Food & Wine

Victoria Best of Britain 2013

In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

United States
Hoffman Media
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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
dear friends

Browsing the pages of Best of Britain brings to mind the idyllic days I spent exploring London and its surrounding cities and towns in the late 1990s. Noted needlework teacher and historian Joanne Harvey, of The Examplarery, had recently piqued my interest in my ancestry when she mentioned a sampler housed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Hannah Norton, of Massachusetts, whose family had emigrated from England, stitched the piece in 1795. As Norton is my maiden name, I was intrigued by this young stitcher and longed to know if we shared forebears. Tracing our family’s lineage soon became a fascinating hobby for me that resulted in my first trip to England. This magazine will be a valued resource as I look forward to another adventure in the United Kingdom. Perhaps…

2 min.
bodnant garden a botanical wonder

For twenty years, from 1874 until his death in 1895, successful industrial chemist Henry Davis Pochin pursued his passion—transforming a Georgian manor and its 80-acre estate into an exquisite haven where the seasons turn the color wheel all year long, creating stunning hues ranging from subdued russets to vibrant brights. Combining his scientific interests with a quest for beauty, Pochin devised a breeding program that has produced species of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, and other plants that are still grown today. Visitors to Bodnant would be forgiven for ignoring the science and simply enjoying the ever-changing tableaux that shift in sunshine and shadow. The grounds provide at least a full day’s exploration, with the temptation to return again and again to discover each season’s surprises. The renovated house, featuring Victorian-style half-timbering, stone,…

2 min.
national botanic garden of wales

The origin of the National Botanic Garden of Wales came about through the impetus of artist William Wilkins. It was he who launched an initiative to restore and develop the historic parkland in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire. Today, this 450-acre garden is resplendent with great swathes of color that blanket the gently rolling hills—colors that appear to have been dropped from a paintbrush, rather than being the product of sun, rain, and seed. In the seventeenth century, several mansions and large farms were located on this site. But in time, the area diminished as it was divided into smaller parcels, and only traces of its former glory remained. More than a century later, a fire destroyed the last manor house, and the estate fell into disrepair. Funded by the British Millennium Commission and established in…

3 min.
holker estate and gardens

A house believed to be favored by Providence and enhanced with more natural beauty than any other place on earth, Holker Estate and Gardens has been the home of only three families since the sixteenth century and has never been bought or sold. Located in northwest England’s Cumbria, near Grange-over-Sands, and tucked amid the scenic woodlands and parkland of South Lakeland, Holker (a Norse word meaning “a rising in marshy land”) has been persistently restored and lovingly imbued with a sense of purpose for more than four hundred years. Currently the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish, who open a portion of the estate and gardens to thousands of visitors annually, the rose-colored neo-Elizabethan mansion is now known as one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain. With each passing generation…

2 min.
llanerchaeron: a national treasure

Sometimes the voice of the distant past is clearly audible in the present day. Here, at the small estate called Llanerchaeron, near the village of Ciliau Aeron, in western Wales, visitors may gain a glimpse into the daily lives of those who resided here more than two hundred years ago. Central to the property is the neoclassically styled main villa, which was designed for Colonel William Lewis in 1795 by esteemed architect John Nash, who later designed Buckingham Palace and other landmark buildings in Great Britain. The interior features curved walls, symmetrical doors, elaborately carved cornices, and a conical skylight above the landing. Original family collections of hunting and fishing memorabilia are also displayed here. Initially created as a tenant farm, Llanerchaeron contains a service courtyard with dairy, laundry, brewing, and salting…

2 min.
coastal charm

Not too far beyond the bustling city of London, the pace slows to that of an earlier age. The historic countryside of Sussex and Kent offers seaside resorts, coastal villages, and ancient harbors along the English Channel. Time seems to stand still on Hastings Beach, as a thousand years of tradition and technique continue with the daily fishing brigade. Filled with a multitude of colorful boats, this stretch of shore is home to Europe’s largest beach-launched fleet, known as the Stade (Saxon for “landing place”). The ships slide into the water during high tide and are hauled out upon their return, using mechanical devices—a feat once accomplished with horses. A series of stone steps leads to the hillside hamlet. Behind the multicolored doors, each with its own distinctive brass knocker, live…