Outfit Two: Rocio Bag // Tory Burch Dress
As I’m sorting through the images from my recent England trips I’m falling in love with this country over and over again. I had the chance to visit with friends in October (blog posts here and here) and when my friend Rita asked me to join her for a sporting weekend in Suffolk just a few weeks later I couldn’t possibly resist a second trip.
Rita and I decided to begin our trip with a short stay at Cliveden House, a beautiful Relais & Chateaux hotel in Berkshire that both of us have have wanted to visit for their phenomenal grounds and spa. The house is owned by the National Trust and has been known as a glittering hub for society and scandal since the Duke of Buckingham commissioned it as a monument to his mistress in 1666. For almost two centuries, the estate endured troubles as successive owners died just weeks after purchasing it and the main building burned to the ground – twice – in 1795 and again five decades later. The current Italianate palace was constructed in 1851 by Sir Charles Barry, who became famous for rebuilding the Palace of Westminster. Self impressed, he inscribed “The work accomplished by the brilliant plan of architect Charles Barry in 1851” in Latin along the southern side of the main house. In 1893 the estate entered a new era of glamour when America’s wealthiest couple, Lord and Lady Aster, purchased the property for $1.2mil. Under the Astor Dynasty the house became known for lavish hospitality and entertained notables such as Winston Churchill, Ghandi, and Henry Ford in Cliveden’s opulent halls. In 1966 Astors turned Cliveden over to the National Trust shortly after the embarrassment of the Profumo Affair, in which British Secretary of War John Profumo first caught sight of a young skinny-dipping call girl, Christine Keeler, in the house pool.
Today, as a 5 star country house hotel, Cliveden feels like it’s always ready for a party, with plenty of plush corners for conversation and jewel toned rooms shimmering by candlelight. Between an afternoon at the spa, walks around the estate’s famous parterre, and dinner in their French dining room we couldn’t help but feel like royalty. In fact, Meghan Markle stayed at Cliveden the night before her wedding, and Windsor Castle is one of Cliveden’s closest neighbors.
When packing for cold weather trips I include a few base layers like toothpick pants and cashmere turtlenecks and then pack multiple coats to keep my outfits interesting. The above burgundy turtleneck and white denim pants are a great example of this strategy. I put on a cape in the same hue as my turtleneck for a modern take on the classic twinset and then also brought a classic plaid wool blazer for a totally different look. I really love this blazer by Red Fleece, as the fabric has so many of my favorite colors to wear (camel, navy, ivory and burgundy) that it coordinates with many items in my closet. It’s on sale for an amazing price and would look great dressed up for work or for more casual events like a walk through the park.
If you don’t spend the night the National Trust opens the house a few days a month for visitors. A must-see either way!
As always, thank you for reading!