The Portrait Of A Lady, Heale House

May 18, 2014

Heale House , Wiltshire - Vicki Archer

England is an astounding country… So enchanting… Surprising.

The countryside can really take your breath away.

Heale House , Wiltshire - Vicki Archer

The homes, stately or otherwise can make you speechless… for their grandeur and their elegance is unsurpassed.

The gardens and the English passion for the herbaceous and the topiary will make you tear in wonderment.

Heale House , Wiltshire - Vicki Archer

Heale House and its eight acres of beautiful gardens lie beside the river Avon at Middle Woodford, just north of Salisbury in Wiltshire.

Much of the house is unchanged since King Charles II was in hiding in 1651.

Japanese Bridge, Heale House Wiltshire - Vicki Archer

Do you remember, The Portrait of a Lady… starring Nicole Kidman, Barbara Hershey and John Malkovich.

It is one of those period dramas, based on the Henry James novel, that are worth watching time and again…

Not only for glimpses of Heale House, where it was filmed, but also for the costumes and the cast of fabulous characters.

Heale House , Wiltshire - Vicki Archer

Can you imagine the languid atmosphere?

I never imagined myself as an English country girl.. but standing here, under the apple arbour had me thinking fairly seriously about Wellies and Barbours… xv


English Country Style… What’s Not To Love


have to have wellies

love the shoreditch wellingtons for comfort, practicality and fun

then there are the classic hunters… in every colour…

(i have seen so many girls wearing them in ny and london… it would seem that for rainy city days they work a treat too…)


 barbour or burberry ?

the original cotton waxed barbour jackets look perfect in all countrysides

and the barbour liddesdale quilted jacket doesn’t get much more british… very cute looking over jeans

or do you prefer the burberry brit kenkott patch pocket ?



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  • Hata Trbonja says:

    How beautiful!
    Exactly what I imagine the English countryside to be like.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Anita Rivera says:

    It’s not been since blogging that I too have become more of an Anglophile myself dearest Vicki! Provence, Provence, toujours Provence is in my blood, but when I watch a period piece set in the English countryside, I start dreaming in English. How could anyone resist, really, this stunning part of the world?

    Happy weekend! Anita

  • Candice says:

    I read Portrait of a Lady but never saw the film. I didn’t want to ruin the images I had in my minds eye :)
    These photos make a person want to just transport themselves into the images.

  • Candice says:

    Where I live, there are chickens in some gardens and yards, somehow it doesn’t have the same beauty as in these photos lol

  • How incredibly beautiful, Vicki! The red bridge especially captures the essence of the English countryside. Have a beautiful weekend! xoxo

  • Melanie LeFever says:

    How lovely. When I travel to England or France and see the beautiful architecture I am reminded of just how
    young America is. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kathleen says:

    My son on law is from the Lake District. It’s a beautiful spot. His parents have a lovely old stone cottage surrounded by fields and sheep. As much I love it I could never stay very long. It’s rains just about everyday and rarely does it warm up to the temps. we’re used during the summer. Those too things are also why the countryside is so gorgeous. Other than that it’s perfection!!

  • La Contessa says:

    I love these photos………….I haven’t been to England since 1981.
    Time to go back and wave to my little Prince George who was born on my birthday!
    The homes and grounds are so simple but so GRAND!

  • I have been to Heale House + seen the movie + Both are breathtaking.

  • Someday Vicki, you must travel on down to Virginia after visiting NYC. The spring time is so beautiful and so green! And I love to see my 4 chickens pecking around in the front gardens….looks so idyllic. :) My pink and blue floral wellies stay by the backdoor, always ready for working in the gardens and a trip to the henhouse. :) Some day I hope to visit England. Have a wonderful weekend. ~

  • Sally says:

    How lovely to read of Heale House today Vicki…

    I am here at home( much further north than Salisbury) but it is a beautiful idyllic English day…with the freshness of early summer as the afternoon sun dapples over England’s green and pleasant land

    The apple arbour looks divine..I have often thought of doing the same thing with roses….or maybe wisteria..with your inspiration!

    Have a wonderful weekend…hopefully Barbour and wellies wont be needed( but you are right they are an essential here :)) xx

  • England is disarmingly beautiful to me. I’ve been there only once & fell in love. It’s so nice to still enjoy it from afar– this post is beautiful!

  • Esther George says:

    Hi Vicki this is so lovely thank you for sharing. I do watch everything British so I can see their beautiful land. I’ve got DVDs on their National Trust Castles and Gardens I love Rudyard Kiplings property and of course Sissinghurst just amazing. Enjoy your weekend. Till next time Esther from Sydney.

  • Penelope says:

    Vicki, I just returned from spending 21 blessed days with my daughter who lives in England (we did travel other places) and this was my third time to visit her and her husband. Each time he has driven us to beautiful towns, villages, and National Trust homes and gardens. Even in London, people will say, you have to get out in the countryside to really see England. I agree with you…’s all so lovely and preserved so beautifully. The English are so gracious and I love how they hold their forks and knives when eating! Oh, also and I love how they enjoy their pubs for dinners and friendships and good times. And those glorious Cathedral’s. No wonder you could be a English girl….I think I could too! :).

  • Anita Rivera says:

    Bonjour chère Vicki,

    Thank you for coming to my post. It is very special to see your comments. Today is a glorious day here in Minneapolis, and I am going to do my gardening today to spruce up my Midwest French style garden! Mille bisous, Anita

  • miss b says:

    We are indeed very fortunate to have such vibrant green countryside and wonderful stately homes here in England. I shall add this one to my list as we haven’t yet visited it. You have reminded me to pay a visit to a house not far from here as it has the most remarkable topiary gardens and it’s a few years since we last enjoyed them.

  • Eleonora says:

    la prima volta che ho visto l’Inghilterra e la scozia avevo 17 anni e ancora, se penso a quel viaggio, ho in mente il verde intenso dei giardini: un incanto!
    just beautiful. Sending a big hug from Rome Italy Ciao Eleo

  • Millie says:

    I love that you have your elegant tootsies planted in 2 wonderful places Vicki & give both equal love & attention!
    Millie xx

  • Hi Vicky, love the photo of the apple arbor – what an imagination and persistence over the years :) Since I have been first time to Enlish countryside I fell in love with it. Fab!

  • Peta says:

    I have been to Heale House many times, for plant sales, summer fairs or to visit the garden centre which is so sweet. The gardens are beautiful but are obviously lived in, the house is charming, the village is quintessentially English and very old. On an English summers day this is sheer heaven.
    Just signed up to you and look forward to receiving lots of ‘clicks’!

  • SISSY says:


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