Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Wonderful Weekend

Last Friday was a bit of a special day. I turned yet another year older.  The years certainly fly by and as it has been such a busy one for us, it has been even more true this year.  My mum had rooted out some old photos of me which she enclosed with my card.  These were taken quite some time ago!




The sneaky Mr HenHouse had kept it a surprise that we were going away for the weekend.  So we hopped in Delia Disco and off we set, navigating Devon's tiny windy country lanes to our secret destination, deep in the countryside.  After a hair raising journey, we arrived at our destination.  It had certainly been worth it.  Tucked away was the stunning and exclusive Gidleigh Park country house hotel.  Oh my!



There is a babbling brook running through the gardens in front of the hotel so there is a constant sound of running water which was pretty soothing.



The hotel had thought of everything and had coats and posh wellies for guests to borrow in order that they could explore the grounds.


Inside did not disappoint either.  Our suite was very sumptuous and had everything we could ask for...and more.



I was a very spoiled lady and some special treats awaited me in our suite.


We headed downstairs to the lounge in the afternoon which had a stunning view over the gardens and way beyond.  Afternoon tea was pretty fabulous, complete with a special birthday cake for me!


Gidleigh Park is renowned as a foodie destination, with head chef Michael Caines holding two coveted Michelin stars.  On Saturday night, we had the eight course tasting menu which was pretty sublime and culminated in this spectacular dessert. Yum!


A super duper treat awaited me on Saturday when Mr HenHouse informed me that we were going on a little trip.  Off we set on the windy lanes again and found ourselves in Barnstaple in Devon.

In this town, a special lady and friend of mine has recently opened her dream shop, an emporium of vintage clothing and textiles.  You will likely recognise the name Donna Flower whom I have mentioned many times on my blog.  She has helped me build my stash of vintage fabrics and I couldn't have been happier to be visiting her wonderful new shop.

Donna, along with her daughter Jasmine, has done a spectacular job of creating a fabulous interior to her shop.  At the front, rails of gorgeous vintage clothes await along with all the accessories you could need to create the perfect outfit.  Donna has sourced some beautiful shop fittings, too, which really enhance the clothes.  The shop offers clothes for both men and women.




Jasmine is the perfect model for the shop's beautiful clothes.


The big draw for me however, was the area at the back of the shop, a stunning shrine to vintage textiles.  Donna has created a dream setting for the fabrics and haberdashery with the most beautiful antique shop fittings setting off the incredible stock she has curated.  Heaven!



At the back of the shop, was a fab vintage Stockman mannequin.  The naughty Mr HenHouse had bought this for me as a birthday surprise, an item I had long coveted.  Donna had kindly wrapped her with birthday ribbon and a vintage sparkly brooch.  Lucky lucky me!


I was like a child in a sweetie shop and set about selecting some vintage fabrics on which to spend my birthday money.



I cannot recommend enough that you visit this wonderful shop, I can't imagine it really has an equal anywhere else.  Donna still runs her online shops too, Donna Flower for fabrics and Donna Flower Vintage for clothes, so if a visit is really beyond you, you needn't miss out on her impeccable sourcing skills.


We had a really wonderful weekend but luckily, coming home was not too much of a come down as my birthday present was waiting for me to play with it: a vintage Singer featherweight sewing machine.  She just needs oiling then I can't wait to try her out with some of those special vintage fabrics.


36 comments:

  1. Wow you had a wonderful time. Donna's shop is lovely isn't it?
    Julie xxxxxx

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  2. Happy Birthday. You lucky LUCKY lady, a weekend away in a stunning hotel. AND a man that thinks of things like taking you to shops like that, where did you find him? That sewing machine is almost too beautiful to use, I think i'd personally just stare at it! gorgeous!

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  3. Belated Birthday Wishes Hen. What an fantastic birthday weekend! Mr Henhouse certainly did you proud and what an amazing shop to visit, just love the old style haberdasher's cabinets. Liz.

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  4. A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!!! :o)!!!

    What a lovely trip. I do not always comment, but know that I love reading your posts and ever so often wish I was a fly, not on the wall, but in your purse so I could travel with you and see all those lovely things closeby.
    (Don't know if that is an expression in English being of the Dutch kind myself: "being a fly on the wall", but I hope that you know what I mean !! :o)!!)

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  5. What a lucky lady you were, a truly special hotel, shop and pressies! I can't wait to read all about what you make with your new fabric and machine :)

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  6. Happy Birthday!

    What a wonderful birthday you had and were truly and deservedly spoilt. Donna's shop looks amazing and I can only imagine what treasures can be found.

    Victoria x
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  7. Belated birthday wishes, Hen!
    The perfect heavenly break.
    Clever man that Mr HenHouse!
    Zxx

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  8. Happy Birthday! What a lucky lady you were to have such a lovely weekend away.
    I do enjoy your blog - lots of lovely things to look at and always really informative about what's on and where to go.
    Jane

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  9. Belated birthday wishes, sounds like the perfect weekend. How wonderful

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  10. WOW! What a birthday! And that shop is to die for....how to choose from all those vintage fabrics???

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  11. Brilliant!

    Happy Birthday too!

    Penny
    x

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  12. Happy Birthday dear girl! I have been enjoying your lovely blog for a few months now. And only the other day, found you on IG. What a wonderful surprise your husband planned for you! I have a Featherweight too. It was my Dad's mother's I love it, and it is a workhorse! I always take it with me to classes!!!
    Enjoy your new toys!!
    xo Kris

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  13. Happy birthday - what a fabulous weekend!!

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  14. Happy Birthday, what nice surprises you had.

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  15. A very Happy Belated Birthday!!! Your Hubby is so sweet! so glad you had a wonderful time. I would love to soak in that gorgeous tub!

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  16. Happy Birthday! It sounds like you had a wonderful day and were treated so nicely with those lovely presents. The Singer Featherweight sewing machines are fabulous, they sew so beautiful and make such lovely neat stitches. I use my Featherweight from 1937 over my modern sewing machine all the time, nothing can beat it. I hope you love yours too.

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  17. ooohhh that's awesome!!!! Happy Birthday! Mr Henhouse did a great job spoiling you. : )

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  18. I was almost beside myself as I read through your birthday celebration! And to top it off with a featherweight.....not sure how Mr. Henhouse will ever top that! It was a weekend to remember and thank you for sharing it with us over the pond! Lovely!!!!!

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  19. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful birthday weekend.

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  20. Mr HenHouse did you proud! Its sounds a wonderful way to spend a birthday.

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  21. Wow, Hen! What a weekend. Mr HH did good. Very good. You certainly deserve it but what an amazing man to surprise you with such a treat. Happy happy birthday, lovely lady. I'm glad you had such a good time. Lovely to see your blog in my feed. Xxxx Sarah

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  22. Happy Birthday!!! I am glad that you had such a wonderful time. xx

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  23. Happy Birthday ... what a fabulous surprise! I can't wait to visit Donna's shop. M x

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  24. Happy birthday. What wonderful gifts, clever Mr Henhouse. Featherweights are the best machines ever, love mine. Regards Sharon

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  25. Belated happy birthday greetings from me too! I'm green with envy over your Featherweight - she looks like a real beauty!

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  26. What a thoughtful man you have Hen,what lovely gifts he bought you too ,busy busy for you now after you have done all the unpacking !! so glad the move has worked out for you it looks such a lovelyplace xxx

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  27. You are a very spoiled and loved wife! Your husband is so amazing to find you a dress form and have it waiting for you in your friend's shop! And the Featherweight.. I have one just like that, a 1949. You'll love it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  28. Happy Birthday Hen! Wow it looks like you had a really lovely Birthday, the Hotel, DFs shop, the sewing machine, your husband certainly knows what you like! I'm so glad the move went well, your house looks absolutely gorgeous, can't wait to see more pics & your new sewing den! xx

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  29. Happy belated birthday, thank you for sharing, it looks like you had a fabulous weekend! Big gold star for Mr Henhouse! I'm rather coveting that afternoon tea! Love the Blue Lady xx

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  30. Wow! What a birthday you've had! Very thoughtful husband! I love the idea of afternoon tea, I should take it up. Happy Birthday!

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  32. Sounds like a lovely weekend with lots of great presents :) x

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  33. Hen - what a wonderful birthday you have had. You have a very thoughtful husband who must have been planning this for ages. I hope you had a bath in that dinkyily beautiful bathroom. Wandering round Donna Flowers shop must have been fab - are you going to show us the fabrics you chose next. Belated happy birthday wishes and hope you are settling in to your new abode.

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  34. Thank you so much for the lovely write up Hen. I was honoured to be part of your special Birthday celebration and I am delighted that my treasured Stockman mannequin now lives with you xxx

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  35. Happy belated birthday sweet Mrs Hen. Isn't your husband a super sweetie, I love how thoughtful he is. The photos of you from when you were young are super sweet too. love the old school photos.

    julie and poppy Q
    xxx

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