I first met Isabella Cawdor when she was a guest at my wedding. Her husband Colin was an old friend of Christopher’s and they flew over from Scotland to celebrate with us. I noticed Isabella because of her romantic, dark purple velvet dress with floral cutouts, and she had a fuchsia rose tucked behind her ear. She was the very first one out on the dance floor, twirled around by Christian Louboutin, and I thought “Who is that gorgeous girl?” We didn’t get to know each other properly until a year a half later when Christopher and I were invited, along with one year old Coco, to visit them at their shooting lodge in the highlands of Scotland. That’s when I was really taken with Isabella. Everything about her life – her house, her kids, her clothes, her posture – was beautiful, but done natural ease and warmth. These days, the Cawdors are perhaps best known for their supermodel daughter Jean Campbell – who stars in the current Louis Vuitton and Burberry ads – but it is Isabella’s down to earth, chic country style that has me reeling every time I see her. ..
Our five month odyssey of babysitting foxhound puppies came to an end the other day. I had been bracing myself for the inevitable tears that I thought would come from taking in eight week old puppies – loving them, training them, walking them, nurturing them and very often scolding them – for nearly half a year and then one day sending them off to go live their intended life with the local hunt. Why had I set myself up for such heartache? But in the end, I didn’t even get to say goodbye to them – the huntsman came to collect them unexpectedly when I was on a trip to New York. And that was ok. I was a bit sad and nostalgic but also comforted by the knowledge that they are just about a couple miles down the road and we can see them when we wish. Mostly though, I was relieved. ..
Audrey Hepburn consistently surprises me. Just when I think I’ve seen every chic photo of her there is to see, more arise. I first found the amazing picture of her on the horse, and as I widened my search I found the ones with her pet fawn Pippin, with her beloved puppy Mr Famous, and many more. Being on the farm, I sometimes feel that I live in a zoo – I’ll be doing dishes at the kitchen sink with one of the kittens on the counter next to me, the dog laying at my feet, the chickens staring at me from the outdoor dining table, my daughter riding by on a horse and the donkeys braying from the stables across the driveway. So these pictures of Audrey have special meaning to me as they contain two of the things I love most: style and animals.
About a year ago, my husband mentioned a company that a childhood friend had started. It’s called Stately Rides, and it gathers a small group of people together and gives you on a horse riding tour of some of the most beautiful countryside in Gloucestershire while staying in a beautiful private home each night. I knew immediately that I would have to go on this trip and I knew when and with whom. Each summer our family friend Regena comes to stay with us with the simple goal of riding horses incessantly with my daughter Coco and me...
While we’re on the subject of Stella McCartney, I was in the Taschen store in Paris the other day and discovered her mother Linda McCartney’s book called “Life in Photographs.” I was SO inspired by them, especially by the ones of her family in the countryside, for obvious reasons. They are natural but stylish, in the most unpretentious way. And they transcend celebrity – they would be intriguing even if they were of a family of people we didn’t know. I’m going to attempt to recreate the family portrait with animals for our own family Christmas card. Do you think we can get all our animals to hold still for long enough? Or maybe its fine if they all wonder around us. That’s what I loved about Linda’s photos – she caught a natural moment. They are not posed, but they are perfectly composed.