country home

the grove cottages uk

The good people at The Grove Cottages UK began following me on Twitter recently, so I decided to have a click over to their web site for a look-see. And then I nearly fainted. What appeared before my eyes were a couple dozen of the most charming historic holiday properties in Suffolk and Essex. Aged wood beams, wood burning stoves, deep squishy sofas, four-posters, picket fences -- places made for writing a novel, drinking copious amounts of tea and wearing giant cashmere cardies and thick slipper socks. My favourite is Bromans Barn on Mersea Island.

I'm crazy for a barn conversion. This one has all the primitive charm of a barn but the intimate scale of a cottage - best of both worlds.

Utterly lovely kitchen. I think I'd be inspired to make sticky toffee pudding here. Perfect breakfast table for two. Sticky toffee pud and tea for breakfast! Oh, and the place has it's own organic veggie and herb gardens, so lots of healthy stuff at hand too, if you run out of pudding.

Just what's needed for a quiet evening, and not a spec more. Toile draperies, j'adore.

True romance. No fuss.

The Mersea Island coast. Reminds me of Prince Edward Island - no wonder I love it. They even have oysters.

I am currently imagining what I'd pack, what music I'd listen to, which poetry books I'd bring...

ps. while my Lulu would never be able to make the trip over, I appreciate any hospitality operation with a pet-friendly policy -- kindred spirits.

links: The Grove Cottages. Bromans Barn.


key components

Mr. A and I bought the March issue of Country Home magazine because of this photo. It's a vignette in the home of Kolene Spicher, photo by Max Kim Bee. She's an artist, and her home is lovely - filled with interesting collections. I like her folky art, too. In this shot, K and I loved the giant keys and the wackiness of the grouping in general. My only beef is that I'd like to be able to see more of that large dark key on the left. I find skeleton keys to be a motif filled with possibilities. They have the history angle, interesting shapes, lots of mystery about what they might open, plus all of the extra meaning, like the key to one's heart or the key to one's future or first home. I'm guessing that's why the Tiffany Key collection has been such a runaway success - the perfect gift for so many occasions. I have this sterling silver Vintage Oval key.

It has become a signature piece of jewelry for me. I wear it often and just as often find myself clutching it in contemplation, running it back and forth along the chain to make that zip zip noise. Trend motifs come and go, but I think this one will stick with me. Here are a few key items I like.

AMT Clé USB. Old + new = cute. Supermarket

Paper Keys mini note set by Bread of Many from Felt & Wire Shop.

cabinet pull, anthropologie

St. Peter's keys wallpaper by Given Campbell. I told you before about this Divine wallpaper collection. Love this one but the trouble is, I don't see it on the site anymore...hmmm

set of 5 porcelain keys. interesting. From The Curiosity Shoppe.

And lastly, is it too greedy for me to wish for just one more? 

(I think it is.) Trefoil key, Tiffany & Co