Marble muscles ripple—the stone carver’s feat charismatic in its unselfconsciousness. Crystals dangle, their effervescence gleaming for centuries as blown baubles from the past. Mother-of-pearl inlay…View More Ateliers of Europe
England is one of my favorite countries to visit, London a draw, of course, but the countryside equally alluring with the grand country houses and elaborate gardens.
I highlight one trip to the countryside near Eton in The Sens of Beauty, in which I look back at my design journalism career and celebrate a gorgeous Dorchester Collection property called Coworth Park. I wrote the piece for Interiors Magazine, feeling as if I had been dropped into a Merchant Ivory production at the hotel, Originally built by prosperous East Indian merchant William Shephard in 1776, the Georgian mansion house—which is predated only by the Coworth Park’s Dower House, built in 1775—is the centerpiece of the estate, which passed through the ownership of an extensive list of lords and ladies during the intervening two-plus centuries, a roster that includes the Earl of Derby who owned it during the early half of the 19th century.
In the mid 1980’s, the estate became a hub for polo when Galen Weston, the owner of Selfridges and Fortnam and Mason, bought it, transforming it into an epicenter for high-goal matches replete with classically designed stables for his pampered ponies. Prince Jefri, the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, purchased the estate in England in 1995 and expanded its presence as a posh polo destination. By the time the Dorchester Collection snapped up the property, the buildings and gardens were far from pristine. “It had, quite literally, fallen to bits,” remarks designer Martin Hulbert of Fox Linton Associates, whose task it was to bring the estate back to life. And so he did: quite gloriously, in fact!
The Utopia of Sir Thomas More￼
This essay exploring the physical utopia of Sir Thomas More is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in…View More The Utopia of Sir Thomas More￼
Seasons at Highclere
Movie sets that have inflamed the imagination with fairy-tale encounters taking place during the great eras in which luxury ruled are plentiful. But most of…View More Seasons at Highclere
I’ve had a long and passionate love affair with bookstores since I can remember. Some of my finest hours have been spent perusing shelves to…View More Bookstores
Leigh Hunt Avid Decorator
This essay about the decorating exploits of Leigh Hunt is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the…View More Leigh Hunt Avid Decorator
A Decadently Yellow London
This essay channeling the Decadents and Aesthetes in London when it was decadently yellow is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34…View More A Decadently Yellow London
Ottoline Morrell Gets Lit
This essay exploring the literary world of Ottoline Morrell is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More Ottoline Morrell Gets Lit
The Architecture of Chivalry
This essay about the built legacy of Henry VIII is included in my new book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book…View More The Architecture of Chivalry
The Nature of Noble Loyalty
It’s spring in London and the flowers are bursting forth on Cheyne Walk, which skirts the edge of the River Thames until it gives way…View More The Nature of Noble Loyalty
The Tapestry of History
In just a few hours, the modern ideal of a fairy tale wedding will take place at Windsor Castle. A trip I took to the…View More The Tapestry of History