Monday, 15 December 2014

A PRE CHRISTMAS SMORGASBORD!


PHOTOS: SOPHIA HOME


Good morning!
I do hope you have all had a happy weekend?
Ours has been a very special weekend all round!
On Friday we attended the most romantic and beautiful of family weddings in London….a lovely celebration of marriage and quite a party, with a wonderful feast and much dancing!

Although a little weary the next day, it was a dash back home to Kent so we could prepare for a special evening with our children, along with our eldest son's girlfriend, daughter's boyfriend and youngest son's best friend and of course my Swedish mother, without whom no 'Smorgasbord' would be complete!





One of the highlights of Christmas each year, is to prepare our traditional Scandinavian feast….a little earlier this year, as usually this is on Christmas Eve, but a lovely opportunity to introduce our guests to this favourite family celebratory meal and of course, the optional schnapps but compulsory singing!


Ham, meatballs, herring and 'Jahnsen's temptation' potato gratin are the highlight of the Smorgasbord, along with red cabbage, beetroot, cheeses and other delicious treats….








With the table set and candles lit…







 I felt so happy to have all my family and their lovely friends around me...




And I can report….that with song sheets in hand, and my dear mother leading the charge, and of course, a glass of schnapps or two, they all embraced the singing with gusto!

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Wishing you all a very happy week!

Sophia xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


A SPOILING BIRTHDAY….IN VENICE!


Source: Google images


It has certainly been a very spoiling year of travel for me, with a lovely mix of time away spent with our children, my mother and sister, and friends.  Any of you who follow me on Instagram (@sophiahomelifestyle) will know that a couple of weeks ago, Mr. SH and I rounded off this inspiring year with a trip for just the two of us….a few days in beautiful Venice, to celebrate my birthday, which was a wonderful treat!

ALL PHOTOS: SOPHIA HOME
I can not believe that it has taken us so long to finally visit this extraordinarily magical place…we were completely enchanted!  


We had a very spoiling three nights at the renowned Gritti Palace Hotel, situated overlooking the Grand Canal, where we were immersed in true luxury...


From a design perspective, I was in my element…with exquisite Fortuny silk fabrics at the windows and on the walls, Murano glass lighting, antique furniture, through to the gorgeous Aqua di Parma products in the beautiful marble bathroom…the Gritti Palace envelopes you in pampering luxury.  With a fascinating history and equally fascinating past guest list from Ernest Hemingway to the Rolling Stones, amongst many others, it is one of Venice's iconic retreats.



Rich and sumptuous interiors...



Elegant and gourmet...






The cosy and relaxing 'Longhi' bar, overlooking the Grand Canal…perfect for an evening cocktail!




And beautiful fresh roses everywhere….even in our room as a surprise from the 'Gritti' for my birthday...




It was of course looking very festive!






At this time of year, Venice is crowd free…making walking for hours around this extraordinary 'floating' city a true pleasure.  Countless pretty bridges and a new and heart stopingly beautiful vista around every corner.  With an abundance of trattorias serving delicious Venetian dishes, especially wonderful fresh seafood, and 'Osterias' serving delicious little 'tapas' dishes….we were not short on choice of atmospheric places to stop and recharge, before heading off on foot again to explore a new and stunning island.




Venice's legendary 'gondolas'….







Beautiful historic architecture…



Everyday life….all on the water.









Venice would not be Venice, without the legendary flooding….the locals all so used to the daily ritual of mopping up….just part of everyday Venetian life.  'Wellies' are essential of course….



Even for some of the furniture!




I love to travel, and like to find inspiration from anywhere that I visit….but Venice topped them all!  As we waited on the edge of the Grand Canal, waiting for our water taxi to take us back to the airport….we vowed to return soon to this very special and magical of places!

Have you visited Venice?  If so, I would love to hear from you!

***

Enjoy the rest of your week…

Sophia xx

Saturday, 6 December 2014

FROM ME TO YOU….

PHOTOS: SOPHIA HOME





…..wishing you all a very happy weekend, and enjoy your festive preparations!

Sophia xx

Thursday, 27 November 2014

THANK YOU!


VIA PINTEREST



Good morning!
Apologies once again for the lack of recent posts….a heavy work schedule has taken up much of my time, but I plan to share a lot more with you all now, with the run up to the Christmas festivities!  

For today, I would just like to wish all my lovely American readers a very
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wishing you all a happy celebration with you families and friends…..and thank you so much for reading my blog….it means so much to me!

Sophia xx


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

 A SURPRISE GIFT!



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

NEW YORK….NEW YORK!


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

AUTUMN DECORATING…..WITH BEAUTIFUL PALE PUMPKINS.




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…

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

Are you?

Sophia xx