McBean’s Orchids is a British orchid cultivation nursery in Lewes, East Sussex, England.  They are “Rare Orchid Growers” from the 1800s hidden away in the beautiful Sussex Downs.

Visiting McBeans’s Orchids and its gorgeous glasshouses in the British heatwave on a morning after a Tom Dixon party, the place had an otherworldly feel to it.

Apart from my fascination for their antique blue orchid boxes that they deliver to the Royalty in London, I love them because they opened their doors to all the local designers and artists in Sussex like Tom Dixon, so that they could use their workshop during the Covid Pandemic.

A rare Orchid with a cause!

A Summer River House

This Rock Chick’s Summer River House, has an added ambience bonus – Luke Alen-Buckley’s magnificent, sculptural candles – which are an amusement all on their own. The Gothic Mansion House has been rocked by the coolest British designer, Alex Eagle, using her chic fabrics and furniture from her Eagle & Hodges interiors collection, her vintage finds and fascinating art assemblage, bringing you her quintessential cool-Brit worldliness to one place. The Summer River House – another illustrative of the British Summer story, is the most recent from Soho House, together with this rock’n’roll Gothic Mansion is a wondrous concoction. Sleep in the Boathouse, lunch at the Summer River House watching the boats go by & listen to the vintage vinyl collection in the library, sipping your aperitif …. In the morning, breakfast in the glasshouse with the very British assortment of reads, tea after tennis in the Parlor, ….. and repeat …

The Magical Kingdom

We woke up at 5am, with the scent of the early morning wood burning stove, in Grandpa’s room, in the shady part of the Redwood Forest in Big Sur.
This is Deetjen’s – an overwhelming fairytale, with so much soul.

I had read Marie- Louise Scio ’s, (Hotel IL Pellicano’s CEO) praises about Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, in the Yolo Journal but nothing quite prepares you until you arrive.

Deetjen’s is a collection of redwood cottages, locally-milled in the 1930s, and now on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by the Norwegian couple, Helmuth and Helen Haight Deetjen, who single handedly created the Big Sur style of building, whilst living in their tent beside the Castro Canyon Creek.

The multi sensory nature experience in Big Sur is a full-time job.
The silent scented redwood forest crashing into the wild Pacific, the sulky fog, natural hot springs … and mystic surprises along the way.

“Big Sur is a state of mind”, Prior says.
I say, Deetjen’s, is, Big Sur – whether you are a new-age free spirit or just looking to disconnect.

TIP : Devouring morning croissants with Stellar Jays at Big Sur Bakery, and the elevated casual cuisine at Coast cafe on top of Redwood water tanks are a prerequisite.

TIP II : Wisteria is in full bloom in Spring.

The Iconic Motel

Room No 118 Fabulous Fifties “A time when … you married your high school sweetheart, homes had white picket fences, and focus was on the children. Organizations were started like … Little League, the Girls Scouts and PTA. This room is the Fabulous 50’s. “ MADONNA INN During my Vogue-ette days at British Vogue, I would hear editorials being shot at this wildly kitsch motel in California … the photographs looked like a crazy pink ice-cream – so far away from my British upbringing. Fast forward many years, I live in LA with my family now. On a recent road trip, passing through San Luis Obispo, the Madonna Inn’s ‘wild eccentric glory’ as named by the Carine Roitfeld fashion book was shouting out to me in the middle of 101 highway. Always been fascinated by retro motels, tacky chic … they make for the best editorial stories. So we decided to spend a night in the land of pink kitsch, to the delight of my six year old son, Rocco. A fiercely pink mood board for European Vogue-ettes and children alike. TIP: Get the hot pink cap from the gift shop, with the western cowboy font – it makes a cooler statement than any overpriced Parisian streetwear brand. TIP II: Horse riding in the San Luis Obispo highlands with a game of tennis on the pink tennis courts is happiness.

A Paleolithic Chic Stay

Even the name is sexy, Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita. Minimalistic cave dwellings , directed by the tasteful, part anthropologist, part philosopher, Milanese, Daniele Kihlgren.* In the Unesco Heritage village of Sassi, Matera. One time abandoned and nearly uninhibited village, now an Albergo diffuso**, with handcrafted linen, pottery, bathtubs and even natural toothpaste and toothbrush. This meaningful and fully immersive experience is like rough poetry. Church choir and candle light with the locally organic breakfast, (now a candlelit breakfast is a prerequisite …), complete with your own wooden hammer for smashing walnuts on your table… to candlelit holistic massages in your cave suite. In the founder’s own words: “We want a kinder, gentler concept of tourism” A Club Modeler dream. * Daniele Kihlgren Watch his breathtaking ’Our Stone’ Documentary. * * Dispersed hotel concept by Daniele Kihlgren.


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