Bravotv.com: How did you get into yoga?
Julie Montagu: I was overwhelmed after having my fourth child and needed an escape (and probably some sleep too!) A friend introduced me to Power Vinyasa Yoga and I instantly became hooked. And the next thing you know, not only did I train to become a yoga instructor, but I also became a better mom and wife!
Bravotv.com: How did you meet your husband?
Julie: I met him at a party -- a bit boring -- but what’s a great story is that I didn’t really know who he was! He told me for months his name was Luke Montagu but when he paid for something on his credit card, I sneaked a peak and it said Viscount Hinchingbrooke! And I was like, are you an imposter?! You told me your name was Luke! Then, what made it worse was that I thought Viscount was said the same way as Discount! Which… I’m afraid it’s not! The "Vis" is pronounced like "Vy" or rhymes with "my." The English sure do have a screwed up language -- the American language of pronunciation is the RIGHT way in my book!
Bravotv.com: Why does Annabelle know your husband and his family so well?
Julie: Growing up, Annabelle and my husband ran in the same social circles. Annabelle is a great shot and has been coming down to the Mapperton Estate for 20 years for our shooting parties. The gameskeeper at Mapperton said she’s one of the best shots he’s ever seen! And what’s great is that this is a boys’ sport, so when a girl comes on a shoot... well, the boys are super impressed. She always stays in what she calls the "Ghost Room" at Mapperton -- she swears she’s seen ghosts there at night -- and is probably right as I think it’s inhabited with all of Luke’s ancestors from the 1600s!
Bravotv.com: Did you have a game plan for if things got heated between the ladies?
Julie: Yes, I actually did! I was going to make them all take a yoga lesson in the gardens (even in their fancy dresses if I had to) to help "clear" their minds and the tension! I was actually rather disappointed that didn’t happen.
Bravotv.com: Are you a good shot?
Julie: I am! Although I’m not sure my husband thinks the same. Oh well. But when I shoot with my husband, he puts me to shame. We go to shoots around England and the head gameskeepers at these particular shoots always come up to me and tell me that my husband is one of the best shots they’ve ever seen. He’s that good! So now I know I shouldn’t ever piss him off.
Bravotv.com: What's in a summer pudding?
Julie: You’ll probably be like WHAT?! when I tell you, but it actually includes lots of WHITE BREAD! Which we know probably isn’t the best…however, it’s then jam packed with some healthy bits too -- strawberries, blackberries, red currants, and raspberries and it tastes GREAT! Quintessentially English, but not necessarily in a yogis diet! I much prefer some Superfood Balls!
Bravotv.com: What did you think was the biggest faux pas of the trip?
Julie: One word: BAMBI! When Juliet said she wouldn’t be eating Bambi (AKA venison), I thought a) that’s verbal diarrhoea and she needs a filter and b) the one liner I always say to my kids: "Manners before menus!" Maybe I should make a t-shirt for her with a "manners before menus" slogan on it for our next trip down to Mapperton.
Bravotv.com: What did your in-laws think of all the ladies?
Julie: They actually really, truly enjoyed the day with all of them. My mother-in-law enjoyed giving them the tour of Mapperton gardens as that is her prized possession. She gives those gardens so much love, and it shows. Equally, my father-in-law enjoyed telling the ladies about the history of the house. And the thought that one day I’ll be living in a house older than my "Country tis of thee" is CRAZY! But you can never take the American out of me. NEVER! I even refuse to get a British passport which drives my husband NUTS! Because I feel like it would be TREASON and UNpatriotic of me. I mean, I might be living in England and have an English Title, but I will always an American to the core and deep in my bones.
Bravotv.com: How often do you go to Mapperton?
Julie: We usually go during school holidays -- so 1/2 terms, Christmas, Easter break, Summer hols, and then of course during the shooting season, which runs from October to January. The kids love it. They play hide and go seek in the house (and usually one really does get lost!) and they go on 2-3 hour walks to the pond, which is located deep in the estate. There’s a little paddle boat that they take out to the teeny island in the middle of the pond, and swing from the trees. They do tend to stay away from the gardens because of all the tourists though. They like to hide and play deep in the hills of Mapperton.