Art of Travel designs unique travel experience for individuals and small groups. We shape your days to include off-the-beaten path neighborhoods in big cities, or colorful markets and antique fairs in the country. Whether following in the footsteps of painters or visiting great art museums, with Art of Travel you will experience a level and depth of travel experience unlike any other.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Additional Comment England The Art of Country Living
you once again for a trip of a lifetime. Our trip to the gardens and
manor houses in the Devon countryside was magical. Kaye
Comments England Trips - May/June 2016 London & the Chelsea Flower Show Art of Country Living
Off to Chelsea Flower Show Gala
What a glorious trip we had to England, replete with fine weather! The
Chelsea Flower Show, now 140 years old, was our anchor and how it has
changed over the years. Garden designers came from all over the world,
as well as manufacturers of garden supplies. New garden displays took
on new themes including a "Slave Garden" giving a visual of human
trafficking and domestic slaves.
visit close by and giving perspective on Chelsea was the Chelsea Physic
Garden. Those gardeners called the physic garden the "real garden" as
contrasted to the Chelsea "fake gardens". Originally an apothecaries
garden, it is the second oldest botanic garden in England. I enjoyed
learning that the tobacco plant was used to treat swine flu. It was
there we heard the Chelsea designer gardens had plantings from various
zones all blooming simultaneously none of which would ever bloom at the
same time or in a similar clime. That bit of information made those
designer gardens at the Chelsea Show more "fantastastical"! As one head
gardener said, "plants are like guests invited to a party. You don't
put some with others..."
On the countryside trip to
Kent and Devon, the top choice was Pashley Manor Garden, privately owned
by the Selleck Family. There were 800 years of gardens here and a
showcase for David Austin Roses in the walled garden. What I found
interesting was the history of the Pashley sheep. They fed on the roots
of the trees (Pashley is actually an arboretum too) and as a result
produced a very high quality of lanolin. The sheep wool made for
wonderful birds nests as well. So everything is thriving at Pashley!
there were the private visits! Minnie Churchill, Liz and Johnny Astor,
the Cliffords and the Arrans. Oh I can't forget Sir Benji Slade who
hosted a fabulous lunch in his garden with so many of his eccentric
friends. Be sure and notice the fabulous hat on the table in the photo
with Kaye and Sandra with Benji.
Castle Hill, a palladian country house, was the best. 5500 acres of
parkland and gardens all with fabulous vistas from the patio. (Be sure
and note that photo below.) And their dining table was exquisite. We
enjoyed formal dinners, beautifully served by Robert and Garry, footman
of the old world. I couldn't help but notice their perfect deportment
in service to Lady and Lord Arran.
The Art of
Country Living unfolded in spontaneous moments...the pets at each
household, the portraits of the pets, pets at the tables! The passion
for gardens...creating new birthday gardens for milestone birthdays!
Neighbors bringing shrubs, and other plant material to place in the new
birthday gardens...the art of the picnic...champagne served in the
beautiful garden follies, and, much much more.
was not a cookie cutter trip, or even a custom trip. It was a
discovery trip where something new unfolded every minute! It took a
cast of characters to make it happen!
Pashley Manor House and gardens,
a favorite for everyone, including Patti
Curt giving scale of a huge oak at Pashley Manor.
Linda with Minnie Churchill at Chartwell.
Sir Winston Churchill.
Lunch at Astor Estate--note wisteria in background.
Susie at Sir Benjamin Slade's Maunsel House, Devon
The Art of English Living includes special pets.
Nancy & Page in Castle Hill dining room.
Caroline--Best guide in England
in the gravel garden at Beth Chatto's Garden
Beth Chatto's Garden, Essex.
Kaye & Sandra at Ben's surprise luncheon.
I just want to share that I read "1000 Places to See Before You Die" and there were THREE on the list which we had just visited in the past seven days! It listed the White Gardens at Sissinghurst, the Lake at Stourhead with its pavilion, grottos and folies, as well as the seaside walk through the Valley of Rocks to Lynton in Devon. For those who did Chelsea flower Show, that was on the list as well. What was not included (but would be for anyone fortunate enough to have stayed there), I would add our fabulous stay at Castle Hill with Lord and Lady Arran. It was the true PRINCESS experience if there ever was one. You have provided life's memorable moments once again. Thank you so much for organizing these wonderful opportunities, We are so lucky to be your friends.
Susie at iron gate.
Private lunch at medieval gatehouse in East Anglia.
Kaye in a world of rhodies.
Lady Nell in her garden.
Nothing like an English garden in Devon.
Patti in the world"s smallest elevator in London's largest museum.
Ceramic or glass installation for a show at Royal Hospital.
Tea for three at a lovely private home in London.
Nancy and Page with surprise guest.
Sue, Curt and Vicki with the Queen at Pettifers' party.
What was not to love about this trip?/ London is a most-engaging and fascinating city and visiting it in the spring for the Chelsea Flower Show and tour of gardens in/around the city was a wonderful experience! As has been true for me with Art of Travel trips, three times now, I can only be awed by and applaud Susie for finding her travelers THE BEST guides and experiences and helping us wend our way around new environments in as comfortable a manner as possible. Caroline was a font of knowledge about her country, city and historic, and current personages, and I especially enjoyed her version of the TOP 10 at the British Museum, an add-on that several of us enjoyed before the actual tour began on Monday, the 23rd,...how else to start contemplating that daunting institution? I left the tour half-way through, but can say that visiting the flower show and seven gardens was enough stimulation to last for quite some time. Prince Charles' country estate, Highgrove, and the Chelsea Physic Garden were my personal favorites, though all was GREAT! Fun to be with congenial fellow travelers and the Kensington Hotel at the corner of Queen's Gate and Brompton Road, was a lovely small hotel. There was not enough down time to even write postcards, but would rather be experiencing and enjoying at the end of the day! I had a perfect return from the black cab, Heathrow Express and the flight back. Very great way to get to/from Heathrow.