Originally from New Jersey, Cally lives with her husband in England (where they met) and their adorable pup Winston. She shares all about her favorite moments in the countryside after 2.5 years of making England officially home base.
For a weekend away, my most favorite of all places to stay is at the Endsleigh House Hotel. It is Grade I listed and was designed in the cottage orné style (from 1810). The main house is absolutely stunning, as are the grounds, garden, and arboretum. While staying you truly feel that you have almost traveled back in time. In the winter, wood fires roar and in the summer, windows are open for guests to be delighted by birdsong. Additionally, rows of Green wellies line a hall to muck about amongst the vastly groomed garden grounds. It's a special place. My husband and I go at least once a year. It's charming and feels truly English.
I love the Hotel Endsleigh so much that I couldn't help but include another photo. As a decor enthusiast and history nerd, this photo sings to me. At Endsleigh, part of the charm is that no two rooms are alike and in the house there are many original elements. In two particular rooms (the Bedford rooms), what lines the walls is original hand painted wallpaper (from approximately 1910)! Apparently it did not need any touching up as well. It's astoundingly beautiful; and reminds me very much of the brand de Gournay.
I love flowers, but I love flowers even more in England. I think they offer pops of color for when the skies are grey (which is often). I took this photo recently while walking amongst a garden in late summer. Here, rose season tends to be around the end of May thru the end of June. However, this photo was taken mid-August, and so, I call it "the last rose of summer"; (also a beautiful yet, melancholy song).
In the summer months I love to wear light and flowy dresses that are comfortable. Trends aren't as important to me. One of my most recent favorite finds is this Indian block printed, blue dress, from a British designer, Juliette Dunn. Being a huge fan of textiles (currently working on starting my own textile line!), I have to say the block print pattern is exquisite. The rick-rack detail on the bottom adds extra weight, and it has the most graceful flow to it. I always feel elegant while wearing this dress and I've gotten so many compliments whilst wearing. It's a timeless piece.
I've decided to only provide, a very small photo of this hidden gem, as I think one should experience it firsthand, for yourself with out any visual preconceived notion.
This location is not in the countryside, but it feels like it should be in the countryside. Even more so, in a fairytale.
It's smack dab in the middle of Westminster, London and just a 4 minute walk from Buckingham Palace. My dear friend, Jens Jakobsen's (a local florist, @jensjakobsenfloralconstruction) has constructed an amazingly beautiful floral facade, and let me tell you, it truly is a labour of love. He dedicates hours upon hours to design and build a floral landscape of the National Trust site, The Blewcoat School. Apparently, his inspiration for this garden was a fairytale of sorts. Jens floral landscape is dotted with small chalkboards featuring famous inspirational and happy quotes which change every few days or so. His floral landscape is a masterpiece and brings a whimsical fairytale into the heart of the city. It's a gem and when travel restrictions lift and if you're in town, I recommend you to go and have a look and have this fairytale, tell you your own story.
This past summer, I spent hours discovering The Lost Gardens of Heligan. It's a masterpiece with so much to discover and be inspired by. I've read their story from their website several times which states, "The garden was lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of WW1, this Sleeping Beauty was re-awakened in 1990 to become Europe's largest garden restoration project..." It is a great story to discover on your own, but to be fairly brief, there is so much to see here and be mesmerized by. One of my favorite parts, were these victorian greenhouses with so much detail to them. One day, I hope to have some space to re-create a similar greenhouse.
My husband and I recently stumbled upon The Beckford Arms, whilst driving the windy autumnal streets of Wilsthire. The outer facade immediately caught our attention, it's stunningly beautiful and just felt so inviting. The pub and inn was established in 1740, and is situated on the edge of the stunning rolling parkland of the Fonthill Estate. The food and wine list was exquisite. The decor was also completely on point. Apparently, on new years day right outside of The Beckford Arms, about 75 horses and hounds set off for the annual fox hunt. While, I can't advocate the hunting part, the sight of them setting off looks truly magical. I'd love to spend my New Years Morning sipping hot chocolate near the fire while gazing out at this very traditional, annual, English spectacle.
With Covid 19 restrictions currently still in place, my husband, and dog, Winston recently stayed in a very charming cottage at the top of a street named, Gold Hill. We came across is one night by accident, but the location is quite popular. Gold Hill is known for being one of the steepest streets in England, and the view from the top is said to be "one of the most romantic sights in England." It's most famous for a 1973 advert, for Hovis bread, and is worth a watch (as well as a visit).
One of the most wonderful parts of living in England, I'd have to say is the country walks that you find yourself on. So many places, have "footpaths" where you find yourself walking through a field, farm, or forest; and always, somewhere during your journey out, you're bound to come across a little pub, to which you can pop inside to rest your feet and wet your whistle. This photo is from a day which was very similar to that.
Being that we all pretty much live in the land of Covid this year, I cannot recall how many picnics my husband and I took in our nearby parks. One aspect that was wonderful to see, was so many people slowing down from busy city live, to admire the nature that our city holds. Typically, in the summer months many people come to Green Park to lounge around in the green and white striped deck chairs that this Royal Park offers, but with no chairs available for the start of the summer, more people than ever before were lounging around on their picnic blankets. This was one of my favorite summer leisure activities, and it was from one of our picnics in July.
For more of Cally's life in England, follow her gorgeous instagram @caleing