Dienstag, 27. Februar 2018

ENGLAND - Quintessentially Quaint in the Cotswolds

Charity Farm Manor House

MonksRetreat, Charity Farm - Stanton Village, Cotswolds

Monk's Retreat Cottage
A charming, quiet cottage situated next to a classic Cotswold farm house. With its spectacular views and great location, Monk's retreat is perfect for that idyllic Cotswold getaway vacation.

Living myself in one of Colorado's most  breathtaking towns - Telluride, Colorado - and frequenting my other home in bustling Oxford, England (Check it out!), I often like to begin or end my holiday visiting Oxford in a more tranquil setting, with lovely country walks right out my door.

View over Stanton Village from the Cottage and Charity Farm
On my second visit  already in a year, Monk's Retreat is perfect for all my needs. Easy to get to and not much more than an hour's drive from Oxford, one is transported to a sleepy part of the Cotswolds many have never yet discovered. 

Cottage bench and table with stunning views
Only four miles away from the famed Broadway Tower, many never venture further afield to discover this charming area tucked away amongst rolling hills, woods and fields.

Quiet lane leading up to Charity Farm and the Cottage
View from Cottage

Sounds remote? Not really. The cottage is located down a picturesque lane on a lovely country farm, yet is actually in one of the Cotswold's most lovely and un-spoilt 17th century villages called Stanton

The Cotswold Way

Right out the cottage door one has a plethora of delightful Costwold walks from which to choose, including the famed Cotswold Way and many other walks leading to other charming villages such as Snowshill with it's famed Lavender Farm and Manor House.
Snowshill on the horizon

Belas Knap - A 5800 year old Neolithic Tomb
The delightful village of Winchcombe is also not far away with it's lovely castle to explore and many more Cotswold walks out to Hailes Abbey or up to the Cotswolds hightest hill (Cleeve Hill) on which sits a well preserved Neolithic Long Barrow or Tomb: Belas Knap.

Upon arrival, Valerie, her farming hubby, John, and their sweet black lab, Ember, welcome me warmly.

The locals :)
It is here, I find my inner peace and "self" again. 

Nature has always been my tonic, and to awaken to the birds chirping and the baby lambs calling out for their Maaaa...is a dream.

Charming living room

I add my own flowers
for that personal touch.

The cottage is thoughtfully furnished, very clean, and has that homey, warm feeling of wanting to settle in immediately. 

Bread, Tea, Coffee

Well appointed for self catering, I can get up and fix breakfast when I decide to leisurely arise - on no one's agenda!

Indeed, Valerie thoughtfully provides a starter kit of milk, juice, tea, coffee, butter and a basket of lovely bread, granola and jam to get one started. 

Well appointed "farm house" kitchen
Bed hidden away
in an open loft

After a great night's rest on a very comfortable bed, I can have a bit of breakfast and then quite refreshed, embark on a walk or ramble across fields and fell to explore neighboring Cotswold villages.

Comfy bed in the loft

Spacious bathroom with large tub
As a final bonus - after a long day's adventuring around the countryside and a warm bath to soothe the feet, Monk's Retreat is located just steps away from one of the region's best pubs, The Mount Inn, with fantastic home made (gourmet) food and spectacular views on a clear night.
The Mount Inn Gastro Pub

Homemade Venison Pie

Following yesterday's 12.5km (8 mile) hike, I chose their hearty home cooked Venison Pie, which was accompanied with boiled potatoes and an amazing, revitalizing dish of fresh veggies. Yum!

I shall make a separate review of this fabulous restaurant at a later time! But if you are in the area, please do stop in for a great lunch or dinner.

So, for now, off on a new day's adventure in this magical area!


Thank you for having me back Charity Farm! This shall not be the last time you see me!

You can make reservations directly with Valerie through their WEBSITE

Enjoy your stay!

Montag, 5. Februar 2018

STOP PRESS! Nordstrom Collaborates with Alpen Schatz

Known for over 14 years in the quintessential small town of Telluride, Colorado, as the one and only "Alpine Lifestyle" boutique: Alpen Schatz, has unbeknownst to most, continued to gain the attention of national big time names.

Nordstrom, the luxury  North American department store chain, recently signed a contract with Alpen Schatz to feature its iconic SwissDog Collars in a "Year of the Dog" promotion in their Pop-In@Nordstrom campaign, which is launching on February 16, 2018. Norstrom will be carrying three sizes: a 14" and 17" Small Red or Black Contemporary Collar and a 21" Medium Red or Black Contemporary collar.

The campaign is targeted at select Nordstrom locations across North America. The featured locations to be carrying Alpen Schatz Swiss Dog Collars are: Downtown Seattle (WA), Bellevue Square (WA), The Grove (Los Angeles, CA), South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA), North Park (Dallas, TX), Michigan Ave (Chicago, IL), Vancourver (B.C.), Toronto (ON), and Nordstrom.com/Pop.

The world's oldest dog collar, made in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Alpen Schatz collars are handcrafted from Organic Swiss cow leather and adorned with special Alpine brass or silver medallions which will never tarnish nor rust (saltwater an exception). 

These collars will last the lifetime+ of the life of one's precious pup, and due to their organic nature, will only get softer and more luxurious over  time. The regal Alpen Schatz collars have adorned European pups for centuries, to include the royal canines of European Kings, Queens  and Gentry. They are the "crowning jewel" of anyone's beloved pup who has the privilege of wearing one.

Other well known establishments of note who purchase the Alpen Schatz brand of Swiss Collars and Cowbells regularly are: AMAZON.COM, the US National Ski & Snowboard Association, the New York Stock Exchange, the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Gorsuch (Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen), Big White Ski Resort, Bernina of Switzerland, the North Eastern HS Ski Championships, and many more.

In addition to providing corporate entities, Alpen Schatz sells its Swiss collars and cowbells along with its other fine European brands (HUNTER and LaCinopelca) to many wholesale accounts around the country. Some of these include, "To Wag For” (Santa Monica, CA), Tails in the City (Chicago, IL), Canine Styles (NYC) - and the list goes on.

Alpen Schatz has participated in the famed WestminsterDog Show for over 8 years, being invited repeatedly by the Westminster Dog Club as the exclusive Vendor of European collars and leashes at the show. 

It also participates annually in the World's largest Pet Tradeshow, the SUPERZOO in Las Vegas, where it sells to the pet industry. In addition, Alpen Schatz ships it's fine pet products to a world-wide audience through its well established website: www.AlpenSchatz.com.

In a nutshell, this Telluride, literally "underground" institution, (Alpen Schatz is located down a set of steps), serves a much larger audience nationwide (& worldwide) than most know about!

“We are thrilled to have discovered this niche which has been crying out for such beautifully handcrafted leather products. 

The Swiss crafted collars, cow bells and leashes maintain popularity in Europe and around the world, with its long tradition of over 250 years of existence due to the fine quality and classic beauty of the product.

It is truly exciting to be working with Nordstrom, Amazon and many others to make our brand available to a much wider audience.”, said Mary Dawn DeBriae, Founder & Owner of Alpen Schatz.


Exclusively from Switzerland & Telluride, Colorado

Freitag, 2. Februar 2018

Westminster Dog Show, NYC, 2018 - Visit Alpen Schatz in New York City!

Come check out our Alpen Schatz booth with its unique European Pet AND People treasures at the upcoming

Westminster Dog Show
in New York City
Alpen Schatz will be exhibiting on Pier 94 from 9am-5pm daily

  •  Saturday, February 10 - The 5th Annual Masters Agility Championship and 9th AKC Meet The Breeds

  •  Monday, February 12 & Tuesday, February 13 - The 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Pier 94

2017 Alpen Schatzi's
We have lots of fun and love to meet our Alpen Schatz fans who come to the show.

Little cutie with her new LaCinopelca harness and leash set.

Serious toy shopping

Stuffed animal shopping fun
We get to meet all sorts of Alpen Schatz lovers from pups

to darling children

...to grown-up kids!

And the show dogs are always fun to watch

Check-out pictures of last year's show fun HERE

Hope to see you in New York!
Alpen Schatzis waiting to greet you

Dienstag, 5. Dezember 2017

NOEL NIGHT is here! Great Holiday Shopping and Celebrations at Alpen Schatz!

Check out our latest NEWSLETTER for details of this exciting event! 

We hope you can make it either in person or ON-LINE! Great Holiday shopping and cheery savings on this special day.

Dienstag, 21. November 2017

Alpen Travel Tips: Holiday Hot Spots in England and Scotland

Chester, England - Photo credit "Chester 360"
Not just the (Continental) Europeans know how to put on the pizzaz of Christmas Markets, but the UK has a lot to offer as well! 

I've just recently returned from yet another fantastic trip back to the UK, but this time, I got to take my lovely Canadian niece, Nicole, on a little road trip to some of my favourite haunts. It was her very first trip abroad, so I wanted to make it extra special for her.  
ITINERARY: Our trip started off in my "home away from home" town of Oxford, then we drove up to medieval Chester, then into the heart of the Lake District, then off to the peace of St Abbs - my secret Scottish fishing village and breathtaking nature reserve, then up to noble Edinburgh, then back down to olde world York, and finishing off in London. Whew, what a whirlwind!

On our travels, England and Scotland were just gearing up for the Christmas holidays and getting caught-up myself in this magical holiday excitement, I thought I'd share my discoveries of some great places to visit and things to do this Holiday Season in England and Scotland.

So get ready, unlock the gate, and enter into...



ME! In a pre-historic
Irish Bee Hive Hut
European Travel Adventures

Enjoy your next trip to England. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions when planning your own trip to England, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria or Bavaria! After living in and travelling to Europe for almost 30 years, I love to help plan and recommend as and when I can! 

I can even assist in bookings and being a personal guide if one likes! My trips offer a unique and much more personal perspective to traveling in Europe than commercial operators.

Read a little bit more about me and my travel style and services in my BIO HERE

Enjoy the adventure!
Mary Dawn DeBriae

European Tips and Picks -
Alpen Schatz Style

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