Category Archives: Country Houses

La Divine Comédie Demeure Privée + Spa Avignon

A Sense of Theatre A private paradise. A secret world. A hidden kingdom. Cloistered glory. The very essence of exclusivity. If luxury could be bottled… heavenly scent. A multiple epiphanic realisation of complete beauty and tranquillity. Not even a Gallic … Continue reading

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Provence + Twilight + Moonlight

Sonata

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Nicholas Ashley-Cooper 12th Earl of Shaftesbury + St Giles House Dorset

Changing the Dial “St Giles House has quite an evolving history,” says Lord Shaftesbury. “Country houses are always living organisms. The Victorian obsession was to make them bigger and better. Strange French château style pavilions were added to St Giles. … Continue reading

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Forss House Thurso Caithness + The Chimneys

Passing Places Really, a newspaper cutting was enough to book Forss House for a Highlands escape. Those chimneys, even looming large in a thumbnail! Close to the northernmost point of Britain, Dunnet Head, the hotel overlooks a serpentine river and … Continue reading

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Euphemia Honeyman + Skaill House Orkney Islands

Never Enough A family house steeped in 5,500 years of history – well of course it’s going to be riddled with ghosts! And it would take a Norse code to unravel its beginnings. The current building is a conglomeration of … Continue reading

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The Queen Mother + The Castle of Mey Caithness

The Definite Article “That is possibly the funniest episode I have ever read,” emailed the much missed Min Hogg, Founding Editor of The World of Interiors, in response to a descriptive summary of a group visit to a certain castle … Continue reading

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Farr Bay Inn + Coffee House Bettyhill Caithness

FBI It’s Waverley meets Wuthering Heights. Rugged architecture for a rugged location. Black painted window surrounds like heavily applied kohl eyeliner add to its air of mystery. Farr Bay Inn was built as a manse precisely two centuries ago.

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Dunrobin Castle + Garden Sutherland

Crock of Gold On a wild and windswept Sunday morn, we’re wandering through the 189 rooms, grand and not so grand, of the largest house in the Scottish Highlands. Dunrobin Castle, a fairytale in stone as mostly imagined by the … Continue reading

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Lynnfield Hotel + Restaurant Kirkwall Orkney Islands

Freighted for Heaven A sea of chairs fills the drawing room. And somewhere at the core of Lynnfield Hotel is the 1790s manse of Kirkwall Cathedral. In 1902 Walter Grant, owner of the adjacent Highland Park Distillery, bought the house … Continue reading

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The House of Lavender’s Blue + More Attitude

A Fantasia of Art Louise Harpman, architect, urban designer and Professor of Architecture, Urban Design and Sustainability at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualised Study: “I love your flat, and it seems that we both share a fascination with … Continue reading

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Pencarrow House + Garden Bodmin Cornwall

And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time | Washaway on a Rainy Day The setting of Pencarrow House – the south elevation overlooks a formally laid out garden around a fountain all in a vast green basin – is reminiscent … Continue reading

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The Grange Estate + Festival Hampshire

Cono Sur   It is one of the greatest flowerings of Greek Revival architecture in Europe. Yet it wasn’t purpose built: it’s a radical remodelling of an earlier building. This is the story of how a Restoration house in rural Hampshire … Continue reading

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Wigmore Hall London + Marilynne Robinson + Falmouth Cornwall

Soulmates | Gyllyngvase World class musicians violinist Lana Trotovšek and pianist Maria Canyigueral set the Wigmore Hall alight on Monday night. Such stunningly contained performances. Their recital opened and closed with Beethoven sonatas. A staggering volume of stamina was required … Continue reading

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Downings Pier Rosguill + Mevagh

Shore Thing The Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Donegal I, 1833 to 1835 record: “The villages of Downings and Doagh are the principal fishing places. Some few persons give themselves up entirely to the trade, not having any … Continue reading

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Tranarossan House Downings Donegal + Sir Edwin Lutyens

The New Ned Is this Ireland’s greatest chalet bungalow? Who knew the legendary English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens rustled up a design for such an isolated site in Ireland? Certainly, the master’s New Delhi architecture is somewhat better known than … Continue reading

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