5.23.2014

one year ago...london





Yesterday while outside puttering around the garden I realized that a year had gone by since my trip of a lifetime. Where on earth did that year go?  I went inside and started looking at photos and getting all teary eyed as one does when reminiscing about something so memorable/amazing/unbelievable.  So a stroll down memory lane seems in order.








My roomate Faux Fuchsia.  She's every ounce as glamorous and funny in real life as she is on her blog.  On one of the days we were headed out to the English countryside she said she was going to pop into the corner store for some provisions for the day. When she returned I asked what she had gotten us. "Chewing gum and Whisky" she replied.




Our pretty hotel room.  They don't make drapes that heavy in California.  I loved opening and closing them each day.  I really did.





We ate our breakfast every morning at that little table while discussing our favorite topic...the fact the we both packed the wrong clothes.





We actioned our hair each day in this small but luxurious bathroom.  Heated floor and towel racks - living like rockstars..








London is just so damn pretty.










The downtown shopping area came alive with floral displays in honor of the Chelsea Flower Show.










Louis Vuitton or Gucci - can't remember.  Anyone?





The stunning cafeteria in the V&A museum.  They don't make cafeterias like that in California either.






High Tea at Blakes







Orchids and champagne (was it 8am girls?) at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Romy and FF, both Australian,  thought I was the one with an accent.
When they imitated me it was hysterical but I guess you just had to be there.






















At Designers Guild in London...







...all the way to California and now in my living room.


I'd like to thank Janelle for putting together this amazing trip and including me in such a wonderful adventure.  I made lifetime friends who I know have the same memories of trudging through mud and rain and sometimes glorious sunshine to see some of the most exquisite gardens ever created.  Love all you guys - wherever you are!  xo janet



78 comments:

  1. What a fantastic trip you had. I still remember my 2002 Pariis/Brugges trip. I am hoping it wasn't a once in a lifetime thing. It was so wonderful though that I can recall EVERY LITTLE DETAIL about it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know what you mean. i hope i never forget those tiny details b/c they made everything so special.

      Delete
  2. London is an amazing city, I live in this country and still never pack the right clothes if I go away from home, our weather is all too changeable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. meeting you in london on that soggy wet day was one of the highlights of the entire trip. i wish people could see how incredibly beautiful and polished you are in real life. x

      Delete
  3. Wow, a year already??!! I can't believe it. Where did the time go, indeed! Love this trip down memory lane, your photos and all those gorgeous flowers. Makes me want to go back to London. I was there as an 18-year-old with my best friend, just the two of us. Good times.
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know, where did the time go? that must have been so much fun to be 18 with a best friend! good times indeed.

      Delete
  4. That year has just flown by! I loved reading about your trip and your observations as a tourist. Makes me appreciate so much us Brits take for granted! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know what you mean about taking things for granted but your country is truly so beautiful!

      Delete
  5. WOW!
    I luff FF 11/10: Chewing gum and Whisky!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was just thinking it's been a year and I should search your blog for your posts about it. I waited too long to buy tickets to the chelsea flower show, so I've been watching the series of coverage on tv. Next year I'll be there! There a few garden tours you wrote about that I haven't seen yet. It is a cool place - but CA isn't bad either :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. California is good too but so different than the UK. are you staying an extra year? lucky!

      Delete
  7. Oh my, all the flowers look GORGEOUS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. they were gorgeous. absolute perfection is all that is allowed in that show. every single detail...perfect!

      Delete
  8. So pretty! The year has whipped past so fast, it's amazing. FF sounds like a woman after my own heart. Hilarious. The flowers are so amazing. Memories are so special and sweet. Enjoy your weekend. xoJennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are right...she would be a woman after your own heart. glam and funnnnnny! killer combo.

      Delete
  9. Orchids and champagne... sums it up perfectly. Thanks for letting us look back with you. Chelsea Flower Show is high on my bucket list xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i highly suggest it. the english gardens we saw are what was on my list but the chelsea was pretty dang good too.

      Delete
  10. I loved reading about your travels last year, especially your posts about the UK. Interesting to hear how someone from overseas views us and our country. Isn't Chelsea fab? I went once, many moons ago and have been watching it on telly this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it was fab. fiona come over here and write about california so i can see what you mean! :)

      Delete
  11. chewing gum and whisky!? that is hilarious.

    I went to the show today and I also went last year so I can compare but last year was about 30% better....

    But I heard it was an amazing trip and isn't it nice to revisit a trip in one's memory second time around?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know. so unpredictable and i must have laughed for 20 minutes straight. we laughed a lot. yes, it is so great having these memories and photos and all put out on blog form. my blog has turned into a diary of sorts.

      Delete
    2. we laughed a LOT!!! So many great chats.

      Delete
    3. The memories of that trip are like jewels that we can take out to brighten a dull day - even in my dotage I'll remember the wonderful company and sitting up the back of the bus like kids, laughing till our sides ached as we talked favourite books, films, gardens, families, fashion, shopping etc. Those gardens were so fantastic and even the bad weather days couldn't blight the fun. Remember my toes feeling frozen when we finally went into the warmth for our afternoon tea at Highgrove and thinking - "Champagne, it's far too cold, will just freeze even more." But no, champagne is never like that. It was wonderful and I could feel the warmth thawing out my freezing hands and feet.

      Miss you Janet! It was lovely to travel with you - and love your Designer's Guild choice, it looks fabulous in your home!

      Who could forget the 10 minutes we had to shop in Prince Charles' local village and nearly all came back happily waving purchases decided on in about 6 minutes! I still love my jacket and scarf. Must have been a record purchase time wise. The village will probably never recover from the whirlwind.
      Best wishes, Pammie xxx

      Delete
    4. oh pammie you are so right about that champagne tea. we were all so frozen but that champagne helped warm us and prepare us for The Hicks garden didn't it?

      i remember the day you and i walked to the local drugstore and we both the orange tulips for our rooms. such sweet memories!

      one day we all need to meet again...this time in california!

      Delete
    5. I am missing you all SO MUCH.

      That is all.

      Wish we could do it all again,

      xxxx

      Delete
    6. It was fabulous. Miss you all too, so much. Janet's idea is lovely of meeting up in California, would be fantastic. But spending two months away just now the money supply is taking a bit of a hit with the current Oz dollar so not sure if could ever do it.
      But I really thought of you the other day Janet when I was at the Saturday brocante market in Antibes. I remember your post on how much you enjoyed it. It was a lovely sunny day, but not too hot, and just loved wandering around in that beautiful square, browsing all the interesting things. Found an old Christian Dior scarf (condition not perfect but not too bad) for 10 euros, crazy plastic ear rings for 5 euros (G's not sure he wants to be seen with me if I wear them) and a lovely Versace Medusa crystal candleholder - an old one, but in perfect condition. Great fun. Pammie xxxx

      Delete
    7. maybe i will do some california posts to try and lure you all over? :)

      oh that flea market in antibes is so beautiful. all flea markets should be in such a setting! i love my little antique drawing of the old soldier that i got there. and the fresh market stall where we gathered the ingredients for our last night picnic on the beach. ahhhhh such wonderful memories. your finds sound amazing pammie. would love to see that scarf.

      Delete
  12. Such beautiful photos! You're blessed to have had the opportunity to make such lovely memories. Thank you for sharing them with us. Time certain scoots right along these day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know i know. blessed is such a good word to describe it b/c i truly was to be able to see all i saw. thanks!

      Delete
  13. Gum and whiskey...
    If I remember you had a bit of a cold snap when you were there so it was probably wise to generate a bit of inner heat.
    Always a joy to read your posts Janet.

    ReplyDelete
  14. JANET!!!!!!! This post makes me laugh and feel emotional all at once! I loved that hotel room! You were a superior room mate. I had so much fun, it was such a treat to escape my daily routine and see so many gorgeous things that I will never forget.

    I always remember you looking around Highgrove and talking about how Diana and Charles hadn't lasted and you saying "I would have MADE IT WORK!"

    So many special memories, so much laughter!

    Take care and best wishes- yours in Garden Tour Solidarity xxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  15. PS I just re-read the post again and the comments because I feel this post deserved 2 viewings.

    Tonight I will chew some gum and then throw back a whiskey and think of you and all the other fabulous people we met xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg, do you remember how insanely cold it was at highgrove? and that black sky? and then they forced us to drink champagne after the tour! and then we thought how could any garden we saw even come close to highgrove's beauty and then later that day, in even colder weather we were standing with ashley hicks who took us through his own private garden? How did we get so lucky? thinking about it all gives me chills.

      Delete
  16. Hilarious! WE all packed the wrong clothes.

    So many happy but cold memories.

    Take care my friend.

    With love from one of the few other brunettes on the tour. Paula xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh paula i'm so glad you read this. i was thinking of you while writing. oh it was SO cold. i was just reading the other night about lily pads that are so huge a person could float on one. i think we saw those at kew? such amazing sites.

      Delete
    2. I think we did see those enormous lily pads at Kew, not that we tried floating on them!
      FF might be knocking back a whiskey in honour of the tour, but I think a glass champagne for me.
      Janelle if you are reading - thank you! P











      Delete
    3. right...we could have floated on those lily pads! i hope she is reading. x

      Delete
  17. a year already? It seems like you were just telling me about it. time does fly....

    thanks for taking us on a little tour today - I'll probably have to live London through you. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes a year already! thats ok, that's how i do most of my travel...vicariously!

      Delete
  18. We arrived home from London 4 weeks ago and in your photo of the V and A eatery I can see the table we sat at for lunch. It really is the most amazing place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi studio! yes it really is the most amazing place. can you believe the food they served at that cafeteria? so good!

      Delete
    2. and how cool that you can see the table you sat at!

      Delete
  19. Janet, I enjoyed your post here a lot. I well remember your whole trip. Let's say a person only gets one chance to go to London; well, you saw some of the best, most well-tended and beautiful areas in my view. Thanks for sharing it all with us. I also recall a fun photo you had from the trip of you at the shore in France (Antibes?) with a fashionable beach hat; it was the look on your face of utter joy (glee?), laying there on the sand when there was finally some sunshine. Maybe it was a pinch-me moment for you but I got a good grin out of it at the time because I've been blessed with a couple of those kinds of pinch-me moments myself (is this really me? am I really here? is this a dream?) and, wow, they can fill up your soul at other times when maybe the moments are less than great. I'm very happy for you that you got to take that trip and have some glorious memories a year later. The photos are so colorful and 'alive.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh vicki so glad you are leaving me a comment! i agree with you in that if this turns out to be my one and only trip to Europe, i can never complain bc it truly was amazing. the whole thing was a pinch me moment - even the flight! it was all so good. xo

      Delete
  20. Oh Janet, the memories! It was such an incredible trip....hoping I can one day get to California to visit you....& drink pink champagne at 8am in the morning once again! Much love all the way from Hobart, Rxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. romy! oh i've missed your pretty voice. anyway, i think we should do that california tour that we talked about. beverly hills, hollywood, malibu and palm springs!

      Delete
    2. Hey, there are some great places here in Northern California, too!

      Delete
    3. yes there are gail. many! san francisco and the napa valley just to name 2!

      Delete
  21. I can't believe it's been a year since your trip already! Where did the time go!?!? I've never been to London, so I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting your tour. And "chewing gum and whisky"!! Now I know I will have to check out Faux Fuchsia :) This post reminded me our life is a collection of treasured moments.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can only imagine how much fun this was for you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Omg how did any of the sights compare to FF??? I actually laugh out loud when I read her blog, can't imagine how hilarious she is off the cuff.
    I am happy to see even more of these photos a year later! What a fabulous trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well stephen andrew...she compared well. a great garden is not only beautiful but has great bones right? she has both those qualities. and yes, i laugh out loud too. x

      Delete
  24. Thanks for this reprise of your trip. So fun, especially for us armchair travelers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are welcome carolyn. i'm usually the one in the armchair!

      Delete
  25. Hi Janet, it was a great adventure and I'm glad you shared a few more photos. Lovely all..

    I don't recall you telling us the context in which you went there, as I didn't realize it was with other bloggers. So I was pleased to hear it was a sort of gift to you which makes it sound very precious indeed. I didn't somehow realize that and it is very touching indeed.

    xo Terri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi terri. it was a garden tour put on by janelle mcculloch. janelle did indeed give me a discount which really lured me in to the whole amazing experience!

      Delete
    2. Amazing!! I know you had the best time. I'm so glad you went. xo

      Delete
  26. Such beautiful photos! London has always been on my bucket list. It sounds like an amazing trip and your room was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks cherre. i don't think it is possible to take a bad photo of london. i hope you make it over there one day!

      Delete
  27. Hi Janet, oh my gosh, yes have been having my own "has it really been a year" since my trip of a life time moment here in Perth. I can't believe how cheeky London is - it was hot this year for Chelsea - how did that happen :) it was so lovely to meet all you lovely folk and yes Janelle did an incredible job putting our tour together!

    Hope you and your Designer Guild pillows (Cushions) are all happy & well.

    Love Linda xxx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Janet, oh my gosh, yes have been having my own "has it really been a year" since my trip of a life time moment here in Perth. I can't believe how cheeky London is - it was hot this year for Chelsea - how did that happen :) it was so lovely to meet all you lovely folk and yes Janelle did an incredible job putting our tour together!

    Hope you and your Designer Guild pillows (Cushions) are all happy & well.

    Love Linda xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello linda! i see you have a blog now! can't wait to see photos of your lovely garden. hard to believe it could be hot there, really! loving my fabric and used the other fabric for my grandaughters bedroom. such great memories. x

      Delete
  29. Janet, if you did some posts on gardens/spots of nature in California I'd be in heaven. I have not yet found a garden blog for our part of the world that even approaches the beautiful way you write and photograph. And I plan to continue and increase garden posts on my blog - given that I'm in PJs or jeans so often now - and I need a place to learn from!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lisa how incredibly kind of you to say. i will put try and do just that. we spent a good amount of time in the napa valley in the early 2000's as our son went to school there so i know there are so many gorgeous places for you to explore there. also, all the lovely parks dotted throughout the sf bay area. you will have your hands full!

      Delete
    2. Janet told me her neighbours gardens rival the Chelsea Flower show gardens- they are that divine- so I would LOVE to see them too!!! So interesting to see what people grow x

      Delete
  30. Hi Janet!
    I enjoy your posting a lot! We live not far from the UK, yet I never made it to the flower show.
    I have been thinking about your trip lately - the time you had in France. I remember how you enjoyed the vegetarian meals, including dairy products and eggs.
    Would I eat dairy and eggs again?
    I think about travelling to France and one part of me says "It is a vacation, enjoy the fromage" and the other part says "I feel much better when I don't eat animal products"

    I use to make exceptions when being abroad, mostly for pasta (often made with eggs) and cakes to accompany the afternoon tea. France would be a big exception! Cheese for cheese's sake ;-)

    I imagine it to be much easier to eat vegan in the UK, except for "full Scotish breakfast ;-))
    I would love to hear from you preferences changed since last year, now that you changed a lot!

    greetings,
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi paula, when i travel (which isn't often) i don't put the pressure of finding only vegan food on myself. i can easily find vegetarian meals and sometimes vegan too - but i just don't stress about it. so for now, no i haven't changed. :)

      Delete
  31. I wanted to sign up to go on that tour when Janelle announced it, I just knew it would be wonderful. But, I have a sinus problem, since surgically fixed, hence I snored. Thought I could not spoil someone else's dream holiday by keeping them awake every night, plus I would have been majorly embarassed. When I read yours, FF's and Romy's posts, I was a bit sad that I didn't go, but delighted that you all posted such wonderful pictures and stories. Today's pictures are lovely Janet. So, once again, thank you.
    Linda C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi linda. oh i was really worried about my allergies too. i wasn't sure what they'd be like going thru all those gardens each day right at the height of allergy season. but i didn't have any problems whatsoever and i'm so grateful for that. when i got to france with my friends they all snored! and we shared rooms so i slept with earplugs every night. they saved me!

      Delete
  32. Hi Janet, can't believe it was a year since I met you in London, crazy how time flies; and guess what, it's cold and rainy here today too. Your photos are fabulous, you make everything look so gorgeous xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi S. i think about you all the time. that was the soggiest day in london wasn't it? omg, but the food and friends more than made up for it. thanks for coming there to meet us all. xo

      Delete
  33. "When a man is tired of London - he is tired of life...." Cant remember who said it - but itsn't it true ? You can spend a lifetime there and never see it all ! Lovely pics - thank you for sharing ! Happy Memorial Day to all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you patricia, that is so so true. london is BEAUTIFUL!

      Delete
  34. Janet, those flowers are so gorgeous! And you are right... London is beautiful. (or so damn pretty as you said) Someday I will make it there, and Paris too of course!

    Linda
    xo

    ReplyDelete

kindness is never out of style.