Now, I don’t like to brag but I’ve made a wreath or two in my time… Okay, I’ve made two, but they were both pretty damn brilliant, because I had expert guidance and all the props and foliage prepared for me and ready to hand. This, I reckon, is the key to successful wreath-making, and so it was about a month ago when I joined a wreath-making Sunday afternoon tea hosted by florist Helen James at The Ivy Harrogate.
This was both a lush and a tasty affair with around 20 participants gathered eagerly at tables for two towards the back of the lovely Ivy Harrogate restaurant to watch Helen – who has a shop on Station Parade and created an absolutely wonderful floristry bower door decoration for The Ivy during the recent Harrogate Autumn Flower Show – talk us through the process with an accompanying demo.
I went along with my friend Jenni (who, as usual, turned out to be far more proficient and efficient than me at making stuff). Each table was provided with a sheath of beautiful flowers and foliage, scissors, ribbon and a plastic wreath maker filled with wet oasis (I think that’s what it’s called – that green, hard but mushy stuff that you stick flowers into). We were also provided with plenty prosecco – always a bonus.
I was late to finish, but I was pretty pleased with the results, which of course we could take home, along with the scissors! After we’d finished the making, we went out into the gorgeous garden while Ivy staff prepared our afternoon tea. This was totally delicious – see below for details of similar ones served at The Ivy.
The next day saw me at the opening of The Ivy in Leeds, joining folks from Emmerdale and TV local news and, huge excitement, Gabby Logan and her mum Christine, for a wonderful launch party. Much prosecco again, I fear, but the new restaurant, which is on Vicar Lane at the bottom end of the Victoria Quarter, is breath-taking, and gave me plenty ideas for home décor. Check out the loos!
A few days later, I was back there for a bloggers’ breakfast, which was when I took most of these photos. Much as I love doing lunch at The Ivy, I think for the Leeds one, it’s breakfast all the way for me now. Then lunch at the Harrogate Ivy (especially if my parents are visiting and helping to pay).
I’ll try to go next month to The Ivy St Helen’s Square in York which is supporting The Royal British Legion’s North & East Yorkshire branch and helping raise awareness for the organisation. From Tuesday, November 6, to Wednesday, November 14, there will be an installation outside the restaurant featuring more than 2,000 poppies, and inside there will be a special Poppy Afternoon Tea during these dates.
The Ivy St Helen’s Square’s afternoon tea (£18.95, served daily from 3pm – 5pm) includes warm fruited scones with Dorset clotted cream and strawberry preserve, chocolate and salted caramel mousse and Crème brûlée doughnut – and will also include The Ivy Poppy Pot. Savoury bites include truffled chicken brioche roll, marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwiches, smoked salmon on dark rye style bread with cream cheese and chives. There’s also a Champagne afternoon tea from £26.50.
Check out www.theivyyork.com for info and booking.