Christmas wreath workshop at Gravetye Manor

I’ve always wanted to make a wreath to hang on our door during the winter but never had a clue where to start. Now I know how to make a Christmas wreath! But that’s only because I attended a workshop at Gravetye Manor in West Sussex. It’s one of the best luxury countryside hotels in… Read More

Let them climb trees

Whenever we go for a walk my children instantly start searching for trees to climb. And I always let them climb trees. Number one in the National Trust’s list of “50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾” is climb a tree. In parks and woods where there are trees whose lower arms spread out… Read More

My best vanilla ice cream

I don’t care whether it’s summer or winter, I try and always have fresh homemade vanilla ice cream in our home. When it’s warm, a few scoopfuls in a cone with a chocolate flake results in two very happy children. When it’s cold, a scoop with a hot apple pie or fruit crumble just out… Read More

The Enchanted Forest – Groombridge Place

What stories and images come to your mind when you think of an enchanted forest? Let me take you on the fairy tale adventure of the twins Luce and Theo at Groombridge Place. They boarded a boat and went along a quiet canal where the trees appeared above and below the water. Alas, they were shipwrecked…. Read More

The November garden

We know people talk a lot about the weather all the time in Britain. Even a couple of centuries ago you could expect the same. As Samuel Johnson wrote back in 1758: “It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each… Read More

The milk we drink

I remember the scramble at school on who managed to get the milk first. The best part was the creamy top in the bottle. I was at boarding school in Dorset where fresh local milk was delivered daily. In London the milk float used to deliver bottles every day at our home. Over 30 years… Read More

Collecting Autumn Leaf Colours

The flowers are fading but the colours of autumn are blooming right now. I gave my kids a simple task when we headed off for a walk – collect as many leaf colours as you can find. We then sorted them in colours and patterns when we returned home. “Autumn is a second spring when… Read More

17th Century whispers in Groombridge Place Gardens

One evening during the carnival in Venice I stepped around a corner in a quiet lane and passed a couple in seventeenth century dress. It was as if I had stepped back in time. So I felt when I entered the formal gardens at Groombridge Place in the village of Goombridge, near Tunbridge Wells, in… Read More

Tree Faces and a knightly adventure in the woods

It was time for a fairy tale adventure in the woods. A brave combination of two sets of twins were on a knightly quest to protect their forest castle. Swords were ready in case they encountered any dragons or other beasts. Fallen trees didn’t stop them as they made their way through the woods. Once they reached… Read More