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    Social Distancing Masterclass

    Social Distancing Masterclass

    At the end of March 2020 we watched our country follow in the footsteps of many other countries and went into a national lockdown due to COVID-19. This was a very difficult and scary time for many but also extremely worrying and frustrating for businesses. With all staff on furlough, after a month of working from home purely providing funeral flowers, I decided to get back to work offering fresh flower deliveries in a contact free environment.  Pre Covid-19 our main focus and income was around 80 weekly corporate set up’s plus weddings and events, all of which were no longer required and put on hold so I needed to find other ways of increasing our income to try and cover our huge overheads for a much bigger operation.  I hadn’t worked the shop for a number of years but this is now our main source of income and has taken me right back to basics and back to the beginning where I first started and re-building our local trade.  The government advised that from 6th June, the lockdown rules would be relaxed a little and 6 people were allowed to meet observing the social distancing rules so I came up with the idea of a social distancing masterclass. Within hours of launching we had our first sales and the weekend booked up within 24 hours. From speaking to many people, it was a perfect idea as lots of people needed to get out of their houses to do something creative (other than baking) and either share a special moment with friends or mum or sister or have some much needed ‘me’ time away from their family after spending 24/7 with them!! 

     

    My first class was on Saturday 6th June and I remember it clearly, I was checking the weather forecast all week, ordered the flower and kept my fingers crossed it remained sunny and no rain!  On the morning, thankfully the sun was shining and the forecast good.  I took the benches outside the front of our shop/unit and placed them  5 metres apart,  to ensure every guest felt safe and comfortable about their surroundings, especially as this was likely to be the first time out mixing with others that they had experience for many months. Each bench had hand sanitizer, sellotape machine, twine to tie the bouquet and a pair of scissors. All equipment was wiped down with a bleaching spray to ensure all areas were clean and all I had left to do was to await our guests.

    Our first masterclass guests had arrived, Janice Charter and her friends form Amersham and Kate Day from Northwood, all who attended had never been on a flower course before. I have only taught two classes prior to this, 3 years ago, both were team building corporate classes for The British Museum with Clerkenwell Green and for Portico. I remember the nervous feeling I had just before the classes started and this was still the same for this time round.  My nerves soon disappeared as the group were fantastic and very excited to learn a new skill plus for them this was a breath of fresh air as they had been stuck indoors for many, many days! I started by talking about my journey in flowers and how I became a florist,  then I made a bouquet for them to see how it was done in stages explaining all about the flowers and foliage’s so that they had an understanding about each stem and to why I had selected these flowers. I used large headed Roses, English Stocks, Astilbe, Alchemilla, Lisianthus and the seasonal favourite, Peonies. This was accompanied with beautiful foliage’s, Pistache, hard Ruscus and Pittosporum Ralphii. The combination made a stunning bouquet and the ladies were excited to try and create the same although they didn’t think they could make a bouquet as beautiful as the one I had just made, how wrong they were! I unpicked my bouquet whilst explaining that their bouquets would all be as gorgeous as mine and that I would explain in stages how to make it happen.

    We started to make the bouquet step by step, as the class went on the confidence grew as they were able to see the flowers coming together and by the end of the class all were amazed. They all had made glorious arrangements with perfect spirals allowing the bouquets to stand and give the flowers a lovely domed shape. My first masterclass was almost complete, just to teach how to wrap, add water and then admire their masterpieces.

    After we had all finished,  I showed them around our workshop using the social distancing measures, none of the guests had never been to our shop before and they all seemed amazed with the shop, our big workshop where our contract work happens, our wedding and events section and the huge quantity and variety of different shapes, sizes and colours of vases. My first masterclass could not have gone any better in my eyes and I was now ready to clear and sanitize ready for the next classes booked on this day.

    Since then, we have run many classes over many weekends and we are now catering for requests of group bookings for 6 at a mutually convenient time/day, with a first mid-week class booking coming up soon.  It is such a great thing to be a part of on so many levels for myself and those taking part and even if you don’t think you’re naturally creative or a budding florist, everyone that has attended has different skills but I can guarantee all go away with the most stunning flowers and most importantly huge sense of satisfaction and achievement!  I have a group of male friends who are keen to come along and give it a try to get them in the good books maybe?!  I’m also thinking about some child friendly parent and child classes for the Summer holidays which are now upon us so watch this space!

    If you are looking at taking part in a masterclass, then contact me by filling out the contact form on our website in the contact us section and please add masterclass into the subject. Please give as much detail as possible which will include how many people are wanting to do a class and dates and times and I will do my best to book you in and I look forward to seeing more of you.

     

     

    Corinthia Hotel

    Corinthia Hotel

     

    Rachel
    One of London’s finest hotels, the Corinthia opened in 1885 under the name Hôtel Métropole. Walking through the grand entrance of this historic building, across the lobby and up the stairs into the Lounge, we loved finding ourselves immersed in the very heart of this splendid piece of London’s heritage. This regal oasis, where impeccable elegance prevails and natural light floods in from the glass-domed ceiling, makes it an unrivalled setting for a wedding. The day Rachel, one of our brides, had always dreamt of, began from the moment she took a glimpse at this magnificent backdrop. Her desire was for her guests to step into an enchanted, bloom-filled celebration of love, bursting with covetable details. “More is more!” Our inspiration for the overall floral style of a wedding can come from varied places, it can be the wedding dress luring us in a specific direction or the venue dictating the colour palette. In this case, it most definitely came from the exquisite spaces of the Corinthia. After an initial site visit with the bride and her family, we started to design the first drafts and sketched stylistic arrangements. For Rachel, after a careful understanding of her desires, it was effortless to build a recipe of a floral fairytale brought to life. Petals in a palette of white Vanda Orchids, soft pink O’Hara Roses, Viburnum and Clematis - offset by foliage and Lilacs - set the tone, complemented by sumptuous and tall floral displays.
    The final design included a dressed staircase to the entrance of the Corinthia and a stunning floral archway to the staging area, which was lusciously continued as tabletops, weaving between the heart of the ceremony and the guests. A three-tired plinth display was placed on either side of the stage and the candle-lit aisle added a dream-like element and was very much in harmony with the rich wedding decor. Rachel was blown away by our displays and to this day she tells us that her guests are still talking about her amazing "wedding flowers"
    Charlie
    On recommendation from Rachel’s wedding planner, Charlie reverted to us for a loose, romantic woodland-themed wedding at the Corinthia. For us the word woodland conjures up with fragrant meadows and wild foliage that evoke a primal and organic feel drawing on the riches of Nature. We aimed at creating a bucolic atmosphere centred on an intimate celebrations of love to be shared with family and friends. We brought the outdoors within the gorgeous indoor setting of the Corinthia and designed a dreamy woodland grove to ornate a beautiful Chuppah, with wild English hedgerow, branches, birch, moss and a mixture of soft pinks, white and green florals. Charlie wanted Nature to provide a lovely backdrop for a memorable, one-of-a-kind ceremony, melding authenticity with carefully-crafted accents elevating the stage and the table areas.

    Bridelux

    Bridelux

    Bridelux is the synonym of exquisite, luxurious weddings. Covering London and New York, this
    media brand converges and showcases the very best talents in the wedding industry.
    Bridelux presents a handpicked collection of premium wedding experts, bringing together in some
    of London’s most prestigious venues the latest trends in fashion, jewellery, make-up, flowers,
    honeymoon destinations... all in one location!
    We attended the event for three days, which was a unique opportunity for us to meet people from
    the industry and nurture blossoming networks with world-famous wedding designers such as Alan
    Berg, Colin Cowie, Johnny Roxburgh, to name only a few!
    Hannah Routledge, a renowned London-based wedding planner who we had worked with on
    several weddings and events, approached us to be part of Bridelux and of course this opportunity
    was music to our ears.
    We are proud to say we had the opportunity to create floral displays for the opening night at the
    stunning Hotel Café Royal, located in Piccadilly Circus, and Carlton House Terrace, in St. James’s.
    We let ourselves be inspired by those stunning backdrops and, after visiting the venues, we laid
    down the first sketches and developed a concept that could blend in gracefully into those
    magnificent spaces.
    At Hotel Café Royal, we designed a grand table arrangement for the main lobby; a gorgeous
    rhapsody of flowers that filled the room with bright colours and vibrant shapes.
    We then arranged an immaculately detailed entrance display with birch trees and candlelight that
    seamlessly integrated with the architecture and instilled a soft vibe to the whole area.
    Some venues are beautiful in themselves and if you add too much, the risk is to overpower the
    atmosphere with unnecessary elements. The ballroom at Hotel Café Royal is very opulent, so we
    developed an unobtrusive floral design that harmoniously added to the materials, decorative
    features and colour palettes. White Hydrangeas served the purpose perfectly with their graceful
    appeal that softly weaved in with the outside terrace dressed with lanterns, trees and foliage
    garlands. Here we drew on the wonderful ambiance
    of a natural and yet sophisticated setting to
    create a magical and enchanted atmosphere.
    At Carlton House Terrace we were inspired to dress the staircase in a complementary and
    contrasting scheme. The soothing, soft tones of white roses and Hydrangeas worked well with the
    dark-coloured staircase. White and beige tones assumed golden warm hues in the candlelight,
    allowing the stunning magnificence of the staircase to shine through even more.
    At Carlton House Terrace, each room has its own character and design and we aimed at
    emphasising and translating their stylistic individuality into our floral designs, without taking away
    from the intrinsic beauty of their architecture. We tailored each design to match each room – soft
    pinks and gold for the main room, blues and oranges for the gallery to match with the paintings and
    blue white and pink wild garden displays in the main speakers’ room.

    The British Museum

    The British Museum

    The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and houses over seven million artefacts relating to human history and culture. One of our most favourite venues to work at, it boasts an amazing selection of different-themed lobbies for opulent events. We have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity of working on several floral arrangements at The British Museum, from the entrance for a new gallery styled in a tropical/botanical theme, to the Museum’s trustees’ receptions and dinners, and the opening for the brand new Japan Gallery. At LoveFlowers we approach design from a broad perspective and breadth of experience based on the observation of Nature, fashion, history, food... this combined knowledge galvanises us to create floral expressions that engage the senses with beauty. The Rodin Corporate Partners Reception echoed our holistic approach; a beautiful ancient Greece-inspired event with a 40ft walkway culminating with two magnificent plinths; lovely olive tree displays instilled a welcoming Mediterranean summer calmness to the whole hall. The poetic contrast of billowing summer flowers and foliage against strong architecture was an essential element to bring a fresh Grecian look to the room, with a delicate use of white Hydrangeas and Astilbe mixed with soft pink Roses, Lavender and Blue Nigella. Our installation worked in partnership with the historical, artistic and architectural features of the venue. Our floral designs gracefully weaved into a past era and complemented modern taste with emotional connections. As a result, this attention to Grecian aesthetics added charm and cohesion to the final outcome.

    Christmas

    Christmas

    From the white buds in spring to the brilliant red and oranges of falling leaves, every season is visually striking to us. But in the busy weeks leading up to the festive season, when the days get shorter and shorter and the skies turn into a clear, chilly and crisp blue, our floral designs shine bright with the magic of Christmas. Every year in the build-up to Christmas, we dedicate weeks of planning, designing, sketching, assembling, polishing, arranging to get our clients’ venues ready for Christmas, and we are always excited and delighted to bring creative and shimmering floral ideas to grace any type of space for this joyful season. With a range of bespoke solutions we can create something truly wonderful that’s tailored to suit any space, from an intimate room to grand reception halls. Everything that our in-house team of designers and craftsmen create is truly unique and designed to exceed our clients’ expectations for a guaranteed wow factor. At The Alphabeta Building, located in the heart of the City in Finsbury Square, we have been arranging floral displays over the last few years and we are particularly proud and fond of a Christmas arrangement we have recently developed there. This majestic building opens up on a grand and modern reception space that was dressed with a white and gold-themed snowy park scene. Strategically placed lanterns would cast soft golden hues on the birch trees and the park benches covered in snow.
    We loved creating this winter wonderland inside one of the most renowned office spaces in London and the outstanding narnia-esque result got an incredible feedback from the client.