Feb 25

2013

On the Road: Skiing in Samoens

Just got back from a skiing holiday in the French Alps. It was so great. I was weighing whether or not to go because it meant missing London Fashion Week. But then I realised that I have no real reason to be at fashion shows right now, and I don’t have forever to take my son skiing on his half term break. So the decision was easy.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the French Alps. I’ve been skiing in the Swiss Alps before, and it was pretty much what you would imagine – very charming, lots of chalets with red and white checked tablecloths, and floral motifs everywhere...


Feb 05

2013

This past weekend I went to Toulouse, France and the surrounding Gers region to visit my daughter Coco who is in school there for three months. With or without a child to visit, I would repeat this weekend any time – we had fun, we relaxed, we shopped, we ate (I had foie gras 4 times!), and we saw so many beautiful things.


Jan 16

2013

On the Road: New Year’s, New York

Before moving on from the holidays, I can’t not also share with you our first family visit back to New York for New Year’s. I wasn’t sure about choosing New York as our vacation at first. I really wanted to relax after the bustle of a full on English Christmas, and I knew NYC would be loads of fun, but would it be relaxing?? My answer came when our friend Miranda asked us to house sit in Brooklyn while she and her family went off to Colorado...


Nov 19

2012

On the Road: Roman Holiday

Apart from a manic work trip here and there, I haven’t been to Rome as a tourist since I was 22 years old. Back then, I went with my friend Alex, and it was so hot that our cassette tapes melted on our windshield and our budget was so tight that we could only afford a youth hostel with shared bathrooms and no air conditioning. We literally ran through all the cultural destinations so we could spend time drooling in the more climatically desirable Prada shop and licking gelato near the Trevi fountain...


Sep 17

2012

On the Road: Inspired by Crests

This summer as I was traveling around Europe I noticed the abundance of crests – royal crests, family crests, decorative crests – nearly everywhere I went. It started in a medieval village in the Dordogne region of France called Monpazier. I brought my kids there because the town is famous for making beautiful wooden toys. But what caught my eye were the giant crest-shape flags decorated with charming animal figures in rich colors that were hanging around the village...


Sep 10

2012

On the Road: The Adirondacks

Here I am. I’m back in England for good now and will be finally resuming my daily posting schedule. This summer was pretty much a write-off in terms of getting enough time to myself to do anything creative. I’m not complaining though. I think I really needed the break. I’ve been with my kids 24/7, setting up our life here in England, traveling a lot and having loads of friends to stay. It’s been great, but I am ready to get down to the daily life I imagined for myself here – spending most of the day in my garden shed / office writing and being creative while the kids are at school, with maybe a break in the day to go for a ride on my Polo, my favorite horse...


Jul 26

2012

On the Road: Spain, part 3

When we decided to go to Spain, the first thing I did was call my friend (who happens to be my husband’s first wife) to find out where we should take our horse-fanatic daughter riding in the countryside. The first Mrs Brooks is a fan and connoisseur of all things riding and all things Spanish and she has great taste, so I knew she was just the person to ask. She thought Trasierra would be prefect for us, as its causal enough for kids but chic-enough to make adults happy, and there is great riding nearby...


Jul 23

2012

On the Road: Spain, part 2

Trasierra may be the most inherently stylish place I have ever visited. A former private house lovingly rebuilt, restored and redecorated by English ex-pat Charlotte Scott, it sits on a 450 acre site just 30 miles north of Seville. The house has everything you need – chic, cozy rooms done up in a mixture of English chintz, Spanish pottery and classic antiques; fantastic home cooked food using fresh fruit and vegetables from their massive kitchen garden; and most importantly, a laid back and personal vibe that has you feeling you’re staying in someone’s home, rather than in a hotel...


Jul 20

2012

On the Road: Spain, part 1

Although we were headed nearer to Seville, we flew into Malaga because it meant my sister could get a direct flight home to NYC at the end of the trip. We didn’t have high expectations for Malaga (its pretty industrial at first glance), but we were landing at midnight and the next day would be my daughter Coco’s 11th birthday, so I figured we had to do something fun before we headed off on a three hour drive to Trasierra, our real destination...


Jun 06

2012

I can’t tell you how excited I am to go to Spain this summer. I’ve never been. We’re going to fly to Malaga  and drive around Andalusia for the first three days, just finding a place to stay as we go. My husband and I have always done this, and we love it – we find that over-planning for trips just leads to disappointment when you realize that you can’t fit everything in. So at least for part of our holiday, we like to feel young and free by following our instincts and seeing where the day takes us. After roughing it a bit, we’ll reward ourselves with 4 days/nights at Trasierra, a charming twenty-room home/hotel run by English beauty Charlotte Scott. This place is so up my alley. It’s exceedingly stylish, but in the most laid back way. I am not a fancy hotel kind girl – I could care less if I have a flat screen TV (or any TV for that matter) in my room or if the bathroom appliances are state-of-the-art. But I do like style, and this place has it in spades. Equally inspiring have been my daydreams about what I am going to wear in Spain, and I have been planning for months. First I flipped through Caroline Milbank’s “Resort Fashion” for inspiration – she has an amazing eye. And in the last few weeks I’ve started to lay out relevant things on the bench in my closet – two Isabel Marant peasant dresses, Castañer for JCrew espadrilles, a vintage YSL ruffled peasant blouse, and my mini-collection of minimalist Eres one pieces, all in black. Now I just need the abs for all the crop tops I’m into, and I’ll be ready to go!