Tuesday, 11 November 2014


Just before I left home last week on my travels to NY, I received this lovely parcel from the team at SARAH RAVEN.  As a regular contributing writer on their own blog Garlic and Sapphire, they very sweetly sent me this gift to say thank you for my posts this year.  
What a wonderful surprise!

A box of their stunning 'Vintage Silk' tulip collection bulbs….so beautiful!  
To blow away the inevitable feelings of jet lag on Sunday afternoon, I got out in the Autumn sunshine to plant them in the large zinc antique washtub I have on the back deck….I can hardly wait until Spring now.

Thank you all at Sarah Raven!


To visit the Garlic and Sapphire blog click here.

For wonderful garden inspiration, and to take advantage of their end of season bulb sale, visit Sarah Raven here.

Wishing you a happy Tuesday!

Sophia xx

Monday, 10 November 2014


Hello dear readers, and apologies for my absence and lack of blog posts recently!
Last week I spent a fantastic five days in New York with my lovely Mother who very generously treated me to the trip!

Having visited for the first time two years ago, it was great to return and discover more of this fantastic City….and we certainly packed a lot in to our few days over there!

We stayed at the West House Hotel which was just fabulous. Situated on 55th Street in Midtown, it was in the perfect position for everything.  The West House is a stylish boutique hotel and part of the 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World' group.  With interiors combining a sleek contemporary style, along with an elegance reminiscent of the 1920's, we had a very comfortable stay.  Delicious food, wonderful staff, and a relaxed, intimate and unpretentious atmosphere which made us feel so at home.  

To anyone visiting NY in the future, I would most definitely recommend staying here!

Above is a picture of my mother and I at the top of the Rockerfella Centre ('Top of the Rocks') on our first morning.  The view of New York was breathtaking in the Autumn sunshine, and gave us a great sense of perspective before adventuring out across the City.  Followers of my Instagram (sophiahomelifestyle) will have seen that we packed quite a lot in to the few days we had there. Visits to both the beautiful 'Frick Museum' and the 'Metropolitan Museum of Art', taking in the fantastic broadway musical 'Beautiful', walking the 'Highline' down to the Meatpacker area, a behind the scenes tour of Radio City, the very moving 9/11 exhibition, walking in Central Park…..not to mention of course, the shopping and delicious meals….it really was an action packed trip! 

So home now…and as always, there is the price to pay for having a few days off, with the inevitable catching up with work projects and laundry! Sad when such an exciting trip has to come to an end, but always so lovely to get home and of course see 'Mr. SH', our lovely dogs and to catch up with the children….all of whom I missed!

I know many of you have visited New York, and even live there or nearby too, so I would so love to hear your recommendations and must see tips for another visit….I loved it and plan to return!


Wishing you all a very happy week….

Sophia xx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


It is at this time of year, that I usually love to decorate the house with home grown gourds and pumpkins…. 

Tending to choose to pass on the fun but garish orange, and instead enjoying the more subtle hues of white, cream and blue/grey...

Perfect for creating an autumnal vignette…

Simple but striking…

With colours to inspire the perfect wall colour…

Creating a simple and stylish table piece…

To be imaginative with…

For the perfect place setting...

 To pile high and enjoy…


With all this beautiful pale pumpkin inspiration via 'Pinterest', I am ready to decorate!

Are you?

Sophia xx

Monday, 27 October 2014


My husband received several very thoughtful, personal and special presents for his BIG birthday back in August, but there was one in particular that touched his heart….

My mother knows how much he adores his beloved Labrador 'Rocco', and so she commissioned very talented artist Christine Jenkinson to paint a special portrait of the great man himself!  

Christine lives near to us in the neighbouring county of East Sussex, and is renowned for dog and animal portraits that capture the unique character of the subject, and also for atmospheric and highly detailed landscapes and rural scenes.  She visited our home in secret when my husband wasn't here, earlier on in the summer, and I was so impressed by the amount of time she spent with Rocco that afternoon to truly get to know his personality.  Anyone who knows this gorgeous gentle giant agrees, that she has truly captured his kind and loving nature….

At twelve years old, Rocco isn't getting any younger….so you can imagine that to capture his beautiful face in oils is a very special thing indeed.
His portrait now takes pride of place on the wall in our entrance hall for all to enjoy.

Have you ever had your pet's portrait painted?  If not and you are interested in doing so, I urge you to visit Christine Jenkinson's website by clicking the link here and viewing her outstanding 
portfolio of work….a true talent!


Wishing you all a very happy week!

Sophia xx

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

With a distinctive 'nip' in the air this Wednesday morning, I am definitely settling in to Autumn/Winter mode, and planning my favourite things for this beautiful time of the year…

Making warming winter soups...

Sunny woodland walks...

Candle lit evenings….

Cosying up in cashmere socks…

Lighting the fire…with a good glass of something!

 Or an indulgent chocolate treat…


And a winter wardrobe….especially my beloved winter boots!

What do you look forward to most at this time of the year?  I would love to hear!

Wishing you a warm and happy Wednesday…

Sophia xx

Friday, 17 October 2014



Happy Friday everyone….where did the last week go? It has been non stop this week for me with work projects and now as we head in to the weekend, I am looking forward to a relaxing couple of days and taking things a little easier!  Mr. 'SH' has been away in Australia on business for the last couple of weeks, and from what I can gather from our snatched skype chats, he never got over his jet lag and is severely sleep deprived….so a clear agenda and R&R is definitely called for this weekend!

Above is the beautiful view from my kitchen deck early this morning, with the mist hovering over the fields….it looks like we are in for some lovely sunny Autumn weather too over the coming days, which is a bonus!

No relaxing weekend would be complete without some delicious ingredients for some new recipes and a few treats, and it was a joy to discover and visit a fabulous new farmshop yesterday, close to us here in Kent….the newly revamped and under new ownership 'Hartley Farmshop' near the picturesque market town of Cranbrook.

With their own bakery, fish monger, butchery, delicatessen and lovely coffee shop with far reaching views over the apple orchards behind, it is somewhere that turns the drudge of food shopping in to something really very enjoyable.

Concentrating on fresh and local produce with a fantastic selection of other goodies, it could well become my new favourite place to shop….

If you are ever in the area, do drop by….you won't be disappointed!

Hartley Farm Shop,
Hartley Dyke Farm,
Hartley Rd.
TN17 3QG


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Sophia xx

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Set high in the Morena Mountains, 80km north of Seville in the heart of Andalucia, you will find a truly magical place called 'Trasierra'.

This historic 16th Century house is a privately owned boutique hotel, which has been run and owned by Charlotte Scott and her family for the past 35 years….

With its stunning interiors….eclectic, artistic, understated and so effortless….

Romantic and supremely comfortable bedrooms….

Beautiful gardens, with shady and tranquil hidden corners….

It truly was the most fabulous place to spend a long weekend…..and not just any weekend….for it was the most generous, special and very personal birthday celebration for my gorgeous friend Sarah, who was celebrating a 'big' birthday. She and her husband James so generously invited close friends and family to enjoy 'Trasierra' exclusively for four days.

Four days of fun and laughter, enjoying the most delicious food and wine, trips to Seville to 'The old fish market' for lunch and wine tasting in a beautiful local vineyard, gorgeous walks amongst stunning scenery, yoga, massage and relaxation….and of course, much
dancing and partying….the fantastic Spanish 'gypsy' band and Flamenco dancers were something we shall remember for ever!

As we enjoyed the last fabulous dinner on Sunday night in the spectacular candle lit courtyard, I know I was not alone amongst our fellow guests, in feeling that we had experienced four extremely special days indeed….the most generous and spoiling of invitations, that was also so personal, genuine and intimate.  A chance for us all to spend very special time with our hosts and fellow guests in a truly unique, beautiful and magical place...

Thank you, thank you,  to our dear friends Sarah and James….our celebrations with you both at 'Trasierra' will stay in our hearts for ever….xxx


Wishing you all a very happy weekend!

Sophia xxx