Getting to Know, Kirsty from the Wilde

With the Kitchen Garden now complete, we’ve been busy creating a series of workshops as part of our #MadeAtMiddleton event series. We chatted to our florist, Kirsty from The Wilde all about her inspiration and creativity for the workshops.

Tell us about your background…

I have always been inspired visually. After studying Design Marketing at University, I worked in Graphic design and brand management, the further I progressed the less creativity I found.

I then moved back to the North from Cambridge and after having my son made the choice to follow my love of flowers and try and make it work as a business.

When did your love for floristry begin?

I have always loved exploring gardens and flower markets. About 10 years ago I started an evening class in floristry but didn't last long! I wasn't inspired at all and the 'rules' didn't fit with the natural aesthetics I wanted. The final straw was when the lecturer was unhappy with my Christmas table centre attempt because I hadn't included baubles or tinsel!

Where do you find your inspiration?

The floristry industry is changing so much, there are so many amazing designers and many now view it as a design led art form rather than a homely hobby, it is much more dynamic. I find my inspiration outside of the floral world too, fashion and interiors massively shape my designs and colour palettes. Nature is also a big influence, observing interesting lines and shapes and how things grow naturally is reflected in my work.

Your favourite seasons?

From an abundance of flowers point of view, I love late Summer, my cutting patch will be full of gorgeous dahlia, cosmos and herbs to add to my work. Personally, I love Winter, long walks wrapped up warm foraging for my Christmas wreaths - plus weddings are slightly quieter so I get to have the odd weekend off!

After attending a floristry workshop what should you learn?

I set up my workshops so that when you enter you are immediately inspired by buckets full of the most gorgeous seasonal flowers.

Before a single stem is touched I gather people together and we just observe the flowers, we look at the textures and colours and I ask people to take note of which ones they are instinctively drawn to.

Then I tend to do a demonstration in stages but it’s very relaxed and conversational and I talk through the process.

My main hope is that people leave my workshops with the confidence to try and trust their own instinctive style, rather than creating to a strict recipe and design.

Winter or summer wedding?

Impossible to choose! Right now, I am working on two gorgeous Summer weddings for the weekend and I am enjoying the lightness and colours so much - but there is something special about dark and moody Winter florals with lots of candles and foliage...

And what do you do when you’re not working with flowers?

In the Summer I am usually in my garden and orchard, I find gardening is my time to switch off. I have an exciting project for The Wilde next year that means that the growing side of my business will hopefully increase meaning lots more beautiful flowers.

Otherwise I try to spend my days off with my children and two dogs - but my real indulgence is a few hours to myself wandering around dusty antique shops, though I tend to only buy things I can fill with flowers!

An update from the Estate

Dear Friends & Family,
As part of our staged reopening on Thursday 23rd July, Middleton Lodge Estate will be implementing “contactless stays” in line with government social distancing guidelines.

It is looking absolutely beautiful here at the moment, and it’s a shame that we can’t allow you here yet - but by July it promises to be even better. We have space, we have fresh air, and sky, we have great food, the gardens are teaming with produce, we have gorgeous bedrooms to rest your weary heads in. We will be opening our restaurant (for residents only) at a safe distance - al fresco fine dining in a sprawling setting.

What is a contactless stay?

We have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can do this. Luckily one thing we have here in abundance is space - most of our bedrooms have their own private entrances straight into the gardens, so nobody will have to have to walk through communal areas.

Guests will be guided remotely through booking and check in prior to arrival. On arrival, all guests will have a temperature check at the new gatehouse, and be directed via a map to their private rooms. Each has it’s own private entrance and views of the gardens or parkland setting. Unwind in one of our fabulous roll top baths, with signature Noble Isle amenities proudly made in the British Isles. Order dinner in your room, or head over to our stretch tent in the Coach House courtyard for alfresco estate to plate at a distance. You might not see much of our staff, but rest assured they will be there, and available to help with anything that you might need.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, upgrades are available for rooms with hot tubs and wood burning stoves…

The great outdoors remains firmly open, and guests will have access to a selection of walking routes around the 200 acre estate and beyond. We also have our utterly beautiful Walled Gardens to explore (and are begging to be painted for any creative types - don’t forget your watercolours and easel!)

Click here to book now or you can buy as a voucher for a loved one to redeem later.

Our Mission

The Covid-19 outbreak continues to be a testing time for everyone, and we are delighted to be able to invite people back to our estate to share our beautiful Yorkshire countryside at a safe distance. The safety of all our staff and guests is paramount, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that people can come and feel safe and relaxed here.

Gift Vouchers

If you know someone who needs to get away from it all we do have vouchers available. You can boost the experience with dinner for two or a bottle of something delicious on arrival. Look out for special offers too on longer stays.

As always, Middleton Lodge Estate adheres to strict hygiene and safety guidelines. In addition to these we are taking extra precautions to limit interaction between staff and guests. We are also boosting deep cleaning practices. Though out of sight, the team will be available to assist guests with anything they might need during their stay via our new messaging service.

It should go without saying, but we do ask that any guests with any symptoms that could be attributable to Covid-19, or who may have been recently exposed to not come to the Estate. We also ask that you follow government guidelines for social distancing while you are here.

Thank you for your support during this difficult time, we have been so heartened with so many lovely messages from you all! We can’t wait to welcome you back.

Please take care and stay safe.

The Allison Family and Middleton Lodge Team x