Tag Archives: magic

Peeking into the Secret Garden

Rock & Roam Launch Dinner (76 of 280)

Image courtesy of Rock & Roam

Indulge me for a moment, dear Reader.  Picture a beautiful sunset falling into the water at the end of the jetty, wild ponies grazing in the distance, a winding pathway lit with candles and lanterns.  We are met by a lady who hands us a small key.  A key that will lead us into the Secret Garden.

Jerry and I have had some wonderful invitations to events in the past but when Emma Forsyth of Rock & Roam, a new style social club for New Forest residents and weekenders, invited us to her launch party at Gins Barn, near Beaulieu (one of New Forest Escapes’ luxury lets) I jumped at the chance to attend.

A Secret Garden supper crafted by Emma’s team and the fair hands of critically acclaimed London chefs and designers, Edible Stories – just the sound of it was enough to take me back to reading Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic for the first time as a little girl.

Image courtesy of Rock & Roam

Image courtesy of Rock & Roam

What a garden it was too, dear Reader.  With such a stunning venue styled with flowers tumbling from the rafters, branches and leaves strewn across tables, candlelight, superb theatre created with sumptuous course after course and even a singing canary in the corner too, the story of little Mary Lennox and the magic of the Secret Garden unfolded.

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From Mary’s days of the Raj with a taste of India served in tiffins, followed by a Bitter Mary to depict orphan Mary, sour and rude, leaving her home to come to England….

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to the loneliness Mary experiences at Lord Craven’s Misselthwaite Manor where she meets a robin, as she explores the grounds, who will lead her to an overgrown doorway

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to reveal the untouched beauty of the deserted garden behind the walls as Mary turns the key

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and the final joy of making the garden bloom with her own hands, bringing her uncle and cousin together again.

Rock & Roam Launch Dinner (47 of 280)

Image courtesy of Rock & Roam

I’m still hoping that every supper I go to is as beautiful as this was.  Judging by the oohs and aahs in the room coming from Emma’s other guests, I imagine that I am not the only one!  Truly a magical evening – a feast for all the senses.  Wonder if the team from Edible Stories would like to set up camp in my kitchen, dear Reader?

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Rock & Roam’s aim is to host pop up events, tastings and experiences that are imaginative, informative, fun and unique so that members and their guests can enjoy the best of New Forest with like-minded locals.  From beekeeping to field photography, gin masterclasses or wild sea swimming, Emma works with a varied team of specialists to put together a calendar full of workshops throughout the year too.  To be honest, dear Reader, if Rock & Roam’s Secret Garden launch supper is anything to go by, then the club’s members are in for a real treat.  This is one for the black book list of Margot loves.

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Channeling magic

Michaelmas Daisy Fairy – Cicely Mary Barker

The first glimpse of autumn in our little corner of suburbia always heralds frantic birthday preparations.  Dearest Primrose turns 4 next week and my stress levels have reached a dangerous peak with thoughts of birthday teas and cakes which the usual number of G&Ts cannot shift.  Clearly my past ‘form’ was also on Primrose’s mind this morning as she uttered “Mummy, don’t you think you should practise making the cupcakes before next week?  You know what happened last time.”  Clearly my histrionics, burnt cupcakes and pavement thick icing had not gone unnoticed last year…..

Inspired by the beautiful stories and illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker (and by Primrose’s burning desire to meet/be/fly like a real fairy), I decided in a moment of madness to give Primrose’s birthday party a Flower Fairy/Woodland theme.  My penchant for themed parties has driven poor Jerry to breaking point on many occasions.  He shudders at the memory of creating realistic ‘teak decking’ on last year’s Pirate ship cake with Mikado biscuits and chocolate fingers at 3am the day before the party.

It has to be said that cakes just aren’t my forte.  I have dreamed of nothing but bloody ‘toadstool’ cakes for the last few nights and have broken out in a cold sweat every time someone mentions Primrose’s birthday.  I can’t help but think “What would ‘country’ Margot do?”  She certainly wouldn’t have the Hummingbird Bakery on standby.

Here is the first attempt….. It would seem that I am going to need to harness the magic of several fairies if baking perfection is to be achieved.

Oh well, if all else fails, perhaps I could just serve up my newly made Cherry Gin and let the children play ‘Sleeping Lions’?!