Monday, April 25, 2011

Cotswolds escape

Hubby and I have been working super hard lately, with no breaks, so as I sat at my desk this morning I started day-dreaming about our first weekend away together to Upper Slaughter in the Cotswolds, way back in the late 90s!

The village of Upper Slaughter is located in the county of Gloucestershire, one mile away from Lower Slaughter and resides on a gentle grassy slope above the stream that connects the two villages. The building that dominates Upper Slaughter is the beautiful gabled Manor House which is one of the finest buildings in the area. The oldest part of the house dates from the 15th century but the front is Elizabethan. The Manor is now a hotel and that's where we stayed!

Our first glimpse of the Lords of the Manor hotel:

Upper Slaughter was identified by author Arthur Mee as one of the 32 "Thankful Villages", although more recent work suggests a total of 51. Meaning the small number of villages in England and Wales which lost no men in World War I. In Enchanted Land (1936), the introductory volume to "The King’s England" series of guides, he wrote "that a Thankful Village was one which had lost no men in the Great War because all those who left to serve came home again."

We had an amazing dinner at the Michelin star restaurant:

Followed by coffee and port in the lounge:

Grab a pair of complimentary wellies before going for a romantic walk to the stream - which we did in the moonlight after dinner:

And so to bed:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter (and an English treat)

I was thinking about celebrating Easter in the UK when I was little.... I always had a new frock and if Mum had the time, I'd get a brand spanking new knitted cardigan to match! Some shiny sandals and lily white socks! The mantlepiece would be covered in chocolate easter eggs from Aunts and Uncles, Gran and Grandad and parents! It was a fab time.

So I was looking at photos to post and came across these... which also reminds me of a very old English tradition.... soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers. That's what we called them! I'm sure it was a ploy by some parent trying to get their kid to eat "that's right, dip your toast solider into your egg honey"..... In the UK we have these for breakfast all the time and sometimes if you're a little sick you might get some for tea as they are nice and light.

So delicious! I cook my eggs for 4 minutes egg-actly (silly joke - sorry!) and while they are boiling you put the bread in the toaster, then butter the toast and cut into thin stripes (soldiers).

My kids still call them "dip dips".....

Enjoy with lots of English breakfast tea!

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Renovated Reputations, Kenney Mencher

I had the pleasure of attending Kenney's opening last Friday and in the words of the ArtHaus' gallerist, James Bacchi - we should be making the first Facebook connection movie. It was through James that I first saw Kenney's amazing works of art and, like most of us nowadays, I "friended" him on Facebook - I actually couldn't believe that he accepted!!! So... as I walked into the gallery, I spotted Kenney who immediately gave me a hug and said how nice it was to meet in person. HOW cool is that? Here we are after just meeting:

Renovated Reputations is the result of a flash fiction internet blogging project created by Kenney, based on his new series of paintings and assemblages, inspired by vintage and antique vernacular photography. Each painting is the solicitation for writers to submit short fiction of one thousand words or less. The blog has attracted more than 250 hits per day.

Kenney awards the author of the winning entry with an original work used as the basis for the story. Each painting and story is a unique standalone entity – combining exhibition, a newspaper and a limited-edition catalogue. The exhibition will feature up to 40 paintings. As a painter, Kenney's objective continues to present figurative compositions divorced from their context, while forcing the viewer to create their own interpretation of the narrative. “As you look at Mencher’s art you are reminded of your own lost moments – the people you should have comforted, but didn’t; the lover you trusted who stopped returning your calls; the companion at work who quietly knifed you in committee and then cheerfully chatted you up at coffee break. Humble stuff, average people making average choices…” Art critic, William Wisner.

Originally from New York City, Kenney Mencher earned a BA and MA in Art History from City University of New York and University of California, Davis. He went on to obtain a MFA in painting from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mencher’s work has been exhibited nationwide. He is the author of Liaisons: Readings In Art, Literature and Philosophy, and he has taught at several institutions including University of Chicago and Texas A&M University.

Renovated Reputations continues at ArtHaus through June 25, 2011. The gallery is located at 411 Brannan Street in San Francisco. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11am-6pm and Saturday, noon-5pm. For further information, phone (415)977-0223 or Visit ArtHaus at

Monday, April 4, 2011

Grey bedroom design

I'm in the process of designing a grey bedroom. I want it to feel monochromatic, so am using the same colours, furnishings and accessories in varying tones. Along one wall will be white built-in storage and I know already that I want to use a very dark grey wall colour as the cabinetry will have LED lighting casting a subtle shadow. I was inspired by these rooms and their dark sexy walls and similar to my scheme, they all have a pop of colour in there too: