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 [email protected] ~ 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. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    Love the post! You really should try to get to Santa Barbara too! Bon voyage!

  2. Deborah Ward says:

    So glad you enjoyed the Jubilee festivities, Susan. Those of us who enjoy bunting were in our element . I so love seeing this country through your eyes – it is too easy to take it for granted and then you ‘letter’ bedecked with your drawings arrives, and I think, “oh, yes, that’s how it is”. Oh, dear, I am getting whimsical – off for a cup of tea and a lie down 😄 xx

  3. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Fabulous post, I love every milimeter of it and will now go back and enjoy it again! Fair winds and bon voyage and THANK YOU!

  4. Carolyn Alverson says:

    I have followed your posts for years, and this is the first time I have found where to write! I fell in love with Susan branch from the very beginning! We share I love for the whimsical, the natural, cats, Beatrice potter, charming villages, etc. etc. Not having been to England, my “home across the pond “is Germany. Like you I love it when I am there but I love my America too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking us with you, for sharing the beauty, for writing such detailed blogs! Enjoy your time on board and your reunion with Jack and treasure all the memories you and Joe have made.

  5. Jerrie Barham says:

    Thank you for sharing! 😊❤️

  6. Cindy Johnson says:

    This was a long awaited post but oh so worth it! Loved everything but especially the tour of homes. Can’t wait to see and read more about the villages, the food, the trip. Yeah!! The book is on it’s way.

  7. Tami Preece says:

    My husband and I just took our first trip to England a week after yours and have fallen in love with all the magical places that we visited. I am already dreaming about going back! Knowing that that won’t be able to for a while, thank you so much for your book. A Fine Romance and all your blog posts take me back there through your pictures and stories. ❤️
    Cheers to all you do!

    P.S. What part of the Cotswolds do your friends live in? I’m so curious because we stayed in Chipping Campden and Bibury and drove through a few others. Beautiful walks everywhere there!

  8. Kelly says:

    Love that quote…”All the way to heaven is heaven.” ♥️ Life is such a precious gift; how fortunate we are to be able to partake in it❣️Love your beautiful pictures from England, Susan, and your willingness to share it all with your readers…in such vivid detail❣️❣️

  9. Hello Susan, Joan here. Oh my goodness, I am so happy to see on aol. that you had another blog to read! Thank you so much for sharing your travels that are always ‘oh so beautiful’ My husband and friends of ours went to England in 1994 and I wish to return with my husband and 2 granddaughters ages 21 and 24. Our trip, back then, was amazing even for the short time we were there. I want so much to go to Beatrix Potter’s house, a dream come true. I am printing up this latest blog of yours to share. I hope someday to say ‘hi’ to you in person. Any chance you will be on Long Island during your tour? Cannot wait to receive my ‘Distilled Genius’book in the mail! Continued Success! XOXOXO

  10. Cheryl Ellen Brown says:

    Your blogs always brighten my day. So much so that I have a special file on my laptop that I keep them in so that I can go back and read them again when I need a bit of cheer or want to be a chairside traveler.

    Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  11. Patti in Pleasanton, CA says:

    Smooth sailing back to America, Susan & Joe ♥

    I thought of you and Joe often as I watched ALL the Platinum Jubilee festivities on TV and enjoyed them all… especially the light show on the front of Buckingham Palace during the concert. Spectacular indeed!! At the time I was wondering if you were anywhere near London and able to see any of it in person, but thinking the crowds and congestion would be less enjoyable than the front row seat we had watching it all on TV.

    Anxiously awaiting my copy of Distilled Genius & so happy to hear that your staff is picking them up today!!

    I read where you mention Rakestraw Books on your book signing tour this year and that’s one of the places my hubby, Paul, and I saw you & Joe in Danville, CA in 2016. We also saw you at the antique show at the Madonna Inn in SLO years ago. Now we’re excited & looking forward to seeing you both again at the end of summer. ☺

    Until then, stay well & safe travels,
    ♥ Patti & Paul

  12. Ginnie Judd says:

    Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty with us. And I’m so excited you will be at Prairie Path Books in Wheaton, IL! Next town over from me, and I will be there! xxoo

  13. Patty Walker says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your trip in England was so quaint and tranquil. I felt I was right along side you the whole time. I currently live in Ft Pierce Florida, but lived in Maine for 10 years. Your trip gave me a feeling of Maine back once again. I love New England…not the Snow and cold! Thank you for sharing ….

  14. Linda McCracken says:

    I envied all that you saw and loved being a voyeur on your journey through England. Had I not had two new grandchildren arrive in the midst of the pandemic and then again just last week, I’d have signed up for this trip. Still you brought me along for the best parts with your photos and your stories. Thank you.

  15. Patti Lyon says:

    The sink in the Wales kitchen made my heart skip a beat! Maybe in my next kitchen……

    Thanks again for sharing England with us.

  16. Karen Baron says:

    Thanks for the trip tour and updates on appearances. Yes those cottage kitchens are adorable! Vroman’s wheat city? Bon Viyage!

  17. Karen Baron says:

    Corrections: Vroman’s what city? Bon Voyage!

  18. What a wonderful trip you had. I agree, the English countryside is wonderful. Loved all the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Connie Pruitt says:


  20. jane fait says:

    Needed this today. That is all I can say.

  21. Lori Hamilton says:

    I won’t be able to go to the book signings – too far from NC – but can’t wait to hear all about them in future blogs!
    Safe travels!

  22. Carol says:

    Carrie’s different kitchens, oh my! All so very charming! As always, I really enjoyed reading about your England adventures and look forward to the next!

  23. Linda P says:

    We hope to see you in Wheaton, Illinois!

  24. Sue in Houston says:

    Susan, please, please, PLEASE come to Texas!!! We want to see you and will roll out an extra-big Lone Star welcome!

  25. Debbie Boerger says:

    Hot Diggity Dog! A new Willard waiting for me upon returning home to my Paradise on Hog Bay, Maine. Tom is out getting provisions, as we’ve been in Nova Scotia for 12 days. He missed all the squealing and awwwwing.

    Don’t know if you and Joe have explored Nova Scotia, but if not….Do It. We’ve been many times and have never, ever been disappointed. It’s England, France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales all rolled into one. This time we stuck to the lower half of the Big Island, going into deep exploration of those areas. Beautiful weather, Beautiful, happy people, lovely food, gardens, homes and soooo much history. As we probably won’t be going back to England…in this lifetime…we’ll do another trip over the water in the Fall.
    Did the wonderful, high speed ferry from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth. One ginger tablet and one Dramamine kept us both totally nausea free for the 3 1/2 hour trip. And not one bit of grogginess. Spotless ship, good food and drink, and live music duo coming and going.

    So looking forward to the Quotations books arriving. I know just who I’ll gift them to. Oops, did I just end a sentence with a preposition?!!! Horrors!!
    Sending Mucho Big Love to you, Dear Lady for taking us along on this fabulous adventure,
    Debbie in Beautiful Maine

  26. Hi Susan,

    Your photos and illustrations about England are pure joy. Thank you for sharing your adventures.
    I’ll be looking for your book of the Romance of the English Countryside.

    Waving to you from Texas.

    Tambra Nicole

  27. Sharon Anderson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip with pictures and commentary.
    It’s fun to read – really appreciate you sharing your pictures and thoughts.

    Can’t wait to receive Distilled Genius book I pre-ordered!

  28. vita avanesian says:

    I’m so excited you will be at Vroman’s! I was there last time the last time, a few years ago. And I’m so glad we are getting through the pandemic!! Your trip was amazing! I always love “traveling” with you!

  29. Linda F says:

    The Tattered Cover in Colorado is the best! So happy you will be there!

  30. Kitty Adkins says:

    Do you know when you will be in KC?
    I will be there for the biannual rug hooking convention in September
    The 14-18
    You would love 💕 it!

    Kitty Adkins

  31. Lisa D says:

    Love your blog posts and can’t wait to receive your new book. I ordered one for my mom too. The photo of Rachel, the dog and The Queen is really good! Loved reading about your visit to England. Love your personality and talent. It’s a gift to be alive and enjoy your creativity! Lisa (Aprons Americana)

  32. Linda says:

    Sweet! Like candy….

  33. lynn mcmillen says:

    I would LOVE to have you do a book signing at my cozy little store in Colorado Springs. It is called A Likely Story. We are small but mighty and I have a loyal following. Please consider stopping by!
    Lynn McMillen
    A Likely Story Bookshop
    24 East Rio Grande
    Colorado Springs, CO

  34. Carol Duffey says:

    So happy you’ll be in Pasadena again, Susan! I’ll be there with bells on!
    It was such a pleasure to follow you and Joe traipsing happily through England. Safe travels home. 💕xoxo

  35. Pat Booth says:

    All us Southern girls would love to see you as well! Maybe a chance you’ll get south of the Mason Dixon line sometime?

    • sbranch says:

      We did last time . . . but probably not this time ~ I wish we could, but we’re going to take the train straight home from CA so we can be home for the holidays!

  36. Gayle R.M.Hall says:

    Oh Susan never fear………I have been with you from the beginning of it all through so many years I have lost count. So I sure will not be giving up on you at this point. Bless you through each day going forward. Love Gayle

  37. barbara lassiter says:

    This was a lovely post. England always seems like such a “dream place” as I see it through you eyes! Thanks and I’m so excited that the new book will be coming soon!

  38. thanks for sharing England with me in TX.

  39. Bon voyage-ee! (as Bugs says)
    Hope you have a lovely homecoming. It is good to travel but still better to come home.
    I’m glad you got to spend time with Carrie and Stuart, they are very lovely people. We were so happy to stay with them their bed and breakfast in Oxford when were there and take Stuart’s tour and go to the pub with then.
    Just dee-lightful!
    And any time spent with Rachel and Paul is definitely a treasure trove of goodness! Looks like Elsie was having a good time as well. 🙂
    Looking forward to the new book and news of your trip west! It would be wonderful if you came once more to Kings English here in Salt Lake City.
    Sending you shiploads-o-love!

    P.S. just a funny quick question about your process on your books…
    Do you create the originals in the finished size of the book, or are the pages larger for the artwork and lettering you create and then resized in the printing process? Just wondering.


  40. Melinda "Melin" Holley says:

    Hi Sue & Joe,
    Thank you so much for taking us along!
    I do so love England and the Cotswold’s are next for me, fingers crossed.
    Love Vroman’s in Pas, even though I live in Tahoe. That is where we first met. Love Apple Farm too, as you do. Maybe that will be added along the way.
    Safe sailing!

  41. Marilyn Rogers says:

    I sure hope you can stop in San Antonio, Texas on your way through to California or on your way back!!! I would love to meet you and have a chat!!

    Blessings, Marilyn

  42. VickeyB says:

    I loved the ENTIRE post. I would love to have any of Carrie’s kitchens. But, I’m confused: did you sail home before the actual start of the Jubilee?

    I watched (as many of) the Jubilee celebrations that US TV deigned to show, and–believe it or not–I kept thinking how lucky you and Joe were to be in England at that exact time!

    Thanks for taking us to England with you!

  43. Roseann Copeland says:

    Thank you for sharing this charming blog. So inspiring!
    I am going on a Pilgramage to Medjigori in Bosnia Hershogovina (spelling in ?) in September. I am so excited to take my sketch book journal along. First trip to Europe in over 38 years. Just made my reservations today and then I saw your wonderful email. Love your blogs so very much.
    (from OP, Kansas Near KC Missouri)

  44. Georgeann says:

    Would love to meet you in Dallas, Texas sometime. Safe travels and may God keep you and Joe safe!

  45. Glenda says:

    Always enjoy your trips! You do the things I would want to do so thanks for sharing the adventure. Enjoyed the jubilee celebrations. Still sad that I sent you those 60th Jubilee glasses and they never arrived. 😩Have a wonderful safe trip home.

  46. Barbara Anne says:

    It’s been a sheer delight to come along and the pictures and quotes make these Willard’s extra wonderful. As they say in the UK … TA!
    I’ll be so happy to receive my copy of “Distilled Genius” that DS2 pre-ordered for my April birthday!
    A belated Welcome Home!


  47. Kerrie Anderson says:

    Where will you be in CA? San Luis Obispo? My home town too 💗 you used to live next door to my youth pastor many, many years ago 😊 would love to see you. Safe travels.

  48. Virginia says:

    How special to have shared your wonderful trip …..It is all so charming – and now Oxford!

    Thank you…safe home!!!

  49. Maureen Graham says:

    On to be in England! Thank you for sharing with us. Did I tell you I moved? Darling little condo with a screened porch. When ever I drive up i say, I can’t believe I love here! I’m going to do my best to get to Hudson,OH.
    Bon Voyage!

  50. Davi Mondt Lowman says:

    SUSAN! You are as crazy in love with England as I am with Tuscany. I’m headed there in three weeks and finally thought I’d be able to stop in England FOR THE FIRST TIME to be with friends who have a very long history there. The 90-year-old gentleman was around 13 when his Mother ran a tavern in Saltby and my Dad was a very young C-47 pilot who had never been out of Iowa until WWII.
    Anyway, I’ve always wanted to go to Saltby. BUT, Delta Airlines told me there were NO flights out of London to Florence the week I’m headed there! So weird.
    Anyway, again…. I will someday go. And someday I’ll meet you in person. I just started reading, “Fairy Tale Girl” again. We were living dual lives back then.
    Take care, stay healthy, vote Democratic, and be happy!

  51. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Susan, Your blogpost was wonderful. So satisfying to all of us Alglophiles who were staying home in the States. Ahh, dear olde England! So glad your time was once again, enchanted! Hugs, Suzette in Oregon

  52. Sara Hayden says:

    I’m in Half Moon Bay and hoping to see you at Rakestraw! For your next trip, I can confirm that Changing Hands (mentioned in Dawn’s post) in Tempe is wonderful. I loved it all throughout my college years at Arizona State. 🙂

  53. Laura says:

    It’s all so wonderful to read about!!! Thank you for always bringing us along


    Laura in Illinois

  54. Jeanne Brail says:

    Have almost all your books and so excited to finally meet you. I live near Hudson, Ohio and will definitely come to Learned Owl when you are there. I will look for the dates. Hudson is very much like a New England Town. You will love it visiting there.

  55. Jean Rosenfeld says:

    What a wonderful post to read this evening. And such a wonderful trip!
    I met the two of you in St. Charles, MO about in 2015, at Main Street Books on Main Street. How fun that was!
    I am wishing you a very safe trip back home. Be safe and take very good care.

  56. Karen B. says:

    Thank you for taking us along with you to England. It’s truly my favorite country to visit. I’m rereading A Fine Romance to relive the beauty and walks you and Joe walked. I’m eagerly awaiting your book. I’m so happy you had such a wonderful vacation.
    Karen B.

  57. Lynette Strohbach says:

    Sounds like another great trip! I’m sure you can’t wait to see Jack! I wish Minnesota was on your way to Cal. Someday I would like to meet you in person. Thanks for all that you do Susan, I’m getting anxious to get my copy of Distilled Genius! Love and bliss!

  58. MJ says:

    Will you be coming to Texas? We would love to see you here.

  59. Corky says:

    Safe travels home. If you are anywhere in Northern California, I’ll track you down with my new books. Looks like you had such an awesome time in England and on your trip.

  60. Linda W says:

    Would love to know when you will be in Pasadena – close enough to try and come as long as I don’t have a wedding. Fingers crossed! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful things you experienced on this trip. Heavenly!

  61. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Susan, your time in England looks so idyllic, thank you!
    I would love to know where to get some British Bunting. I especially love the one in Carrie’s kitchen. Also the one in the streets in the last photo of a street (the one that says “you know, we will be back”. has some Union Jack bunting but not as nice as those two. I notice, of course, that it is all on sale now. If you, or Carrie, can point me in the right direction, I be grateful, thanks!

  62. Antonia Lutz says:

    What a beautiful post I love the charm of old houses I have a newer house and I’m trying to put charm into it! I received a compliment from a child she’s like you got a lot of stuff in here your house is cozy! I was like success anyhoo safe trip back home I wish you well❤️

  63. What a trip. can’t wait for more pictures and more stories!

  64. Minette says:

    Words cannot describe the joy I have felt in reading (and re-reading) your last few posts about your visit to England. As I am not able to travel much anymore, it was wonderful to see and read about your time there as it brought back so many fond memories of time spent there when I could travel, You capture the spirit and beauty of the English countryside so vividly while sharing the warmth and comfort of your friendships. For all of us avid Anglophiles,thank you so much for these posts.

  65. Arlene says:

    The British know how to decorate!!! I LOVE it. No matter how small the kitchen is or home is they know how to use every inch and do it in style!

  66. Marilyn Young says:

    I wondered if you were in the Cambridgeshire area in the “Bump.” That’s where my family lives. I’m selling and moving to Idaho for six months and Arroyo Grande, CA for six months with family. Last time we visited was in Cambria and Bakersfielc. Hoping you will come to AG or close and/or Boise, ID. I want your new book for sure.

  67. Liz from Sterling Heights, Michigan says:

    Have a beautiful trip home! Thank you for bringing us all with you once again! Love Carrie’s kitchen in Wales – I was actually already considering a purchase of the same tea kettle in the same color! Not sure it will look as cute in my kitchen, but I’m now more inspired! Looking forward to Distilled Genius appearing at my front door soon!!

  68. sue says:

    OMG, you guys were just down the road from my house when you stayed in Chipping Norton. I wish I had known, maybe next time we can wave at each other. So happy to hear you had a lovely time.

  69. Joellen Waldenmaier says:

    I absolutely love “being” on your trips with you and Joe. I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing all the pictures of your adventure in England. Have a safe trip home.

  70. jeanie says:

    I am so very eager for you to write your next England book! I cannot wait! What a delight to see Carrie’s Cotswold Home (I follow her on Twitter, too!) and the cute towns. You couldn’t have picked a better time to be in England than during Jubilee. I’m afraid my luggage would be filled with newspapers and Queen bobbleheads and such! Those bathing huts are fabulous — I may have to try painting a pic of a scene similar to that. And oh, the charm. You’re living my dream, Susan!

  71. Karen H. says:

    WONDERFUL post! Will you be coming to SLO for books signing?? Safe travels! XO

  72. Patti Fitzgerald from Skippack, PA says:

    Oh my word, Susan . . . . I am officially in love with Carrie’s houses! (And always have been in love with yours, too!) If you have more photos of her rooms, I’d love to see them! Every time I try to “simplify” my home, my love of English Country Cottage style comes to the forefront, and I’m conflicted! Lol! I surely would love to see this trip turn into a second book about England . . . I would be your first customer! Thank you ever so much for sharing your wonderful experiences with all of us . . . . your blogs will have to tide me over until we can return to England once again! xoxoxoxo

  73. Beverlee Moreno-Ring says:

    Oh Susan.. that was wonderful!!!! You got to spend time with your dear friends!!!!! Thank you for all the updates of your trip and your time with Carrie and Rachel and their hubby’s and all the fun you had together.. Carries kitchen’s are most adorable and I hope to see the one in the Cotswolds too, hopefully next year. Also would love to take an Oxford tour with Stuart. It was so perfect for you to go during the Jubilee. The decorations could not have been more festive and I loved those little beach houses. You are now sailing home back to Jack and your lovely home…. Remember there is no place like home (unless you are in England). Two places for you to call home.❤️ Beverlee

  74. Wendy says:

    Dear Susan…..

    I am a Canadian fan of yours and I have read your
    blog and purchased your books for years.  I am currently
    following your English adventure and Queen Mary sailing
    …..looks fabulous ! !

    The following is what I wanted to convey to you today :
    Your messaging of joy, hope and positivity is so strengthened
    by your political awareness and comments and, I believe,
    rounds out your messaging to include Active Patriotism !
    …..and what could be more joyful, hopeful and positive
    than that ! !  With it you all will get to where you want to
    be as a country.

    (I agree that Hilary Clinton has been wasted…..she has so
    much to offer your country as a leader.)

    Thank you for what you do !…….and please have
    an extra couple of yummy desserts for me on your
    wonderful Queen Mary cruise home.


    PS……Your husband Joe is a gem….so supportive.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Wendy!!! Was the Girl Scouts! “On my honor, I will try to do my duty to God and my country and try to help other people at all times and obey the Girl Scout Law.”

      Girl Scout Law:
      I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

  75. Avigail Lynn says:

    It’s my birthday today and I saved your latest blog post so I could read it on my day. How special! Thank you so much Susan for all your inspiration. I discovered you just last year and relish in your art and your lovely look at life. I have a little online shop that features “cottagecore” and there are times I draw from you for inspiration. Please, never stop creating, you just never know how much you affect people with the joy you give so freely. Blessings!

  76. Mary Webb says:

    Thank you thank you thank you again!
    Such respite from…life 🙂
    Dreaming of the day I can be in the Cotswolds and wander the public walking paths…stay in a darling cottage and meet the locals.
    Safe travels home and may see you at Tattered Cover in Denver.
    Mary Webb
    Salida CO

  77. kathi in OR says:

    I know it’s a little out of your way from MA to CA, but would love to see you somewhere in Oregon!! If you came to the south coast it would be a “coast to coast” trip!! Your trip to the UK is of course lovely to hear details of! I love Carrie’s kitchens! Would be a nice coffee table book! Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures. It was exciting to watch the Jubilee from here. I can’t imagine being there and experiencing the pomp and circumstance first hand! Cheerie-O!

  78. Candice Black says:

    Dear Susan! Absolutely in heaven with this blog! Brought so many great memories when I was in England for Prince William and Kate’s Wedding! Everything is decked out and so festive! My Cousin sent me a Platinum Jubilee Tea Towel, writing pen, a tiny trinket box and a lovely china mug! I am so spoiled! They will be on display in our home with all of my other “Royal” keepsakes! All of the photos you included are “smashing”!! Enjoyed all of the kitchen photos too. So excited about “Distilled Genius” something to look forward to receiving! Maybe my friends and I can get to the Learned Owl in Hudson, OH for your book signing. Will keep fingers crossed! Safe Atlantic crossing and Hugs to you both!!

  79. Janet J Hundley says:

    Please consider Boswell Books in Milwaukee, WI

  80. Julie Narcisso says:

    Your England travels are absolutely glorious!! Your Willards always put a smile on my face from beginning to end but this one was exceptional!! The places you went to and during the Queen’s 70th Anniversary…so awesome and enchanting at the same time.😍😍 To see you and Rachel together again was over the top. I looked forward to her chats on Instagram during covid. So glad she got a new pup right away. Elsie is so cute 😍. We also got new pup during Covid…a yellow lab. She was such a handful, as you and I are the same age, but it’s been almost two years now, and she is settling down to be the best dog ever…such a 💘 love.
    P.S. What about Paul McCartney’s recent tour…how exciting for him 💘💘
    I have taken enough of your time…I just wanted to send a BIG HUG and say thank you so much for your Willard 😍😍😘😘

  81. Maureen from SoCal (4irisheyes925) says:

    Beautiful photos and wonderful post. Can’t wait to hear the rest.
    The picture of you and Joe is the best, the best! You both look so relaxed and happy. The way life should be.
    Safe sailing.

  82. Kathy Calabrese says:

    While you are in Kansas City, you must visit the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. The first floor is devoted to dollhouses and very beautiful miniatures! The artistry is amazing. My husband and I walked around exclaiming “Come over here, you’ve GOT to see this!” AND there is a delightful tiny English cottage of a certain British children’s author!

  83. Judy E says:

    Bless you for sharing this ray of sunshine! Makes me so happy to see it all thru your eyes!

  84. Barbara Stype says:

    So glad you went to Southwold! I’ve been there too. The town I live in, Southold, was settled by the people from Southold in 1640! We have a real kinship with that area. My town is on the east end of Long Island in New York. Love following your adventures

  85. Janet Swanson says:

    Can’t wait to see you at Titcombs bookstore. I missed last visit to Sandwich but I did see your “ Fine Romance” van outside. Safe journey back to Island! Rest up for book tour. Wahoo!

  86. Rhondi says:

    We also are in love with England and I follow your posts about it, enjoying every word and photo but with the tiniest bit of envy 😊 Safe travels back across the pond. I hope to meet you one day!

  87. Katherine says:

    Oh how wonderful 😃 you were just down the road from me here in Norwich.
    You should visit our fine city next time you visit uk 🇬🇧 it’s full of history I’m sure you would 😊 southwold is a lovely beach and a beautiful little town isn’t it ☺️
    Hope you had a safe journey xxx

  88. Lisa says:

    Just moved back to the US from England … your photos and stories have kept our memories fresh!

  89. Brenda Chambers says:

    Any word as to when your shopping site will be back up?

  90. Kerri Fabry says:

    So happy to read your blog and experience England with you ❤️ And can’t wait for the new book….hoping to meet you at the King’s English in Utah, please….. take care and safe travels 🚢 to you and Joe.

  91. Carol Maroni says:

    Oh Susan, I enjoyed reading about your adventures in England and on the ship! Dreamed of being in all those exciting shops and pubs! Made me feel like I was right there with you! Thank you!

  92. Victoria M says:

    Is there any chance of a link to that lovely cottage you rented in Harleston? It was perfection!!

  93. Care Woodard says:

    Wow. Your blog is always such an inspiration. When my brain say, I want just that:) I sweep the kitchen floor of my pretty cape and feel I have it!! You and the blog friends give SO much inspiration. I want to live in a lovely place where dogs are allowed in pubs and not concealed weapons. Happy sailing!! Welcome home!! See you in Nov at RJ Julia!!!

  94. Rosinda says:

    Safe travels home, Susan and Joe! I’ve loved following along! xoxo

  95. Robbie Raker says:

    Seeing all of this loveliness just made me see the world in a little better light! There’s so much good out there. Thanks for the reminder.

  96. Cheryl says:

    I love your posts and this one is a gem! I’m an arm-chair traveler so I especially love hearing about your adventures and seeing your photos. So wonderful that you got to spend time with Ray and Paul. Ray is a beauty and Paul isn’t too hard to look at either. LOL They both look like such nice people. Wishing you and Joe safe travels and we’re all looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

  97. Lynn Braha says:

    I love seeing all your posts from England! It’s almost like being there myself. But I am super excited to see that you are coming to the Learned Owl bookstore in Hudson Ohio! Finally, a place nearby! Do you know the date you will be there?

  98. Cathy Saddoris says:

    I loved looking at all the pictures you posted (along with your humorous comments) so thank you for that. And I noticed all the Susan Branch mugs in Carrie’s kitchen–the lucky girl. :o)
    I’m sure you’ve got mixed emotions about leaving England behind but it’s always nice to sleep in our own beds again after a trip and … you get reunited with Jack!

  99. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Hello Susan, hope you have a smooth trip home. been busy here as always. the weather has been strange to say the least but since we get rain, you won’t hear me complaining. i prefer cooler temps to 100+ temps any day!!! this past Sunday was a scorcher, 100 degrees and of the rooster crowing contest was going on. we took our rooster, Chance. to the contest. we thought for sure we had a winner, he never shuts up at home. we got him there and put him in his cage and under the shelter to keep him cool and every time a rooster crowed, he was crowing right along with it. when it was his turn to crow, believe it or not, he shut up. for 30 minutes we were pleading and begging him to crow, but not once did he open his beak. so after 30 minutes the next rooster was brought up and guess who was crowing right along with him?? you got it … Chance. the little poop opened up his big beak and let out a long loud crow. and kept on crowing for the rest of the contest. go figure!! needless to stay on the trip home we had nothing to say to Chance, but when we got him out of the cage and back in the chicken pen, we had plenty to say to him. safe to say i will not repeat the language used, but in general he was told the next time he had better crow for his life or wind up in a rooster gumbo!!! of course the neighbors find this all hilarious, and yes we are chuckling somewhat about it ourselves, but i just remind him that next year he had better crow or else!!! and i showed him the gumbo pot. the winning rooster crowed 81 times in 30 minutes, remarkable!! and he had the oddest crow i ever heard, he had a long crow going into a cackle and ending in something that sounds like a witch’s cackle. his name was Chris Rock and he was a breed i had never heard of before, a Ayam Ketawa, a breed originating in Indonesia. it was an amazing weekend. well off to check on the birds and refill the water containers and the feed container. have a Happy 4th of July everyone. hugs …. 😀

  100. Wendi Unrein says:

    Oh how fun!! You were in the area where my some ancestors were from. Loved your take on it! Loved it’s nuances! It reminded me when I first went to CT and seeing the realness of its history. It catches you!! And i won’t even start with the over the top charm of your friend’s kitchen!! I sit in my 95 degree home in Liberty MO (KC – I hope you come here) and wonder how did I get here? what a wonderful trip yet again Susan, I’ve spent this week miserably coughing away as I have pneumonia and this share so touched my heart as they always do. Safe wonderful travels and look forward to seeing you on your travels westward!! So grateful to God that He is using you in this way as it has blessed so many of us!! Blessings always! Wendi

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