Visiting Biltmore, the North Carolina home of the Vanderbilts

Welcome to Biltmore, the spectacular home of the Vanderbilts in Asheville, North Carolina – although it may seem hard to imagine this fairy-tale mansion as a family home, when it has a total of 250 rooms! Ready to see inside? It’s even more impressive than the French chateau-inspired exterior suggests… Here is one of my…

Visiting the Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston

Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina, and the Aiken-Rhett House. I’ve been so excited to get exploring the US and their house museums, and the Aiken-Rhett House certainly did not disappoint. What was so interesting about the Aiken-Rhett House was the focus of the visitor interpretation: so much research has been done into the enslaved members…

A Tour of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Look 24 Dress, Christian Dior by John Galliano, Autumn/Winter 2004. If there is anything I learned last Saturday morning in the beautiful Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A, is that Dior really is the Designer of my Dreams. Firstly, it was a dream to get a ticket to the extended run of the sold out…

Walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen in Hampshire

Even though I wax lyrical on every single platform about how much I love Jane Austen, I’ve never visited her house at Chawton or her grave in Winchester Cathedral – until this week. We went on a lovely trip to Hampshire and had a beautiful day (helped by the British sunshine) exploring Jane Austen’s House…

Pre-Raphaelites, Dragons and a Cabinet of Curiosity: A Visit to Wallington

Wallington is a beautiful William and Mary period country house in the Northumberland countryside – the house as seen today, including the beautiful big clock tower you walk underneath as you enter the grounds, was largely remodelled by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett, who had inherited the house from his party-loving and debt-ridden uncle, Sir William…