I grew up all over the South and in Central America. I spent my high school years at a boarding school in CT before heading off to college in VA. However, after a year I transfered to MN and pledged Kappa and graduated (a semester early!)with majors in Art History and Spanish. My life is simply amazing and I am SO incredibly blessed to have a loving family, marvelous friends and the best job in the world. I adore sweets, all things pink and green, a good movie, trying new restaurants and a great DIY project.
Since the Olympics start in London today I figured there was no better time to share a few more snapshots from my recent trip across the pond. Have a lovely weekend. Go Team USA, may the odds be ever in your favor!!!
This darling bathecary was located next to a favorite bookstore of mine, Heywood Hill.
A rainy day walk through Mayfair is the best kind of rainy day walk!
I spy a bully, do you?!
Where some of the best guns in the world are made/sold!
London proves that one does not have to live on a huge lot to have a beautiful garden and lots of green!
The art history major in me is a sucker of pretty columns.
Time for a street party!! I love this snapshot complete with the taxi cab, bunting AND telephone booth.
Who knows where this is? Olympic preparation was in full force!
I cannot remember if I have shared this photo yet, but it is a favorite of mine. It blows my mind that this was taken with an iPhone too!
Last but not least, a photo of the bffs with the iconic London backdrop!
Every time I saw a cute Union Jack item in the UK I tended to pull out my camera and sometimes my wallet too. Here are a few more photos of goodies as well as an assortment of Jubilee items. Enjoy!
The preppy version of the Union Jack.
I saw numerous bottles of champagne adornment with Union Jack coolers and labels.
I think sweets decorated in flags are much tastier ;)
Harrod's can outfit you for any street party.
God save the Queen!
I am glad a few streets were still decorated with Union Jack bunting. This was a site to be seen!
You can bet your bottom dollar that I came home with the Union Jack Joules boots!
The feminine side to the Union Jack.
I simply adored this print and now wished I would have bought it. I guess this just means I had better cross the pond again sooner rather than later.
I came THIS close to buying one of these cake stands (they were on sale for $10!!) but just did not know how I would transport it back. All London readers need to go snatch this momento up!
I adored the Emma Bridgewater Jubilee goods and was thrilled to snag my mother her last tea towel. I also picked up a darling biscuit tin of hers. It has a little corgi on the front and he is holding a God Save the Queen pennant
This Liberty fabric would be SO cute in a small powder room!
I love tea. I drink it on a daily basis. I also love sweets. So being in England and getting to enjoy the two at teatime daily is a real treat for me. While I am completely content with a basic tea I always enjoy treating myself to a full tea when in London. Those of you that have been around the blog for some time likely remember my post on Tea at the Connaught from 2008. Well, when in one of my very favorite cities a week ago Melissa and never like to turn down a luxury so we opted recreated that original post.
Melissa and I had a busy day in London and were happy to put our feet up come 4:30pm while enjoying tea. We strolled in and were immediately seated a table near the entrance of the restaurant which also meant prime people watching.
We opted for the "basic" tea. The first round of our tea included a platter of sandwiches and pastries. My very favorite sandwich was the olive bread with a savory spread. I think Melissa and I each ate at least three of these, if not four. The wonderful thing about tea at the Connaught is that the platters of goodies are constantly refilled if you wish. This can be both a blessing and a danger. Since we opted for a late lunch and were skipping dinner, this was a blessing for us.
The actual tea selection was somewhat overwhelming for both Melissa and I. I just can never decide if I want, black, white or green tea!
After much debate I finally opted for a the well known "Royal Connaught" blend which was a black tea. Melissa was more adventurous and went for a white tea with a peach undertone.
Her teapot was almost twice the size of mine. Apparently, the Connaught staff missed the memo that the Duchess of Dallas, as Melissa and Paul named me, drinks tea like water. They kindly replenished my pot at least once. They certainly take care of their customers and are quite attentive! A+ for service.
After we stuffed ourselves with sandwiches and sweets it was time for scones. There were two varieties, a plain and then an orange berry.
Of course each scone variety required the proper toppings. The Connaught gives you the option to pick various fresh jams to try. We could not decide on two so they brought us three. I loved them all, but Melissa was not a fan of the rose. While the jams were delightful the best part of the scone condiments was of course the clotted cream. No clotted cream is as good as fresh clotted cream in England!
Of course tea time required a mini photo shoot:
If this photos do not sum up our time together I am not sure if any will!
Tea at the Connaught did not disappoint. I have been going each time I am in London over the past 11 years and it just keeps getting better and better!
I popped into Target yesterday as I was in dire need of a few items I had run out of while in the UK. I could not help but snap a few photos of all the fun finds (the majority were on sale too) and sharing them with you all.
This book title would be a good motto for my life...butter makes everything better!
I had read about the limited edition Reach toothbrushes online this summer, but had not yet spotted them anywhere I shopped. I was thrilled to find these on sale for $2.69 at Target yesterday. The two on the left made it home with me.
Target does pink and chinoiserie so, so well and on the cheap! These rolls of wrapping paper were just $1.96 each!
The entire Webster line is now on super clearance at every Target. I have been searching high and low for the white palm maxi dress (which I finally just scored) and my search lead me to this fun tunic. I had not seen this particular style in the above print in-store as it was an online exclusive, but was thrilled to snag it. For under $8 it was love at first site!! This will be a great Summer to Fall transitional piece here in Texas.
Target seems to have revamped their shoe selection as of late. They are much more J Crew/Kate Spade but with a more friendly price tag.
Anything with tassels always lures me in so the above loafers immediately caught me eye. The pink was on sale for $13.98 while the rest of the colors are still just $19.99. I should have taken a photo of these on because they are just darling. Run in and try on a pair for yourself and see...you might just leave with every single pair!
I am a pointy toe kind of girl and love to spice up a bland outfit with a dash of color or animal print in my accessories. Enter this lovies! How amazing are these flats? I did not leave with either (GASP), but for $24.99 I think I may be heading back this weekend and making one or both my own!
I am departing from my London posts (I am sure some of you are relieved...but rest assured they will soon continue tomorrow as that IS the reason I returned to blogging) to share a FABULOUS find with you all.
Last Spring I found the most amazing belt made by my beloved Lilly Pulitzer (pictured above). This belt was the perfect addition to any wrap dress (I think it looked particularly good with my Elizabeth McKay Scotlands) and was easy to wear as well as flattering. A win-win and an explanation as to why I wore this belt out! Let's just say it bit the dust a few months ago and there are no Obi belts to be found now....or so I thought.
I admit I was a tad skeptical buying a belt from China on eBay, but for $.99 plus $2.50 shipping and backed by eBay's policies I bit the bullet. It is certainly good I did because this belt is WONDERFUL! It is a bit thicker than the Lilly belt so I do not have to tie it in a knot if I do not wish too. The luster is also toned down. I was not too thrilled about this when I first saw the belt, but it actually ends up working better with my wardrobe and is not as blinding. Anyhow, I bought the belt in tan as well (for Fall) and just order black and white to add to my collection. It is also available in red (perfect for SO many of you during football season) and dark brown. You cannot beat this price or the look in my opinion!
Phew, well I am back in Dallas after the most amazing trip in the UK. It was simply perfect and could not have been anymore fun! I still have loads and loads of photos and tidbits to share and today wanted to share my visit to a proper country estate with you.
On Thursday afternoon Melissa and I hopped in the car (she drove and do not let her tell you she is a bad driver in the UK....she is amazing!) and headed to Englefiled Estate in Berkshire.
"If you help towards Englefield gardens either with flowers or invention, you shalt be welcome thither."
Sir Edward Norris, 1601
From April through October the gardens at Englefield are open to the public. You drop your entry fee into a lock box and walk yourself through these stunning and lush gardens.
It has been a very wet summer in England which made everything very green...and a bit muddy too. For that reason we opted to walk the main parts of the garden and then explore the rest of the estate rather than venture back into the upper garden.
Englefield dates back to 1500's. Well, the Battle of Englefield is actually said to have taken place in the 800's, but the home and gardens date back to the 1500's. As anyone that has visited an old home, church or monument knows, it is simply fascinating to be surrounded by such history. However, even more fascinating is that this home and its' gardens have stood the test of time and have been cared for through the centuries.
Several additions were made to the gardens in the late 1800's. The staircases were said to be added. Then, the fountain was added in the 1990's. However, everything was done with such care and historical research that you would never know how new these things are!
The English certainly know how to garden! While I have been to many beautiful homes around the world the gardens in England are far superior to anything I have seen elsewhere. A garden like Englefield is actually very common in England whereas something similar in the US would be considered one-of-kind.
Again, look how full and lush the garden is. It was like this everywhere we looked!
Another things the Brits do well is my beloved boxwood. Look at those well pruned and trimmed balls!
After our jaunt through the garden we admired the beautiful home. Simply stunning!
Englefield has been in the same family for over 400 years and the Queen herself has even been entertained here!
Another fun fact about Englefiled, and I admit one that drew me to the home, is that a number of movies have been filmed on the estate. It is such a perfect setting, the interior of the home is said to be brilliant and you are just an hour from London that it proves very attractive to directors.
The most notable being The King's Speech, but X-Men: First Class, Match Point and several British TV shows also found homes for scenes at Englefield.
Englefield is still a working estate that covers almost 20,000 acres! Englefield has a village with a school, tea room, garden center and rental homes as well as a church:
St. Mark's Church is just down from the house and a midway point to the village of Englefield.
I believe the church to be dated back to the 1200's (possibly the late 1100's...I am blanking) and is a wonderful representation of architecture of that period.
English arches ushered us into the church and there was no shortage of these indoors either.
Melissa and I both were in awe of St. Mark's beauty and agreed that you could have your own Royal Wedding here as there was even a spot for a boy's choir.
Again, this place was so rich with history as well as architectural details...look at this carving:
After our stop inside St. Mark's we popped into the Englefield Garden Center and then headed back to Melissa's, well after a quick stop at the post darling pub in Aldermaston. They had the BEST chips ever!
We simply had the most splendid visit to Englefield and were thrilled we got to explore a proper country estate after finding out Highclere was closed. I hope you enjoyed the masses of photos as much as I enjoyed taking them while exploring!