Monday, 21 May 2012

An English Country House Giveaway!

I awoke this morning to find that I had reached that grand number of 200 on my followers bar! I am astounded and very humbled that 200 people are willing to listen to my ramblings and chit chat about all things comfy, countrified and old fashioned, and so with thanks to followers old and new - and with extra special thanks to those who have included my blog in their sidebar!! -I am delighted to announce my first ever giveaway! In keeping with my obsession with old English houses, the giveaway is a book entitled - you guessed it 'The English Country House' by Mary Miers (see first image above).
Now this book has been compiled from the archived images of the English property staple, 'Country Life' magazine, and to quote from Country Life itself, this generous tome covers "the architecture and interiors of 62 spectacular houses in a range of styles spanning seven centuries, from medieval Stokesay Castle to the newly built, Lutyesn-inspired Corfe Farm". Basically, they are all gobsmackers! And by that I mean that they're the type of house that one can imagine ending up in if one were a Jane Austen heroine - or for those who don't share my Mr Darcy based bodice ripping fantasies, and who took a shine to the more recent version of antiquated English country life - the houses are more Downton Abbey than downtown LA.
Country Life magazine is as English as Wellington boots, strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and Sunday roasts. It is also the magazine that almost certainly influenced my love of fine English architecture from the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries. It fueled my desire to become an architect in my early years - although admittedly I didn't get the required grades and ended up with a degree in Town & Country Planning and (watered down) Architecture instead - the fact that I went on to become a model agent and then a Fashion Bookings Editor for a glossy magazine is (despite much eyebrow raising from my parents)another story altogether...
As usual, I digress, but my Mother would buy Country Life when I was a child, and I remember eagerly pouring over the picture perfect and immaculately designed country houses and imagining my life in each room and every garden. Interestingly enough, I was always drawn to the Georgian period of architecture, and have never really strayed from that intense love of symmetry, order and purity of design that one finds in a nice old Georgian house.
But back to the giveaway... All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to be a follower and to leave me a comment letting me know that you are a follower (with your full name) - simple as that. I'll announce the winner on Monday 28th May - so GOOD LUCK! In the mean time, I'll leave you with a yummy image that for me, perfectly encapsulates the ideal ingredients of an English country house drawing room. It's Nancy Lancaster's 'Yellow Room' at Colefax & Fowler's Brooke Street Showroom - and yes, Nancy was American (she bought the company from Lady Colefax) and again yes - Brooke Street is in slap bang in the middle of central London and not in the English countryside - but hopefully you get the gist! So close your eyes, settle down, plump up that chintzy cushion, butter that scone, take a sip of Earl Grey and throw another log on the fire...and where were we? Oh yes - Mr Darcy had just walked out of the lake and was walking slowly - shirt dripping with water - towards us........Paula x
Images courtesy of; 1) The English Country House by Mary Miers. (Also sold by; 2,3,4,5) Country Life magazine; 6) Nancy Lancaster's 'Yellow Room' at the Colefax & Fowler Showroom in Brooke Street London. www


  1. Well congratulations! I enjoy the authenticity of your posts, your wit and viewpoint. Thanks for your efforts:) Brenda.

  2. Wonderful post...and you made me smile too :)

    Please count me may be the nearest I ever get to a fabulous English country home ;) XX

  3. Congratulations on your 200 followers, although I see you have gone beyond that now!
    I remember picking up my first copy of Country Life in the dentist's waiting room when I was still in junior school, and simply drooling over the wonderful properties I saw.

  4. Congratulations Paula on your 200 followers!These homes are stunning so please count me in love how stately they are!


  5. Congrats!! It's nice to see the followers go up for all your efforts :)

  6. In vain I have struggled this will not do, allow me to tell you how ardently I admire your blog and love your posts! Congratulations Paula.

  7. Well done on reaching '200'. I look forward to reading many more posts! M x

  8. Many congratulations on reaching 200 followers!
    You deserve it for you have a lovely blog!
    I've been a follower for a while, and what a lovely giveaway prize :o)
    Best wishes.
    Rose H

  9. ahh Mr Darcy sigh ! the epitome of genteel English country life :)

  10. Well, here's to two hundred more followers! I love Nancy Lancaster. Like her I'm a Virginian; unlike her I didn't marry two excruciatingly rich men before age twenty-three. Sigh. Poor planning on my part, I suppose.

  11. Well you write so beautifully that I am not at all surprised that you have 200 followers. Now Country Life you are so right it just epitomises our lovely country, sums up what we are all about. Have a great week and maybe I think summer might just be here well at least for this week anyway!!

  12. My dream used to be to swan around an English country home and garden on the lookout for Mr Darcy! A bit unrealistic in Australia!!
    Love your blog Paula.
    Penny x

  13. Congratulations Paula on reaching 200 followers,
    Your blog is very good indeed !
    Thea x

  14. Dear Paula
    It is a wonderful blog! I wish you the 200 followers soon become 2000. (I'm sure). Thanks for the update on the magazines. Here, I think ,released the magazine Country Living .
    Have a nice week

  15. Hello there Mrs. S.!!! Oh how delighted I was to see that you had come to visit and JUMP on board with us to Paris, via ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!! Oh how I too love what you love. Count me in on the giveaway! AND DO COME BACK NEXT WEEK as we are going on a little LAYOVER in ROME! Gotta do it, no?

    Have a lovely evening! Anita

  16. Oh, and thank you so much for your kind and generous comments on my style. Much appreciated! Anita

  17. Gefeliciteerd met de 200 volgers!

    Groetjes, Marjonel

  18. I'd love to enter this giveaway- its fabulous!
    I'll have my fingers and toes crossed (will make walking barefoot tricky haha!) until the draw date
    ps yay for chickens in the summer go for it girl!

  19. Congratulations !!!!!
    I wanted to move to England.(smile)
    I am sure you will have more followers. I am one too.
    Keep up the good work(smile)

    Julie x

  20. Congratulations ! Well deserved, I'm so glad you came back to blogging !

  21. Dear Mrs Sutton, Your post is not only very beautiful but also very amusing. I am not of English mother tongue and I wished I could express myself in such a sophisticated way! On several occasions I laughed out loud! I envy you having had the interest to become an architect - I was also very interested in interior design as a girl but somehow I could never express myself becoming an architect. Somehow in those days girls did not become architects... sadly... However, I gladly participate in your giveaway and I am happy once again having discovered you and your wonderful blog! Christa

  22. Hi Paula, thank you for your blog visit.. I love yours. Well done on the 200 followers! Sadly the nearest we get to selling in Norfolk is the Newark IACF Fair..which is fab & well worth a visit if you haven't been........... Lizzie

  23. In the words of Sir Cliff Richard - 'Congratulations!!'
    I always look forward to reading your Blog Paula.
    I'm definitely a follower.
    Hope you have a lovely week.

  24. Thank you Paula for the very nice comment you left on my '365' days blog. What a wonderful inspiring blog you have put together. I love the picture of Audrey Hepburn! I will be back to visit and have added myself as. Follower! Ann

  25. Hey Paula, had a little break from the blog so catching up now with everything. Of course I love this post, I love all your posts and especially ones with a bodice ripping Mr. Darcy!!! Swoon. I'm with you on Georgian architecture, it's my favourite style, probably because I'm a symmetry freak, can't help it, I just love pairs, balance - perfection. I would love if you would please put my name in the hat.


  26. Hi Paula, I picked a perfect time to become a follower on your blog! This is my first time here and I really do like it, I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  27. My goodness I found your wonderful blog just in time I am in love with your style. Many congratulations on reaching 200 followers. I predict great things.

  28. You have certainly tapped into my fantasy Paula - phew!!

    Please count me in and may I say how much I always enjoy your beautifully written and witty posts. Your time in the glamourous business of fashion would make an interesting post all of its own ....!


  29. Yay about your Followers! I found you a few days ago and am happy to join your site. Lovely giveaway, too.
    Style Maniac

  30. Hello Paula, thankyou for becoming my latest follower. I've just popped over to have a nose - like what I see and have now become a follower too. Just in time by the looks of it. Patricia x

  31. Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog. Your blog is beautiful too. Definitely coming back!

  32. Hi Paula, thanks so much for stopping by and becoming one of my blogging friends. I've done the same here. Lovely to meet you and your blog is great. I will enjoy coming back and I will also put you in my blog roll.

  33. So you went from being a Planner to a Fashion Bookings Agent??? Wow, that's a 90 degree career turn. Probably explains a fair bit about your passion, though, for beautifully designed houses.

    I love knowing how people have bravely changed careers in their lives - it's a real insight into what makes them tick.

  34. Hello Ms. Paula!
    I've been away in the countryside...sorry for my tardiness. Just kidding, I've been here but really swamped. Catching up now. Many congratulations---we all love you!! Now, I hope being late will bring me lots of luck. Please count me in! Fingers crossed ;-)

  35. Hello Paula,
    I found you just before you went offline for a while, and I was so happy when you started posting again! I am from Australia and come to your blog for my fix of the beautiful English countryside. I have just joined your followers - a first for me!

  36. Congratulations on all your followers ~ but I think it's just the beginning. You have a wonderful point of view that's adorned with wit. I'm one of the old followers ~ so glad you're back.

  37. Hi Paula,

    Just noticed this beautiful looking book when browsing through your photographs. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw you were giving it away :-)!

    Congratulations to your 216 followers. That's quite a lot. It took me a long time to reach that number!! I totally understand why they love your photo's & ramblings....they are such fun and very inspiring.

    I would love to take part in your give-away. I will put a link on my blog. I hope it will bring you some more followers!

    Madelief x

  38. I absolutely love your blog - it is so inspiring Paula & thanks for returning the favour by visiting my blog - Dee at the Carlton ....

    Congrats on the 200+ followers - they have splendid taste ♥. I am excited about just making double figures in followers ...

    Dee at the Carlton