Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Six kilometers inland, high in the hills above the beautiful small coastal bay of Agni, in the North East of the Greek island of Corfu you will find somewhere very special indeed.  The magical drive up, along a dirt track through endless olive groves,  leads to the hidden gem that is 'Rou Estate'.  It was here that we as a family, plus the children's friends had the great privilege to stay last week, for a wonderful week's holiday all together.

Once a hilltop village, it was abandoned by farmers in the 60's and left for ruin.  In 2005 the entire village was bought and rescued by British Architect Dominic Skinner, who set about meticulously restoring the buildings….creating a boutique retreat of fourteen stunning holiday houses, surrounded by immaculate terraced gardens.  

With a spectacular infinity pool built into the rock face, maid service, a gym and holistic centre…it also offers all the comforts of an understated five star hotel.

With our party of eight,  we stayed in one of Rou's larger four bedroom villas 'Strelitzia'

With its floor to ceiling windows, and pale olive green shutters….

Open plan layout and spectacular vaulted ceilings….it was a holiday rental like no other.  I could have very happily moved right in!

A fabulous large kitchen and eating area looked down upon this beautiful sitting room, with other quieter areas off it, to read, watch tv or listen to music.  Great attention had been given to the interiors, with beautiful art work and carefully placed objects of interest throughout.  Every comfort and detail, both practical and aesthetic had been thought of.

The perfect home away from home….

With a view like this, across the glistening water over to Albania, to wake up to each morning, it was hard to leave... 

It is Rou's beautiful terraced gardens that it is also famous for…having attracted much media attention over the years.  Sadly taken on a slightly overcast day, and much of the flowering season over for now, my pictures don't quite do justice to what is the most immaculate and striking planting.

With plantings of lavender, agapanthus, wisteria and herbs….the blue, white and violet tones work beautifully with the mellow grey stone work of the houses, and soft grey/green of the shutters.

Evidence of the former village, in the form of original archways and an old well were reminders of what this special place once was….

What was originally the village's stone built sheep pens, is now the estate office, spa and gym…

My daughter and husband and I took time out from the rest of our party one morning to take in the magnificent landscaping, and heady herbal scent of these beautiful gardens.

Thoughtful seating areas around the gardens were tranquil places to take in the beautiful surroundings…

With candle lit lanterns and carefully placed flood lighting….you can imagine how stunning the gardens were at night.

When we could drag ourselves away from this beautiful oasis up in the hills, days were enjoyed down by the water….

Having fun in boats, hired from nearby Kassiopi…

Swimming in the warm Ionian sea, with its crystal clear waters...

…and stopping off at deserted coves for a picnic.

Not forgetting the delicious Greek food in the fun and friendly tavernas…all so fresh, with locally grown organic vegetables, tempting meze and wonderful fresh fish caught from local fishermen the night before.  

'Agni Taverna' in Agni bay...

'Taverna To Fagopotion' in Agios Stefanos...

Above were two of our favourites, and highly recommended if you are ever in either of these neighbouring coves.

Have you ever had the opportunity to visit this beautiful island, and in particular, the beautiful north/east?  If not, and you get the chance, you are in for a very special treat….

Rou Estate bookings via

Wishing you all a happy Wednesday evening!

Sophia xx

Friday, 5 September 2014


As much as I am embracing the imminent start of Autumn, I am taking a week away now to catch the last of the summer sun, heading to the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu…

A week of fun with our three children and their friends, staying in what promises to be a beautiful location on the North of the island.

I hope to look in during the week, but otherwise do pop in and see my daily snapshots of the week on Instagram…@sophiahomelifestyle

Have a very happy week, whatever you have planned and I look forward to catching up with you soon!  Thank you so much for reading me…

Sophia xx

Tuesday, 2 September 2014



Do you know what I mean by that 'Back to school' feeling?  Even though my days of the school run for my own children are over now, and of course my own school days a distant memory, September and the start of the school year stirs up a feeling of anticipation for new beginnings….

Childhood memories of the excitement of new shoes and a freshly stocked pencil case (I know, sad, but I was like that?!) are now replaced with a desire for a fresh approach to my work space and business.  From the small things like a bit of a shake up of systems and the reorganisation of my files, perhaps a new look for a change of stationary and letter head, and business cards….through to exploring further and instigating some of the bigger new venture plans that I have been nurturing for a while!

To be creative, my working environment is very important to me.  To have everything on hand but in great storage is a must…. 

….and flowers and a favourite scented candle brighten and make the dullest day seem special….

 I have had the great pleasure of working on a couple of beautiful 'studies/home offices' for clients recently…one smart, formal and manly and the other light, fresh and feminine….once drab unfinished spaces but both now transformed in to fabulous, inspiring places to work, with great storage, lighting and beautiful furnishings.  A favourite of recent projects!

 Whether you work from home, want somewhere to organise the family schedule, somewhere to write that potential novel in you, or purely somewhere to sit and plan and day dream, here are some gorgeous work spaces which inspire me….

Light and feminine…

Smart and masculine…

Industrial and eclectic...

Ultimate organisation...

Compact and bijoux…



Whether you have the luxury of a designated room to call your own, or have an organised but cosy corner of your kitchen (like me!), what do you consider the important elements for a productive and inspiring work space?  I would love to hear from you!

Wishing you a happy Tuesday…

Sophia xx

For help and advice to create your dream schemes, please contact me via my website

Tuesday, 26 August 2014



If you have a special family celebration….what do you consider to be the vital ingredients for that perfect celebration recipe?

Wanting to keep his BIG birthday fairly 'low key', we gave Mr. SH an intimate lunch here at home this weekend, with immediate family and a few close dear friends….it was a very happy day!

With his love for his garden being the theme of the special lunch, the table was set….

….with vintage small 'tom pots' filled with herbs and flowers and 'named' slate seed markers…

Canapés were lovingly made by our daughter, who just happens to work as a private chef (always handy!)….delicious asian crab on watermelon, topped with an edible viola….

Gaspacho 'shots' with spicy butternut squash, chicken, carrot and guacamole tacos…

 Lime and coriander poppadoms filled with the most mouth watering pear, cashew, mint and coriander spicy filling….

With my own input of making slow cooked loin of pork, with salads from the garden….and with dessert, birthday cake and cheeseboard to follow, we did not go hungry!

How were we to work off all that feasting?

By christening the new 'Pétanque' (Boules) pitch that my husband and youngest son have recently enjoyed building together….

So back to those ingredients for the perfect celebration recipe?  

Good friends
Good food
Good wine
Good fun!


Wishing you a very happy week ahead!

Sophia xx