Apr 26

2013

The abundance of great houses, both big and small, formal and rustic, untouched or newly restored continues to capture my attention here in England. We make whole day trips to go see a house or a garden, have a picnic, let the kids run around and hope that they absorb at least one thing they learned from the adventure. My 11 year old has just begun to take an interest. When we drive around now, she comments on houses she thinks are special or beautiful or that she thinks I might want to take a photo of. I think it’s important to teach kids about inspiration – the idea that we can be excited by things we don’t have to buy, the idea of developing a visual vocabulary, and the idea of sharing opinions – sometimes agreeing, sometimes not. It’s fun! ..



Apr 18

2013

Life on the Farm: Spring Babies!

With the abysmal spring weather we’ve been having in England, the one consolation is the overwhelming joy of meeting all the precious baby animals, both on our farm and on neighbouring ones. Just before the first of March my brother-in-law received 3 eight-week-old kunekune pigs to add to his existing 2 giant adult kunekunes. As soon as we opened their cages on the back of the pick-up we scooped them up into our arms and cuddled them. Delicious! It would be a short-lived pleasure though, as in just a week they were too heavy to lift and already too independent to seek human affection. Still, they’re heaven to look at. ..


Apr 11

2013

On the Road: Spring Break at The Pig Hotel

I’m laughing to myself while putting “Spring” in the title of this post because there is nothing Spring-like about England in the last few weeks. Yes, the weather has finally gotten me down. I made it through the winter just fine with the right outdoor clothes and a constant roaring fire in the living room. But now I am just over it. The kids have a three and a half week end-of-term break, and we thought we’d stay here so that our daughter Coco could catch up with her riding having been away in France for 12 weeks...


Apr 04

2013

Farm Food: Spring Cooking

Although I love love love to cook, I don’t usually post recipes because I don’t feel like they’re mine. I am definitely a recipe girl. I need a cook book. That’s how I learned and continue to learn how to cook –  I buy a book that appeals to me and cook all the recipes that look good. Then I buy another book and do the same. I’ve cooked through Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Nigella Lawson, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Ina Garten, Tamasin Day-Lewis, Jamie Oliver, the Smitten Kitchen blog, and at the moment I am obsessed (along with the rest of the world) with all things Ottolenghi...


Apr 02

2013

I ♥ Your Style: Aleks Woroniecka

You know how there are some people you come across in life that always seem like they are having the best time? Aleks Woroniecka is one of those people. She is a friend of a friend, and maybe it’s because I really only see her at parties that she is always so cheerful and enthusiastic, but I suspect she’s like this all the time. She’s smiling, she’s affectionate, and she’s usually the first to dance and the last to go home...


Mar 30

2013

Happy Easter

The first Easter we spent in England, I drove myself crazy looking for white eggs for my children to dye. I searched every food shop and farm stand and soon discovered they simply don’t exist in England. Do not exist. (What are white eggs anyway? Are they brown ones that have been bleached??) So we settled for dying brown eggs and discovered a lovely surprise. The artificial colours produced by egg dye actually look much more relatable and lovely when applied to brown eggs...

Mar 28

2013

Life in England: Exploring Rousham

The other day I was driving back from Bicester Village (I bought a Céline silk blouse and Marni guipure lace top) with my friend Miranda who is a renowned landscape designer. When she saw the sign to Rousham, she insisted we take a detour. Before the house even came into view we had already seen a stone cow shed in the shape of a mini-castle and a charming gate house with three uniquely decorative chimneys. Then we saw the house in the distance. It was first built around 1635 and has stayed in one family the entire time. Even on a gloomy, frigid early spring day, the house was magnificent. ..


Mar 07

2013

It has become a tradition in our family, and seemingly in families all over the English countryside, to take a good long walk outside on the weekend. Saturdays are busy for us, with football (soccer to my fellow Americans) practice, riding events, getting homework out of the way, and doing errands. But Sundays always consist of a leisurely and often quite social lunch, and then an ambitious walk in the fresh air, no matter the weather. ..