Monthly Archives

October 2016

The Sophisticated and Spooky Halloween Jazz Playlist

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Halloween Jazz Playlist

Halloween music can be a bit tricky, everything ends up being a bit camp, which depending on what type of party you are hosting might not work. We had a think about this and spent dome time putting together our Halloween Jazz Playlist.  To put this list together we looked through the classic standards, pulling out the best and diving a bit deeper to discover some quirkier, spooky tunes to add a bit of fun into the mix. If you are having a more sophisticated Halloween soiree this might be, right up your street? Get your costume on, grab a spooky cocktail and enjoy our Halloween Jazz Playlist here.

Halloween Jazz PlaylistHalloween Jazz Playlist


Halloween Jazz Playlist
29th October 2016

Cocktail of the Week | Purple Monster

Purple Monster

With Halloween creeping ever closer, the ghoulish activities start to take over. We have pulled out the ‘BOO’ candleholder and our pumpkin is going to be carved this weekend. We have also started to stock up on the treats for any trick or treating monsters that might appear at our door!  Any excuse for a party also means a need for a cocktail.  With that in mind, we decided to try our hand at making our own Halloween themed cocktail.  For our creation, this week’s cocktail is the ‘Purple Monster’.

We have been making cocktails each week for six months now and hopefully something has started to rub off on our own skills in cocktail making.  Here’s hoping our researching, mixing and sampling will pay off! Additionally, looking in the drinks cabinet we found some of the lesser-used bottles and tried to find a cocktail to make use of them.  I am not entirely sure what we will be making from the Amarula, but the rest are suitably coloured to make something interesting!  We found a few cocktails that used the ingredients we have, but none that we wanted to try leading us to give our own mix a go.  Based on our knowledge of colours we started out to make a purple drink.

For this week’s cocktail, you will need;

  • One measure of curacao
  • One measure of spiced rum
  • One measure of cranberry juice
  • ½ measure of pineapple juice
  • Ice

Add the curacao, rum, cranberry and pineapple juice to a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Add some ice to a glass and pour the mix in. Nothing fancy to creating this week’s cocktail the Purple Monster.

The drink gives a suitable purple/black colour for a Halloween themed cocktail. The fruit flavours from the cranberry, pineapple and curacao do come through with the rum giving a pleasant kick. Sadly not a classic like the many we have tried, but with a bit of tweaking, we might have something!

Purple Monster

Purple Monster

27th October 2016

Cocktail of the Week | El Diablo

El Diablo

As halloween draws closer, we decided that it would be time to investigate some spooky themed cocktails.  As the books don’t seem to have many, we turned to the net and found a huge range of cocktails that were a variation of a basic.  Most had something to make them looks spooky and needed dry ice or something similar.  We did come across a few that we wanted to try and have a suitable connection to Halloween.  Our first offering for our Halloween themed cocktail of the week is the devilish El Diablo.

The El Diablo cocktail first appeared on the scene in 1946 and appeared in the ‘Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink’ and was named the Mexican El Diablo.  The book comes from the restaurant chain that was started in the 1930s as a Polynesian themed restaurant that is still going today.  The restaurant has a pedigree of cocktail creation and the founder is credited as one of the possible creators of the Mai Tai.

For this weeks cocktail, you will need;

  • Two measure tequila
  • One measure creme de cassis
  • One measure lime juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime for garnish
  • Ice

To create the drink, add some ice to the cocktail shaker and add the tequila, creme de cassis and the lime juice.  Shake to chill the mix and pour into a glass.  Fill the rest of the glass with the ginger beer.  Once you add the garnish you will have the El Diablo.

The cocktail has a great halloween look and our gothic style goblets add to the theatrical nature of halloween.  The ingredients work well and would make a great signature drink for a themed party.  Though be careful, the ginger beer hides the alcohol and you could find your self blaming the devil for drinking too much!  Maybe, that could be why the drink is called El Diablo.

El DiableEl Diablo

El Diablo
20th October 2016

How to Style an Autumn Porch

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Autumn Porch

Have you noticed our love of decorating with pumpkins yet? Big ones, small ones, blue ones, glass ones! It is turning into a bit of an autumn obsession.  But it makes us happy so we’re not going to apologise. So we have decided embrace autumn and pumpkins for all it’s worth!

Autumn Porch

Our Autumn Porch

We are currently staying at Rich’s folk’s cottage whilst we are midway through buying a new house. They live in a very cute 17th Century cottage. The front porch is a tiny little doorway that we both struggle to get through without banging our heads.  We have hit our head more times than is funny in this low ceiling-ed home!

Autumn Porch

Pumpkins and Chrysanthemums

To make the tiny front porch more autumnal we decorated with pumpkins and chrysanthemums.  We also used our lovely autumn wreath that we found in Homesense and used some heathers, some hardy herbs and some old garden boxes and terracotta pots.  Chrysanthemums were thought as criminally old fashioned for a very long time, but in recent years they have had a bit of a rehabilitation.  In terms of Autumn colour, there really is no competition to the masses of blooms on each plant.  Our local garden centre had a great selection of autumn shades to choose from, we opted for a soft purple and a golden yellow.


What do you think?

Do you decorate your outside for autumn, or just for Halloween? We love the colour and interest at the front door and have received many nice comments from our visitors and neighbours about our Autumn Porch. What do you think, let us know in the comment’s section?


Autumn Porch
19th October 2016

Top Five | Mellowness

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Top Five

The weekend went by in such a flash, sometimes it feels like we haven’t had one at all. The rain put hold to our plans to head out on an adventure but we still managed to fit lots in. Let’s take a look back at last week’s top five:



When we take Hettie, our dog, onto Horsell Common for her walks we’ve been noticing lots of people foraging for mushroom.  It seems to be a bumper year. We know nothing about mushrooms (and in fact Calum is alergic) so we stay well clear. We assume this is a poisonous one as nobody has picked it!



We like nothing more than a Sunday pottering around a home or antique shop. On Saturday we headed to the Packhouse in Farnham. A treasure trove of antique, vintage and new homewares that we’d recommend visiting if you are in the area.


Blue Pumpkin

Our pumpkin obsession continues! We were actually looking for a blue pumpkin for use at our Harvest Dinner but didn’t have any luck.  We stumbled across some this week, in Lidl of all places, it has now joined our autumn collection!



You can’t stop a cat from hunting! On Saturday afternoon we found Annie prowling around the garden. She had spotted a little field mouse that she was determined to catch. Luckily we intercepted her, rescued the mouse and sent it off for a happy life on the common. It was tiny and adorable, we hope it stays safe now!



On Saturday night we headed down our local for a few pints. It was raining outside so we may have stayed for one pint too many. Sunday Morning was a little bit slower than normal, but to make ourselves feel better we had sausage baps! All was good with the world!

17th October 2016

Sunday Catch Up

Posted in Catch Up by

It’s cold wet and dark, perfect for a Sunday morning lie in. Grab a cup of tea and have a look back at what’s been going on this week.

From Orchard Blog

  • Read about our harvest dinner we had and how we created our pumpkin table centre. read here
  • This week’s cocktail is the modern classic The Bramble. You can tell why it has become so popular. read here
  • If you’re looking for inspiration for a cosy living room take a look at this coastal scheme inspired by the shipping forecast. read here

From Elsewhere

  • Cosy is the work of the moment with us. So we’re loving these examples of rooms to escaped to on Design*Sponge. read here
  • Planning for our Copenhagen trip is in full swing, so we this list of ten things to do in the city couldn’t have come at a better time. read here
  • We are loving the modern farmhouse trend. If you don’t know what we’re on about here’s a useful introduction from Better Homes & Gardens magazine. read here

Right, that’s plenty to be getting on with for the time being. We’ve got breakfast to make and another pot of coffee on the go. Have a lovely Sunday guys.

Rich & Calum

16th October 2016

Design Inspiration | Cosy Coastal Cottage

Posted in Dwell by

There is something very reassuring about listening to the Shipping Forecast on Radio 4. It makes us think of being tucked up in a cosy coastal cottage whilst a storm rages outside. After reading Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly Rich was inspired to create a Shipping Forecast print to remind us of this comforting feeling.  With this all in mind we have created a cosy coastal cottage styleboard. A perfect place to hunker down with a cup of tea or a fortifying tot of rum to wait out a storm.

cosy coastal cottage styleboard

Where to Buy | Cosy Coastal Cottage

fig1. Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly
fig2. Falcon Enamel Teapot Heals
fig3. Nautical Pendant Light Lighting Lighting
fig4. Shipping Forecast Print Orchard Market on Etsy
fig5. Ektorp Armchair Ikea
fig6. Rubricks Side Table Swoon Editions
fig7. Log Basket Not on the High Street
fig8. Lohals Rug Ikea
fig9. Hunter Wood Burning Stove Direct Stoves
fig10. Live Life You Love Cushion Marks & Spencer
fig11. Knitted Waves Cushion John Lewis
fig12. Revival RD60 Radio Roberts
fig13. Wooden Trunks Maison du Monde
fig14. Amble Throw John Lewis
fig15. Maitland Lantern One World Trading
fig16. Hyams Beach Craig & Rose
fig17. Boat Race Craig & Rose
fig18. Cinder Block Craig & Rose

14th October 2016

Cocktail of the Week | Bramble

Bramble Cocktail

As Autumn continues we are enjoying the best that the season has to offer.  Rummaging through our drinks cabinet we found the key ingredients for this week’s cocktail, The Bramble.

The Bramble is a newcomer to the cocktail scene having been first created in 1984 by Dick Bradsell, who was credited with changing the face of the scene in the 80s.  The drink is based on the gin fizz (a new one to try in future!).  It is described as a spring drink, but with the blackberry used in it, if feels more like an autumnal one to us.

For this week’s cocktail, you will need:

  • 2 measures of gin
  • 1 measure of lemon juice
  • 1 measure of sugar syrup
  • 1 measure of creme du mure (blackberry liqueur)
  • Lemon slice and blackberry to garnish
  • Crushed ice

To make the drink, add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Once mixed, fill a glass of choice with the crushed ice and pour over the cocktail. Add the lemon and blackberry and there you have this week’s cocktail, The Bramble.

The drink resembles a slushy but is still an enjoyable drink to have on an early autumnal day. Do you have a favourite autumn cocktail, let us know it the comments?

Bramble CocktailBramble Cocktail

Bramble Cocktail
13th October 2016

Our Autumn Harvest Table Setting

Posted in Gather by
Autumn harvest table setting

Time for Harvest Festival

Now we are into October and the weather has turned we start thinking about cosier parties inside the cottage. The past weekend we had an autumn harvest dinner for a group of friends to celebrate the season. Harvest Festival is the traditional British celebration around this time of year, it is the less well know cousin of the American Thanksgiving.  We both have memories of our churches harvest festival celebrations from when we were little, and many churches continue to celebrate.  We though this is a perfect excuse for a party (we don’t need much encouragement).

Autumn harvest table setting

Pumpkins Galore

To us, autumn decorations for can only mean one thing, pumpkins! We used this Mottled Rose Gold Pumpkin Battery Light from Lights4fun to create a table centre.  Fresh pumpkins are now in the supermarket so it was easy to pick up a couple of small ones, along with a mini variety known as munchkin pumpkins.  In addition to this, we mixed in some ornamental squash and gourds we picked up on a recent trip to Garsons farm shop in Esher. We found a mix of different colours and shapes to compliment the pumpkins.

Autumn harvest table setting

Our Harvest Table

When we were laying our harvest table we added in some eucalyptus foliage from the garden to create a base, and placed this on a plan linen table runner with some decorative autumn maple leaves for colour. We then arranged the pumpkins, squashes and gourds and twisted in some micro fairy lights, again from lights4fun to give some warmth and interest.

Autumn harvest table setting

A great night

We finished laying the table, put on our Autumn Jazz playlist and opened some English sparkling wine. It was a great evening celebrating with our friends. Calum cooked pumpkin soup (obviously) followed by a lovely roast pork followed by a delicious orange ginger and treacle pudding.

Autumn harvest table setting

What do you think?

What do you think of our Harvest Table? Do you celebrate at this time of year and if so how do you go about it? let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Autumn harvest table settingAutumn harvest table setting

Autumn harvest table setting
12th October 2016

Top Five | Sweet October

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Top Five

The last week has been a little busy us.  Lots of things coming up in the next few months that are going to keep us both occupied!  That said our week was also fairly eventful, so let’s have a look at our top five.



A Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks is the perfect treat for Autumn.  The PSL are the perfect accompaniment to any days that start off with a crisp feel to the air.


Lonely Planet October Travel

Our adventuring minds always think of fantastic holidays to go on and different places to visit.  We tend to wonder and get lost every time the Lonely Planet magazine turns up at the door.  The beautiful photography and great travel tips are perfect inspiration for any travel planning sessions!


Parents Garden

On Sunday, Rich’s parents were out in the garden finishing off those last jobs before Winter sets in.  On a brief tea break, Rich caught a quick picture of them.  They love the garden and spend a lot of time out there when they can. To be fair, we also love the garden and look forward to having our own.


Horsell Common

At this time of year, our walks on Horsell Common are stunning.  If you are on a walk and catch it at the right time of day, the misty dawns and golden evenings add to the picturesque views.


Cinnamon Bun Day Swedish

On the 4th October it is national Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden.  The day has been celebrated every year since 1999 and it is a worthy day to celebrate.  We made our own buns this year using the book Scandinavian Baking: Love Baking at Home, by Trine Hahnemann.  It is safe to say that Cinnamon Bun Day is certainly something will we be celebrating again next year!

10th October 2016