Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A SUMMER LUNCH TABLESCAPE...






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!

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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.

(PHOTO CREDITS FROM MYSELF/VIA GOOGLE IMAGES)


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 nurseries....it 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 'Café' 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...)

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Wishing you all a very happy Thursday!

Sophia xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


BON ANNIVERSAIRE!



If you are looking for the perfect little get-away amidst beautiful countryside with good food and wine, history and beautiful architecture and a friendly French welcome, then do as we did the other week, and pop over the channel and make the short hour's drive out of Calais to the beautiful historic town of Montreal-sur-Mer.

Followers of my Instagram will know that a couple of weeks ago, 'Mr. Sophia Home' and I headed to this gorgeous town for an overnight stay with a day either side, to celebrate his birthday.  Two lovely days that felt more like a longer holiday, when we returned refreshed and inspired....if not a little overindulged and spoilt with wonderful seafood and wine.




Montreuil is a beautiful fortified town which dates back to Roman times, when the sea which is a number of miles away now, used to run up the estuary as far as the city walls.  With its charming cobbled streets, imposing ramparts, beautiful historic houses and churches, and lovely selection of restaurants and hotels....it is a perfect weekend get-away.  

The setting to 'Les Miserables' and more importantly in my husband's opinion, it is also the French home of 'The Wine Society'....our car boot was pretty full when we left!

By chance, my research brought me to the attention of 'Maison 76' which was a booking that far exceeded our expectations.  Housed in a stunning 18th Century former 'Apothecary's Mansion', this special B & B has more the feel of a luxury boutique hotel.




With its charming walled garden and relaxing terrace, the warm welcome from English owner Tim and the caraf of Rosé on the house....our arrival could not have been more perfect.   




Tim has restored 'Maison 76' meticulously over the last seven years and now offers three beautiful rooms or the entire house for larger parties which includes an extra suite, which on this occasion, we were lucky enough to have which was a particularly lovely surprise.  With power showers, roll top baths, beautiful bedding and towels, the stylishly decorated bedrooms could not be more comfortable.  There is a stunning drawing-room for the use of guests too, and a charming dining room where breakfast is taken.  Elegant and stylish and with absolute attention to detail throughout, the interiors are inspiring.  With a keen artistic eye and an eclectic taste for the quirky and eccentric, the art and interesting accessory details made 'Maison 76' a very unique, homely and special place to stay.




























Dinner that evening was in one of Montreul's many lovely restaurants, after a stroll through beautiful streets lined with historic houses, leading in to pretty flower filled squares.   

The next morning, we woke to a fabulous breakfast prepared by Tim.  Home made yoghurts, fresh fruit, deliciously fresh croissants and home made jams, along with hand pressed apple juice from a friend's orchard.  Fuelled for the day, we said our goodbyes but promised to return to this lovely sanctuary.

At our host Tim's suggestion, we then drove south to the fabulous gardens of L'Abbaye de Valloires.  Set in the Authie valley, and dating back to the 12th Century, L'Abbaye de Valloire's stunning gardens are an absolute must visit if you are ever in this area of Northern France.  







The gardens were designed in 1987 by Gilles Clement, a landscape artist of international repute.  Stretching out over more than 8 hectares, five mood gardens showcase a collection of over 5,000 species of plants.







This beautiful wild flower meadow was so inspiring....and of course, always up for a new project, we have now returned with ideas of perhaps transforming our disused paddock!


Beautiful grasses...


And a fernery which I loved.
  So fresh and cool...




The weather became a little overcast late morning, but it did not spoil our enjoyment of these beautifully laid out gardens...some areas wild and natural, and others a contemporary take on the formal.


Love the mix of plants and vegetables...these Kohlrabi were such a beautiful colour!


Stunning Mint and Basil bed...





Some very happy ducks living here...


Les Jardins de Valloires....a beautiful French garden find!





Before heading back reluctantly to Calais to make our way home to Kent through the tunnel, lunch on the coast seemed to be the perfect idea.  A fabulous 'fruit de mer' in the sweet fishing harbour of 'Le Crotoy' in the 'Baie de Somme' was another lovely find.  

The perfect end to a perfect 'Anniversaire' weekend!


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(click for links...)


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Wishing you a very happy rest of the week!

Sophia xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

LONDON ADDRESS BOOK....
INTERIORS, COFFEE AND LUNCH.


'NORDIC STYLE': ALL PICTURES VIA SOPHIA HOME



Although I am a true country girl at heart, I do need my regular city fix too, so three days last week in London was a real tonic.  Staying with my daughter Georgie who had taken a few days off from her busy work schedule, it was a lovely girls' mini break.  Shopping and exploring, with plenty of coffee and lunch stops and chat!






For your London address book, here are three of our favourites from last week...

Long time readers of the blog may remember me featuring 'Nordic Style' in the past.  Situated in Lots Road, Chelsea, it is the perfect destination for  beautiful Scandinavian Interiors.  Inspired by Gustavian style, generally credited to King Gustav III, this main London showroom which is one of four, showcases stunning reproduction 18th/18th Century furniture, lighting and beautiful accessories.


A showroom, I could quite happily just move in to!




A welcome coffee stop, to get out of the rather unwelcome July rain, was at Café Prestat, Chelsea.  Prestat has been 'By Royal Appointment to her Majesty the Queen' for the past 35 years, and it is said that their chocolates are Her Majesty's favourite....if our sampling of their delectable 'rose and violet creams' are anything to go by, then we agree with her!  Accompanied by delicious Monmouth coffee, the mid summer showers didn't seem so bad.



'CAFE PRESTAT' : PHOTO, SOPHIA HOME




A specially planned lunch booking, a treat from our usual sandwich lunch on the go, was a visit to 'Spring' which is the beautiful restaurant created by acclaimed Australian chef Skye Gyngell.  Housed in a former 19th Century Drawing room in one of the wings of Somerset House, it is an airy, light, feminine and elegant space.






Describing their food as 'heartfelt, wholesome, produce driven, and cooked by a team of people who are passionate about what they do and who feel truly privileged to work with beautiful ingredients'....




A spoiling treat, and a fun and special mother/daughter lunch...x

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(click below for links....)










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Wishing you a happy Tuesday!

Sophia xx