How to Create a Gourmet Garden

GardenDo you have a discerning palate, a love for great flavours and a reverence for high quality ingredients? If so, you’re probably a gourmet diner. Of course, the best way to indulge in your favourite meals without breaking the bank (whilst adding a sprinkling of satisfaction) is to start growing your own gourmet vegetables. Here’s how to do it…

First, designate a part of your garden to fruit, vegetables and herbs. If you’ve only a small patch of land, or even just a windowsill, there are plenty of ingredients you can grow on your balcony, in your backyard or even on the edges of your flower border. Turn the soil over, check the earth has enough water and make sure there’s enough available sunshine.

Then, start by growing plants that are easy to care for. There are a number of pre-grown gourmet ingredients you can pick up in the supermarket, such as potted coriander, mint and basil. You can even buy partially grown chilli plants too! Simply pop the pots in the soil when you get home and tend to them throughout the month, picking off leaves and produce as and when you need it. Note, however, that herbs such as coriander don’t much like the cold and so should be kept indoors.

Or, if you fancy going about gourmet gardening ‘The Good Life’ style, pull on your wellies and dust of your trowel… you’re going to get planting! Packets of seeds are available from suppliers such as You Garden, meaning you can grow everything from artichokes, to Maris Pipers, to shallots. Here are three essential gourmet ingredients you can grow from scratch:

Asparagus: Being one of the most sought after ingredients in the supermarket, asparagus is a vegetable worth growing yourself. Asparagus can be grown from seed, but it’s easier to plant a one-year-old dormant plant (known as a crown) in March. Don’t harvest the plant until its third year in the ground (really… patience is key – the crunchy, flavoursome spears are well worth the wait). Enjoy yours wrapped with Parma ham and top them with a poached egg and cracked black pepper.

Fennel: Fennel is a delicious herb with a long history of use. The ancient Egyptians, for example, used fennel exclusively for medicine. However, modern chefs use it today, opting to pair it with fish, eggs and pork. Plant your seeds as soon as the soil begins to warm in spring or when you’re sure the worst of the winter frosts are over. You’ll need some sunshine, and should harvest and dry the plant’s seeds as soon as the flower heads fade: you can use dried fennel seeds in your kitchen to add a delicious hint of seasoning that tastes close to liquorice or aniseed.

Sorrel leaves: If you like fresh, lemony flavours, consider growing sorrel in your gourmet garden. This plant tastes great with lettuce and rocket in salads, adding a nice ‘zing’ to crunchy summertime dishes. Keen cooks swear by adding finely chopped sorrel to their scrambled eggs and suggest sprinkling it on smoked salmon and sourdough bread. With a fresh coffee and the Sunday paper, your weekend brunch will feel thoroughly upmarket!

Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery Patterned

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Spring 2016

Mohair, Cotton and Silk Velvet Textured Upholstery

New KOTHEA Collections for Spring 2016. Textured upholstery,sumptuous textured weaves, mohair and silk velvets, faux leathers and new colours for our existing Cashmere Throw range. Sampling available on our <home page>.

Mohair & Cashmere Silk Velvet: Testing

Hotels, Yachts and many public places have strict requirements for fabrics both for fire retardancy and wear, usually measured in the UK by an abrasion test (commonly referred to as Martindale or ‘rub test’).  Some of KOTHEA’s Mohair Velvets are highly suitable in such environments with a certified Martindale of 100,000 – which is more than the usual contract requirement of between 20,000 – 30,000.

We have many velvets of differing compositions (Silk Velvets, Cotton Velvets, Linen Velvets, etc.) and we were interested to see how one of the velvets, at the very highest end of our range, would perform. So we used SGS to test one of our Cashmere Silk Velvets (75% Cashmere 25% Silk).

The tests were undertaken in accordance with BSEN14455 (based on BSENISO12947) and a result of 13,000 rubs was obtained, which considering the perceived delicacy of the product was fantastic. 13,000 rubs make the product suitable for light usage such as residential.


Be Bold. Be Brass.

Source: Be Bold. Be Brass.

Very dark perhaps with a bit of brass. Very unusual with the colour scheme but it works.

We love the low lying seating with the off-black upholstery faux leather.

KOTHEA have a wide range of contract and residential fabrics including many types of faux leather

Designer Profile: ZOË ETTER

Up-and-coming Fabric Designer, Zoë Etter, was recently commissioned by KOTHEA to update our linen ‘Alpha Boucle’ upholstery fabric for S/S 2017 to incorporate new elements for the luxury market. The muted fabric features the addition of embellished and tufted yarn in simple linear shapes which are designed for a smart, contemporary look for the home.

The refined designs are aimed at clients who want a simple, durable style that is visually effective. The soft colourways combined with the rich textures offers flexibility for a statement upholstery that is classic in style with a modern edge. Most suitable for chairs and soft furnishings, the fabrics’ 3D look is inviting, and remains comfortable whilst giving a luxurious feel.

Abstract shapes, bold lines and textures typify most of Zoë’s design work, whether it be for fashion or interiors. Photography strongly influences the start of a project and is always at the heart of her work. It is predominantly inspired by natural forms which are interpreted through mark making to create bold patterns and textures. Her most recent collection is based around neon florals for the festival-goer.

Another recent project focuses on strong monochromatic designs inspired by the Cornish coastline, which are ideal for creating a graphic look for warmth and interest in a room.

Zoë can be contacted for private commissions directly on or through


2015 Double Width Sheer

Double width sheer fabric

Double width sheers are great as they reduce the quantity of seams in the final, made-up treatment as well as reducing the cost or making up. We have several ineresting and unusual geomnetric designs for Spring 2015


Shimmering Upholstery

White Textured Upholstery on Contemporary Chair


New for Spring 2015, striking and shimmering design beautifully upholstered on an occasional chair.