fbpx

All Posts by Gartmore House

Food at Gartmore House

Food at Gartmore House – including example menu choices

Food at Gartmore HouseOur guests agree that good food is an important part of their stay at Gartmore House. If you’re booked on one of our craft and activity breaks then full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea/coffee break) is included in your arrangements. We have two in-house chefs who ensure we serve up delicious, fresh and (where possible) local and seasonal fare.  For dinner on your craft and activity break you will choose from three options for each course (starter, main, dessert); below are a selection of what’s been on the menu these past few weeks. Lunch is buffet-style with a starter and main (including vegetarian/vegan options if you have such dietary requirements); again, below are examples of what you can expect. If you have any dietary requirements then please let us know before your arrival, so we can ensure the team are well-prepared for you. We look forward to welcoming you to Gartmore House!
‘Excellent food (compliments to the chefs) and good service throughout, especially at mealtimes’. Chris, Watercolour Painting Course, July 2019
‘Thank you for everything – it was like  paradise. Sometimes the food portions were too big! Exceptionally well looked after – thanks.’ John, Painting Course, June 2018
V= Vegetarian, GF = gluten-free, DF = dairy-free
StarterEXAMPLE DINNER STARTERS
Creamed Garlic and Herb Mushrooms (V, GF) Served on toast
Deep Fried Brie Wedges (V) Served with sweet chilli dipping sauce
Lentil and Cumin Soup (V, GF, DF)
Trio of Melon (V, GF, DF) Served with fruit coulis
Duck and Orange Pate Served with melba toast and onion marmalade
Garden Pea Soup (V, GF, DF)
Warm Salad of Black Pudding, Bacon and Tomato Served with a balsamic glaze
Poached Pear Salad (V, GF) Served with a blue cheese dressing
Chefs Caesar Salad

Main course EXAMPLE DINNER MAINS
Breast of Chicken stuffed with Spinach, wrapped in Bacon (DF, GF) Served with tomato and onion ragu
Breaded Haddock Served with chips, tartar sauce and peas
Vegetable Curry (V, GF, DF) Served with rice
Pan-fried Duck Breast (DF, GF) Served with orange and red wine sauce
Baked Fillet of Salmon (GF) Served with sweet chilli butter sauce
Roast Loin of Pork (DF, GF available) Served with Yorkshire pudding, apple sauce and gravy
Vegetable Tagine (V, GF, DF) Served with rice
Roast Leg of Lamb (GF, DF) Served with a red currant jus
Vegetable Tart (V)
Slowly Braised Beef (GF, DF) Served in a rich onion gravy
Pasta Cheese Bake (V, GF available) Served with garlic bread and salad
Baked Fillet of Sea-Bass (GF, DF) Served with crushed potatoes and sauce vierge
EXAMPLE DINNER DESSERTSDessert
Vanilla Panna cotta (V)
Sticky Toffee Pudding and Butterscotch Sauce (V)
Fresh Fruit Salad with Ice Cream (V, Can be GF, DF)
Apple Crumble and custard (V)
Scottish Cranachan (V)
Lemon Posset
Chocolate Brownie Served with ice cream
Tablet Cheesecake (V)
Lemon Tart (V, GF)
Chocolate Orange Truffle Torte (V, GF)
Crème Brule (V, GF)
Lunch starterEXAMPLE LUNCH STARTERS
Tomato Soup
Leek & Potato Soup
Scotch Broth
Cream of vegetable soup
Garden Pea Soup
Mushroom Soup
EXAMPLE LUNCH MAINS
Selection of sandwiches
Jacket potatoes with a selection of fillings
Meatballs and penne pasta
Chicken curry with steamed rice and Naan bread
Roasted Vegetable & Herb Risotto
Breaded chicken goujons, chips and salad
Sunday Roast Lamb
Afternoon TeaIf you’ve any questions or requests then please get in touch with our team, who will be happy to help!
#gartmoreexperience
www.gartmorehouse.com | Tel: 01877 382991 | mail@gartmorehouse.com
 

  • August 28, 2019
  • News
Scottish Empire Biscuits

Our Top 10 Cafés Around Gartmore

We’re spoilt for choice for great places to grab a cuppa and slice of something nice or a light lunch if you’re planning to venture out around Gartmore. Remember, we also have a restaurant here on site too! Here are our Top 10 cafés to try around Gartmore (no particular order really – they are all good!) … They are all great places to sit down and relax – whether you’re chilling out in the Scottish sunshine or warming up in the cooler months.

1. MacMillan’s Kitchen @ Ben View Garden Centre, Ward Toll

This lovely and welcoming café is found just 5 minutes from Gartmore, at the friendly Ben View Garden Centre. Enjoy sweeping views to the Trossachs as you tuck into some delicious, fresh, home-made fare – their gourmet burgers are legendary and you’ll be spoilt for choice with their delicious cakes and great coffee. The team there are super friendly and lovely – nothing is too much trouble. If you fancy something a bit more traditional, then try their yummy Cullen Skink – a flavour-packed fish stew/soup which you lap up with crusty bread… nommmm.
https://www.facebook.com/BenviewGarden/

2. The Wee Blether Tea Room, Kinlochard

Take a scenic 20-mins drive out to this hidden gem of a café – you head through Aberfoyle, then along the water’s edge of Loch Ard to picturesque Kinlochard where you’ll find the Wee Blether Tea Room – situated overlooking the loch, there’s an amazing array of sweet treats to tempt you, or for a hearty lunch try a jacket tattie, toastie or sandwich, or bowl of steaming hot soup. In the summer it’s pure delight to sit outside and drink in the views and tranquillity.  Walk or cycle-off those calories on one of the forest trails after, or gently doze off listening to the wind in the reeds surrounding the loch. Bliss.
https://www.weeblethertearoom.co.uk/

**UPDATE** Sadly the Wee Blether has now closed its doors. The drive out to Kinlochard is still well worth-while, and you can book for afternoon tea or just grab a coffee at nearby Forest Hills Hotel.

3. The Pier Café, Stronachlachar

A real favourite is this wee café at Stronachlachar Pier at the western end of Loch Katrine – well worth the winding, stunning drive to get here! You’re venturing into true Rob Roy country – wild and mysterious – with incredible vistas you’ll feel totally remote and then stumble upon this wonderful rest stop, with a panoramic glass conservatory overlooking the loch. Vegans will be very happy with the delicious cake choices on offer daily. The food is delicious and the staff are super friendly. The Pier Café is reached either by road (heading towards Aberfoyle then on via Kinlochard to Stronachlachar), or you can drive over the Duke’s Pass then take the steamer from the Loch Katrine Pier to Stronachlachar Pier, or from the Loch Katrine Pier take the breathtaking 14 mile lochside cycle path to the café (then either cycle or take the steamer back….). Check the steamer timetable at https://www.lochkatrine.com/cruises/book-a-cruise/
https://www.facebook.com/thepiercafestronachlachar/ 

4. The Coffee Kiln @ The Pottery Shop, Buchlyvie

Just over a 10 mins drive away you’ll come to the Stirling village of Buchlyvie, where you’ll find the Coffee Kiln and Pottery Shop, on the main street through the village. Filled with stunning ceramics, it’s the ideal cosy spot to stop off and grab a slice of cake and hot drink, whilst also being tempted by the surrounding shelves full of cups, saucers, and host of other delightful pottery on offer.  The pottery is created in the workshop just out the back (there’s a wee hatch you can peer through and that’s also where you purchase any goodies).
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1489481-d6364183-Reviews-Coffee_Kiln_at_The_Pottery_Shop-Buchlyvie_Scotland.html

5. The Woodhouse, Kippen

If you’re headed towards Stirling, this is a perfect pitstop, just off the A811 ( 20 mins drive from Gartmore) and close to Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.  Their breakfast/brunches are outstanding – with Eggs Benedict choices to boggle the brain, and changing specials such as cheese soufflé and haggis toasties. What’s more, the farmshop is foodie heaven, with a huge array of goodies – from Scottish cheeses to artisan breads, fruit wines and even bottled beer from Kippen’s Fallen Brewery. With views of the majestic Gargunnock Hills, what’s not to love?
https://www.thewoodhousekippen.co.uk/

6. Brig o’ Turk Tea Room, Brig o’Turk

If you take the spectacular drive up over the Duke’s Pass (just past Aberfoyle) in half an hour you’ll come across this 1920s tea room, now run by Hungarian owners, resulting in a wonderful melange of Scottish and eastern European food.  Expect more than your usual café – dishes are beautifully presented and deliver in spades on taste. The pared-back and authentic interior is reminiscent of a traditional Scottish bothy. Highly recommended.
https://www.facebook.com/brigoturk.tearoom/

7. Three Sisters Bake, Killearn

Head south towards Glasgow and just a short diversion off the A81 you’ll find the pretty village of Killearn, and the delightful Three Sisters Bake Craft Café (15 mins drive).  Run by three sisters (and Glasgow gals), Nichola, Lindsey and Gillian, the café offers distant views to Loch Lomond and is a popular spot for a family lunch.  If you’ve a bit more time on your hands then the spectacular Afternoon Tea (book 48 hrs in advance) is a real treat.  Pick up a copy of their cookbook to drool over at home, where you can create a mess trying to replicate their delicious cakes and tarts.
https://www.threesistersbake.co.uk/killearn/

8. Liz MacGregor’s Coffee Shop, Aberfoyle

One of Aberfoyle’s long-established cafés, you can expect fabulous home-made cakes and scones as well as tasty hot food at Liz’s place.  It’s a popular spot with walkers and cyclists that flock to the ‘Gateway to the Trossachs’.  In fine weather grab a table on the pavement and watch the world go by. Just a 5 mins drive from Gartmore House.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-MacGregors-Coffee-Shop/194838880542154

9. The Scottish Wool Centre, Aberfoyle

As well as offering a great shopping opportunity, The Scottish Wool Centre at Aberfoyle (5 mins drive) has a nice coffee shop to stop and ‘wet your whistle’. During the summer season you can also watch collie dogs herding Indian runner ducs through an obstacle course in the paddock! There are a variety of sheep on show in the surrounding paddocks too.
https://www.visitscotland.com/info/shopping/simply-the-best-destination-the-scottish-wool-centre-p845601

10. The Station, Aberfoyle

A relative new-comer to Aberfoyle, having opened in July 2019 (and a 5 mins drive away) and located in the old station, the interior offers a chilled, rustic vibe, or you can take a pew outside on the veranda.  Run by the  Fraser family, who also run the popular Oak Tree Inn and St Mocha Café at Balmaha, the Station Café is a welcome addition to the village.  Toasties, sausage and bacon rolls are washed down with mugs of freshly-ground coffee from their very own Loch Lomond Coffee Company. At the last glance, the cake cabinet boasted 5 types of vegan treats! Yum!
https://www.lochlomondcoffee.co.uk/st-mocha

The Black Bull Community Hub and Pub is also opening in September 2019 in the village – so you’ll be able to grab a coffee and slice of something nice there.
Do you have any recommendations of cafés to visit around Gartmore? Please let us know if so!

#gartmoreexperience

www.gartmorehouse.com | Tel: 01877 382991 | mail@gartmorehouse.com

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
  • August 14, 2019
  • News
1 Sewing Tutor Gill McBride

Q&A with our Sewing/Dressmaking Tutor Gill McBride

Our lovely Sewing Tutor, Gill McBride is an absolute whizz with a sewing machine. She’s the go-to guru for all things involving dressmaking and patterns. In this Q&A blog Gill shares her top tips and answers some questions about the course – we hope you find it helpful!
Residential Dressmaking CourseQ      What are your top 3 tips for great sewing?

  1. Get to know your sewing machine! It’s the first thing any new sewer, or any sewer with a new sewing machine, should do.  Over the years I have found that a ‘fear’ of the sewing machine is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to being a happy sewer.  Once you understand how to de-tangle it, re-thread it, sort the tension and so on, then you’ll be able to go straight to sewing without worrying about ‘what if’ the machine ……!
  2. Sew in stages! Most of us don’t have time to sit and make a whole garment at one sitting!  I’ve learnt this over the 45 years that I’ve been making clothes. So, break your project up into stages. Cut and prepare your pattern as one stage; pin your pattern and cut your fabric as the second stage; prepare for sewing and start sewing as a third stage and finally, do your finishing. In this way, you’ll make far fewer mistakes, you’ll manage to fit in an hour here and hour there and you’ll get your garment/project made – even though you have a full time job or are a full-time family and house person – without disrupting normal routines.
  3. Press as you go! Lack of pressing is one of the key things that makes a project look ‘home made’.  If you press as you go, you will be amazed at the difference in your finished garment/project!

Residential Sewing Course at Gartmore House
Q       What is your favourite thing to make and why?

A        I just love to tailor a jacket.  Even though I use modern speed tailoring techniques, it takes quite a long time and in fact the preparation takes most of the time and the sewing probably the least of the time.  But it is so satisfying.  And because the prep work has taken so long, the sewing to me, is less likely to have to be undone and redone!  I suppose that’s because I’m really taking my time to make the jacket properly and not hurrying as I do with so many other sewing projects!!  Ready to wear jackets never fit me very well because of my shape, so the pure pride and satisfaction of wearing a jacket that fits me really well, is immense!
 
Q        Who are your courses at Gartmore House aimed at?
A          The courses are aimed at all levels of sewers. The beauty of the sewing holiday is that we have 4 sewing days, so there is lots of time for everyone.  So if you are not so confident with your sewing, or you don’t have a lot of experience, you will still have time over the 4 days to learn and to sew and you won’t hold anybody up. The number of people on the course is small, so I have lots of time to spend with each person at whatever stage of sewing they are at.  The only course that probably demands more experience is the speed tailoring course.  It is much more demanding and it is better suited to more experienced sewers.
Sewing machines & overlockersQ         What about Sewing Machines?
A          Sewing machines come in all shapes and sizes and the best advice is to buy according to your budget.  Don’t ever be persuaded to buy more than you will use.  It’s easy to upgrade at a later date, but to buy a machine and not use most of it is a pity!  At Gartmore House, I can provide sewing machines (hire is £40 for the longer course or £20 for a weekend course), and I also bring along an overlocker.  So if you can’t manage to bring a machine with you, that’s not a problem at all.  Just let me know beforehand via the team at Gartmore House, and I’ll bring a machine for you to use. And, if you’ve never used an overlocker and are curious, then you can try one out!
 
Sewing course at Gartmore HouseQ         What’s the best thing about a sewing/dressmaking holiday at Gartmore House?
A          Having the time to sew without distraction; having company to sew with; having someone there to help with the sewing problems and questions; having loads of laughs, loads of fun and making new friends!  I love it!
If you’re interested in joining Gill on a Sewing Patterns/Dressmaking residential course at Gartmore House, please take a look at the course webpage, give us a call on 01877 382991 or email our team mail@gartmorehouse.com – we look forward to seeing you!
#gartmoreexperience

2 Art Cloth Doll Making Demo

Art Cloth Doll Making Courses at Gartmore House – hello from Tutor Angela

Tutor Angela runs our Art Cloth Doll Making courses at Gartmore House and explains a bit more about what you can expect from the course:
It is such fun making cloth character dolls. In March the participants in the other craft class at Gartmore House couldn’t understand why there was so much hilarity in our workshop!  All our work was closely scrutinized by a very cute four-footed friend (well-behaved dogs are welcome at the House) – I think he approved, although he liked the home bakes better…
Art Cloth Doll Making CourseMaking a cloth doll is a lot easier than you might think. You do not need expert sewing skills, just the courage to give it a go. Forty 12 year-old school pupils who worked with me in 2018, some of whom couldn’t use scissors far less a sewing machine at the start, all achieved fantastic results with their marionettes/dolls.
The school pupils worked in pairs on one doll. There was only one pair who couldn’t manage to compromise on their design, so they made a half man, half panda!! If you enjoy holidaying with a friend, why not come and create something unique together.Panda Man
Over the 4 days that the course runs at Gartmore House, I will explain each step in detail with demonstrations, worksheets, samples, diagrams and personal one-to-one support. As this class is an introduction to the craft, we will use a fairly basic pattern to get you started, thus avoiding complex joint construction. However I will still ensure you learn all the skills needed to make a characterful cloth doll – both to finish your doll and create more at home.
Art Cloth Doll Making DemoEverything you could possibly need and more, is provided for your first foray into doll making. But please feel free to bring with you any inspiring pictures, photos, fabrics, buttons, braids, ribbon, beads etc that you already have and might want to use. Just be aware that the dolls themselves often take on a character of their own, and so your plans might just play second fiddle to those of your creation!
The Mole
I recently went to a doll making class myself as part of my continuing professional development and “made some mistakes”, shall we say. However I used those mistakes as inspiration. Come and meet “The Jester” and “The Last of the Mole Hecans” and I’ll let you in on their secrets.
Hope to see you at Gartmore House soon for some creative Art Cloth Doll Making fun!
Angela NeilsonAngela
Tutor – Art Cloth Doll Making 
Visit our course webpage for Art Cloth Doll Making to find out more about dates, prices and a day-by-day itinerary. To book, visit our website, call us on 01877 382991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com.

Millinery Course Tutor

Tutor Clare Workman talks about her new Millinery course 'Fabulous Fascinators'

So excited to be running a ‘Fabulous Fascinators’ weekend holiday at Gartmore House in August! If you’ve ever wanted to have a go at making wearable ‘sculpture’ – this is your chance! If you have a wedding to go to, or if you’re going racing or to a garden party – or any sort of party(!); if you are a bride or bridesmaid – or if you know one in need of a lovely fascinator – come along. If you are a crafter or embroiderer – or a budding milliner wishing to extend and expand your skills – come along too! The weekend will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience.
I have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you and I can guarantee you will leave with a fascinator or two which you will be very proud of. We can use similar skills to make corsages, brooches, shoe/bag clips, hair clips etc. if you feel a fascinator is not for you – or the trims we make can be used to update an old hat that you may have tucked away. Above all, the weekend will be creative fun.
I will be demonstrating how to make the foundation of a fascinator in several different ways (from scratch, from recycled millinery, from surprising raw materials) using traditional skills in a contemporary way. Then we will be playing with many different materials and techniques to trim them – making flowers in many different ways, beaded trims, abstract trims, sculptural trims, feather trims from vintage or found feathers (as I no longer like using ‘new’ feathers).
I will provide the foundation and raw materials required (£20/ pack) so you need bring nothing with you apart from a basic sewing kit if you have it, but all equipment and materials will be provided if necessary.
If you have a particular project in mind and need particular colours etc. then do bring small amounts of fabrics and trims (beads, buttons, ribbons, threads and so on) in your chosen colours to play with – and let me know in advance so I can bring along suitable colours for you too.
It will be a weekend of ‘fascinators without fear’ – a full on fun fascinator fest….
I hope to see you there!
Happy days…
Clare 
To find out more please visit our Millinery course webpage, call us on 01877 382991 or mail@gartmorehouse.com
  • June 12, 2019
  • News
Dog rules at Gartmore House

Dog Rules at Gartmore House

We love dogs! However we appreciate that not all guests are dog lovers. Here are some doggy house rules to keep everyone happy:

  • We limit it to 3 dogs in the house at any one time and we have 3 bedrooms allocated to guests with dogs.
  • Dogs are more than welcome as long as they are kept in the guest’s bedroom.
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead whilst in the house and throughout the grounds of Gartmore Estate.
  • Dogs will not be allowed in the public areas or crafting workshops.
  • “All dogs must be good guests”.
  • We charge £10 per dog per night. Alternatively, there are kennels located at the end of the road from Gartmore House; the kennels are called ‘Kuruba‘ and if you wish to house your dog there whilst staying with us you should contact Kuruba directly (summer months can be especially busy).

Please note this does not apply to assistance dogs.
Should you have any questions, please give us a call on 01877 382991, email mail@gartmorehouse.com or visit our website.
For Knitting & Crochet Holidays, visit https://www.gartmorehouse.com/knitting-and-crochet-holidays/
 

  • May 20, 2019
  • News

Felted Accessories – beautiful pieces from a fun course with Ewa

Some beautiful pieces were created at last week’s ‘Fashion Felt Accessories’ course with the lovely Ewa Kuniczak.  We couldn’t help but show them off here – looks like the ladies had a wonderful time and learnt so much. We are, as ever, blown away by the creativity flowing through Gartmore House! We’ve further courses this year if you fancy trying your hand at felting or learning a new felting technique; many of Ewa’s students return to try something new.  In September we have ‘Fancy Feet and Magic Mitts’, in October ‘Felt Like An Artist’ and in also ‘Felt Figures Great and Small’. And of course there’s lots of courses running in 2020. So there’s plenty to choose from… Find out more on our Felting Course webpage. To book, or if you  need any further information, give us a shout on 01877 382991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com #gartmoreexperience
 
[supsystic-gallery id=’17’]

Conic Hill, Loch Lomond

Celebrating National Walking Month this May – Walking Resources and Top Tips

May is National Walking Month! Being situated in the midst of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and surrounded by the Queen Elizabeth Forest , we’re lucky to have some amazing walking routes on our doorstep and even some famous national trails nearby. If you fancy joining a guided trip then Gartmore House offers Introduction to Hill Walking Holidays with expert local guide Gavin Clarke.
In celebration of all things hiking and walking, here are some great resources and top tips if you fancy a wander around these bonnie parts!
 
 
– A nice article by Countryfile talking about walks in our national park – Countryfile’s Best Walks in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
Walk Highlands – a huge array of walking routes are listed on this fantastic website, with details of start/end points, route notes, downloadable GPX tracks and even the route marked on online OS maps – here’s the link to the ever-popular Ben Lomond – Scotland’s most southerly Munro
Ordnance Survey maps via the App – essential for safe hill walking. The App also has a lovely feature that allows you to point your phone or device at a certain vista and see all the mountains and features of the landscape named on your screen (such as towns/villages, lochs and lochans, hills and Munro’s)
Ordnance Survey videos and leaflets – a handy blog linked to videos and downloadable leaflets which you should view if you need a refresher on map symbols, safety when hill walking, or advice on choosing the right scale map for you
– Iconic long distance National Trails the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way are within easy reach of Gartmore House – these are linear walks so if you have 2 cars you can easily dip in and out of part of the route, or give us a call and we can assist with arranging a taxi transfer back to your car to make your life easier!

Loch Katrine Cruise

Loch Katrine Cruise

– A lovely longer walk at picturesque Loch Katrine; drive to the pier (approx 30 mins from Gartmore House), then take the Sir Walter Scott Steamship out to Stronachlachar Pier and then walk the 13km along the loch-side back to your car (or walk to Stronachlachar and take the boat back) – make sure you check sailing schedules first. Both ends of the ferry have good cafes to replenish your energy with tea and cake!
And our TOP TIP if you do one hill walk in the area – make it Conic Hill – this is a popular and ‘short but stiff’ walk from the pretty village of Balmaha – you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views over Loch Lomond.
Happy Walking!
#gartmoreexperience
To book or enquire further please visit https://www.gartmorehouse.com/walking-holidays/ or call us on 01877 382991, or drop us a line mail@gartmorehouse.com
 

  • May 1, 2019
  • News
Nuno Felting Course

Student Feedback: A crafty little break at Gartmore House – intuitive felting with Ewa

Nuno Felting CourseIn September 2018 my husband and I (along with our springer spaniel Basil) packed our converted camper van and headed northwards from our home on the South East coast of Cornwall towards Gartmore House (located close to Aberfolye in the Scottish Trossachs) for a Felting Course. I had discovered Gartmore House and it’s residential courses/workshops quite by chance having sought out one of its resident tutors Ewa Kuniczak a (passionate felt maker/tutor of over 40 years experience and co-founder of The International Feltmakers Association).
Planning for the visit to Gartmore House had begun some twelve months prior to our visit and involved convincing my husband (who is not a Feltmaker) to accompany me. Thankfully he was easy persuaded based on the stunning location of the House, the availability of good fishing/walking close by and Tripadvisor reviews which gave Gartmore House good ratings for both their food and hospitality.  An added benefit was that the local pub was within walking distance, was dog friendly and served a good whisky (he’s a “single malt kind of guy”, with a love of the peaty Islay whiskys).
We arrived at Gartmore House on a wet and rainy Sunday afternoon after a long drive from home.  After walking the dog, unloading the car and settling into a very spacious bedroom with grand views across the surrounding countryside, we joined fellow students (and their partners) for an afternoon tea and a brief from the tutors in the grand old sitting room.  Two courses were being run the week of our stay; the felting course on which I had booked and a watercolour painting course.
Nuno Felting CourseThe next morning began with a hearty breakfast and a leisurely 10am start to our workshop.  Having chosen/dyed the base fabric upon which we were going to create a large piece of Nuno felted material, we worked on the process of laying down our wool fibres ready for felting the next day.  I had previously made Nuno felted jackets and coats however these had always been constructed using a template and a carefully considered approach.  Ewa’s approach on this workshop however was more organic and intuitive with the focus on designing length of Nuno felted fabric first and only once this was completed then considering the drape/construction of the final finished garment. Initially I found this approach challenging as it took me out of my comfort zone however with Ewa’s encouragement and expertise as a teacher I started to engage with the process and my work quickly started to take shape in terms of design.  By the end of day three I had successfully overcome my initial concerns and had constructed a piece of fabric which, when fully felted, became the reversible top seen here.
Days four and five allowed myself and another student on the workshop to develop our confidence and skills further as we focused on making a spiral scarf or a piece of neckwear. In designing/making this piece I tried to draw upon some of the influences/designs within the architecture of the house  ie: stunning Mackintosh style windows/staircases and work in a bold colour palate of strong reds/blues to reflect the Scottish heritage. The results of applying Ewa’s intuitive approach in designing a  garment from a single sheet of Nuno felted fabric were remarkable, and by the end of the five day workshop we were all proud owners of two quite individual and unique garments of which we were immensely proud.
I fully intend to return to a Gartmore House again soon to attend another of Ewa’s workshops for not only is she a passionate tutor but one who is incredibly generous in sharing her wealth of knowledge and skills. As for the staff at Gartmore House – all I can deliver is praise for their warmth and hospitality.  If you are looking for 5 star accommodation then Gartmore House is perhaps not the place for you. If however if you are looking for a site with history, warmth and which is “good value for money” then step through the grand entrance of this lovely building…stay a few days and experience true Scottish hospitality.
Lorraine England 
Feltmaker (SE Cornwall)
To find out more about our Felting Courses at Gartmore House, visit our Felting course webpage, call us on 01877 382991 or drop us a line at mail@gartmorehouse.com
  • April 24, 2019
  • News
Greenwood Spoon Carving Course

Greenwood Spoon Carving Course – what you need to know – from tutor Steve Bretel

Greenwood spoon carving is a new course here at Gartmore House for 2019! So what do you need to know? Tutor Steve Bretel tells all…
Following art school in Wales and a commercial art career in London, I relocated to Scotland where I now work as a fine artist and maker, and teach painting, drawing and crafting. I’m so pleased to be able to offer this greenwood spoon carving course for beginners, and sure you’ll have an enlightening and enjoyable weekend at Gartmore House. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn an absorbing new skill and enjoy a relaxing creative art form at your own pace. I’ll show you how ‘blanks’ are produced using a hand axe to split wood fresh from a sustainable forest, from which you’ll choose the ones you wish to carve following the grain in the wood. Once you’ve learnt how to use the tools safely, you can move on to applying your creative skills, being likely that you’ll make at least two pieces during the weekend. You may decide to produce a functional spoon or spatula for use in your kitchen, or a more decorative piece as a unique gift for someone special. I’ll use a mixture of demonstrations and instruction, with ideas for effective design and lots of support throughout.
Here’s the tuition page on my website:
Best wishes
Steve
To find out more or book a greenwood spoon carving course, visit the course page https://www.gartmorehouse.com/greenwood-spoon-carving/, email us on mail@gartmorehouse.com or call 01877 382991 #gartmoreexperience
  • March 31, 2019
  • News