06 September 2011

English Pairings


I have been on an extended stay in England-I may have to relocate there in the future-it's all so civilized, and even with the civil unrest over the summer-I saw none of it.
Things did get a little hot-both of the places stayed were rife with affairs-Yes, adultery.
It's there too-yet somehow it is so civilized.

In one case I breathed a huge sigh of relief -the couple was able to patch thing up and are more in love than ever-in fact I think it really strengthened the marriage-and there were children involved, and a butler, and a National Trust property at stake.

The other-as I expected-was bound to end tragically. The husband was a psychiatrist and when the affair ended with his wife's old school chum he put and end to it all.
So heartbreaking-but it had to end badly- Noel Coward was the husband-enough said.

Both affairs I will say were done with the utmost elegance-Interiors superb. Costumes superb. I could live happily ever after in either set up.

Victor Rhyall- the Earl was adorable-I just couldn't figure out what Hilary saw in Robert Mitchum Charles Delacro-sure he was rich- an oil man, but money isn't everything-and I could only imagine his house looked nothing like Victor's (that's what he prefers to be called by his friends).

The Public Rooms -

No, I did not get to sleep in the State Room.

The Private Rooms-

I loved this room -it was my favorite of them all.

Lady Rhyall even had a start up in growing and selling mushrooms -fully supported by darling Victor. She was rather frazzled through the entire thing- most embarrassing -an outing where she wore two different shoes. Victor just smiled lovingly at all of her little oddities saying If you can't be Chic- Be odd.

He was  very cool headed throughout the whole sorted thing and there were more than a few distractions. It seems Hilary's old friend Hattie was in love with Victor at some point and when she came down while Hil was in town I was worried Victor might be weak. But No- he resisted Hattie's allure.

Her clothes by Dior, No less.

but-really not all that suited to the life of a Lady-I much preferred Hil's Hardy Amies wardrobe.

Anyway- there's more-Much More----
A Duel. A Wild Mink Coat. Noel Coward-again. Hardy Amies and Christian Dior. Enough clever repartee-and then there's Cary Grant- the Earl.

There can be no doubt Chris and Barbara Faber had a good marriage- perfect one would think-but appearances are deceptive.
It wasn't perfect and Lenora saw it  right away.

Though Lenora's wardrobe-all Molyneux- was enviable, I could never feel for her or wish for any of the things she had gained in her lucrative divorce.
Sympathy-No, not for Lenora.

of course- the frustration with Chris- the famous psychiatrist Dr. Faber-so precise in his own advice to his patients- of course he could take none of his own.
Barbara's expectation that Chris would come back if she gave him enough space was badly done.
Sadly his return was due to Lenora's rejection rather than his "coming to his senses."
He never did get as he referred to it "acclimatized" to his return to his work and life- but in his best Noel Coward imitation he tells her-

The fact that my life has been wrecked on your loveliness isn't your fault.

I don't think she will forget that- for a long time -Nor the outcome of the movie affair.

The Moral of the Story- Well who am I- A Single Woman- to give advice to happily married couples-
but Beware of old girlfriends wearing Couture.



  1. The Astonished Heart is one of Coward's best films.
    I would love a) silk clad walls. b) a frock by Hardy Amies or c) a suit by Digby Morton

  2. To die for post. Lavender living room beyond the beyond.

  3. Very entertaining, Gaye, and I loved your final
    punchline about Couture!
    The Cary Grant movie was filmed partly at Osterly
    Park, Middlesex, but the colors in the Robert Adam
    hall threw me. Obviously they've been recolored more
    sensitively in recent decades. Same goes for the grand
    state bed, which is in shades of almond green, or was,
    the last time I looked.

  4. This was great fun. I love looking at the interiors in films, and listening to Noel Coward on a phonograph was delightful- the perfect way to begin a day.

  5. Lovely post; once again, you're introducing me to something I should really be much more familiar with. And may I say that my summers are usually like this

    BON x

  6. Miss Rayne- yes I agree, I had not seen this til it was recommended by several adroit readers. I love the clothes too- and Noel Coward-I also notes had the best looking spiffy check bowtie.

    Clara-I hope you get to see both films, well worth the time!

  7. Toby- thank You Sir for the recommendation of the NC film. I should have known- You would know the actual location . I think the walls of that State room were covered in a fabric that was finely folded-maybe a cover up of the original but would have had to be skillfully done.

  8. Philip the NC was watched at your suggestion, and I then watched the Grass movie immediately and very much coincidentally-so it was equally entertaining! pgt

  9. Too, too mahvelous.

    I saw 'The Grass is Greener only a few months ago, and was just stunned by it. The interiors are sets, closely based on Osterly's actual interiors, but designed by decorator Felix Harbord, which may explain Mr. Worthington's confusion.

  10. Barima-intriguing! all very civilized as in the picture shows I hope! Love and Lust must be in the English Air! I do hope you get to see both films. As noted-in one of my comments here-NC wore the spiffiest bow tie-a check and I immediately thought of You-and of course satorially no one can deny the effects of Cary Grant-even wearing a dowdy jumper. pgt

  11. DownEast- ah ha! the Plot thickens. between you and Mr W. I can not go wrong. pgt

  12. And while you're about Noel Coward, don't miss 'Meet Me Tonight', a triptych film of short plays. 'Ways and Means', the last of the three, is just total delight. Delicious

  13. The rooms in "The Grass is Always Greener" were styled (a bit) by the interior decorator Felix Harbord, the film's special consultant for settings, about whom I am planning a post. Stay tuned.

  14. DownEast- I have added that to my instant queue. thanks much!

  15. Aesthete-can't wait for it! and glad you are back amongst Us!pgt

  16. Dear Little Augury, Rarely do such beautiful interiors appear as legitimate. Beauty is so often suspect these days; grunge reigns. Thank you for a splendid voyage into the imagination. May I suggest two films? "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" (1961) with Vivien Leigh & Warren Beatty has, literally, seductive interiors. "The Honey Pot" (1967) with Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward & Maggie Smith, has the interior as an important aspect of the plot. Beauty is well served in these films; decadent, sumptuous and playful. Thank you for your witty presentations.

  17. Toby and the Dillettante both alerted me to this amazing post. I had no idea Osterley had been used for The Grass Is Greener - although some scenes are clearly set in beautifully done studio recreations. It is fascinating to try spot the similarities and differences between the real and the imagined Osterley, and between late-fifties present-day style. Those pink and purple and pistachio scatter cushions seems particularly mid-twentieth-century. On the other hand, the wood basket next to the fireplace is of a type still fashionable today.

  18. Superb interiors indeed, but hard to clean up. :)
    Nice blog.
    Greetings, Ray

  19. David- I have seen-The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone"years ago-and on your referral will see it as again as soon as possible. I have added "The Honey Pot" -from the synopsis-it sounds great, RH is a favorite of mine. I thank you for your observations and recommendations. pgt

  20. Ray- No doubt, they would keep the "servants" busy-no time for dalliances, or maybe there's always Time for dalliances!

  21. Emile. SO glad you got wind of the Grass is Greener-and of course the delightful Noel Coward song. The recreations of Osterly whether in sets or on site are a revelation to me and I hope you will jump off and feature Osterly and how it ties into this post. Thanks to Toby and DownEast for letting you know about it. pgt

  22. So, after reading this post yesterday I went to my trusty Netflix account and found The Astonished Heart ready for my instant viewing. Loved it, and of course loved the fashion and decor. Gaye, you are always introducing to me to fabulous subjects. Thanks!

  23. Emily-delighted, I am devoted to netflix streaming! pgt

  24. Inspired by your shots of 'The Grass Is Greener' I have just done a post about Osterley Park, the model for the film's setting, as it is now: http://bit.ly/ojWVFc

  25. Emile from the National Trust's Treasure Hunt takes us to Osterley- thank you Emile! http://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/osterleys-cinematic-double-life/



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