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The Merry Month of May in England

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Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday on April 21st, a prelude to what is always one of the busiest seasons in the British Royal calendar. One can assume that it will be even busier this year, as the Queen now also holds the title of longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom.

As I salute this remarkable woman who so embodies the popular motto, “Stay Calm and Carry On,” I look back with warm affection on my days in London and the countryside, spring of last year. With Charlotte Moss and Margot Shaw as our leaders, no flowering plant or delicious detail was overlooked. Enjoy some highlights, which might explain why I am so enthusiastically anticipating the next visit.

My roommate, compliments of the Sloane Square Hotel (just 3 blocks from the Chelsea Flower Show).


The courtyard garden at the premier London decorating shop, Colefax and Fowler.


Creativity galore early morn at the Chelsea Flower Show.


London retailers join in the Chelsea spirit and provide an unexpected bit of fun.


What is more appropriate or appealing than a green and white scheme, another vignette to be found in Sloane Square.


Georgian simplicity…and a shot of hot pink.


Shopping (and lunching) on the way to Oxfordshire.


The front entrance at Ditchley Park, Nancy Lancaster’s former home and neighbor to Blenheim Palace.


Wonderful color juxtapositions between the verdegris copper pot and light orchid pansies.


Favorite green scenes at Haseley Court.



Sharply pruned yew hedge and topiary, its curves recalling the arch of the door.


The tower at Cliveden, the former residence of Nancy, Lady Astor which is now a boutique hotel.


A few days at the marvelous Goring Hotel, once we returned to London.


And finishing with a last visit…an adored show at the Queen’s Gallery.


Long Live the Queen!

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “The Merry Month of May in England

  1. Good Morning Bettie! Once again, I really enjoyed your blog! Years ago I asked friends to join us in London as a surprise for Pete. Pete and I arrived there a few days ahead of the friends. We came down for breakfast one morning and asked an unknown couple if we could join them at their table. They were both hidden behind their newspapers when we approached them. They then lowered their papers to reveal their identities …..Linda and Rick Lawson from High Point! Surprise Pete! All at the Sloane Square Hotel! Thanks for helping me remember a special time! Carpe Diem! Ann Davenport

    1. Oh Ann,what a wonderful gift for Pete!!We have to compare London/England stories the next time we get together. And speaking of England, a friend of mine from Dallas is taking a group to Chatsworth and Lismore castle in Ireland with a specially designed itinerary that includes black tie dinners in the dining room at Chatsworth…with the Duke and Duchess.More later for you to think about when you’re lounging on the beach. Cheers from Newport, Bettie

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