Tag Archives: Gold Leaf

Summer Nights & Summer Food

Sorrel's Magical Meringues, Rocking Dog

Sorrel’s Magical Meringues

Beautiful summer nights, perfect for gorgeous summer food. It’s been a busy weekend for the Ferguson family with summer parties near Derby, a surprise party in the Rocking Dog garden and finally a lazy Sunday lunch.

I couldn’t resist including photo’s of Sorrel’s baking. A family party led her and Pete to Derby with the most stupendous of celebratory sausage rolls, and the prettiest of meringues, thanks for the recipe Yotam! Sorrel’s sausage rolls are by all accounts legendary, and this one was the piece de resistance with the hosts’ names written in poppy and sesame seeds. The meringues meanwhile were given a sprinkling of pistachio’s, crushed rose petals and gold leaf, very decadent.

Meanwhile in Bristol there was a surprise party afoot. The Rocking Dog garden was commandeered for our lovely neighbour Symon’s 40th. We had about two hours to hurriedly string the garden with bunting and fairy lights, to set up deck chairs, a bar, and to place tea lights. I rediscovered a beautiful old Indian wedding arch in a cupboard last week, and used it to decorate our entrance gates. It is embroidered with beautiful brightly coloured cows, elephants and a host of other creatures and Indian symbols. I’d love to find out more about it.

Symon seemed to have a thoroughly wonderful time, and the evening was positively balmy. Food, live music, happy children and cake will hopefully help to make wonderful memories. One of the guests made a lovely comment saying that the garden was really romantic. Twilight, fairy lights, bunting, soothing music and a generous glass of bubbly obviously took away from the fact that the garden is devilishly weed filled!

The weekend ended with a lazy late lunch in the garden. Skye Gingell’s Chicken salad with roast bread & sour cherries, cheese and summer fruits were followed by coffee and chocolate (in the most divine packaging). Jugs of foaming Pimms and a couple of bottles of Prosecco made the lunch feel very luxuriant and summery.

Lovely friends, lovely family and gorgeous sunshine.

I hope the week starts well for all. Love Rocking Dog x

Garden Bunting, Rocking Dog

Garden Bunting

Indian Welcome Arch, Rocking Dog

Indian Welcome Arch

Summer Nights, Rocking Dog

Summer Nights

Foaming Pimms, Rocking Dog

Foaming Pimms

Sweet Endings, Rocking Dog

Sweet Endings

Chaource & Cheddar, Rocking Dog

Chaource & Cheddar

Icing On The Cake, Rocking Dog

Icing On The Cake

Skye's Chicken Salad, Rocking Dog

Skye’s Chicken Salad

Sorrel's Stupendous Sausage Roll, Rocking Dog

Sorrel’s Stupendous Sausage Roll

The Mistletoe Has Been & Gone!

Starry Bunch, Rocking Dog

Starry Bunch

A beautiful couple tied the knot on Saturday. Unbelievably they gave me free licence with choice of flowers and plant material for a wedding arch, hurricane lamp frouing and fifteen table vases. Brave folk!

I hope the photo’s in today’s blog give you a taste of my foray into floristry. The arch evolved with several voyages out onto the Frome Valley Walkway and Rocking Dog garden for armfuls of ivy. As time went on I became very picky about type of leaf etc..! Wired on to the metal frame together with battery operated fairy lights (Wilko) this formed the basis of my woodland arch. White frame covered, I wired in young eucalyptus and variegated ivy to form a bower. Hours passed. The arch was transported in three sections to the venue by two burly chaps. Job done.

Dawn arrived and after another trip to the St Philips Flower and Fruit market I filled glass tanks with mistletoe, eucalyptus, and limey green and white parrot tulips. In place of Oasis to support the arrangement I tucked lime halves into the vases. Hurricane lamp bases were arranged with sprigs of mistletoe and I loved them for their simplicity.

At the venue The Rodney Hotel, Clifton, I got back to the arch. I secured more ivy to disguise the section joins, added a cloud of mistletoe to the bower and hung further clumps from the arches’ frame. A generous bunch of mistletoe was hung from the inside of the arch ready for the “You May Kiss The Bride” moment, and silvery glints were added with mercury heart baubles. The crowning glory was a gilded pear. I Pritt-sticked (yes really!) a Conference pear before applying sheets of gold leaf, gently patting down the flakes with a paint brush. The fairy lights were switched to gentle twinkle mode and then it was time for me to simply vanish!

Life continues to be stressful, but those hours of wiring, arranging and florally improvising were quite therapeutic. I was sad that the claw-foot bath was looking quite desolate without its burgeoning mistletoe display, and sad that there was NO mistletoe left! But then….hallelujah… a bunch had been left behind by the front door. It was time for my doors to be adorned with a mistletoe spray. Gingham ribbon and some metal stars added some glory to my simple door decorations. The Christmas decorating is slowly gathering pace and I can play you know who without any guilt whatsoever!

Woodland Wedding Arch, Rocking Dog

Woodland Wedding Arch

Gilded Pear, Rocking Dog

Gilded Pear

Mercury Heart, Rocking Dog

Mercury Heart

Parrot Tulips In The Mix, Rocking Dog

Parrot Tulips In The Mix

Romantic Chalkboard, Rocking Dog

Romantic Chalkboard

Romantic Hurricane, Rocking Dog

Romantic Hurricane