Thursday, 31 October 2013

Glam-O-Ween !

Whilst flicking back through my personal archives in search of inspiration for the finishing touches to tonight's party, I discovered quite a few glamorous and fun Halloweeny looks that I created whilst working here and there. They immediately got me in the Gothic party mood. 
Whatever you get up to tonight, keep it Gothic, keep it Creepy but most of all, keep it Glam!
Happy Glam-O-Ween!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Hair Raising Halloween Wreath!

I think you may have guessed by now that The Magical Christmas Wreath Company loves a little Halloween fun! So when the call came through from one of our regular customers this week, requesting something "creepy, stylish and really unusual" to grace their door for All Hallows Eve, I was absolutely thrilled.

Retreating to a darkened room, I channelled my in-house, Halloween muse. She alighted on my shoulder whispering the words 'Creature Chic' into my ear in a rather unsettling and raspy voice! Adopting my best 'weird' facial expression, I hoofed it down to my local wig shop to look for the most glorious weaves and hairpieces in the kingdom with which to work with.

Clutching a bagful of precious, raven-coloured manes, I then scurried back to the studio muttering all sorts of Gothic jibberish under my breath. With Bauhaus playing in the background, I then proceeded to draw the curtains and lock all the doors. Standing at my workbench, surrounded by a labyrinth of bubbling chemistry apparatus, Van de Graaff generators, sizzling Babyliss curling tongs and an armoury of Elnett Satin hairspray, I set about creating my very own little, hirsute, Prometheus!

As the skies rumbled and lighting flashing overhead, I seized my moment, raising my furry Halloween creation aloft, I threw back my head in Oscar-worthy, dramatic fashion to let out the bloodcurdling cry......'s alive, it's alive, it's ALIVE!!!!

Add a little 'Creature Chic' to your front door this Halloween

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Blood Rose!

Halloween is only two weeks away and tonight's full moon is at it's fullest this month! There's no better time to pull out the old cocktail cauldron to fix up a sinister and chic brew to celebrate the Gothic month of October.

Regular followers may remember our legendary Halloween cocktail parties. Last years theme had an altogether British flavour, whilst this year we cross the channel for something 'Frightfully French!'

We were initially inspired by the blood red Prince Camille de Rohan roses we grow here at Magical Manor and the super delicious Elderflower liqueur 'St Germain' which is one of the staple favourites in our cocktail cabinet and blends perfectly well with champagne.

Toiling over many variations this week, we conjured and meddled with the spirits, eventually creating our libation of choice for Halloween 2013.

So as the moon illuminates the October skies, I invite you to raise your glasses high and toast the arrival of..........The Blood Rose!

 (Click images to Enlarge)

How to make The Blood Rose Cocktail

2 fl. oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 fl. oz Monin Rose Syrup
1 fl. oz Freshly squished Pomegranate Juice
Champagne or Prosecco

Into a shaker, add ice, the St Germain liqueur, Rose syrup and Pomegranate juice, shake and strain into a pair of elegant champagne coupes. Top up with Champagne or Prosecco and garnish with a freshly cut thorny rose stem.

Beware the Blood Rose my fiends,
much like the Jabberwocky,
it has thorns that bite
 and claws that catch!

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Happy Halloween.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Sunshine on Leith Hill

We recently made our annual autumn pilgrimage to one of the most wonderful places in the South East of England in which to observe the fall landscape. 

We drove through the very familiar, winding roads of the Surrey Hills to reach the starting point of our Sunday walk through the ancient woodland up to Leith Hill. Join us as we make our ascent.

Click Images to Enlarge



The grand prize for making it all the way to the top is this romantic vision......

At Leith Hill's summit is the 18th century fairy-tale Gothic tower. You can climb the stairs to the top for a better view of the surrounding countryside or if your legs are a bit tired after all that hill walking, there's a lovely little cabin at the bottom of the tower selling home made tea and cake.

It boasts one of the highest points in Surrey and on a clear day, there are panoramic views of  the surrounding thirteen counties. It is also possible with the aid of a natty little telescope to see the English Channel to the south and the clock face of Big Ben to the north.

Those making the climb up the spiral staircase are rewarded with these magnificent views.


Leith Hill
Dorking, Surrey

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Ascott House

After a busy week working in the big smoke, I felt an overwhelming urge to get out of town, to stretch my legs and ventilate my prefrontal cortex and I knew just the place to go. With barely enough time to pack a cucumber sandwich we were on the road heading towards Buckinghamshire, to visit Ascott House and Gardens.

( Click Images to Super Enlarge!) 
In 1873 Baron Mayer de Rothschild bought the ninety acres of land at Ascott near Wing. At it's core lies the heart of a half timbered Jacobean farmhouse said to date from 1606.
A year after its purchase, nephew Leopold de Rothschild took over the house using it as his hunting lodge before subsequently transforming and enlarging it into a substantial Edwardian country residence.

The extensive gardens surrounding Ascott House are a luxurious emerald cocktail of formal and natural styles. Long herbaceous borders, water lily ponds, topiary avenues and sunken gardens radiate from the terraced lawns that look across the Chilterns.
This is a garden that was created in the name of love. Leopold de Rothschild was apparently a bit of an old romantic and had the gardens laid out in 1902 by the esteemed Chelsea nurseryman Sir Harry Veitch as a wedding present to his wife, in celebration of their devotion.
The motto surrounding the topiary sundial echoes the whispers of their affection with the words " Light and shade by turn, but love always" inscribed forever in golden Yew.
Halfway down the herbaceous borders of the Madeira walk you discover the first of the Ascott fountains by sculptor Thomas Waldo Story, who also designed the Fountain of Love at Cliveden.

The dramatic Bravura Venus depicts the bronze goddess of love, born of the seas, riding on the back of a turtle within a Siena marble shell. The shell is drawn by Triton and two incredible winged sea horses. It's nothing short of a fabulous piece of garden bling if I ever saw one!

Thomas Waldo Story's elegant Cupid Fountain can be found in the magnificent Dutch garden with its immaculate Victorian beds, where the son of Venus rises gracefully into the early Autumn skies.

It brings a whole new literal meaning to putting love into a garden.
Are you feeling the love?
Wing, Nr Leighton Buzzard