Alexander House, Auchterarder, PH3 1PW
12 May 2017
How to Make an Earth Based Fire Pit | Campfire Cooking | Glamping Perthshire

Food and Fire – Getting Started: How to Build your Campfire for Cooking

There is something utterly magical about cooking on an open fire, the wood smoke, the feeling of being one with nature, and of taking things back a step, to a slightly less hectic and more peaceful time.  🙂

Put away that mobile phone (except to take photos of course, of your marvelous fire, and amazing creations!), and step back into that era where things were just done a bit slower, and food was a real joy to cook… after all, it would have been a hard won commodity.

So, lets start with building that fire pit to get cooking on!

And if you haven’t got the space, or don’t want a fire pit in the garden at home, a portable fire pit is a magical invention.  We use them all the time for my Scout camps. There are loads of options available to choose from like the portable La Hacienda Camping Fire Pit stocked by The Range shown below.

Or larger fire pits that can be a permanent fire pit in your garden, like this Garden Trading one…

How to build a simple earth-based Fire Pit

1.    Cut a rough circle out of your turf, or border, wherever you are siting the fire pit (remember, fire goes up a long way, and wind can take it a long way sideways by a fair distance too, so keep a fire pit well away from anything that you don’t want to set fire to!  (I recommend at least a 5m circumference outside of the fire pit for safety).

If you want to cover over where your fire has been, set aside the turf that you have just cut out, for laying back in place once you are done, it will take again surprisingly quickly!

2.    Once this is done, seek out flat edged stones, or some old reclaimed bricks to create your edging.  You can concrete these in or simply leave them loose.

3.    Pop a shallow layer of gravel in the pit (if you’ve got some), and you’re ready to go…..

4.    Pop some logs around the outside for seating if you have any, if not bring yourselves out a couple of garden chairs to relax in!

How to Make an Earth Based Fire Pit | Campfire Cooking | Glamping Perthshire

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20 Apr 2017
Wedding Lighting Ideas | Outdoor Festoon Lighting

Wedding Lighting Ideas – Let there be Light!

Light

Noun

1.    the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.
2.    an expression indicating a particular emotion or mood.

 

Power

Noun

1.    energy supplied to a particular area or building.
2.    the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events.

These two definitions are what make us at The Arkwright Group believe that Light and Power are the two most important things at your wedding (except a bride and groom of course!).

Without power it’s simple enough – you just can’t run your event. And light is one of the most important elements to influence the mood and emotion of those attending your wedding day, especially if you are outdoors or creating a themed wedding, like a festival or rustic yurt wedding.

Some practicalities first!

So firstly you need the generator booked…we can do that and tell you exactly what you need for your wedding lighting vision. After that you can move on to some fun ….the lighting.

We love to hear your ideas and will then help create the lighting to your specifications and within your budget. We can share our experience of what works well to create the vibe you want and also what features at your venue can be accentuated with lighting and used for your wedding photography.

Indoor Wedding Lighting Ideas

Whatever vibe you are looking for we can help with the design and layout whether it is inside a marquee, yurt or tipi.

Festoon Lighting is an increasing popular choice nowadays especially with the increase in festival style weddings (Alexander House love festival weddings with their wedding yurts and great grounds – so you’ve picked the perfect place as a festival themed wedding venue!).

Festoons are larger light bulbs, which add a rustic feel to your occasion. The glow creates a relaxed and romantic atmosphere and they hang slightly lower than fairy lights. They look fantastic both inside and outside and you can have as few or as many as you desire in various design layouts.

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Indoor Festoon Lighting

Fairy Lights are another popular option…

They are smaller, more subtle and give off a gentle sparkle creating a special, intimate atmosphere. We provide strings of various lights that can be requested as short or as long as you want. Whole ceilings can be carpeted or draped in lights which looks really romantic and magical. If you have a yurt or tipi – this can look really special and create a lovely backdrop for your wedding evening celebrations.
Wedding Lighting Ideas | Indoor Fairy Light Lighting

Light up the Dance Floor (and that’s not with your dancing moves!)

Are you looking for some colourful lights for your dance floor? Why not try our spotlights in various colours which you can choose. They are fun and vibrant.

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Coloured Dance Floor Lighting

Or why not have your first dance underneath a sparkly glitter ball. They are a great feature and can easily be included in your budget.

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Dance Floor Lighting Glitter Ball

Outdoor Wedding Lighting Ideas

Floodlights are great at lighting up particular parts of your outdoor space or garden. The grounds at Alexander House have some stunning backdrops and spectacular trees which would work brilliantly for this – just look at this image below and imagine this lit up like the image below it.

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Outdoor Spotlight Lighting

This can be done in various colours and provides a beautiful atmosphere. You can choose one colour or various colours creating a multi-coloured garden.

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Outdoor Spotlight Lighting
Location: photo taken at Errol Park, Perthshire
Wedding Lighting Ideas | Outdoors and Festoon Lighting
Location: photo taken at Errol Park, Perthshire

Festoons are also great at lighting up parts of your venue grounds, such as walkways to the marquee or main wedding yurt, helping direct your guests and at the same time adding a little something special!

Wedding Lighting Ideas | Outdoor Festoon Light Walkway

Got some ideas or need some inspiration?

Give us a call. We’re passionate about WEDDING LIGHTING! Please visit our website or send us an email: [email protected]

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07 Apr 2017
Perthshire Hen Do Offer - Spalsh Rafting Perthshire

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas – With a Splash!

A guest blog post from Robb at Team Splash

What a fantastic place to have your hen do / hen party weekend. We love recommending Alexander House to our Hen Do clients. Why? Because we know them, we know the staff and we know the passion they have for their customers, they are local and not to mention that Alexander House really does have everything a hen party could possibly want or need!

FYI, I am a rough rugged outdoors loving male so I just had to check with my wife before continuing, and she confirmed with an excited nod and a smile that luxurious fluffy dressing gowns, butler poured Prosecco, relaxing, rejuvenating facials, a lavish bubbling hot tub and a personal swimming pool, is indeed the sort of thing she would want on a hen do. She gave me the thumbs up, she smiled and hinted that she needs some Alexander House level pampering in her life. Hint taken.:-)

Now these are just some of the fantastic options provided by Alexander House, however they have also teamed up with excellent local providers like ourselves and others to offer you many more options, allowing you to really tailor your hen do to your hen’s desires and needs.

All you need to bring is that party vibe (I’m sure you will!) and you are guaranteed to have the best hen party ever, as the hen or as one of the group.

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

We at Splash White Water Rafting offer the Yin to Alexander Houses Yang, we are the outdoors adrenaline to balance the relaxation and pampering. We offer a range of adrenaline fueled activities from white water rafting, white water bugs (small one person rafts – great fun), paintball, abseiling, climbing, canyoning and more. Have a look at the videos below to get a feel for what we do.

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

What could be better than waking up to a full cooked breakfast after a night of hot tub and Prosecco and to know that you and the girls have an excellent day of white water rafting ahead! Nothing could be better, let me assure you! 🙂

Perthshire Hen Do Ideas - Spalsh White Water Rafting

***SPECIAL OFFER FOR ALEXANDER HOUSE – HEN DOS***

We have teamed up with Alexander House and we will offer any hen group who books up for some of our excellent activities, that  the hen will go free!

Be it a half day or a full day of activities with rafting and canyoning or rafting and paintball or climbing and bugs – the hen will go free. Just quote “Alexander House “ when you’re making the booking.

Perthshire Hen Do Offer - Spalsh Rafting PerthshireFree activities for the Hen – awesomeness!

 

 

Thanks for reading and whatever you chose have the most excellent of hen dos.

Happy Hen Dos!
From Team Splash

To book your adventures with Splash White Water rafting, call our office on 01887 829706 9am – 9pm, 7 days a week or email: [email protected]

Our activities

Rafting the River Tummel

Rafting the River Tay

River Bugs

Canyoning

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24 Mar 2017

Scottish Festival Wedding – Try these great styling ideas…

Guest blog by Elaine Scott of “Make-I-do”

I love weddings, I love glamping, put the two together and you have a beautiful festival vibe wedding.

Choosing to have an informal wedding is becoming very popular, with people holding their weddings in barns, warehouses, marquees, or in the woods (very brave in Scotland).

So what do you need for a glamping/festival style wedding?

Make an aisle (if it’s outside!)

Make a carpet of petals or leaves to walk down, fill wellies, buckets, milk churns, cans and jars with fresh flowers to decorate the aisle. Or have your ceremony under a tree hung with a canopy of muslin and jars of flowers hanging from the branches. Very romantic!

 

Scottish Festival Wedding - Welly Boot Flowers Idea

Scottish Festival Wedding - Flowers Idea

You’ll need a bit of shelter!

A marquee, bell tents, yurts, or caravans. Even a big parachute strung up in trees makes a great shelter. Put down old rugs and carpets underneath.

…And don’t forget to have lots of brollies at the ready!

Festival Wedding Ideas - Brolly Hire from Brolly Bucket

To keep you warm

Provide all day hot drinks, an ottoman filled with cosy blankets and snuggly shawls, use a fire pit or chimenea for the evening (remembering to position carefully and keep children at a safe distance!) – and get those giant marshmallows out for some campfire fun.

Of course if it’s summer you may not need any of these….but this is Scotland after all so be prepared!

Somewhere to sit, eat & drink!

A mixture of chairs, benches, bean bags, straw bales and even old church pews (if you’re lucky) for seating can all be made to look amazing with the addition of some burlap or muslin bows or swags with posies of flowers. Trim inside with handmade bunting to complete the festival vibe look.

Tables can be made from barrels and planks of wood or old doors, even pallets – they make great low tables with a sheet of ply on top covered in a pretty cloth topped off with clear jars of fairy lights or candles decorated with ribbons, buttons and burlap.

Scottish Festival Wedding - Bunting

The twinkle of lights

it can get pretty dark in the open country and a flood light isn’t exactly romantic or pretty – so completely cover the place in fairy lights. Really easy these days as there are loads of battery LED fairy lights available – so you don’t have lots of cables running everywhere or the fire risk of open candles.

Scottish Festival Wedding - Festoon Lighting Ideas

I make chandeliers with hoops covered in fabric and fairy lights that can be hung anywhere. They give off an amazing amount of light and look so pretty when it gets dark.

Scottish Festival Wedding - Festoon Lighting Ideas

I love filling buckets with bright organza and lots of fairy lights to use as uplighters. Tin cans punctured with a pattern and filled with tea lights look really cute up a path or hanging on a barn wall.

Or why not try, brightly coloured zinc buckets filled with LED lights – just perfect for a festival wedding theme.

Scottish Festival Wedding - Fairy Lighting Ideas

Food & drink

Have a hog roast or barbeque and a buffet groaning with salads and artisan breads or make up picnic baskets and hampers for each table. Top off with drinks dispensers filled with fruit punch or cocktails, a tin bath or buckets filled with ice to chill the beer and wine.

Why not ask a local micro brewer to bring a barrel of beer or two?

Finish off with Desserts table full of home-made puddings or lots of cakes. Hire an ice cream  or patisserie van – see our Trusted Wedding Suppliers listing for some great Artisan Food Van ideas.

PS – Do invest in a dance floor of some kind if you don’t have a marquee – dancing on grass isn’t advisable with heels!

Fancy the idea? But don’t know where to start?

I can help. Inspiration and design ideas, items for hire or custom made just for you. Do get in touch via Facebook or email me on [email protected]

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13 Mar 2017
Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drink Ideas

Heather Rose Gin – the perfect wedding or celebration drink

Created by Strathearn Distillery, at present Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery – their Heather Rose Gin is a great find. And a rare one – each batch producing only 280 bottles. It’s a personal favourite here at AH!

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

The combination of rose and heather give it slight fruity notes of honey combined with delicate notes of lavender. The subtle colour reflects the swathes of heather on the Perthshire hillsides.

The gin is produced in a two stage process, the first being vapour infusion using a 500 litre pot still with a botanical basket.  Once distilled, this base gin is compounded with additional delicate botanicals to add more flavour and colour.

Stuart from Strathearn Distillery describes Heather Rose as a celebration gin, “ideal as an aperitif, for a special occasion or as an everyday treat.” We think it would make fantastic welcome drinks at your wedding or birthday celebration here at AH!

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

Discover the botanicals…

Juniper, coriander seeds, orange peel, lemon peel, liquorice root, rose petals and purple heather flowers.

Simply add tonic for a little bit of magic!

The gin has a lustrious mahogany colour which hides a magical secret which can be seen with the addition of tonic. With its combination of rose and heather it takes on a Prosecco character. The colour of the gin changes to a delicate pink when topped up with tonic.

In a chilled champagne flute add one shot of Heather Rose, top up with chilled Fever-Tree (we like the Mediterranean one!) Tonic for the pinkest blush. No garnish or ice required. But lovely with a few raspberries perhaps?

Fancy Gin cocktails instead?

Strathearn Distillery have come up with a fun cocktail using the Heather Rose Gin called Bramble Rose. We like the sound of this – haven’t tried it just yet! Why not give it a go?

Strathearn Distillerty Heather Rose Gin | Wedding Drinks Ideas

Ingredients:
50ml Heather Rose Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
10ml Cane Sugar Syrup
10ml Rose Water
10ml Crème de Mure

Recipe:
Shake first 4 ingredients over ice, then strain into a rocks glass filled fill crushed ice. To finish pour the crème de mure slowly over the top of the drink to bleed through the ice. Garnish with lemon and a fresh bramble.

Enjoy! 🙂

10 Feb 2017

Looking for something a little different for your wedding catering? Meet Fleur…

Weddings at Alexander House are all about creating events unique to our guests. We like different. We like quirky. We love fun! We also love meeting suppliers who share our belief that weddings don’t have to follow tradition, so it was an absolute pleasure to come across Ailsa and Fleur who are collectively known as ArtisanaBakes.

A few introductions are necessary. Ailsa is a very talented patissiere who creates THE most beautiful and delicious cakes. She is definitely the brains and baking genius behind the company, but I don’t think she’d mind us saying that it’s Fleur who gets the most attention. Because Fleur is a wonderful vintage Citroen H-van, lovingly restored and transformed to provide a mobile tea room and patisserie – everyone falls in love with Fleur the minute she’s seen!

Image courtesy of Ross Walker of No94 Photography

 

If you’re looking for that magical special touch for your wedding, Fleur is the perfect addition. She is very flexible and versatile, so can pretty much fulfil any function you might want. Ailsa shared with us just a few ways in which she and Fleur have been asked to work at weddings:

•    Serving cocktails to guests upon arrival at a venue, and then champagne and canapes.

•    Some couples want an alternative to the traditional wedding cake. Ailsa can create an amazing array of cakes, one (or more!) of which your guests are bound to love choosing from Fleur’s counter. Desserts can also be served from Fleur.

Artisana Bakes - Wedding Cakes Perthshire

•    After dinner, Fleur is ideal for serving coffee and handmade chocolates.

•    Fleur can be transformed into a Hot Chocolate Bar, perfect for an outdoors event during cooler months or in the evening. And it’s not just any old hot chocolate, we’re talking homemade Chocolat Chaud, thick and moreish, served from Fleur’s counter that is laden with delicious things to dip into your drink – waffle churros, shortbread, brownie bites, fresh fruit, nougat and marshmallows.

•    If you need to feed your guests later in the evening, savoury treats and pasties are a good option.

Artisana Bakes - Vintage Citroean Van Wedding Hire & Catering Ideas

Fleur creates a truly novel focal point for a wedding. What better way for guests to chat to each other, catch up with news or maybe meet for the first time, than congregating around Fleur and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere that ‘just happens’. So why not invite Fleur to your wedding – just imagine the endless photo opportunities, the special memories for both you and your guests, not to mention the high quality of Ailsa’s patisserie skills. It’s a perfect mix.

We think Fleur would look fantastic in the grounds of Alexander House and we’re really looking forward to welcoming Artisana to one of our events soon!

Artisana Bakes - Wedding Cakes Perthshire

Artisana Bakes - Vintage Citroean Van Wedding Hire & Catering Ideas
Image courtesy of Ross Walker of No94 Photography
20 Nov 2016

Stylish wedding dresses from award-winning Katy’s Company

We worked with Katy on a recent wedding photo shoot and loved her choice and style in wedding dresses and accessories.

Katys Company is an award-winning designer wedding dress shop set in the heart of Perth – offering a hand picked selection of bridal outfits and accessories.

The team aim to provide a relaxed environment where brides to be will be able to try on a selection of stunning wedding and  bridesmaid dresses. Stockists of: Ronald Joyce, Blush by Hayley Paige, Essence of Australia and Lilly.

 

 

She also stocks the rather fun and innovative Heelbopps – perfect for quick jaunts across the lovely lawn here at AH!

Image courtesy of www.eilidhrobertson.co.uk

Any any shop that has fizz on hand for their customers gets our vote! 🙂

 

Image courtesy of www.eilidhrobertson.co.uk

 

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16 Nov 2016

CHAS Fawkes-y Ladies Lunch 2016

Dear Jo & Alexander House Team

I am writing to thank you for supporting our CHAS Fawkes-y Ladies Lunch with the kind donation of exclusive use of Alexander House for twenty for our live auction .

We had 450 ladies along to Prestonfield to attend our seventh CHAS Fawkes-y Ladies Lunch.

As you can imagine, with 450 ladies in the room, the noise levels were huge, but our host, Michelle McManus did a fantastic job of managing the ladies, performing songs and entertaining the ladies with her hilarious stories.  There was even a karaoke sing-along to Elaine Paige’s “I know him so well”.

The ladies had the opportunity to win a number of fantastic prizes through our fundraising games.  Prizes included £500 of Harvey Nichols vouchers donated by Kilco (International) for 1, 2, buckle my shoe, a gorgeous New Town handbag donated by Covet for Handbag Bingo, a case of Veuve Clicquot donated by Tilney Bestinvest for the champagne draw, two return flights to New York courtesy of United Airlines and a stunning pair of diamond earrings donated by Laing Edinburgh, who also offered a diamond cleaning service on the day.

We had kilted warriors from the local barracks there on the day assisting our volunteers to sell raffle tickets and the Jersey Notes had the ladies dancing on their chairs and singing along.

You could hear a pin drop when Jordan Buchanan shared her story about her sister Emma who lost her fight with Cystic Fibrosis on Boxing Day three years ago.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jordan asked everyone to stand and raise a glass to Emma who would have turned 18 in two weeks’ time.  It really brought home why we were all there.

Former rugby player, Andy Nicol, worked his magic on the room during the live auction and raised a phenomenal amount from prizes include a morning in the kitchen with Tom Kitchin, Christmas Lunch on the Northern Belle, a French country house for a week and a couple of girls’ day out prizes.

This event and the amount raised would not be possible without all the amazing help and support we receive from businesses and individuals like yourself.  Your prize raised a wonderful £2,400 on the day and with your help we raised a phenomenal grand total of £105,500, which means after costs £75k directly to our work at the hospices.

Thank you once again for your support and for helping us to create special moments for our families.

Regards,
Diane Alton
Events Co-ordinator

Alexander House proudly supports Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS).

CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides vital hospice services for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

15 Oct 2016

Add a little Limelight sparkle to your wedding at AH!

Limelight Weddings & Events provides beautiful LED trees and floral decorations for your wedding venue or event, including our magnificent 3 metre tall illuminated cherry blossom trees with burlap bows and plaques.

Their bay trees, fig trees and pedestal flower arrangements can sit around your rooms, doorways and marquee at Alexander House to create a lovely natural feel to your wedding, and they complement fresh flower arrangements splendidly.

Here’s what their lovely brides have called their trees – “magnificent”, “breath-taking” and “stunning” and they provide the
complete package, which includes full set-up and delivery, at prices you will love!

 

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15 Sep 2016

Loving our AH flowers shown on this website? Well here’s our secret…

Nicola and The Secret Garden Dunblane!

Nicola is a Designer Florist with over 25 years’ experience within the industry. She has achieved various awards and
skills whilst working locally and internationally.

We love her contemporary, relaxed wedding flower styling and think she has dressed AH beautifully.

Here’s just a sample of her amazing wedding flowers and a few ideas of how this works here at AH…

Thank you to Eilidh Robertson Photography for these beautiful images of Nicola’s work.

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