Christmas is a time of bounty. And to rejoice in that abundance – the plentiful presents; the festive feasting; the merry-go-round of good cheer – is never more glorious than at this most wonderful time of the year. But at Rowen & Wren, the season’s rich pickings are about another kind of wealth too: that of welcoming friends and family into a magical yet minimal world of home-spun simplicity.
One of our favourite ways to feel festive at this time of year is a spot of Christmas baking. Our simple Madeleine recipe is ideal for rustling up a homemade gift, a sweet treat for Christmas visitors or for a little self indulgence on a cold December weekend.
Ingredients: 1 Large Egg, 60 grams of melted butter, 50 grams of plain flour, 50 grams of caster sugar, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, Plenty of icing sugar for dusting.
Method: Preheat the oven to 190C (gas mark 5). Melt the butter gently and use a little to grease the Madeleine pan. In a mixing bowl whisk together the egg and caster sugar until thick and mousse-like. Sift in the flour and baking powder then gently fold in the remaining melted butter. Pour the mixture into the moulds filling each one three quarters of the way up, bake for 7-8 minutes until they are golden. Turn out onto a cooling rack, when cool dust liberally with icing sugar. Makes approximately 12 scrumptious Madeleines.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches?
We couldn’t agree more with the sentiment warbled out in the traditional German folk tune-turned-Christmas carol. That’s why this Yuletide, Rowen & Wren will be adorning our lovely boughs with only the most delicate and discreet of decorations.
Our recycled glass baubles, in all their translucent fragility and shimmering magic, are an exquisite and subtle adornment for Mother Nature’s handiwork. Dotted on branches against white lights – the only other decoration that will make the cut on our trees this Christmas – they twinkle enchantingly, imbuing the whole Christmas scene with a dreamlike quality. Better yet, at a time of year when so much gets cast aside and thrown away, these baubles give a new lease of life to previously used glass, making them not only beautiful, but beautifully virtuous.
Recycled baubles: the ethical way to make your treetop glisten this Christmas.
Wreath-making with Rowen & Wren
Homespun, honest and handmade: these are our three commandments when it comes to Christmas at Rowen & Wren. We would then, consider it remiss to the point of Scrooge-like neglect to eschew our annual labour of love: the making of the requisite Christmas wreath.
First, we must lead you up the garden path, albeit briefly, for the hunter-gatherer element of our task. This is the part when we will be on the look out for those healthy yet unadorned loose boughs of evergreens that supply a fresh take on the often over-stuffed wreath (you could try intertwining some light feathers too).
Our Benni Brass Wreath ring comes as a set of two and is the perfect base for creating a romantic, fresh-from-Mother Nature festive garland; just weave your greenery and feathers in, and attach and secure them with gardener’s wire. Don’t worry about being immaculate; there’s little more enchanting than a door adorned with cascading tendrils of twisting ivy.
The dilemma? Whether to hang your masterwork on the front door or to bring the outside in and display it over the fireplace.
View our Christmas wreath video here.
For whoever is left on your list, our Perfect Presents collection may have just the solution. You can view the full collection here.
Instead of the usual Black Friday Discounting, we’re Donating…
5% of the total spend at rowenandwren.co.uk today (24.11.17) will be donated to our chosen charity, Age UK. An incredibly worthy charity all year round and particularly at Christmas time, Age UK provides advice, enables independence and combats loneliness for the elderly. A big thank you to you all for supporting our Black Friday giving initiative.
From stocking fillers to statement gifts for that special person, as the season of giving approaches our festive edit caters for everyone on your Christmas list. You can view our Perfect Presents collection here.
As the days get shorter and the evenings get colder, at Rowen & Wren we believe it’s prime time to summon our sense of hygge and gather a selection of recipes to bake sweet, comforting treats on frosty evenings. Fortunately we have been following Australia based Thalia Ho for some time after stumbling across her marvellous Instagram profile. As we browse the plethora of recipes published on her blog, Butter And Brioche, we often find ourselves trembling with excitement as to which delight we should indulge ourselves with next! One of our firm favourites are her classic chocolate chip cookies. The dark chocolate chips prove an elegant contrast in taste to the flaked salt used to sprinkle over the top. You can view the full recipe here. Be sure to follow Thalia’s Instagram (@thaliaho) and regularly visit her blog to stay up to date with some suitably seasonal bakes.Posted by Alex.
There was a time when ale drinking was reserved for dingy pubs or for die-hard wine refusers at dinner parties. But beer – now with the requisite prefix “craft” – has come a long way since the days its devotees would be forced to arrive clutching unappetising four-pack tins of the stuff. Such is the sheer array of cask- and keg-brewed beauties in their varying hues of gold, all packaged up in glass bottles complete with modish labels, that the grain is giving the grape a run for its money even on the highest class of tasting menus.
In recognition of the explosion in the craft beer tradition, we’ve created our first recycled glass beer tumblers, which present the perfect Christmas gift for those crafty gourmands and beer aficionados amongst your kin. Its elegant nipped-in waist makes it both ergonomic and elegant – and quite the addition to a festive table. So much so, in fact, that disciples of the grain might even consider swapping wine-pairing for beer-matching with their Christmas lunch this year.
You can peruse our full tableware collection here.
Having found the perfect Martini glass, we took it upon ourselves to find the perfect Martini recipe to enjoy with it (what a chore!). So here it is, our favourite tipple for this winter, the French Pear Martini:
Ingredients: 40ml pear vodka, 40ml elderflower cordial, Chilled champagne or prosecco, Granulated sugar for the rim, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 pear sliced, to garnish.
Method: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pear vodka, elderflower cordial and lemon juice. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour into a sugar rimmed martini glass, top with champagne or prosecco and garnish with a slice of fresh pear.
At Rowen & Wren, we are sure never to squander these precious days of autumn. Instead, we take them as our cue to stoke the fire with that little bit more vigour.
Now is the time to sit out, al fresco, under dusky evening skies, shimmering with the glow of our Anker outdoor lights strung up above the pergola, leading the way like stars, and our Hayling Zinc lanterns – some small, others large – dotted around and illuminating from the ground with their flickering pillar candles.
You can view all of our autumn arrivals here.
Wishing you all a Hauntingly Happy Halloween!
May your day be filled with very few tricks and plenty of treats (ideally of the chocolate variety…)
It’s that time of year when most things in the garden start to die back which makes any late flowering plants all the more rewarding. As gardening novices we have worked hard over the past couple of years to get the garden blooming from late spring through to late summer, however we have very much neglected the months between October and March, that is until now. In an attempt to get a garden in bloom all year round, recently we have been investing in winter blooms to enjoy both outdoors and indoors in the obligatory kitchen table jug.
Top of our list for winter blooms is the hardy little Hellebore (sometimes known as the Christmas or Lenten rose). Hellebores are a perennial plant with elegant flowers most commonly found in self coloured greens or beautiful shades of pink and plum. They are perfect for brightening up shady areas of the garden throughout winter and through to early spring when many other perennials lie dormant. We have recently invested in several smaller Hellebore examples which we will enjoy potted throughout this winter until they are a little more established to be planted out next year. If like us you would like to introduce some of these wonderful winter plants to your garden, the RHS have put together some helpful seasonal tips for looking after them here.
Coming very soon to Rowen & Wren, the Christmas Collection…
Today’s newsletter introduces our new seasons glassware. Exquisitely handmade, our Isla & Elsa glasses are delicately fluted making them the perfect vessels for your sparkling pink or favourite cocktail.
You can view our full our full Autumn Entertaining Collection here.