Monthly Archives: February 2015

To my Valentine…Guess Who?

With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, perhaps you are in need of some inspiration if you are planning a romantic dinner for two. You may have booked a table at a fancy restaurant but we think a cosy, intimate dinner says ‘I Love You’ in a super romantic way. Once you’ve chosen your menu, put the bubbles (or beer!) on ice, it’s time to set the table.

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Depending on yours and your partner’s style, there are many different ways of decorating and styling your table. Colours can be incorporated into many aspects, such as the placemat, charger plates, napkins, chocolates, decorations, gifts and flowers. You could opt for different shades of the same colour – think ombre, or all out full colour.

You may be the traditional type and love the red hearts and roses.

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Or perhaps you might like to try this year’s colour trend – Marsala. The bold and rich colours would work wonderfully well if you have a berry theme to your dinner. Perhaps you are having venison with a red wine and redcurrant reduction and a chocolate fondant with a berry compote.

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Maybe pastel colours are what you favour. It doesn’t have to just be pinks and peaches. Incorporate some green into the table, with some fresh foliage with your flowers and use different coloured charger plates or napkins to add a contrast to a paler palette.

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If you want to be a little more contemporary and be a little different, then why not try some metallic for your table. Table confetti is a subtle way of injecting a little bling into the night. If you are the crafty type you could glitter-up your champagne bottle, some vases or maybe sprinkle some edible glitter over your desserts or frost the top your champagne glass with some crystallised sugar. You may even like to go all out and use a sequined table cloth and metallic plates. Whether gold, silver or copper, this would look glitz and glam and super stylish.

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Textures and materials may be another way of adding something extra to your table and making it stand out. Using different layers and contrasting materials, you can create cute decorations that would look beautiful when positioned on the table. Maybe bring some nature indoors and use foliage to make some decorations, either as a centrepiece or to position on your place setting.

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Centrepieces are a very simple, yet effective way of dressing your table and are easy to create. All you have to do is buy some flowers and place in a vase. If you want to be a little more adventurous you can create some stunning floral displays with a bit of patience and creativity. You don’t always have to use flowers either…maybe place some heart shaped foiled chocolates or red and pink baubles in a vase or several vases and place together.

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If you fancy being a little bit different, perhaps a night under the stars and some alfresco dining is more what you require. Set a beautiful table in your garden, bring some blankets in case it gets chilly (being February, this is likely!), light some candles and voilà, a beautiful setting!

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With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, you may well have the whole day to enjoy. So why not make the most of it and staying with the al fresco theme, pack up a picnic, find a picturesque spot and enjoy at sunset.

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If being outside isn’t your thing and the weather is not behaving, then surely nothing beats a cosy night in front of a fire. This is perfect if you want to have something a little less formal, but equally as romantic. You can still decorate and style a coffee table, just working with a smaller space. Ideal if you don’t have a dining table and you can then sit back and curl up together.

By Fire

And if all else fails and you really are stuck for ideas, then a last minute trip to Paris is surely on the agenda…

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Edible Gifts & Favours!

Edible Gifts and Favours – Guests are in for a treat!

We have already predicted big things for edible gifts and favours for this year. Sugared almonds and bags of sweeties are out and a whole lot of yumminess is in. We talk you through what you may see over the next few months and may even like to use yourself. What is not to love about these! Whether taken home or enjoyed later in the evening, everyone will love what’s waiting for them as a token of your appreciation. With the increase in DIY and crafty weddings we have seen in recent times, alongside this we have seen a more relaxed and homely feel to weddings and more couples creating items themselves. Items such as decorations, invites and favours. Homemade favours are a big thing and a great way of saving some pennies and spending elsewhere, these can range from key rings, plant pots, seeds packaged up, soaps and toiletries to chutneys, jams and cupcakes. Favours don’t have to be reserved for just weddings either. If you’re hosting a party or supper, why not treat your guests to a delicious little something. If you’re not already feeling hungry, you may be after you have seen what’s in store…

Marshmallows

These gooey little bites of heaven are reminiscent of childhoods, sitting round an open fire and hot chocolate. Evoking fond memories of happy times, marshmallows have gained status and been brought into adulthood with sumptuous and fun flavours, beautiful presentations and have increased in size too. Macaroons and Meringues have been popular over recent times and will long continue to do so, but another sugary M has been brought to life and not only are they a great gift, you can have a go at making them yourself. Ideal if you love to bake (and you can keep a sneaky few for yourself too!) We love a cocktail or alcoholic flavoured marshmallow here at Goose & Berry, you could try a Pimms one, maybe a Baileys, how about a Chambord and Champagne flavoured one? You could even go exotic. Pineapple, passion fruit and mango, coconut and rum? Or maybe salted caramel, a personal favourite. The best way is to experiment and it’s a great excuse to sample some of these tasty beauties. If you have a particular dessert or signature cocktail at your wedding or party, perhaps you could flavour the marshmallow to match.

Hot Chocolate

There is no better accompaniment to Marshmallows, than Hot Chocolate. Now it’s not served then and there at the table (although there is nothing stopping you serving this if you so wish!), but in the cute way of a little jar, bag or tube, that looks totally adorable. All your guests will have to do is take it home and add hot water – oh and marshmallows too of course! These little hot chocolate kits are a great idea and work so well to give to adults and children alike. You can personalise them with labels and coloured ribbon, so as to match any theme you may have and serve them at individual place settings. Or you could keep them all together and display them on a rustic crate or table and have people take them as they enter, or leave.

Chocolate Lolli-props

We have all seen the props used in photo booths and for selfies at weddings and parties, but these genius little wonders are an all round amazing idea. Why not have edible props, shaped like giant mouths and moustaches, which can be used for photos and then eaten. Moulds can be bought from many craft shops and all you have to do is simply melt the chocolate, fill the mould, place a stick in and let cool. Clever! Different colours and candy can be used and can be found at most cake shops.

Cake Pops

A fun way of incorporating the tradition of cake at a wedding and party may be to have a cake pops and having them as favours. These can be displayed in a fun way, such as maybe placing them on sticks and having a ‘garden’ of cake pops and macaroons and marshmallows or beautifully presented and wrapped ready for your guests at their place.

 Personalised Sweeties

If you have a sweet tooth or a favourite type of sweet, then these could be right up your street…and hopefully your guests will love them too! JellyBelly Jelly Beans, M&M’s and Love Hearts can all be personalised with a message or initials, date or logo or even a photo that you have used on your invites and stationary. Such a great and simple way of adding a bit of fun to the proceedings and a little keep sake for your guests (although I can’t imagine they will last long and if they are anything like a few people we know, they won’t even it make it to the starter! Think of them as an amuse bouche!)

Mini Pies

Whether you choose savoury or sweet, why not try baking (or buying) some mini pies for your guests. Use your favourite filling and package in a cardboard box with some twine, ribbon and a label. These could be a winner for those late night munchies and may well be a savoir on the journey home or a midnight snack in the hotel room.

Popcorn

Not just for cinema or movies it seems, popcorn is ‘popping’ up at weddings more and more. Old fashioned popcorn machines, along with candyfloss machines are popular, especially at fair and festival themed weddings. So why not incorporate this in the form of favours. Place in a bag or tube, guests can snack on this on the day or why not place un-popped corn in some pretty packaging and attach some basic instructions for guests that they can make their own popcorn at home. Different flavour sugars could be added also, or just the basic popcorn as it is.

Peanut Butter and Honey

Not a new combination to replace peanut butter and jam, but two new ways of giving out some sweet little homemade pots of tasty treats. Homemade jams and chutneys are still very popular, but why not be a little different and pot up some peanut butter or honey. These could be made or shop bought and can be personalised using different materials, colours and labels.

Toffee / Caramels / Toffee Apple

Perhaps you have an Autumn wedding or maybe you just have a ridiculously sweet tooth. Instead of just a bag of sweeties, toffee or caramels or even Toffee Apples may be the choice for you. You could certainly have a lot of fun making these…and then eating them and I’m sure your guests would too. You may like to package the toffee’s and caramels in an old fashioned sweet bag or wrap a toffee apple in cellophane and tie with a pretty ribbon or twine and label up.

Infused Olive Oils

This may be one that you hadn’t really thought of, but we think that infused olive oils are a great favour or gift. You may have a favourite holiday destination that could be the perfect reasoning behind these little gems. Maybe you could even purchase them on said holiday. A sophisticated and indulgent favour that would work well with an elegant event or maybe you are foodies and your wedding and party is very food orientated, these would be the perfect favour. You could even pair them up with Balsamic Vinegar. With different infusions such as basil, garlic, lemon and truffle (soo good) you could have a different one for each table – maybe even theme or name your tables around them!

Tea

If you are anything like us and you adore tea, then this could be the obvious choice. Do you have a favourite type of tea or perhaps you might like to make your own blend? There are a few places that can do this for you and we have no doubt you will love the whole experience…and probably buy enough tea to last a lifetime! You could have loose tea or tea bags and personalise them up with your own unique packaging and labelling. You may like to place these in a vintage tea cup or if you are having afternoon tea served as your wedding breakfast or an afternoon tea/ garden party theme, then why not serve your blended tea and have the tea as favours too. Quite in love with this!

Juices

With juicing being the new ‘it’ thing to do and if you’re a health conscious couple, you may like to try giving small bottles of fresh juice as favours. This may take some time and they would need to be fresh, but these may a lovely idea for a smaller gathering or supper. Maybe attach a recipe for one or two juices so as your guests can give it go for themselves.

DIY cocktail kits and recipe

Guests love something to take home with them and remind them of their day. If you have had a signature cocktail at your wedding or party, you might like to give guests a small bottle of spirit alongside a recipe for them to take home and make themselves. Such a simple, yet effective idea and one that the adults will love. For any children, why not give them a mini bottle of juice with a mocktail recipe.

The Hangover Kit

A possible lifesaver for some of your guests is the Hangover Kit – as simple as a bottle of water and labelled with ‘Hangover Kit’. You could make it personalised and bottle and label up yourself or you could keep to branded water and add a tag. It really is that simple!

 

Visit us at http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk  or http://www.gooseandberryluxe.co.uk for more inspiration.

 

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