Time to Escape

3 July 2011
Ben Pentreath

If Monday mornings are inclined to get you down, may I recommend your morning cup of coffee is accompanied by a 1968 copy of Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens, People, photographed by Horst?

The sharp eyed amongst you will realise that we sell the successor, Hamish Bowles’s Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People… but I am afraid I am even more fascinated by the hard-to-come-by original (check out Abe Books if you have just had a bonus and feel like spending £500 on a book).

I include a few images. I promise that they will all, in their way, be etched on your memory for a long time to come.  Who could not want to be Mr and Mrs Carter Burden, Jr, or want to dine with Lord and Lady Elliot at Port Elliot (with their crazy blue eyes), or walk through Nancy Lancaster’s green topiary garden at Haseley, or step across the roof tops of Florence with the Puccis, or sink in to Baron and Baroness Philippe de Rothschild’s perfect, long blue sofas, or go driving around Rome with Cy Twombly (or play soldiers with the children), or visit the Duke of Windsor with his perfect suit*, white flowers, and red box entitled ‘The King’?

*the caption reads: The Duke’s suit is of blue Scotch tweed with a big white check. (Although he has his coats made in London, his suits are completed in New York, where he believes that trousers are cut better.)

Well, exactly. Are you feeling better now? You are.  I will try to devote a whole piece to the Desmond Guinnesses at Leixlip in due course. Then, if you are anything like me, you will probably find yourself some way closer to heaven. Watch this space.

8 comments on this post

What a fabulous book. I will look out for it in charity shops, not being willing or able to spend 500 pounds.

they ARE crazy blue eyes. wow.

Thanks for this Ben – it must have been ten years ago that I took crappy black and white photocopies from this book, in the Vogue House Library – so lovely to see some of the shots in colour again ( always liked the Eliot’s souped up car )

Its on amazon for £140……….do i buy the book or the eurostar ticket ?


I have just bought this,today thanks to you, it’s been on my wish list for sometime.

If you show any more pages you’ll drive the value of that book up even higher and I’ll never be able to afford a copy! Mrs. Carter Burden, Jr. just showed me how to style my yellow vintage couch, though. 🙂


Yes. I know. Time for some clever publisher (Vogue?) to reprint the book? Ben x

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