27 Apr 2011

Good Enough To Eat

Not only do flowers look beautiful in our homes, they can make a delicious addition to the kitchen table as well. Rose petals have been popular in desserts in the Middle East for centuries, while in southern France a touch of lavender is known to add a heady je ne sais quoi. While not all flowers are recommended for ingestion, in the right recipe, they can bring a surprising kick to traditional dishes. Edible flowers are as diverse in flavour as their cousins in the vegetable garden: daisy petals are tangy while those on dandelions taste like mushrooms fried in butter; violets have a sweet taste while lilacs are lemony.

Pastry chef Anthony Miller shares some of his favourite floral recipes:

Milk Chocolate Lavender Truffles

175g          Heavy whipping cream
5g               Lavender
300g         Milk chocolate
30g            Unsalted butter (softened)

1.    Bring cream to the boil in saucepan.
2.    Take saucepan off heat. Add lavender and allow to infuse with lid on for 5-10 minutes.
3.    Melt chocolate about half way.
4.    Stir lavender cream to chocolate, about a third at a time.
5.    Add butter.
6.    Pour mixture into bowl and let it cool in fridge for around 2 hours, or until set. Stir every now and again    to stop it from getting too hard.
7.    Pipe mixture into balls (about 2cm in diameter) and set onto greaseproof paper.
8.    The truffles should be chilled for another hour or so before eating.
9.    For an extra punch, dip them into some melted milk chocolate first and decorate with a few lavender  leaves.

Give this recipe a try and let us know your thoughts

24 Apr 2011


'And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.'
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

The word ‘pansy’ is derived from the French, ‘pensée’, which means ‘thought’, and among the various meanings of the pansy, thoughtful reflection or romantic thoughts are some of the most popular. They can also be given to tell someone you are thinking of them. 

Pansies are also a symbol of free thoughts and can be worn to show you are a critical thinker unbounded by religions or other dogmas. Pansy petals are reminiscent of a heart, which have long led people to believe it to have magical powers in the weaving of love spells—they were considered an essential ingredient in love potions and were believed to cure broken hearts (another name for pansies is ‘heart’s ease’). 

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is none other than a pansy that the fairy Puck gets his havoc causing love potion. Its distinctive shape also links it firmly with St Valentine’s Day, a day upon which it is traditional for lovers to exchange gifts of pansies. Pansies were particularly fashionable in Victorian times, and were used as a token of that highly regarded Victorian virtue: modesty. On a couple’s very first wedding anniversary, pansies are an eloquent means of sending congratulations flowers.  

*     Cure for a broken heart
*     Free thoughts
*     Modest
*     Romantic thoughts
*     Thoughtful reflection
*     ‘Happy 1st anniversary!’
*     ‘Think of you.’

Origin: While the pansy’s ancestors lived in continental Europe, the pansies we know today were cultivated by an English lord in the 1800s.
Season: Pansies bloom in the early spring, but because they winter well, some gardeners plant them to bloom in autumn.
Colour: Pansies are grown in colours ranging from deep red, violet and blue-black, to white, pink and tawny gold.

Author: Alethea Dean

21 Apr 2011

Wedding Trends This Summer

A trend for this summer: classic, elegant, simple and understated.  You can achieve this look using beautiful and classic cream roses, cream garden roses and gorgeous full blown cream peonies.  These can be used either as a classic central table centre piece or for those wanting slightly a slightly more contemporary look, place 3-5 smaller vases each with a grouping of one type of flower working together as a look. All timeless and elegant as focal points.

Another trend is a loose country version of the vintage look which is really popular this summer, natural, soft and pretty it incorporates touches from the garden including dill, herbs and other seasonal flowers like sweet peas. The idea is to keep the look “just picked” so containers are interesting quirky finds from vintage bottles to old pewter tea sets rather than being the classic matching look. Napkins can be tied with odd, mismatched bits of ribbon and handwritten place tags to finish the look.

20 Apr 2011

Iris Flower

‘And nearer to the river's trembling edge
  There grew broad flag-flowers, purple, pranked with white…’   
Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Question

Irises, sometimes called flag-flowers, are named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow who was also a messenger to the gods of Mount Olympus. It is an apt namesake, as irises bloom in a myriad of different colours, the most popular being the vivid blue-purple shade. It also lends one of the meanings of the iris, which is that the giver has a message to deliver.  

The irises are exceptionally regal looking, with tall elegant stems and fragrant, symmetrical flowers, so it is no wonder French royalty used to take the fleur-de-lis as their emblem.

Fans of Booker Prize winner, Iris Murdoch, will not be surprised to note that the iris symbolises wisdom and eloquence—this is a great gift for the thinking lady. Other strong-willed people will appreciate its meaning of ‘burning through adversity’. It is also a great way to tell someone ‘Your friendship means so much to me.’ You can also give irises for a 25th wedding anniversary.

*     Burn through adversity
*     Eloquent
*     Faith
*     Hope
*     Passion
*     Valour
*     Wise
*     ‘Happy 25th anniversary!’
*     ‘I have a message for you.’
*     ‘Your friendship means so much to me.’

Origin: Irises are found all over the world, from Asia, all the way to Europe and in North America too. However, the most popular variety is the German iris.
Season: Late spring to early summer, but sometimes available all year.
Colour: Irises occur in all the colours of the rainbow, but the most common are white, yellow and blue.

 What do you think of the Iris flower?

Althethea Dean

19 Apr 2011

House Dressing

Quintessentially Flowers can create tailor made flower arrangements for your home on a weekly basis, or for those one off special occasions. We can also recommend house plants and select planters for you.

Spring bulbs are now coming to an end and summer flowers are coming into season. The trend this season is to fill up vases with beautiful tree lilac, hydrangea in all colours which are now in season – this looks absolutely stunning and makes a dramatic impact on a room.

Bright colours make all the difference - Beautiful English ranunculus, bluebells, gelder rose and dill are all now available and will inject colour into any room.

Alternatively, this is the right time to invest in potted plants for the home – planted herbs like citrus thyme, mint and lavender are all wonderfully scented and also look fantastic. The other plus point is these potted plants will last longer and require less attention.

For more information on how to spice up your home this summer please visit our website

18 Apr 2011

Easter Offer 10% Discount

Don’t miss out on Quintessentially Flowers fantastic offer of a 10% discount on all orders placed before Good Friday. Please visit our website and enter the promotional code “easter” to make the most of this great offer. 

We have a fabulous range of bouquets including our wonderful Easter scented sweet pea bouquet. 

Don’t forget to also check out our new award winning, mouth-watering Easter eggs from William Curley.

Click here to see our fabulous range of flowers and chocolates.  Please also do not hesitate to call us: 0845 299 4555 – or please Email Us

15 Apr 2011


We have the most fantastic anemones in at the moment – the picture below was taken at the market today.
Beautiful and colourful – they’re the perfect gift to brighten up anyone’s day! Click here and have a look at our wonderful spring anemone bouquet on our website 

14 Apr 2011

Happy Easter from Quintessentially Flowers

Quintessentially Flowers have teamed up with William Curley once again and have put some mouth-watering new additions on our site. 

The House Milk Truffle Easter Egg has won silver for best milk truffle in 2007, 2008 and 2009 – filled with delicious rich and creamy milk chocolate it really is the perfect gift for any chocolate lover.

We have also added the Sea Salt Caramel Easter Egg which is filled with Award winning Sea Salt Caramels. These gold award winning caramels were created by William in Burgundy when he was working at Marc Meneau. Sea salted butter is used as part of the ingredients to balance the sweetness of the caramel…. The result….Heaven!
Combine these delicious chocolates with one of our gorgeous bouquets and voila you have the perfect Easter gift!
Click here to see our fabulous range of flowers and chocolates!

13 Apr 2011

Sweet Peas – The perfect gift for Easter!

Quintessentially flowers have the most beautiful sweet peas in at the moment and they are available in a mixture of pinks and purples, they smell absolutely gorgeous!

The sweet pea is a flowering plant and is native to the eastern Mediterranean region near Sicily and Crete.  They are often grown for their bright colours and wonderful fragrance which is why they are the perfect gift this Easter.  We’re not the only ones who think so either:

“I was not budgeting for flowers until I saw your Sweet Pea bouquet and I fell in love with it! It seems perfect and ties in beautifully with the theme”

For more information about our gorgeous sweet pea bouquet click here

12 Apr 2011

Quintessentially Flowers at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Last week the Quintessentially Flowers team showcased a selection of beautiful arrangements at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar held at Portal restaurant and bar, 88 St John Street. 

It was a great chance to show off some of our gorgeous wedding flowers – in particular the stunning vintage roses which attracted rather a lot of attention. From vintage to traditional to modern we wanted to display arrangements that would appeal to different tastes.

We had modern cube arrangements of brightly coloured tulips, Quirky vintage bottles filled with anemones and more traditional centrepieces using fabulous white and pink avalanche roses, hydrangea, sweet peas, white lilac and green guelder. 

For more information about our stunning collection or To Buy Flowers Online Click Here...

7 Apr 2011


‘Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly
Lavender’s green
When I am king, dilly dilly
You shall be queen.’
Traditional folk song

Found in gardens all over the world, the lavender is much loved for the understated bluish-purple of its flowers, after which the colour is named. But what really gives the lavender its timeless popularity is the wonderful fragrance that it exudes. 

Historically, lavender was employed for a hundred different purposes, from scenting baths and washing clothes, to warding off the Black Plague. Infusions of lavender were also thought to remedy headaches, stress and skin problems like acne—uses which are still in vogue today owing to its anti-bacterial properties. Lavender was even a favourite kitchen herb, and is enjoying something of a renaissance as a flavour in desserts. 

Given as a bouquet, lavender expresses eternal devotion and constancy, meanings that would be perfect for an aromatic wedding bouquet or to demonstrate loyalty to a friend or for a common cause (such as a company project). Lavender can denote acknowledgement of a message, but that does not necessarily mean it was well received because it might be signifying distrust or suspicion. As a reply to a message of love, it is the botanical equivalent of a nice rejection: ‘I like you very much, but I don’t love you.’ Still, at least it is more eloquent than a hackneyed ‘Let’s just be friends.’

*     Acknowledgement
*     Devoted, loyal or constant
*     Suspicion and distrust
*     ‘I like you, but I don’t love you.’

Origin: Lavender is native across the Mediterranean region to as far as North and East Africa, and India.
Season: Summer is the season for lavender in gardens, but in florists they are available all year round.
Colour: Lavender is, well, lavender-coloured.

Author: Alethea Dean 

2 Apr 2011


 ‘Flowers are Love’s truest language; they betray,
Like the divining rods of Magi old,Where precious wealth lies buried, not of gold, But love–strong love, that can never decay!’
Park Benjamin, Sonnet—Flowers, Love’s Truest Language

The delphinium takes its name from the Greek word for ‘dolphin’, because the curve of the buds is thought to resemble a dolphin’s nose. A more common moniker for these flowers is ‘larkspur’, a reference to the famous songbird. From this designation, the flower draws its meanings of ‘swiftness’, ‘airiness’ and ‘lightness’.

And while Frank Sinatra may be able to fly you to the moon, the larkspur takes you on more floral flights of fancy. But this levity can also translate into those who trifle with the emotions of others, and so can be sent as a hint to a lover that is taking the relationship for granted—the pink varieties in particular are symbols of fickleness.

Delphiniums are a compliment to friends who have touched you with their sense of fun, their boldness and big hearts. They are also a symbol of sweetness. Send delphiniums to promote someone’s sense of well-being. While there are plenty of flowers in praise of outward beauty, these go to people with beautiful spirits. They also declare the giver’s ardent attachment. The larkspur can be used in celebrating a July birthday.

*     Airy
*    Ardent attachment
*     Beautiful spirits
*     Big-hearted
*     Bold
*     Fickle (Pink)
*     First love (Purple)
*     Flight of fancy
*     Haughty (Purple)
*     Joyful and happy-go-lucky
*     July birthdays
*    Levity or flippancy
*     Light
*     Sweet
*     Swift
*     Well-being

Origin: Delphiniums can be found all through the northern hemisphere.
Season: Late spring to late summer.
Colour: Flowers occur in colours ranging from purple to blue, red, yellow and white.

Author: Alethea Dean