, rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Heat a lidded pan and toast the rinsed grains for a moment. Swirl in a pinch of salt and a drop of oil. Pour in the water, pop a lid on, lower the heat and let it cook for 20 minutes, or until all the water is fully absorbed. Remove from the heat, lid still on, and leave to steam for a further 5 minutes. Drain any excess water.

    4 Halve one of the oranges. Squeeze out 8 tablespoons of juice into a clean, lidded jam jar. Mix with the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt, the honey and ground cardamom. Shake or whisk until fully emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning and the orange/oil/honey ratio to your liking.

    5 Once the parsnips are nearly done, pour a little dressing over them, just enough to lightly coat, and pop them back in the oven for a couple of minutes, allowing the dressing to turn to a sticky glaze.

    6 Cut the remaining oranges into 1cm-thick rounds, whipping the peel off the rounds. Mix them through the quinoa, along with the chopped parsley and the remaining dressing. Tuck the roasted parsnips in to the mix, once cooked. Scatter the toasted almonds over the top. Serve warm or cold.

    Recipe from Five: 150 effortless ways to eat 5+ fruit and veg a day by Rachel de Thample, published by Ebury Press, £14.99. Photograph: Nassima Rothaker

    Read more →

    Love beautifully painted furniture

    by  • 28/01/2015 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment

    Clementene Coates | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Up until a year ago, Clementene Coates was a solicitor working in a large law firm in the city. Today, she’s fulfilling her creative dreams, running an online business restoring, up cycling and painting vintage furniture. The finished pieces are simply stunning. She’s stopped by for a quick chat…

    What inspires you?
    The beautiful furniture I restore inspires me. I’m often in awe of the skill and artistry of cabinetmakers from days gone by. Their stunning pieces have endured years of wear and tear, and are capable of doing the same for many more years to come.

    Where do you work?
    I work from a studio in a converted wool mill situated on the famous ‘Yorkshire Mill Mile’. It’s quite fitting really, because like my furniture, the mill has been given a new lease of life.

    What’s your favourite painting technique?
    There are so many wonderful and varied methods, I love to experiment! My favourite technique is to create texture and depth of colour with glazes and tinted waxes (a process where I mix different paint colours with wax). I do this on a lot of my pieces as it makes them really stand out and look utterly bespoke.

    What makes your furniture special?
    Today, so much furniture is mass-produced, ugly and generic with no individuality, character or charm. What I offer is something very special. Pieces of the past restored for the future, real keepsakes, beautiful one-off pieces of furniture that you won’t find anywhere else – all at affordable prices.

    What’s next?
    I’m thrilled to be expanding my services to kitchens and fitted furniture. I’ll be adding photos to my website soon, so do keep a look out!

    Read more →

    Dress up a dresser

    by  • 27/01/2015 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Country room Country Days country dining room

    Painted furniture is a staple of country decorating and it certainly ticks all the boxes here at Country Days. So we just couldn’t help but fall for the beautiful distressed dresser shown in this country dining room – not only is it perfect for storage but it’s a real statement piece that’s guaranteed to draw admiring glances from guests.

    The golden toned woodwork of the dresser links with the rest of the room – from the wood-topped farmhouse table to the textured rattan dining chairs, which help create an informal and casual scheme.

    We love the mix and match feel – the quirky metallic feature wallpaper (Mulberry Home’s Family Silver) and the dramatic glass pendant light add a touch of luxe.

    For more inspiration from this beautiful house, take a peek at our Open House video at http://bit.ly/15L68Uk.

    Read more →

    Time to think about seeds

    by  • 26/01/2015 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Country Days, Country Homes & Interiors, seedsIf you’re anything like us here at Country Days, we are already mentally planning what we’re doing in the garden this spring. One of our favourite seed catalogues that has popped into our postboxes in the last few days is Sarah Raven’s always beautifully photographed range. Her cut flower and meadow mixes are exclusive to her and easy to grow.  Top of our wishlist is the Aromatic Meadow Mix, a new and wonderfully scented herby mix. Scatter them on a prepared patch, to fill your garden with wow factor.

    Happy planning!

    Read more →

    Craft covered files

    by  • 25/01/2015 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Covered box files | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Get organised in the new year with a delightful set of covered files. Smart and stylish, these simple to create colourful files are a great way to introduce colour into the home and can be co-ordinated to match accessories and décor alike. You’ll find this craft in our out soon March issue. Easy to make, follow these simple instructions to create your own.

    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.

    Read more →

    New! The Country Decorator video series

    by  • 23/01/2015 • Country Videos • 0 Comments

    Today we’re very excited to launch our brand-new video series, The Country Decorator. Style Editor and queen of country style, Tamara Kelly, will be in our country kitchen studio every week showcasing the buys, bargains and beautiful things she’s found for every room in the home. This week, she’s talking ‘Scullery Chic’. Watch and be inspired…

    Thank you to Neptune, Hobbycraft, Garden Trading, Berry Red, Nordic House, Vanessa Arbuthnott and Butlers for all your help.

    Read more →

    Become a happy, healthy eater!

    by  • 23/01/2015 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Healthy cooking class | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

     We started off so well with our healthy-eating resolutions, but, halfway through a chilly January, we’re finding ourselves ditching plain salads in favour of warming comfort foods. Sound familiar? Stay motivated by signing up to a healthy cookery class and discover how to make the best of seasonal produce with nutritious cooking tips and delicious wholesome recipes.

    My Deliciously Healthy Kitchen, Kent
    Discover how to make deliciously healthy food in a relaxed and informal setting at the Kitch Café, situated in the beautiful city of Canterbury. From guilt-free baking to quick, healthy lunches, the classes are designed to get the most out of fresh seasonal ingredients. Small, friendly groups make it a lovely experience – perfect for nervous cooks!

    Abbey Home Farm, Gloucestershire
    This organic farm hosts an array of mouthwatering vegetarian cookery courses. Their farm garden produces more than 150 varieties of vegetables, herbs and fruits each year, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to seasonal ingredients. Make a weekend of it; there are plenty of places to stay on site, from a rustic shepherd’s hut to a beautiful country cottage.

    Trill Farm, Devon
    Chef and nutritonalist Daphne Lambert runs the most wonderful workshops, demonstrating the benefits of nutritional cooking. Living Nutrition is a two-day course held at Trill Farm, near Axminster, and focuses on the foods found growing in hedgerows, woods and meadows. With foraging trips and hands-on teaching, it’s an inspiring way to pick up alternative healthy cooking methods.

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

    Read more →

    Say yes to comfort food

    by  • 22/01/2015 • Country food • 0 Comments

    butternut squash and sage bakeEveryone here at Country Days loves this recipe for Butternut Squash and Sage Bake. Such a versatile ingredient, butternut squash is brilliant in comfort food dishes and it’s our go-to when we’re looking for something to keep the chill from the door. Sage partners it perfectly, adding just the right amount of zip. Enjoy this dish on its own or served with a roast leg of lamb. Just the thing for a cold January day.

    Serves 4
    1 butternut squash (approximately 800g), peeled, deseeded and chopped into 4cm cubes
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    small bunch of fresh sage leaves, roughly torn
    300g Classic Greek yoghurt
    200g Parmesan, grated
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place the squash cubes in a shallow ovenproof serving dish, approximately 15 x 20cm. Season well, drizzle the oil over and toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and mix in the torn sage leaves and yoghurt. Sprinkle the cheese over and cook for a further 20–30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

    *Recipe from the Total Greek Yoghurt Cookbook by Sophie Michell, published by Kyle Books (£18.99). Photograph by Emma Lee.

    Read more →