Thursday 7 April 2016

DIY rustic 'scandi chic' farmhouse trestle table

As you know I've got a new craft room! I'm going to show you the room in detail very soon, but first I wanted to show you my new craft table. I wanted a strong, rustic trestle table for my craft room so I went looking for one online. I was flabbergasted to learn just how expensive there are … with cheaper ones starting around £170 and nice rustic vintage ones between £600 - £1000! They are beautiful of course but goodness, that’s a family holiday! So in true AHC stylie I decided to make my own. I'm so happy I did, as the table below only cost me £45. This would make a lovely farmhouse-style or scandi-chic dining table … and it would also be ideal for al fresco family dining as it can be easily dismantled. You could also paint and distress the legs for a lovely shabby-chic look. I might paint these legs, but the character of the bare, aged wood has really grown on me so I'm keeping it 'au natural' for now. 

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Friday 19 December 2014

Last minute Christmas gifts for food lovers

I'm always getting stuck for gift ideas, and often find myself in that awkward situation of seeing friends last minute, yet I have nothing to offer them. So here are a few foodie goodies that have saved  the day in recent years. Presented in brown paper and tied with ribbon, they make a lovely last minute gift, and they'll never know you whipped it up last night ;-)  x

Last minute Chritmas gifts for food lovers

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Friday 12 September 2014

How to make Blackberry jam

How to make Blackberry jam

I made jam for the first time this week. Now you know I'm a self-confessed terrible cook. I can make a hash of the easiest of recipes so it's no wonder I haven't attempted Jam before. But then I found out how you make it ... put berries in a pan + splash of water + lemon and sugar = pot of jam. I had no idea it was that easy. So under the guidance of my crafty jam & jewellery-making pal Yidan, we made jam!

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Tuesday 3 June 2014

How to make Elderflower cordial & the 'Hugo' cocktail

Before I learned how to make Elderflower cordial I was often put off by long winded instructions and the general 'faff' that often comes with making your own produce. But I do so love Elderflower cordial so I was determined to give it a try and I'm so pleased I did - It is unbelievably easy to make, there is hardly any faff and it also tastes a thousand times better than shop-bought. I now look forward to making it year after year (as does my family) and once made you can also use it to make scrumptious Elderflower cocktails such as the 'Hugo' which I served at our wedding! I've included the recipe for that at the end too ...

How to make Elderflower cordial

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Friday 20 December 2013

Cheesecake mince pies at

This week I've been lucky enough to guest post London lifestyle blog
Poppy (AND her blog) are just lovely, so I decided to share my very special recipe for ...


How to make cheesecake mince pies

The recipe was handed down from my ninja-chef of a mother in law and they are simply the best I've ever eaten. So if you'd like to sample these melt-in-the-mouth bad boys (and see me licking the bowl) pop on over to Poppyloves by

Enjoy and have a wonderful Xmas, 
JM & Ralphy the dog

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Sunday 6 October 2013

How to make sloe gin - 'the wintry tipple'

  Well last weekend I successfully made my first tipple of Sloe Gin! It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday and I can't WAIT to taste it while my chestnuts are roasting on a chilly December eve. Christmas will never be the same without this lovely wintry Liqueur and it's a lovely way to enjoy our bountiful hedgerows. It's far more satisfying to enjoy something you've gathered / made yourself than to get it from Tesco and I've no doubt this autumnal ritual will become a firm favourite in our household. It's easy to prep, easy to make AND you can blot out Xmas with it! (if need be).  So get the kids off their phones, grab your baskets (guys - your plastic containers) and enjoy a day in the wilderness together! 

Note - Sloe gin is a sweet berry liqueur and can be enjoyed on the rocks OR with a mixer ... perhaps Soda water or sparkling wine Kir Royale-style, so don't be put off if you don't like Gin. I don't but I do LOVE this drink.

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Monday 2 September 2013

Making Sloe gin - How to tell when Sloe Berries are ripe

So it's been a wonderful summer and the hedgerows are bursting with bumper crops this year ... 'one for me, one for Ralphy, one for me ...' I'm determined to make the most of mother natures bounty this year. So today I want to give you a heads up on the SLOE berry. It's not picking time yet but it will be soon so here's a guide to picking at the right time.

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