February, 2016 Archive

How to Wrap the Perfect Present

Whatever you choose to give to your mum this Mother’s Day, make sure it’s beautifully presented with our guide to flawless gift-wrapping.

Step 1.

Always put your gift into a box if it’s soft or awkwardly-shaped. It’s much easier to wrap a teddy bear in a box than it is to wrap a teddy bear. Stuff the box with tissue paper for extra luxury.

 

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Using a gift box will make wrapping so much easier.

Step 2.

Put your box upside down in the centre of the wrapping paper. This way, your present will be the right way up when it’s wrapped. For a really smooth finish, wrap a sheet or two of tissue paper around the gift first. Bring paper from the long side of the box up to the middle. Do the same on the other side, wrapping the paper snugly around the present. For flawless wrapping, use double-sided sticky tape to fix the join and ensure the join is down the centre of the present so it can be hidden with a bow. (For how to seal the ends of the tissue paper, see Step 5)

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Wrap your present in tissue paper first.

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Turn your present upside down, to ensure it’s the right way up when wrapped.

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Cut just enough paper to cover all sides.

Step 3.

Measure your paper correctly around the gift by flipping your box over on all sides along the paper to ensure it will meet all the way around. Always use sharp scissors to cut the paper and don’t cut more than you need. Too much paper gives a lumpy finish. When cut, fold the cut edges over to give a neat, even finish.

If you’re using patterned wrapping paper, try and match the patterns up when you join the edges. If you’re wrapping a really big present and need to use more than one sheet of paper, ensure the join is down the centre of the present so that you can cover and hide it with ribbon.

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Fold the edge over on the cut side for a neat finish.

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Use double-sided sticky tape instead of sellotape.

Step 5.

To fold the short ends, face the open end towards you and push the right and left edges of the paper in towards the middle, pushing them flat against the box, to form top and bottom flaps. Press the top flap down, running your fingernail along the edge to create a sharp fold. Tape with double-sided sticky tape. Pull the bottom flap up and tape into place in the same way. Repeat at the other end of the gift.

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Push in the left and right sides at the ends.
Use a fingernail to give crisp edges to the triangular folds this makes.

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Use scissors to cut any excess paper that is showing at the points.
Use double-sided sticky tape to fix the top and bottom folds in place.

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The Bow

Step 6.

For a classic bow, lay a long piece of ribbon out flat and place your present onto it, topside down, with the ribbon running down the centre of the longest side of the gift. Pull the ribbon up from both sides, twist in the centre at the bottom of the present, then pull the ribbon up the shorter sides to create a criss-cross. Turn your present over and tie the ribbon in a knot at the centre of the package. Leave ends loose.

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Place your gift wrong side up, on the length of ribbon.

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Make a twist at the bottom in the centre, then bring the ribbon
up the sides of the box, and turn over.

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Make a knot at the centre of the top of the box.
Take the ties under both pieces of ribbon to keep the cross centred.

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Step 7.

Using the loose ends create two loops, criss-cross the loops and bring one of the loops through the hole to the other side, and pull tight to form a bow. Fold the loose ties in half lengthways, and snip diagonally to form a V-shape. For a double bow, slide another piece of ribbon underneath the knot and tie a second bow.

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Fold ribbon in half and cut diagonally to give fishtail tips.

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Et voila! A beautifully wrapped present.

Champagne and…

Learn the food pairings that go best with Champagne and plan a Valentine’s meal your loved one will fall head over heels in love with! ID-10019111

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What better way to mark a celebration than with a glass or two of Champagne. But it’s also surprisingly versatile as a meal accompaniment too. Check out some of these lesser-known marriage-made-in-heaven combinations for a truly memorable Valentine’s meal.

  • Fried Food
    It’s a little known fact that fried food and Champagne are a great partnership. Fried mushrooms in particular, make a wonderful accompaniment, as do in fact, mushrooms of any variety.
  • Mac n’ Cheese
    Proof that celebration food can also be comfort food. Make your macaroni cheese with aged, hard cheeses such as Parmesan, smoked gouda or cheddar if you’re going for a full-bodied Champagne. Or with softer cheeses such as goats cheese and brie to compliment a lighter-bodied, or Blanc de Blanc Champagne. The acidity and the bubbles of the Champagne cut through the creaminess of the cheese sauce, making it a perfect combination.
  •  Veggie Chilli
    Another example of good honest food that goes up a notch when accompanied with a glass of bubbly. Vegetarian Chilli is so easy to make, yet when accompanied by a glass of Champagne, it’s elevated to food of the Gods! And unlike heavier, red meat based dishes which can be difficult to pair with Champagne, veggie chilli, especially when covered in melting grated cheese, works brilliantly.
  • Pasta or Risotto with cream or mushroom sauce
    Avoid tomato-based sauces for your pasta: the acidity of the tomatoes clashes with the high acidity of the champagne. Instead, go for creamy or mushroom-based sauces.
  • Desserts
    Because champagne contains high levels of acidity, it’s not a great accompaniment to sweet desserts but fruit tarts and light crumbles, shortbread and rice or plum puddings can be made extra special with a good Champagne. Remember the rule though, that a sweeter pudding needs a sweeter Champagne. Chocolate is okay with an extra-dry or demi sec, as long as it’s dark and bittersweet and not too gooey. Strawberries and Champagne are a classic pairing, but you need to be careful to choose the right Champagne to really offset strawberries. A sparkling wine that’s sweet and light, like Asti Spumanti or a Demi-Sec Champagne work best. 
  • Crisps/Popcorn/Crackers
    Eating out this Valentine’s? Then why not come home to a bottle of Champagne of ice? Then curl up on the sofa with the one you love, a big bowl of popcorn and a bag of Kettle Chips, because there is almost nothing that pairs as well with high acidity Brut Champagnes than crispy, salty snacks… and a cosy night in

It helps to know a little about the different types of Champagne when choosing your perfect meal accompaniment so here’s a few things to look out for:

Demi-sec – It means ‘half sweet’, signifying that it’s not as sweet as dessert wines, but this is the sweetest of all the Champagnes.
Dry – Drier than Demi-Sec.
Extra dry
Brut – The driest variety of Champagne, and the most popular.
Blanc de Blancs – Meaning white Champagne from a white grape and made solely from Chardonnay grapes. Good as a pre-dinner aperitif, and with lighter foods and seafood.
Blanc de Noirs – Meaning white Champagne made from the black Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, resulting in a more golden colour than Blanc de Blancs. Works well with full-flavoured foods such as meat and cheese, but these Champagnes tend to be more rare and expensive.
Rosé – Ranging in colour from pale orange to luminescent pink, the colour most commonly comes from the addition of Pinot Noir wine at the second fermentation, when still wine becomes Champagne.

For a great selection of quality Champagnes this Valentine’s Day, and for any celebration, check out our selection of Bollinger in our Champagne Shop. http://www.theeventexperts.co.uk/shop/fabulous-fizzy-drinks/charming-champagnes/index.html