31 January 2016

HALL RENOVATIONS - A STONE FLOOR

Our hall has a grandness. It has remained, the same as it was originally built back in 1870's. 
The staircase is the prized feature, with its deep stairs and mahogany handrail. 

This is the hall as it looks today... 



and looking the other way towards the front door...




When introduced to The Manor House, it was the hall that we walked into first. 
Standing all together, our first impressions was of a room in need of updating and some renovations. High ceilings, large staircase, lots of space, mostly a light and airy room with beautiful original doors to rooms that had to be explored.  


Once we'd moved in and started renovating the house, generally our motto has been that not everything has to be expensive to update.  We always try to use what you have or clean, mend or add too it

Under a green carpet in the hall, we found a natural stone floor.  It was an exciting moment.  
We suspect that the sandstone had been sourced from a Mansfield quarry in Nottinghamshire around the 1800's when this part of the house was built.  



(above) detail of stone floor

After many years of walking on the floor, especially into rooms that were probably occupied by servants, some areas have become worn and indented. We were keen to discard the carpet and see the distinctive beauty of the natural stone floor. 
It's a durable, unpretentious, honest flooring that will last many decades and beyond.


BEFORE (below)
We had to take the hall carpet up as soon as possible because I hated it (we didn't even have time to take any photos). The stair carpet we had to live with for many years before we decorated the hall and came up with a better solution.


BEFORE (below)


22 January 2016

A HELP WITH SNOWDROPS

Yesterday, there was a knock at the door.  It was a lady I'd never met before.  
She wanted a 'cheeky favour' (her words, not mine)....."could she have some snowdrops from our orchard"?


 She had struggled to find any snowdrops at the garden nurseries or shops near to us to buy.  
Her sister had recently died and seeing her sister's favourite flower were snowdrops, she wanted some to put on her grave.


Eager to help out, I suggested she dig up a few to take to the funeral today.
It's a lovely thought, that some of our Snowdrops (Galanthus) have found a new place to rest and grow each year. 

All around the UK, gardens are open to show off their beautiful Snowdrops
Click on the link and you'll find recommended gardens open by the National Garden Scheme, to walk through.

14 January 2016

COLD OUTSIDE - WARM INSIDE


The weather has changed and we're experiencing winter at last.  
It's cold outside but warm and cosy inside.


This area in the kitchen is lovely sit at, after a freezing cold walk.

  
Luckily, we have a wood burner to add extra heat if needed.


We inherited it from the previous owner, who installed it probably in the late 70's.  
To be honest, it's not my ideal looking burner.  I would prefer something at little more
contemporary but by saving money when we renovated the kitchen
we decided to keep it.


On cold days like today, it's very good at it's job.



Bought at an antiques fair about 25 years ago, the school trunk is in its original state. 
It works well as a table.  We're not precious about it, so if anything gets spilt or knocked on it, we don't worry about it at all. Great for putting your feet up on too!

7 January 2016

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

Christmas 2015 was a very special time for us.  
All my family came here over the Christmas period.

My wonderful sister, Charlotte took some amazing photos. 
Luckily for us, she is a professional 'children, family and lifestyle photographer'.
(You can find her website here)
Her style is natural, vibrant and full of warmth.
She used the house as a backdrop to capture our time together and here
is just a little taster of those treasured moments.    

'Princess' Scarlett on the hall landing.  
I love that Charlotte has managed to include the Christmas tree down stairs, 
in this shot as well.




Don't we all love a reindeer-themed-sweatshirt.

 

 Just look at Ben's chubby little arms and wrists.

 

Albie on the stairs with his favourite present....Spencer.


Fun, laughter, wine and crackers at the dining table.

 

and a Christmas birthday celebration too... 

Thanks to Charlotte and all the family for making Christmas at The Manor House so special.

The House can be hired for photo shoots or filming via location Company, Shoot Factory.

9 October 2015

FRESH RASPBERRIES



 We're missing the Summer months and all that grows in the garden. 
 Summer favourites are fresh, juicy organic raspberries.


There is something lovely about taking a bowl from the kitchen, 
walking into the garden and picking homegrown raspberries straight off the shrubs they've grown on.

Simply gorgeous and so healthy. 


They couldn't grow fast enough for us. We ate them added to our breakfast cereal with yoghurt, or mixed into a smoothie. 



This recipe uses fresh raspberries and makes the most delicious cookies.  Very quick to make in less than 7 minutes - great for an afternoon 'pick me up'....

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 cup of cashew flour (cashew nuts powdered in a blender)
1/4 of a cup maples syrup
1/4 of a cup raw cacao butter, melted
1/2 cup of fresh raspberries

Method
In a bowl mix the cashew flour with the maple syrup and the melted cacao butter.  Then add the fruits and mix evenly.
Take a tray lined with greaseproof paper and drop spoonfuls of the mixture and shape it to desired cookie size with a spoon.  Place the tray in the freezer to set and when the cookies are firm enough, remove them from the paper and place on a plate to serve.

Inspired by a Nama recipe.

2 October 2015

HARVESTING THE GARDEN

October is here and with that Autumn has arrived, luckily nice and slowly this year as we're still enjoying sunny days. 
It seems a time to reflect on what we've received from the garden and I'm amazed at how much we actually gain from it.  

There's always so many different varieties of apples...



gorgeous juicy eating apples,

 

to cooking apples (above), 
great for crumbles or stewed and used with muesli at breakfast.



Pears (above).  
Not the best crop this year but we still managed a few to eat.


Lots of tomatoes, grown in the vegetable plot.


even the odd blackberry or two.


In the greenhouse, there's a grape vine. 


 So many Mirabelle plums...


and an abundance of Victoria plums. 
Gorgeous, also stewed and used at breakfast.



The sweetest raspberries.  No need for sugar to be added! 


Walnuts. 
(if we're quick to get them before the squirrels do!!)


and lastly, a pumpkin which we'll pick for Halloween.

When everything is listed like this, I realise what lucky people we are to have all these free and organic harvests each year.

13 August 2015

ALLIUMS



 Adding a bit of colour to the main bedroom, in the form of a drying-out Allium. 

Grown in the garden this year and thinking it's far to beautiful to throw away, 
it now sits on the mantle piece in our bedroom.