May 22, 2015

Highlights Of A British Garden Tour

In Tuesday's post, I mentioned my lovely clients on a tour of British Gardens. It was a trip that was in the planning stages for nearly a year. I worked with a fabulous garden expert in the UK who took care of all of the details and tapped  her vast resources for access to some pretty amazing gardens throughout Southern England. I thought it would be fun to share some highlights with you...

Munstead Wood Gardens in Busbridge are Gertrude Jekyll's personal gardens.

At Nymans Gardens in West Sussex, the ruins of the former estate house set the backdrop to the glorious formal gardens.

The Perch Hill Cutting Gardens in East Sussex are part of the private garden and home of Sarah Raven, married to the grandson of the infamous Vita Sackville West of Sissinghurst.

Great Dixter Garden also in East Sussex was the family home of Christopher Lloyd. The home was designed by famed architect, Edwin Lutyens.


Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent is a must see on any British garden tour. It was created by legendary poet and "artist-gardener", Vita Sackville West.

Also in Kent, The Gardens at Penshurst Place date to 1346 making them some of the oldest in private ownership.

RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey covers 240 acres with diverse gardens maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Hidcote in Gloucestershire is known for their yew, holly and beech hedges which are used to define a series of garden rooms.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Gloucestershire is the creation of three generations of female gardeners.

Whew! That is A LOT of gorgeousness to take in all at once...but I can imagine my clients are soaking up every bit of the floral beauty found in these incredible gardens. Shall we add these on to our itinerary for next year's trip?  I certainly am game!!

And, now, it is officially time to start celebrating Summer! Cheers to a sunny and warm Memorial Day weekend...wherever you may be wandering...


May 19, 2015

London In Bloom

Yesterday, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London kicked off with the press day and a visit by the royal family...I have never had the opportunity to be in London during the flower show, but I did have the pleasure of planning a fabulous British Garden Tour for three lovely clients, who are beginning their tour in London by visiting the flower show for the Member's Preview today.

Why not travel along vicariously with them...let's hop across the pond and check out what's blooming in London...

(Above photos via BBC and The Telegraph)
  This is one of the biggest weeks of the year in London with floral displays taking center stage all over the city. Another "not to be missed" event is the Chelsea In Bloom - all the shops around Chelsea and Sloane Square decorate with floral displays following a particular theme (this year it is fairy tales)...these are reason enough to time a visit to London during the flower show.

(Photos via Chelsea in Bloom)
After seeing these, I think a trip to London for the Chelsea Flower Show is definitely something I need to do! Anyone want to join me next year?

May 15, 2015

Happy Weekend!!!

Happy Friday!!! What's everyone up to this weekend? I am still recovering from last weekend, but I am very excited to have my daughter, Caroline, home from DC for the weekend, and my youngest son, Carter, home from college today (but sadly for only a few short weeks until he heads back to Hong Kong for a summer internship!)

Last weekend in San Diego was picture perfect - even though it rained on Friday, the skies brightened into a beautiful California day just in time for graduation on Saturday. I cannot imagine a more glorious setting for a graduation ceremony than a Greek amphitheater overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Every time I am out there, I spend the entire time ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the stunning scenery. I have a question for any California readers - do you ever get tired of views like these:

Cabrillo Point
The perfect setting for Mother's Day lunch in La Jolla

In the next ten days, I am sending off over 30 clients on their travels around the world...who knew May could be so busy in the travel advisory world!  They are headed to England, Italy, the Caribbean and California. Many of these trips have been in the works for nearly a year - it is exciting to see them finally come to fruition! Buon viaggio, bon voyage, farewell and safe travels to any of them who may be reading this.

Between finishing up every last detail for my clients, and my own traveling, my time in the blogosphere has been somewhat limited lately.  As such, I only have one thing to share with you today - my new favorite TV show. Have any of you seen Chef's Table on Netflix yet? Each of the episodes goes inside the life and kitchen of six of the world’s most renowned international chefs. Just make sure you watch it after dinner - it is guaranteed to make you hungry!

Go here if you cannot view the video.

What is on your table for this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy every minute of it...wherever you may be wandering...



May 13, 2015

The Best of the Best ~ Virtuoso's Guide to Hotels

Even before I became a travel advisor, I couldn't wait for the release of various lists of the best hotels in the world.  My favorite listing - Virtuoso's Best of the Best - is the gold standard listing of the world's great hotels. 

Here are a few highlights from the 2015 issue...

 So tell me...what is on YOUR "best of the best" list?