Delicious, DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style, Lifestyle, Nature & the Coast

A Country Christmas at Hunter’s


I’m so excited about next months two Inspiration Masterclasses.  The events are a fine opportunity to get in the mood, with friends, for the festive season while gleaning tips and ideas on how to decorate your own home with an emphasis on using Nature & the Garden as your resource.

The afternoon will be filled with creative ideas for decorative detail around your home from myself and this will be followed by a demonstration of creating your own seasonal harvest and tonic drinks with Glenealy based local Courtney Tyler of Hips & Haws Wildcrafts. Courtney will show us how to create our own healthy wildcrafted tonic drinks using foraged wild berries such as elderberries, blackberries and rose hips. She will concentrate on cordials, shrubs, sodas and fruit wines.

The event which is now an annual tradition for many regular attendees, takes place in the cosy, atmospheric surroundings of Ireland’s oldest coaching inn, Hunter’s Hotel, County Wicklow.

My aim is for everyone to leave with a warm glow and full of inspiration for decorating your own home for the festive season and through the Winter until Spring. Ticket price includes Hunter’s renowned homemade afternoon tea (complete with deelish sambos, scones & cake) and a glass of fizz by the fire.

The events take place on Saturday 3rd October & Saturday 10th October

Places are limited so early booking is advisable. You can book on either of the dates here

Niamh Mac Gowan Interior Stylist

Courtney Tyler

DIY, Inspiration, Nature & the Coast

from the seashore

As anyone who has taken a walk with me on the beach will tell you, I can’t resist picking up a good shell. They then end up collecting in a bowl or accumulated in a still life on a cabinet. I was at client’s house yesterday touching up some old gold mirrors and an idea came to me.

So when I got back home, I cleaned up some shells and took out my lush gold paint



simple as



I quite fancy them as salt & pepper receptacles……..


DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Nature & the Coast

A ‘mini’ wreath

As many of you know I love playing with scale and as well as making the biggest wreath EVER from lleylandii, I also made this particular little wreath with rosemary but you can also use buxus or anything else from the garden with small leaves.

These are ideal for backs of chairs, in front of mirrors or hung anywhere around the house.

I started with the wooden rings that are used for embroidery – I bought these in my local haberdashery

I made small bunches using about 3 sprigs and tightly wrapped them with a little elastic band


I attached the bunches gradually, using green garden wire


continue this right around eventually filling the gaps with smaller sprigs

add any colour ribbon to hang it

et voila!



The hedgerows keep giving

Ivy is in flower and I love the shapes!! and the simplicity of colour.

Floral & Gardens, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

The hedgerows keep giving


a little Autumnal posy

I was out foraging in the hedgerows by the beach today. I picked some ivy and rose hips (just a few – left the rest for the birds!). I popped them in one of my trusty Rosemarie Durr vases with one of my dahlias et voila! Here they are on a shelf in my dark and moody bedroom.

Floral & Gardens, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast, Uncategorized

a little Autumnal posy

Delicious, Nature & the Coast

recipe for Sloe Gin

Its that time of the year again….

Here is the recipe for my (in)famous sloe gin!Image

makes 1 bottle

Preparation time: a year or more

450g (1lb) sloes

225-450g (8oz- 1lb) organic caster sugar

580ml (1 pint) gin

2  kilner jars

Wash and prick the sloes all over with a clean needle. Alternatively you can freeze them overnight in order to pierce the skin.

Feed them in to a large sterilised jar (I find Kilner jars are best). Pour the sugar over the sloes – how much depends on how sweet you like your liqueur. Finally add the gin. Seal tightly and give it a shake. Store in a cool dark cupboard. Shake it every other day for the first week and then every week for a couple of months. The sloes stop doing their flavouring after about 3 months so you can then strain and bottle your liqueur. The colour lightens and the flavour improves with age.

It is delicious served neat in a vintage liqueur glass or as a kir with some fizz in a champagne glass.


So get thee to the hedgerows and gather…. for in the Winter months this will keep you warm!