This beautiful chinoiserie was originally derived from an antique hand painted silk mural. On a wonderful thin linen in greys, taupes and off white, Chinois Palais could fit in just about anywhere …but we loved it in the garden of Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England.
Tucked away around the back of the castle, past the main garden and the steps leading to the chapel, is a little raised hidden alcove with wooden seats, vine covered trellis and tiny flower beds. Daisy loved this little spot and it felt like the perfect place to photograph Chinois Palais. This simple, humble garden in amongst such grand surroundings with such rich history… and then the fabric with its origins of elegant and luxurious chinoiserie now in this simpler version of uncomplicated colours and linen base cloth.
Winchcombe has actually become one of my favourite villages in England. Driving through the main street you feel you could almost touch the houses if you reached out the window. The little doorways (how tiny people were) and the shops, their contents much changed but the exteriors looking similar to what they did hundreds of years ago. I find it easier to imagine the past in Winchcombe because somehow so much of it seems to have been retained.
Sudely Castle feels the same. It was once the home of Katherine Parr and I can just imagine her wandering through the Castle gardens in early spring (just as we did) pleased by the sight of the sweet little snowdrops and happy at this sign that the gardens were coming to life again. Katherine was buried at Sudely and she remains the only Queen of England to be buried at a private residence.
I will never forget my time at Sudeley. It was one of those days that will go down in my memory as a very special and blessed day.