Sunday, December 2, 2018

Country Life British Edition - Pitshill House England & Sharon Santoni's Pain Perdu Recipe for a Decadent Breakfast or Brunch

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me ....   Pain Perdu.   This Holiday Season I want to incorporate timeless traditions that the whole family can help with during the celebrations, from setting the table to choosing the place for the decorations on the tree.  I don't want Christmas to be a budget-buster, but instead a time of attention to details, of simple joys, Bing Crosby singing "Silent Night", hot chocolate, baskets of thoughtful gifts gathered for the neighbors full of artisan cheese, honey, Anjour pears and specialty teas... of laughter and giving.  Since we had the luxury of December 1st on a Saturday, I made Sharon Santoni's of My French Country Home Pain Perdu recipe.  It's delicious and decadent; for brunch it's wonderful served with hot chocolate.

While I was waiting for the toast to cook in warm foaming butter, I enjoyed the article from Country Life on the restoration of 18th-century Pitshill House and Gardens in West Sussex, England.  Interior design by Edward Bulmer and photography by Paul Highnam.   Enjoy!

My French Country Home
~Pain Perdu - French Toast~

2 - cups (1/2 liter) of milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup (50g) of sugar 
1/2 cup (100g) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 thick slices of bread or sliced in half croissants
Powder (icing) sugar

Lay bread in a shallow dish.
In a bowl whisk well the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla 
Pour over sliced bread, wait a few minutes while liquid is soaking.
Heat butter in a wide skillet until it begins to foam
Gently lift, let drain if necessary, and lay in pan.
Check for the under-side to be golden brown and a little dark on the edges flip
and sprinkle cooked side with cinnamon and nutmeg.
When golden on the other side remove to a serving platter
and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Just before serving dust with powder sugar (icing sugar)

Serve with warm syrup and fresh berries


Have you seen our Instagram account.  I hope you will follow and enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2018

President George H.W. Bush 1924-2018

Our family was in Kennebunkport, Maine years ago and every person we spoke with, (waiters, hotel staff, retail personnel, Democrats or Republicans) said he and Barbara were wonderful, never forgot their name, always had time to say a few words to them.  A true gentleman and a class act.

Love and Prayers for the Bush family at the passing of President George H.W. Bush this evening.  94 remarkable years of service to our country and an example of love and devotion to his family.  

Thank you for leaving us better than you found us.

xx Rié

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Interior and Hospitality Design: Patrick Sutton's New Book STORIED INTERIORS

I received a gift in the mail from award-winning Baltimore-based architect and interior designer Patrick Sutton who sent me his new design book STORIED INTERIORS, penned inside was a lovely note inscribed to me.  Incredibly thoughtful and much appreciated.  His work is varied, rich, and showcases not only his love for architecture and design, but also his love for travel and stories of memories with his journalist father and fashion model mother.  "The golden light of Roman piazzas, the colorful spices of Marrakesh street markets, the polished marble floors of a Paris hotel..." are narratives that translate into evocative interiors that shape his designs and craft a story that resonates with his residential clients and pours freely into the boutique hotels and restaurants he designs.   This is not a first glance book, but rather one that presents a framework of architecture and individual design that compels thought and study.  This is just a piece of his story....  I hope you enjoy.

"There are many buildings and spaces formed from walls and roofs. But it is only when the individuality of the inhabitants and their stories infuse the genesis of each project that a space can truly develop its soul." 
- Patrick Sutton

~An Appreciation of Travel and Design~
Photos by Gordon Beall

A Clocker's Tower
~Maryland's Horse Country~
Photos by Max Kim Bee

"Designing for the hospitality world is all about curating an experience.  It calls for transporting a guest out of his or her current life and into a new story to be someone else, if only for a short time."

"When you think about your destination, you are essentially planning a two-hour vacation.  You want to be transported someplace new, and it is my job to get you there."
-Patrick Sutton

Sagamore Pendry Hotel
~Baltimore's Fells Point maritime neighborhood~
Photos by Roger Davies

Tagliata and the Elk Room
~Italian Romance meets Industrial Baltimore~
Photos by Roger Davies

To Purchase:

"Like my father, I have become a storyteller of sorts, I seek out the spirit that inhabits a place and weave in the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of my clients in order to craft a tale that is theirs alone"

PATRICK SUTTON is the founder of his namesake firm, Patrick Sutton, a leader in the luxury interior design industry.  He has received the ICAA John Russell Pope Award for Outstanding Residential Interior Design, was named the Boutique Hotel Designer of the year in 2017, and was awarded the Washington Designers' Choice Award for Hall of Fame of Interior Design in 2017.


PILAR VILADAS writes about architecture and design.  She is the former design editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine and has written three books on interiors, including Domesticities: At Home with The New York Times Magazine.

My sincere congratulations to:  
Architect and Designer Patrick Sutton on his first book, and thank you for my thoughtful note.    
Hello PR Group, Catherine Santonacita and Bianca Granado for the opportunity.  
As well as Images Publishing.  
It has been my pleasure.  
I wish you all the best of everything.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Gathered Life

Fall is starting its arrival this weekend with the temperature dropping and the leaves just beginning to fall, soon it will be a glorious tapestry of color and earthiness and I always long for celebrations and sharing long tables with family and friends...  it's one of my favorite seasons, although very short here in my part of California.  This photo by @kristinperers and @aesmeflowers captures the intentional living, the gathered life, the simple sharing of family and friends that makes a shared meal a holiday. 

 Fall, I am so glad you arrived ...  

Happy weekend my friends ...

Blessings ....

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Architect Jeffrey Dungan THE NATURE OF HOME: Creating Timeless Houses

"They say you only get one chance at a first impression.  The same goes for anything we design and build, especially something as epic and enduring as a house.  It is critical that the architecture is deserving of its environment.  A home at peace with its surroundings will always be superior to one that is not.  The best compliment I can ever receive is that a house we designed looked as if it had grown out of the site or had always been there."

-Architect Jeffrey Dungan

My first impressions of acclaimed southern architect Jeffrey Dungan's new book 
The Nature of Home: Creating Timeless Houses 
was authentic ... timeless ... layered ... well designed ... artisan.  

His homes have a "forever" quality.  The exteriors have a strength about them, perfectly situated with rich, luminous interiors, proper proportions, and style with an unparalleled attention to detail. 

A lovely book that is a wonderful addition to your library and a beautiful welcome to fall.  


A   Q U I E T   S H E L T E R
Photos by Emily Followill -

T H E   F A R M H O U S E
- Photos by William Abranowicz -

T H E   B E A C H   H O U S E
- Photos by William Abranowicz -


"The design of every house is a journey for the imagination; I try to capture something unique about the people who will spend their lives there, drawing a house as it wants to be, knitting the site and owner together in a setting where they can both live happily." - Jeffrey Dungan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Celebrated architect Jeffrey Dungan grew up on a small farm in Alabama.  He has been honored with awards from the American Institute of Architects as well as the 2017 Southeast Architect of the Year Award by Veranda magazine and ADAC.  He was named a fellow in 2015 of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art and has won three coveted Shutze Awards from the ICAA.  In 2018, Jeffrey was a recipient of a prestigious Palladio Award, the only national award for classical architecture.  Dungan's work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Veranda, MILIEU, Southern Living, and House Beautiful.  

My sincere congratulations to:  
Architect Jeffrey Dungan on his beautiful new book, the first of many I am sure.   
Hello PR Group, Catherine Santonacita and Bianca Granado for the opportunity.  
As well as Jessica Napp, Associate Director of Publicity Rizzoli New York.  
It has been my pleasure.  
I wish you all the best of everything.

Quotes:  Jeffrey Dungan
Photos:  By permission of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

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