Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Heavenly Hotel

High on a hill, deep in the Himalayas is the most gorgeous hotel I have stayed in - the Glenburn Tea Estate.  I stayed at Glenburn a few weeks ago when I was in India and while the clouds didn't lift enough for us to see the snow-capped mountains, the misty trees and hills were gorgeous.  Not only is Glenburn a working tea plantation and a boutique hotel, but I have also decided it  resembles what my ideal home would be like - a place that is beautifully decorated with amazing views, and has delicious food (that I don't have to prepare), and attentive staff!  

Glenburn was built in 1859 and was lovingly restored in 2002 to the style of a colonial planter's bungalow under the guidance of Bronwyn Latif (an interior designer based in Delhi).  Not only did she capture the feel of a historic home, but she also made it cheerful and welcoming.  In fact it seemed more like a home than a hotel.  I really felt like I could move right in and be very comfortable there.   As I sat on the long veranda that joined all the rooms I pondered what I liked so much about Glenburn and here is what I came up with.  

The colours used throughout were clear colours - colours that are found in nature, like the flowers surrounding the hotel.

The outside of the buildings were painted a lovely fresh apricot colour with white trim and the verandas had either white painted or black and white tiled flooring - very fresh and clean looking.

Some of the rooms had intense jolts of pinks, yellows, greens, or blues, but they were always softened with white trim and accents such as cushions or bedding.  The white was just what was needed to keep all those fresh happy colours peaceful and calm.

Other rooms were painted a clear, calm white and colour was added in the cushions, furniture, and textiles.  

I loved the classic furniture - mostly dark wood, but also some painted wicker and wood pieces.

The art on the walls was appropriate to the location and was interesting - everything from old maps, to botanicals, animal prints, china, and old photographs.

There were flowers in every room - some bouquets were made up of quieter colours,

and some were bolder (the one below was one of my favourites).

I loved the touches of India that had been incorporated in the decor.  Things like skylights, vents, and ceiling fans, 

old British colonial furniture with tropical wood and caned seats, 

deep verandas for relaxing when the days are hot or during the monsoon rains like when we were there,

elephants carved into the headboard,

 and woven into the linens.

and even rush covered water bottles and covers for the drinking glasses on the bedside table.

The bathrooms were all fresh and white with classic mirrors and thick white towels

and baskets of tea-scented bath products.  It is a working tea plantation after all!

It was a lovely serene place to stay - on the top of a hill surrounded by tea fields and looking out to the Himalayan jungle.  I just adored the little alcove I had with the white linens and a little sitting nook.  Isn't it divine - I could have stayed forever (especially if they gave me some of those chocolate brownies and glorious cups of tea every day)! 

Aren't you inspired to incorporate a bit of the Glenburn loveliness into your home? I know I am!  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Back!

Yes folks I'm finally home.  I had an amazing, wonderful, arduous, intense, exciting adventure and I finally arrived home on Sunday morning.  I've spent the past week talking and talking and talking and telling everyone more stories about Bangladesh and India than they probably wanted to know.  I've sorted my photos and made and ordered photo books so I would have an easy way to show others the best of my pictures.  I've handed out presents.  I've drunk water straight from the tap - oh joy, oh bliss - and eaten all those things that are on the taboo list for visits to South Asia.   

Children playing London Bridge at the CRP school, Bangladesh

I wanted to give my family and friends a peak at the best of my photos and thought I would play the numbers game as a fun way to summarize what I did this summer.  

Man standing on a pile of jute rope in Dhaka, Bangladesh

12463 - the number of kilometres from where I live in Canada to the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed that we taught at in Bangladesh

An elephant I saw on my last day in Bangladesh.  The owner was sitting up on the elephant making him do tricks and when the elephant reached down for a tip he didn't like how much I gave him, so the elephant blew the money back at me and I had to give him more

63 - the number of monkeys we saw sitting beside the road as we traveled down the mountain from Darjeeling to Bagdogra in India

Women picking stones out of lentils in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh

52 - the number of days I was gone from home

The crowds in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh (I love how proud the Momma is in the photo as she could tell we were oohing and ahing about her baby despite the language barrier)

34 - the number of students I taught (19 first year students and 15 third year students) at CRP

The lush greenery at CRP in the early morning light

7 - the number of airplane flights I took this summer

Workers on the Glenburn tea estate near Darjeeling, India

Worker at Glenburn Tea Estate, near Darjeeling, India

6 - the number of countries I visited (presuming that a couple of hours stop-over in Abu Dhabi counts as a visit)

Buddhist Temple on Observatory Hill, Darjeeling, India

3 - the number of salwar kameezes I bought and wore for the month I was in Bangladesh

Man picking reusable coal from the Himalayan Toy Tran

2 - the number of days we stayed at the Glenburn Tea Estate, the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in (more about that later as I have lots of photos to share in another post)

Red Fort, Delhi, India

Red Fort, Delhi, India

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi, India

1 - the number of stomach bugs I got (thankfully I was only sick the last two days and am now on antibiotics and things are feeling and working much better).  

The best photo I took of my friend Kim who I couldn't have done Bangladesh and India without - a wonderful companion, adviser, and friend throughout (she is in constant motion so most pictures of her are a blur)

It's great to be home and to be re-connecting with my patient supportive husband, my family and friends, and even my blog.  Thanks to all the summer guest bloggers for filling in for me.

Linked to Good Life Wednesday at A Beach Cottage

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nature-Inspired Blue Rooms

This post is taken from my archives and was originally a guest post last summer - my apologies if you have already read it.  Since I hadn't posted it here on my blog I thought I would make use of it.  My long adventure travelling around the world this summer is coming to a close and I should be home in a few days.  Details, recaps, and photos coming soon!

This post pretty much ties together some of my favourite themes - the colour blue, decorating, and taking photos.  

Blue is the world's most popular colour, and just happens to be mine too.

I thought it would be fun to look at blues in nature and see how they inspire decorating.

The icy pale blues and gray-blues that you see in ice and snow:

can be seen in this lovely Swedish Gustavian-style dining room.

The soft gray seafoam blue in tumbling waves,

can be seen in this beachy blue bathroom.

The misty colours of rocks, lake, and the setting sun,

can be seen in this beautiful kitchen.

The periwinkle blues of the cornflower,

can be seen in this bathroom.

The pure blue of a summer sky,

can be seen in the simple blue and white bedroom.

The gorgeous blue in the forget-me-not flowers

can be seen in the blue of this cottage bedroom.

The darker purple-blue of a blueberry

can be seen in the blue backs to these bookshelves.

The deep blues of the sky at dusk,

can be seen in the inky walls of this blue living room.

What about you - what shade of blue inspires you?

Source:  All nature photos are mine.  Interior photos: Cote de Texas, Sarah Richardson via decor padPlain English DesignCompletely Coastal, House Beautiful, Strictly Simple Style, House and Home, House to Home.