A little effort goes a long way to make your table impressive.
We spend hours on the food so let’s take a few extra minutes on the table decorations. Here are my top tips to bring a little glamour to the table this autumn.
1. Rummage in the cupboard for all the candles you can get your hands on – candles will add ambience as the nights draw in. You can add a couple to a mantlepiece or side table too for extra glow.
2. Gather some golden autumn leaves and any other treasure you can find such as bracken, large chunks of bark, fir cones, conkers or acorns ideally attached to their branch. These can be adorned down the centre of the table with the candles nestled in amongst them. Take care to avoid anything too close to the open flames. Feel free to add some garden produce if you have it, pumpkins, gourds and butternut squashes.
3. Get out the silverware, not only the candlesticks but Grandma’s salt and pepper shakers and any other long forgotten trinkets. The silverware will catch the light of the candles and add extra drama and mood. The glow of the silver contrasts the rustic leaves and adds a bit of class to the compost!
4. Go big on glassware – even the hand wash only. Aim for 3 glasses each even if no one will use two wines glasses. This gives a feeling of decadence and reflects the light in the same way as the silverware. Coloured glassware is very ‘ontrend’ so don’t be afraid to mix some of that in too. Put any last blooms of the summer in single stem vases around the table, this adds life and extra light reflection.
5. Our Cock Pheasant Feather tableware is the perfect compliment to the autumn colours and leaves. Choose from Cock Pheasant or Cock Pheasant and Green Pheasant; they come as placemats, coasters and table centres which double as extra decadent charger placemats. The scented Cock Pheasant candles make a lovely addition to the table or a lovely gift to bring to supper. All the tableware brings an extra reflective glow adding to the cosy ambience.
6. Don’t forget - six is the magic number of dinner guests.
Give it a try and please send us a photo of your autumn table creations to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see them and the best shots will be shown on our Instagram and will win some WD vouchers...
Enjoy and keep the glasses charged!
With Burns Night on the horizon, the family-owned Wingfield Digby & Patrick Mavros are here to inspire a luxury filled evening to celebrate a Scottish poet whose best loved topic (like our own) are animals and nature.
From sculptures designed in wildest Africa, to tableware inspired by the Great British countryside, Patrick Mavros and Wingfield Digby guarantee a night of elegance and ultimate luxury this Burns night.
Pictured: Wingfield Digby Real Guinea Fowl & Green Pheasant Feather Placemat (Part of Set of 2, from £75, currently available in 4 designs here)
The Ultimate Burns Night Table
Set the Scottish scene with tartan
Tie your napkins with a tartan ribbon; no one need know it’s not your family tartan. Tartan adds the colourful and stylish edge that your table needs.
Incorporate heather and thistles into your flower arrangements and onto the table
Thistles bring a touch of colour and beautiful texture to the table in addition to their Scottish heritage. Bunches or pots of heather on your table are reminiscent of the beautiful Scottish countryside. Tuck a posy of heather, sprig of rosemary and a single thistle inside the ribbon of each napkin.
Add some bird sculptures nestled amongst the heather as centrepieces, to complement the natural feel reminiscent of a Scottish moor – Grouse or Partridge would be ideal. Patrick Mavros have some beautiful sculptures as photographed on the table above.
Tie it all together with a touch of feathers
The Green Pheasant and Guinea Fowl Feather Placemats (as photographed above) will tie it all together. Why not serve the drinks on a feather tray and put a good bottle of red on a Cock Pheasant Feather Wine Coaster? Finally add a large pheasant feather to the posy of the napkins and why not add a few tail feathers to your flower arrangements to tie it all together?
Our varied collection has something for everyone - click here to explore the full range.
Burns Night Recipe: Now the table is set, it’s time to cook!
Why not add a modern twist to a traditional evening with Tom Kitchin? A Scottish chef born and bred, he was the youngest chef to be awarded a Michelin Star. Tom uses Scottish produce in his restaurant The Kitchin, in what has become one of the finest places to eat in the country!
Here’s some fun facts about Robbie Burns:
Burns Night is celebrated annually on the 25th January (Burns’ birthday). The author of the much loved “Auld lang syne”, which translates to “for (the sake of) old times”, represents an occasion to come together for celebration, companionship and joy. So, gather friends and families and pay tribute to Burns with us this Burn’s Night!
No subject was too big or too small. He could write about God and the universe with as much impact as a poem about a little mouse in a field. However, animals and the natural world were among his best loved topics…making Burns Night a true night to celebrate!
Saturday 23rd September will see the return of the hugely successful Young Guns – a charity clay pigeon shoot organized by 26 year old shooting aficionados Victoria Dashwood and Ella Hadsley-Chaplin. Held at the award winning EJ Churchill Shooting School, the day will raise money for Breast Cancer Research – a cause that both organizers are passionate about.
We caught up with Victoria and Ella to find out how Young Guns 2017 is not your everyday fundraising shoot...
“It really begun with us wanting to organise something fun, for charity for YOUNG people. So many charity events are aimed at the older generation, or CEO’s, or enormous wealth. Of course these are all useful for the fundraising, but boosting awareness and mobilising young people are just as important. As two young women, and with breast cancer remaining one of the most prevalent cancers in the UK, we wanted to raise both funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Research.
How? At an action-packed charity shoot for our peers that features far more than just a few shooting flurries.
Kick-started with breakfast & coffee at EJ Churchill, the day includes:
- 6 staggered flurries – Each team is given their own host instructor, scorer, guns, cartridges, goggles and caps
- Elevenses – Drinks courtesy of Chase Distillery Sloe Gin and Firefly; nibbles from Caviar House, ChicP and Apesnacks
- Chauffeured transport to West Wycombe Park
- Coates and Seeley champagne & canape reception
- Live music from West Wycombe Brass Brand
- Sit down lunch in the south colonnade - Think Ottolenghi salads, fresh West Wycombe venison and POPS champagne popsicles
- Prize giving, raffle and optional shoot off
- Private after party – Held at the renowned 5 Hertford Street, London
Guns and guests will also receive goodie bags and 20% off at Wingfield Digby.
£1,000 - Shooting team of 4 (at least 2 members must be under 35)
£250 - Individual shooting ticket (competitors can be placed into teams if required)
£65 – Spectator ticket (price includes all the above bar shooting)
Email email@example.com for ticket enquiries.
We were thrilled to catch up with Victoria Knowles Lacks – the passionate and proud instigator of Europe's largest and foremost ladies' clay shooting organisation, The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club (S&CBC).
Responsible for shifting the shooting industry to create a movement of confident lady guns, Victoria is currently busy organizing the final aspects of next month’s National Ladies’ Shooting Day (Saturday 10th June) – which sees over 1,000 women shooting across 30 grounds in the UK. It is the largest ladies only clay shooting event in the world.
- What is your earliest personal memory of shooting?
I was quite a latecomer! The first actual game shoot I went on was during my teens. A lovely chap from Young Farmers invited me along. It was slightly embarrassingly as he had an old hammer gun which initially I had no idea how to hold. The recoil of the shells made me wince and I actually shot a pigeon- resulting in cheer from down the line as I didn't aim for it. Somewhat awkward! However, the whole day was just incredible. It was a little sydincate shoot, the banter and sloegasms were a plenty and the après shooting went on in to the night. I was smitten and learnt a fair bit about the importance of gun fit and mount!
- Was there a light bulb moment that instigated your creation of SG&CB Club?
In hindsight I think there was. I learnt to shoot with a load of old boys who were such good fun, but I did feel hugely out of my depth and a little bit alone with it. I remember a distinct lack of women and female support at grounds. Having looked around for fellow female shots and advice and finding virtually nothing, I set up a blog which had more interest that I could have ever dreamed. S&CBC was a natural progression from there.
The real lightbulb moment came 6 years ago when I took four girl friends for a group shooting lesson and made a Victoria Sponge for after (an initial lure as they weren't really keen on the idea so I had to sweeten the deal with cake!). Never in a million years did I think we'd have well in excess of 10,000 women join us at our shoots!
- How did NLSD come about?
Like all the best ideas, the idea came after a few cheeky glasses of fizz on New Years Eve, 2014. S&CBC was thriving and I was keen for a challenge. I spent New Year’s Day brainstorming, planning and getting to work.
- What are you most excited about for NLSD this year?
Oh my goodness, there's way too much to be excited about! Obviously having the Wingfield Digby girls joining us at EJ Churchill is a huge highlight, as is the number of brand new shooters joining us and a full line up of sponsors we love and of course a mega list of prizes that we're giving away!
- Why do you feel so passionately about introducing women to the sport?
Historically, women have been on the back foot a bit (speaking generally, of course) with shooting. There just haven’t been the opportunities like men have had, so I set about evening up the playing field. There is no reason at all why women can't shoot as well men, the problem is that first 'in' in to the sport and sometimes confidence.
- Who is your most inspirational female shot and why?
Cheryl Hall - she is the most wonderful 'normal' woman in that she's one of us, one of the girls, but she has achieved the most phenomenal success and has won over 30 World titles.
- What is your proudest achievement to date?
Being named a Fieldsports Magazine 'Outstanding Gun' in 2016. I was the only lady and given the title alongside so many incredible sporting greats, such as Lord James Percy and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
- If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
The group photo from Fieldsports Magazine’s 'Outstanding Guns' day. A great line of the best chaps in the business, with me stood in the middle with the most sincere and ridiculous of smiles!
- What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The Guinea Fowl placemats.
- Favourite feather type?
Guinea Fowl, and darker pheasant feathers.
For more information on The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club, click here.
For more information on National Ladies’ Shooting Day 2017, and booking, click here.
Wild Rabbit & Cabbage Burgers Recipe - Oliver Gladwin, creative chef at Gladwin Brothers' Enterprises
Rabbit at Easter?! Fear not - we haven’t chosen this recipe to reflect any morbid thoughts concerning Easter bunnies..
Instead, Oliver says, “Rabbit is such a great meat – lean, flavoursome and low in cholesterol. We have to keep the rabbit population down at the vineyard or they chew the bark off the young vines, so there is often an ample supply. I don’t know why it is so underused and underrated!”
His top tip? “You will need caul fat to wrap the burgers in, which protects, seals and moistens the meat. Caul fat, also known as crépine - can be bought from any traditional butcher”.
Try it for yourself…
1kg rabbit, skinned and jointed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 lemon, halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns and salt
6 good leaves of Savoy cabbage
200g caul fat, cut into 6
6 ciabatta rolls
Wild Garlic Yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
- Put the rabbit pieces, onion, carrot, lemon and bay leaves in an ovenproof casserole dish.
- Sprinkle in the peppercorns and salt, then add the water.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and place over a moderate heat to bring the liquid to the boil.
- Transfer to the oven and braise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, blanch the Savoy cabbage leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes; drain under cold running water and set aside to cool.
- Remove the braised rabbit from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before picking off the meat, discarding any sinew or bones.
- Put the meat in a mixing bowl with the onion and carrot and moisten with some of the cooking juices.
- Divide the meat mixture into six portions and squeeze into even-sized patties. Wrap each one in a cabbage leaf followed by a piece of caul fat.
- Light the barbecue or preheat a griddle pan until smoking hot.
- Grill the rabbit burgers on the barbecue or griddle for 3 minutes on each side
Serve inside lightly toasted rolls with a good dollop of wild garlic yoghurt.
This recipe is also available in The Shed: The Cookbook, compiled by Oliver and his brothers Richard and Oliver and winner of the Michael Smith Award for Work On British Food. Available to buy here.
Follow Oliver and his culinary outlets here:
Instagram: @nutbourne_resto @rabbit_resto @theshed_resto
Twitter: @NutbourneSW11 @RabbitResto @TheShed_resto
Facebook: @NutbourneBattersea @RabbitResto @The-Shed