monalogue

My West Country with @Monalogue

Meet Ramona (aka @Monalogue) the online influencer who’s gorgeous Instagram feed uncovers some of the UK’s most stunning locations. From dreamy castles to idyllic cottages, Mona and her partner Aaron will inspire you to head out across the West Country and discover its beautiful landscapes…

Hi Mona, can you introduce yourself to any of our readers who aren’t familiar with your work yet?

Hello! I am Mona, aka @monalogue on Instagram. People usually describe my photos as ‘quintessentially English’ or ‘fairytale’. I share a vintage vision of the South West from our cottage in Somerset. I love an unspoiled village or a good garden.

How long have you lived in Somerset and what makes the county special to you?
I was born in North Somerset, and my partner and I moved deeper into Somerset when we bought our first house. It’s a place I’ve never wanted to leave.
How do you and your partner discover new places to capture?

Now that my friends and family know what we do on Instagram, they often recommend towns and villages for us to visit. Sometimes I get inspiration from Instagram and I will save a location to my Google Map favourites. Other times it’s magazines, the National Trust booklet, or the National Gardens Scheme website.

You’re always so well dressed, where do you shop for your beautiful gowns and dresses?

Thank you! I collect vintage dresses, my favourites are 60s and 70s prairie dresses or a heavy cord dress for Autumn/Winter. Most are from eBay, Depop and occasionally Facebook Marketplace and charity shops. I am always on the lookout for new vintage finds! 

Favourite country house estate?

I love The Pig Near Bath. The house is now a  beautiful hotel/restaurant and the grounds are home to vegetable gardens and livestock, so the food is all sourced as locally as can be. They also make a wonderful vegetarian or vegan menu if you ask in advance!

Loveliest gardens to stroll through? 

I am a big fan of The Courts Garden in Holt. There are many different ‘rooms’ to explore within the garden so you’re sure to find something inspiring. You should also visit The Peto Gardens at Iford Manor, they are mind-blowingly wonderful.

Monalogue
Monalogue
Prettiest village in the West Country?

Technically Castle Combe, but it can get quite busy there. There are plenty of hidden gems, I love Mells for example.


Best place for cake & coffee?

If you want to go all out, the afternoon tea at The Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe is such a treat, and the setting is also impressive! For a little break, The Walled Garden at Mells is lovely.

Any shops or businesses you think our readers ought to check out? 

There are some great independent shops in Frome, a favourite is Poot Emporium for handmade and ethical clothing. The Frome Independent market is fabulous, particularly for mindful Christmas shopping. There are also some gorgeous vegetarian and vegan shops and eateries in Glastonbury. I love a day out there. Also check out the Book Barn! I believe it’s the largest (and possibly the cheapest!) bookshop in the country.

…what would you say is the most Instagrammable location in all of the West Country?

That is such a difficult question! I could bet that Castle Combe is the most Instagrammed, but when it comes to the most Instagrammable I can’t narrow it down! I would say as a top three Vicars Close in Wells, the view of Iford Manor from the valley and, let’s throw in Dorset for good measure,the view of Durdle Door from the nearby cliff walk. Oh and if you’re down that way, Gold Hill in Shaftesbury… it honestly never ends! 

Monalogue

To see more of Mona’s beautiful adventures, make sure you’re following her over on Instagram: @monalogue