Pink Fire Pointer England's Hideaways

England's Hideaways

Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons 

What is it about being on a vacation that inspires me to go on future vacations?  Silly question, I know the answer.  I always, always find a cozy book store where ever I am and browse to my heart's content.  And this weekend in Montecito was no exception. When we visit here, we always make a beeline to our favorite independent book store, Tecolote Books in a charming little shopping center in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, California.  And this is where I spotted the beautiful book "England's Hideaways," published by Rizzoli.

I really haven't recovered from the euphoria generated by last summer's trip to the Cotswolds.  I know I have written about it on my blog and shown some of the images from the glorious gardens and properties we saw.  But for me it just whetted my appetite for more trips to England.  And this book is the perfect guide.

First of all, can we talk about the cover?  This is Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons hotel in Oxfordshire where I stayed for a couple of nights last summer.  Our room was "Hollyhock" which is pictured in the book.  It was beautifully English and soothingly traditional.  This hotel is stunning; it is a Victorian English country-house hotel that is famous for its fine dining restaurant.  It is nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside and the property abounds in gorgeous gardens. And this is what so many of these properties feature --  exquisite archictecture, bountiful gardens, and beautiful interior design.

Hollyhock guest room at Le Manoir Aux' Quat Saisons

Barnsley House where legendary gardener Rosemary Verey lived

Whatley Manor, Easton Grey, Malmesbury

Sitting Room at Hambleton Hall Hotel, Oakham, Rutland

The author, Meg Nolan Van Reesma, writes in the introduction about the interior design focus in this book.   "England's Hideaways" is not just a collection of beautiful places to stay in England, but it is also a book about the classic, traditional decor that is known as English style.  All of the hotels in the book are decorated in this English Country style and exude coziness and warmth.  These are the kinds of rooms that make you want to curl up in front of the fire with a book and a cup of tea and never leave.  The author writes,

"From the floral wallpapers and beloved chintz to the gleaming walnut furnishings of Queen Anne and oak-panelled walls of the Tudor reign, English design has not only existed since the beginning of time but has also withstood the test of it.  I believe the country's recipe for success is its ability to evolve and stay fresh and sophisticated while maintaining a strong sentiment of home."

The Blue Room, Hambleton Hall Hotel

The magnificent rose gardens behind Stone Easton Park, near Bath, Somerset

This book will not only entice you to make a trip to England, but it will also inspire you with its great  design ideas for your own home.  Many of us aspire to make our homes welcoming retreats and soothing havens -- this book is filled with ideas for accomplishing that goal.  At the same time we get to be an armchair traveller and visit the great country-house hotels of England.  Trust me, you will want to be planning your next trip!