Gift Wrapping at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with Jonathan Moseley

I am thrilled to have been invited to team up with leading floral designer and floristry industry consultant, Jonathan Mosely for a wonderful Winter Workshop event at the breathtaking location of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Created by the celebrated chef, Raymond Blanc OBE, this renowned and stunning manor house hotel and cookery school, nestled in the village of Great Milton, in Oxfordshire, has been somewhere I have wanted, so much, to visit for a very long time and now I am so lucky, not only to be staying there, but, to be demonstrating, alongside Jonathan, on December 19th, this year.

Le Manoir

Image courtesy of Amara

This fine hotel has held 2 Michelin stars since 1984, is synonymous with high quality, elegance and luxury and I cannot wait to see how the festive season is presented in such a wonderful location.

The special one-day event, entitled, ‘Deck the Halls’ will see Jonathan and myself teaming up to assist participants in their quest to craft an unforgettable Christmas.  Jonathan will be making some stunning seasonal flower displays whilst I will be presenting some imaginative and styles of festive gift wrapping.  Due to the prestigious location, there will also be an opportunity for all concerned to sample some spectacular dining in sumptuous surroundings and, I must confess, I am looking forward very much to spending a December day at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

jonothan moseley

For those who do not know, Jonathan Mosely is a freelance floral designer, based in Derbyshire.  He is known for his humorous, friendly approach and, aside from appearing on ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’  BBC programme recently, he works as a floristry industry consultant, teaches the art and skill of floral display and takes commissions to design and execute ‘event flowers’ on a large scale.  He is famous for his floral artistry and skill and for combining his love of nature with his distinctive and innovative arranging techniques.

Christmas wreath

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

I am excited to be sharing the spotlight with someone who is so highly talented and, given my own experience as a florist, I am looking forward to picking up some advice and advanced creative tips on December 19th.

The Manor house itself is one of the most treasured manor house hotels in the UK and the gardens have a reputation for being something very special to behold.  Aside from the lavender lined pathways, extensive English lawns and vegetable and herb gardens, the hotel has its own orchards, a mushroom valley which, among other varieties, produces shiitake mushrooms and there are rows of cloche tunnels, under which various flowers are grown for creative use in the hotel kitchen.  The hotel also boasts a water garden, dating back to the 16th Century.  It was created, by monks, who occupied the site at that time.

 


Jane Means cover girl

 

Photo courtesy of Journal Magazine

For those who are attending the event, I hope we can make it everything and so much more than you are hoping for.  It plans to be a most welcoming, enjoyable , sociable and creatively educational day and I look forward to meeting everyone there.

For more details head over to the Belmond Events Page

See you there x

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Join our ‘Styling for Christmas’ Event at Clifton Nurseries London on December 7th

Our ribbon and stationery shop opened at Clifton Nurseries in September and we are delighted to announce our ‘Styling for Christmas’ event on 7th December at this Central London venue.

 

Lavender and Lovage

 

Image courtesy of Lavender and Lovage

Clifton Nurseries is magical, the twinkly lights lead you up into this secret hidden oasis in central London. With Christmas around the corner we thought it would be a great idea to bring in some fantastic artists and enjoy a festive evening filled with inspiration, ideas and fun.

Jane Means at Clifton Nurseries

Whilst indulging in some fizz and mince pies you can enjoy hands on mini master classes in giftwrapping and bow making.  Judy Broad will be providing calligraphy classes, and you can also enjoy a go at floristry and wreath making. One of my favourite brands Belinda Sly will be there showcasing her cashmere shawls and wraps.

 

Judy Broad

 

Image courtesy of Judy Broad

This will be a magical evening in idyllic surroundings, and the perfect chance to stock up Christmas gifts, ribbons, cards, cashmere, beauty, and enjoy a special evening with friends.

Clifton Christmas shop

Clifton Nurseries has an amazing Christmas shop with hundreds of fresh wreaths, Christmas trees and decorations to peruse. I will also be signing copies of my book ‘Giftwrapped’ in my ribbon and stationery pop up shop.

Jane Means London Shop

Tickets for this magical evening are £12 and include unlimited master classes, fizz and mince pies.
Early booking is essential as this will be a popular event

Book now at www.clifton.co.uk

Clifton Nurseries Christmas shop

I look forward to seeing you there x

 

 

 

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How to tie the perfect bow in gift wrapping

One of the most asked questions I get asked on our gift wrapping workshops is “How do you tie the perfect bow?”.  We all have our own way of tying a shoelace or a bow and through my experience of teaching gift wrapping, I’ve found it’s very hard to change your technique after tying the same bow all of your life

tying a bow

I did a day skipper sailing course several years ago and thought the knot tying part would be so easy.  To my horror I failed my knot exams and was all fingers and thumbs. Although I had to resit the exam, it gave me food for thought and made me realise that many people will struggle to tie the perfect bow.

 

I have seen so many ways of tying a bow and my advice is to use the same technique that you’ve used all of your life with a couple of changes that will help you enormously.  Many of us tie a loop at a time, however some will form 2 loops and tie them together (known as the bunny ears).  During my workshops I have seen many different techniques and everyone can tie the perfect bow.

the perfect bow

The ideal bow should resemble a perfect angled letter ‘X’ so it is a good idea to imagine this X and follow the outline as you are tying your bow.  The 2 loops should be at 10 and 2 o’clock and the 2 tails should sit at 8 and 4 o’clock.

ribbon bow

The critical point is the part just before you pull the bow tight. Take a pause and look at the outline of your bow.  This will give you a chance to re arrange the bow so the loops and tails are in the correct position. If your bow looks messy or out of proportion, if you rush ahead and pull the bow tight it will still look a mess and out of proportion.

Turquoise ribbon

Another helping hand is to choose a double sided ribbon that has the same finish on both sides. Many of my students say that tying a wired ribbon is a lot easier. If you are working with a printed ribbon like this turquoise spotty design, ensure that you twist the ribbon to the correct side as you tie your bow.

For lots more bow techniques and gift wrapping projects, grab a signed copy of my new book ‘giftwrapped

Happy bow tying!

 

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Join Jane Means at the Giftwrapped book launch

In a few weeks my new book giftwrapped will be launched to the world and going on sale worldwide.

giftwrapped book isbn1909342564

Many people have not wanted to wait until the end of November when it hits the shops, so I’ve had a busy couple of weeks signing copies and personally gift wrapping each one that has been ordered from our own website at Jane Means HQ.

Giftwrapped Christmas present

 

I have been overwhelmed with the orders and feedback from readers. On our first day of delivery a lady rang from Denmark to order, and the next call was someone wishing to order 6 signed copies of Giftwrapped…Incredible!

Giftwrapped book launch

Interviews, signing events and book launches are lined up in November so it’s a busy month ahead, plus we are doing our Christmas Fairs around the country, where I will be doing gift wrapping masterclasses and book signings.

giftwrapped country

 

Our book launch in London will be taking place in the fashionable Notting Hill and we are giving away 2 VIP tickets for you and a friend to attend on November 17th. We are also giving away a personally signed copy of the book to the lucky winner.  Just head over to our Facebook page with a chance to win this incredible prize that cannot be bought.

giftwrapped pleating

I have loved putting together this book with many interesting and funny tales from behind the scenes. You can tune in to me chatting about my book launch to Nicola Gilroy on BBC Lincolnshire on November 19th at 2pm, as well as Gulf Radio and a few others in the pipeline.

JaneMeans Twitter

If you have read the book I would love to hear your comments and don’t forget you can grab a signed copy now with 10% discount.  Just enter promo code bkt14 at checkout at www.janemeans.com

BBC1

 

On a final note, I was recently on a new BBC1 television series called Home away from home. You will get an insight in to my personal life, bijou London home and pet hates. If you are in the UK you can view it on BBC iplayer until November 15th

 

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Our hectic Christmas gift wrapping season

We are now in to the peak time of the gift wrapping calendar, and are busier than ever with our London gift wrapping services and events until Christmas

For the last few weeks we have been busy gift wrapping wicker hamper baskets for a private client in Mayfair (over 300 of them).  You can also see how to pack the perfect hamper basket in my previous blog post.

gift wrapping hamper baskets

It was wonderful to have a packed house for my gift wrapping demonstrations and workshops at the Spirit of Christmas and Country Living Fairs in London and Glasgow.

Gift wrapping masterclass

Kirstie Allsopp popped along to the Country Living Fair in London to sign copies of her new book ‘Kirstie’s Christmas Crafts’ on our stand.  We are delighted to be featured in it, and can’t wait for the TV series.

Jane Means featured in Kirstie Allsopp book

I was also involved with the ‘Get Creative’ Event at Liberty in London and spent a fun 90 minutes gift wrapping live in their window on a busy Thursday evening infront of crowds. The iconic London store stock our ribbons and I popped in several days later to run a free ribbon masterclass for customers in their magical Christmas shop on the 4th floor.

IMG_7438

Clifton Nurseries, another stockiest of our ribbons invited me to run a mini gift wrapping workshop in their heavenly ‘Quince Café’ in Little Venice.  We all had lots of creative fun whilst sipping fizz and getting in to the festive spirit.  I can’t wait to be back there on the evening of December 9th to do another festive event and tickets are £20

clifton event

I headed over to Kent and East Sussex to run 3 separate events in one day for Millbrook Garden Centres.  It was a race against time to reach each garden centre in time but we did it albeit tight, and it was wonderful to meet so many of you.

Selfridges gift wrapping service

We have now started our Gift Wrapping Service in Selfridges flagship store in London. You will find us in the Beauty Hall on the ground floor every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Christmas from 5-10pm.  The service is complimentary when you buy any products from the Selfridges Beauty Hall (minimum £70).

Jane Means gift wrapping at Selfridges

I am delighted to be working behind the scenes for Chanel in Bond Street in mid December.  You will also find me gift wrapping at the Ralph Lauren Fulham Road Store at a VIP charity event, and for Jack Wills and Dior just before Christmas.  This year I will have no lack of luxury stores to buy my presents from and already I am drafting my Christmas list. I just need time to wrap them!

Jane Means gift wrapping with Paul O'Grady

It’s also been an incredible season for filming and media. I appeared live on the Paul O’Grady Show on December 2nd (You can view it on ITV1 catch up).

Jane McDonald and Jane Means

I was lucky enough to be joined by Il Divo, Brendan O’Carroll and Jane McDonald and enjoyed a quick tipple at the aftershow party.

Red cotton gingham ribbon

You’ll also see me appearing on a BBC2 Christmas Programme on December 19th and I also had great fun filming with Lyndsey James for her forthcoming Craft blog in January.  The short outakes clip on Youtube is worth a watch and very funny.  I also have a Kuwait film crew popping over to film my work sometime before Christmas.

Jane Means on BBC Radio

 

I will be joining presenter Melvyn Prior on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 11th December.  We will be discussing everything Christmas and it will no doubt be fun and chaos in the studio. I will then be heading to do a Christmas gift wrapping evening event at one of Rutlands best loved boutiques, Vanilla in Oakham.

Christmas Ribbon Jane Means

We’ve had some great press lately with features in the Observer, Times and Telegraph. Our ribbons have been featured in many magazines including Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Essentials, Woman and Home, Country Living, Prima and Bella to name a few! You will also see them in the second series of The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2.

Jane Means Ribbons

With such a crazy season, I will have little time to celebrate Christmas myself as I don’t pop my scissors down until late on December 24th.  It will be a quick family supper and as I have worked non stop since my wedding, I will finally be heading off on honeymoon on Christmas Day for a well earned holiday!

London gift wrapping service

 

If you have any general enquiries about our Gift Wrapping Services, Events and Courses please email us at info@janemeans.co.uk or contact us

I hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and we would love to hear about your festive wrapping in our comments box below

 

 

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Gift wrapping a luxurious Christmas hamper basket

There is nothing more I love at Christmas than to receive a wicker hamper packed with speciality foods and luxury wine.  It is a perfect gift for anyone and can be made bespoke with personalised presents.
fortnum and mason hamper
Fortnum and Mason are renowned for their hampers, which are filled with gourmet biscuits, speciality teas, crackers, petty fours, and wine and Champagne.
I remember as a child when my parents received one, and they still use the branded hamper to this day for blanket storage (Wicker hampers are particularly good for this as fabrics are able to breathe).
Fortnum and Mason Hamper
Hamper baskets come in different shapes and sizes, and the most popular ones are with a box and lid.  I love this style as it makes a great storage box once you’ve consumed the contents.  We wrap lots of hampers for clients and these by far are the favourite.
There are many variations of hamper boxes on the market including your wicker hamper through to boxes made with card, wood and leather (prices vary considerably).
pile of baskets
It is a good idea to choose your packaging first as there are limited options when buying hampers and boxes. If you are giving hampers away at Christmas do by your supplies and gift wrapping early as suppliers may run out of stock.
There are several basket makers in the UK who could also make a bespoke size and shape for you.  You will also find some great baskets on Ebay
Once you have chosen your box or basket it is time to fill it.   You will need some padding such as shred, foam peanuts, tissue and Cellophane.
hamper filling
I always line it first with cellophane then add the tissue on top.  You can also sprinkle pot pourri in the basket (think of Rowan Atkinson in ‘Love Actually’) or lightly spray the tissue with a winter fragrance (M+S do some great ones for £5)
Dried rosebuds for weddings
Bear in mind that if you have bought lots of products they may not all fit in, so it’s a good idea to have a practice run using your own groceries before you go shopping.
fortnums tea
Once you have chosen your products, look at the whole range and imagine them in layers.  I tend to segregate them in to piles of robust, medium and fragile
Pack the heaviest and rigid items at the bottom such as bottles, ensuring they or packed tight (or there is plenty of padding between them) and the label is showing.
Paper-and-Parcel-sweater-wine-sleeve
You will then start layering the products and filling the hamper.  Play safe and wrap breakable jars and bottles with bubble wrap (they can have an additional layer of tissue or be wrapped in a thick fabric to make them look more elegant). It would be a disaster if anything breaks in transit.
Delicate items such as Pannetone, crackers and mince pies should be placed at the very top to avoid them being crushed.
daylesford-organic-christmas-pudding
To add extra luxury to the hamper, line it with a rich metallic tissue such as this gold one. I fold the sides in to a slightly narrow width so placement is easy. It gives a polished interior finish.
Once you have completed the layering process of your products, Close the lid and add your written and decorations. If you have any spare space at the sides pad it well with tissue.
pleated box by jane means
Finishing detailing is really important so in this one I have pleated the paper whilst wrapping a box of biscuits to give that luxurious effect. When I am gift wrapping for Dior, we always do this pleating process with tissue and add it to the top of the bag (The French term is called ‘applice’).
carved angel jam
I also add paper lids and decorations to jars, and love the luxury range of chutneys and Jams from Carved Angel (Their Christmas Puddings were voted ‘The Best’ by the Times and they are always mobbed at the Country Living Fair)
Christmas-Fortnum-Mason-London-Christmas-Crackers
Large gaps in your hamper can soon be filled with Pannetone or Christmas Crackers.  If you have any small spaces they can be filled with candy canes or small bags of festive treats. You can buy these from luxury outlets such as Daylesford or Fortnum and Mason although you can get a cheaper alternative  from Aldi or Lidl
If your hamper is heavy it is a good idea to add some bricks, wooden blocks or rolls of ribbon under the corners so you can access the underneath easily with your ribbon.
dior hamper basket
If you are packing a hamper  that is open with or without a handle,  it is a good idea to have the smaller items at the back. I packed this luxury hamper for the Dior in Paris and had to get the balance right. In the gaps I made some handmade ribbon roses to highlight the floral theme.
We have gift wrapped many hampers for clients and one note of advice is don’t rush. The interior needs to be the focal point and you want the wow factor to happen when the lid is opened.  I hope this helps your Christmas hamper project and I would love to see any photos on our Twitter or Facebook Page.
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