ITV, Claire from Steps & a cocktail or two

Sometimes an opportunity presents itself and your initial reaction is either:-

a) this is someone having a joke with me

b) too scary, too ridiculous and if it goes wrong…

c) that would be a great experience and I’ll go for it

d) what should I wear?

I went though all of the above within 5 minutes of taking a phone call from Erin, a researcher working for ITV.  She was working on Country House Sunday, a series shown over several weeks, showcasing Britain’s most beautiful stately homes and showing off some stunning properties across the regions.  The main presenter was Lynda Bellingham and her and her team of presenters explored local countryside, small businesses thriving within each region with an emphasis on antiques and food.

They were looking to film in Derbyshire and wanted to showcase a business who offered a vintage pop up tearoom and was a dab hand at afternoon tea.  Which is why they got in touch with Darby & Joan.  I was so so flattered that they asked us, but so so worried!

After recovering from the a), b), c) and planning d)  what followed was five weeks of constant emails, phone calls and planning.  Erin and I hit it off and she felt confident to leave the venue search and planning the day to me.  We are the preferred suppler to several venues across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and have a great relationship with the owners and managers of the properties.  I wanted to choose somewhere that I loved to work at, had something to offer, fit with the brief from ITV and was a beautiful building set in an area with history and interest.

I chose Portland House which was built in 1870, situated in Matlock Bath and had been restored to it’s former glory (and then some) by the owners, Juliet and Martin.  Juliet’s response was yes before I had even finished explaining what was going on!  It really is a gem of a property and is perfect for a special weekend away in Derbyshire.

We invited 25 ladies who lunch along with a couple of male guests who were more than happy to spend the day eating cakes and chatting with ladies.

Emma Cleveley was our photographer for the day and Kerry from Tineke provided the beautiful flowers.  Claire Richards was hosting the show and we really had a giggle during the day.  I got in touch with Richard from The Bespoke Bartender and invited him along because the house has the most amazing bar which was crying out for some handsome bartenders to make some cocktails.    A couple of my closest girlfriends  and my mum came for moral support and to help with the running of the day.

We set up the dining room as we usually would for a hen party or birthday celebration and prepared a lovely afternoon tea.  The film crew were given a tour of the property and whilst this was happening I was interviewed by Claire about our business and what we do.

Lets just say it was a crazy crazy couple of days, ridiculously good fun and I am really happy and proud that we did it.

The programme was shown in the summer and there were some of my priceless quotes and stories that were shown that I will never live down (!) but I would do it again tomorrow.

Perhaps most importantly, my dress was a from the 1950’s and was made to fit me like a glove by the girls at Timeless Couture and was just perfect for the occasion.

Portland House Cocktail Bar


Portland House hen party pop up tearoom


Portland House preparing afternoon tea pop up tearoom


Being filmed for ITV at Portland House pop up vintage tea room


Portland House cocktail bar being filmed for ITV


Being filmed for ITV at Portland House


Berry Eton Mess at Portland House

Filming for ITV with Claire Richards at Portland House


10:18 10 November 2013

10 Things every Garden Party needs!

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Vintage Garden Party Ideas & Inspiration

Hello lovelies and HELLO SUMMER!

Fingers crossed for some sun this year so we can get out in the garden and enjoy some alfresco entertaining. This post is a round up of everything you need to create your perfect Summer Garden Party!

Mirlah x


Of course! The perfect summer tipple to enjoy with friends. Make up a large pitcher with fruit and mint and, oh what time do you call that? …Pimms O’clock! Enjoy!

On a extra hot day why not make Pimms Ice Lollies? Refreshingly fruity, a little bit cheeky and definitely on my to do list!

Perfect Pimms!

Mix 1 part PIMM’S
with 3 parts chilled lemonade;
add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberries!

Serve in… you guessed it! A jam jar with a stripey straw and sip away!

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Pimms

Image Credits: UKtv / Style Me Pretty / Not on the High Street

Pimms Bike / Carly Bevan/ Vicky Trainor via Pocketful of Dreams / One Sydney Road

2. Strawberries & Sandwiches

Nothing says summer more than fresh strawberries and there are so many ways to use them! Serve them with cream, make some jam, decorate a naked victoria sponge or, for the green fingered amongst us, eat straight from the garden! Serve alongside finger sandwiches such as traditional cucumber or salmon and cream cheese for the perfect summer snack.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Strawberries and Sandwiches

Image Credits: The Vintage Kitchen/ Tie the Knot on the High Street / One Sydney Road

DelishLove Food / Darby & Joan via Fabulous Places / Rock My Wedding

3. Beautiful Blooms

Where would a Garden Party be without some gorgeous flowers to put a smile on everyone’s face! Opt for a mix of wild flowers and roses in jars and vintage teacups for a subtle but pretty look.  If you’ve got some fizz on ice, why not try adding some floral fun to the ice cubes? Tip. Boil the water first it will stop the ice cubes freezing cloudy so you can see the petals more clearly.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Fresh Flowers

Image Credits: Six Different Ways / Honey Bee / Martha Stewart Weddings

PinterestCarly Bevan / Gypsy Purple Home / unknown / Pinterest

4. Music & Games

Every party needs a few games, and if you’ve got the space, giant versions of the classics are really popular right now. If you’re feeling crafty you can easily make a carnival style games like ‘Ring Toss’ and ‘Tin Can’ by recycling old  jars and bottles and jazzing them up with a little paint or ribbon.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Music and Lawn Games

Image Credits: That cute little cake / Pinterest / Blog Home Sense

Indulgy / House Beautiful / Revel Blog / Rachel Hudson

5. Comfy Areas

On a gorgeous summers day you’ll no doubt want to sit, chill and enjoy the sunshine. Create an area where you can do just that with patterned deck chairs and cushions. If the sun is particularly strong why not create a little shady hideout? Not just for the kids but a cool, comfortable place to grab a little shade in style.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Deck chairs and dens

Image Credits: Rock My Wedding /Whimsical Wonderland WeddingsStyle Me Pretty 

Pretty Shabby / Vintage Rose Garden Your Amazing PlacesPinterest

6. Bunting & Garlands

Did you ever doubt it? Bunting, the number one way to transform any space and perfect for the garden! String above the table or attach to the fence for instant effect! For added pretty, why not hang ribbons or paper pom pom from trees or even get crafty and make paper chains with colourful paper.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Bunting and Garlands

Image Credits: Style Me Pretty/ Red Book Mag Little Emma English Home

Etsy: Bunting Boutique / The Fab GuideStyle Me Pretty Living

7. Pretty Tables

You might be sat around your table for some time so it would be rude not to make your table pretty! Dress it with gorgeous vintage linens and lace table cloths and layer it up with pastel coloured doilies to add texture .

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Vintage Table cloths and doilies

Image Credits: Vintage Home Wedding Chicks

 Etsy / Pinterest / unknown

8. Vintage China

Serve your sandwiches and sweat treats on beautiful mismatched vintage or cake stands for the perfect vintage look. Add interest to the table by layering up different patterned plates and teacups.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Vintage China

Image Credits: Wonder Bliss / In the Tree House / The Orchard / Claire Owen Illustration

Etsy: Sweet Deja Vu / Babble Elizabeth Anne Designs/ DIY Darby & Joan

9. Mood lighting

Those warm summer evenings don’t happen that often so make the most of them and continue the party even when the sun goes down. Tea lights in jam jars, fairy lights round trees and up-cycled tin cans create a magical feel. Opt for citronella candles to keep the bugs away and enjoy your evening.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Fairy lights and candles

Image Credits: Style Me Pretty / Martha Stewart / Domestic Doozie

Tumblr / Your cozy Home  / DIY Darby & Joan

10. Keeping Cosy

Keep the chills at bay with blankets or pashminas to wrap up in if it’s cooler at night. Why not start a campfire or light a chiminea for extra warmth. Roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate in pretty teacups will round the night off perfectly before bed.

10 Things every Summer Garden Party Needs | Campfires and snuggles

Image Credits: Style Me Pretty / Pinterest / unknown

Fancy Pinterest /  Style Me Pretty Living / Crimson Chickadee Photography

So there you have it, 10 things to have at your perfect Summer Garden Party, all that’s left to add are some friends, family and laughter! As always we’d love to hear from you, what would you add to your party, share your ideas and garden party pictures with us we’d love to see.

8:02 10 July 2013

Here’s one I made earlier…

A little round-up of the craft ideas we worked on with Chloe from Adore Chloe and Becky from Butterworth Photography.

We spent a couple of afternoons with a glue gun, vintage china, glittery bits and bobs, with a lot of tea and laughs along the way.

The first idea was featured in Unique Bride Magazine.  To see a step-by-step instruction on how to make your own vintage cake stand click here – Adore Chloe

Darby & Joan hire vintage china, vintage props and offer an event planning, set up and styling service. Perfect for your wedding, party or any event where a touch of vintage glamour is required. Covering the Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinhamshire, Leicestershire and beyond. Darby & Joan hire vintage china, vintage props and offer an event planning, set up and styling service. Perfect for your wedding, afternoon tea hen party, garden party or any event where a touch of vintage glamour is required. Covering the Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinhamshire, Leicestershire and beyond. Darby & Joan hire vintage china, vintage props and offer an event planning, set up and styling service. Perfect for your wedding, party or any event where a touch of vintage glamour is required. Covering the Midlands, Derbyshire, Nottinhamshire, Leicestershire and beyond.

Next, we have a guide to making your own teacup clock – bear with me on this as it was so much fun that Rock n Roll Bride featured it too – click here Adore Chloe  or here Rock N Roll Bride  to see the cocktail version…

Finally glittery cake toppers – don’t say I don’t look treat you! click right here Adore Chloe .




16:46 2 December 2012

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