September 16 – Depart US Day 1
Friday 17 September
On arrival at London Heathrow Airport you will be met by your guide and escort Jackie who will escort you to your luxury midi-coach for your transfer to the Cotswolds. Depending on flight arrival time we can include a visit and/or lunch stop en route.
Welcome drinks reception and dinner this evening at the hotel Overnight Cotswolds Hotel
Saturday 18 September
Breakfast at the hotel this morning.
Theme for the day: Lady Gardeners Visit Coughton Court
A lovely Tudor house, home of the Throckmorton family since 1409. Coughton features a half-timbered courtyard, an impressive gatehouse, and no less than two churches. The Throckmortons were heavily involved in the Gunpowder Plot, and a compelling exhibit in the house outlines the story of the plot and its impact on the family.
The house stands in 25 acres of grounds containing some of the most breathtaking gardens in the country. After inheriting the estate in 1992, it was Clare McLaren-Throckmorton’s intention, together with her daughter, the acclaimed garden designer Christina Williams, to create a garden that gives this beautiful house the setting it deserves. Created over the last 17 years, the gardens are now mature and varied and are solely managed by the Throckmorton family.
The Family Gardens are now recognized as being amongst the best in England with many wonderful elements, including the award-winning Rose Labyrinth, the famous Walled Garden, two sunken gardens and Early Summer Garden, formal lawns, lake and Bog Garden, riverside walks, a formal courtyard garden, vegetable garden, orchard and fruit garden. The garden tour will be guided by the Head Gardener.
Your visit will be hosted today by Magnus Throckmorton and his wife Imogen and a light lunch will be included in the private wing of the house.
Visit Kiftsgate Court Gardens created by 3 generations of female gardeners.
A nineteenth century with a twentieth century Arts and Crafts garden. It was made by Heather Muir with much help from Major Johnston of Hidcote. A woodland garden steps down the hillside to a half-moon swimming pool.
Many features are typical of the Arts and Crafts period: herbaceous borders, a four-square garden, a white garden, a yellow border, a rockery, lawns and a bluebell wood.
The Kiftsgate Water Garden, called the New Garden, has with a bronze leaf sculpture by Simon Allison. The water garden was designed by the owners Anne (granddaughter of Heather Muir) and Johnny Chambers. The inspiration for stepping stones was from Geoffrey Jellicoe’s stepping stones at Sutton Place. The composition of the New Garden is abstract modern.
Return for overnight at the Cotswolds Hotel”
Sunday 19 September
Theme for the day: Nancy Lancaster
Nancy Lancaster was an American socialite from Virginia who moved to England with her 2nd husband Ronald Tree in 1927. She became one of the founders of the design company Colefax and Fowler and helped created what became known as the ‘English Country House look’. Today you will be visiting two of her homes.
The Trees moved to Britain in the late 1920s and settled in Northamptonshire. First they rented Cottesbrooke, and then, until 1933, Kelmarsh, in hunting country, from Colonel C. G. (Juby) Lancaster, another Tory MP. After the war, Nancy left her husband in favor of Juby Lancaster, the owner of Kelmarsh.
Cottesbrooke Hall and Gardens – The remarkable 18th-century landscaping of the Park, its vistas and lakes, are by an unknown hand – much has recently been restored. The beautiful Queen Anne House is full of treasures and fine furniture and open to the public.
The formal and wild gardens surrounding and adjacent to the house have been mainly developed during the present century – these developments have continued to the present day.
A number of distinguished landscape designers have been involved – Robert Weir Schultz, the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and the late Dame Sylvia Crowe. The main inspiration came from the late Hon. Lady Macdonald-Buchanan.
Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe designed the formal garden with yew trees and statues to the rear of the house.
Continue to nearby Kelmarsh Hall for lunch and a visit this afternoon.”
Visit Kelmarsh Hall
Built for the Hanbury family in the 1730s by virtuoso architect, James Gibbs and builder, Francis Smith of Warwick, Kelmarsh Hall was praised by historian Nikolaus Pevsner as, “a perfect, extremely reticent design, done in an impeccable taste.
One other arbiter of fashion to leave her mark on the Hall was society decorator Nancy Lancaster. Drawn by the house’s fine bone structure, her taste for combining comfort with formality set the trend for the Twentieth
Century’s Country House look. Her spirit still pervades the house today in the delicate terracotta colouring of the Great Hall, the exuberant Chinese wallpaper and seasonal flower arrangements.
Within the 18th century setting, the gardens that visitors see at Kelmarsh Hall today are largely inspired by Nancy Lancaster. She extended her interior style of shabby chic charm into the gardens and drafted in the garden designer of her day, the talented Norah Lindsay, to help. Around the Hall the landscape architect Geoffrey Jellicoe laid out a formal terrace.
From the sophisticated pastels of the sunken garden through to the showier shades of the 60m long border, the garden leads you on a tour around the perimeter of a triangular walled garden. This secret heart is a relaxing space filled with traditional fruit and vegetables, cut flower beds and a restored vinery. The produce and cut flowers are sold in the Visitor Centre when available.
Overnight Cotswold Hotel
Monday 20 September”
“Theme – Lady Gardeners
Waterperry Gardens – Beatrix Havergal
The gardens date back to 1932 when Miss Beatrix Havergal opened her School of Horticulture for Ladies. The 8-acre ornamental gardens include a rose and formal knot garden, water-lily canal, riverside walk, and one of the finest purely herbaceous borders in the country. Herbaceous nursery stock beds provide a living catalogue of plants, and there’s also an alpine garden, and the National Collection of Kabschia Saxifrages. A commercial plant centre, stocked with plants grown in on-site nurseries, occupies large areas of the beautiful walled garden, and the site also boasts 5 acres of commercial orchards, producing the famous Waterperry apple juice each year.
Gardening courses are still held here throughout the year.
Lunch with Fiona Heyward
Today you will be joined for lunch in a local pub by Fiona Heyward. Fiona recently sold Haseley Court, Nancy Lancaster’s final home and garden. The Heywards bought Haseley Court directly from Nancy in 1975. Nancy then lived in the Coach House at Haseley until her death in 1994. Fiona knew Nancy personally very well and spend many years happily curating her home and gardens, has lectured in the US about Nancy and would love to join you for an informal lunch and chat today.
Afternoon visit to Stonor Park near Henley-on-Thames
Arrive at Stonor Park which has been the Stonor family’s residence for 850 years making it one of the oldest family homes still lived in today. The historic building and sweeping grounds are breathtaking and the family’s collection of art and artifacts is extraordinary.
The walled garden at Stonor, formerly the old kitchen garden, is now converted by Lady Camoys into a pleasure garden. Divided into six plots – inspired by the 17th C painting of the house which you can see in the drawing-room – you will find old-fashioned roses, peonies and lavenders flanked by ancient yew trees and clipped box hedges. There is a long, mixed border along the top of the terrace with as its focal point, a Japanese garden house built by the 5th Lord Camoys after his visit to Kyoto in 1906.
Your visit to Stonor will be hosted by Lady Ailsa Stonor. Overnight London Hotel
Tuesday 21 September
9.30 Depart for a half-day London Tour.
10 am Visit to Linley on Pimlico Road
Founded by David Linley in 1985, LINLEY has a world-renowned reputation for fusing innovative design with superlative cabinet making, creating retail and bespoke furniture, upholstery and home accessories of a superlative quality. It also has an award-winning interior design service. The former Viscount Linley is now the Earl of Snowdon and is the son of the late Anthony Armstrong Jones and Princess Margaret thus nephew to HRH Queen Elizabeth.
11 am After this visit cross the road to the new Colefax and Fowler Showrooms
The Colefax and Fowler move to Belgravia places the firm squarely in the
middle of London’s fast-emerging decoration, design and antiques quarter in Pimlico Road. A change of location brings fresh inspiration and a welcome lease of life to this long-established interior decorating firm with an unrivaled history of which the company remains deservedly proud.”
“The new Pimlico Road premises give the interior decorators the opportunity to display their talents in an entirely new context. In the large and flexibly arranged ground floor showrooms a selection of carefully chosen antiques and contemporary pieces will be for sale. Also on show will be a range of lighting, upholstery and other items that can be custom-made to order. Regular exhibitions of paintings, modern and traditional, will add to the picture of English decoration at its best.
Afternoon and Evening at leisure. Overnight London Hotel
Wednesday 22 September
Afternoon Royal Warrant tour of Jermyn Street and St James’s Shops – with your specialist guide you will enjoy backstage/special access visits to some of the unique shops in the St James’s area holding Royal Warrants including several of the following: Lock & Co (Hatters), Lobbs (shoemakers), Fortnum & Masons (Queen’s Grocers), Paxton & Whitfield (cheese makers), Floris (perfumiers) and of course some of the wonderful boutiques in the exclusive Burlington Arcade and finishing off with a tea tasting at Fortnum & Masons.
Lunch at leisure.
Catherine Walker Fashion Experience
Enjoy an exclusive experience at one of London’s top fashion houses, Catherine Walker. This very special time will begin in the atelier with the Creative Director who will take the group around his workshops, talk about each room and the work that takes place there (i.e. the paper cutting room, the beadwork room, the mannequin room etc.) until we reach his office where he will give a talk surrounded by a selection of mannequins dressed in outfits worn by Diana, Princess of Wales (from his private collection). The group will” “then be taken to the boutique over the road on Sydney Street to take a look at the current collection.
We finish this special day with a cocktail on one of London’s best rooftop
terraces before dinner at leisure. Overnight London Hotel
Thursday 23 September
Attend the Chelsea Flower Show – full day
Every year, world-renowned garden designers, plant specialists, florists and nurseries come together in one of London’s most charming and affluent neighborhoods to show off cutting-edge garden designs and inspirational floral exhibits.
You can stroll past show-stopping gardens designed by famous designers, learn about rare flowers and plants, or revel in creative floral artworks throughout the week.
You can also spot emerging gardening trends as you browse the horticultural products on sale, from gardening gadgets to sculptures and plants.
Overnight London Hotel
Friday 24 September
Private transfer to London Heathrow Airport for your return flights”
“Cost includes the following:
Hotel accommodation for 7 nights:
3 nights Cotswolds in the Lords of the Manor Hotel, Upper Slaughter bed and English Breakfast included
4 nights in the Kensington Hotel, London – bed and Continental Breakfast
Ground services included:
• Jackie Heywood (BBG) to accompany throughout from arrival to departure
• Luxury executive midi coach for all touring and transfers as per the itinerary
• Driver and guide overnight and expenses on tour
• Driver gratuities
• Welcome Drink and 3-course Dinner with wine on the first night in the Cotswolds
• Visit to Coughton Court with lunch hosted by Magnus Throckmorton
• Visit to Kiftsgate Court
• Visit to Cottesbrooke Hall
• Lunch and Visit to Kelmarsh Hall
• Visit to Waterperry Gardens
• Pub lunch with guest Fiona Heywood
• Visit to Stonor – private visit hosted by Lady Ailsa
• Half-Day London visiting Linley and Colefax & Fowler
• Half-Day London Royal Warrant Shopping Tour
• Catherine Walker Fashion Experience
• Tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show
NOT included: Guide gratuities and any meals not specified”
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Fill in the details on the form to the left, click submit and we will send you a registration form.
Insurance information is with the registration form.