Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows are often the highlight of the summer. Due to the beauty of the Chelsea Flower Show, Harlow Carr or the Wisley Flower Show, it is always exciting to see the latest gardens. The RHS by Kettler garden furniture range has designs to fit into any award-winning garden. It is the little intricacies that make this range so special. Here are the finer details in the RHS by Kettler range:
We know how hard it can be in our hectic modern world to stop, savour the little things, and the people who go with them! Experts have told us for years that in a go-go-go culture we risk missing out on the small moments today that become big memories tomorrow.
With longer, lazier summer days approaching, we thought it was the perfect moment to celebrate the best of times. Kettler is giving you the chance to win our Caleta Corner Set worth £1,799, by sharing your best of times.
Keeping it in the family
Fresh bed sheets, tea first thing in the morning, something simmering in the slow cooker or a hot towel on the radiator as you get out the shower – the tiny ways our nearest and dearest say ‘I love you’ often don’t need any words at all.
A little help from my friends
It’s true that our friends are the family we choose – those wonderful, reliable people that help you move house or suffer in solidarity with you the day after your stag do. They’re a shoulder to cry on, a friendly face to sip glasses of wine with at the end of a long day, and the people we know will be there to share life’s big moments.
The friends we haven’t met yet
Baristas, supermarket assistants, bus drivers, mechanics, people on the street – a smile and a hello could make their day (or yours) that little bit better. Who doesn’t love it when the bus driver spots your mad dash to the stop and graciously waits for you, or when the barista gives you a size up on your coffee because you look a little sleepy?
All you need to do is share your best of times with us, and remember, it’s the little things that mean the most. There are a few other entry options for you to choose to get bonus entries. Good luck!
We’ll take your best of times and add them to our 100 little things page to celebrate – maybe you’ll spot something you’d love to do, too. We’ll be updating it regularly so make sure you check back to see if you’re featured.
As the days get longer and warmer, we can’t wait to savour the small things, knowing that they really do lead to the best of times. Why not check out our Indoors Outdoors ideas? From garden-fresh gin cocktails to toasting tasty treats in your very own fire pit, or stringing up the fairy lights for a garden party to remember – there’s something for every green space, and the best of times therein.
For the Suckling Pig:
1.8Kg Suckling Pig
3 Kg Rock Salt
For the BBQ Sauce:
15g Groundnut or grapeseed oil
3 Cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 Banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
¼ tsp Ground ginger
¼ tsp Powdered allspice
¼ tsp Mustard powder
¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
¼ tsp Smoked paprika
210g Tomato passata
100g Cider vinegar
120g Demerara sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Golden syrup
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black pepper
Dry the skin of the pig. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin in a cross hatch direction. Using the salt, massage the skin of the pig ensuring that it is covered in salt.
Place some of the salt on the bottom of a large container. Place the pig on top and sprinkle the remainder of the salt on top to cover. Allow to stand for 2 hours.
After the time has elapsed, remove the pig from the salt and scrub off the excess salt. Dry the skin with kitchen towels and place in the fridge overnight.
Set up the bbq by filling the tray with charcoal and igniting it. In the meantime, rub vegetable oil on the surface of the pig. Place the pig on the middle setting of the rotisserie function and allow to rotate for 1 hour.
Move the rotisserie to its highest setting and continue to rotate for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours while topping up the charcoal as necessary, making sure the heat is evenly distributed.
For the BBQ sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sweat until soft (approximately 7 minutes).
Put in the dry spices, and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring to incorporate them. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 20 minutes.
Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender and blitz for 30 seconds until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and allow to cool. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
Lower the pig on the rotisserie back to the middle setting for the last 30 min of cooking.
Mix with BBQ sauce and serve the pulled pork slider in the Brioche buns.
Some of our most treasured moments often take place in the garden. Whatever your age, outdoor spaces are perfect for having fun and relaxing in, so it’s no surprise that they leave a lasting impression.
We’ve pulled together some of our favourite nostalgic garden moments for you to reminisce about. Who knows, you might even fancy reliving them this summer!
Fun and games in the sun
There was a time when a tap on the shoulder and a shout of ‘Tag!’ was all it took to get everyone excited. The thrill of being chased by your friends through freshly-cut grass was a memory that lasted for years to come.
Once you were exhausted from all the running, you’d play a game of hide-and-seek to give yourselves a breather. Whether it was in the bushes, behind the bench or squeezed into an impossibly small space; the garden was full of great hiding spots – even if you had to risk scratches and stained clothes to be out of sight. And you never, ever forget your favourite hiding place.
The family kick-about
The second a ball was out, things usually got competitive. Football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or some strange mix of the lot; the rules didn’t matter but the scores certainly did. Even your grandparents produced unbelievable shots when it came down to the wire.
While you might not remember who won, the warm memories of playing your favourite games with your favourite people never leave you.
When you think of the garden, you probably picture it on a bright, sunny day. The flowers are in full bloom and you can almost taste the fresh fruit, homegrown veg and herbs picked from the patch by the fence.
The sweetness of the strawberries you helped your grandparents cultivate contrasted with the tartness of the gooseberries from the overgrown bush out back. Eaten on their own or dipped in sugar and cream, the flavour still takes you back to those childhood days if you close your eyes.
On a hot summer’s day, nothing could beat an inflatable pool filled with cool water from the garden hose. Despite the water rarely coming past your knees, this always provided endless fun.
Whether you were splashing around, playing games or filling your water gun with liquid ammo for an assault on unsuspecting victims, it didn’t matter if everyone ended up soaking wet when you could lie back and dry off in the sun.
You were the king of the castle. High above everyone else, at the top of your climbing frame, you could survey the garden then make a quick escape from any invading parents via the slide. Or, with a single push of the swing, you’d soar through the air – higher and higher, before jumping off at the highest point.
Then there were the trees you climbed hundreds of times, and the wall that you just had to scale for a peek into the neighbours’ garden. It didn’t matter whether your garden was big or small – it was the experience of being outdoors with family and friends that made it special.
Get the barbie on
With the sun out, the smell of charcoal in the air and everyone over; what’s better for making perfect memories than the humble barbecue? Rustling up the burgers, sausages and kebab skewers was Dad’s time to shine, but the food didn’t need to be fancy as you lay back in the sun.
We here at Kettler take birthdays very seriously. From decorating desks to birthday cards passed around the office, we make a fuss: no exceptions. This week it was Lisa from Transport who celebrated her birthday. As is tradition, she brought in a selection of goodies, including this magnificent, Kettler themed cake.
With some planning and preparation, your garden can be transformed into a magical, social space. There is something special about using your own backyard to celebrate an occasion.
From weddings to birthday parties and intimate dinners with family and friends – it’s the perfect venue to let your creativity run wild.
Preparation is key
Even if you’re the spontaneous type that likes to invite the neighbours over at a minute’s notice, there’s plenty you can do to get your garden guest-ready. Whether it’s removing weeds, cutting grass, or installing a fire pit, creating an action plan will help make your party dreams a reality.
Sprucing up your garden will not only make it look more inviting to your guests but also make it easier to care for in the long run. Once you’ve tidied up, you can start planning the layout of your event. Draw a rough sketch of the space and start visualising where tables, snug retreats and game areas will best fit.
It’s time to call the professionals
If you’re planning a major event, like a wedding reception, talk to a professional landscaper in advance. This way you’ll know when and where to plant your favourite flowers, so they bloom in time for the big day.
If you’re finding it hard to decide on the best layout for your outdoor nuptials, enlist the help of a wedding planner. They’ll be able to estimate how many guests will fit in your garden, and what to do if the weather takes a bad turn.
Enhance your event with outdoor furniture
Organising a large alfresco party? Think about renting tables, chairs, bar, tent and whatever else you might need. Make sure the table is the centrepiece of your party, but don’t forget about setting up a cosy corner using cushions and throws for your guests to lounge in after dinner.
Sofas and benches are perfect if you’re going for a more relaxed party vibe or want to create some separate areas for mingling.
Don’t get caught in the rain
Checking the weather forecast at least a week before the event will help you prepare for rain, hail or shine. If it’s likely to rain, hiring or purchasing a gazebo is a quick and easy solution. They’re available in a range of sizes and prices and can look very chic when fitted out stylishly.
If your occasion is slightly more formal, hiring a marquee might be a good idea. Marquees offer shelter from rain and sun and hire companies also provide furniture, heating and lighting.
Create character with lighting
When the sun finally sets, you’ll need ample lighting for the party to continue outside. Lanterns and fairy lights can instantly add dimension to your garden, in addition to creating an enchanting atmosphere.
You may even want to install permanent outdoor lighting if you’re planning on using certain spaces a lot over the warmer months.
Keep the party going
Even in summer, keeping your guests warm in evenings is something you should consider. Investing in an outdoor heater or fire pit not only encourages your visitors to stay longer but crowding around a fire is also a lovely way to end the night.
Having plenty of blankets on hand is another easy solution, especially if you’re planning on hosting something like an outdoor cinema. All you need for your open-air movie night is somewhere to hang a white sheet, a projector and some comfy seating (think bean bags and lots of cushions). Don’t forget the popcorn, drinks and – of course – the perfect summer flick for a real VIP screening experience.
Adding these personal touches to your garden will help make your event a memorable one. From the food and drink, you serve to the style of your outdoor furniture, organising a classic British garden party is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer months.
Cook Heston’s own Honey and Red Wine Vinegar Rotisserie Leg of Lamb on your Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQ. Serve with charred vegetables for the complete barbeque taste.
For the Lamb:
3g Star anise
4g Fennel seeds
20g Parsley leaves
10g Tarragon leaves
10g Garlic cloves, peeled
3g Fennel pollen
50g Olive oil
1 Boned leg of lamb
For the Garnish:
2 Bulbs of fennel
12 Purple baby carrots
100g Unsalted butter
2 Litres water with 10g salt
For the lamb, toast star anise and fennel seeds in a pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and using a pestle and mortar grind to a fine powder.
In a blender add the parsley & tarragon leaves, garlic cloves, star anise and fennel seed powder, plus the fennel pollen. Blitz on low speed while slowly adding the olive oil. Continue to mix until smooth. Season with salt.
Place the leg of lamb on a chopping board and open so that it is flat against the board. Rub the marinade on all sides of the leg. Place in a container and cover. Place in the fridge for 24 hours.
Remove from the fridge and roll the leg back to form a log. Using butcher’s twine, tie the leg together. Place the rod from the spit through the middle of the leg and fasten using the Cliplock Forks.
Place the charcoal in the tray of the HUB barbeque, following the instructions in the user manual for ignition. Press the ignition button on the front of the barbeque. Place the rod back on the rotisserie poles at height level 3, and press the rotisserie button also on the front of the barbeque.
Continue to add coals throughout the three to four hour cooking time. Baste the leg of lamb with the honey.
Using a thermometer probe as well as an infrared thermometer gun, check that the temperature reaches approximately 60°C on the outside of the meat while reaching 56°C on the core. This will be achieved by moving the charcoal around during the cooking process.
Once the temperature has been reached, remove the leg of lamb from the rotisserie and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest on a cooling rack over a tray for 30 minutes.
During this time the lamb will continue to cook reaching a final temperature of approximately 60°C.
For the Garnish, slice fennel top to bottom about 1cm thick and cut the carrots in half lengthways. Reserve the fennel to be cooked on the barbeque.
For the carrots, place them in a medium pan with butter and cover. Place over medium heat and cook until the carrots are cooked but firmed to the touch.
While the leg of lamb is resting, place the carrots and fennel on the grill of the HUB and cook until charred and cooked. Glaze the carrots with some of the cooking butter.
To serve, place the vegetables on a serving platter and place the slices of the leg of lamb on top.
Got a hankering for pineapples? Those with a sweet tooth will love the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal roasted pineapple sundae drizzled in sticky caramel. Coated with crystallised nuts and served with chocolate ice cream and whipped cream, this truly tasty treat is perfect for your next barbecue.
For the pineapple caramel:
500g white caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
225g apple juice
For the crystallised nuts:
200g white caster sugar
For the caramel sauce:
140g demerara sugar
115g golden syrup
115g double cream
30g unsalted butter
¼ tsp salt
For the pineapple caramel, place a medium pan over low heat. Pour the sugar into the pan and melt while whisking constantly.
When it reaches a dark colour, add the butter, a little at a time, each time letting it melt fully and whisking it vigorously to emulsify. Remove from the heat, add the salt and whisk until fully dissolved.
Add 1/3 of the apple juice and whisk until fully incorporated, repeat with the remaining 2/3 of apple juice. When all the juice is emulsified into the caramel, place back on the heat and bring to a boil.
Allow the caramel to cool completely before covering and reserve until ready to use.
To cook the pineapples, remove the skin from the pineapple and slice a “trench”, about 2cm deep and 3cm wide, diagonally from top to bottom.
Place each pineapple on the roasting rods of your Everdure by Heston Blumenthal and fasten on either side. Turn the rotisserie function on and roast for a couple of hours while brushing with the pineapple caramel regularly.
For the crystallised nuts, pre-heat the oven to 170ºC. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 12 minutes.
In the meantime, put 150g water and the sugar into a small saucepan. Place it over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
When the temperature of the liquid reaches 135ºC, or the syrup is beginning to colour at the edge of the pan, add the pistachios and whisk until the syrup has completely crystallized and coated the nuts.
Pour the coated nuts onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and allow to cool.
For the caramel sauce, place the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Whisk until the sauce reaches 120ºC, then remove the pan from the heat.
To finish, remove the pineapples from the spit and allow to cool slightly. Using a sundae glass, alternate chocolate ice cream and pieces of the roasted pineapples. Finished with whipped cream, sprinkled some of the crystallised nuts and a drizzle of the caramel sauce.
Hitting top speed in a go-kart by pedalling as fast as you can is a thrilling experience for kids. Having mastered that, the next step for young karters is to pit their skills against others in a race. Of course, it’s not just raw power and acceleration that’s required to succeed on the race track. We’ve boiled down some of the best go-karting tips and advice so you can help your little racers become champions.
Preparing for a go-kart race
As the well-known phrase goes, if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail. The first step in helping your child prepare for a race is to make sure their go-kart is set up correctly.
To maximise safety and the chances of winning, you’ll need to check that wheels and brakes are in good condition and all other moving parts are working as they should. It’s equally important to ensure that the seat is positioned correctly. The racer should be in a comfortable position and be able to reach the steering wheel easily. Furthermore, with a pedal go kart, it’s crucial they can extend their legs when pushing the pedals for maximum power.
Steering and braking
Children will quickly learn to direct their go-karts using a steering wheel, even if at first it feels a bit like trial and error. To help them build these skills further, you should encourage them to hold the steering wheel at the ‘quarter to three’ position and help them to steer relatively gently and smoothly.
Applying the brakes may seem counterintuitive for children when the aim of a race is to be the fastest around the track. Once they get the hang of using the brakes to give them a little more control, especially when combined with good steering skills, they’ll be better racers as they will be able to negotiate corners more effectively.
Entering and exiting corners
Races can be won and lost at the corners so showing children how to properly enter and exit corners will help them achieve the best go-karting performance.
Teaching them to enter a corner wide to cut down the amount they need to turn is the first step. As they approach, they can reduce their speed by braking or slowing and even stopping their pedalling, although it’s best to make sure that their feet remain on the pedals. The trickiest part is knowing when to turn and this can take a lot of practice. Generally though, showing them to turn into the corner aiming for the central point is advised.
How they enter a corner is only half the story, being able to exit a corner effectively is an equally valuable skill and preaching the mantra of slow in and fast out can really help them hone this skill.
Having entered the corner and got to the central point, go-kart drivers should aim towards the outside of the track. Once they’re heading in that direction, more steering is required to straighten the wheel as they come out of the bend. At the same time as they start to come out of the corner, it’s time to get those legs pumping again to propel themselves up to full speed once more.
Many children are fearless at this stage in their life when they develop so many skills, so you’ll probably find they pick up the ability to be top drivers incredibly quickly. Although, as winning a race can come down to such fine margins, the more practice they can get the better. And, with these handy tips, maybe you have a future Formula 1 champion on your hands.
It’s never too early to start on the road to pole-position – take a look at our range of pedal-powered go-karts for children aged from 3 up to 10.
With the summer just round the corner people start thinking about what garden furniture their outdoor space needs. If you are thinking of buying mesh chairs we are here to help. Kettler’s 2017 outdoor furniture range is packed with great, stylish mesh chairs.
Let’s start with the Caredo chair. This is a range because of its plain design. You have the straight arm rests and curved back for comfort. The straightforward design makes it a favourite for traditional gardens.
There is something inherently British about sitting outdoors on mesh furniture and enjoying some tea. The Siena chair upholds this patriotic past time with the classic design, featuring the Tudor Rose at the head of the back rest.
Café Roma continues the Italian theme, this time bringing the relaxed feel of a trendy cafe to your garden. The 2 seat bistro set folds up for easy storage and includes a 60cm round table. The Café Roma features a romantic style for couples to relax and dine on a small patio or balcony.
Features of Mesh Chairs
Durable and long-lasting – two of the main characteristics of metal.
Make the most of even a small plot in your garden, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many different (and delicious) veggies you can grow!
Growing your own can save you money, in addition to being good for the planet and satisfying your epicurean appetites. It can also go a long way in encouraging kids to be more adventurous with food – if they grow it, they’re much more likely to eat it.
1. Find a sunny place
Veggies need plenty of sunshine to grow, so start your patch in a spot that gets at least five hours of sun per day. Pick a location that’s away from other plants to reduce the risk of slugs crawling out of bushes and beds to feast on your veg.
Many vegetables, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, need shelter from the wind. They don’t grow well when rocked at their roots, and their leaves may blacken with windburn.
2. Dig deep
Give your patch a thorough digging over, to break up the soil and remove any weeds. Dig down to at least one spade depth, or more, removing as many stones as possible. In terms of weeds, remove any roots and stems to stop them re-growing.
3. Get the soil right
If you have chalky or heavy clay soil, it’s easier to grow veg in raised beds. Fill these with a mix of soil-based compost, topsoil and green waste. If you’re planning on growing in-ground, it’s a good idea to do a pH test with a kit before planting. Soil that’s neutral is best, but you can add sulphur to alkaline and lime to acidic soil to neutralise it if need be.
4. Design your plot
Planning the layout of your veg patch is a good way of ironing out any potential glitches in advance. If you’re thinking of including several beds, plan them in groups to make it easier to rotate veggies around the plot – this helps avoid build-up of pests and diseases.
Add a bit of colour to your plot by including flowers for cutting, such as sunflowers and sweet peas.
5. Give your plants enough space
Plants hate being cramped and are likely to be weak and small if they haven’t got enough space. As a rough guide, leave about 20cm around a row of salad leaves, 35cm around a row of carrots, and 45cm around a row of beans. Courgettes will need 75cm to one metre per plant.
Don’t forget to give your beans something to climb, like a stake or trellis.
Caring for your veg patch
Looking after your plot doesn’t need to take up all your spare time. Familiarise yourself with the how, why and when of veg care, and don’t forget to check on your veggies regularly to see how they’re doing. This way, you’ll notice if your seedlings are thirsty, or if anything is getting eaten by slugs.
The key is in spotting any issues before they get out of hand, and turn into time-consuming tasks. For more handy tips on maintenance, have a look at our garden grooming guide.