I spent the last night of my roadtrip in Scotland with my Dad at Bramble Bield. It was also the last country for my next book, Wanderlust and the perfect place to finish.
A cluster of two old wooden gypsy caravans and a 1920s travelling car, all restored with love, are parked at the Powis Estate alongside picturesque fields of woolly sheep. I had opted for the dark green Gypsy caravan ‘Holly’ painted with a prancing horse for Dad and ‘Bramley’ the traditional travelling caravan for myself.
Holly comes with its own mini pot belly stove that’s fed with tiny kindling & miniature quarter logs, a large floating bed covered with a handmade quilt & fairy lights to boot. A handpainted zig zag topped pot houses some lovely old wooden gypsy pegs.
Bramley is simplicity at its best: a cream painted interior with bunk beds made in the old campbed style of canvas, eyelets & rope which take up the back end, a spindle back chair, green wooden chest of drawers and sheep skin on wooden floor boards fill the space. A piece of dried fungi & a tiny handpainted tile of a long horned cow adorn the walls.
The gardens of the house are worth a wander with glass houses, a vegetable patch, highrise rabbit warrens (yes, they live amongst the trunk of a tree), a weeping elm & moss covered sheds to explore & discover.
This was a timberyard to begin with, then it was an old prop house and theatre, now it is restaurant & an Edinburgh must-go. It was lovely on entry with the big red door and red car outside, red being the only colour throughout the interior. Simply propped, you walk in toward a ramp and there is an old leather topped gymnasium vault and candles. A central courtyard is the perfect place to admire the space and enjoy your Hendricks served with cucumber and tartan rugs to keep you warm.
All the plates, cutlery & glasses were part of the owner’s assortment of Danishware. It was mismatched and perfect. The menus offering bites/ small/ & large were presented on a collection of old clipboards, right up my alley!
Timberyard is tactile, subtle & perfectly executed and the family who run it are absolutely lovely. Cannot recommend it enough if you happen to be in Scotland for a spot of falconry & Loch Ness monster hunting.
This hotel is on the Isle of Mull, a car ferry ride away from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. It is a lovingly restored house on the hill with many reincarnations throughout its life from a morgue to an Officer’s mess and home. Enter to a big wooden staircase with huge flagging stones and two front rooms that look over the port that we arrived into. The library is all white washed light & modern (I think Isle Crawford had some influence here) with beautiful, deep, shuttered windows. There are painted grey floorboards (more people should do this) in the gallery with a B&B Italia sectional sofa/ottoman and Monocle newspapers.
A pebbled path leads through an old green wire gate to the steep road that descends to the village. It pops out next to the tackle shop, a red shop sitting pretty in a row. Out of everything, my favourite part of the very sophisticated hotel, was the washing hanging to dry under a simple canvas tent, divine. One night was not enough but we had to truck on!
Set in the most magnificent established gardens: heavily laden fig, pomegranate, citrus & prickly pear trees, begging to be picked & eaten off the branch. Edit the Bali influence & bad signage out of your memory and stay here as an alternative to the seaside or if you do not have the captain of your super yacht on speed dial.
We had a fun, long, late lunch, but could have easily stayed here for the day (you can purchase a day pass) and hung out at the super chic pools, laying about on daybeds sipping cocktails and squeezing in a spa treatment.
Although Ibiza has never made it into my top 5 (or top 100), I was not one to turn down the invitation of a week of luxury to celebrate my friends 40th on a super yacht off the coast.
I have heard over the years that there was more to the notorious party island, so I put in a little effort to scratch beneath the surface between sunbathing, paddle boarding, sea bobbing, jet skiing and long lunches.
I flew to Queenstown to have a concentrated meeting with my architect & visionaire, Kelvin Ho & Justin Hemmes. Unfortunately for the meeting, we got a little distracted by very fast boats, racing cars, local food & wine and the most amazing backdrop ever!! Here are some of my pics.
I am coming back in October & most definitely planning to have Queenstown & its surrounds in an upcoming book.