• Instagram Magic by the @Meringuegirls

    Food is the most shared thing on Instagram, and our Art of Entertaining Trend Report found that 45% of people think the way their food looks on a plate is just as important as how it tastes.

    Thankfully, Instagram gurus the Meringue Girls have let us in on some of their secrets to catch the best shot. Read their top tips below:

    Natural Lighting

    There’s no need to splash out on fancy lighting gear because natural lighting is all you need. Cloudy days are actually the best days for shooting, as the light is softer and more even. Artificial light and flash creates shadows and can often make food look unappealing, so make sure you capture that shot before the sun goes down.

    Background & Colour

    We find that you can create the most Instagrammable shots by using a simple background with striking, standout tableware, or alternatively a colourful background with simple crockery. Either way, you'll be letting the food speak for itself and not overwhelming with too many different patterns and textures in the background.

    If you’re at home, have a look around at the different floorboards and bathroom tiles and you can always use them to style on. Marble, wooden chopping boards, and painted slats are our favourites.

    Props for Scale

    Smaller plates of food appear more elegant so don't overcrowd the dish and always leave a clear wide rim. You can cleverly show scale (and draw the viewer in) by utilising props such as a hand holding a perfectly twirled pasta fork, a steaming hot coffee, or spoon about to dive into an enticing dessert.

    Uneven Numbers

    Even numbers create symmetry, but uneven numbers are much more interesting to the eye and allow viewers to explore the picture instead of scanning for symmetrical imperfections.

    Decorate, Decorate, Decorate!

    Use fresh and interesting ingredients to add colour, texture and excitement to the shot. A sprinkle of rose petals, a drizzle of yogurt or a curl of lemon zest add that extra something to a shot.

    Angles

    Certain foods require certain shots. The rules are: if the dish is built vertically, shoot from the side. If it’s flat, shoot from above. For example, thick burgers, gooey cheese toasties, and tall cakes require side angle shots, whereas individual portions of cheese on boards are much better overhead.

    Instagram Magic by the @Meringuegirls
  • Valentine’s Day Gifts

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and we have collated our favourite gifts to give this year. As our stoneware collections are crafted from hardy Derbyshire clay and fired at 1200 degrees, they truly make a special gift that will last a lifetime.

    A new shape, our Natural Canvas Cafetiere showcases the history and quality of classic Denby whilst providing a contemporary and practical piece to use every day. Natural Canvas was originally inspired by our 1960’s Chevron collection with its defined roulette detailing. This Cafetiere design is beautiful and subtle in shape and colour. It can also be used as a jug or vase after removing the plunger and filling with an array of beautiful flowers.

    Co-ordinate your mugs with our pastel hued His & Hers Mug Set; this pair of mugs makes a thoughtful gift and will add colour to your kitchen cupboards. Use the mugs to pour the perfect morning coffee or use to serve your dessert choice of mousse, ice-cream or sorbet this Valentines.

    Our latest Cast Iron casserole dishes have been designed to make the tastiest one-pot dishes, ideal for date night. By heating up faster and staying hotter for longer, our new Cast Iron guarantees a tasty meal whilst the bright and appealing red shade of this particular dish will brighten up your table setting.

    For any baking lover, our Heritage Baking Set makes a great gift and includes a mixing bowl, heart mould and spatula. Modern in hue, the spacious bowl can be used to mix up anything from pancake batter to a chocolate cake and banana loaf. Embrace the theme of Valentines and create a heart shaped bake in the silicone heart mould, making it quick and hassle-free to remove after cooking.

    Finally, give a gift to share with James Martin’s 6 Piece Deli Set, ideal for a dinner party or casual lunch with friends. Present your favourite cheeses, meats, breads, olives, nuts, oils and dips on this stylish and versatile piece. Available in a smart box, it’s easily wrapped, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    See our full range of Valentine's Day gifts here.

    Valentine’s Day Gifts
  • Our recent trend report uncovered the fact that we are most likely to lay a formal table at Christmas. This year, we asked our Design Director Richard Eaton, to share with us his top tips for decorating a festive table.

    1. No rules: gone is the day that a table should be set with a traditional layout – be flexible. Have fun, have confidence and experiment with colours, shapes and textures to ensure your personality shines through.

    2. Be eclectic: not every product has to match and it’s great to add focal pieces too, whether it’s brightly coloured or patterned accent plates or a statement bowl.

    3. Enhance the senses: flowers have always had a part to play in setting a table, but why not embrace the trend of ‘bringing the outside in’ and include ferns, foliage and evergreens. They also introduce fantastic festive aromas to the table.

    4. Go natural: red and green will always invoke the Christmas spirit, but soft, warm, neutral tones are timeless and contemporary. Add accent colours such as silver and rose gold to instantly make your table feel special and festive.

    5. Finishing touches: candles create a wonderfully warm atmosphere and are an essential part of any stylish table setting. A Christmas classic!

    Christmas Table Setting Tips from Design Director, Richard Eaton
  • We’ve teamed up with cook and author Indy Power, to create a range of enticing one-pot dishes using our Cast Iron and Oven to Tableware collections. Read on to discover more about Indy’s food and where she gets the inspiration for her recipes.

    1.One-pot dishes are having a bit of a resurgence at the moment, why do you think they are so popular?

    I think the main reason is that everybody is so busy and time poor at the moment. One-pot dishes are so great if you’re in a rush or you can’t face the washing up and it’s so easy to make nutritious and delicious meals with loads of flavour and just one pot. I love my Denby Cast Iron Casserole Dish as it’s so versatile, it keeps food hotter for longer and it’s gorgeous so you can serve straight from the pot.

    2. What is your signature one-pot dish and what are your 'go to' one-pot ingredients?

    Stews and curries are definitely my favourite dinners during the colder months. I love dishes that are really warming and don’t require too much fuss. My go to one-pot ingredients would be fresh herbs, spices, stock and garlic - you can always make something delicious in one pot once you’ve got them.

    3. Any tips on creating recipes that cater to different diets i.e gluten free/vegetarian etc?

    All of my recipes are naturally gluten free and I try to keep them really flexible so that anyone can enjoy them no matter what their dietary requirements. The easiest thing is to start with natural wholefoods. They have no added ingredients or preservatives so you know exactly what’s in them. Then it’s just about using loads of spices and herbs and adapting with the seasons. You should never be afraid to put your own spin on a recipe or swap things out for ingredients you prefer or that are in season. Create a really good flavour base and then think of ingredients like meat or fish as add-ons - that way if somebody is vegetarian they can add in seasonal vegetables instead.

    4. Where/who do you get your recipe inspiration from?

    I take a lot of inspiration from my travels. I love all kinds of food and I love trying new things from different places to inspire me. My mom is a great cook so I take a lot of inspiration from the food she’s always made us. She is half Japanese so I’ve always loved Japanese ingredients and they inspire a lot of my recipes too. Some of her family lives in Mexico so that’s an influence, too. I’m also constantly inspired by what’s in season, often I base a recipe around a single ingredient I pick up and just see where it takes me. My ideas usually come to me in bed at night so I write them down as soon as I think of them. I have a list of hundreds of ideas I want to experiment with.

    5. Who would be your top three dream dinner party guests and what would you cook them?

    Hmm I think I would pick JK Rowling, Michael McIntyre and Jamie Oliver. I think I would make them the pistachio crusted lamb cutlets from my cookbook. It’s such an easy dish to prepare but it looks really impressive and it’s just so delicious. The best thing is that it’s so simple that you can’t really go wrong, that way I wouldn’t have to worry and I could enjoy the party!

    Find our full Cast Iron and Ovenware ranges here.

    Q&A with Indy Power, Cook and Author of 'The Little Green Spoon'
  • The Art of Entertaining

    We have collaborated with food historian Dr Annie Gray, 2,000 of the Great British public and influencers from the world of food, Aimee Twigger, Anna Barnett and The Meringue Girls to produce a report on The Art of Entertaining.

    The report explores our modern-day dining habits – revealing everything from what we’re eating and drinking in 2016, through to how we host and what we expect from our guests.

    We were delighted to discover that we’re a nation of entertainers – a massive 87% of Brits told us they regularly host friends and family at home, a figure that jumps to 93% within the 24-35 age group, who host dinner parties 3-4 times a month. That’s despite the decline of the separate dining room and the ever-rising age of buying a first house.

    However, the way we host has changed quite dramatically; gone are the days of the traditional dinner party, with a standard three courses, dished up onto ‘guest plates’. It seems that us Brits have torn up the entertaining rulebook, giving us a number of different and much more informal set ups, reflective of the way we live today.

    Find more information on The Art of Entertaining here, including exclusive recipes from Aimee Twigger, Anna Barnett and The Meringue Girls.

    The Art of Entertaining
  • Denby Visits: The Ritz Cinema

    This week marks the 10th anniversary of The Ritz cinema in Belper, Derbyshire. A small and stylish cinema, The Ritz offers a unique film experience with exquisite décor and quality food and drink.

    First opened in 1936, The Ritz was originally a musical hall, juvenile court as well as a cinema. Officially closed in 1991 until reopening in 2006, The Ritz is a building with an abundance of history. Now a family-run business, the cinema has recently undergone a refurbishment to add to the character of the building. However, the real refurbishment took place back in 2006 when the owners first purchased the cinema; the owner Amanda, tells of the feeling that “the doors had literally just been closed on it and there were old sweet wrappers and pop-cans inside!”.

    After time spent planning, they acquired a grant and were able to begin the regeneration of the cinema. The cinema was gutted, ensuring that any architectural details including the balustrade and art deco ceiling were maintained. The legroom was doubled, luxury seats were installed and a foyer seating area and bar was created.

    The Ritz is reminiscent of traditional cinema with a welcoming foyer, large, padded seating, curtains that are pulled back when the film begins and obliging ushers on hand to show you to your seats. Amanda says “We always wanted The Ritz to be reflective of going to the cinema back in its heyday, when cinema was special. We hope that we show films how film-makers want their films to be seen and that we create the 'magic' of cinema”.

    As part of the most recent refurbishment, The Ritz has also introduced our Halo tableware range to serve their drinks and snacks. Indulgent hot chocolates and coffees are presented in large Halo mugs, giving a sense of warmth and cosiness. The two-tone effect evident on Halo greatly complements the colour scheme of the cinema with its deep purple tones. Offering a special selection of homemade cakes, sweets, chocolate, nuts and of course, popcorn, visitors can enjoy something to eat, on plates produced locally. Since reopening, Amanda says that “The mugs are the one thing that have been most commented on!”, mainly due to their generous size and beautiful colour and pattern.

    In celebration of The Ritz’s 10-year anniversary, they are holding a number of exciting events including The Ritzy Awards in aid of UNICEF, the Belper Players performing a play by George Gunby, a performance from the Belper Wind Band, a satellite performance of Andre Rieu at Christmas, Andy Minion and John Hodson will be hosting a Christmas Cavalcade at the café No 28 and some member screenings.

    Find more information on The Ritz here. If you are interested in booking to see a film at The Ritz, contact them on 01773 822224 from 4pm every day.

    Denby Visits: The Ritz Cinema