Luxury Without Murder on the Orient Express

Exotic destination, quirky sleuths and twisting story lines are all hallmarks of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novels. Her most famous story undoubtedly has to be “Murder on the Orient Express” which takes place on the luxurious and legendary train traveling from Istanbul to London. That same elegant train experience and legendary service can now be experienced again on the fully restored Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Continue reading “Luxury Without Murder on the Orient Express”

A Day with Royals, Romans and Ruins

On a recent visit to London, my husband and I took a whirlwind tour through time, experiencing 5000 years of British Isles history in one day. Our tour took us to the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge, the Roman baths in Bath, and the (relatively) modern royal residence of Windsor Castle.  Continue reading “A Day with Royals, Romans and Ruins”

A Day In Hampton Court Palace – A Taste of Henry XVIII’s Tudor Court

History remembers England’s King Henry XVIII for his notorious excesses – excess wives, excesses in food and drink and excessing the Catholic church. At Hampton Court, Henry XVIII’s favorite residence, you can still see where he lived, loved and died. Continue reading “A Day In Hampton Court Palace – A Taste of Henry XVIII’s Tudor Court”

“Not Your Grandfather’s Herringbone” – Original Quilt Design

Rainbow herringbone quilt photographed in Notting Hill
Front of “Not Your Grandfather’s Herringbone” quilt

Quilt Inspiration – The herringbone pattern may be a traditional tweed pattern used in country gentlemen’s clothing, but bright colors on a light grey background updates the pattern to a modern look.

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Photo Essay: The Colors of London

If you were to ask me to pick a color that describes London, my instinctive response would have been grey –  grey skies, grey streets, grey buildings. But after a recent trip, I learned that London is anything but grey. Continue reading “Photo Essay: The Colors of London”

How to Have a Perfectly English Day in London

I enjoy visiting London, and try to schedule a long stopover in between flights to other points in Europe if I can. Earlier this summer, I had a day in London as I was heading to central France to participate in a Crafty Retreats class.  For me, it was a perfectly English day in London.

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A Day in Chartres-Exploring One of France’s Greatest Cathedrals

If you are not “churched” out after a visit to Paris, then take a day trip to Chartres, about one hour southwest of Paris, to see one of the greatest Gothic churches still in existence. The Chartres Cathedral is considered the pinnacle of high Gothic architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. As one of the best preserved Gothic churches, it is still adorned with most of the original sculptures and numerous beautifully detailed stained glass windows.

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A Day in Versailles-A Golden Palace Designed to Impress

For King Louis XIV of France, size mattered. There is nothing small about the Palace of Versailles and its gardens. Along with size, there is also lots of bling. He built it purposely to impress and overwhelm, feelings that are as much a pat of a visit today as they were 350 years ago when the palace was built. Spend a day in Versailles and and let yourself be awed by the experience. Continue reading “A Day in Versailles-A Golden Palace Designed to Impress”

Impressions of Monet – A Day in Giverny

If like me, you like impressionist paintings and gardens, then a day trip to Claude Monet’s home in Giverny is a must. Giverny is about 50 miles north west of Paris and can easily be reached by train for a relaxing break from the busy Paris scene. Continue reading “Impressions of Monet – A Day in Giverny”

Paris Churches – Gothic at its Best

The grand dame Gothic church in Paris is the Cathedral of Notre Dame. And while visitors flock to see it, within a twenty minute walk are a number of many other lovely historic churches that should also not be missed. Read on to discover Paris churches at its Gothic best. Continue reading “Paris Churches – Gothic at its Best”