Lessons on elegant comfort from a master mixer for interior design
Behind the old façade of old-new England’s famous luxury Mayflower Inn & Spa lies a fresh surprise: a Celerie Kemble redesign that combines influences from around the world — tiled ceilings, ikat-wrapped lampshades, botanical frescoes that creep imperceptibly elsewhere — correct khaki-colored walls — along with an extremely airy, superb well spa and an epic bone broth (and an epic whole menu) from April’s Bloomfield. About two hours from New York, it’s a place to disconnect, enjoy and relax — and it’s also an almost inexhaustible source of design inspiration.
The scale can be as enchanting as the color.
Step through the door into the large entrance hall and your gaze goes … all at once. It has pale blue wallpaper in wild print of large dimensions; plush rug in dark eggplant and pale pink; a modernist wire chandelier interspersed with small traditional shades; and a circular wooden table sprinkled with beautiful objects and surrounded by pale chairs in organic shapes. Somehow, the effect of all these details is soothing, dragging you further into space. Kemble is a master at mixing colors, textures, and patterns, and also takes care of contrasting large spaces with small, cozy, and commanding objects with smaller ones.
An almost three-foot-tall black paper hole by New York artist Livia Cetti anchored a collection of smaller objects along the fireplace; in any space, it is a simple, dramatic detail that points to nature in the most charming way.
Refer to the natural world to make the space special (and a bit wild).
Whether it’s the scent, the texture, or the literal depiction of nature, there’s no room in the Mayflower room that doesn’t bring in the exterior.
You can be a little moody in the dining room.
Go through the hallway (small, of course, after a sudden entry) into an airy restaurant overlooking a spacious meadow surrounded by evergreens. Botanical products, birds and insects are painted along the walls; the ceilings are crossed with Turkish tiles and hung with glass pendants; and elegant rattan sofas and coffee chairs pile up around wooden tables.
April Bloomfield is the head chef, and the food is epic — from farm to fork with all the richness and complexity for which Bloomfield’s cuisine is known. The aforementioned bone broth combines beef, pork and chicken soup with warm spices (star anise? Cinnamon?). Tikka cauliflower masala is not from this world, the burger is smoked and inventive, and the fried chicken is amazing.
Drink cocktails (and unimaginably delicious eggs) in a cozy drinking room with wallpaper or take them outside to the Shakespeare Garden.
For the current atmosphere, add a hearth.
The back lawn of Mayflower, centered around Shakespeare’s charming garden, is dotted with small groups of Adirondack chairs around small hearths. Watching the crackling fire and sipping a fantastic cocktail as the sun sets and the world darkens must be one of the enchanting ways to spend the evening. The hotel strategically illuminates the particularly spectacular trees on the estate when it gets completely dark, so stay in the night and soak up the magical atmosphere.
Portable outdoor fire pit
goop, $ 140BUY NOW
Set of cocktail napkins with blush, 4
goop, $ 28BUY NOW
The layers create a pull for the cocoon in the bedroom.
The guest rooms mix periods, patterns, fabrics and colors with abandonment, but the overall effect is soothing. (There are several rooms with four-poster beds covered in layers of pale turquoise, cream or pink silk that made us feel like we were sleeping in Sofia Coppola Marie Antoinette.) Throughout the hotel, and especially in the rooms, it becomes clear that pale pink is the purest neutrality – mix it with virtually any other color to create a serene, warm feeling.
Bring the next-level spa home.
Well worked with Mayflower to create one of the most beautiful, relaxing and transformative spas anywhere. Even if you just attend a yoga class (they are amazing); soak in a glass hot tub; or looking through the huge windows of an airy relaxation room, you will emerge deeply calm and energetic. But do a craniosacral massage outside on a heated bed in a spruce grove while the lace flakes revolve around you, if you can. The spa offers all kinds of upgrades, skin treatments and extensive integrative health education (Dr. Frank Lipman is the chief physician at Wells), along with amazing hot food from farm to fork.
A set of meditation pillows
goop, 299 USDBUY NOW
Infrared sauna blanket V3
goop, $ 500BUY NOW
goop x PUMA
goop, $ 50BUY NOW
Rose Quartz soothing facial massage roller
goop, $ 45BUY NOW
goop x SOMA
goop, $ 40BUY NOW
A mat for heat therapy made of precious stones
goop, 1,049 USDBUY NOW
Plants add life (literally) in any space.
In the spa, plants are absolutely everywhere, from stunning gardens (Mayflower spans fifty-eight acres) you can walk to dreamy glazed hot tubs to giant pots of everything from succulents to evergreen plants in large spaces.