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! ..
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. ..