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Duck Egg Designs Christmas - Kirsties Vintage Christmas



Duck Egg Designs has had a great year and was fortunate enough to appear alongside Kirstie Allsopp and Sue Timney in Kirsties Vintage Christmas on Channel 4. It was a wonderful experience, so much fun and we met so many interesting people.


Kirsties Vintage Christmas - Kirstie Allsopp, Ellie Harrington & Sue Timney

(Making our Christmas Tree decorations)


One of the many amazing people we met was Richard Hunt (picture below), one of the UK's best chefs and 

Head Chef of the Torquay Hotel. Richard came up with a recipe for the show that we thought was so good that we wanted to share it again with you.

So without further a do... we are please to introduce to you.




Kirsties Vintage Christmas - Christmas in a Cup


Christmas in a Cup


(Serves 8.)


What you need:


Standard Coffee Mugs (or any mug) just not fine bone China.


Flour 300grams, butter 165grams, pinch of salt.


Add ingredients to a bowl and rub gently together keeping the mixture light and fluffy...


Christmas in a Cup


Cool hands and cool work surface are important here.


Add cold water to mixture 4-5 tablespoon, stir with fork.


Roll pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes... in the mean time you can start on the filling.


Fry your vegetables in 50mls of vegetable oil and 2 knobs of butter.


We have: 2 chopped onions, 5 sticks of celery, 2 carrots and 1 small swede all chopped into little cubes.


While vegetables fry prepare the meat.


1 Kilogram of diced venison but beef or lamb will do.



First coat the venison in a little seasoned flour. Richard's tip is to pop your venison and flour into a plastic bag and seal then shake until the venison is covered in the flour. The flour will seal in the juices and thicken the sauce.


Once your vegetables have fried, pop them into a heavy croc pot and you can start cooking the venison.



Put the frying pan back on to the heat and get it really hot again and add some a few table spoons of oil. Then you can start to fry the venison and seal in the flavours. Fry venison until nice and brown.


Once brown, remove from the heat and add it to your vegetables.


To make the sauce:


Take 1 tablespoon of Tomato puree and then add 400mls of yummy port! Stir within a hot frying pan.


Add 5 tables spoon of cranberry sauce and the zest of 1 orange to the pan. You should really be able to smell the wonderful Christmas aromas now!


Now add you sauce to your venison and vegatables and top up with 450mls of beef stock.


Venison Stew


For some extra flavour add thyme, bay leave and some mixed juniper berrys in a muslin cloth. Once done season with salt and pepper.


Then pop in the oven at 160c (Gas 4-5).


Leave the venison in the oven for an hour and a half and then let it cool for another hour and a half.


Once cooled, take the pastry out of the fridge and cut out circles to go over the coffee mugs.



Once the pastry is over the mugs wash with egg yolk and when you want put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200c for the perfect Christmas in a Cup!


Christmas in a Cup - Kirsties Vintage Christmas


Christmas in a Cup




We can tell you they are delicious!


Kirstie Allsopp, Ellie Harrington and Nick Harrington - Kirsties Vintage Christmas


We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to more adventures in the New Year. Thank you for all your support and helping Duck Egg grow and grow. We really do appreciate the community and all the support!


Ellie Harrington & Nick Harrington  - Kirsties Vintage Christmas - Duck Egg Designs


Merry Christmas!


Team Duck Egg.


For more information on Duck Egg Designs contact:


Ellie at


And visit us at




January 12th 2012

Duck Egg Designs Fledgling Manifesto

I am eternally grateful for the laundry basket lid which seems to be the only thing that keeps our baby amused during nappy changes...And in my bleary early morning state I could vaguely recollect William Morris's famous quote,

 'Having nothing in your home you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'.


Morris adjustable chair (The Victorian Lazy Boy!)

How true! Having done a traumatic removal from a small flat that was apparently bursting at the seams, resulting in 13 bags of rubbish and 5 bags of recycling. How do you know when enough is enough? I should have listened to William Morris! There is something very modern about Morris and his compatriots' Arts and Crafts movement. Looking past the densely floral wallpaper, their aesthetic is one that seem particularly interesting right now. The enormous popularity of Kirstie Allsopp's 'Homemade Homes' (check out her twitter following-one of whom is of course Duck Egg!) displays how much we enjoy original items and putting a unique, or even our own, stamp on our interiors.

Strawberry thief design by William Morris and Co.

Now we are asking where does our food come from, similarly we are savvy interior shoppers. Where do our interiors come from and who are the craftspeople behind them. There is something very much in vogue about the handmade, its foibles and mistakes becoming part of the charm. 

With the BBC Pre-Raphaelites' series and the new Emma Thompson film about Ruskin's wife 'Effie', the Arts and Crafts movement is having its own renaissance and of course there is always a good old romp into the bargain...

So this is all part of the Duck Egg plan! We're using a William Morris ethos for our goods all selected by the baby amusement factor!


January 5th 2012

Vintage Gardening

Part One - Thinking about Planting!

On a wet and windy day in January, I am thinking about the summer and feeling guilty about neglecting the garden since we have moved. Having left our first floor London flat in the search for more room for our energetic one year old, we went in search of space and fell in love with our Victorian cottage in Kent. The garden was covered in invasive ivy that had really dug its roots and my feeble attempts at sawing its roots left little more than a dent in the first week. There was also no grass which we decided was essential for a football pitch/rugby pitch and putting green...Facing East has also presented a few interesting dilemmas, as each time I open a gardening book, this always seems to be the most problematic direction...! My vegetable plot and dreams of being self sufficient and feeding my family on organic home-grown veg keep being thwarted by the importance of a well placed goal! However I am compiling a list of flowers that I would like to grow and which might inspire me for Duck Egg!

Nostalgic and evocative, plant lavender amongst roses for a quintessential cottage garden

Scent of the summer, train sweet peas around a rustic trellis made of branches

Create a cherry blossom arbor around a shabby chic garden seat

We now have a blank canvas after a little help from our invaluable handy man who managed to clear the garden in an hour and half! There is a sea of mud but endless possibilities for our little patch! I can't wait to see those first optimistic snowdrop shoots! I love that with gardening we can get started now, growing seedlings and planting.

 I can't help thinking guiltily about the bag of bulbs we have been given and that are lurking under the kitchen sink...However they represent a whole bulb of hope, ready to burst with colour and transform; they are getting me thinking about the bigger picture! I plan on having a garden full of nostalgic scent, carefully chosen colour combinations, of course, and a little bit on the wild side! The garden is going to have a vintage feel, and in my gardening ignorance I am keeping fingers crossed that old English tea roses, apples and lilacs will thrive. It may not be this year, but soon I hope to have tall foxgloves, poppies, runner beans and sweet peas all nestled around our small lawn, with pockets of wildflowers to encourage the bees! I plan for barbeques, heralded by bunting, and make-shift wigwams, oh and of course football matches!

Inspiration (and motivation) for the garden!


23rd December 2011

Duck Egg hatching in the New Year!

Duck Egg was always a passion of mine; I just hadn't realised it! I wanted to combine a love for bunting, polka dots and all things quintessentially from the English countryside  with my love for practical art and design and my knowledge of history of art. Then we were enormously blessed with the arrival of a bundle of pure fun and energy! He got me thinking! How could my role as a mother work with my ideas and influence my designs? I realised that my designs had to work with family life and as an outnumbered female I wanted to use fabrics in our house that were vintage, pretty and yet unisex. I also wanted to find a one stop shop that sold furniture, fabrics and vintage finds that complemented the shabby chic look without being too matchy-matchy and with a fresh, seaside feel and so we are incubating Duck Egg! We are keeping the website warm and snug and refining a few ideas and hoping to launch in the early New Year!

I am out and about sourcing furniture to restore and paint, putting the finishing touches to our design and working on the fun part of choosing our colour palette.

Here are our inspirations for interiors for the New Year. In 2012 we will be thinking about...

 The huge skies and soft hues of the Norfolk coastline


 The pinks and ochres next to the watery blues of the Venetian skyline...


The bright colours and bold shapes of Burano...


Lavenders, soft stone and whispering olive leaves of Southern France


For more information on Duck Egg Designs and its news, hints & tips and adventures contact Ellie at