Monday, June 11, 2018

Apalachicola Old Historic Home Shines

I am just returning from Apalachicola, Florida where I was visiting my  friend, Mariterese.  She has recently furnished a grand old lady built in the late 1800's.  While the house has been meticulously maintained through out the years,  Mariterese has put  the pizazz back in the old home.

 You enter the home into this breathtaking entry hall with its grand arched staircase. 
Barnacle encrusted urns sit on the stair landing with a turquoise and cream settee.  A pair of red velvet settees sit in the grand entrance to welcome visitors.  

 Peering from the parlor into the entry hall through the beautiful portieres. 

 A shell encrusted bust sits on the gilded and marble library table in the foyer.

 The rustic blue sideboard is a great contrast to the pristine original wood walls in the dining room.

 Italian leather and gilded chairs provide a luxurious contrast to the rustic farm table.

 Every evening during our visit, dinner was served with dramatic flair.  
Even a peanut butter  sandwich tastes better this way!

 A cozy breakfast nook in the kitchen with colorful paintings and majolica on the walls.

 I found it hard to photograph this beautiful bedroom.  But I wanted to share this gorgeous bed with a headboard fabricated of an antique tapestry upholstered to a tall simple frame.  Dark gray draperies hang from the tall ceilings to the floor to create this dramatic room.  It is filled with antique religious oil paintings, sculptures, and votivos.   

Another guest bedroom is French inspired with a raised platform bed.  Antique mirror chests are used as night stands.  The rooms are  large and the ceilings are high, so light floods the room.

 Specimen sea shells fill an antique gilded vitrine.

Driving over the bridge away from Apalachicola, I became a little sad.  This is one town where time stood still and the old ways still rule.   The sheer beauty of the landscape makes me hope that it stays that way.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sarah Duke Gardens on the Duke University Campus

Chapel Hill is only a quick four hour drive from here. Visiting the Sarah Duke gardens on Duke University's campus  has been on  my wish list for about a year, so we finally made the trip.  

A rainy day made visiting the gardens a bit of a challenge, but they were still beautiful. 

 A rainy moment at the entrance.  
 Foxglove, allium and roses- such a beautiful combination.

The rainy day made some of the images look more vivid.

I am loving this close up of the fox gloves.  I may have to frame it.

I didn't realize that there were so many types of allium.

The mixture of plants gave me many ideas for my own flower borders.

The gardens were started in the 1930's and have continued to evolve. 
 Today there are over 5 miles of walking paths to enjoy.  

We ducked under these Patrick Dougherty woven sculptures during a down pour. 

 A visit to the Duke campus needs to include the majestic Duke Chapel.
The Chapel was completed in 1932.

The large long sanctuary is architecturally gorgeous.  

One feels as if they are in England instead of in North Carolina. 

We happened to be in the chapel without anyone  else- a rare moment for these pictures to be taken.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Farm to Table Dinner at The Farmer's Hands

Mars Hill, North Carolina has a true treasure residing in it's hills!  The Farmer's Hands is a 2 acre farm that produces vegetables, rabbits and eggs and showcases them at farm to table dinners and in their cooking school.  This past Saturday night was the first dinner of the season and we were thrilled to attend.

Upon entering the drive, you come upon a charming old farmhouse.

Foot stomping music sets the mood for the evening.

Ice water with crushed mint is ready to quench your thirst as you walk the farm.

Enter the appetizer display through an arbor that is covered with wisteria and garden lights.

Goat cheeses, pates and pickled vegetables are to be enjoyed as you walk the vegetable gardens.

Just picked French breakfast radishes served with creamy farm butter and salt.

House made berry preserves flavored with thyme are the perfect accompaniment to the pates.

Many varieties of chickens lay eggs on the farm.

A seasonal menu is ready to be served.

Picnic tables are under a newly constructed pergola that is romantically lit with overhead strands of lights.  The d├ęcor is sweet and perfect for the farm setting.  French water bottles hold water to be served in the mason jars.   

Its time to bring out the wine and start the meal.

 Asparagus soup garnished with chive blossoms is so pretty.

A roasted pork loin is covered with a spring garlic salsa verde and a parsnip puree.

 The finale to the meal- fresh local strawberries on home made shortcakes.  

Thanks Chefs Sebastian and Ariel!   We are so lucky to have you in our own back yard.
It was  a wonderful evening.