Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Good morning!  
I do hope this Wednesday finds you all well?
It has been four days since we returned from our eighteen day trip to Australia, and I am pleased to say that the jet lag hasn't been too bad...although I am awake pretty early, but the upside is that I am getting a lot done to catch up on things!

Australia was as wonderful as I had remembered it from a visit nine years ago, and when you have visited somewhere before and vaguely know your barings, there is usually more to discover on consequent trips.  Sydney was our first stop, and with the early spring weather my days of exploring while 'Mr. W' had work meetings, were filled with warm sunshine and blue skies.

There are many beautiful Cities, but Sydney really does take a prize for its stunning harbour views!
The frequent ferries coming and going out of Circular Quay are the best way to travel around to the various harbours.  For Sydneys' residents it must be a very relaxing and stress free way to commute in to the City...must beat the underground any day!

This is the view from our 36th floor room at the hotel 'Shangri La', down on to Circular Quay and the Opera House....quite spectacular!

There is so much to enjoy in this vibrant, laid back and sociable City....the highlight for us foodies though had to be the incredible restaurants that Sydney has to indeed the whole of Australia has to offer!  With many other cultural influences, especially Asian, and the abundance of wonderful fresh ingredients on offer, Australian food has to be some of the best that I have ever tasted.

A favourite was the fabulous 'Mr. Wong's' in James Lane, which serves amazing contemporary, cantonese cuisine in a vibrant 1930's Speakeasy warehouse style....with an interior to match its stunning food, this beautiful mural on its wall must measure 12ft high.

What we loved about every incredible restaurant we went to, was the show that the chefs put hiding away in a kitchen for these talented and celebrated artists!

Sunday took us to Sydney's fish market...a feast for the eyes for any seafood lover.  Stall upon stall of freshly caught fish and shellfish for sale, with freshly prepared sashimi and other treats being enjoyed on large trestle tables by Sunday brunchers, including ourselves!

So, spoilt for choice on the restaurant front....but when it came to interior style and first prize for cool, chic waterfront eating, 'The Boathouse' on Balmoral Beach won hands down for me this visit....

Effortlessly chic and relaxed, with a view to die for....

...'The Boathouse' is the perfect place to find a delicious healthy lunch and a relaxed place to just sit and while away an afternoon.

....mine was spent with the lovely Lily who is one of my daughter's best friends from London.  Working out here for two years, it was wonderful to catch up with this gorgeous girl and hear all about her exciting time in Sydney.  Needless to say, daughter Georgie was so jealous! It would have been so wonderful if she had been over there with me too....

Just some of the highlights of my few days in Sydney....rather culinary related, but too good not to share!

Next stop....Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef, followed by beautiful Melbourne...on the blog soon!



(click for links...)


Wishing you all a very happy day!

Sophia xx

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Good evening!
I hope this rather wet and windy British weather finds you all well?

I am excited to say that I am about to escape to the hopefully sunnier climate of Australia in the morning!  An 18 day business trip with 'Mr. Sophia Home'.....well, someone's got to carry his bags, and I bravely volunteered, ha ha!  Not having to work will be such a treat for me though, and I shall be relishing exploring Sydney and Melbourne, and meeting up with a couple of lovely expat friends who will be showing me around.  Downtime with Mr. SH is scheduled in too....the highlight being a trip up to Port Douglas and snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef.....I can hardly wait!

I shall be taking a break from the blog while I am away, but do please follow my travels on Instagram @sophiahomelifestyle

If of course you have any top tips and suggestions for me when I am there, I would love to hear from you!


Sophia xxx

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Paris was as beautiful and inspiring as ever.  It is one city that I know I shall never grow tired of.  Each time I return, there is always something new to discover, along with the familiar that makes me so happy to visit each time.  So easy to get to for us....a thirty minute drive to the Eurostar at Ashford last Thursday morning and under two hours later, the train drew in at Gare de Nord....perfect timing for lunch!

On this occasion, my daughter Georgie and I decided to rent a small Airbnb apartment in our favourite location of Le Marais.  I have never done this before, but would highly recommend it!  With more space than Paris's notoriously tiny hotel rooms, and a fraction of the cost, it was the perfect choice.   Our helpful and charming host was out of the country, hence the availability of his apartment, but everything was meticulously organised for us and our accommodation was so clean and comfortable....I shall definitely consider this option again.

Situated just a stone's throw from the beautiful 'Place des Vosges' could not have been more perfect.  For those of you who might not be familiar with Paris, Le Marais is an historic district on the right bank, spreading across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements.  With beautiful buildings of historical and architectural importance, original and inspiring artisan shops and boutiques, wonderful array of bars and restaurants, and a cool artistic has something to please everyone.

The very slight draw back to the apartment was possibly the six steep flights of stairs leading to it! However we decided that this was a positive....great exercise to work off all the delicious food and wine that we enjoyed over the three days!

The reward for being so high up was also this fabulous view from our floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the rooftops and with the iconic 'Sacre Coeur' Cathedral in the distance.

Le Marais area is famous for its wonderful bakeries....tempting breakfast treats.

Floral and culinary inspiration everywhere we went....

...and no shopping trip to Paris would be complete without also a visit to the fabulous 'Galeries Lafayette' in the 9th arrondissement.

The newly restored Picasso Museum was a highlight...

...with the stunning architecture as much of a draw as the art.

Beautiful gardens in hidden squares were a delight to discover....

Several fantastic meals were had....and the trip would not have been complete without a visit to our absolute favourite restaurant 'Chez Janou' in Rue Roger Verlomme!

We must have walked miles over the few days we were there...enjoying the elegance of the lovely St. Germain district and the charming Ile St. Louis.

As we closed the magnificent doors to our apartment building, with our suitcases a little fuller than when we arrived....we were sad to leave.  A wonderful mother and daughter trip...special times with special memories.


Paris we miss you....but one thing is for sure....we shall return!


Do you have a favourite area or place to visit in Paris?  I would so love to hear!

Wishing you a happy Thursday...

Sophia xx

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


A tray of these beauties caught my eye the other Friday, in our weekly flower and vegetable market.   Ornamental cabbages are always a fun and eye catching seasonal treat that I love to buy at the end of the summer each year to plant up in pots around the outside of the house.  They seem to mark for me the change of the season, as we approach early Autumn.  Always sad to say goodbye to the summer, but I just love this time of year too.

Before these lovelies made their way outside though, they seemed the perfect addition to the lunch table for friends joining us the next day for a  fun and relaxed lunch party.

Keeping with the same colour theme, I then added Artichokes form the kitchen garden that had gone to flower, to a bowl of hand painted African balls from our travels....

A little different from the usual choice of flowers...

But when vegetables look this pretty...why not?

What do you like to decorate your table with?
I would love to hear!


On Thursday I am off for a couple of nights to one of my absolute favourite places...Paris!
A three day trip with my lovely daughter Georgie which will be such a treat!  Precious mother/daughter time in a City that she adores just as much as me.  I look forward to 
sharing our adventures with you on the blog next week!  In the meantime, I shall be sharing beautiful Paris and our finds on my Instagram @sophiahomelifestyle

Wishing you a very happy Tuesday evening!

Sophia xx

Thursday, 27 August 2015

MY LONDON ADDRESS BOOK....a very special place.


On my drive back to Kent the other morning from an overnight stay in central London, I decided to take a small detour via Richmond, for a welcome cup of coffee in one of my absolute favourite of places.

Hidden away down a small lane, a mere stones throw from the hustle and bustle of the City, can be found a truly magical place.  Petersham Nurseries is like no ordinary garden is a unique, tranquil and stylish oasis, packed with inspiration and beauty at every turn.

Internationally prized, Petersham was the creation ten years ago, of the Boglione family.  Along with the nursery full of beautiful quality and carefully nurtured plants, the stunning shop displays furniture and a tempting array of fabulous interior accessories, garden tools and architectural antiques and objet.

Head chef Damian Clisby, previously head chef at HIX Soho and Cotswold House, heads up the 'CafĂ©' restaurant along with Culinary Director Lucy Boyd, gardener, food writer and cook.  Together they create an evolving menu inspired by what is growing in the garden, and the changing seasons.

Set within one of the beautiful old Victorian greenhouses, it is a charming setting.  How lovely for a vintage inspired wedding or celebration like the one they previously hosted above?

Delicious morning coffee and cake or fresh seasonal salad lunches can also be taken in their Teahouse, again housed in a delightful greenhouse setting, surrounded by nature.  

You can imagine why these two are so happy living here!

It is the exquisite array of beautiful things in their shop that truly gets my heart racing.  China, glass, antiques, and accessories....all within an atmosphere which captures the theme of bringing the outside in, which is a look and feel that I love to live with at home.

Each season, Petersham hosts a series of inspiring courses, ranging from gardening and flower arranging, to wild food walks and tea tastings.  I certainly have my eye on one or two of these in the future....the perfect day out in truly magical setting!

Petersham Nurseries....a very special place.
(click for link...)


Wishing you all a very happy Thursday!

Sophia xx