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

It has been a tough week for everyone, and it is with sad hearts that we are announcing the temporary closure of our hotel & restaurant. We are not waiting for an order that falls too late, so we have taken the difficult decision to close the hotel in its entirety. Our upmost priority is to protect our loyal guests, the Middleton Lodge team, and our families at home. Unfortunately we are cancelling all bookings until 1st June 2020.

To be clear: we have had no suspected cases of COVID-19, either from our guests or our team. This is a heartbreaking decision, but it is one that we have made by choice, to keep you safe during this unprecedented time. Our last working day will be Saturday 21st March and we are in contact with all event organisers helping them to transfer dates. Our thoughts are with the NHS at this time of national crisis.

What about my booking?

If you have a booking of any kind (hotel, spa or restaurant) due to take place before 1st June 2020 we will be in touch with you personally via telephone or email. If you would consider rescheduling rather than completely cancelling your booking, that would mean so much to us as an independent hotel. We promise to do everything we can to deal with this situation as swiftly as we can.We are deeply sorry for the disappointment this causes; it has been a tough decision to make, but ultimately the right one. We respectfully request that you do not need to contact us about your booking at this time, unless directly requested to do so. Our lovely team are dealing with this as quickly as possible, and we don't want to overwhelm them, or slow the process for you. This is a huge ordeal for all of us, but with a level-head, we all will get through it. And we can't wait to welcome you back when we do.

Gift Vouchers

The redemption period will be extended to allow for this unplanned closure. If you would like to purchase a voucher please email the team via our contact page.

What Next?

Behind the scenes, our dedicated team will keep working diligently to ensure that we re-open in a way that is better than ever. You will be given the first opportunity to reschedule your stay and, when the time comes, we'll offer a safe, restful escape from this global ordeal.Please take care and stay safe. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your support during this difficult time. We can't wait to welcome you back.

The Allison Family and Middleton Lodge Team x