Monthly Archives

October 2016

Sunday Catch Up

Posted in Catch Up by
Catch Up

Good morning,

We hope you’ve had a great week? We had some exciting news that we’ll be able to share with you in the coming weeks! In the meantime let’s have a look back at what’s been going on?

From Orchard Blog

  • Discover all about the sugary gooey joy of smores. They can’t be good for you but they taste oh so good! read here
  • This week’s cocktail is something a bit different. The gloriously orange pumpkin cocktail, perfect for Halloween. read now 
  • Autumn is a great time of year to visit Bruges. Read about a weekend we spent there a couple of years ago. read here

From Elsewhere

  • Cornwall always holds a special place in our hearts. We are loving this review of The Chapel House, a boutique hotel in Penzance by Lou at littlegreenshed. read here
  • We’re really excited to be heading to Copenhagen in a couple of months time. When we’re there we’ll be heading over to Malmö in Sweden. Thanks to My Scandinavian Home for suggesting a gorgeous shop to visit. It’s been added to the list! read here
  • We’ve loved Will of Bright.Bazaar’s style for ages, so we loved seeing the reveal of his living space in his NYC apartment. Blue is definitely the colour. read here

That wraps up this week on the blog, we plan on having a lazy Sunday. Whatever you get up to have a great day.

Rich & Calum

9th October 2016

Orchard Escapes | An Autumn Break in Bruges

Posted in Explore by
Bruges in the Autumn

A couple of years ago we headed took a mini break to one of the loveliest northern European cities, Bruges. Located in Flanders in western Belgium, Bruges is a charming medieval city that has been attracting visitors for generations. We visited in October and were blessed with some glorious autumnal weather and relatively light crowds.   We think Autumn is one of the best times of year to visit.

Bruges in the Autumn

A bit of history

Bruges’s golden age was in the medieval period and was one of the most important trading cities in the world at the time. The city was home to the first stock exchange in the world, and goods from all over Europe and beyond were traded. The city boomed and in in the 15th century, Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, set up court in Bruges adding to the cities prestige.

From the 15th century onwards Bruges started losing trade to the nearby city of Antwerp and went into decline. The population fell and by the 1800s the city went from being the most prosperous in Belgium to the poorest. By the turn of the 19th century, the city started to attract the attention of wealthy English and french tourists, attracted by the preserved medieval architecture. The city capitalised on this new attention and now attracts more than two million tourists annually.  The city is now protected as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Bruges in the Autumn

What to do

The charm of Bruges is to wander around the picturesque streets aimlessly soaking up the architecture and the atmosphere.  The city is not a big place, the centre is charming and where all the main sites are located. To help get your bearings consider climbing the 13th century Belfort.  The 83m climb might prove a bit of a challenge but stunning views make it worth it.   If you’d rather stay closer to ground level a canal boat tour is a great way to see another side of the city, allowing you to admire the canal-side houses.

Everywhere you look you will see stunning buildings, but make sure you check out the gothic excess of the 1420 Stadhuis.  Bruges has museums dedicated to chips, chocolate, diamonds, and beer. Our favourite was obviously the Bruges Beer Museum! If you are after something higher brow head to Groeningemuseum, the city’s most celebrated art gallery.

To experience to best of the city it is best to stay overnight in one of the many gorgeous hotels. You can experience the city after the day trippers have gone home, and enjoy a beer in one of the atmospheric bars, and a meal in one of the many excellent restaurants. We got up early and headed for an early morning walk to experience the city as it wakes up. We were blessed with a crisp sunny weather. The peacefulness of the city in the early morning really took our breath away.

Bruges in the Autumn

Find out more

We think Bruges is a stunning city and a perfect mini break destination.  It is easily accessible from the UK by sea, train or driving.  The city is easy to wander around and has enough attractions to keep you occupied for a day or two. The crowds can get a bit hectic so going off season is a good idea, as is spending at least a night in the city.  For more information check out Visit Bruges. If you have any recommendations let us know in the comments

Bruges in the Autumn Bruges in the AutumnBruges in the Autumn Bruges in the Autumn

Bruges in the Autumn
7th October 2016

Cocktail of the Week | Pumpkin Cocktail

Pumpkin Cocktail

After making a pumpkin cake using our Nordic Ware bundt tin we found ourselves sitting with a few teaspoons of pumpkin purée.  Rather than waste it, we decided to create a cocktail using it.  There are very few pumpkin flavoured ones, but did take inspiration from Serious Eats and came up with our own Pumpkin Cocktail.

The pumpkin is ubiquitous with Autumn.  It has received a massive push in the last few years thanks to a certain coffee based drink!  None the less, it is a great ingredient to use for many things. Calum has been known to make a pumpkin and chilli ravioli in addition to the pumpkin cakes and soups.  We also like to carve our pumpkins for Halloween, so keep an eye out for efforts in the next few weeks!  We may find a need to try a different pumpkin cocktail when we do!

For this week’s cocktail, you will need;

  • 2 tsp Pumpkin purée
  • 1 measure Vanilla vodka
  • 1 measure Pressed apple juice
  • Ginger beer
  • Ice

Take the pumpkin purée, vanilla vodka and the pressed apple juice and pour into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake the mix well before pouring the mix into a tall glass with some ice.  Fill the glass with the ginger beer.  Add a straw and there you have our pumpkin cocktail.

The drink has a lovely smooth taste and certainly would be a hit and any Halloween or autumnal party! It even has Rich’s Mum’s seal of approval!

Pumpkin Cocktail Pumpkin Cocktail Pumpkin Cocktail

Pumpkin Cocktail
6th October 2016

A British Guide to Smores

Posted in Gather by
British Guide to Smores

What are Smores?

Smores! They are a bit of an alien concept to us Brits, but in America, a childhood isn’t complete without smores being made at a campfire, sleepover or on a random Wednesday during school holidays.  On a trip to America a few years ago, we stayed at the Green Mountain Inn in Vermont who offered a smores pack to use around their fire, which is when it became clear to us that they are very much acceptable for adults to enjoy!

A British Guide to Smores

Give them a go

The idea for smores came up again when we went camping recently.  As newbies to the whole smores thing, we knew the basics were graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate.  As we don’t have graham crackers in the UK, we substituted this with our equivalent of digestive biscuits.   Also, off the shelf marshmallows come in two sizes, mini and giant! No in-between sizes! We went for giant as toasting six – seven mini ones seemed complicated.  The chocolate was easy. A classic dairy milk bar.

A British Guide to Smores

I can’t say our first attempt went to plan! Toasting the giant marshmallow and getting the chocolate melted was not easy. Needless to say, we each had a strategy that seemed to get the essence of a smore, a gooey, chocolate mess stuck between two biscuits rather than an enjoyable snack.  Some further conversation went on to discuss options on the perfect smore. Combinations of mini digestives, chocolate digestives, reasonably sized marshmallows, peanut butter and Nutella were mentioned as good combinations.  Also, the best method of cooking, campfire, oven or grill? As we were full from the attempts to make smores, we decided we would try again another day.

Our second visit to smores we tried multiple combinations with Nutella, peanut butter, chocolate and plain digestives.  Our best attempt at a gooey filled smore was the Nutella, peanut butter and marshmallow heated under the grill.  The Digestive biscuits work well but we think we’ll need to find graham crackers to compare with the original!

Nutella and Smores

What do you think?

Have you tried smores, if not will you give them a go! Do you think these are a good American import to our shores or far too sickly sweet for you? Let us know in the comments, also let us know if you have any tips or recipes to make our smores even better.

A British Guide to Smores



A British Guide to Smores


5th October 2016

Top Five | Hello October

Posted in Top Five by
Top Five

This morning there was frost on the ground, the first this side of Summer. It made getting out of bed a bit more difficult than a normal but is was a glorious day so very much worth it. Today was the type of crisp autumn day that writers wax lyrical about.  With an autumnal state of mind lets look at our top five:


Chobham Festival at Chobham St. Lawrence Church

This weekend was Chobham Flower and Music Festival. Rich’s mum did a couple of displays so we took the time out on Saturday to admire her work. Chobham Church is a beautiful building, it brings back many memories of Rich’s schooldays in the village.


Nordic Ware Autumn Wreath Bundt Cake

This weekend we had family visiting. It was a great excuse to get ur our Nordic Ware autumn wreath cake pan. We made Nigella’s Pumpkin Bundt cake. We are not being half-hearted about embracing autumn here!


Autumn Wreath from Homesense

We picked up this wreath at Homesense to add to our ever growing supply of Autumn decorations. We love Homesense, especially for quirkier decor like this. We were also excited to see the start of their Christmas range in store, but we can’t get to excited about that, it is only just October!


Glass Pumpkin from Lights4fun

Look, if you haven’t realised this by now we love decorating the house for autumn. We are especially loving this Pumpkin lamp from lights4fun we have plans to use this as a table centre at an upcoming dinner party, watch this space!


Crockpot Slow Cooker

Hooray, it is the season of stews and casseroles. On Sunday night we had the first of the season in our brand new Crock Pot (we accidently broke our last one). We are looking forward to many more slow cooked dishes. Any recipe suggestions?

3rd October 2016

Sunday Catch Up

Posted in Catch Up by
Catch Up 8

Hello October! On these cooler mornings is there anything better than a cosy Sunday lie in, we don’t think so? We won’t mind if you read our catch up whilst still in bed, we wrote it there!

From Orchard Blog

  • Before we head any further have you checked out last week’s top five? We went on an adventure! Read here
  • We visited Winston Churchill’s country home at Chartwell, a must for all history lovers. Read here
  • A sophisticated autumn cocktail for this week, try the Harvested Apple cocktail. Read here
  • For nostalgic and sentimental mood check out our autumn jazz playlist. Read here

From Elsewhere

  • We love Munich, we went a couple of years back and are itching to return. Check our these top sites to visit from the guys at Hand Luggage Only. Read here
  • Another book added to our wish list after reading this review of Decorate for a Party over at Happy Interior Blog. Read here
  • In  conversation with some friends, the other day the renaissance of cross stitch was mentioned. We’re on board with it!! We love this nautical design shared over at The Pretty blog. Read here

We hope you enjoy, and if you have any thoughts or question please let us know in the comments.

Have a great Sunday,

Rich & Calum

2nd October 2016