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Discover the hidden delights of Wiltshire. 

Our members represent a rich community of independent local businesses providing quality and unique products and experiences.

Find local artisan food & drink, original products, art, local shops, events, local accommodation & experiences.

  • Sticks & Stones

    Sticks and Stones is a stylish, lifestyle shop wrapped around a cosy and relaxed café alongside the Woodborough Garden Centre, ...»

  • Debi Evans Children’s Author

    On a visit to Coombe Martin circa 2002, Debi Evans spotted movement in a dragon ride outside a sweetshop. ...»

  • Jacqui Melhuish

    Jacqui came to ceramics through an unusual route, training first as a graphic designer and then taking a degree in illustration...»

  • Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation & Gifts

    Fairfax Antiques and Reclamation is set in the lovely garden of Langley Green, a beautiful house dating back to the 12th century, ...»

  • Love Food

    Lucinda Bevan is a nutritional therapist with a keen interest in the brain. She runs lively and informative nutritional cookery demonstrations...»

  • Overtown Manor

    Overtown Manor is a unique Bed and Breakfast. Situated just minutes from the M4 at Swindon it couldn’t be easier to reach. ...»

  • Lucy's Days Out

    Lucy’s Days Out is a charity run by Julie Page. Her daughter Lucy first became ill when she was six....»

Damson in Distress of Boozy Mess?

Sam Bertram

28 April 2015

Tiffinie Pride of Wiltshire Liqueur Company loves a cocktail and her personal favourite is Damson in Distress. She conceived the cocktail one evening after a hard and crazy day’s work, when her thirst needed to be quenched and resources were low. It’s Damson Vodka with ginger ale and is delicious and the first of many cocktail and recipe ideas from the Wiltshire Liqueur Company. The Wiltshire Liqueur Company is run out of Wiltshire near Marlborough and the range includes Damson and Sloe Gin, Wild Strawberry and Blood Orange, but Tiff and partner Christopher are always looking to come up with new flavours. Bottle labels can be personalised at no extra cost, a special greeting for family or friends or to mark a life event, so they’re fantastic for gifts and are available online. They also have smaller bottle sizes available in gift boxes. Tiff spends a lot of time at fairs, she loves the buzz and meeting people, so if you spot her through the crowds pop by to pick-up one of her delicious liqueurs and hear about any recipes or cocktails she’s been creating.   Tiff is a country girl through and through and made the great trek from Yattendon in Berkshire to Wiltshire, with a five year stopover in Hungerford to get a taste of town life, in 2008. After spending her childhood having fun outdoors and riding horses she was always well suited to rural life. She doesn’t ride now but looks longily at the horses riding past from the nearby livery, and looks forward to the day when she will be in the saddle again.   After school Tiff worked in the travel industry, eventually for Roxtons where she met her partner Christopher. Roxtons arrange fishing and shooting holidays and started to produce Roxtons Sloe Gin for their shoots as a side-line under the company name of Wiltshire Liqueur Company. After moving to Bailey Robinson Tiff soon realised that Roxtons didn’t have enough time to focus on the liqueur side of their business, so in 2012 her and Christopher approached them to buy the business, re-branded and started to develop new flavours.  And when she’s not creating and selling her fabulous liqueurs? Tiff loves this time of year – walking the dogs and discovering life - seeing the woods heaving with wild garlic or scattered with cowslips and bluebells. It’s in her plans to explore more of the Pewsey Vale and Marlborough Downs and she loves Savernake. Having the lovely Marlborough close by with its independent and comprehensive range of shops is a bonus and their favourite local pub is The George in Vernham Dean. She also enjoys helping Christopher on his annual trip to Russia to set-up fishing camps on the Kola Peninsula. They set-up camp for a week and then feed the clients lots of vodka when they get there. The Russians are always bemused why they put fruit in vodka! It’s a working holiday and absolutely freezing but Tiffinie loves the change of scene. Despite selling direct to the public, Tiffinie is also keen to sell to more hotels and restaurants where her liqueurs could be used in both cooking and cocktails.  So if you’re stuck for an original recipe this summer why not kick off with a prosecco with blood orange to toast a sunny day or try a ‘Boozy Mess’  – Eton Mess with Wild Strawberry Liqueur. Bowood House have recently concocted a gardener’s cosmopolitan with The Wiltshire Liqueur Company’s Damson Vodka, Blood Orange Liqueur, a squeeze of lime and cranberry juice.  Sounds scrumptious.    www.wiltshireliqueur.com  

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Sprung back or Spring forward?

Sam Bertram

10 April 2015

Are you looking around thinking you could do with a new chair or sofa to freshen up your home? Fed up of the choice at the large retailers? Balmain & Balmain make bespoke sofas, chairs and stools – you are able to choose fabric and style so your finished piece is something truly unique. Whether it’s depth, size, insets, arms, turned leg or no legs, cushion back or sprung back the choice is yours. Owner Henrietta Gillespie makes you feel comfortable in her own home, giving you undivided attention to ensure the final product meets your brief.  Her office is packed with gorgeous fabric samples & you can try out the sofas and chairs for size. What could be more satisfying than relaxing in a chair or sofa you know is especially for you! But what to choose when fashion changes all the time? The current favourite is the Stour with its pretty and different arms, but five years ago everyone wanted the Hamble. Customers tend to want a traditional sofa with modern detail – some like skirts, others want bun feet. Plain linens & soft chenille are popular, recent commissions have included florals and geometric designs. People are moving away from just beiges and creams and they’re definitely doing more colourful commissions - blues, greens, reds & pinks. But it’s completely up to you and that’s what makes a sofa or chair from Balmain & Balmain so special. Henrietta hasn’t always lived in Wiltshire and is originally from Dorset where her parents started the business 30 years ago. She grew up having lots of fun outside whether it was on her grandparents’ farm or sailing in the summer. After marrying Simon in 2004 they moved to Wiltshire and their children George, 9 and Isabelle, 7 have much the same childhood today – enjoying the outdoors from their country cottage in Wilton near Marlborough. Design was always a huge part of Henrietta’s life as her mother had a first class degree in fashion and textile design. When she first left school she started cooking – mainly in Chalets and shooting lodges. Soon London called and the world of design, starting in the showroom at Osborne & Little on the Kings Road. From here she worked in The North Room for Colefax and Fowler at 39 Brook Street, ending up on an interior design team in Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler who are also at 39 Brook Street– as a design assistant working on clients houses all over the world.   Henrietta took over Balmain & Balmain from her parents in May 2014 once her children were at school and the business is going from strength to strength. The consulting all happens from Hen’s home office in Wiltshire but the furniture is made in a workshop elsewhere by a fantastic loyal team who have worked together for years. Clients come from all over the South and as far a field as Portugal and the Scotlish Highlands. She loves her job which works brilliantly with the children and it’s always interesting, each piece is‘like building a jigsaw puzzle’. And they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They love Wilton – its quiet location, fantastic local pub, great walks to the Crofton Beam Engines & the Windmill and access to the station at Great Bedwyn for Simon’s commute. And more importantly some fabulous sofas and chairs to relax in at the end of a busy day! www.balmainandbalmain.com  

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Offer of the month

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Sign up for our newsletter and review the things you love and you could qualify for the offer of the month. Jacqui Melhuish is giving away one of her fabulous ceramic spring hares and a flower. Perfect to give a lift to any room in the house.

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