One Sunday morning, I met Natasha at her Buckinghamshire studio when we went shooting her for the Autumn issue of the Chilterns Food Magazine. Her Hill View Farm is not only a farm but a place for all creativity. She’s hosting Creative Festivals and they have the best brownie in their café - The Bower - also part of the farm. You don’t need to be an expert knitter to admire anything she does. And the energy she has.
A week ago, in the best company possible for this day out, I went to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Sussex. I love all open air museums and skansens and this one was no exception. I also loved that we decided to go in Autumn when the fire in most of the houses was already lit giving the places even more atmosphere. Step back hundreds of years and enjoy the beautifully preserved buildings (from Medieval cottages and Tudor houses to a Victorian school, there is so much to see) and the most charming cottage gardens.. (for which I’m already thinking about a Summer visit too)
When thinking of Chatsworth, only such words as magnificent, elegant, grandiose, lavish.. and so on come to my mind. But then please, is there a walled garden? A vegetable garden? A cutting flower garden? Not that these couldn’t be elegant or magnificent but well, I know you know what I mean. And yes, there is, all of the above. And that’s exactly where I spent 95% of my first time ever at Chatsworth.
I almost went to Chatsworth in the Summer when I was in the area but the harsh Summer sunshine and heat just put me off. This time, I got soaked. I was locking my car thinking, shall I take my rain jacket? Hm .. So my photos are quite limited due to the fact that my camera (or my cardigan for that matter) is not waterproof.
At the garden entrance (of course I only bought a ticket to see the gardens, the house will have to wait) a a very friendly member of staff gave me a detailed map of the statues in the garden and I almost said to him, please, please, keep it, just point me to the direction of the kitchen garden. I’ve been following Becky Crowley, the super-talented flower grower of Chatsworth, on Instagram for quite a while now so seeing the gardens almost felt familiar. It’s such a shame she was on holiday as I would have loved to meet her but I’m sure I’ll be back very soon. Until then, here are some of the images I took that day.
By this time the rain was quite heavy. My final rain shelter was the first Duke’s Greenhouse, that was also a very inspirational space, I loved it a lot.
On my way to a photo shoot (of an absolutely beautiful garden in Devon and that will be published in House&Garden next year but that's all I can tell at the moment) I stopped at Cothay Manor that I've so long wanted to visit. Here are some of the images I took there, in between showers.
I was commissioned by the designer of a beautiful garden to photograph their magical garden in Normandy. When I planned my journey and realized I might have some time before catching the ferry back to England and miraculously found this château very close to the ferry so off I went to visit it..
Birthplace of Maupassant, many visitors come here because of him. Although I studied literature (in France), oh how times change, it would have been different years ago but now I was mostly drawn by its vegetable garden that is right next to the château and not hidden somewhere at the back of the park. The place is a little bit on the shabby chic side and they clearly need all the help they can get to preserve this beautiful building and to create an inviting vegetable and flower garden. So if you’re ever crossing to Dieppe, it’s just 15 minutes from the car ferry, I absolutely recommend to visit and join the guided tour as well (if you’re a French speaker) which is very informative and gives a lot of interesting details about the past of the château. Voilà..
Haddon Hall has been on my wish list for so long. I've heard so much about it and seen so many beautiful photographs that I couldn't wait discovering it myself. I'm very much a person who loves grey skies and rain. And that is exactly how I've always imagined Derbyshire. Except that, this Summer, well this is a real Summer with lots of sunshine and heat. And burnt out colours. Even in Derbyshire.
When I was commissioned to shoot a garden nearby, I jumped with happiness as I could finally make plans to see this unique Tudor country house. I got there just in time to catch the last of the roses.
I went straight to the chapel (maybe unconsciously looking for a cool place?) that was one of the most beautiful places I have ever-ever seen. I was completely mesmerized by the 15th century wall paintings but it's more than impossible to describe so look..
I did have a good look around the whole house. As I mentioned (maybe hundred times) how hot it was, the windows were all open and as you walked by the perfume of the roses just hit you. I must go back. When it's cooler and when the light is better for taking photographs (as you're more than welcome do to so, at Haddon Hall).