Photography: Alexa Loy Photography
Our First Ever Workshop…
Both as nervous as each other about the task ahead of us, we planned every details and there was no backing out with a full house turning up promptly at 1pm… But really we should not of worried, we really had such a great afternoon!
The plan of action for the day was to introduce ourselves and then for Noeleen to teach everyone some basic skills in how to plant seeds, look after them and then how to prick seedlings out and introduce them to your garden.
We would stop half way through to enjoy a delicious lunch created by the very talented guys at The Illustrated Chef. Once this had be devoured, Noeleen would teach everyone how to create their own display.
Here Noeleen tells us more about the day:
The main reason for running the workshop was to show people how easily flowers can be arranged to great effect with just a little guidance, and to encourage creativity and the perception of flower arranging into something more than just ‘chucking them in a vase’ after you’ve put the rest of the shopping away!
In addition, I wanted to show everyone how easy it really is to grow your own seeds at home, and to encourage people to look in their own gardens for beautiful plants and flowers can look incredible cut and enjoyed in the house.
I wanted to push my personal boundaries and get completely out of my comfort zone by standing up in front of a room of people and speaking about my personal passions for gardening and floral arranging. I hoped that the day would showcase my passion and what my business is about.
The group was very kind to me, and after a stumble with my breathing/ speaking technique (!) I was able to relay some basic information in a fun and constructive way, enough to get people started but not too much to scare them off in the other direction! There were lovely comments at the end and it boosted my belief in my little business no end!
Our lunch provide by The Illustrated Chef was a total treat! We had the choice of artisan bread and a fish board including ceviche of bass and tiger prawns. Chinese roast rare beef and vibrant ratatouille couscous stuffed peppers topped with grilled halloumi. Heritage beetroot, carrot, apple and feta salad with edible flowers and asparagus, egg and hollandaise sauce.
This feast was followed up with mini chocolate brownies with tiramasu cream and white chocolate drops and ginger deconstructed cheesecake. Yum!
Darren, head chef at The Illustrated Chef said of the food:
Here at the Illustrated Chef we want to get the absolute best out of local produce. Based on Offley Hoo Farm our meat does not get fresher than that.
The idea behind the menu was staying safe as most brides and grooms like to do to keep all guests happy , but put our twist on it. For example the edible garden is a nice twist on a boring cruditè board and our beef was traditionally roasted but left in a Chinese marinade for 24 hrs before hand.
We like to excite and surprise people with our food, taste and presentation go hand in hand, along with fresh seasonal produce. A bride has enough to worry about on their special day without having to worry about an overpriced bland menu. We are not trying to educate, just excel on what is already available. All our menus are tailored to the client, their favourites and comforts with a refined twist.
After lunch we went back to work, working on our floral displays to take home… Noeleen added:
The flowers were chosen primarily for season, but also for colour, texture and contrasting shapes.
Scented narcissi, pale pink anemone, bright yellow mimosa, fresh green ruscus foliage, orange ranunculus and hot pink antirrhinum and delicate fritillaria combined to create a punchy, colourful display arranged in a crescent shape above the pot, i.e. weighted with height using the antirrhinum to the right, balanced to the lower left using the mimosa.
And the final result… Well done ladies! Thanks for coming along, hopefully see you at the next one!
A massive thank you to Noeleen at The Basement Florist, Darren at The Illustrated Chef, Alexa from Alexa Loy Photography and Victoria and her team at The Victoria for helping me create a very successful first Mr & Mrs Unique Workshop! Xx