• Easter Hosting Tips by Anna Barnett

    Cook and writer Anna Barnett has given us her top tips on stress-free hosting this Easter.

    1. Mix it up and serve various sharing plates for everyone to help themselves as this creates a nice and relaxed atmosphere around the table.

    2. Choose recipes that can be easily prepped ahead of time to ensure that you are relaxed as the guests arrive and not stuck in the kitchen prepping, cooking or washing up. Just before guests arrive, make the final touches to your table setting and pour the welcome drinks.

    3. Makeup a batch of easily constructed canapés from filo pastry cups in advance. There are endless variations of fillings so you really can indulge on all of your favourite flavour combinations.

    4. Keep your guests fed (but not full) by prepping delicious and flavoursome dips, pesto and tapenades along with platters of crudités before you bring out additional dishes.

    5. Lastly, make sure that you have lots of options for your vegetarian guests and a delicious dessert to finish.

    Easter Hosting Tips by Anna Barnett
  • Easter Entertaining

    This Easter, enjoy the holiday by relaxing and entertaining in style. Natural Canvas is the perfect range for decorating the home, refreshing the kitchen and even makes a stunning gift for a family member or friend.

    Due to its relaxed hue, Natural Canvas is a beautiful collection of tableware that promises to complement any interior. The range combines elegant cream pieces with ‘chevron’ detailed shapes, giving the collection a distinctive look, inspired by a Denby design from the 1960’s.

    When arranged in a table setting, Natural Canvas instantly modernises and brightens. Designed for modern-living, it also offers a 12 Piece Bowl Set for easy eating, a Deli/Sunday Lunch Set with a platter and serving bowl for entertaining and a Takeaway Set to dine-in with style. For your full table setting, see the 16 Piece Tableware Set which is the complete set, ideal for everyday use as well as on special occasions.

    Using slate within your setting will set off the neutral tone of Natural Canvas and add texture to your table. Decorate with spring flowers, showcase your dishes on platters and fill mugs or espresso cups with eggs. For a thoughtful touch, gift your guests with a ramekin filled with Easter treats.

    Easter Entertaining
  • Exhibitions to See this Year

    One of our in-house designers Katy Lilley, takes us through the best exhibitions to see this year, from David Hockney’s return to the Tate Britain and Nottingham’s Earth and Fire ceramic showcase.

    David Hockney - Tate Britain - Now-29th May 2017

    Arguably the most anticipated exhibition of the year, David Hockney returns with his first major UK retrospective in thirty years. London’s biggest critics have already given the soon to be octogenarian five stars for his latest exhibition, guaranteeing Tate Britain a blockbuster show and cementing Hockney’s reputation as the UK’s greatest living artist. Despite being famous for his paintings of his LA swimming pools and his more recent Yorkshire Landscapes, there will be a diverse collection of drawings, photography, print and video on display from his six decades of his career as an artist, ever since he graduated from the Royal College of Art. Booking tickets is highly recommended after his last exhibition at the Royal Academy named ‘A Bigger Picture’ sold out. Hockney has been quoted as saying, “I want my work to be seen” and by the end of spring this celebration of a much-loved artist will have no doubt been seen and praised by many.

    Ceramic Art London - Central Saint Martins - 31st March-2nd April 2017

    This international contemporary ceramic show returns for a second year at its new home at the Granary Building, based at the university campus of Central Saint Martins, having previously been held at the RCA in South Kensington. Ceramic Art London is famous for being an opportunity to meet, talk and purchase ceramics direct from the artist, something you don’t get when buying direct from a gallery. You’ll find a mix of first time exhibitors as well as established ceramicists returning, such as Adam Frey, Kyra Cane and Chris keenan. Keen collectors get there early on the Friday morning in the hope of spotting the next Hans Copper or Lucie Rie of the future. Day tickets are £15 which includes an exhibition catalogue. With ninety ceramicists from around the world showcasing their work, there is a great temptation to buy from every stand - deep pockets are required.

    Chatsworth House – House Style – 25th March-22nd October 2017

    This new exhibition shares five centuries of fashion at Chatsworth with the public. Expertly curated by American Vogue’s Hamish Bowles and creatively directed by creative duo Patrick Kinmonth and Antonio Monfreda, the show will feature a display of fashion, jewellery, design and textiles. Telling stories of the past through livery, coronation robes and fancy-dress costumes, the exhibit promises an insight into the Cavendish family’s wardrobes. As well as presenting styles of the past, ‘House Style’ will also be showing garments from designers including Christian Dior, Gucci, Helmut Lang, Alexander McQueen and Erdem, who have all played a fashionable part in the family’s lives. Tickets are available to purchase online, and you may also want to combine a visit with an exploration of Chatsworth’s stunning 105-acre garden.

    Grayson Perry: ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever’- Serpentine Gallery – 8th June-10th September 2017

    Grayson Perry, now a household name, is famed for not only being a successful artist but more recently a television commentator. His appeal stretches across all class divides which shone through in his Bafta award winning Channel 4 series. Perry is highly eloquent, not simply in being able to talk to everyone, regardless of wealth or stature, but in his ability to listen and connect with people’s personal stories and belief. His honesty about his own upbringing and his transvestite alter ego Claire, has proven to be an inspiration for his work and previously provided tabloid gossip for the national press. Something Grayson Perry has worked to his advantage is his unpretentious manner. This new major exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery will no doubt continue to tackle social issues such as class, politics, sex and religion. Perry’s title of the exhibition ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever’, has been mocked because of its boldness, but Perry has never been one to shy away from controversy and will be hoping that it proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Earth and Fire - The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire - 23rd-25th June 2017

    A yearly highlight for the Design team here at Denby, Earth and Fire is a must for anyone that loves ceramics. It’s the North’s answer to Ceramic Art London, only with a more relaxed feel. The show has been established for over 20 years but finds itself at its new location at the Harley Gallery. Its change in location means that it has been saved from potential extinction, which is a relief to over a hundred exhibitors from the UK and Europe and the hundreds of visitors who attend to meet and purchase ceramics directly from potters. There is a wide-variety of objects for sale from sculpture to jewellery and tableware. This show has an appealing atmosphere, with ceramic demonstrations happening throughout the weekend. Entrance is £5 per person.

    Ceramic Biennial - Original Spode Site, Stoke-On-Trent – 23rd September-5th November 2017

    A biennial event since 2009, this six week festival has evolved over its short history. More recently its exhibitions and events have taken place solely at the redundant Spode factory in the town of Stoke. The festival prides itself on showcasing contemporary ceramicists from around the UK and the world. One of the largest events for the exhibitors is the awards, with one cash prize of £5k and ten prizes of £500. Previous years there has been an on-site gift shop and a nice café. A warm coat is essential when visiting, as there is no heating in the former China Hall. The finalised list of events is yet to be released, however it is hoped that the show continues to include local industries and the talented potters on its doorstep.

    Exhibitions to See this Year
  • Treat your Mum this Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to treat your mum and show her how much you care. By arranging a weekend brunch, family get together or afternoon tea, you can say thanks in style...

    Treat her to a relaxing Sunday brunch using our neutral Natural Canvas collection. Fill the contemporary bowls with berries and pour the perfect espresso in our roulette detailed espresso cups.

    Arrange a family get together with her favourite dishes taking centre stage. Incorporate our unique, two-tone Halo collection to showcase the dishes and combine varying shapes, including bowls, plates and platters.

    Make her a stylish afternoon tea with the bold tones of Imperial Blue. Set the table with our Imperial Blue Tea Set and let her choose from scones or cakes, served on our classic Imperial Blue plates.

    Treat your Mum this Mother’s Day
  • 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