21 May 2012

An English Country House Giveaway!

I awoke this morning to find that I had reached that grand number of 200 on my followers bar! I am astounded and very humbled that 200 people are willing to listen to my ramblings and chit chat about all things comfy, countrified and old fashioned, and so with thanks to followers old and new – and with extra special thanks to those who have included my blog in their sidebar!! -I am delighted to announce my first ever giveaway!

In keeping with my obsession with old English houses, the giveaway is a book entitled – you guessed it ‘The English Country House’ by Mary Miers (see first image above).

Now this book has been compiled from the archived images of the English property staple, ‘Country Life’ magazine, and to quote from Country Life itself, this generous tome covers “the architecture and interiors of 62 spectacular houses in a range of styles spanning seven centuries, from medieval Stokesay Castle to the newly built, Lutyesn-inspired Corfe Farm”. Basically, they are all gobsmackers! And by that I mean that they’re the type of house that one can imagine ending up in if one were a Jane Austen heroine – or for those who don’t share my Mr Darcy based bodice ripping fantasies, and who took a shine to the more recent version of antiquated English country life – the houses are more Downton Abbey than downtown LA.

Country Life magazine is as English as Wellington boots, strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and Sunday roasts. It is also the magazine that almost certainly influenced my love of fine English architecture from the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries. It fueled my desire to become an architect in my early years – although admittedly I didn’t get the required grades and ended up with a degree in Town & Country Planning and (watered down) Architecture instead – the fact that I went on to become a model agent and then a Fashion Bookings Editor for a glossy magazine is (despite much eyebrow raising from my parents)another story altogether…

As usual, I digress, but my Mother would buy Country Life when I was a child, and I remember eagerly pouring over the picture perfect and immaculately designed country houses and imagining my life in each room and every garden. Interestingly enough, I was always drawn to the Georgian period of architecture, and have never really strayed from that intense love of symmetry, order and purity of design that one finds in a nice old Georgian house.

But back to the giveaway…

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to be a follower and to leave me a comment letting me know that you are a follower (with your full name) – simple as that.

I’ll announce the winner on Monday 28th May – so GOOD LUCK!

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a yummy image that for me, perfectly encapsulates the ideal ingredients of an English country house drawing room. It’s Nancy Lancaster’s ‘Yellow Room’ at Colefax & Fowler’s Brooke Street Showroom – and yes, Nancy was American (she bought the company from Lady Colefax) and again yes – Brooke Street is in slap bang in the middle of central London and not in the English countryside – but hopefully you get the gist! So close your eyes, settle down, plump up that chintzy cushion, butter that scone, take a sip of Earl Grey and throw another log on the fire…and where were we? Oh yes – Mr Darcy had just walked out of the lake and was walking slowly – shirt dripping with water – towards us……..Paula x

Images courtesy of; 1) The English Country House by Mary Miers. (Also sold by AMAZON.co.uk); 2,3,4,5) Country Life magazine www.countrylife.co.uk; 6) Nancy Lancaster’s ‘Yellow Room’ at the Colefax & Fowler Showroom in Brooke Street London.
www colefax.com

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