I think I've met my match. My trip back east allowed me to relish in many simple pleasures I missed. As I return to my routine, I find myself day dreaming of another escape. This restored farm house on the Swedish island of Gotland is nestled among 2 acres of green gardens, a bike ride away from the sea and thoughtfully dusted with beautiful interior pieces in true Scandinavian style. Known as Jakobs of Gotland, this property is available for rent by the long weekend in winter, or week in summer.
Naturally, my stay at Jakobs has already been sorted out in my head. I have visions of reading on the terrace in a white chemise, only glancing away to watch the branches on the trees sway in the morning breeze. In the late afternoon, I'll bike ride to the sea for a long swim before supper, returning to visit the sauna in the barn. Then, I'll retreat to the garden to pick herbs, flowers and produce for supper outside and dine with acquaintances I've met in the nearby town of Visby. When the laughter and dim candlelight subsides, I'll retreat indoors for a glass of scotch or port, my eyes fixated on the glow of a hearty fire...It seems every day at Jakobs is a verse out of a pastoral poem.
(Photography credit: Ken Kochey and Katarina Grip-Höök’)
One of the perks of now working at an interior design firm is the sheer joy of being surrounded by tangible inspiration all day long. I am deeply affected by the landscapes in which I live and work in, and my new work environment makes me truly happy. Instead of the interior rigidness of a financial institution, I am now surrounded by a flood of rich fabrics and textiles, architects drafting elaborate blueprints, a sea of French antiques, and, a library full of auction and design catalogues. Thus, I bring you my latest obsession. If I could jump in to this landscape, I would. The images come from the French design publication Côté Sud and depict the most idyllic residence on the French Riviera. The vacation home belongs to Grégoire Gardette, legendary photographer, designer, publisher and graphic designer. Now all I need is a new white bikini, my Bain de Soleil and a tall glass of Pellegrino - dreamy! In addition to salivating over the serene scenes above, be sure to view Grégoire's portfolio, here: http://gregoiregardette.com/fr-en/
Those close to me know that there is one man that will forever make my heart pitter patter. The man of course, is none other than photographer and King of the jet-set era, Slim Aarons. I suppose it's his photography that captures me, rather than Slim himself...Given that it's a Friday and I'm on vacation, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. Bon Weekend!
NET-A-PORTER's THE EDIT does a fantastic job of showcasing new travel destinations. The latest? A nod to Isabel Goldsmith-Patiño who is behind the vibrant beach resort in Mexico called Las Alamandas. The private suite-only resort is painted in a palette of tropical sorbets, the property dotted by palm trees, jasmine and lush gardens. The property lends to vitality in spirit and landscape - one that will certainly make my "Mexico Must" list.
Below, a few packing options to get you on your way (all available on NET-A-PORTER, naturally)...
Oscar de la Renta's Embellished silk kaftan via Kenneth Jay Lane Hammered gold-plated earrings via Alexander McQueen Punk Skull embellished satin clutch boxCharlotte Olympia's Triton embellished metallic leather sandals via Karla Colletto Rosettes appliquéd underwired swimsuit via Bottega Veneta's Intrecciato tote via Hervé Van der Straeten's tiered hammered gold-plated brass necklace via
...I hope it has gold brick sundaes. This past weekend, I re-visited my bookshelf and found the above book my Grandfather gave my Grandmother Trudy for Christmas in 1981. (I love the gift of literature - I think it's madly romantic in any form, whether it's a book of maps, a coffee table book full of photographs accompanied by minimal text or a hardcover novel). My re-discovery immediately gave me a deep sense of nostalgia thinking about the time my family and I have enjoyed in Sea Island, Georgia. It's been some time since we have visited (the resort has changed considerably since then), however it was a place we looked forward to visiting every year and perhaps part of the reason I want to spend a part of my life living in the south one day.
Time spent in Sea Island was the epitome of carefree. My sister and I would spend our days swimming to our hearts' content, searching for sand dollars on the beach, or playing shuffle board while our parents and grandparents would soak in the sun reading the paper. Afterward, my sister and I would reward ourselves with the resort's iconic "gold brick sundae" and in true southern style, a Mr. Pibb, to satisfy our thirst.
Cocktail hour seemed to always start an hour earlier when on vacation, and the adults were easily obliged. They'd sit outside on our terrace with their gin and tonics overlooking the marsh while discussing topics completely foreign to us youngsters. In the early mornings, my Grandparents would zip off on their bicycles to play tennis, and upon their return, they would ride with my sister and I in the driveway. By nightfall, we'd head to The Cloister for dinner, dancing and bingo. I would be taken by the elaborate bird cages lining the hallway of the foyer of the building with beautifully colored parakeets flooding the room with their sweet music. To this day, I have visions of dancing to Frank Sinatra after dinner with my Grandfather Jack, looking up at him with admiration as he hummed to the tune of the music, alive in his own euphoria.
Sea Island was indeed a "happy isle" for us and I look forward to going back sometime in the near future. I think it's lovely to share a destination as a family to cherish for a lifetime, whether it may be close or far from home. Do you have a "happy isle" you enjoy with your family?