#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Cocktail Making with Lanson, with The Ana Mum Diary

Strawberries and champagne – two Wimbledon must-haves that are the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon of tennis and sun.

Luckily, our lovely friend, Amanda, from The Ana Mum Diary is here to share her perfectly simple yet delicious champagne cocktail recipe that only consists of three ingredients. Where do we sign up?

For this recipe, all you will need is:

  • 1 punnet of strawberries – approximately 400g
  • 2 mint leaves
  • 1 bottle of Champagne

Amanda’s top tip: “if you can buy or grow wild or Alpine strawberries, they taste amazing.”

Firstly, take your punnet of strawberries and pull off the green stems and leaves, then add to a blender with two mint leaves for a fresh kick and blitz these up until they make a puree.  

If you have a particularly sweet tooth or your strawberries aren’t in season, feel free to add a little sugar syrup, but if the strawberries are ripe (which they should be in July), your puree should be sweet enough from the natural sugars in the fruit.

Next, add a three teaspoons of your puree into a champagne flute, and top off with ice cold champagne. Et voila, the perfect summer cocktail to accompany an afternoon of spectatorship.

Amanda says: “This should make enough for one or two bottles of champagne depending on how strong you want the strawberry taste to come though. If you’re feeling daring, a slight variation on the recipe would be to add a teaspoon of brandy to each champagne glass too.”

Enjoy!

 

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Wimbledon Crafts, with Along Came Cherry

Wimbledon is now in full swing which means that in Britain, summer has officially arrived. If you are planning any Wimbledon themed parties or BBQs then our friend, Jess, from Along Came Cherry, is here with some Wimbledon inspired crafts this Summer. We’ve got our scissors at the ready…

First up, is this impressive- looking tennis racket garland that may look complicated, but is actually rather easy to master.

For this garland you will need:

  • A small scrap of cardboard
  • 1x glue gun
  • 1 roll of white yarn
  • 1 metre of felt (Jess has used white and grey but you could use any colour you wish)
  • 1 pair of scissors

To start, take your cardboard and cut the outline of a tennis racket shape out of the cardboard, ensuring to cut a hole in the middle for your racket wire. This should be cut to the size that you want your rackets, but we would recommend 10cm x 5cm.

Next, take your cardboard template and use this to cut out racket shapes in the felt until you have 15 or so rackets to hang on your garland.

Then, cut small strands of yarn to fit inside your rackets. About 4 pieces of yarn per racket should make it look detailed enough. Then (carefully) use your glue gun to attach the yarn to your felt in a lattice fashion.

Finally, cut a piece of yarn to the desired length of your garland, and use the glue gun to attach your completed rackets to the string. Once fully dried, hang up over your fireplace or attach each end to a tree for the perfect Wimbledon decoration.

Now, what would a Wimbledon party be without a celebration of Strawberries? This next garland will ensure that once all your guests have snaffled the strawberries, you’ll still have motifs of the fashionable fruit dotted around your Wimbledon party.

For the strawberry garland, you will need:

  • 1 metre of red felt
  • 1 metre of green felt
  • Needle and thread (in green or red)
  • 1 pair of scissors

Start by cutting a strawberry shape (similar to a heart shape) out of the red felt until you have around 15 strawberries. Next, take the green felt and cut out the foliage to sit on top of the strawberry.

Then take your thread and stitch the foliage to the strawberry. Once you have stitched them together, leave around 10cm of thread and stitch the next strawberry together. Not only will the thread attach you two pieces of felt together, but it will also provide the integral structure for your garland. And you’re finished!

Not only are both garlands really simple to make, but they provide you and your family with a great afternoon of activities and some fabulous handmade decoration for the sporting party of the year.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Bringing Wimbledon In To Your Home, with Love Chic Living

As you may have already guessed, the team here at Christy HQ can’t get enough of Wimbledon this year, and like a lot of people, we eat, breath and sleep tennis at this time of year.

By why should it just stop at the odd Wimbledon-themed party once a year? Why not take some inspiration from the court and bring it into our homes for the ultimate summer upgrade?

Luckily, our friend, Jen, from Love Chic Living, is also an avid Wimbledon fan and is here to help discover the ultimate in tennis-inspired home décor.

Upcycling Tennis Racquets

Credit: Houzz

This first idea is a nifty DIY project that will transform a vintage tennis racquet (these can be found online or in most charity shops) into a fabulous multi-purpose addition to your hallway.

Jen says: “As above, you can turn them into great wall hooks in the entrance hallway, or use them in a wall collage or display, or even add a few little hooks to them to store your jewellery.”

We think it’s a must for any tennis lover. What would you use yours for?

Tennis Wallpaper

Credit: NOTHS

Next up is this beautifully intricate tennis-motif wallpaper from Cazalet Designs. It features a delicate design on a lush green background which makes the piece simultaneously bold yet subtle. It’s fun without being too quirky and wouldn’t jar with other décor pieces.

Jen adds: “Coordinated as in the picture with bright contemporary décor, it looks cool without being kitsch. This would be ideal as a statement wallpaper or even an all over pattern in a smaller room.”

Towels

Now, how could we mention tennis-inspired decor without including our beautiful range of Wimbledon textiles? Possibly the easiest way to incorporate the sports-luxe look into your home.

Jen’s favourite is the Wimbledon Sports Towel in white. She says: “With just a nod to the tennis scene, this is a bang on-trend way to add some tennis-inspired interiors to your home”.

Vintage Wall Art

Credit: Etsy

If like us, you can’t get enough of the industrial interiors trend that is everywhere at the moment, this next piece from Etsy will be perfect for you.

A fan or the piece, Jen adds: “I just love this piece, it’s so different, stylish and not obvious at all. For the diehard tennis fan, a piece like this is a must. Perfect displayed on its own or as part of a larger wall display, maybe even with the upcycled vintage tennis racquets we mentioned earlier.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Guide To Wimbledon Etiquette, with William Hanson

Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon is arguably the most prestigious tennis event in the world and has been held in the London suburb of Wimbledon since 1877. This year, the two-week event starts on the 3rd July and to ensure that you’re properly prepared, we spoke to William Hanson, the UK’s leading etiquette coach and expert,  who gives his advice for those attending Wimbledon for the first time. Follow his advice, and in no time you’ll be sipping on Pimms on the Centre Court in no time.

Dress code

William Hanson says: “Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for spectators (they need not wear all white) “It is generally acknowledged that Wimbledon is an ‘occasion’ and should be treated like such and so smarter dress is worn.

“Panama’s for the men and large brimmed sunhats for women are a good idea, as indeed a good pair of sunglasses.”

Advice for spectators

If this is your first time at Wimbledon, there’s a few things to note to avoid any potential scowls from fellow attendees.

  1. If you’re inside a court watching a game, your phone must be switched off
  2. Similarly, chatting is kept to an absolute minimum
  3. No flashlight photography
  4. No selfie sticks

William adds: “For first-timers, it is important to know that you cannot leave or take your seats whilst a game is in play. Wardens control the spectator entrances and exits and sometimes you can wait anything up to fifteen minutes before the game is completed.”

Celebrations and commiserations

When it comes to cheering on your favourite player, William says there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to show your appreciation: “I would suggest that spectators do not make a song and dance about any British sporting prowess or success that Mr Murray may have: flag waving and nice cheering (not during actual play, mind you) is preferred – there’s no need to go overboard.”

Similarly, if the player you’re routing for doesn’t win, keep that classic stiff upper lip that us Brits are famous for. William says: “If Murray does not do as well as hoped, one should remember to be gracious in defeat. Congratulate the victor and do not sulk churlishly or lash out.”

 Get the perfect selfie before heading to Wimbledon and we’ll see you court side.

Love, Christy

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: Essentials to Pack for a Day at Wimbledon

It’s that time of year again when it feels like summer, strawberries and cream are back in style and the world, once again, can’t take their eyes off of that little yellow ball. That’s right, Wimbledon is upon us and for that lucky few who get to grace Henman Hill and see the action in person (well, sort of), it’s important to be prepared for the day ahead.

A properly stocked bag is the key to enjoying all that the tennis has to offer. With the help of lifestyle and travel blogger, Elle Croft, we’ll share our packing essentials for a day at Wimbledon.

A set of Wimbledon towels at a picnic

Sunglasses

Not just practical, a statement pair of sunnies will keep you looking chic among the celebs you’re bound to spot at The Championships.

Picnic

There’s plenty of scrumptious food available on site, but let’s face it, there’s no picnic like a Wimbledon picnic. We’d recommend keeping the menu light and fresh with recipes like this strawberry, avocado and spinach salad, or these turkey, apple and brie sandwiches.

Elle’s Top tip: “keep it compact, as the maximum bag size per person is 40cm x 30cm x 30cm.”

CSunscreen

Elle says: “British weather is admittedly unpredictable, but you can still get burnt under cloud cover, and trust me, from experience, the one souvenir you don’t want to bring home from Wimbledon is a sunburn.”

Waterproof

Time to be realistic, this is Britain we’re talking about which means a day of grey clouds and constant drizzle isn’t out of the question. While umbrellas aren’t banned from Wimbledon, there is a risk of blocking the view of those behind you or poking your neighbour’s eye out. Instead, we’d recommend taking some quality waterproofs to ensure you stay dry and comfortable, no matter the weather.

Cash

Elle says: “If you queue for Grounds tickets you’ll need cash just to get in. Once you’re inside you can pay by cash or card to buy your programme, Pimms, and that all-important strawberries and cream”.

A picnic blanket

A picnic blanket, possibly our ultimate essential for a day at Wimbledon, will ensure that you always have a place to sit, whether you’re queuing up, enjoying a picnic or sitting tight on Henman Hill.

Top Tip: Our Wimbledon Blanket will make you look like a total pro and can be doubled up as a throw if it gets a little chilly at night.

Drinks

A day at Wimbledon wouldn’t be complete without a sip of Pimms, but don’t forget, you can bring your own drinks in, too. Elle says: “Whether it’s pink lemonade or pinot grigio, pack it in your bag – but be sure to check the regulations first!”

A portable charger

Wimbledon is the perfect Instagram opportunity. The Pimms, the lush green grass and the endless strawberries and cream are made to be documented, so as well as your phone, ensure you take a portable charger to give yourself a well-needed battery boost throughout the day.

Not only will this ensure that you can stay in touch with your fellow attendees, but you can keep those Instagram stories going, too. Elle warns: “Leave the selfie stick at home, though – they’re banned.”

Comfortable shoes

Whether you’ve got a long day of queuing ahead of you are going for a stroll to discover the outer courts and the stunning flower displays dotted around the walkways, comfortable shoes are a must. We’d recommend avoiding a heel and sticking to tennis shoes, but if you still want a bit of height, opt for a classic wedge.

For more Wimbledon tips from Elle, check out her post here.

 
 

#ChristyLovesWimbledon: How to throw the perfect Wimbledon screening party

Summer marks the start of a special time of year for Christy, not only because the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, but because summer is officially Wimbledon season.

Christy is extremely proud to be the official towel supplier for Wimbledon, particularly when the likes of Andy Murray and Serena Williams are seen sporting our championship towels. And while we would love to be courtside brushing shoulders with Bradley Cooper during the Men’s Finals, for many of us, it is but a distant dream.

But instead of sitting in despair, why not take the opportunity to throw a Wimbledon viewing party for your friends and family? Keep reading to discover how to throw a ‘proper’ British party and enjoy the games at the most elegant sporting party of the year.

Decorations 

The colour theme for any Wimbledon party should, of course, be green and purple to represent the iconic colours of the men’s championship towel. Think bunting, flags, crisp White linens to contrast and your finest bone china to really impress your guests.

For extra bonus points, pitch your own tennis court in your yard using a net and rackets from a toy store. This will keep your guests entertained between games and give them a chance to polish up on their own tennis skills.

Food

Every tennis fan knows that Wimbledon is synonymous with the iconic dessert of strawberries and cream, but why not try experimenting with these two ingredients to serve a trio of desserts that will really impress your guests?

For the first dessert, we would recommend sticking with the classic strawberries and cream dish. It is the perfect accompaniment to a hot day and will provide a healthy(ish) option for your guests.

Next up is something a little more indulgent – strawberry and cream donuts. Simply use this fabulous doughnut recipe from Epicurious and swap out the vanilla filling for fresh cream and sliced strawberries. Just be sure to let the doughnuts come down to room temperature before filling to avoid a pre-party disaster.

And finally, the third dessert in our trio is a real crowd pleaser – a strawberries and cream cheesecake. This delicious recipe from taste.com can be made a couple of days in advance to give yourself some much-needed spare time on the big day.

Drink

There’s only one drink you’ll need for a Wimbledon viewing party: Pimms.

For the perfect Pimms pitcher, you will need:

  • Plenty of ice cubes
  • 200ml Pimm’s No.1
  • 600ml lemonade
  • 5 mint sprigs
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 10 strawberries, sliced

To assemble your pitcher, add ice until it reaches the halfway point in your jug. Then pour your Pimms and lemonade over the ice, ensuring to leave room for your sliced goodies. Finally, add your cucumber, orange, strawberries and mint, stir and serve.

So, are you ready for an indulgence of Pimms, strawberries and cream and tennis this summer? Come immerse yourself in the world of Wimbledon over the next two weeks on the Christy blog. We’ll be posting regular updates with more recipes, craft ideas, home style all inspired by our favourite sporting event of the year.

Serve it, Smash it, Win it, Love it.

Love, Christy.

 
 

Etiquette guide for a day at the races, by William Hanson

Royal Ascot, held annually in mid-June (this year: 20th – 24th June), is the epitome of the British Season.  As well as being a major social occasion it is firstly a world-class sporting event, dating back to the late eighteenth century.

Tickets for the Royal Enclosure need to be applied for well in advance and letters should be sent to Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot (currently Jonathan Wetherby).  You’ve missed out if you haven’t got your tickets for Royal Ascot, but there are many other events at Ascot and other racecourses coming up in the near future; knowing how to behave is key, especially at the grander races such as Royal Ascot and Epsom.

Firstly, honour the dress code.  If formal daywear isn’t your thing then some of these events may not be for you.  Cheltenham (which has been and gone for 2017) is perhaps the least dressy race in the social calendar.

Within Royal Ascot there are varying dress codes subject to the different enclosures: there’s the Royal enclosure, Queen Anne, Village and Windsor enclosures.  (As a side note, never try to sneak into an enclosure that you haven’t booked.  Know your place!)

Royal Ascot has tightened up dress regulations in recent years, especially for the top enclosure: the Royal enclosure.

Here, gentlemen are asked to wear morning dress: the most formal daytime dress code and ladies wear smart dresses with often creative and outlandish hats – although something a bit more timeless and practical is best advised.

Fashions and trends change each year but dress colours that always work well for the races are pastels, bright colours, neutrals such as cream and fawn.  As for materials, linen creases easily and for an event where you may be sitting to enjoy a picnic, this is not a good idea.  Lightweight wool and silks are preferable.  Skirts that ride up when you sit down are not, however.

Umbrellas may be a nuisance but are worth it if it begins to rain.  They can be left in a cloakroom if needs be: parasols are naff – remember, My Fair Lady was a Hollywood film.

Hats should be on straight and should be sensible: too much veiling and you won’t be able to drink or eat.  If the brim is too low then you may not be able to see, so it is important to make sure you are wearing a sensible and comfortable hat, which should on no costs be removed, as your hair will look messy.  When purchasing or choosing your outfit, do remember that you could be in it for up to seven hours.  Shoes (if new) should be worn-in before the event as to avoid blisters.  Avoid stilettos.

Whether you are enjoying corporate hospitality or have brought your own catering, remember not to overindulge in the alcohol.  Less is very much more.  Ascot still has a sense of decorum, even if other racing events in the social calendar have a different reputation.  Don’t let the side down.

When attending any racing event remember to take more than a passing interest in the racing itself.  Don’t just attend for the social aspect – many also in attendance are hardened racegoers or horse owners and won’t take kindly to seeing your back turned to the racecourse whilst the sport is happening.   Place a bet or two and enjoy the main reason the event is happening, but don’t then try to haggle with the bookmakers over your winnings, losses and pay-offs.

If stuck for conversation with a racey-type – ask them what ‘the going’ is today and watch them silently squeal with joy that you are taking an interest.

Finally, remember where you are.  As with the moratorium on drinking to excess, a more restrained  type of cheer and applause is what is needed at the appropriate times: it’s not a football match.

 
 

How to host the perfect BBQ this Father’s Day

In this blog post Nicky Roeber, the Online Horticultural Expert at Wyevale Garden Centres, shares his top tips for hosting the perfect Father’s Day barbecue.

If the great British weather holds up, dads up and down the country will be lighting up the barbecue and hosting their very own Father’s Day feasts. If you want the festivities to go as smoothly as possible — and avoid cremating the sausages or giving your guests food poisoning while you’re at it — then read on to find out how to host the perfect barbeque this Father’s Day.

Make sure you’ve got the right kit

First things first: you need the right kit if you really want to treat your guests to a delicious meal.

Let’s start with the barbecue itself. While they offer instant heat, gas barbecues don’t impart your food with any of the smoky flavour that defines barbecued food. In terms of flavour, you might as well be cooking your burgers in the oven. So, if you’re after authentic flavour, go for a charcoal barbecue every time — one of The Telegraph’s pick of the best is sure to serve you well.

What many budding chefs don’t realise is that the type of charcoal you use can have a big impact on the flavour of your food. The best outdoor chefs treat charcoal the same as they treat herbs and spices, as they do the same thing — give your food flavour. Corenlius Veakins of outdoorbbqchef.co.uk recommends lump charcoal over briquettes for better control and a smoky flavour. Stock up on yours in advance so you don’t have to settle for whatever the local supermarket has in on the day.

Putting together the perfect BBQ menu

Burgers, sausages, and chicken skewers are barbecue classics, but there’s so much more you can do with a good outdoor grill. Fish, ribs, and lamb all taste extra special when grilled or smoked, while vegetables also go great on the barbeque and will ensure your guests get at least a somewhat balanced meal.

Take a look at BBC Good Food’s and Jamie Oliver’s collection of barbecue recipes for inspiration, and don’t be afraid to experiment a bit — although, include the classics on your menu as well to keep everyone happy.

Setting up your garden for the feast

In the build up to the big day, it’s a good idea to get your garden ready to serve as a kitchen.

First, be careful where you place your barbecue. Avoid putting it on your grass, as any coals that fall out will scorch it, causing permanent damage.

Make sure to clear a space between the barbecue and your seating area to prevent any mishaps when your guests take their food back to their seat. Also, if there’s going to be kids about, make sure to set up a separate area for them play in that’s well away from the grill to help keep them safe.

It’s also a good idea to get your garden looking the part. Make sure your potted plants are getting plenty of show by arranging them in full view from your seating area. Your bedding plants should be in full bloom in June, so they’ll make a great display. If you really want to add some colour and vibrancy to the day, you might even want to pick up some new pot plants or hanging baskets for an explosion of colour.

So, there you have it: everything you need to know to host the perfect barbeque on Father’s Day. Stick to these tips and you’re sure to serve up some delicious dishes that will have your guests wishing it was Father’s Day every day. Bon Appétit!

 
 

As seen in – House Beautiful, March 2017

 
 

AS SEEN IN – Period Ideas, March 2017

Get a great nights sleep with our super soft and stylish Meadow bed linen, as featured in Period Ideas, March 2017.

 
 

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