• 6 delicious cake recipes for Easter entertaining

    by  • March 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

    100106_FC_-0142Homemade cakes always add a thoughtful touch to special occasions. They’re perfect for presenting as a centrepiece at a family celebration or can be given as a gift in their own right. Whether your weakness is for a delicate aroma and a crumbly texture or a rich and buttery flavour, slice into any one one of these indulgent offerings and you’ll soon be back for seconds.

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    Easter activities 2015: the Homes & Gardens edit of things to do this Easter weekend

    by  • March 3, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Homes & Gardens Easter ActivitiesOrganising sufficient activities to keep the family busy over Easter weekend requires some forward planning, particularly if you are going to make the most of the holiday and venture further than your local village hunt. From Easter-specific events, such as food festivals, biscuit decorating and organised egg hunts, to more general past times, including design shops, a flower-filled afternoon tea and  distillery tours, we think there is plenty here to set your mind wandering. We have focused on the weekend itself, but also included particularly noteworthy happenings on the weeks before and after.

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    Danish Design Month at Aram Store

    by  • March 2, 2015 • 0 Comments

    CH24-Wishbone-chairs-and-CH338-dining-table_Hans-J-Wegner_Carl-Hansen_oak-and-walnutAny design lover who lives in or near London should know about Aram Store, a mecca in Covent Garden for high-end contemporary furniture and accessories. Understandably, products by Scandinavian designers always form a key part of its collection, but for March 2015 Danish design takes an even greater prominence. Aram has partnered with five Danish brands – Carl Hansen & Son, Montana, Fritz Hansen, Louis Poulsen and Fredericia – to offer customers fantastic discounts alongside in-store workshops and activities. 

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    Modern family open-plan kitchen with an indoor-outdoor feel

    by  • March 2, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Roundhousekitchen1With the advent of March, the few hours of fine sunshine this weekend and the first signs of blossom on trees, we are already dreaming of opening our doors for long evenings. Stunning fittings and a clever layout ensure this modern kitchen works for the family, while expanses of glass make the most of its connection with the garden. We interview kitchen designer Maria Pennington, from Roundhouse, to hear about the scheme…

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    Plants for the March garden: camellias

    by  • March 1, 2015 • 0 Comments

    RT_caerh0311-9 Whilst on my way in the pouring rain to a photography shoot in central London this week, I counted six camellia trees of varying sizes and planted in front gardens, guarding front gates, scrambling up and over walls, and all in full, glorious colour. I was tempted to stop and pick up one of the deep pink double flowers that had fallen to the ground, to take it home to enjoy before it completely shrivelled and died. I didn’t, but the sight of the huge flowers gleaming like pomegranate seeds from amid the deep green-leaved branches, cheered me and reminded me that spring is around the corner.

    Starting with the scented Camellia sasanqua in autumn and climaxing with the spring-flowering Camellia japonica, the camellia provides the garden with a raiment of colour that can start in the autumn, grow through the darkest months of the year and all the way on into spring. With some 250 named varieties to choose from, the species offers a delectable variety of form and colours, from deep red and shocking pink to creams and bright whites.

    (Pictured above, semi double Camellia reticulata ‘Captain Rawes’)

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    Pea shoot, pea and brown shrimp risotto

    by  • February 28, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Pea shoot, pea and brown shrimp risottoFinally, spring is stirring properly, throwing up new green leaves and shoots to use in abundant handfuls. Of course, our leafy greens (watercress, chard, spinach, pea shoots…) make fantastic side salads, but it’s far more interesting to think outside the box. Alice Hart sees in the season folding pea shoots into a light and fresh brown shrimp risotto. Make sure you use good-quality stock for this risotto, whether homemade or shop bought, as it will make all the difference to the results.

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    Horace Walpole’s fantasy gothic villa Strawberry Hill reopens to the public

    by  • February 27, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Henry Walpole's fantasy gothic villa Strawberry HillFollowing a two-part, £10 million restoration, Horace Walpole’s 18th-century gothic villa, considered to be Britain’s finest example of gothic revival architecture, will reopen to the public this Sunday 1st March.

    The celebrity home of its day, Strawberry Hill was transformed from modest Twickenham house to “my very own little gothic castle” by Horace Walpole, one of the most influential writers, collectors and historians of the 1700s and youngest son of Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole.

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