Big Castle for mini inspiration!

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

13 August 2014

Castle 1

At the weekend I visited the gorgeous Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, and picked up lots of dolls’ house inspiration! Set in the most beautiful grounds, and with a lake, moat, flower gardens, mazes, hedges and an exhibition of dolls’ houses, there is certainly a lot to take in, and inspiration for miniatures is left, right and centre.

A tour round the castle itself provides endless inspiration for Tudor houses, with intricate furniture and furnishings everywhere you look. Plus, with love letters between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII for viewing, it certainly does make the imagination wander. Plus, there are more modern additions from the various residents over the year, all beautifully preserved.

Castle 4

Walking around the grounds provided perhaps even more inspiration, as I started planning how to capture the essence of the Italian garden in miniature, and wonder which colours would be best to recreate the stunning rose garden. On top of that the topiary was something to behold! (note to self… find a miniaturist who creates tiny mazes!)

Castle 2

Plus there is a special treat to visitors on weekends in August, with live jousting tournaments! I offered my husband a handkerchief as a token if he’d joust for my heart… I don't think the lure was strong enough, though as he remained firmly on two feet. Still, maybe that was safest, as I didn’t want to lose my photographer for the day! (Plus, I’m quite fond of him…)

Castle 3

As for the dolls’ house exhibition, tucked away behind the gift shop – the houses were incredible! Featuring miniatures depicting all different eras, for me the pièce de résistance was the 1:12 scale model of Hever Castle itself, as created by John Hodgson. Each room shows different scenes, ranging from Medieval to Victorian times. Don’t all rush at once… actually, do!

www.hevercastle.co.uk, 01732 865224

Hever Castle, Hever, Nr Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG

Photographs: Stuart Holloway

 

Miniature bake off

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

7 August 2014

Bake Off (2)

(photograph: www.bbc.co.uk)

We all get rather excited each year when the BBC's Great British Bake Off rolls around - and this year it literally kicked off with a roll (a Swiss roll...)

We got particularly excited with the showstopper challenge last night as the challenge was to bake miniature cakes! Now they weren't exactly our kind of miniature (they were a far cry from 1:12 scale!) but it got our miniature senses tingling nonetheless!

So we thought we'd share with you some of our favourite miniature cakes and bakeries for a touch of inspiration to see us through until next week.

Mini Swiss Roll

This swiss roll would certainly have got full marks in the first challenge - it's from Paris Miniatures on Etsy.

Mini Cakes

As far as miniature cakes are concerned, how is this for a showstopper then? Found on miniloves.tumblr.com

Cake Shop Display

We rather love this mini cake shop display too! From miniaturepatisseriechef.blogspot.co

And how about the below cupcake caravan? Read the feature about hte miniature collection in the September issue of the Dolls' House magazine - it's on sale now!

Cupcake Caravan

What about you? We would love to see the miniature cakes you're creating! Email your pictures and letters to Katie.Holloway@thegmcgroup.com

Happy baking!