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Martha's Vineyard Style Travel

Sunset at the Lighthouse

September 19, 2018

Martha’s Vineyard is divided into Up-Island and Down-Island.   Down-Island is where most of the towns are, and Up-Island is far more spread out, private and unspoiled.   At the tip of the Island is the Indian Reservation, Gay Head, now known as Aquinnah which is known for its clay red cliffs and natural beauty.    The first summer I ever spent here with my family (the year of my 13th birthday), we stayed in a cabin just down the road from here, where the only thing to do was to ride bikes to the beach or up to this view below — pretty spectacular!

Because my first memories of the Island all take place here, we always make the drive at least once to watch the sunset over the lighthouse, one of the more spectacular views on Island.    If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might know that I met my husband on this Island.   He sailed here from England (he was a sea captain when we met) and the first thing he saw of the Island was that lighthouse.  It was early morning, still dark, and very stormy and so you can imagine what a relief it was to see.

It suited us well that we watched the sunset here before heading to meet Will’s parents at The Covington— which is a must!! if you visit — delicious!  I wore this sweet plaid shirt with a ruffled sleeve which dressed up well with gold earrings (super sale!) and my new go-to jeans which I wore endlessly last week, too.  I had a jacket with me here but ended up putting on the same (this one is similar) cashmere sweater that I wore in this post for dinner.     I love these simple fall combinations and soft, cozy fabrics.  This shirt is so soft as well as comfortable and feminine (the sleeves and fit).   It felt great! Xx

Garden Home Personal Travel

Quick Visit to Marders Nursery, Bridgehampton

September 7, 2018

We are so thrilled to be out in the Hamptons for a big wedding that we are photographing this weekend.   The client is fantastic and so kind and we are crossing our fingers for continued warm weather.   What a treat it is to be able to stay at my aunt’s home, and to be in such a beautiful place this time of year.   We drove down from Martha’s Vineyard and took four ferries, my favorite was crossing Shelter Island where we stopped for lunch at Marie Eiffel — delicious!

Marders sets the standard of elegance with its nursery and garden shop and is always one of my favorite places to stop while we are here.   There is still a wealth of options for planting this fall before the cold sets in (the roots need six weeks to settle) up here but of course we have an extended season down south.  It made me feel very excited as we are completely re-doing our back garden in Charleston and I love the combinations presented up here.   Here are some photographs from inside the garden store which is jam packed with books, candles, soaps, seeds, children’s toys, and silk flowers:

This time I picked up silk peonies and roses (seen in the first photograph) for our office.    I don’t often opt for flowers that aren’t real but these ones are exceptional and can extend the peony season which is all too short, and are of course far less maintenance for a space which we are very in and out of as we travel so often.   I do wish that I could take home some of these hydrangea trees which are so bountiful:

I am very much hoping to return over Thanksgiving weekend when they turn the barn into a party with live music, cider and cookies — apparently extremely fun for families and I am sure absolutely charming. Xx

Living Martha's Vineyard Style Travel

Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard

August 27, 2018

Martha’s Vineyard is an incredibly special place to me.    I spent my childhood summers coming here, and I met and married my husband Will here.   What a treat it is to carry our love for the Island into the next generation by bringing our son here.   It was the first place outside of home that we took with him when he was only five weeks old.   Needless to say, we love this Island,  and I find that September is the most beautiful month of all: all the joys of the summer without the crowds.   Lucky us then to have two big weddings in the Northeast to shoot this coming month, and to be able to stay at my father’s home in between.   I am so looking forward to showing you more of the Island and why I love it so much in the coming weeks.    It is also such a pleasure to get a jump start on fall: the temperatures are already dipping dramatically at night and I am savoring every bit of it.   For now, we are soaking up the last bit of summer, wild flowers in hand…

Martha’s Vineyard has a wonderful mix of farms, rolling countryside and seaside villages.   My first stop after arriving on Island and saying my hellos is always the farm stands.   I love stocking up on locally grown produce, pies, soaps and flowers, particularly when we’re all together because I love planning for and feeding a group.   We’ve arrived in a transitional period but there are still lots of delicious, ripe tomatoes, peaches, berries and corn.    Apples are right around the corner.    After a good comb through on our first day, we drove up to a point right next to the house just in time to catch the sun set over the sea.   I think you can see that I am very happy:

Edgartown is the most traditional and polished of the three villages and I wanted to show it to you first as I think that it will feel the most familiar to you.    I have not been to Nantucket, but I suspect Edgartown would feel the closest to how it does there.  There are lots of limelight hydrangeas, manicured lawns and dips down to the sea but also several houses and gardens which nod to the English countryside which are my favorite (of course).

But perhaps my favorite part of the Island, and what I find the most magical, are the rolling pastures full of grazing animals which overlook the sea.   Our first full day on Island was spent petting baby goats and lamb (“lammies” as our son calls them) and I know that it will become a regular activity for us while we are here.

That and watching the amazing sunsets from various points on Island…. more soon!  

Happy last week of summer to all.  Here are some similar dresses, and some that I am eyeing for fall at various price points. Xx


Food Travel

A Quick Visit to Daylesford!

August 13, 2018

Have you been to this magical place??? My aunt Leslie told me about it.   We stayed with her earlier in the summer while we were in England.   We had taken a day trip to the Cotswolds and over dinner that evening, she asked if we had stopped at Daylesford.  “What’s that?” I asked.   She couldn’t believe that we didn’t know, and turned us around with full directions the next morning.   I am so so so happy that she did…

To put it lightly, Daylesford might be my favorite lifestyle destination on Earth, or at least that I have visited so far.   It is an organic farm with a beautiful pantry,  full of delicious goods from local honey to beautiful freshly baked bread, a spa, a restaurant, a home goods shop, a clothing shop, a flower store (and school) and you can take cooking courses and there is a sweet restaurant and little b&b attached, too….basically it’s everything and more and if I had a dream, this would be it.   I cannot wait to spend more time there, they have really hit the nail on the head, from the fresh, open air and light-filled spaces to the music which is perfectly suited to putting on an apron and getting out the cutting boards…

I love that there is both a children’s section and an organic cleaning products (in such chic packaging) section of the shop…

My only regret was that our visit was too brief.   Luckily, it is very close to Oxford, which is where my husband’s family lives, and where we spent the most time when we visit.   I will be back!   If I lived in the area, I would be there several times a week…

I went weak at the knees when I discovered the flower shop.   I was already sold after visiting the pantry and the homewares store, and then I passed through and was actually looking for Will when I stumbled across it, cock full of beautiful English summer flowers and beautiful books.

There’s a chilly cheese room in the pantry… I’m not even a cheese-enthusiast the way most of my friends are and I was SOLD!

Our visit was all to brief but believe me, we will be back….!!

Personal Travel

Bermuda P2: Hamilton Princess

August 10, 2018

Bermuda in summertime is breathtaking.   The ocean is SO crystal clear and has the most surreal and beautiful shades of blue.   The water is so soft and warm, it’s like swimming in a sparkly dream.

We stayed with Hamilton Princess, who very kindly invited us for this three night trip.    The hotel sits in the heart of Bermuda’s city, Hamilton, and is both enormous with everything you might need and also a totally peaceful oasis.     We ate at the hotel all three nights (despite awesome off-site recommendations, which we can’t wait to try next visit…soon….), and it was such an easy place to hang out as a family.   It is very well set up for children, with large rooms, lots of activities, a child-friendly staff, and toys around every corner, from the pool to the beach club.

We spent a fair amount of time at the beach club, ate lunch there, swam, had a cocktail, etc.  There is a pirate ship play garden with a slide and a digging tractor (we’re very enthusiastic about trucks right now) which kept us all entertained.    We did, however, wish to find some more deserted beaches and were lucky to connect with a very helpful taxi driver who ended up as our personal tour guide for the entire trip.    He was extremely helpful and I would love to share his information with anybody visiting!   The hotel offers tours, and this felt like ‘insider scoop’.   For example, we visited a completely deserted, wild beach while our little one napped in the stroller in the shade of a palm tree (yes, seriously, that happened), Will and I took a dip in the cleanest, clearest, softest water…it was exceptional.

And of course when our little one woke up, we couldn’t wait to bring him in….

For two of the evenings, we ate at Restaurant 1609 on site which has views of the harbor and is very child-friendly.   The first night we walked straight off the beach into the restaurant, something we rarely do because we typically shower and change for dinner but we were wiped from the wedding weekend and early morning travel, and ate very early, admiring the sunset with a bottle of rosé.   The second night we spent sunset in historic St. George’s and then went back to the hotel for dinner.   We were planning to eat at the Village Pantry in Flatts but ended up opting for the ‘easier’ option, closer to home, although it does look so sweet there!

The last night, we ate at the acclaimed Marcus restaurant, also on site, with some pieces by Andy Warhol.  It is southern-style fare with lots of fresh fish options and was a wonderful way to spend our last night in Bermuda.     We had a half day yesterday and spent the morning in the gold lounge having a leisurely breakfast, followed by a dip in the pool before showering and packing up for home!

Beach Travel

Bermuda, P1

August 8, 2018

We love Bermuda!    My uncle lives on the Island and we have visited him over the years and have always been blown away by the beauty and splendor of the Island.    We hadn’t done much exploring by land (he has a boat so we do lots of snorkeling and diving off shore) until our last trip four years ago, and so it is a real pleasure to be back with a chance to see new spots and stay in a new place on the Island.    We were delighted by Hamilton Princess’s invitation to come stay at the updated hotel, and can’t wait to share more of what it’s like here.   For now,  I will just quickly fill you in on what we have been doing …

Those of you who follow us on social media might know that we had a big family wedding this past weekend in Southampton, NY.   It was an absolute dream and pleasure to watch my cousin who is also one of my favorite people marry the love of her life.   We spent five days with family and great friends and it was all over too quickly.   How lovely then for us to have this trip to look forward to, our own mini family “honeymoon” if you will.   I know that we travel often, but it is a real treat to be here just the three of us with nothing on the agenda except for rest and relaxation.   Of course I couldn’t resist a quick tour around the Island late yesterday morning as well…

Hamilton Princess couldn’t be more comfortable, and we have been spending lots of time at the beach club as well.  It is well set up for families with lots of toys, a playground, a restaurant which delivers right to your beach chair, and hammocks — a first for our little one!

As soon as we arrived the day before last, we headed out for a quick swim and early evening cocktail on the beach, followed by dinner in front of the harbor at the hotel.   It was a deeply relaxing way to kick off the next three days, and set the tone for the week.

Yesterday, we toured around the island, checking out every beach imaginable before quickly driving through the old village of St. George before sunset.  

Thank you to everybody for the generous recommendations, I look forward to spending even more time here in future so that I can check each one off the list! XX

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