So British!

We got home late last night.  I'm jet-lagged so please excuse any typos.  I used to think Madonna sounded affected with her British accent...but after eleven days in England, I'm a bit more sympathetic.

Like a few days ago, when I got an email from a client that she received four lamps instead of two via UPS, I replied "I will get it sorted."  Normally, I'd say, "I will handle it" (ps. It wasn't my fault)

Regular people actually have names like Alastair and Nigel (I met them).  To fit in, you don't say "hi."  You say "hi-yah."  Not that my sister and I fit in...or tried to.  When we'd say we were from California, you'd hear "that's Brilliant!"  (not that we have high IQs...more like "cool" but I'm not actually sure).

One day, I tried to pay with a credit card that wasn't signed (raised eyebrow), so I gave the salesperson another card with a different last name (my maiden name).  "Well, that's a bit dodgy, isn't it?  Good thing you have an honest face."  
Before leaving London, we stopped at David Linley's showroom.  He makes exceptionally, finely crafted furniture.  He is also Princess Margaret's son.

This is a runner in his showroom that would be great in most homes.

Here is a leather chair with copper back.

Recognize this?  It's a replica of Downton Abbey.

And it is a jewelry box.  They make bespoke models of people's homes, too.

This is Sam...the sales representative.  That desk is amazing with inlays and secret compartments.  It's also the price of a sports car.

But I could afford (and bought) David Linley's interesting book, Extraordinary Furniture.

Two doors down is an antique brass store.  My friend bought this umbrella stand made around 1840.  So pretty.

 Then we went to their home in Surrey.  That is their home at the end of the street.

One of my favorite things to do, was to take their dog, Nelson, a Norfolk terrier, for a walk around the neighborhood.

This is their local gastro-pub, The Minnow.  We walked here for dinner one night.  There are three fire places inside and it's really cosy.

 There were many charming townhouses on our walk (some from the 1800's).

Most of the homes, small and large, have names.

Including our friends home, "Arden."  Thanks, Jim and Lisa for a wonderful stay!

With a strange burst of energy earlier, I rearranged our living room, including all the furniture and coffee table accessories.  I like walking in there and feeling like its a new room...have you ever done that?  I'll take some photos and show you.

Cheerio, Mate!


  1. this post makes me long for England. I spent a fall college (university to them) semester abroad in Canterbury. I loved it!! it was almost 15 years ago. thanks for sharing this post!

  2. Beautiful neighborhood! I loved how you spelled cozy "cosy"! I don't think you even realized it. They do have different expressions, don't they. Well, not just the Brits!

    Looking forward to seeing pictures of your living room. My rooms are so small I have arrangements that just have to stay the same. I just have my fun with accessories and other pieces here and there.

    Jane x

  3. What a beautiful neighborhood and Nelson is a cutie!

  4. love surrey and what a charming neighborhood. yesterday i said something my friend agreed with and i received a compliment "spot on!" love all the sayings along with the accent.
    welcome home

  5. Lovely photos. I would really like to own some Linley furniture but a bit out of my price range. Pimlico is good area to furniture shops (stores). I agree we do have some very quirky expressions.

  6. What a glorious trip! I would have loved walking Nelson around the town, too. Talk about charming. Sigh.

  7. Lovely photo's!!! I'm British but we left when I was only 8, I long to go back and see it as an adult! I always felt badly for Madonna and also Gwyneth Paltrow for being accused of "faking" their accents. It's only natural to pick up the accent of where you live, to some extent. My parents accents have watered down since living in the U.S. and I'm sure their British friends think they're putting it on:)

  8. Oh, how fun. I love London and this makes me want to pack my bags and go. Glad you got his book, but tears over that fantastic umbrella stand.

  9. Welcome home and back to reality:) Looks like you had a great trip and now you are ready for the holidays!

  10. We just returned from England/Europe, also. My post today is about our walking tour in the Cotswolds.

  11. You have me laughing with your dodgy face and brilliant comment, love hearing them speak and then when you said that about Madonna...I nearly choked on my coffee. I have always said how silly and phony she sounds when she speaks, yet when shes on tour in the U.S. strangely her American accent seems to magically reappear...too funny.
    OK we will cut her a break, if you say so. Looks like one fun trip!

  12. Looks like a fun trip. Love the umbrella stand and I hope to find one some day for my canes collection.

  13. Mary Ann, Loved this post! You were so lucky to get to visit Surrey and this pretty neighborhood. I adore England and especially the Cotwolds and Windsor. There is still so much I have yet to see and am hoping to get back again soon. You are right about picking up how they speak! Love the 'dodgy' comment! Funny.
    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing your room changed up! x Kim

  14. You really did have nice weather! And what a cute dog... Cairn, right? Welcome home!

  15. Mary Ann you enjoyed just the kind of trip to England I love!
    Excited to see your "new" living room!

    The Arts by Karena

  16. Nelson is a Norfolk terrier. Thanks everyone, for your comments!

  17. Sounds like so much fun!! I bet it was gorgeous this time of year!! Okay what did you do to your living room you crazy person!! Did you move the leather chairs in front of the bookcase?

  18. This is so timely, as I just discovered last Friday that I can watch all previous episodes of Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime, and so I went on somewhat of a bender this weekend, working my way through season 1. By the time I finished I swear I was thinking in a British accent! I hope I don't start speaking like the Dowager Countess, as I'm sure my husband will find reasons to be gone from the house! Anyway, I love your friend's house, and aren't you lucky to have her to visit!

  19. Mary Ann,
    I love England and always have fun when we visit, although its been a few years. I like the words they use, like torch instead of flashlight and dust bin instead of trash.
    I love to rearrange furnishings in my home, it always gives me such a lift.
    Have a great week.

  20. what a fun trip mary ann! i LOVE that umbrella stand!!! and what a nice little town to visit…i spent a summer in surrey when i was little and my mom dragged me to all the antique stores-hated it then but would LOVE it now!!

  21. It sounds like such a wonderful trip and I love England - wouldn't have wanted to leave the beautiful shops! Can't wait to see your "tweaking"!!

  22. What a beautiful place and a lovely street. I love all the pieces from the little store you have featured. What would be a good desk without secrete compartments, right? It's so Old World and I love it. :)

  23. Thank you for the tour! I feel as if I was there! I would love to go to England, but I'm afraid of flying! 😨 It looks so beautiful, glad you had fun and are back safely! Cheerio!! Kathy@The Daily Nest

  24. Sounds like a great trip! We were in London for a few months several years ago, and it was hard not to pick up the accent. Of course, I do that everywhere I go… down south, east coast, you name it. It's so easy to slip into. Welcome home! Can't wait to see the new furniture arrangement. I'm home with a sick child today… maybe I'll do some rearranging myself.

  25. I absolutely love England. There is always something to learn everywhere you go! When I was there I noticed how often everyone would say, "That's brilliant!"... A very encouraging statement that is rare over here in the USA :) Looked like a beautiful time and thanks for sharing!


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