Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The General Trading Co.

The General Trading Company, our favorite "everything" boutique, has relocated to a new premises on Pelham Street near the South Kensington tube station. We just happened to wonder by the day the doors opened - the sign is not even out yet!

........"a pot-pourri of desirable objects catering for the eclectic tastes of it's customers"

........"always adventurous, sometimes frivolous, everything exudes passion and panache"

I was their FIRST customer so they insisted that my purchase was free! Darn, why didn't I pick up something with more "panache" than a birthday card!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Petworth House

Petworth House is a magnificent late 17th century home best known for it's incredible art collection including works by Van Dyck and Titian and ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. It is so rare that I am allowed to photograph the inside of these historical homes but I am disappointed that the pictures just can't capture the opulence of the rooms. Come inside with me......

We skipped the gardens and did a little antique shopping in the village instead. Ann picked up these matching lamps made of
iron door stops with black shades and I thought this secretary was the perfect size for a small bedroom - not today! We enjoyed a tasty quiche for lunch and Consuelo drove into town to join me for a cup of coffee. It was a great day in the country!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tit Fer Tat Hats

In preparation for Royal Ascot in June, I attended a "Hat Party" at the AWC. What woman can resist trying on hats?
Mary from Tit Fer Tat - a Milliner's Shop in Richmond- has a real talent for matching a face with the perfect hat. Some of us brought our dress along to help with the selection. Believe me, in a room full of American women, wine and appetizers, everyone had an opinion!

Which do you think I should choose? You will have to wait until Royal Ascot to see!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Arundel - the perfect day trip!

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their five children, Arundel Castle is the perfect example of "living history". Within its 11th century fairytale walls with towers and turrets lives a modern family...and that is one of things that makes this castle special. I learned that The Duke of Norfolk is the Earl Marshal of England. This means he is responsible for presiding over major state occasions such as the Opening of Parliament, coronation of the monarch in Westminster Abbey, or maybe an upcoming wedding.

The Collector Earl's Garden is a new attraction opened by HRH the Prince of Wales, "It stands alone, to be pleasing timeless and memorable"

This picture is for Haley...remind you of any place you have been lately?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Seen not herd!

They are adorable! About 250 life-size model elephants have taken up residence in central London. The models have been decorated by artists or celebrities including Sir Paul Smith and Diane von Furstenberg. They will be auctioned at Sotheby's in July with the target of raising £2 million to help conserve Asian elephants, whose numbers have fallen by 90 % in the last 100 years. The elephant parade can be seen in locations from Hyde Park to Harrods, from Trafalgar Square to Soho, everywhere you look! Proceeds will go to the Elephant Family charity, which was set up by Mark Shand, brother of Camilla Parker Bowels.

Which one is your favorite? You can click on the picture and enlarge it to see the detail.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


1066 Battle of Hastings - the most important battle in English history.....King Harold was killed, his weakened forces were routed and William the Conqueror became King of England - the Saxon England disintegrated .
Lynne and our blue badge guide, Wilt, put so much enthusiasm and effort into planning our trip to follow the path taken by Harold and William leading up to the famous battle. We visited Pevensey Bay and imagined ships arriving from the French shoreline prepared for the invasion. We climbed to Hastings Castle to get a feel for the cliff side advantage the location provided. We toured the grounds of the Battle of Hastings Battlefield and the Abbey. Our last stop included "creamed tea" at Pevensey Castle Tea Room and then a walk around the ancient ruins.

The weather was beautiful and the sky was clear. Everyone seemed to enjoy another great trip out of the city!