I've saved the best for almost last, you see. Annie sent me an email right as we left for London giving me directions to their flat (she'd be at work when we arrived) and saying that their house was our house. She and Richard really made us feel as if they meant it. Fresh flowers, snacks, the offer of a soft bed, and our reunion with Neel really did make us feel at home.
For me, more than all of the amazing things we saw and experiences we had, this was the best. Truly meeting dear friends, sharing meals and enjoying their boundless generosity. When I really think about everything that Annie and Richard did for us, how they opened their hearts and their homes, well, I feel moved beyond words.
You may notice, I didn't take as many pictures of Annie and Richard's flat as I did of our apartment in Paris. It felt a bit voyeuristic perhaps, too intimate. It was, however, exceedingly lovely. Light and bright, and, as you can imagine with Annie, all about the details. Design books on the coffee table. A stunning lamp in the corner. Lego figures sharing pride of place on a cabinet, and of course flowers everywhere. The bath looked and smelled luxurious. The terrace off their bedroom overlooked such gorgeous gardens that I thought Neel might curl up and sleep on the floor.
Annie and Richard have all sorts of exciting plans for their flat, many changes they want to make as they settle in, but as it stands, it feels light and bright and beautiful. More than that was how we felt while we were there, which was very much at home.
I know that they struggle a bit with the choice they made, going for the neighborhood as much as the space itself, but to us, as guests, it felt very right and very them. I can't wait to see what they do with it. No matter what, it feels like home.