So many words, so little time is exactly right as you are about to see. I wrote this first thing last… you’ll have to read to the end to find out what it means!!!

As promised, here we are, driving to Carrie and Stuart’s . . . 

almost there…

It was Insta-bond, they did it last time we met too… map-men! “Tell me again where am I?”

This front door just LOOKS like Carrie! When we met them last time, Carrie (American) and Stuart (English) were living in Oxford where he is the most AMAZING tour guide in case you ever get to Oxford (contact Stuart Holloway at ~ he was born there and knows all there is to know about it), and she was running a small bed and breakfast. They’d bought a get-away house in Wales. But they sold their place in Oxford, and moved to the Cotswolds. Of COURSE we wanted to see their new cottage … 

We’ve always stayed in touch with emails, at Christmas, on Twitter . . . I was dying to see her new kitchen because I have to say, she does Kitchen so GOOD!

Am I right or am I right?

Their tiny place in the Cotswolds, perfect distance for Stuart to commute to Oxford, and great for walks for Jack and Buddy. Note the door to the garden that goes through her sun porch …

Love the bunting!

Note how window opens into sun porch ~ British Country Living should look at what Carrie does with houses!

Because they are adorable! This was her kitchen in Oxford!

And this her Wales kitchen! (I know you would want to see!)

This is her house in Wales too … don’t you just love it? Such a sparky eye she has! I hope she opens an antique store someday … I would love to shop there!

So out we went, off to the pub, we stopped for a moment at the river across the street so Stu could throw the ball for Buddy!

He’s pure entertainment! (Stu is too, but I was talking about Buddy!)

Happy Dog …

Walking to the pub, this art gallery is dressed for the Queen, just like the rest of the country!

had to stop at the village grocery … 

Bought this one … seems so appropriate!

Our guys ordering lunch! Carrie and Stuart are so lucky… they have this wonderful pub within walking distance of the house … a real butcher shop, the village store, and this! Not to mention walks in all directions!

Carrie and I met at the first picnic we had at Stourhead in 2016.

There they are, very picnic-cute.

We bonded over their shoes ~ I had to tell them how cute they were!

Our time together was too short … but I can say that no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done over here! We walked home from the pub through the little village, amid the cow parsley … which is everywhere. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Home, saying goodbye, but Buddy was ready to play ~ me too, doing a redux of our goodbye curtsy at Stourhead … only with pants, not such a good look …

Better with dresses. . . What a wonderful time we had!

The rain had started, and off we went, hill and dale, to our new rental house in a place called Harleston in Suffolk, East Anglia …

It’s that bump on the right side where the D in England ends…  Our first time in this area of the country.

This was our first view of our new village just driving in. Isn’t it festive? The wind was blowing and the bunting was flapping making it all so alive … we liked it immediately. And now, to keep promise number two in my last post . . . to show you why I called our rental here “the Cottage that wants to be a Castle.”

I didn’t really think it when I first saw it … it was a corner flat in an old brick house  … I think my first hint was the high ceilings … and then I started looking more closely …

At the old wooden floor, the dip in the stair leading to the kitchen, the tile . . .

The kitchen was wonderful, old yet modern in a strange way, since very little in it was actually modern.. .

The kitchen counter was aluminum bent into a counter shape! I liked it. I’ve never seen that before, but it seemed practical. You couldn’t hurt it and it would last forever!

Not exactly Carrie’s kitchen, but still pretty good!

These tiles, the ones lying flat, struck me as castle-like … and the rounded brick between the leaded windows… ask me who put the flowers there . . . yup. twas me!

All the windows had the rounded brick . . .

The hanging kitchen lamp seemed rather royal also!

Beautiful gas stove, all built into tile . . . I was beginning to think whoever modernized this really . . .

. . . held onto the past . . .

We thought the kitchen cupboards were put there, maybe in the 1930s. They looked handmade, but the details were timeless . . . which made me curious about the rest of the house . . .

It was a long way to the only bathroom which was upstairs . . . but the tile was wonderful in there too. . .

Details . . . the base of the toilet! Fancy! So queen-like! The sink was set into a dark antique wood table …

The bathroom was big, with high ceilings, a tub, and a standing shower too . . . rather regal, don’t you think?

The hallway for the bathroom, and the two bedrooms was very long . . . with pretty trim …

. . . the arched doors and wood floor were perfect and fit right in . . .

We stopped calling the bathroom, “the bathroom” and started calling it “Tipperary.” “Off to Tipperary” we’d say … and start singing . . .

Back to the living room, where for the first time I noticed the dark green, gold, and purple decor … royal colors! A green velvet sofa, the other love seat is dark green with tiny stars all over it! That needlepoint pillow over there on the sofa I got in an antique store, it’s going home with me!

We settled in and began doing what we love the most, going on long walks in the countryside . . . I am never not amazed . . . it’s all so beautiful. This is one place you don’t have to make your own magic, it’s all here waiting for you.

Going into the ancient churches we find on our walks … saying another goodbye to my beloveds . . . we were in time for evensong, all ages singing like angels filling the high ceilings with song.

Eating chunky chips and English peas, enjoying “pie of the day” in Pubby Wubbies . . .

Visiting WWII museums which are everywhere in this part of the country, full of detailed history . . . You meet the nicest people there, all of them as touched by what was done by the greatest generation as we are. The history of British and Americans during the war too… all of it. So connected.

Of course we were watching all the build up for the Queens Jubilee, 70 years on the throne! All of England is in love with dogs. Sometimes I think we’re the only ones here without a dog!!! 

And taking note of the window decor everywhere we went! This is someone’s house … looks like it’s made from cardboard boxes!

This one was painted in a store window…

Another window of someone’s house. The bunting and decorations were everywhere, it was a huge celebration, the Queen had granted a four day holiday, and the entire country had plans.

Her life story filled the newspapers. It’s been so much fun to be here for this celebration!

But THIS was what Joe and I were waiting for … it was our plan! Ray and Paul and Elsie came to stay for 5 glorious days. Rachel had planned it all, and had many lovely surprises waiting for us!

We had a sunny little terrace outside the kitchen door where we could hang clothes on the line and have breakfast at a small table.

Darling girl!

So this was where we went on the Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne!

To the beach! Where the boardwalk was lined in these colorful little beach “houses.”

I’ve seen paintings with these little English “bathing huts” of all colors, but never in person, and certainly not in action!

But we could see inside of them, SO CUTE, with little kitchens and sofa beds… people own them but you can rent them out too . . .

This one is Drama Queen! Because it says so!

Lots of them had handpainted signs on them.

This one was all decorated for the Jublee, people put their chairs out on the boardwalk to sit in the sun. I would think SUN would be operative word here, I don’t think these charming huts would look as wonderful on a cold rainy day!

Here they are from the back as we were walking back to the parking lot.

But back to us . . .

Just a gorgeous breezy day for a walk at the beach. How people put their bare skin in that north sea water is beyond me! But this was maybe the very first really wonderful spring day this year and everyone was out to enjoy it!

They brought their books, had tea, and read in the sunshine . . .

It was so festive, flags flew . . .

Bunting snapped in the wind . . .

In the little village where we went for lunch, there were lots of people with the same idea! But Ray had booked us a table so it was easy and delicious!

My toe hurts bet-tee sang out from the roof-tops . . .

We wandered through town, went up to the church,

We went shopping. . .

And took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other! It was a perfect day that ended in a pub as all perfect days in England should do!

But Listen, I hate to tell you this, especially while looking at this adorable pink pub decked out in bunting… but I have to GO.

I mean, REALLY go! This is our last day here, I just didn’t want to leave without telling you, waving goodbye, and giving you an update! But it’s almost 3 pm, we leave here to drive to the ship at 6 tomorrow morning, and I haven’t packed the 2000 suitcases we brought along with us ~ Yikes!  

So I obviously am leaving some things unsaid!!! Like how Rachel got into that window! I mean we had some serious serendipity take place on this trip that I haven’t even told you about. Bookstore serendipity and Castle serendipity. But I promise, I will!

You know, I shall return! This blog is a home away from home! but still home!

Suffice it to say, it’s been every dream come true and more. We love it here. We love home too, so we are always in trouble, quandary wise.

Ray and Paul are coming to Southampton to see us off . . . and they’ll be coming to visit us soon on the island! And . . . should this day ever come, 

Oh, and a quick PS, I’ve had several people write and tell me I should write a book about the English Countryside . . . So I thought I might mention that I have!!! A Fine Romance comes …

Complete with pictures and watercolors and maps . . .

All handwritten, of our first real trip through the English Countryside and it looks like THIS!

ALSO, guess what? The trucks are picking up our new books at the printer TOMORROW … they are done! It’s really happening! We have a holiday in the middle, but they will be on their way to you very soon! And see this above? In honor of Distilled Genius, I’ve been invited to have my art on the cover of  the catalogs that go out to Independent Bookstores!!! Such an honor, I’m thrilled, as I’m sure you can guess! So many nice things already happening with this book! And guess what else? Joe and I are leaving to go out and sign books on August 4th, driving to California, and stopping along the way to see you … I will give you dates and times next time we meet … but so far we’ll be at Titcombs in Sandwich on Cape Cod, at Unlikely Story in MA, at Learned Owl in Hudson Ohio, and the Pairie Path in Wheaton ILL. We are waiting to hear and hope we can go to Rainy Day in Kansas City, to the Tattered Cover in CO, to Kings English in Utah, to Rakestraw Books and Vromans in CA. And in Nov, we’ll be at RJ Julia in CT. I’ll be more specific when I get time. I know this doesn’t half cover the country, but I’m hoping you can meet me halfway! I’d love to see you all . . .

Oh yes we can! So much more to tell you, I hate having to go . . . but I’ll be on the island in a week! It will feel like no time at all … but we are so happy to be ship ahoy tomorrow, coming into NY Harbor past the statue of liberty soon with miles of memories!

This post is done to here. If I have time, I will go back and add some MUSICA and more art, but first! I have to pack!!! Joe is looking at me!! If you leave a comment and it doesn’t go through, it’s because I’m on a boat, and probably don’t have Internet. Don’t give up on me!💖

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  1. Would love to see you in AZ! Tempe has Changing Hands, a marvelous bookstore right around the corner from my home. They also have a PHX location, which is incredible, too!

    • sbranch says:

      We have to get back to the Island in September so we are only going to be able to make a beeline to CA, stopping on the way, to go have my mom’s memorial. Busy busy … meet you most of the way . . . come see me in Pasadena! xoxoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Happy you are heading west for your mom’s memorial and treating the girlfriends along the way with book signings. If you happen to make a stop in AZ on the way home, you know there is always a home away from home (or a book signing) waiting for you in Prescott. And I agree with Dawn, Changing Hands bookstore in Phoenix is awesome too. But if you don’t have time for a book signing, maybe a spot of tea along the way at the English Rose would do. Jo recently hosted a 4 day extravaganza for the Queen’s Jubilee complete with an authentic Town Crier announcing the 70th Jubilee throughout Easy Street in Carefree, AZ, and a guestbook that she sent to Buckingham Palace. I don’t think there is a lovelier British tea house in all of America. Loved your posts about your trip and can’t wait to see where you and Joe land on your book tour. Happy planning! Love you both. xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          Oh Mary, I always love hearing from you!!! I think we are going to take the train home. We’ve been away so long, but I need to be in California .. it’s just been too long … thank you for your sweet invitations, I would love to see you again! Too much going on at one time this year I’m afraid! I’ll never forget the beautiful tea party, and all the lovely faces. I still have my “Reserved Parking for the Fine Romance Van” sign hanging over the door of our wood room!!!💖

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            Love to hear this! How sweet of you to keep that sign! Such special memories of tea on the lawn in Prescott, AZ. Completely understand you need to take the train back. How generous of you to offer book signings on the way west. Perhaps Mary and I can pop in to your signing in Pasadena. Would love to see you and Joe! xoxo

          • sbranch says:

            That would totally make my day Mary!!! You know I would love that! But I do understand if not, just yes, that would be great!

  2. I’ll try to hit Pasadena. We are possibly going to LA this summer…if the dates sync up, I’ll be there!!!

    • sbranch says:

      That would be wonderful… should be somewhere around the 10th of September ~ I hope!

      • Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

        Pasadena!!!!! I will be there Susan! It’s Twitter Beverlee!!!! Yay!!!! Can’t wait.. signed up for the Vroman Newsletter so I can get notified too.. Safe travels!!!! ❤️

  3. Tammy Marquardt says:

    wishing your cross country tour took you to Wisconsin. I know Illinois is close but not close enough. Sounds like an adventure. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

  4. mary says:

    …oh.goodness !!!…this is the post I have been waiting for ! charming and wonderful !!.. thank you, thank you and enjoy your crossing back to home ! ( I love that wall picture by the way :”sometimes there are no words” ! .. it reminds me of me !)…sending love , as always…

  5. Nellie Bragg says:

    Really hope this tour might include a stop not too far from us! What lovely memories you have shared! Wonderful connections in England with such good friends! Seems good food is always to be found in pubs! Oh, my! The packing! Wishing you smooth sailing! It’s great that Paul and Rachel will be there to see you off! It was really special to be able to meet them. Images of that terminal are in my mind. Such a civilized way to travel! Stay well!

  6. Sophie T says:

    It was wonderful to read you and to see your pictures. I was wondering where you were in your English countryside travel, and even DH was asking about your wereabouts! I have convinced him to go to London… hopefully I can also convince him to drive in the countryside! The problem is he hates driving in those super tiny roads (we did it in France and thought they were so scary for the driver!).

    I can’t wait to read more about this beautiful trip (you seem delighted!) when you are back home. You’ll probably read this once you are back in America, but have a safe and fun cruise on the ocean, and enjoy every minute!

  7. Carolyn Rector says:

    Safe travels to you and Joe. Always love to read your blog. Bon Voyage!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Ah Susan, many thanks for taking us along! Another post jam packed with charm, magic and pure loveliness! Watching the coverage of the Jubilee, it was so nice to see the English respectful of the time and dedication of their queen. It seemed to make for a truly collective celebration of something good. Well Done England! And speaking of well done, what talent Carrie has for turning any space into an invitation to feel at home and want to look at everything! And then Rachel and Paul — your sweet friendships seem to really add richness and depth to your experiences there in England. So happy for you and Joe! Love how you two take pictures of each other! And you definitely have developed the perfect travel style: tea pots and cups, books, friend connections wherever you go, a super agreeable companion, and a spirit of gratitude for beauty, goodness and serendipity! Thank you so very kindly for sharing with us! Truly, these posts are like welcome gifts in our days and we are grateful for the time and effort you put in creating them! Praying for safe travel back home!

  9. Kim Rose says:

    What an amazing extra special experience you have created. Thanks to you and A Fine Romance, I got my trip to the Lake District some years ago. Wishing you a lovely cruise and safe travels back home. Kim

  10. Maria says:

    Oh, how you make me want to pack my bags & head across the pond. Everything looks so, so beautiful. You are right about Carrie & her kitchens. So cozy & charming. Love those two little birds kissing in your little Cottage (the one that wants to be a Castle)!
    Just leaving you with this…we’ve loved Home for Christmas, I know we’re going to love Distilled Genius but what we’d really love is for you to enchant us with another book about England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland, with a special section on the Queen’s Jubilee! Hint, hint. A Fine Romance was just divine. You’ve left us wanting more.
    Safe trip home for you & Joe, love to Jack & thank you for sharing all of it! xo

  11. Ann Y. says:

    Oh, my – you made us feel as if we were there with you! Such a wonderful trip – so happy for you and Joe. Safe travels home!

  12. Karen Holly says:

    This is a delightful post, Susan. Thank you for showing us life in the small towns of England. I cannot wait for your next post! Have a safe trip home to Jack!
    Karen Holly

  13. Kathleen Cinquino says:

    Looking at the adorable kitchen that belongs to Carrie, my first thought was it l truly looks like the British version of your own cozy kitchen. No wonder you love it so! You need to put photos side by side. Loved living vicariously through your travels this year. It’s been a rough one health-wise for hubby and myself both having surgeries followed by (unexpected) infections that knocked the stuffing out of us. Hopefully on the mend now. A believer in the power of prayer! Looking forward to receiving your new book soon and using the sayings as a daily mantra. Happy, smooth sailing!

  14. Gardengoddess42 says:

    This is serendipitous! We were also on the May1 crossing from New York, and tomorrow we will board in Southampton for the return voyage. We have had a wonderful and busy time with friends and family, and it certainly seems that you have too. I hope you will enjoy a restful few days on the lovely QM2.

  15. Nicoline says:

    Safe travels sweet S&J! I noticed the date in your journal, twas the 21st june….Our anniversary! 37 years, wow, where have they gone….
    I know you’re busy, so this is short….
    Lots of love

  16. Andrea Tandler says:

    Susan, you are a gift to all of us! Thank you for sharing your trip and taking time to write this blog. I can’t wait to read the new book. Have a safe trip home.🇬🇧🇺🇸

  17. Rae Ann Roche says:

    Wish you could visit our Between the Covers bookstore in Harbor Springs Michigan…it’s only a little over an hour drive to catch the ferry to Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel! Safe travels😘

  18. Clare says:

    Thank you for writing and taking us “home-bounders” with you in spirit, Sue. You are an amazing story-teller and person. Safe travels xo Clare

  19. Linda says:

    Have a restful lovely trip home. Perfect ending to this trip.

  20. Karen M. says:

    Fingers crossed for Vromans in Pasadena! So close, can’t wait!❤️

  21. Kelly from Walnut Creek says:

    🚢🇬🇧🇺🇸♥️Safe travels Susan & Joe and thank you for taking all of us along on this trip!!!
    It has been a true delight to read your entries and see the wonderful photos.

    Can’t wait to read ‘Distilled Genius’ and will look forward to seeing you & Joe at Rakestraw Books!📚

    Best to both of you!

    • Kel from Walnut Creek says:

      I received ‘Distilled Genius’ today! It felt like Christmas morning. The book is absolutely beautiful and so meaningful. To know that you created this during COVID says how creatively and lovingly inspired you were. Thank you Susan. It truly is a keepsake. I already ordered another one for a gift.

      Congratulations and thank you to your crew for the excellent packaging. It arrived beautifully.

      Best to you and Joe.

      – Kelly from Walnut Creek

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you back Kelly! I’m SO HAPPY you like ti … means the world to hear that from my girlfriends, after all you are who I made it for!!❌⭕️❌⭕️

  22. Lorrie Orr says:

    How lovely it all is! You take wonderful trips and are so kind to share them with us all! I pre-ordered Distilled Genius and am eager for its arrival! Safe travels home to your island!

  23. Christine Anderson says:

    tThanks for the trip to England

  24. Andrea says:

    I cannot tell you what Joy this brought me today!! I was diagnosed with Shingles yesterday (I blame it on the stress and sadness that has happened in our World.). I’m never sick. This was the best medicine ever to read about your wonderful travels. Carrie’s kitchen is adorable. I enlarged every picture to see everything. Not sure how she does that to have a lot of things yet kept it looking not crowded, fresh, and clean. I felt the excitement looking at the photo driving into the Village you were staying in. Loved your Cottage Castle. I think you were in the best place for the Queen’s 70th year on throne. Cannot wait to show my beastie who has a small cabana on a beach here in RI on Narragansett Beach. I was so happy this trip HAPPENED. My husband and I were booked and had to cancel. He had a major foot surgery and was using a scooter they gave him to stay off his foot. He lost his balance and fell breaking his shoulder. He is doing so much better now but was just not ready for such a big trip. Just telling you the awful details because that is the ONLY thing that could stop me from missing this opportunity. We were disappointed because he really wanted to meet my girl crush of so many years. So the Friends of Susan Branch posts were wonderful and your charming updates helped greatly. So happy you were reunited with your friends. We met two couples from England on a cruise to the Mediterranean several years ago. We did two private tours with them to Rome and then the Amalfi Coast (the most beautiful place I have seen in my life.) We all hit it off and kept in touch since. We actually met up with them a few years later in Edinburgh. (“Won” a 10 day stay for a flat in Edinburgh at a fundraiser for a French American School. It was a Beaujolais Festival with a live auction. Wine and auctions, Oh My!). So our English friends met us there for two days. Our favorite visit with them was the Royal Yacht Britannia. I could visualize the entire royal family on that beautiful ship. Ended our tour with a high tea on board. So I know how special it is to continue these friendships. Good for the Soul. Just like you! ❤️

  25. Judith says:

    You guys really know how to travel! I love living vicariously thru you! Thanks for taking the time to post this wonderful vlog (vacation log!) I look forward to the companion book(s) to a Fine Romance! (hint, hint) Safe travels to you and Joe ♥

  26. Cindy Maulin says:

    Dear Susan…
    Glorious trip…safe travels home…so much to tell…can’t wait for the next installment…
    have a peaceful crossing… until next time.. hugs all around…

  27. judi says:

    Wonderful reading your happy travels and warm friends. Love those little beach houses💕💕💕.

  28. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Thank you for showing us Carrie’s homes. Her decorating and yours are the very best of hygge (cozy). Such style!
    I am so happy for you and Joe having a wonderful time in the UK and getting to spend time with all your good friends, friends that you have shared with all of us. I cannot wait to hear/ read more of your journey.
    Safe travels home. Love you tons. ❤

  29. Belinda Riffenburg says:

    Awe…..I know that feeling of wanting to stay in England one.more.moment!! I felt it so many times that last day!! You have had a wonderful trip and I thank both you and Rachel for planning such an exquisite time for these last two weeks while I have been back home. Seeing your daily tweets and posts have made it so much easier!! I think I left my heart in England and it yearns for me to come back! I had no idea how difficult it would be! So glad I have your new book to arrive in the mail any day now! Enjoy your journey home on the Queen Mary 2. Praying you have a smooth and safe journey home. I am also crossing my fingers that your Laura Ashley hat will find it’s way back to your room! 😘💕🇬🇧🐑

  30. Linda Sonia says:

    Such fun – loved every bit of it ! 🙂

  31. Sharon Byars says:

    Loved your post. So much information. Thank you for Stuart’s tour of Oxford contact. We are going to England in Sept! Taking a cruise all around but afterward, we are touring the countryside. We will be in Oxford for a couple of days and hope to be on his tour. I will tell him that you sent me!

  32. Judith DiFrancesco says:

    As always, I enjoyed your commentary and pics of your adventures. I always feel like I am right there with you. Happy traveling back to the Cape. Happy Summer!

  33. Donna Cross says:

    Oh once again your post has enchanted me! What a wonderful life you lead and thank you for sharing. I hope one day you will come to a book store in NC…I would do my best to get there and meet you. I wish you blogged everyday…lol. Looking forward to your next one. And I love that sweet pic of you and Joe!

  34. Judith DiFrancesco says:

    As always, I enjoyed your commentary and pics of your adventures. I always feel like I am right there with you. Happy traveling back to your Summer home. Happy Summer!

  35. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Thank you for writing when you’re technically on vacation; love the photos and story (Paul never takes a bad picture); glad you had a good time with much more new stuff for your next book on the English countryside. Gosh, I had no idea you were coming back so soon; I figured you were staying in England for like four months or something! But I see you have a lot of plans and much to do over here stateside; after all, you’ve published a new book (I can’t wait for it and of course pre-ordered from your store) and promotion is just part of the necessary process to get it out there although obviously you’re very well known and people are always on the lookout for anything new from you. I recall also that you do have family in Ariz and Calif you must see; times goes too quickly between visits, doesn’t it. Just be prepared that Southern Calif and the Central Coast are in drought and you’ll see little-to-no green as you’ve been privileged to see in England (what a treat, to have rain and that lush green over there; SO very scenic from your photos!); we’re parched here even though we got a wee bit of rain this past week which of course dried up in a nanosecond!

  36. Andrea Geary says:

    What a special trip! Safe journey home? 🇬🇧😀

  37. Lillian Olmstead says:

    Loved the post! Bon Voyage.
    Lillian O. xoxo

  38. Sherry Winchester says:

    Love that you’ve put us into your pocket to take us along with you! A lovely trip over, there and now back! Smooth sailing! Jack will be so, so happy to see you both! Thank you once again!

  39. Wendy S Marvin says:

    Safe travels and welcome home. 🙏🏻💜

  40. Mary Kopecky says:

    Oh my that was truly a wondeful blog! Loved the great photos. You and Joe are so smitten both with Martha’s Vineyard and the absolute charm of England. Might we see “Branch Hill Hideway Cottage” 🏡 tucked somewhere in the Cotswalds nestled nearby a pub, small meandering stream, bakery, market, an antique store or two, a flock of sheep and perhaps an old church? “Wouldn’t That Be Loverly!” – from My Fair Lady 🥰

  41. Paula shoaf says:

    Hi Susan !!
    What a lovely time you indeed had in England !! I just love all of your stories, and that bunting boy I wish I could get that !! Exciting news about your book signing I will definitely see how close I would be to meeting you in Ohio !! Safe travels to you and Joe !! and hello to Jack, if he needs a sitter I’m free 🙂 and I love kitties!! Welcome home, did you miss the island a little?!!

    kind Regards, Paula in Indiana xoxo

  42. Deb says:

    Loved your newest blog and I am super excited because I just found out that the Learned Owl is less than 2 hours from me. It’s going to be so wonderful to meet you!! I’ve already preordered Distilled Genius and cannot express in words my delight that it is coming soon! Safe journey home.

  43. Maryellen says:

    Oh my, another road trip! Be still my heart! And you are coming back to Ohio. So happy I am almost in tears!!! Thank you for taking me to England in my dreams.

  44. Dixie says:

    Oh, so lovely in Merry Ole England. Thanks for taking me along. 🙂
    Enjoy sailing home.

  45. susan leary from falmouth says:

    Welcome home. Hope the ferry is running. Do you have a date for Sandwich visit?
    Don’t forget to stop at the French Bakery on Main Street before you leave for MV. Susan from Falmouth

  46. Mary Lawrence says:

    What a lovely trip you have had.I have enjoyed every snipit of your trip.My darling hubby had his hip replaced June first,and has been doing so well. Hopefully we can travel again soon.You have a beautiful life and thank you for sharing with us.Safe travels home,can’t wait to receive my book. Mary in Gloucester,Va.

  47. Jo'L says:

    Such a lovely thing to share with everyone. Safe travels.

  48. Judy in Oregon says:

    What a great trip you have had. It is always hard to return home after such a great adventure. Being there during the Jubilee must have been amazing. What great planning on your part. They didn’t show much here on tv but we watched as much as we could of everything. Look forward to receiving the book and hearing the rest of the story.

  49. Sarah says:

    I really had to look twice at your friend’s kitchen. It looks so much like yours! 🙂 Safe travels as you come back home!

  50. Barb Landers says:

    I’ve SOOO enjoyed your trip to England! Wish I could have been there. I’m glad to hear an update on your new book. I pre-ordered one, but haven’t heard a thing….don’t know if it really ‘went-thru’ or not. I gave my Credit Card Number, but no word that it has been charged. Am I on the list to receive a book?
    Thanks, Susan for sharing your everyday life!

  51. Marge says:

    I live near Rainy Day Books and I’m hoping you’ll come. I’ve missed attending on previous occasions but hope to attend this. Hugs, Marge:)

  52. Kay Bennett says:

    Dear Susan,
    I really enjoyed following you through your wonderful England trip, especially, because we’ll be following pretty much the same route you took. You have contributed to our excitement in preparing for our trip. I imagine as lovely as your trip was, it’s always nice to be home again.
    Jack will be so happy to see you as well as you to see him. Enjoy your homecoming.
    Warm regards to you both.

  53. Barb Gentile says:

    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing the English countryside! Can’t wait for your new book. Be safe!

  54. Lis says:

    Thank you for all the many wonderful details you shared through photo and words. I’m a detail kinda gal and love seeing it all! A marvelous trip! So glad you shared it with us.

  55. Marie Bright says:

    You made me smile, looking at all these wonderful pictures. Living in gorgeous England, my heart is full of love, and I can’t get over how similar your English friends’ and my tastes are! I wish you could come visit us next time, so I can spoil you and Joe, up here in beautiful Northumberland!

  56. Missy Beirne says:

    Lam reading A Fine Romance right now! Love it. Love the photos and the art!❣️

  57. Becky Daugherty says:

    Susan, thank you so very much for taking me along on your trip to England! Your photos, and drawings, and wonderful words really do make me feel as though I amwas right there with you and Joe!

    Safe travels back home!
    Becky Daugherty

  58. Christine says:

    My favourite town in the whole of England. Seeing photos in full regalia made me soooo happy!!
    I’m so pleased you got to visit that part of England, nearest there is to the Good Ole Days…… Not so long ago.
    Thank you so much for sharing your trip.
    Safe journeying home.
    Xxx and hugs

  59. Coco says:

    Dear Susan,

    Wonderful post!!! I missed my bedtime by a lot because I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow to read it. Thank you!

    And thanks for the pictures of the very charming “Carrie Kitchens.” Have you ever had an elaborate yet vague mental image of something you want to put together someday? Carrie’s Welsh dresser with all the blue & white china and pottery in her Oxford kitchen exactly answers a picture I have had in my head and heart for decades. Her arrangement of her treasures is so fetching, and the entire effect is so darling, adorable, pretty, gorgeous, oh my word, there aren’t enough words and yet there are no words to describe how delightful I find this… it is like coming home to see that picture. Now I’m determined to make my dream a reality. Please thank her for the inspiration!

    Do you know the approximate date you will be at The Tattered Cover in Denver?

    Hope you and Joe have a wonderful return crossing. What a lovely thing to take the slow boat home, and have time to reminisce and remember all the lovely moments of your trip. A plane ride would never do (even if you weren’t afraid to fly). I wish you a wonderful reunion with Jack, lots of kitty kisses, and the joy of seeing your beautiful home (including your own darling Welsh dresser-esque cabinet) once more.

    xoxox love Coco

  60. Carrie says:

    Missing you already. It. Just. Goes. Too. Fast. Safe sailing home. xxxooo X a million 😘

  61. Trudy says:

    In my mind I was with you in England and have enjoyed all the visits and things you have done.
    Thank you and have a save journey home!!!

  62. Debra Cormier says:

    Susan, I hope to meet you at Titcombs in Sandwich!

  63. Colleen says:

    Such an interesting post, Susan. (As they all are!) It’s almost like we are walking right along with you through the cobbled streets, in and out of the rooms of your cottage or along that wind swept beach. I loved every moment reading about it. I could almost feel that cool breeze coming off the North Sea. Brought back many pleasant memories when we lived in Normandy. Thankyou.

  64. Karen Williams says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Thank you times a million for the beautiful blog again – I’m still sad I couldn’t get to you at Stourhead this time…so you’ll just ‘have’ to come back again!
    Loved the whole blog – with so much bunting everywhere in the country it has been amazingly lovely through May and June – much of it gone now but so many villagers everywhere made their homes bright and cheerful with red, white and blue plants in hanging baskets, pots – our own garden has been pretty with old fashioned roses in bloom.
    It’s quite a number of years – since we were in Southwold but it still looks so pretty from your photographs. Lurve the beach huts 😘🥰😍
    So glad you had some great weather here as it has been this week – gone cloudy and overcast now – presuming that’s because you and Joe have left 😧😢
    Looking forward to seeing your lovely Jack when you get back, I’m sure.
    Thanks again for a lovely blog.
    Love and best wishes and safe travels homeward bound,
    Karen x x x

  65. Sherry says:

    I hope I can see you in Hudson, Ohio.

  66. Patty Ardis says:

    Hoping you can make it to Westchester County in New York. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻

  67. Jill Erickson says:

    Such a treat! Thanks so much for sharing your trip. And what a pleasure to see no masks were needed. Enjoy your boat ride home. (The French bakery is waiting for you. 😉)

  68. Stefanie says:

    LOVE IT!!!

    Looks like it was an incredible trip!!!…the little cottages remind me of the cottages at Oaks Bluff…what a GREAT treat and surprise to see them…!!!

  69. Deb says:

    All of these wonderful memories and pictures were almost as good as being there!! Thanks for sharing them with us!! Looking forward to your new book!!

  70. Winette Jeffery says:

    Oh, thank you once again for taking us along, Susan! We anticipate and cherish all of your words and photos- and sweet art. Take care on your trip home- and remember that the waves do lap upon both shores! You are always “home” in US and UK… 💕 🇺🇸 🇬🇧

    Love from Williamsburg- Win

  71. Monica Wilson says:

    Hello Susan! What another fun read about your trip to England! We are planning a trip there next spring and can’t wait to start planning, using A Fine Romance and your blog posts as inspiration! And I hope to see you at Vroman’s in September! (Loved seeing you there the last time you were out!) Bon Voyage – enjoy your boat trip back home!

  72. Oh, Susan! Every word was pure delight!💕Such fun to peek into all of the charming kitchens everywhere you visited! Wishing you and Joe a wonderful, relaxing voyage home. Many more adventures await! Can’t wait to see you in Wheaton, IL!!!! The bookstore owner and I are already making plans! It will be such a treat to see you and Joe again!
    Sunny hugs!
    💗Dawn (in Illinois)

  73. Sandi from the Cape says:

    Such a wonderful send off for all of us! I love Carries kitchens and the beach houses are adorable! It sounds like your travels will not stop! I’ll be at Titcombs when you let us know the dates! Welcome home!

  74. Kathy W says:

    Hi Susan, Great to see you are still enjoying the English Countryside & so wonderful that you had a day to spend with Carrie! And you take the best pics! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m so excited about your upcoming book tour! Looks like I may be making a little road trip. Ohio is definitely doable for this Michigan girl. 📚🚙❤️

    Hope you have an enjoyable trip home. And Jack will be waiting for you! 😻
    Love, Kathy

  75. Jeanne says:

    This was all just so VW!!! (Vicariously Wonderful!)
    And such good news that you’ll be in Wheaton, Illinois- can’t wait!

  76. Laura Brown says:

    Postcard perfection-English countryside 🇬🇧
    You traveled far, you traveled wide 🧳

    Sooo looking forward to Distilled Genius📚
    Unlocked treasures it will bring us. 🔑

    A delight-filled trip home you two 🚢
    Jack is waiting, it is true! 🐈‍⬛

    Your travels are inspiring. Each trip magical and lovely! 💖

  77. Maryann Harvey says:

    Thanks for your wonderful travel commentary! I feel like I was back in England if only for a moment. What a magical, fun and beauty filled place. And all the better because you and Joe were there. Many thanks!

  78. Cindy Penzler says:

    Oh Susan,

    Please, please! Do come to Kansas City!!!! You remind us what matters! So joyful! Safe travels, dear one.


  79. Claire Maycock says:

    I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed another beautiful trip to the UK. I’ve followed your travels eagerly, as you always make me see my country through fresh eyes and we love so many of the same places. Martha’s Vineyard is now on my ‘must visit’ list!

  80. Nancy Marin says:

    We would love, love, love it if you could return to Watermark Books in Wichita KS on your book tour.

  81. Lorraine Kennery says:

    Lorraine in White Plains, NY
    I love Carrie’s shirts/tops! Not only what she was wearing this year, but at the picnic in 2016! Such soft-looking pastel plaids! Wherever does she shop — and do they ship to the US?! Can’t wait to hear more details, maybe another book in the offing…? “American Yanks At The Queen’s Jubilee”? Safe journey!

  82. Monique says:

    Utter joy.what a trip and everything so charming.

  83. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    I hope to see you in Hudson! I’m moving back to NE Ohio next month! I’m so excited to be coming home and we’ve found a house that looks like an English cottage. It’s so charming and full of built-in bookshelves! I do believe I’ve overused exclamation points but I can’t contain my excitement with just a little dot.

  84. Sharrieboberry says:

    I wonder how far you are from Hemingford Grey? Green Knowe, the home of children’s book author, Lucy Boston, is there. Parts of her home date back to the Normans. Plus there are gardens, references to her books, and quilts. Her DIL runs the property.

  85. Carol Lynch says:

    As always, after reading about your trip, makes me feel as though I was there – you are amazing! I saw that Wheaton, Illinois was on the list for your road trip so I will check that out and see how close it is to Lake St. Louis, Mo. Years ago, I did see you on your trip when you stopped in St Charles, Mo. – so exciting to get to actually meet you! Love your books, too! Anxious to get the new one. Safe travels to you and Joe!

  86. Karen Longo says:

    Safe Travels to you and Joe, and thank you for the gorgeous photos (some of which I have downloaded to use as my computer background… I hope you don’t mind). Also, in the cute-house-boardwalk photos, I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Joe in a different hat!

  87. Wanda McCay says:

    Susan, there’s a darling independent bookstore in historic downtown Ames, Iowa, called Dogeared Books. If you are going from Wheaton, IL, to Kansas City it could be right on the way! But if it doesn’t work for this trip, please keep it in mind for next time, and maybe I can get to either Wheaton or KC to see you there. I would love to as I’m a huge fan😍! Can’t wait for your new book to arrive!

  88. Karen H. says:

    Really hoping that you make it to Kansas City! Would love to meet you in person and thank you for all the beauty and joy you have brought to this world. We so need it!

  89. Gail Risden says:

    What a lovely trip you’ve had! Loved every picture and story . Thank you! You have a superb eye for wonderful details most of us would miss. Wish you would come to Sacramento , CA on your tour. Thanks Susan. When you do your tour do be prepared for a record hot summer-bring water..We hit 106 in our driveway yesterday and we live in No. CA. And it is only June-our ave. temp is usually 86. Thanks for everything , Gail
    PS what is the difference between a Blog and a Willard?

  90. Ann Collins says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful blog post. I know you are coming to SLO soon and hopefully this time I’ll be able to have my book signed. Safe journey home.

  91. Penny says:

    Oh what a tale you’ve told ! Loved a Great Britain 🇬🇧 when I visited as well -the people , the beauty-the gardens & the lovely pubs . Thanks for taking us along to revisit . Hope your California travels take you to Northern Cal ….Lake Tahoe …Incline Village …Truckee?
    Safe travels to you & Joe ! Loved the beach houses reminded me if the Gingerbread houses we visited on Martha’s Vineyard in 2018 -so quaint & inviting.

  92. Lynn Slosson says:

    I love Vroman’s in Pasadena! I saw you and Joe there the last time. I can hopefully grab my girlfriend and come out to see you again!

    Happy Fourth of July!

  93. Lyn Mc says:

    I want to live in an English bathing hut.

  94. Jennifer Hamilton Calvert says:

    This post is absolutely delicious!!! A beautiful English treat… Thank you.

    Sail safely.

  95. Sylvia says:

    Absolutely LOVELY!!! Thank You for Sharing!!!

  96. Kathy Thurman says:

    I just love the little beach shacks! Actually I would even love one in my backyard – my own She-Shed!
    I’m So glad you had such a fabulous time. I would love to travel over there one day…..and the QE2 – wow!

  97. Janice B Smith says:

    Hello Susan and Joe,
    It seems like we were just on the ship and then the picnic……gosh the time flies. We had such a great time and wish we could have journeyed on as you guys did. Another time for sure. Safe travels home. Hope we can catch up in CA with you at one of the stops. Can’t wait for the new book.
    Jan from Northern CA

  98. Shirley Graham says:

    Am so envious that you will be going to Tattered Cover in Co.! Love the store & was there some time ago now with my husband and niece. I’ll be thinking of you as you get to spend time in all these bookstores. Looking forward to the book!!

  99. Patty Volner says:

    Dear Susan, More details please on where in California you and Joe will be! Apple Farm? It will be lovely to see you again….Hugs, ~patty

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