Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beach House Gets The Inside Story

Hi everyone
I'm back from my 36 hours in paradise and here's why we went.  Leah at My Home Atelier puts on a beautiful lunch on her verandah every second Friday and three of my fabulous friends and I decided to drive down to the South coast of NSW to see what it was all about.
We have all been on a bit of journey together this last seven months.  The Breast scan bus came to town in November last year and luckily some of us went to give our boobs the once over.  Nothing more was thought of it, until Leslie got a call back.  The irony was that the breast that didn't have the cancer in it was the one she got the call back on. Several more mammograms and ultrasounds later, her diagnosis was confirmed in the other breast and in the last seven months she has been to hell and back.
 Her one rule was that we weren't allowed to cry.  Let me tell you we all did that privately, but never in front of her.  Talk about the British stiff upper lip.  She has handled this so well and has been an absolute tower of strength and a fantastic example to us all.  The bad news just kept on coming and she just got on with it.  The great news is she is young and otherwise healthy and strong, the cancer had not spread and she has made a great recovery.

So now we all have a new credo, even those who have been stuck in baby land for what seems like forever.  Lets get out there and live live live.  So with that theme in mind, we decided to leave our kids in what to me now seems, like our husbands' very capable hands and agreed to take the journey through Leah's Inside Story.  There were a few texts flying down to the South Coast from other girlfriends, saying things like 'saw the husbands doing mummy duties around town this afternoon',which we thought was hilarious.  And some of this kiddos who know mummies mobile number rang to ask for 'sibling battles' to be sorted out, but the retort was.  Just tell daddy...'welcome to my world'. The phones were never quite turned off but when they weren't ringing, the Northern Beaches were a million miles away.  So off we set, myself the token Aussie, amongst my three British mates.
Now I am the quintessential list maker.  And I have one of those lists of things I have to do before I die.  One was to see Hugh Jackman in The Boy from Oz.......ticked.  Another is to spend 6 months in the South of France........almost ticked.  And another I would add to my list, if I hadn't already done it, would be to go  Leah's for lunch.  Everything about this day was a memory maker.  Her  style and elegance was mind blowing.  Her on site home wares store was outstanding.  We bought lots, but that is for another post.  And her home was just dreamy.  I did not take pictures of that, as you can see it here on her blog.

 There is the beautiful girl herself reflected in the mirror. She and her mum, who helped her were completely charming.
The mirror had the menu written on it and I was so into the whole experience, that I forgot to photograph my main meal.  I was able to shoot Lisa's just as we were finishing up.
And I didn't forget to capture both the desert choices, creme brulee
and a delicious date and walnut cake with a caramel sauce.
Luckily before I'd had too many champagnes, I remembered to shoot some of the aspects of the beautiful table Leah had laid.  Leah had used sheet music paper serviettes as place mats and tied the cutlery with beautiful navy striped ribbon and placed it on the side plates.

She had cut flower shapes from a combination of serviettes and burlap and sewed them in the centre with a button.  They were beautifully styled around vintage books tied with string.

The bread and butter were laid out very attractively
And I loved the way she had so much fresh greenery from her garden delicately placed on her table.
Even the salad dressing was beautifully presented in cute little vintage bottles.
From the ceiling of the veranda, Leah had strung jars of fresh field flowers with fishing wire. 
Our host had styled a beautiful country vignette at the end of her verandah.  The simplicity of an upturned basket of oranges and lemons on a hay stack, with a few other pieces was just so lovely.
Leah used birdcages to great effect, throughout the house, in her homewares store and as table decorations.
You can just catch a glimpse of Leah's beautiful sunroom here and also the photo collage on the wall in this shot.
One of the other great things about the day was apart from meeting local artists and other homewares retailers,  I also got to meet some of my fellow bloggers.  I met the lovely Beth from Boat Shed Chic.  And there she is behind me in deep conversation.  It was an absolute delight and very inspirational to meet a lovely lady, who has been blogging in Australia for such a long time. 

And then after a beautiful visit with Leah we were off to check out the main street of historic Milton and it's lovely homewares and foodie shops.  More of that later.

And what do you do when you go through six months of cr*pola and you come out the other end feeling great and with a good prognosis?  I'll tell you what you do!  You get out in the sunshine and you dance in the street....that's what!!!!!
Have a great week and don't forget to live live live!!!!!!
Best Carolyn
Today I am linked up with

Between Naps On The Porch


  1. Awesome post. Wish I were there. Love all the sweet pretty touches. The flowers in the jars, the sheet music, the dinner and side plates and the menu on the mirror. My kind of place.

  2. gorgeous, gorgeous. looks like a great spot for lunch and great food. especially love the photo of the menu on the mirror with the reflection of the lovely chandelier!
    cheryl x

  3. Fantastic post, Carolyn! All I can say is I agree with everything you've said - it was a wonderful experience! Glad you and the girls enjoyed the rest of your trip and got home safely. It was a pleasure meeting you.
    Beth x

  4. Loved that table setting. Many wonderful ideas to enjoy. Im glad your friend is doing better now. Best wishes to you all on a fab weekend together.

  5. Thanks Carolyn, for a great day, with you and your friends, we had just as lovely a time with you all. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Love your post on it too, your pictures are great. Leahxx

  6. Oh my gosh what a beautiful home and setting!! She did an amazing job and how wonderful that you got to meet another blogger. I am so happy that everything went well and you had an amazing time! Definitely something to do again. :) Thank you for sharing.

  7. What a lovely thing to do - visit somebody's beautiful house for a home cooked meal in such a lovely setting. What a pretty and whimsical setting it was. Sounds like a great antidote to the blues.

  8. Oh my gosh--how gorgeous!!! You are SO inspiring!!!

  9. Gosh it all looks so gorgeous! Your photos are stunning. x

  10. Wow, what an uplifting, beautiful and powerful post. Thanks so much for inspiring me to live live live!

    Take care and best wishes for a wonderful week.

  11. Beautiful! LOVE the fresh feild flowers hanging over the table! I have some caged glass containers I could do the same concept to on a patio. Thanks for the inspiration!! xo

    It looks like you and your friends had a lovely time... and yes we need to live live LIVE!

    :D Lynda

  12. Love the message of living life it its fullest!!

    The photos were incredible.

    So nice to meet you.

  13. Wow what an inspiration! Such a strong woman! And such a GORGEOUS home!

  14. Oh my, what a perfect space and I totally love the decor. It is really so pretty and looks like you all had such a great time. The tablescape and menu both are wonderful. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, marty

  15. I love the decoration and the great table! The dishes are so beautiful in black flowers...what a great time your friends and you had,... I just adore to be with girl friends! The food looks very yummy. So glad and happy that your friend finally got a break with good news and may God bless her. Thanks for sharing these with us. Lots of hugs. FABBY

  16. Looks like a wonderful way to spend a day. The table decor was fabulous - especially the clever placemats!!

  17. Beautiful table but the back story is where the action is. Live,live,live and dance in the street. Right?

  18. Such a lovely and inviting setting and looks like a fun time was had by all. Leslie is in my thoughts and prayers:-) Good for her to live life to the fullest.


  19. A beautiful tribute to your friend! Cheers to the survivor! What a great venue to celebrate living life! Thanks for sharing!!

  20. The whole thing just took my breath away. So gorgeous...every single details is so well thought

  21. Just found you off of Marty's TTT feature. What a gorgeous setting! You ladies sure looked like you had a wonderful time. How wonderful to read how you all understand the value of friendships and living life!

  22. How I wish I had been there. Looks like such a wonderful celebration of life.

  23. Forgot to mention that I am a new follower.

  24. This is an absolutely beautiful post! (drooling)... from the gorgeous sheet music placemats, hanging flower jars to the upturned basket of lemons and oranges to the dreamy atmosphere created by the subtle colors and greenery.... so serene, so pretty! Loved it! I'm glad that Leslie is doing better and pray for her continued recovery. Congratulations for being featured at Marty's TTT... this is truly an awesome post. Beautiful way to celebrate life! I would love to meet Hugh Jackman as well.Have a lovely week!~Poppy


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