travel

take me away № 14 | the magic of winter gardens

by

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For many, it is the — the dream to travel abroad and to walk the very grounds in which were walked upon by great literary artists long ago—their words replaying in our minds and lives today. The dream to breath in the scent of the famously fragrant roses, lovingly kept and carefully maintained . . .

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. . . to take tea as was traditionally planned and created, to touch upon the stones that were laid so many years ago and to gaze up to the thatch roof lines of centuries gone by.

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The heart of England lies within the very threads of its culture—the language of customs, of beauty, of traditions, of arts. Indeed, the dream does not lie in sights alone, but in scents, tastes, sounds, and feelings of the heart itself —a secret that whispers about, and if we listen, we might just catch on.

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And just when most life is asleep for the duration of this winter season, we might see a whole new angle to the respected art of one of the most integral parts of England: English gardens. And in truth, the lines and forms of such spectacular gardens might be most appreciated in their simplicity, draped in alabaster frost.

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. . . and so, today we ask you to join us as we set along on foot, imagining a walk in and amongst some of the greatest gardens in the world there ever were . . .

01 | Stourhead, Wiltshire

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Regally rated with five golden stars, Stourhead is considered to be one of the finest gardens in the world. It lies within the privacy and intimacy of its very own valley and features a breathtaking lake, adorned with classical temples, grottos and rare, exotic trees, and is often referred to as ‘Paradise’.

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Henry Hoare II created the garden in the 1740′s, carefully planning the landscape around how visitors might experience the property. As he developed the garden more and more, he chose to add classical features to it, such as the Temple of Flora, the Pantheon, the Temple of Apollo, as well as Gothic ruins, to entrance and surprise guests, and to bewilder and enchant. Thanks to such, he became fondly known as ‘Henry the Magnificent’. It is quite plain to see why.

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Today, we may enjoy the garden almost identically as it was first planned. Visitors are welcome to drop in and explore the grounds throughout the year. To enjoy it in its entirety and splendor—from the blossoming of summer to the frosty breeze and cool of winter. You may also visit Stourhead house while there, with its unique Regency library, Chippendale furniture and inspirational paintings.

breakfast-wildfox[editor's note: some may remember the Temple of Apollo and Palladian Bridge, from scenes in the film, Pride & Prejudice, as well as Chatsworth House [see below], as Mr. Darcy’s estate; in fact, a bust of Mr. Darcy was on display at the house for many years] roséline x

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where-to-stay

01 | Stourhead Gardens Bed & Breakfast:
An elegant accommodation for those who do not wish to leave the garden.

02 | Whoolley Grange Hotel and Spa:
A grand and luxurious hotel that is family-friendly.

03 | Howard’s House Country Hotel and Restaurant:
A lovely hotel, tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

where-to-eat

01 | The restaurant at Stourhead:
A lovely restaurant serving traditional British food with local ingredients.

02 | Hox Brasserie:
A stylish restaurant offering southern Indian cuisine.

03 | Cote Brasserie:
A beautiful, award-winning restaurant serving wonderful French cuisine.

02 | Chatsworth, Derbyshire

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“The immaculate gardens of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire” —Kirsty Maclean, The English Garden.

Set high in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, lies Chatsworth Gardens. The property boasts 1, 105 acres of magnificent grounds with an equally grand and regal house.

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But the story of the house and gardens began some 450 years ago, back in 1555 when Sir William Chatsworth first built the house.

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The gardens were composed just shortly after, and since, have changed and have been added to, with each generation’s habitation of the property. According to many, the variety and accumulation is exactly what has makes the property so charming to visit.
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Upon visiting, one may feel a little overwhelmed with all there is to take in, from the 300 year old Cascade and the enormous gravity-fed Emperor fountain, (one of the highest gravity-fed fountains in the world) to the large maze, ponds, guard-like yews that line the frosted Board Walk, and Paxton‘s architecturally pleasing Rock Garden.

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Indeed, this wonderful destination attracts many not only for the beautiful gardens, but also for the house (a tour can be booked) the farmyard and adventure playground (perfect for little ones), its two restaurants, five gift shops, and much more. Chatsworth is open to visitors throughout the year, (though closed for a garden tour after Christmas until March).
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where-to-stay
01
| Danna Farm Country House:
A luxury accommodation set in a stunning rural location.

02 | Palace Hotel:
A majestic hotel of heritage, combined with contemporary comforts.

03 | Cavendish Hotel:
An elegant hotel set on the Chatsworth estate itself.

where-to-eat

01 | Anoki:
A breathtaking restaurant offering delicious Indian cuisine.

02 | Sadlergates Black Rock Grill:
A brand new, stylish steak restaurant with unique features.

03 | Darleys Restaurant & Terrace:
An award-winning restaurant offering fine European cuisine.


03 | Cliveden, Buckingham shire

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Set only 45 minutes west of London, Cliveden, meaning “valley among cliffs”, is a grand country retreat of 376 acres—the perfect escape from the city. Originally constructed for the Duke of Buckingham back in 1666, the site sits upon a wooded plateau, overlooking the River Thames. Though an amalgamation of famous talents has gone into the design of the incredible gardens, the most recently work has been completely by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe for the Astors, (American owners of the property), in 1959.

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Though the property is quite old, due to disasters over the years, the present house and garden we now enjoy were designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1849. Throughout the grounds, you will find architectural edifices including an amphitheater, a grand stone pavilion and an octagon temple, plus the famous “Fountain of Love“—as commissioned by Astor.

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Today, the impressive Italianate Cliveden house is one of the world’s finest luxury hotels, welcoming visitors from all over the world to stay. Guests may explore the woodlands, water garden, the magnificent formal garden that surround the house (complete with a lovely fitness trail and children’s play area) and even a well-manicured maze – truly a lovely place to stay in and to explore.

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where-to-stay

01 |
Cliveden and Pavilion Spa:
A world-renowned hotel sitting on the garden property.

02
| French Horn Hotel:

A quintessential English country experience with fine accommodations.

03 | Stoke Park:
A 5 star accommodation boasting the finest in interior design and comfort.

where-to-eat

01 | Halibut:
A chic and modern restaurant serving a lovely selection of fine seafood.

02 | The Hand & Flowers:
A Michelin Star, award-winning pub restaurant with traditional English and French cuisine.

03 | The Artichoke Restaurant:
An acclaimed restaurant in Old Amersham, offering refined modern European cuisine.

~ Sarah

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{images: the daily mail // seaofbirds via a previous post // rachel ashwell // rachel ashwell // fennel & fern // Satoshi Onoda // Karen Weeks // BHLDN via pinterest // gastrosophia // anthonyspencer // wildfox // elaine hodgson // Visit Peak District // Paul Sloane // vsloveee // armene // nightsinhaze // French Horn Hotel // maketimetotime // Pas grand-chose // French Horn Hotel // La Mignonette // Heathman Hotel PDX // Doug McMasters}

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curling up with her mother in their home library, exploring fashion and décor magazines, reading Jane Austen novels, and looking through beautiful books. Educated in design and marketing, Sarah has a great deal of experience in the realm of design, decorating and retail. She enjoys writing, travel, bike riding, boutique shopping, and exploring her beautiful city with her soul mate. Considered approachable and warm, if you meet her on the street, she’s likely to engage you in lively conversation.
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