Like a ripe nectarine just turned ready to eat, the English weather now exudes the perfect freshness and warmth only a British summer can. Exactly the right moment for me to meet lovely American equestrian, Benita, who stepped away from her riding for a juice and a chat amongst the flowers.

A keen three-day event rider (yes, the Royal sport, of which Zara Philips is one of our famous exponents) Benita, inspired by the Athens Olympics, is wending her graceful way toward her own medal challenge.

Benita Strini 2 

Benita: sometimes it takes a Southern Belle to make an English Rose..DV

On a slightly less exalted note, I love her relaxed Virginian style, natural and open, yet with a certain regard that makes her ideally placed in an English stately home. Fresh-faced, with very little makeup, she just seems to glow. I’m afraid I can’t tell you she took hours to look this good. She simply appeared like this and I pointed my camera… And because I love a story that involves a good brain, I’m pleased to report that the mind of a scientist nestles within those angelic curls.

Talented, wise and comely. Don’t you just love that?! (Sorry, there’s no product I can recommend.)

Must be all that 5AM communing with nature. 

Brought up on a farm in the Southern State, Benita knows countryside. We had a fun day wafting through pergolas, climbing ivy-clad steps and wandering in distant meadows. I’ll show you soon, little bird.

Benita Strini 2

 Photography by Dear Velvet

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