• Country food: easy spring lunch

    by  • 24/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    Spring supper

    Simple spring lunch: tagliatelle with a fresh herb and tomato sauce

    Chervil’s a great herb for summer but often overlooked as it’s not widely available. No matter – get planting now as it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow and will be ready for harvesting after only six to eight weeks. It has a lovely mild and subtle taste, a little like parsley, but with a gentle, aniseedy warmth. Delicately flavoured chervil is key in this delicious sauce for pasta – served either alone or with flaked white fish, chicken or mozzarella. It’s also lovely with new potatoes, scrambled eggs and scattered over roasted fennel.

    Serves 4

    4 ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed
    50g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
    1 tsp coriander seeds
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    15g chervil
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus 2 tbsps juice
    150ml extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    250g dried tagliatelle or other ribbon pasta
    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve, optional

    1 Thinly slice the tomatoes. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Use the olive oil that the tomatoes came in towards the oil needed for the sauce. Lightly crush the coriander and cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar. Discard tough stalks from the chervil and roughly chop.

    2 Mix all the sauce ingredients (everything but the pasta and Parmesan) together in a bowl, adding a little seasoning, and leave to stand until ready to serve.

    3 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just tender. While the pasta is cooking tip the sauce into a small saucepan and heat through gently. Lightly drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese if liked.

     Recipe: Joanna Farrow. Photograph: Myles New


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    Country style: natural storage

    by  • 23/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    Transform hard working hallways with smartly crafted storage solutions.This photograph was taken from our ‘The Potager Home’ feature in May’s Country Homes & Interiors. Here’s how to get organised in 3 easy steps…

    natural storage on country days blogs

    Get organised

    Store all those shoes neatly away in this multipurpose 2 seater storage seat, from Garden Trading.

    Save on endless trips up and down stairs, collect small items together in a handy shoulder basket, to take up in one go. A fishing creel basket makes a great alternative, try Chairworks.

    Add some fun into your hall by using a recycled tyre planter, from Hen & Hammock, to keep brooms, brushes and cleaning equiptment in.

    P.S Bird boxes aren’t just for outside, use them indoors too for a quirky wall feature.

    Post by Nikki Bradley.

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    Country room: exotic living room

    by  • 22/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    It’s the time of year when gardens are beginning to bloom and you want to bring all that floral loveliness into the house. An eye-catching way of introducing florals into a country living room is with a stunning statement wall.

    This beautiful wallpaper (from Sanderson‘s Voyage of Discovery collection) whisks you away to distant lands with its elegant hand-painted-effect tropical trail  featuring hummingbirds, butterflies and exotic flora. It’s a look that works beautifully in a period property. Team with neutral furniture and add in the odd piece of furniture or accessory with an Oriental feel for a stylish East meets West look.

    Clementine 213388 rrp £60.00/roll.

    Clementine 213388 wallpaper,  £60 a roll, by Sanderson

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    Country craft: framed seed packets

    by  • 20/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    Create a pretty picture with seed packets as seen on Country Homes and Interiors blog.

    Create a pretty picture with seed packets. Frames from a selection at Next.

    Sometimes seed packets are just too pretty to throw away so why not frame them and make a lovely display of your favourites as seen here in the latest issue of Country Homes and Interiors. Source vintage packets online or at antique gardenalia stores or frame up new ones by simply neatening off any packet edges and mount on card before inserting into your chosen frame.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

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    Country food: Easter chocolate treats

    by  • 17/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    Easter eggs

    Decisions, decisions: the rabbit or duck motif or maybe the praline mini eggs…

    Easter is just a hop and a skip away so handmade Swiss chocolate eggs are the order of the day here at Country Homes & Interiors. These taste so good (there were queues to sample them) and the charming design won us over (we’re suckers for a cute motif). Bettys of Harrogate come on down – we salute you. Not only a gorgeous array of new eggs but joy also a whole menagerie of country themed chocolate animals – otters, hares, piglets, speckled hens…

    *From Bettys Yorkshire Craft Bakery to your door. To order, visit bettys.co.uk or telephone 0845 600 1919. Happy browsing!

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    Country style: pastel stripes

    by  • 16/04/2014 • 1 Comment

    Welcome a refreshing touch of spring into your home with on-trend shades of pastel.

     pastel stripes on the Country Days blog

    Pastel perfection

    Pairing simple patterns with a palette of soft blues, greens and pinks is the perfect way to achieve that classic country look. This photograph was taken for our ‘Pastel Stripes’ feature in the latest issue of Country Homes & Interiors. Here’s how to get the look in 3 simple steps…

    Choose a sofa with a relaxed stripe pattern from Sofa Workshop and match it with pastel floral cushions from Cloth & Cover.

    Accent the patterns by adding simple decorative china pieces from Emma Bridgewater.

    Pull the whole look together by adding a rustic coffee table from Nkuku or a fun patterned rug from Woven Ground.

    Oh and, if you’re a fan, the wallpaper is Ditton Stripe by Colefax and Fowler.

    by Alexandra Wallace

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    Country room: spring dining room

    by  • 15/04/2014 • 2 Comments

    Here’s a  country dining room that’s just perfect for high days and holidays.

    A dining table with enough space to squeeze everyone round is essential if you’re planning some Easter entertaining. This shabby chic design is large enough to fit the bill, and elegant French-style chairs make the perfect partners.

    What really adds that touch of spring, though, are the vintage-style floral fabrics from Clarke and Clarke with their exquisite painterly effect.  Toning cushions and a runner create a pretty and informal feel, while the beautiful pencil pleated curtains, made by Handmadetomeasure, finish off the cottage look.

    Abigail fabric in taupe by Clarke & Clark £45.99 a metre Handmadetomeasure.com

    Handmade pencil pleat curtain in Abigail  taupe by Clarke & Clarke, £45.99 a metre, from Handmadetomeasure



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    Country moment: big and blowsy

    by  • 14/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    I’ve never been one for big and blowsy flowers, but I was totally smitten by this amazing display of colour and froth while visiting Bodnant this weekend. This woodland garden in the Conwy Valley is known for its camellia, azalea and rhododendron displays at this time of year. Rather aptly this Rhododendron is called ‘Sugar Pink’ and I surprised myself by absolutely loving its showy ostentatiousness.

    Maybe I’m finally becoming a girly gardener! What’s your favourite flower right now?


    Rhododendron ‘Sugar Pink’


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    Country craft: tea towel cushion

    by  • 13/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    Tea towel cushion craft by Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Cushion made with tea towel, from the RHS and Rustica Papier Journal fabric from Ian Sanderson

    Got a tea towel just too pretty for washing up? Then why not turn it into a lovely cushion instead?

    To make cut a large tea towel to fit 42cm x 42cm plus 2 cms all around for hems. Hem the square by turning the fabric under and under again 1cm each time pin press and sew. Cut two 42cm x 28cm plus 2cm all around from your complimentatry fabric. Hem these as before. With right side facing up, pin the back pieces over the front so they overlap. Machine stitch the four edges together. Turn the cushion cover right way and add the pad.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Or for more country crafts, recipes and room ideas, why not try our new Country Home Ideas app?

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    Country news: 52 Weeks of Everyday Style

    by  • 12/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    52 weeks fo Everday Style,Homes and Lifestyle Collection

    52 Weeks of Everyday Style

    Discover how to make this pretty lace doily trinket bowl with 52 Weeks of Everyday Style.

    Discover how to make this pretty lace doily trinket bowl with 52 Weeks of Everyday Style.

    Looking for lots of crafty ideas? If so you’ll love ’52 weeks of… Everyday Style’ published by the Homes & Lifestyle Collection. Packed full of stylish makes, clever touches and easy handicraft projects, it’s a real treat for creative home makers. Ideas include 10 minute fixes to weekender projects, focusing on the little things that can transform your house into a home. Priced at £4.99 and available from Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, and WHS HS/Travel or click here to get to purchase a digital copy http://bit.ly/1k4bLSM



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    Country look: charming little birdies

    by  • 11/04/2014 • 0 Comments

    May I introduce you to the world of Lil3birdy, the home of beautifully illustrated homewares and stationery. We love the colourful patchwork birds and scattered flower designs, perfect for adding a feel-good spring vibe to your country home.


    Colourful birds and floral coasters, £12.50, Lil3birdy.

    Lil3birdy offers coasters, placemats, mugs, tea towels, notebooks and greetings cards all decorated with simple nature-inspired drawings, all the work of designer Clare Shields.


    Chicks tea towel, £10, Lil3birdy.

    In addition to pretty birds the collection also features more classic country favourites; dogs, cats and foxes…


    Dog and Fox ceramic mugs, £7 each, Lil3birdy.


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