Jon and I just returned from a delightful holiday in the UK. It was especially fascinating because we were there during the Brexit campaign’s final days and vote. Despite the disagreements around the country, Merry Old England was as charming as ever! We were in London for a day and especially enjoyed visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, traveling the Thames down to Greenwich and the Prime Meridian, and marveling at Harrods’ fantastic food halls.
You may know that the Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest for decorative arts. That is especially great for a designer! Jon really liked it too, though, and having spent a lot of time over the last two years designing stair rails, balconies, and gates, he and I both really enjoyed the decorative iron exhibits. Like Jon said, it’s a great museum because there really is something for everyone!
We headed out to the country a few days later and stayed at a spa and resort right in the heart of Winchester. A beautiful cathedral city, we were charmed by its markets, wonderful shopping, and friendly people. We discovered some wonderful little brasseries, taverns, and pubs too!
Our final week was spent in a small village called Romsey. Jon had a ship-handling course he was taking there with some friends. The guys went to class, and we companions toured around the beautiful British countryside. We loved the Abbey at Romsey, originally built by the Normans in 907, and discovered there had been a noble wedding there the day before that the Queen attended. How exciting was that? Unfortunately, we were not part of the wedding party, but we were excited to know we had just missed her.
I crossed a little item off my bucket list by visiting Bath Spa. Ever since reading Jane Austen, I had been interested in Bath and Georgian architecture. Seeing the stately rows of splendid townhouses all out of yellow Bath stone was a site. I learned a lot about the questionable hygiene and social habits of the upper classes in the 18th century, which was quite fascinating. It does make you appreciate our conveniences of today!
I also visited the port cities of Portsmouth and Southampton. Despite a cold and rainy day, Southampton was interesting with its naval history and many important old ships still in existence there. I traveled to Portsmouth mainly to embark on a day trip to the Isle of Wight. One of Queen Victoria’s favorite spots, that little island was charming, and on a sunny and breezy day it was delightful.
I was lucky to have Danna and our intern Montserrat keeping our projects going while I was away. They did a great job meeting with clients, turning fabrics and other projects in for upholstery and window treatments, and even having most of my new furniture hauled off for glazing, painting, and upholstering. Good job, ladies! I couldn’t do it without you.
My experiences in Europe have greatly shaped my love of design. Bucket-list travel, charming English customs, and visiting new places always inspire me. Until next time, find your inspiration—or call us, and we’ll help you discover it!
Friday, July 8th, 2016