Think you know flowers? Maybe you’re even a little stuck in a rut, always opting for the same safe flowers in the same safe arrangement.
But what if there was a way to shake things up? What if there was a way to elevate flowers from supporting role to the star of the show. To make them the inspiration and centrepiece for a look, instead of a last thought.
Enter, funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk, a gorgeous, design-led web magazine that showcases the floral world in surprising ways; presenting trendsetters in the green sector, floral recipe ideas, fashion, beauty and exciting new ways to display blooms.
I love this concept, so I was super excited to take on the challenge to using a particular flower to inspire a recipe and dinner party look.
And the flower? The gerbera, a popular odourless flower that belongs to the Asteraceae, or Compositae family. Bright, multicoloured flowers with a black or green centre and a cheerful shape, almost like the imagined flower we all draw as children.
The gerbera is perfect for inspiring a joyful, bright dinner party look and a fittingly vibrant and delicious recipe, so I set off on a journey to discover the creations that would unfold at my table.
Here’s the result. Bright pink, pastel pink, orange and yellow gerberas, bright striped placemats that both compliment and clash, and everything tied together and softened with white tableware and a neutral backdrop of exposed wood. And for the recipe? A bright pink beetroot and cauliflower soup, surprising in colour, deliciously earthy and delicate in flavour. Perfect.
- 75ml olive oil
- 4 beetroots (fresh not pickled or pre-boiled)
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 300ml crème fraîche
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 750ml boiling water
- A few sprigs of parsley.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan).
- Pour the oil into a roasting tray.
- Peel the beetroot, cut into inch pieces and add to the tray.
- Trim the cauliflower, chop into inch florets and add to the pan.
- Peel the garlic and add to the tray.
- Peel and quarter the red onion and add to the tray.
- Give everything a good mix to ensure an even coating of oil, then season well with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 50-60 minutes, stirring half way through to avoid an uneven roast.
- Tip the roasted veggies into the blender along with the water, stock cube and ¾ of the crème fraîche.
- Blitz until smooth and transfer immediately to bowls.
- Top with a swirl of the remaining crème fraîche (if the crème fraîche is too thick to swirl, mix it with a little milk first) and a sprig of parsley for each bowl.
To recreate the gerbera centrepiece featured here, you’ll need:
- A large bunch of freshly cut gerberas in yellow, orange, hot pink, pale pink. I bought ours from the florist.
- A small bunch of bear grass. That’s the long, thin spikes of grass peeping out between the flowers. Again, mine was from the florist.
- A branch of camellia foliage leaves or similar. Again, mine was from the florist.
- A large glass bowl. I used a Pyrex mixing bowl.
What to do:
- Half fill your bowl with water.
- Using strong scissors, trim the leaves and flowers down to just a couple of inches taller than the bowl.
- Arrange the leaves inside the bowl, around the rim.
- Arrange the flowers inside the leaf border you’ve created, with the occasional further leaf sprig between the flowers.
- Cut the grass about four inches taller than the bowl and arrange sparingly in the display, pushing between the flowers so the grass points upwards and then bends outwards towards the rim.
And if you’d like to recreate the rest of this dinner party look, the key pieces are:
- Exposed wood table.
- White plates and soup bowls.
- Plain, matching cutlery.
- Glass tumblers and wine glasses.
- A large white salad serving bowl and tongs.
- Brightly coloured, vertically striped placemats.
This whole look just makes me feel happy, content and harmonious. I’m going to put flowers in the centre of my creative experience more often.
Enjoy, let me know what you think and don’t forget to check out funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk’s social feeds:
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This is a commissioned post for funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk