Friday, June 27, 2008

Conservatory, my dear?

Ahh back to not so secret obsession.
Now I ask you, what house is not improved by the stylish addition of a suitably enormous conservatory?

Here below lies an enticing collection from the wonderful Tanglewood Conservatories in th US.

All pictures courtesy of

Interested in the history of conservatories? Just want a fabulous coffee table book - for the conservaoty coffee table of course...then see if you can find this absolutley stunning book with over 700 vintage plans, structural details and images by Georg Kohlmaier & Barna von Sartory.

"Houses Of Glass - A 19th Century Building Type"
"........the glass buildings of the nineteenth century represent a remarkable confluence of opposites in architecture and technology. They were designed with the utopian intention of creating an artificial climate in which people could return to paradise - a realized, exotic dream under glass. And yet the technical means employed, including ironworking and prefabrication, were also basic to the century's "dark Satanic mills," the factories on the other side of paradise."

Before I close - some more modern day conservatories from across the Atlantic ......this time built by the talented Bishop & Company:

All pictures courtesy

Beaches I have known...

Somerton Beach

A sure sign that life has been a little hectic is when I seek solace from the beach of my childhood.....Somerton Beach. I've never been a great swimmer and it isn't one of the world's most scenic spots but somehow this beach has featured in so many of my special memories and significant life events....I thought I would share it with you.
As a child I remember long summer evening walks with my treasured old Mum with the huge evening sun setting on the far side of the Gulf; collecting shells, paddling in the shallows and climbing the dunes with my brothers during our summer holidays; then later decisions on my career; on travelling & working abroad; on marrying my darling Pete....moments of joy and saddness, my beach has been in the scene.
Knowing how much I loved this beach, Dad gave me a glass jar to take away with me when I left home to live in Scotland for a year - it was full of the sea air from my beach. He said to take the lid off when I got homesick and all would be well. And it was.
Years later after my children were born the first day of every trip home, no matter what time of year, no matter if it was rain, hail or shine, a walk on the beach was mandatory. I remember such treasured memories with him, his old worn hands holding my tiny childrens' hands as they learnt to walk on our beach. No words needed. Perfect understanding.
My beach has been my refuge on more than one occasion, none moreso than on the day my mother died some years ago now...when I swear the beach called me to walk on the same sand, listen to the same sound of the waves, breath deeply the same sea air.... and remember....and be calm ...and eventually to smile. My beach is my sacred site. How could I not love it!
The scene above is one during summer....but actually it is at it's most beautiful in winter, which it is now. I'm heading down there right now for a coffee and a stroll...for no reason at all!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Friday's Child

Hello my treasures.
Here is a little Friday treat for you if you promise that you will not spend all day drooling over it. Here are just three of my long list of favourites. Have a wonderful day and save some for looking at over the weekend as I don't promise to post anymore for a few days!

Here is the website :

Travel treasures

Now this has to be the most heavenly place on terra firma- Bellagio on Lake Como, Northern Italy.

We stayed at La Limonera - the Lemon Tree - a beautifully restored home now divided into lovely apartments with an ancient walled garden and gates leading out onto a cobbled stoned street only a few minutes from the Lake's edge. At the front gate is your very own 'alimentari generali' - grocer ie - for those essentials of life; olivi, formagio, provolone et panini!

For your next booking follow this link! James Bond may be staying there too.......

Aren't these beautiful.
Oak twine holders with cutters from the F&M site.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I confess I have always felt more myself in the soft light and gentle landscapes of rural UK than I ever have in my homeland of Australia. Confessions so soon on my blog! The Adelaide Hills however, my Australian home is probably as close to it as one could find in the southern latitudes - with certainly far less traffic but fewer Mr Darcy's as well.

Ummm...Lets look at some of the lovely shopping experiences in the UK today: This first one is my standout favourite. It is quintessentially the gourmet and all things divine paradise on Piccadilly. Mr Fortnum and Mr us your wares!