Whenever we host a party we always spend time before hand trying to make sure the music is just right! Sometimes you can find the perfect playlist but sometimes you need to make your own. This is what we have done here, we have gone through our favourite jazz artists to create a nostalgic and sentimental playlist perfect for a cosy autumn soiree. Put on some candles, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy! You can follow this Autumn Jazz Playlist on Spotify here
As we continue to seek out the delights of autumn, finding an autumnal themed cocktail that in not just about apples is not the easiest thing! That said, we did find one from Williams-Sonoma that was all about the apple and looked good enough to tempt us trying. After rummaging through the bar we found the ingredients we needed to make this week’s Cocktail of the Week, the Harvested Apple.
The key ingredient in this cocktail is Calvados. This is essentially an apple brandy that comes from Normandy region in France. We did bring back a bottle from our recent trip to France for Rich’s Dad (just don’t tell him we pinched some). Calvados is first recorded as being made in 1553. Over the centuries the drink has been subjected to taxation and prohibition. The production was important enough to the French that the area it is made in was called Calvados after the French Revolution; this is likely to be as the locals were already calling it this. World War II had an impact on the production of the drink where many factories were rebuilt. It also became the regimental drink of three Canadian regiments who passed through the area following the D-Day landings.
For this week’s cocktail you will need;
- 1 measure Calvados
- ½ measure Elderflower Liquor
- Thin slice of apple
- Sprig of thyme
Take a champagne coop and add the elderflower followed by the calvados and top the glass up with the chilled champagne. Drop the slice of apple into the glass and give it a stir with the thyme leaving the spring in the glass. Once settled, you the cocktail of the week, the Harvested Apple.
The cocktail is a great way to enjoy the start of the autumn season. It has a great apple undertone and could be very easy to enjoy two or three of these!
Last year we went on a mini-adventure, with our friends Jamie and Liana, to Chartwell. The house is based in Kent and is best known as the country house of Sir Winston and Lady Clementine Churchill. It opened as a National Trust property in 1966, one year after the death of Sir Winston.
On entering the Victorian red brick estate you start through the entrance lobby and follow your way through the house, almost as Churchill left it, to take in the living room, dining room, and the bedrooms, which have been turned into display rooms for the many honours and awards given to the Churchill’s. The stunning reveal at the end of the tour is Churchill’s study on the first floor. Despite the fact the house was rarely used during World War II due to its proximity to the coast facing Europe, it was an important room throughout Churchill’s political life.
Sir Winston loved the estate and he created many of the features in the estate including the lakes and the kitchen garden. A little-known fact about Churchill is that he was an amateur, but very competent, bricklayer and enjoyed building the Marycot, a playhouse, for his daughter. He was also a very accomplished painter and regularly painted across the estate, with some of his paintings hanging in Parliament. His workroom is full of some great works of art and the room is regularly used for demonstrations. The estate grounds stretch for some good walking routes through the woodlands and through the immediate grounds giving stunning views of the house. Just be mindful of the swimming pool!
Chartwell was bought by a consortium of businessmen in 1946, who bought the estate when the Churchill’s could not afford to run the property. The estate was to be given to the National Trust once both Churchill ‘s had died. They continued to live at the estate paying a nominal rent. The estate was given to the Trust shortly after Sir Winston had died by his wife Lady Clementine.
The estate is a great location to learn more about the private life of Churchill and a great house and gardens to explore. You can find out more about Chartwell here.
Life can get pretty busy, with lots of things competing for time and attention, but sometimes it pays to ignore an ever growing ‘to-do’ list and escape for a little adventure. That is what we did this weekend, and is in our top five, let’s have a look at the rest:
On Sunday we met up with our friends Ben & Lauren, and their son Dexter for a little adventure down to Lymington in the New Forest. Lymington is as lovely harbour town perfect for a little day trip, or perhaps a night away.
We have been trying to hold off but we finally succumbed to getting the pumpkin decorations out, and buying a couple of fresh pumpkins to decorate the cottage. We found these glass pumpkins at Homesense, a great shop for finding autumn decorations.
How delicious does this cone from New Forest Ice Cream look? Answer: scrumptious! For the record that is one scoop of millionaires shortbread flavour and one of white chocolate and brownie flavour.
Rich’s folks are just back from a holiday in Malta. Obviously, they bought us the obliquity airport chocolates (we got a bar of Toblerone too). Malta sounds a lovely country and it has leapfrogged up our list of future travel destination! Also, they speak English and drive on the left, sounds good to us!
It was Ben’s birthday last week. For his present, we bought him a pair of walkie talkies. We used them on our trip down to Lymington. They are great fun and really add to the adventure, great when travelling in convoy! Over.
Happy Sunday, we’re taking our morning a little slower than normal due to a late night at a friends party. We have coffee so all will be fine soon! In the meantime let’s take a look at what has been going on this week:
From Orchard Blog
- Every Monday we do a little round up of the top five things that have interested up, inspired us or made us happy. read here
- We are very excited to have booked a winter break to Copenhagen. We’re having fun planning, please let us know if you have any tips. read here
- We tried a Rhubarb + Rosehip Mimosa for this week’s cocktail. We’d never tried rosehip before, it works well in a mimosa. read here
- The new IKEA catalogue was recently released, we picked up a copy and picked out a dozen of our favourite new finds. read here
- Last year on a trip to New England we went to our first American Football game, complete with the tailgating experience. It was here at fun but not quite as stylish as this Style Me Pretty offering. read here
- It is definitely slow cooker season again.We’re feeling inspired by this recipe for Slow Cooked Soy Sauce Chicken Rice by Lady and Pups. read here
- Over at Mad about the House, Kate has shared an interesting Cotswolds house that mixes and new, we love it. read here
That’s about it for this week, time for us to grab another coffee and get on with the day!
Rich & Calum
We love a bit of IKEA here at Orchard Blog. The combination of Scandinavian design, good value and meatballs is a winning combination that keeps us going back for more. Whilst we are not super close to a branch we do have the option of driving to four different locations all withing an hour of where we live. Every September we love flicking through the IKEA Catalogue to see what is new. We have gone through with a fine toothcomb to come up with 12 of our favourite new finds. AS it happens we have ended up with a monochrome scheme that would work well in an office or studio. Let us know what you think? what are your favourite products in the IKEA Catalogue?
IKEA Catalogue 2017 | What to buy:
fig.1 Kullaberg Swivel Chair £49
fig.2 Lagrad Lantern £22
fig.3 Ranarp Work Lamp £29
fig.4 Kullaberg Desk £99
fig.5 Moalie Throw £39
fig.6 Härliga Glass dome £10
fig.7 Ändlös Candle Holder £3.95
fig.8 Rörd Decorative Animals £6.95
fig.9 Avatal Leaf Art £5
fig.10 Vardagen Glasses £3.50/6 pack
fig.11 Sockerärt Vase £10
fig.12 Stenstorp Kitchen Island £250
On a recent trip to Ikea, we did our usual thing and had a look through the food section of the store. In addition to our usual purchases, we found a bottle of rosehip juice. It has a great colour and we both thought it would be great to include in a cocktail. The next challenge was to work out a cocktail that we could use it for. We spent some time trying to figure this one out but came across the idea of mimosa’s that seemed to fit the bill. Adding in the rhubarb we came up with the Cocktail of the Week, the Rhubarb and Rosehip Mimosa.
A mimosa is traditionally made with equal parts of orange juice and champagne. It can be made with any fruit juice and identified by the name, for example, a grapefruit mimosa. The drink was invented as a drink around 1925 at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Mimosas are now usually found at brunch, wedding receptions and when travelling first class.
For this week’s cocktail; you will need:
- 1 measure Rosehip Juice
- 2 tsp Rhubarb Liquor
In a glass add the rhubarb liquor. You can use any suitable tall glass for this cocktail. The Add the rosehip and then the champagne to fill the glass. Once you have done that, you have this week’s cocktail, the Rhubarb and Rosehip Mimosa.
Given the ease of making this drink, it is understandable why it is used when a drink is needed to produce en mass. It is also a versatile drink to enjoy first thing in the morning or as an early evening drink. The only thing we ask is that you go for the adventure and try a Mimosa that doesn’t have orange juice. It is definitely another one to add to the list of quick and easy cocktails.
We are very excited, we have just booked for a long weekend in Copenhagen for the beginning of December. This will be Calum’s second visit to the city, and Rich’s third. We pondered heading to another European city but after going through all the pros and cons of elsewhere we kept on coming back to Copenhagen. We loved it last time we went together and are looking forward to getting to know the city even better.
What to do?
We are visiting on the first weekend of December and are planning on doing our Christmas shopping in the City. Aside from that we have come up with some suggestions on what to do:
- Wander around Tivoli Gardens to see the Christmas lights
- Climb Rundetaarn for views of the city
- Visit Amalienborg to learn about the Royal Family
- Cross the Øresund Bridge to visit Malmö
What else do you think we should we do? Do you know of any great bars, pubs or restaurants that we should visit? And what should we eat and drink? Are there any must-see museums or attractions? We’d love to hear your suggestions, so let us know in the comments or drop us a message on any of our social media channels. We look forward to hearing from you!
What a difference a week makes? We are sitting her on a dark and dank evening with the rain pouring down, and to think last week was the hottest September day in goodness however long. Let’s take a look back over the week:
This week started so beautifully! One of the joys of having a dog is getting up early to head out for a walk and enjoying the beauty of the morning, Tuesday on Horsell common was one of those joyful occasions when it is a joy to be out and about.
On Thursday night we headed up to London to go to Regent’s Park Open Air theatre to see an adaptation of Jane Auten’s Pride and Prejudice. It is a very jolly adaptation with all the comedy and romance of the novel, we really enjoyed it.
Hooray for September, it is time for the new Ikea catalogue. On Saturday we popped into the Southampton branch to grab a copy, and then proceeded to speed Saturday night going through in fine detail. In today’s online age printed catalogues seem somewhat superfluous, but still we love browsing nevertheless.
On Sunday we got up early and headed to east London to Columbia Road Flower Market. If you have never been it is a really fun experience, the whole road is packed with traders selling cut flowers and plants. We love it and could easily spend hundreds of pounds! Whenever we go we always make sure we pop into Columbia Cafe for a bagel and a coffee, it’s our tradition.
So the week started so gloriously but by the end it was cool, grey and wet. It has been coming for a few weeks but Autumn is definitely here now. We can look forward to joys of the season, let’s make the most of it!
After a true Indian Summer at the start of the week, Autumn has finally settled in. We are getting cosy and bracing ourselves for cooler weather and darker evenings. Let’s take a look at a few links to see what has been going on:
From Orchard Blog
- We’ve been reviewing Country Living American Style, and now we have a craving for a big old American house to refurbish. read here
- Our cocktail of the week was a Plum Sour, a nice autumnal drink to get us in the mood for the upcoming season. read here
- We recently visited Stourhead, and impressive National Trust house and even more impressive garden. read here
- Calum comes from Scottish stock and we love to return north to visit whenever we can. We are therefore loving this Scottish getaway featured of My Scandinavian home blog. read here
- Blue is our go to colour for most things design (our logo is point in case) we are therefore loving this living room design by Ginny McDonald shared on Emily Henderson’s blog. read here
- Planning an autumn getaway? A Lady in London offers up her list of 9 places to visit this time of year. read here
Hope you enjoy, and make sure you have a great Sunday.
Rich & Calum