Monday, 5 February 2018

Fishley Hall - A Modern Country House!

One of the loveliest things about the world of 'Social Media', is the ability it has to bring like-minded people together though the tap of message.

The Lovely Natali In Norfolk (L) and Tamsyn Morgans (R) with me in the middle! 
A couple of decades ago, my move from London to the wilds of rural Norfolk would possibly have been an isolating adventure too far.  I  have always been somewhat of a 'Sociable Recluse' i.e. A person who can be the life and soul of the party when out, but who is also comfortable enough in their own company that days can go by without the need to venture far from home or speak to anyone that they aren't married to, gave birth too, or who delivers the post...

In fact, before the age of Blogging, Instagram and Twitter, and thus without the ability to connect with people who share the same interests and live within 100 miles of me (most of my old friends are still in London or dispersed to all ends of the country), I may literally have turned into the hermit woman who lives in a cave, and offers a few cursory grunts to those who dare to venture near!

As it happens, through the magic of Instagram and blogging, I have managed over the past few years to meet a variety of wonderful people who not only share my love of interiors, creative pursuits and country life, but who are also totally attuned to the Jekyll and Hyde nature of happily guffawing over posh coffee and cake in a fancy cafe one moment and standing knee deep in mud watching a dog run riot the next...

Even better when guffawing over the posh coffee and cake happens in the picturesque surroundings of a country home, where I can immerse myself in one of my favourite pursuits - an activity that I call 'DOOPHing'  - more commonly known as Drooling Over Other People's Houses...


I had one such day a couple of weeks before Christmas, when I was invited to this gorgeous country house owned by Candice, a lovely lady whom I first got chatting to on Instagram, after I fell in love with images of her incredible home and garden and funny snapshots of her characterful pups...


Now Fishley Hall is not actually Candice's main residence.  For that you'll have to see her instagram account here.  Fishley Hall is in fact home to a licensed wedding venue, retreat and working farm on the Norfolk Broads. It consists of a beautiful restored farmhouse (Her husband Phil, did most of the work), a church where Candice herself was married, and a party barn all set in a glorious 350 acres.  Candice and her husband restored Fishley Hall (which has been in his family since 1953) for the sole purpose of offering it as a venue for weddings, weekend retreats and wholesome family holidays...

The Original Servants Bells in The Kitchen.
...And what a wonderful venue it is too!  In fact, if I hadn't already been married for 18 years, I would definitely have this on my potential list of reception locations...

The Remarkable Table Top made From One Plank of Wood!
The styling is a clever mix of vintage and contemporary, classic with a cool edge...

Beautiful Original Flagstones Adorn the Kitchen Floor.
There is a large modern kitchen complete with original flagstone floors, which opens out into a beautiful large dining hall with original brick flooring and a wishing well!  The dining area is mainly taken up by one HUGE refectory table with a stunning top honed from a single piece of wood (once again made by Candice's clever husband Phil) and flanked on either side by painted church pews and farmhouse chairs...


The choice of furniture throughout is a mixture of vintage originals and a modern take on traditional styles, which gives the house a very relaxed boutique hotel vibe...


Luckily, both the high street as well as designer furniture stores have cottoned on to this fabulous 'time worn' and deconstructed style, and whatever your budget, the ability to adapt this 'shabby chic to antique', boutique hotel way of furnishing to one's own home is now everyone's for the taking...


Of course, it's not all in the furnishings.  Accessories play a big part with this style. Collections of old items is a good and economical way to start when attempting the 'look'...

Clever use of Decorative Vintage Accessories Can brighten up an Otherwise Awkward Corner. 
Here Candice grouped together a selection of vintage tiles and mirrors to great effect.  You can find similar mirrors like these in most antique and thrift shops, and where one hung on it's own is a thing of beauty...a group of them hung together is a thing of 'Design'!

Twinning In An En-Suite.
My favourite areas are the beautifully appointed en-suite bathrooms with the signature mix of new and vintage items and a few faux retro design elements thrown in such as the beautiful light fittings...

A Mirror Image Of Washroom Chic!
Nothing shouts glamour like a twin sink and vanity area...

Act out your Inner Napoleon in an Empire Style Bath Tub! 
...And of course, no country house is complete without an oversized tub...

                                                                                                                        ...Or two!
Every Bathtime becomes a Glamorous Occassion in a Claw Footed Tub!

Characterful Bare Brick with Contemporary Sectional Sofa in The Snug.

An oversized angle poise lamp in the snug.

Once again, the use of traditional and vintage style with modern accessories adds to the individual, boutique look in a cosy snug.

Charming use of vintage pieces in the Conservatory. 
...And the conservatory, where receptions, gatherings and dance parties are held has the dual benefit of being an open and airy blank canvas - in fact quite perfect for an art exhibition, and yet is also a beautiful space for larger and more statement pieces of furniture should Candice every wish to fill it and create a series of more intimate areas...


So there you have it - a modern and contemporary country house, that hasn't sacrificed character, beauty or individuality.  I personally think that Candice has got it spot on - wouldn't you agree?

Until Next Time...

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

A Quick Post Christmas Review...

...And so Twelfth Night is upon us, and it is time to say goodbye to all things Christmas and festive for another twelve months...

...As I hadn't shown our decorations on the blog leading up to the season, I thought that i'd do a quick visual summary of Christmas at Hill House 2017 - starting with the drawing room...

Coco during the 'official'  'Turning On of The Lights' Ceremony!!
I have a feeling that this room may change colour over the coming year - I'm still undecided on that one, and have been threatening to change it each January for the past seven years, so watch this space...
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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What's Not To Love About...Autumn!



I must confess that in my household, i'm in a minority of one...

Whilst everyone else yearns for Spring and Summer...longing to bare their legs in shorts and run about the house and garden in bare feet...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

An Organised Desk is An Organised Mind - Unless You're Einstein!

An organised desk is an organised mind - or so I've been led to believe!


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Monday, 5 June 2017

Happy Choices...!

It's an interesting dilemma, the day ones daughter decides that she wants some input into the decoration of her own room.

When you feel that you have a distinct interior style of your own - mine being English country house chic, the idea of relinquishing all authority, and letting a thirteen year old have a free reign over the decor of even one room is a scary prospect!


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Friday, 2 June 2017

Tales From A Country Kitchen - Lemon Buttercream Sponge Cake!

Now, I make no claim to be a master baker, but several of you asked for my Lemon Buttercream Sponge Cake after seeing the image on my Instagram page! Well here it goes - and just to warn you, in my household we like our portions generous and our lemon cake zesty, so do adjust to suit your taste...  


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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Romance of an Outdoor Chandelier!

I am extremely late to the party when it comes to Pinterest, and to be quite honest, perhaps that has been quite a good thing.  My head is already full of a thousand potential home improvements and prettifying ideas, and adding yet another social media platform for me to feed off and gain inspiration from is simply adding an extra book to the British Library sized pile of research images that already exist in my head!

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

An Easter Monday Stroll Through Blakeney, North Norfolk...

There can be nothing better recommended to blow away the cobwebs of carbohydrate induced inertia,  than a pleasant post lunch stroll through the gorgeous streets of the North Norfolk coastal village of Blakeney.

Perfectly restored brick and flint houses, tastefully faded old wooden doorways, clusters of what were once fishermans cottages, and a panoramic view over the Blakeney salt marshes provide a picture perfect and genteel backdrop for the traditional Easter pursuit that is known as 'Looking At Other People's Houses'...

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Monday, 27 March 2017

Hurrah For The First Outdoor Lunch of The Year!

It was certainly a long time in coming, but FINALLY just a week after the first day of Spring, the sun decided to put it's hat on and come outside for an ENTIRE WEEKEND of blue skies and sun rays!

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