Friday, September 30, 2011

Dreaming Of: Valle Serena

Happy Friday, everyone. What are you up to this weekend? Our friends Chris and Gina are off to Italy tomorrow on their honeymoon. Lucky them!

Their travels will take them to one of my favorite hotels in the world, the Borgo Santo Pietro. Hidden away in the Valle Serena, about an hour outside of Siena, it's the perfect escape.

Mr. H. took me there for my birthday a few years back. Our intention had been to use it as a base to explore the usual stops on the Tuscan trail. But once we drove up the cypress-lined drive, we forgot the rest of the world existed until we reluctantly had to give up our room to the next lucky guests.

Danish owners Jeannette and Claus Throttrup bought the villa in a state of neglect and disrepair in 2001 with the intent to restore it as a private home. But along the way they decided to turn it into a small luxury hotel, to the great fortune of the rest of us, and used their considerable talents as a designer and a builder to create the perfect retreat.

Staying in one of the gorgeous 11 rooms is like lodging with lovely, charming friends of friends who aren't the least bit stuffy, have amazing taste, see to every detail, but give you plenty of space to relax and enjoy.

Thanks to Jeannette's impeccable eye every detail is perfect, but never overdone. A just-right blend of ornate antiques and worn surfaces. Luxurious fabrics and weathered leather and wicker.

The 13-acres of grounds are equally beautiful.

Much of the villa's produce comes straight from the biodynamic gardens on site, so every bite of food is a revelation.

And the wine cellar is well-stocked with perfect pairings. From breakfast in the garden to dinner on the terrace in front of a roaring fire, there's never a need to dine anywhere else.

And if you get tired of hanging by the pool...

...the romantic ruins of Cistercian Abbey San Galgano are just a wander through the fields away.

All that perfection is hard to say goodbye to! We're still wishing we had turned the car around and stayed a few days more.

Photos from Borgo Santo Pietro and Mr. H

Happy honeymoon Chris and Gina!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Hi all, I'm experiencing some technical issues today... and am typing as fast as my fingers can fly to post before our internet connecting goes down again.

Style Me Pretty

We must have forgotten to feed the little hamster who runs on the wheel that keeps the Word Wide Web turning. I'll be back once we've slipped him a carrot, and things are humming again...

Until then, happy Thursday! XO

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty

Morning person or not, I don't think you could help but wake up cute with this Hello Kitty alarm clock from Liberty of London.

The last time I bumped into Ms. Kitty, she was hanging out at Colette Paris, celebrating her 35th Birthday. 

 Colette Paris celebrates Hello Kitty's 35th Birthday in 2009

Seems she's crossed the pond to join the esteemed 136-year-old purveyor of fabrics and florals in a line of limited edition prints available through October 10.  The charming cat peeks out from behind cluster of whimsical flowers and fruits and waves hello from a quaint English village in five original patterns that are splashed across gifts and fabrics.

 How perfectly adorable for a little girl's room project.

Some big girls I know might want to say hello to Kitty, too!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

La Dolce & Gabbana Vita

On a rainy day in Seattle, Dolce & Gabbana had me dreaming of Spring in Italy.

Channeling Sophia Loren...

Zipping down the Amalfi Coast...

La Sirenuse

 Conde Nast

... in a red convertible of course.

Hotel Poseidon

Hanging out at the beach...
Travel & Leisure

Shopping at the Farmer's Market...
Picking up a few tomatoes...

Not a care in the world...

La Sirenuse

La Sirenuse

Foot loose and fancy free...
Conde Nast

Not bad for a Tuesday, right?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Late Bloomers

Hi all, how was your weekend? Did you celebrate the first days of Fall? I picked a bit of the season up at the flower stand down the street and brought it home with me.

I love the late blooms of Autumn. Chrysanthemums, sunflowers, dahlias, antiqued hydrangeas, faded garden roses.

Style Me Pretty

Carolyne Roehm  

Carolyne Roehm

Style Me Pretty

 Snippet and Ink 

 Snippet and Ink

Style Me Pretty

 Country Living

They shift the eye from the vivid, bright-hot color palette of summer, and prepare us for the glorious sunset that is Fall fading to gray Winter days.

 My Image

A few late blooms in a blue and white vase, seems to be the perfect way to revel in the season.

How are you bringing fall home?


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