At Helen's House.

By Alison October 29, 2006 7 Comments 2 Min Read


Now then, if only Helen were willing to  give  up her perfectly excellent job in publishing and set up a restorative B+B for tired Mommies, complete with a Man-ny who is really rather wonderful with kids (in reality Helens boyfriend Louis, newly christened Mr Wash-A-Lot for his impressive laundry skills), then the world would I suspect, be a better place.

What a lovely week we had. Not only does Helen live in the most beautiful area of England,  with the most scrumptious scenery, the bestest vintage housekeeping boutiques in the land and the breathtaking wonder that is Blenheim Palace on her doorstep, but she is also the consumate hostess, a tiny domestic goddess, and an absolute credit to women who work full time, bring up a babba, keep beautiful house and still manage to look kinda sexy all day every day.

While we never managed to leave the house before midday due to the fact that full English breakfast is apparently a pre-requisite in the Cotswolds, we did, once we were out the door, haunt the cutest little villages, bring terror in the form of two wild  little boys to  the most sedate of vintage  stores, shop for the most scrumptious of artisinal wares for my pantry (Rose Tea, Lemon Madeira Cake, Oak smoked Cheddar, Basil Biscuits, Violet Chocolate and an organic Rioja to die for)  and spend a really rather wonderul day in the gardens of Blenheim, getting lost in the maze,  chasing butterflies and playing giant chess…

But the evenings were the best. Helen has finally banished my irrational fear of salmon, with a pesto and pinenut steak that is still making my mouth water at the thought of it. She is a wondeful cook, her house is gently lit, sprawling ,cosy, and positive proof that soul doesn’t only exist in old buidings but can occasionally be found in three storey new builds. Everywhere you turn there are bookcases teeming with poetry books and pretty shoes. My bedroom was strangely calm. A place to read well into the night, to fall asleep in the glow of the lamp and sort my head out in the wee small hours. A little piece of heaven and Finley was truly hoping we no longer had a home and we would have to stay in "Helen’s holiday" forever and ever.

Me too. Me too. Me too. Witney fixed me. Made my pear shaped  world seem whole again and reminded me why sisters are the bestest gift in the world. 

See all the  snaps here.


  1. That sounds like such a wonder vacation! Good for you!Nice pictures, too!

  2. Annabelle says:

    Nice to hear you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Is that "sooo pretty" a pic thats been painted on silk?Annabelle =^..^= xo

  3. Savannah says:

    Loved your account of your wonderful trip to Helen's. The pictures were fabulous, too. I know sisters are a special thing, and I'm happy you two have fun like this together.What adorable little boys… Mr Laundry, huh? How wonderful.
    Take care and enjoy the fall.

  4. Nancy says:

    Oh lovely, just lovely! Thank you for sharing.It makes me long for my upcoming visit to MY sister's home next month for Thanksgiving! I have not seen her since last Christmas…the longest in our half-decade lives we have been apart!
    I cannot wait to bask in her company and then return home – all inspired to replicate HER homemaking and coziness skills….she always makes me see my lacking and makes me want to improve. It is the best kind of friendship and bonding. Sisters rock….truly they do.

  5. Amy says:

    mmm pesto and pinenut steak – now my mouth is watering 🙂

  6. sarah says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful time! Gabe and Finn could be brothers!!!Do you think that they's let me live in the Farm managers house at Blenheim?… probly not…

  7. Danielle says:

    Oh I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. I used to live and work very near to Chipping Norton and I visited Blenheim Palace one afternoon. It's absolutely glorious! Scrumptious old-fashioned heaven. And the cotswolds are to die for! I wish I was back there now….

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