Country & Town House - January/February 2021

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Vaccines, vitamins and virtuality – take your health in your hands


Why this is Ellie Bamber’s year

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How country estates are leading the eco charge

MOUNTAIN RESCUE Let’s hope we’re back on the slopes by spring

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THE GOOD LIFE Alice B-B is grateful to Elizabeth Hurley 18 THE RURBANIST Patsy Palmer 136 LAST WORD Michael Hayman on what life might be like in a post-pandemic world

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COLD FRONT Delivery direct to the slopes THE EDIT New picks for a new year ZERO DEGREES On and off-piste style THE SCOOP On the ball THE MAGPIE The Nineties are back, says Mariella Tandy MY STYLE Anine Bing embraces New Year monochrome SECONDS, PLEASE Why resale is more exciting than retail right now LITTLE GREEN BOOK Lisa Grainger gives her wardrobe an eco-clearout BODY LANGUAGE Olivia Falcon on the importance of R&R THE CLOSE UP Model Robyn Schrikker’s skincare saviours POWDER ROOM How to banish the winter beauty blues. By Nathalie Eleni BODY & SOUL Cult Beauty’s Alexia Inge’s wellbeing secrets SPA TREK Mike Dickson discovers his inner yogi at the Sen Wellness Centre WELL GROOMED Men’s style news

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SHORE THING Discover England’s Creative Coast THE EXHIBITIONIST Ed Vaizey prepares for the cultural comeback WHAT’S ON Dates for your 2021 diary ARTIST’S STUDIO Caiti Grove meets rising star Shaqúelle Whyte GOOD READS Five reads for foodies THE OLYMPIAN Sebastian Coe on lessons learned in lockdown ROAD TEST Jeremy Taylor tests the new Rolls-Royce on a country mile CONVERSATIONS AT SCARFES BAR Journalist and broadcaster Matthew Parris


A SHOT IN THE DARK Cover star Ellie Bamber talks activism, screen style and the human psyche with Harriet Compston

4 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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THE A-Z OF WELLNESS What’s trending in the 2021 self-care charts PARTY PIECES Carole Annett on the private house auction of the century RIDING HIGH Natural horsemanship and bee therapy on a 1,500-acre estate in Spain THE REVOLUTION STARTS HERE How country estates are reconfiguring themselves as beacons of sustainability

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ETERNAL FLAME Re-light your fire DESIGN NOTES What’s new, now FOCUS Going round in circles ROYAL REDESIGN How Nicola Harding brought life back into the Mitre 102 TREND Mellow yellows


From the hotels and chalets to book once restrictions lift to ice-climbing in Savoie with Victoria Pendleton, discover what’s fresh on the slopes this season (or, indeed, next)


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COME ON, GET HAPPY Lucy Cleland discovers why Finland is the happiest country in the world (again) DRINK UP The wines you need on your table this year JUST ONE NIGHT Charlotte Metcalf checks into the Dorchester BOOK NOW Hot hotel openings THE WEEKENDER Madeira GASTRO GOSSIP A cracking good time SHAKE IT OFF Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s chachouka RESTAURANT REVIEW Maison François


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ON THE COVER Ellie Bamber wears CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear, shot on location at The London EDITION. Photographer: Rachell Smith; Fashion Director: Nicole Smallwood; Make-up: Alexis Day using Les Fleurs de Chanel and Chanel Le Lift Lotion. Hair: Alexis Day using Ouai haircare. INSIDE As before.


Go west, to this unspoilt Somerset nook 130 FIVE OF THE BEST Homes for wellness


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ell, we haven’t got off to a great start to the year, have we? But as viruses pay no heed to new years and thus perceived new beginnings, why would we have thought it would have been any different. Right back to March last year, then, without the weather, the birdsong or the wide-eyed sense of the unknown. How shall we shine a light through the weeks ahead? By doing what we always hope to do – bringing you, our readers, pages of escapism, of blissful adventures to go on once more, of health hacks to keep you at the top of your game and stories about anything other than that most pernicious of topics: Covid-19 (or even, dare we mention it, American democracy). First up, we’re probably all watching a lot more TV. Bridgerton seems to have caused quite a sensation (I have yet to watch it), but I’m vicariously enjoying (is that the word when dealing with a serial killer?) BBC1’s The Serpent. Just seeing those traffic-fumed streets of Bangkok or the odd snatch of powdery beach and cerulean sea makes me yearn for exotic shores far from Blighty. Not to



64 mention all those fantastic over-sized sunglasses. We, of course, boast one of its stars, the gorgeous Ellie Bamber, as our cover girl this issue, Seventies style firmly ditched in favour of Chanel, for whom she is an ambassador. The rising star tells Harriet Compston the travails of learning Thai and why she’s unafraid to delve the darker recesses of the human character (p64). The country house estate’s role in history has shifted anew. It is slowly – and excitingly – being reborn as a protagonist in the critical story of sustainability. Amy Wakeham meets the landowners who are making their resources vital once more to the local community and beyond (p90). While we all wait for the population to be vaccinated and some semblance of normality to return, January is a great way to up your own health game – what else is there to do? When I can, I’m booking an ayahuasca trip in a Mexican desert with Behold Retreats – I definitely want to find a legal higher plane. You could also try going barefoot like Gywnnie (bit cold though at the moment) or join the wondrously motivating Aimee Victoria Long on Zoom for her Body Beautiful Method training sessions (I’m counting on her to transform my biscuit laden frame). For these and 23 other ideas, turn to our annual C&TH A-Z Guide to Wellbeing on page 75. For those who are pining for the slopes, Felix Milns brings you the best new openings, and advises on where to stay once restrictions lift (you may even make this season with a bit of luck, p105), and I find out why @countryandtown the Finns are just so /countryandtownhousemagazine /countryandtownhouse damn happy (p115).

PLANT It’s cold out there, so bring the greenery inside with Jonathan Adler’s beautiful planter.

READ A fantastic debut to devour on a cold winter’s eve tucked up by the fire.

RUN Real running pros love On Cloud trainers and these ones are fully recyclable.

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A classic, Goodyear-welted, Chelsea boot made in England using the finest Burnished Calf & featuring our flexible City rubber sole


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Top health hack? The key is to be kind to yourself, spend time in nature, enjoy a balanced and ideally mostly plant-based diet, and exercise regularly in a way that you enjoy. Try also to be mindful of enjoying everything in moderation. Plans for 2021? To travel. It’s been strange Explore Savoie with Victoria on p112 spending so much time at home, I appreciate more than ever what a beautiful country the UK is. I have explored a lot of it on my motorcycle over the last few months. Favourite place to escape? I love surfing in Costa Rica. Living on the edge of the jungle and close to beaches, surrounded by nature, is a heavenly experience. Comfort food you love to cook? Thai and Indian-inspired meals with lots of vegetables. Plus, vegan cookies as a treat.


Top health hack? My wife bought me an acupressure lotus mat. Ten minutes meditation lying on those 5,000 ergonomic spikes seems to be working wonders for my lockdown blues. Plans for 2021? To clamber out of the trenches and start travelling again. Favourite place Ski Editor Felix’s snow special starts on p105 to escape? My calling will always be to the mountains. There’s nothing like charging down a steep face of virgin powder for pure unbridled escapism. Comfort food you love to cook? Chicken broth, food for body and soul. We are lucky to have a local butcher who delivers.


Top health hack? Stressed? Search ‘Yoga Ben’ on YouTube – he’ll whisk you off to a better place. Plans for 2021? If we’re allowed out to play, there’s a onceevery-400-years or so solar eclipse in Antarctica on 4 December. If not, 2021 is a bumper Nigel tries bee therapy at La Donaira on p86 year for TV sports with the Euros, Olympics and a Lions rugby tour to enjoy. Favourite place to escape? I really love Nevis – a tiny, super-scenic island in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. It’s a last bastion of old school charm. Comfort food you love to cook? Rhubarb crumble – roast the stalks first, add stem ginger, and pimp up the topping with mixed spice.


Top health hack? I like to get up and go for a 20 minute run each morning. I feel energised for the rest of the day and listening to motivational music helps. Plans for 2021? I have lots of amazing shoots ahead and I’m working on my first book, which is an insight into my Read our cover story with Ellie Bamber, shot by Rachell, on p64 lighting techniques over the years. Favourite place to escape? I love the Caribbean islands – as soon as it’s safe to, I’m booking my ticket to Antigua. Comfort food you love to cook? I make enormous Yorkshire puddings and put the rest of the roast dinner inside.

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EDITOR Lucy Cleland EDITOR-AT-LARGE Alice B-B ASSOCIATE EDITOR Charlotte Metcalf MANAGING EDITOR Amy Wakeham SUB EDITOR Belinda Bamber FEATURES ASSISTANT & SUB EDITOR Sofia Tindall FASHION DIRECTOR Nicole Smallwood BEAUTY DIRECTOR Nathalie Eleni INTERIORS EDITOR Carole Annett EXECUTIVE RETAIL EDITOR Mariella Tandy SUSTAINABILITY EDITOR Lisa Grainger PROPERTY EDITOR Anna Tyzack MOTORING EDITOR Jeremy Taylor ONLINE EDITOR Rebecca Cox ONLINE WRITER Ellie Smith ONLINE ASSISTANT Daniella Saunders ONLINE INTERN Kate O’Gorman CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Parm Bhamra PRODUCTION DESIGNER Samuel Thomas ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Ellie Rix SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Pandora Lewis DIGITAL MANAGER Adam Dean SALES & ADMIN ASSISTANT Bea Cerullo TECHNICAL MANAGER Hannah Johnson TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Mark Pearson FINANCE DIRECTOR Jill Newey FINANCE CONTROLLER Lauren Hartley PROPERTY & MARKETING ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Gemma Cowley GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Tia Graham MANAGING DIRECTOR Jeremy Isaac CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Stephen Bayley, Simon de Burton, Fiona Duncan, Olivia Falcon, Daisy Finer, Lydia Gard, Avril Groom, Michael Hayman, Richard Hopton, Emma Love, Mary Lussiana, Anna Pasternak, Caroline Phillips, Holly Rubenstein, Marcus Scriven THE EDITOR FASHION ADVERTISING PROPERTY ADVERTISING ACCOUNTS SUBSCRIPTIONS COUNTRY & TOWN HOUSE is a monthly magazine distributed to AB homes in Barnes, Battersea, Bayswater, Belgravia, Brook Green, Chelsea, Chiswick, Clapham, Coombe, Fulham, Holland Park, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Pimlico, South Kensington, Wandsworth and Wimbledon, as well as being available from leading country and London estate agents. It is also on sale at selected WHSmith, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s stores and independent newsagents nationwide. It has an estimated readership of 150,000. It is available on subscription in the UK for £29.99 per annum. To subscribe online, iPad, iPhone and android all for only £24.99 visit: For subscription enquiries, please call 020 7384 9011 or email It is published by Country & Town House Ltd, Studio 2, Chelsea Gate Studios, 115 Harwood Road, London SW6 4QL (tel: 020 7384 9011). Registered number 576850 England and Wales. Printed in the UK by William Gibbons and Sons Ltd, West Midlands. Paper supplied by Gerald Judd. Distribution by Letterbox. Copyright © 2021 Country & Town House Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Materials are accepted on the understanding that no liability is incurred for safe custody. The publisher cannot be responsible for unsolicited material. All prices are correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change. Whilst every care is taken to ensure information is correct at time of going to press, it is subject to change, and C&TH Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors.

Country & Town House is a member of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England)

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Please recycle

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A different perspective Some furniture is made for the here and now. Some is built to stand the test of time. At Neptune, we believe that the best can do both. Because good design never grows old.

Book an appointment to chat to one of our friendly designers – on us.

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Obsessed with Forest Lungs; a scent proven to replicate the healing effects of nature.


Booking in for postlockdown low-touch/high performance treatments at The Recharge Rooms. recharge


Religiously taking immuneboosting Vitamin D. wild


PUPPY POWER! First stop post-surgery was a puppy training session with my friend Leonora (aka @mybabainsta) and dog whisperer Mark Thompson (owner of dog holiday and training facility The Dog House in Wales). Within five minutes her very regal corgi puppy and my bouncy golden doodle, Betty, were utterly spellbound by Mark. They stared at him as if he were a pooch James Bond, ready to bound off into the sunset with 00woof. And we learnt a lot. Turns out that most dog behavioural issues are largely down to their owners. You get out what you put in. So it’s back to school. For all of us. ALL DRESSED Alice B-B gives thanks to Elizabeth UP. Even if it’s Hurley for perhaps saving her life a party for one, I’m slipping into HECK YOUR TITS! Elizabeth the Isabella velvet dress by Laura Bailey for Iris & Ink, at The Outnet. Hurley promoting Breast Her first collection is a wishlist of Cancer Awareness month made me realise I’d lapsed my yearly classics; long-term lovers with a permanent slot on my rail. Other mammograms. So I had a feel in the things making me feel great right bath. And there it was. Tiny. Like a now; the Lyma laser – a powerful, lentil. I thought it was just another portable, painless clinic-grade skincyst – but at hospital the following renewal for home use. It’s doing week, the cliché moment happened. wonders for my neck. (My neck? The doctor’s smile disappeared One morning I woke up and my and he uttered that chilling word: neck was like a wrung-out sheet cancer. Tests, biopsies and an MRI; that no one had bothered to iron.) lots of tears, laughs and chats with Before stressful wise friends. Ten days later I had situations I’m successful surgery to remove the merrily puffing tumour. I’ve been so lucky. My on my Rain Cloud cancer was small, slow growing CBD pen. And and it hadn’t spread. I’ve now learnt I’ve just received that early diagnosis can massively La Cure by Sisley increase successful treatment. – a new fourAnd if just one person is diagnosed week protocol as a result of this column then this to unlock the whole rollercoaster episode has skin’s vital energy. been worthwhile. And P.S. Thank Frankly I’ll take you, Elizabeth Hurley – your any cure right tireless campaigning may well now. n have saved my life.


LU XU RY & N ECESSIT Y DRESS UP! Laura Bailey for Iris & Ink.


CURE ME Four weeks of skincare.


LASER POWER Skin renewal. PUPPY PARADISE Holidays and training.

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View our collections at: 55 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX | 24 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 8TX | 24 Brook Street, London, W1K 5DG |

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Patsy Palmer on life in Malibu and why meditation is always the answer

What’s the best way to put a smile on your face? Just looking at any of my kids when

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they’re in a really good mood. What’s annoying you right now?

Coronavirus. It’s frustrating for everybody. And it’s so sad for people and their businesses, and everyone getting sick, too – the way it’s affecting the world is terrible. Whose mind do you wish you could change?

My own. It’s the whole reason I came up with the mission for Good & Proper [Palmer’s new haircare and wellness line] – to try and keep our thoughts positive. Our own mind is the most important one to change, because by doing so we realise we can’t always change other people’s. Advice you’d give to your 15-year-old self? Everything will be okay, and you don’t have to worry. You really don’t need to be with this boy, or that man. It’s not necessary to stay in these terrible relationships – you’re going to wish you never did! What keeps you awake at night? Last night it was the fire that my oldest son lit because it was chilly, but you can’t do that

FROM ABOVE: The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck (Arrow, £10.99); every product in the Good & Proper range comes with a guided meditation; beautiful Malibu on the Californian coast



here in Malibu when it’s windy – there have been too many terrible forest fires – so I was up all night worrying about it. What could you have been arrested for? Taking some toys from Hamleys without paying when I was a kid. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened… but then it was the typical hand on the shoulder from the security guard saying, ‘Come with me’. Best life hack? Meditation. It’s changed my life in the last five years. It doesn’t cost anything and telling people how much it has helped me is really important. If you try just five minutes a day of a guided meditation, it really does change everything. It does something to your brain chemicals, it reduces stress levels and inflammation in your body. Where do you go to get away? I sit in the garden or go to the beach. I don’t need much escape because Malibu is such a beautiful place and so full of nature. I just have to go outside and look at the ocean. I am very grateful and aware of how lucky I am. You wouldn’t know it but… I’m obsessed with vinegar and have to have it on everything I eat. The book you wished you’d written? I love The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck, which was one of the books that helped open my mind to different ways of thinking. Or Harry Potter! The film you wished you’d starred in? Films like This Is 40 make me laugh so much – anything by Judd Apatow. I love a good rom-com. Your greatest failure? I went through something, a financial thing, and I felt it was a failure. But the biggest failure was my inability to change my mind about it sooner and get out of it earlier. It affected me hugely. But I learnt lots about myself from it, which I can put into what I’m doing now. Your greatest triumph? When I look back and see what I’ve overcome in life. The resilience that women – especially – have is incredible. We have to do a certain amount of fighting. Your epitaph would read... She tried her best and her intentions were always good.

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E L I Z A B E T H H A R R O D , S O L O I S T, T H E R O Y A L B A L L E T

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Upcoming Auctions Fine Jewellery

Thursday 21st January Starts at 11am

The Luxury Watch Sale

Monday 15th February Starts at 11am

The Designer Collection

Monday 1st March Ends from 10am | Free, no-obligation valuations available Birmingham | 19 Augusta Street | Birmingham | B18 6JA | 0121 212 2131 London | 29 Charles Street | London | W1J 5DT | 020 7127 4198

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COLD FRONT Planning your wardrobe for a (hopeful) late winter getaway has never been easier with Net-a-Porter’s Ski and Outdoor edit, featuring a chic selection of exclusives from brands such as Moncler, Grenson and Cordova. There’s something for everyone, from the most seasoned of outdoor pros to those with a coldweather city break in mind. Bogner Suza ski jacket, £1,

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EDIT Denim and diamonds to kick 2021 off with a bang. By Mariella Tandy

SUIT UP I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to ditch the sweats and get back into some sharp tailoring this year. No one does it quite like Alexander McQueen – just look at that waist. Peplum pinstripe jacket, £2,190; trousers, £690. Exclusive to

ALL SYSTEMS GO Immunity Edition from Equi London contains a batch of immunitysupporting nutrients such as mushrooms, vegan probiotics, elderberry, vitamins C and D3, olive extract and zinc to aid the body in building resilience, while strengthening and protecting your immune system over winter. £33.


Annoushka’s crown rings are an evolving, collectable series of stacking rings crafted in 18-carat white, rose and yellow gold inspired by Gozitan lace makers. This diamond and pink sapphire version is ideal for Valentine’s Day. Ring stack, £4,400.


The Nirmala bucket bag from Iacobella is embellished with a crystal of your choice – rose quartz, amethyst, citrine or lapis lazuli – that also acts as the fastening. A versatile choice, it can be worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody. £445.


HEADLINE NEWS Monpure’s scalp treatments aim to bridge the gap between skincare and haircare. Its hitech formulas work on scalp health to help improve brittle, lacklustre hair and prevent hair loss. Nourish and Stimulate scalp mask, £63.

BLUE CRUSH Fans of Citizens of Humanity rejoice: your favourite Stateside jeans brand now ships to the UK. This season’s limited-edition folded denim belted jacket is especially good. £460. citizensof

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Founded by former Sunday Times Style jewellery editor, Alice Edwards, Memo Press cards feature delicate watercolours, hand-drawn sketches, or personalised initials. In an age where communication is more transient than ever, Memo is designed to elevate the art of putting pen to paper. Available in sets of ten in several chic colourways. From £30 for ten, or £4.50 each.

Three of the best


LET THE LIGHT IN Add some serious sparkle to these dark winter days with this Victoria ring from Tiffany & Co. Comprising a platinum vine with diamonds in a range of cuts, it’s undoubtedly a statement piece. £21,800.

ALL TIED UP Luxury womenswear brand Suzannah has teamed up with much-loved illustrator Susannah Garrod to use her signature bow print on a new silk dress and shirt. Tilda Bows blouse, £350.

1 CHANTECAILLE BALM The perfect ‘no make-up makeup’ tinted lip balm. £30. chante 2 THE TROVE Lay your weary head on this ruffle-edged linen mini pillow slip. £70. 3 DESMOND & DEMPSEY These palm treeembroidered corduroy slides make an ideal slipper update. £68. desmond



Dreaming of warmer climes? Get a head start on your packing with this monochrome one piece from Evarae, made from sustainable regenerated material Econyl. Otto swimsuit, £270.


If you invest in one pair of boots this season, make it these Victorian Button boots from Stivaleria Cavallín. Handmade at the brand’s factory in Venice, these are made to last a lifetime. £1,350. stivaleria cavallin. com

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ZERO DEGREES Hit the slopes in style, says Mariella Tandy

ACNE Puffer, £700

ROXY Pop snow helmet, £115

With the technical properties and highperformance fabrications of sportswear, and a distinctive fashionforward aesthetic, PE Nation makes clothes that look as good on the street as they do on the slopes. Full Court jacket, £287; Long sleeve knit, £159. pe-nation. com

CONNOLLY Block-colour ribbed wool sweater, £730

KNITSS Paragon ski hat, £95

PERFECT MOMENT Waterproof high neck ski suit, £750 FUSALP Judith striped knit jumper, £250

MONCLER Inaya quilted boots, £430

CORDOVA Mont Blanc ski jacket, £845


SPEKTRUM Östra goggles, £146

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Experience the very best in country clothing and more at The House of Bruar. This long gilet in premium lambskin shearling with a soft and supple suede outer is typical of the quality and attention to detail you’ll find throughout our range. Made from the finest natural materials in a timeless design that’s always on-trend, it’s the perfect layering piece for colder weather and will serve you well for season after season. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary with a collection which we firmly believe is our best yet, there’s never been a better time to explore Scotland’s Home of Country Clothing. LONG LAMBSKIN GILET (SHOWN) TS00313 | £395 CLASSIC LAMBSKIN GILET TS26208 | £295

Available in colours - Dark Brown (shown), Topo, Honey, Taupe-Brissa

Experience the very best in contemporary country clothing. Visit our website today: To order our mail order catalogue please ring 01796 483 236

The House of Bruar by Blair Atholl, Perthshire, PH18 5TW

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THE SCOOP Balls to all that, says Charlotte Cole

The power of seaweed comes to The Berkeley


Hotel spas continue to inspire with their ever-evolving endeavour to bring their guests the most interesting, new, cutting-edge and indulgent treatments around. The Berkeley and its divine Bamford Wellness spa will be bringing Scottish brand Ishga to a London spa setting for the first time in an exclusive residency (once restrictions lift). Launched in 2012 by husbandand-wife team – Malcolm and Joanna Macrae – Ishga is a results-driven organic skincare range, based on antioxidant-rich Hebridean seaweed. The Immune Boosting Ritual (what we’re all hankering after) is 90 minutes of a sea salt and oil scrub down (by which time your skin feels as smooth as said seaweed), topped off by an hour’s massage of choice – full body, hot stone or hot poultice. You’ll emerge as fresh as a sea-blown sand dune. £160.


We’ve all been mainlining online fitness classes but here’s a slightly different regime you might want to consider if you’re looking to switch things up and get results without feeling like working out is a beast you need to tame. P.volve, developed by Stephen Pasterino, gives you a really intense full body workout based on functional movement, balance and stability – and, critically, it’s not about busting your ass, but really strengthening and lengthening your muscles to make you long and lean. Key to this is the patented equipment – including the favourite P.ball (an exercise ball placed into a resistance band designed to give you the tight, toned thighs and the lifted derriere of a dancer) – all months in development to make them exactly the right size, weight and resistance to work parts of your body that you just can’t with bodyweight alone. Once you’re set up, you need to drop the need to do this fast and furiously and instead focus on doing the movements with purpose – they may seem small but they’re really activating all those tiny muscle sets that can get neglected and it’s easy to work up quite a sweat. Give it a few sessions and you’ll be walking taller guaranteed. Online classes from £11 for 12 months’ subscription, plus equipment.


Up your online fitness regime with P.volve

OK, you got through the ravages of Christmas and now we’re in bleak January and full lockdown once more. While you can’t currently book in for IRL treatments (virtual consultations available), as soon as you can I advise you hotfoot it down to the Waterhouse Young Clinic to let the clinicians work their wonders. Rosacea? They’ve got it covered. Grey skin that needs a big boost and a brightener? Sign me up! Fine lines, lack of elasticity and dry skin? Hell, yeah. They are real experts when it comes to making your skin look and feel its best, naturally – whether you’re into injectables (filler, botox, Profilo etc) or not, they’ll discuss your concerns kindly and professionally and come up with a really considered treatment Delete the plan just for you. Treatments ravages of 2020 from £200. n

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New gems for the new year. By Mariella Tandy HEY, SISTER

Pearls are back in a big way for 2021, all thanks to America’s newest Veep. Kamala Harris has made pearls her signature over her starry legal and political career, nodding back to her time in sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, which uses them to represent the bonds of sisterhood. These Perles Couture necklace and earrings from Chanel in 18-carat white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds and Japanese cultured pearls are just the ticket for entry to the club. Go girl. Earrings, £14,250; necklace, £21,500.

GOTHIC CROSSES Ileana Makri gold and diamond necklace, £1,585.

TO THE NINES The Nineties are back. Here are the retro-inspired styles to watch out for

ORGANIC SHAPES Gold stones necklace made from recycled resin and hand painted, £350.

STATEMENT STUDS Balenciaga Twin gold tone earrings, £550.

CHOKERS Daniela Villegas Wonderland multi-stone choker, £33,335. STACKING BRACELETS De Beers Talisman bangle, £8,800.


SILVER WATCHES JaegerLeCoultre Rendez-Vous Night & Day Automatic 34mm medium stainless steel and diamond watch, £13,600. jaegerle

CHUNKY GOLD CHAINS Laura Lombardi gold-plated heart necklace, £240.

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Hosted by Michael Hayman, industry experts, founders and CEOs share their invaluable insights into the future of Great British Brands. Available on all good platforms.

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08/01/2021 14:10

The Boodles family team. Back row: Michael and Nicholas Wainwright; Front row: cousins Jody Wainwright, Honour Wainwright and James Amos

A FAMILY AFFAIR Boodles welcomes an exciting new member to the team


amily has always been at the heart of everything Boodles does. Today, over two centuries after it was founded in 1798, it’s looked after by the fifth and sixth generations of the Wainwright family. At present, Chairman Nicholas Wainwright and his brother, Managing Director Michael, make up the fifth, while cousins Jody and James are the sixth. Now, the Boodles team is happy to welcome the latest family member on board: Honour Wainwright, daughter of Michael. Only 25, she has already had experience of the luxury world at Condé Nast Digital, and is primed to take Boodles into a sparkling future.

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‘I’ve literally grown up with 1 Ribbons Ashoka bangle, Boodles; it’s been Dad’s job £15,000. 2 Be Boodles throughout my whole life,’ says diamond bangle, £20,000. Honour of her new role. ‘And I know 3 Be Boodles diamond earrings, £8,600. that the issues that matter most to 4 Ribbons Ashoka diamond my generation – like environmental earrings, £7,000. 5 Ribbons sustainability, doing business ethically, explains James. ‘But what this does mean Ashoka diamond ring, £10,500. 6 Be Boodles and making sure the workplace is equal is we will have additional expertise in the Double Layer necklace and fair – have always mattered to my business to focus on what’s important and with pearl, £11,000 father, my uncle and cousins. But of exciting, such as spreading the word about course, I couldn’t be more excited than Boodles further afield. While many people in to be joining Boodles and having the the UK see us as the quintessentially British chance to make my own mark on the family-owned jewellery brand, there are many business in the years ahead. I am spending people across the world who we haven’t met my first year in the marketing department yet. We think there’s an opportunity here.’ running the PR team, and in the future I First of all, though, Honour has plans for what look forward to spending some time on the she wants to spotlight, too. ‘A lot of my friends are on the cusp of getting engaged, and I’d shop floor to get to know the product and the love them all to think of Boodles as the number customer facing side of the business better.’ one place to go for the engagement ring. We’re Naturally, her father, uncle and cousins are also excited to have her on board. ‘It’s wonderful definitely the most romantic brand I think, and our to have a Wainwright woman in the business at last,’ customer service is second-to-none. It comes from my says Jody. ‘There’s no shortage of talented women grandfather’s belief that everyone who works here is at Boodles. In fact, overall, we employ more women part of the ‘family’ — and that (in his words), “quality is than men. But, for a long time, a photograph of the remembered long after the price is forgotten”. That’s family members who work here has been a line-up so true. When you’re buying a piece of jewellery from of men. And despite my father’s pink ties, having a Boodles, you’re buying something that will be loved real Wainwright woman here will, I know, bring in forever.’ With Honour on board, the future looks a fresh perspective.’ brighter than ever for Boodles. This doesn’t, however, mean Nicholas and Michael are planning on taking a back seat any Visit Boodles at 178 New Bond Street, London W1S 4RH, or at time soon. ‘The old boys aren’t about to up-sticks!’

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Anine Bing (left), with Helena Christensen

Q & A


What makes you feel your best self?

The Faye bodysuit from my collaboration with Helena Christensen is my current go-to piece, under my favourite denim. Daily uniform? I’m a big believer in uniform dressing. I love wearing my favourite denim with a crisp white t-shirt, blazer and boots. Wardrobe failsafe? A great pair of sunglasses completes any outfit. Style crush? I find inspiration in many different places – music, photography, architecture, travel and real women with a unique sense of style, like Kate Moss. Holiday packing? A visit to Bora Bora is definitely number one on my bucket list. Packing essentials include: snacks (I’m a sugar addict), a notebook because I’m always inspired by things I see when traveling, and a good skincare routine: 111Skin’s Bio Cellulose facial treatment mask leaves my skin looking plumped, and Sunday Riley Good Genes is a hero product for me – lactic acid should be in everyone’s skincare routine. Finishing touches? I collect vintage Chanel and

Hermès bags and I love to layer my jewellery – mixing new pieces with items passed down from my grandmother. A spritz of my new fragrance, Pure Noir, is always the finishing touch. Country walk? Griffith Park in Los Angeles is the best place for a hike before sunrise. I usually wear my Nike sneakers, black leggings and a jacket. Dressing in layers is essential in LA. Under the radar labels? I like my swimwear to reflect my personal style, and Eres has a beautiful line of elevated silhouettes. I also love Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstsicks – their sheer formula gives the perfect natural look. And Merci is one of my favorite boutiques to visit in Paris, it has so many incredible things, from home decor to stationary. Trend you’ll be embracing? It’s getting cold in LA so I finally get to wear some of my heavier jackets and cashmere pieces. I’ll be pairing my Rosie knit with my favourite leather trousers and Calvin coat. Style cheats? A good haircut will never leave you feeling underdressed. n

1 Anine Bing Calvin coat, £439 2 Anine Bing Pure Noir, £127 3 Hermès Bolide 31 bag, £5,950 4 Eres Aquarelle swimsuit, £255 5 Perfect Moment Merino turtleneck, £200 6 111Skin Bio Cellulose mask, £20 7 Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick, £25 8 Nike Tanjun trainers, £59.99


Fashion designer Anine Bing

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A small shop in Chelsea highlights why resale can be more thrilling than retail, finds Lucy Cleland


ign of the Times (SOTT) has sat quietly on Elystan Street, just off quaint Chelsea Green, for the past 35 years. It’s beloved by its long-standing local clientele, who come in to browse rails of exceptionally high quality second-hand designer clobber – Chanel, Prada and Gucci, along with Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana and Margaret Howell – in its bright white surrounds. In the past year, though, since the young and energetic Antonia Timpany, 34, took over the reins, it’s making its digital presence very much felt and introducing some exciting new initiatives. ‘When I first got involved with the business, everything was still done on written receipts,’ says Antonia, who was given work experience at the store straight after university. She’d cut her fashion resale teeth already having set up and grown Timpanys, another pre-owned designer resale store in Berkshire (which still exists online, driving the audience to the SOTT site). Now, though, in a plan inevitably hastened by Covid-19, new items are put straight on Instagram or Whatsapp and the response has been remarkable – with buyers and sellers engaged all over the world. ‘My aim is to make resale better than retail,’ says Antonia, about her plans for SOTT. ‘We can deliver to London same day, and can have something shipped to New York, for example, with next-day delivery.’ And of course she’s already got an advantage as the tide slowly shifts towards sustainability as the most important consideration when it comes to replenishing our wardrobes. Buying endless new stuff isn’t as guilt-free as it used to be and the trend is definitely towards recirculation of what’s already out there. And what’s not to love? The feel-good factor, not only of discovering an item that’s not piled high among others exactly the same on the shelves or hanging on racks, but also of knowing its authenticity and quality are verified (the team is rigorous when it comes to choosing only the best The resale paradise stocks covetable names like quality products), Cartier, Dior and Chanel not to mention

CEO Antonia Timpany is revolutionising global digital custom at SOTT

the price, equates to a win-win buying experience. It also allows access to some of the most vaunted fashion names out there. Such is our attachment to certain brands and the hold they have over us that just possessing a Chloé silk shirt or a Gucci belt in our designer armoury can mean a lot. Antonia’s most exciting new enterprise has been introducing a personal styling experience, deploying her secret weapon, store manager Claudine, who’s been with the business for 21 years. Claudine knows the clientele – and the product – inside out. She can pull together an outfit in five seconds flat and makes for a fantastic sounding board when it comes to your own style anxieties. You can book in for a private session before or after opening hours (or via video call); or, of course, they can come to you. With this flexible, personal and digital approach to second-hand, Sign of the Times’ future is surely assured – not something you can easily say about a business in these uncertain days. 07801 535153;; @signofthetimes n

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LITTLE GREEN BOOK Clean up your wardrobe like a pro, says Lisa Grainger


sk the charismatic Samata Pattinson, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress (, why we need to think about what we wear and her response is emphatic: ‘Because the world is on fire and we need to put it out, by reducing our carbon footprint.’ Here she shows us how to rethink our wardrobes, one step at a time.



Sustainability is multi-faceted, and you can’t do it all. Some people think recycling is better than upcycling, others say clothing produced locally results in less carbon than organic, imported items. Do your research and stick to it, whether that’s buying only vegan leathers, or vintage, or plant-dyed organic fabrics. Try: Clothes from, and



We are all overbuying clothes: last year, about 7.4 million pieces of clothing were purchased for festivals, and £2.7 billion was spent on summer outfits – most of which were worn just once. Everyone needs to ask why they’re buying something; it’s possibly the most important question of all. If everyone going to a wedding next year wore a thrifted outfit, over 700 million kg of CO2 emissions could be saved. That’s a lot. For inspiration, read: Eco Fashion by

Sass Brown (Laurence King, £29.99) and Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas (Head of Zeus, £9.99)

ABOVE & BELOW: Samata Pattinson, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress; Hackney jumpsuit by P.i.C Style, from £200,





Polyester is made from petroleum and in a landfill it will take 1,000 years to disintegrate. Some dyes are not only carcinogenic but also linked to infertility. And some pesticides don’t just kill insects but also cause the emission of GHG nitrous oxide. So it’s vital you look at the label. An Oeko-Tex or a GOTS certification is a good start. Try: Clothing from,,, and

Every year, mountains of unwanted clothing arrive in Africa and end up as landfill. If you buy something, know where it’s ending up: your waste is your responsibility. Try: eBay, clothes swaps, reselling apps like Depop. Or give to local people in need, through re-fashion., and



Check the quality of each item you buy and ask if the company will mend it in future. Patagonia will (, as will Nudie Jeans ( and Levi’s ( Try: Patching, customising, re-hemming and adding new buttons. When jeans are destroyed, turn them into shorts, and repurpose old T-shirts into cloths and dusters. n

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SLATHER RéVive Supérieur Body Nightly Renewing Serum A blend of glycolic and lactic acids, plus niacinamide, to smooth and firm, this is like a cashmere blanket for skin. £170.


BODY LANGUAGE Notes on nesting by Olivia Falcon



s we blink our way into 2021, I’m still in hibernation mode in my new home. A 2020 lockdown cliché, we rented out our London flat and have moved to a leafy corner of Surrey. As a massive over-thinker this is the most spontaneous thing I have ever done, but three months in it’s been a roaring success. Being housebound for so much of last year (and now the beginning of this year, too) everyone has wanted to soup up their surroundings, so I thought I’d share some of my recent discoveries to help elevate lazy Saturdays in your own home, wherever you are. On moving day, to avoid the stress of digging through boxes to find my kitchenware, I decided to try The Pure Package’s three day reset £149.50 (purepackage. com), which includes three delicious meals and two snacks a day, created by chefs who personalise the menu based on your goals and nutritional nuances. I just wanted the convenience of having someone else do the cooking, to eat nutritiously rather than digging into bags of Doritos and keep energy levels high during a stressful time. Targeting post-lockdown excess baggage was a bonus. I would wake to find my meals waiting on my doorstep and it didn’t feel too pious: smoked chicken and artichoke terrine was balanced with dairy-free chocolate mousse. I

am repeating the programme imminently to make sure my New Year’s resolutions aren’t sabotaged. Home smells are so important and if, like me, you’re crazy about roses then Diptyque’s Othoniel Rosa candle (£53, will be catnip: a peppery rose that elevates any space with expensive French je ne sais quois. Equally scentsational is Jo Malone’s Wild Berry & Bramble scented candle (£90,, which brings the country garden inside with notes of warm berries, clary sage and geranium. I’ve even upgraded the cat litter tray with the chicest, Philippe Stark-inspired, oval-shaped Poopoopeedo Cat Litter Box (£85.99, If, like me, your perfect night in involves a long bath you need to know about Soak Sundays Midnight Storm Bath & Body oil (£14,, a detoxing concoction of ginger and basil blended with almond and jojoba oils. It’s not ludicrously expensive so you won’t feel guilty sloshing it in. I’ve been pairing it with Smart Skin’s Miracle Meta Mask (£30,, a regenerative blend of olive and camellia extracts mixed with glycolic acid, which lifts the greyness out of skin, together with Philip B’s Russian Amber Imperial Gold Masque (£243,, which makes blonde hair sparkle. I hope in a few weeks I’ll emerge looking like I’ve been at a Swiss spa. n

RELAX Sass up your country sofa with one of Charlene Mullen cityscape cushions. You can take the girl out of London but not London out of the girl. London Calling cushion. £130, charlenemullen. com

ANOINT Louis Vuitton Étoile Filante A mix of magnolia, apricot, cassis and a touch of jasmine sets a new note for a new year. Coming soon. £200.

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Q & A


Nathalie Eleni chats beauty with model Robyn Schrikker What’s in the mirror? Someone I love

and accept more and more with time. I think we all have a very personal selfacceptance journey and I’m at the part where I’m trying to treat myself with as much kindness and love possible. When do you feel confident? After doing things that scare or challenge me. When do you feel your best? When I’m living with purpose – I feel best when I can help and uplift others. Taking care of myself, especially mentally. Meditation, writing and breath work have been great for this. Also, after speaking to close friends and family – they’re such an amazing source of encouragement. Top beauty tip? Invest in a little handheld facial steamer. They’re so good to keep skin looking healthy, especially with spas off limits right now. Hero products? Retinol. It’s my absolute go-to, but don’t forget to add SPF when you’re using it. I opt mostly for clean skincare like Ren or Drunk Elephant, but 111Skin is also a favourite of mine. The cleansers are great. For make-up I love Glossier’s no-fuss products. Desert island musthaves? SPF for sure, and a

few good books. I’m always reading. I love ‘no makeup’ make-up. I always have flushed cheeks thanks to Glossier Cloud Paint, a brushed-up brow, and mascara by Kevyn Aucoin. Favourite fragrance?

Natural rose essential oil. I don’t like synthetic perfumes. The treatment you swear by? The Hydrafacial at

Nuriss Skin Clinic. I walk out of there glowing! robynschrikker n

TEAM Make-up: Nathalie Eleni nathalieeleni_beauty Hair: Chloe Sandoz chloesandozhair Photo: Ruan van der Sande RVDS


Naked beauty: create a beautiful nude make-up look with a velvet soft finish

1 2

De-puff and sculpt with Oliviere Wilson Cryo Ice Sticks. £90.

Skin prep is key: use Crème Rescue by Tracie Giles, a cosmeceutical serum that repairs, reforms and renews stressed skin. £60.


Apply Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting foundation. Its advanced optical filters adapt to any ambient lighting condition for a perfect base. £41.

4 5

Smooth lids with Code LLE Lid Lift Enhance. £22. Comb brows with Glossier Boy Brow. £14.

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Reset the clock.

Get time on your side with Dr Sebagh’s fresh-start ritual for brighter, more radiant skin. Say goodbye to dull and tired-looking skin with this deeply rejuvenating glow-boosting treatment. Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh, internationally sought after cosmetic doctor and ‘Ageing-Maintenance’ pioneer, has created this powerfully effective ritual to brighten, smooth, tighten and protect skin using four key products from his award-winning skin care range.

2. In the palm of your hand, mix your own, radiance-restoring blend of the cult Serum Repair, a hyaluronic acid-based skin-plumper to hydrate, firm and repair, and Rose de Vie Serum, infused with antioxidant rosehip oil to nourish, protect and leave skin gleaming.

1. Begin by preparing your skin with Dr Sebagh Deep Exfoliating Mask, for maximum glow-getting benefits. For an extra brightening boost, mix with a little of the highly concentrated Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream. This antioxidant-rich, stabilised formula also helps to repair and protect skin against environmental aggressors.

3. Add a dose of Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream to your serum blend for a super-charged, dramatically revitalising, brightening treatment with beautifully glowing results.

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Available in-store and at

21/12/2020 09:12

UP FRONT Elemis Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Night Genius

Bright, dewy skin can be yours with the help of these new cutting-edge products

Boosts skin recovery and the regeneration of new cells as you sleep. £195.



Don’t let the cold weather get to your skin. Here’s how to beat the winter blues, says Nathalie Eleni

TEAM Make-up: Nathalie Eleni nathalieeleni_beauty Hair: Chloe Sandoz chloesandozhair Photo: Ruan van der Sande RVDS Model: Maya Ansar itsmayaansar

Zo Skin Health Growth Factor Eye Serum

Targets deep wrinkles and creases for eyes in serious need of TLC. £105.

Shiseido Benefiance Overnight Wrinkle Resisting Cream A luxurious cream that reawakens your skin’s sensors overnight, perfect for those with sleep debt piling up. £83.

Quantum Botanika Face & Scalp Massage Roller

This clever gadget uses magnetic massage rollers for gentle skin stimulation to help naturally boost collagen. £37.

La Prairie Platinum Rare Haute-Rejuvenation Cream

An exclusive cellular complex enriched by eons of pure rare platinum for maximum skin smoothing benefits. £1,238.

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Foreo Luna 3 Plus

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Micro-Lift Concentrate

A sonic cleansing brush with thermal touch points and targeted microcurrents to deeply cleanse, firm and lift in one. £219.

Seven thousand micro-sculptors work on the skin in multiple micro lifts, for targeted rejuvenation. £380.

Cellreturn Platinum LED Mask

Using NASA-derived technology to penetrate 12 times more deeply into the skin than LED light alone, this futuristic mask successfully helps to treat acne, wrinkles, scarring, pigmentation and redness. £1,899.

Exuviance Citrafirm Face Oil

Botanical oils and vitamins hydrate skin and support its natural firming collagen. £56.50.

Whitfords Fruits & Seeds Eye Cream

One hundred per cent plastic and cruelty free, this gentle eye cream will treat the delicate eye area to replenish and plump. £36.

Esse Resurrect Serum

A hydrating and plumping serum with probiotics and prebiotics to support a balanced microbiome. £98.

MZ Skin Instant Radiance Facial Kit

A complete solution to reviving tired, lacklustre skin, containing a mask, retinol treatment and rose quartz gua sha. £309.

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BALHAM - HARRODS - HAMPSTEAD +44 (0)208 675 4808

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BODY & SOUL Camilla Hewitt uncovers Cult Beauty Alexia Inge’s wellbeing secrets



The BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner. Vitamin C is the enfant terrible of skincare: it delivers sublime skin brightening and sun damage-reversing results but doesn’t play well with other ingredients. BeautyStat has found a way of stabilising this wunderkind ingredient. My skin is clearer, brighter and happier – it’s like a mini facial every day.



I’ve learned that my hair is my wellness canary – if you treat your body badly with a high-stress, low-nutritional value diet the hair is the first place your systems shuts off in favour of essential organs. This is why hair falls out in times of great stress. My hairssential is Virtue’s restorative treatment mask. It’s an instant moisturiser, but the secret ingredient – Alpha Keratin 60ku – binds to areas of damage, noticeably filling and strengthening my strands over time. I’ve been using this for three years and I see much less breakage than I used to, and as a result much fuller, smoother hair. I just love it.





One of the big trends I see for 2021 is the home reinvented for maximum wellness, from relaxing to working to working-out. Traditional grey/black gym equipment with its functional design won’t cut the mustard, and I think beautifully designed products like this Bala Power Ring (coming to Cult Beauty soon) are going to become home essentials.

I sit on the ‘it works’ side of the collagen debate and find the Rejuvenated collagen shots to be the easiest way to deliver a decent daily dose. As an Anglo-Saxon over 40 I’m never going to emulate Rapunzel; however, a daily diet of B12, biotin, zinc, fo-ti (with iron top-ups when needed) has brought back most of the fullness of my 20s. I also love Hum Nutrition as a brand; I like the way it combines unusually comprehensive clinical trials with an irreverent marketing style. Its Hair Sweet Hair is brilliant. One of the most important beauty tips I can give is to look after your gut. A happy tract leads to good skin, strong shiny hair, clear eyes and more energy; for this I use The Beauty Chef’s Body Inner Beauty Support.

Alex Inge is the co-founder of Cult Beauty (



For me, it’s all about the cocoon-like cauldron that is my bathtub – my bath oils collection is like most people’s drinks cabinets. When I need to bring out the ‘big guns’, I always turn to Therapie’s Himalayan Detox salts. These salts absorb away electromagnetic radiation – from the devices with which we surround ourselves – and the therapygrade essential oils help separate me from my busy-brain, giving me a clear runway to a really deep deltawave sleep.

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Change & Transform Transform your lifestyle with our 12-week programmes that change how you think, act and feel. Regain your confidence, feel fabulous and lose weight.

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08/01/2021 08:24




It took 71 years for Mike Dickson to find his inner yogi, but now he’s a convert thanks to Sen Wellness


don’t ‘do’ yoga. I’m a man who, let’s say, would be in a Covid concern group and downward dog has never been part of my daily ritual. That is until I went to Sen Wellness Centre in Sri Lanka at the beginning of last year. So hooked am I that I’m hotfooting it there as soon as lockdown lifts. It was Sam Kankanamge, founder of the Sen Wellness Centre, who persuaded me to go. An osteopath who also runs a holistic healthcare clinic in London’s Wimpole Street, he’s just one of those intuitive, gentle types with a genuine interest in people. ‘You will lose weight and it will be a wonderful way to reset your mind and body for the New Year,’ he told me. He sensed that I was stressed and knackered. I sensed I was sold. On the first morning I met the beautifully-sari-swathed Dr Shamilka for an initial medical consultation. She prescribed a bespoke programme of Ayurvedic medicine and treatments – and then the revelations began. Each day started at 5.30am with a soft whisper of ‘tea’ outside my cabana, after which I wandered sleepily down to the yoga deck to watch the sunrise and wake up my limbs and lymphatic system with some yoga flow guided by a remarkably competent teacher, who knew just how far a 71-year-old’s limbs might bend. A breakfast of fresh coconut, fruit and salad was my reward, eaten with fellow guests. Meat, fish, coffee, a cold beer or a chilled glass of Sauvignon blanc were out of the question at mealtimes, usurped by tisanes, fresh juices, gallons of water and a nutrient-rich vegetarian regime, giving the digestive system a much-needed break. But it was the treatments that really blew my mind. With an average of four a day – an astonishing 21 in total – these mind- and body-changing therapies were carried out by some of the loveliest therapists I have ever met. All parts of the body were massaged, from head to toe, along with herbal baths, cleanses, inhalations and such a variety of manipulations that no two treatments were ever the same. Come evening, it was time to head to the yoga shala again, this time for guided meditation, mantra chanting and a long savasana to settle us for a sweet night of dreams. The internet is only available for two one-hour sessions a day, so there’s no chance of losing hours of your time online either (this is a good thing, my friends). I stayed in this cocooning, nourishing place for eight days, by which time I’d lost four kilos – and felt unbelievably well, clear of eye and cool of mind. After the travails of 2020 I simply cannot wait to return and give myself over to their healing hands and happy hearts. It’s more than a present to myself now – it’s an essential. BOOK IT Single occupancy room, £235; seven-day wellness programme from Dec-March, £645. n

GO WITH THE FLOW Any joyful or spiritual book you’ve always meant to read. DO Talk to all your fellow guests – they will be as fascinating as you are. SMILE Thank and make a great fuss of all the staff, they are very special. PLANT Fifty per cent of the mangrove trees required to offset the carbon emissions of your air travel – the Sen Wellness Foundation pledges to donate the other 50 per cent. READ

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Our annual sale is now on. 0333 011 3333

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Tag Heuer has produced a limited edition to celebrate the 88th birthday of Jack Heuer, great grandson of the brand’s founder. A redesign of Jack’s favourite model, the watch embodies luck via a double infinity loop. Tag Heuer Carrera to celebrate Jack Heuer (available from March 2021), £15,300.

M E N ’ S

Motor racing has always been connected with Connolly’s soul, and its Driving Collection reflects the sport’s golden age. Overalls, £1,400. connolly


WELL GROOMED New year, new wardrobe. By Matt Thomas

CHECK THIS OUT Joshua Ellis has been producing fine cashmere and wool in Yorkshire for over 250 years. Shepherd check cashmere scarf in chocolate and bright orange, £115.

A TOME FOR TIPPLERS The Thesaurus is a unique art book that tells the remarkable story of Louis XIII cognac. Devised by ACC Art, this immersive tome blends fact and fiction from the past, present and future and includes an introduction by actor John Malkovich. Louis XIII Cognac: The Thesaurus (£150, ACC Art Books).


Give your feet a New Year overhaul with one of foot guru Margaret Dabbs’s Medical Pedicures. The 45-minute treatment fuses healthcare and grooming uses Margaret’s specially formulated products. From £85.

HOME MADE Made in Britain is a new eco-conscious capsule from JW Anderson, using up surplus fabrics from previous collections and working with UK factories. Trench, £1,650; shirt, £790; T-shirt, £295.

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The Explora Deluxe Rucksack. Handcrafted alongside our prized best guns and rifles.

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What to watch, stream, listen to and visit each week

Hosted by Ed Vaizey and Charlotte Metcalf, Break Out Culture is your weekly cultural debrief, with illustrious guests including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elif Shafak, June Sarpong and Nicholas Hytner. Available on all good platforms.


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SHORE THING This spring, England’s Creative Coast launches the world’s first digital GeoTour trail on the South East coast, encompassing seven new al fresco works of art and galleries such as Margate’s Turner Contemporary (which already has one of Antony Gormley’s Another Time figures) and Hastings Contemporary. Time to lace up your walking boots.

Seven new al fresco works will join Antony Gormley’s Another Time sculpture, which can be found on Margate’s beach

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The Royal Albert Hall celebrates its 150th anniversary in March



The arts may have been delayed (again) by Covid, says Ed Vaizey, but there’s still a host of new events and openings to get excited about in 2021 Londonderry and Hull (the moniker is granted to a different British city every four years). As always, Tate’s world-famous Turner Prize will be held in the culture capital, so Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is the venue this year; it’s undergoing a major revamp in time for the September opening, which is still feasible. Also revamped is the Courtauld Gallery ( in London’s Somerset House, a courtyard building conceived by William Chambers in the 1770s. Modish architects Witherford Watson Mann have got PHOTOS: © GETTY; © THE COURTAULD

Oh woe, oh misery! The second wave and the See Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear at the new strain have kiboshed culture as we enter renovated Courtauld 2021. Despite the vaccine cavalry, I think we can bet culture will be pretty locked down until the summer. Some shows (Francis Bacon at the Royal Academy) have already been cancelled. More will follow, though some may be merely postponed. Some things may still happen online. There is, for example, one notable cultural anniversary being celebrated this year, and it will be marked in some way. The Royal Albert Hall, floored by the pandemic, will mark its 150th year in March ( The nation’s ‘village hall’ was built to realise Prince Albert’s vision of a space dedicated to understanding art and science. The The revamped Courtauld Gallery reopens at Somerset anniversary, on 29 March, will be commemorated House this spring with a world premiere (date TBC) of a work by composer David Arnold, who has written for James Bond and Sherlock. It was to feature hundreds of schoolchildren and tell the history of the Hall. A kind of mini-Olympics opening ceremony, if you like. Maybe they will sing as a digital choir – we will see. Coventry is the UK’s City of Culture this year, following 52 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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08/01/2021 12:16

THE GUIDE Damien Hirst’s first Paris show, Blossom Trees, shows his new work inspired by Monet, Van Gogh and Seurat

a Jewish philanthropist and collector who left his house to the French state in 1936 after the death of his son – and instructed that nothing be altered. De Waal’s bestselling first book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, is also celebrated at an exhibition at New York’s Jewish Museum in the autumn ( Busy guy! Some big names are out in force this year. If you’re tempted by Paris, go and see Damien Hirst’s first – amazingly – show there, at the Fondation Cartier, which was due to open in April ( Titled Blossom Trees, these are all new works inspired by Monet, Van Gogh and Seurat, depicting trees in full bloom. Meanwhile, Anish Kapoor, fresh from his 2020 exhibition of monumental sculptures at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, gets more intimate at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford this autumn, with a show of paintings and site-specific work ( The first major UK exhibition of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer in nearly 20 years will open at some point in the National Gallery (nationalgallery. this year. Through paintings, drawings, prints and letters, it follows Dürer’s travels across Europe, bringing to life the artist and the people and places he visited. Covid knocked us sideways in 2020. It may still impede us, but the mouth-watering openings in 2021 show that the ambitions of galleries all over the world remain undimmed. Onwards! n


Catch the Renaissance works of Albrecht Dürer at the National Gallery

to work on the Courtauld’s space, including the redevelopment of the Great Room, the original location for the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition. The Room has been restored and will be a spectacular space for the gallery’s unrivalled collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Definitely a place to high-tail it to when lockdown ends. Across the pond, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (home of the Oscars), will at some point this year unveil the Academy Museum in LA, billed as the world’s ‘premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies’ (academymuseum. org). Designed by Renzo Piano, its six floors, two cinemas and glass dome will be a spectacular addition to LA. There’s also the opening (in progressive stages) of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin (, with 40,000 sq/m of public space, and 20,000 museum exhibits from around the world. It brings together the arts and sciences in ‘contemporary dialogue’, so I guess you could call it Berlin’s South Kensington, with Angela Merkel as Queen Victoria. One of my favourite artists is the potter Edmund de Waal. I was thrilled to see he’s curating This Living Hand, an exhibition of Henry Moore’s drawings and sculptural works at the Henry Moore Foundation in Herts ( The opening date had been moved to 31 March in the hope that Covid rules will have relaxed and visitors can touch the sculptures. Now expect a summer treat. De Waal himself is going sort-of-global, curating an exhibition at the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris ( to coincide with the launch of his new book, Letters to Camondo, which follows a year spent at the Nissim, one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It’s the former home of Moïse de Camondo,

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, designed by Renzo Piano, will open in LA in April

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The Royal Ballet’s Alice in Wonderland, with costumes by Bob Crowley, features in the V&A’s immersive show


Bruce Nauman for Tate Modern’s Resilient Responses event

Don’t despair, there’s plenty to look forward to in the first half of 2021. By Ellie Smith


Philip Braham explores the rich Perthshire landscape through a series of paintings and photographs in a new online exhibition, Closer To Home, inviting us to re-consider the concept of ‘home’. 6-30 January 2021. Indoor galleries may be closed for now, but the al fresco art world continues to thrive. Wander Art, for instance, is a new outdoor art trail around the London neighbourhoods of Mayfair and Belgravia, featuring works from cool contemporary artists like Yinka Ilori, Fernando Laposse, Richard Woods and Craig & Karl. Until 30 April 2021.


Dive down the rabbit hole into the whimsical world of art and theatre influenced by Alice in Wonderland at the V&A’s exhibition Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser. From 27 March. The world’s largest touring exhibition of Banksy artworks arrives at Covent Garden. A vast retrospective. From 25 March.

Tim (2018) by David Yarrow, Amboseli National Park, Kenya


From taking a selfie in the eye of a polar bear to setting up Cindy Crawford with a wolf in a bar, fine art photographer David Yarrow goes the extra mile for his extraordinary shots. He’s telling the stories behind them in a new podcast, titled In Focus. Launches 3 February 2021. Artists Thomas Heyes, Ekin Bernay and Rowdy SS look at what it means to be human and resilient through spoken word, movement and sound in Tate Modern’s online Small, Medium, Large event, Resilient Responses. (2020) by Richard Woods in Lower Grosvenor Gardens, Premieres 4 February 2021, available part of Wander Art to stream afterwards.

Cheshire Cat (1967) by Joseph McHugh at the V&A



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THE GUIDE Mark the start of spring with a trip to Arundel Castle’s Tulip Festival


LEFT: Pierced Hemisphere II (1937) by Barbara Hepworth BELOW: A Glyndebourne production of Così Fan Tutte


Lilac Time, White Triumphator and Swan Wings are just some of the exotic varieties on display at Arundel Castle’s annual Tulip Festival, which sees tens of thousands of beautiful flowers burst into bloom across the walled gardens, set against the backdrop of the ancient castle, which dates back to 1068. Every year, the festival heralds the beginning of spring. Hampton Court Palace Festival opens with a bang in June

Modern theatrical wizardry will bring another layer of magic to the timeless fairy tale in Rob Roth’s new staging of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Leicester’s Curve Theatre. From 25 May. beautyand From the modern abstract sculptures that launched her career in the 1920s to rarely seen drawings, Barbara Hepworth’s legacy is being celebrated in an exhibition, Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life, at the Hepworth Wakefield this May to celebrate the gallery’s tenth anniversary. 21 May to 31 Oct. Don your finery: Glyndebourne, the biggest opera event of the summer is back, featuring its first ever production of Verdi’s early masterpiece Luisa Miller, plus favourites like Così Fan Tutte and Tristan und Isolde. Dates tbc.

Hampers at the ready: Glyndebourne’s picnic corks start popping in May


Boutique festivals don’t get much better than Hampton Court Palace’s annual concert series, which sees top artists perform in the historic setting of Henry VIII’s openair Base Court. 8-19 June.

Rick Astley (above), Lionel Richie and Tom Jones will be performing at Hampton Court Palace Festival

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THE GUIDE Already selling to private collectors, Shaqúelle Whyte grew up in Wolverhampton and is now based in London as a student at the Slade

A R T I S T ’ S



Caiti Grove discusses the art of capturing emotion with the up-and-coming painter


intoretto invented the idea of film, so they say,’ declares a smiling Shaqúelle Whyte in his Camden studio. ‘His paintings are almost in motion, like a film still – there are infinite possibilities for the moment of resolution. I love that in my own work, to ask the viewer what happens next.’ The painting propped up in his studio illustrates his point. A young man lies languorously back onto a woman, her face obscured by a mask, while he holds the hand of another masked woman beside them. The threesome dynamic and their concealed faces are slightly uncomfortable to look at – a romantic embrace interrupted. ‘This painting is inspired by Rubens’ Samson and Delilah in the National Gallery,’ Shaqúelle explains. ‘And really laments on my own relationships – platonic and romantic.’ A third-year student at the Slade, Shaqúelle had to join the lockdown stampede out of the famous school of art last March. He self-isolated in the front room of the childhood home where he grew up with his mother and grandmother, to ensure they would be safe from potential contamination. His mother left meals in front of his door and cleaned the house whenever he walked to the bathroom. When the two weeks finished he was like a caged bird set free: ‘I was one of those 5km runners; I pegged it all round Wolverhampton. I was literally seeing parts of Wolves I’d never glimpsed before.’

Suddenly his luck changed. In the summer he got a residency at the Columbia Hotel near Hyde Park, where he made work alongside art students from the Royal College and Goldsmiths. ‘I started making bigger pieces for the first time,’ he says, gesturing at the two-metre-long canvas that stretches almost the entire length of his studio. ‘It means I’ve got enough room to fit multiple figures. I enjoy that.’ As a child, Shaqúelle would go to a holiday club while his mother was at work. Art was one of the club’s activities but, by the age of 11, he refused to take part and, aside from playing with friends, would stay at home with his grandmother. ‘That’s when I got more into drawing, it was essentially the training. At that point, I was trying to make an apple look like an apple. How do we do this? How do we get to that point?’ Now his characters tread tentatively into abstraction, the features refracted, the skin brushed with greens and blues. ‘I’ve got no other interest in making hyper-realist paintings. For me, it’s an exercise in technicality. That’s academic painting. I know I can do it. But I’m trying to convey emotion, an atmosphere.’ To meet a homegrown artist only 20 years of age with such complex work is unusual, and makes it all the more exciting to wonder – as in a Tintoretto painting – what will happen next? n

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the world’s largest philosophy and music festival


THE WINTER REVEL 20 February 2021 A celebration of debate, music and performance World leading thinkers and artists

6 Stages, 30 events, 100 artists


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Richard Hopton feasts on five books about food


ost Brits could read a shopping basket as though it were a character sketch’ writes Pen Vogler in Scoff (Atlantic, £20). The theme of this thoroughly enjoyable, lively and humorous book is how social class has influenced what, when and how we have eaten down the centuries – even the book’s title is a double entendre about food snobbery. Vogler has fun with differences in our eating habits: what do you expect when someone invites you to ‘tea’? And how food is defined by class: consider the conflicting resonances of ‘gravy’ and ‘jus’, or that icon of 1970s English social aspiration, the avocado. This is a wellinformed history of food, from ancient times to the present day, enlivened with many examples drawn from literature, especially Austen and Dickens, but ranging as widely as Kenneth Graham and Beowulf. It is a story of constant change and a bewildering array of influences, inextricably woven into our national story. Robert Penn’s new book, Slow Rise (Particular Books, £17.99), is a hymn to bread. ‘Its story,’ he writes, ‘is the story of humanity.’ This is both a history of bread, and its production from the dawn of civilisation to the present day, and an account of Penn’s attempts to emulate our forefathers in growing his own wheat in order to produce his very own bread. His way is complete immersion in his subject, the literary equivalent of method acting. He travels to the mountains of Anatolia where early man first baked bread and to the Great Plains of the American Midwest, where modern man grows millions of tons of grain. He borrows an acre of Wales on which to sow and then reap his own wheat, discovering at first hand what a tiresome job threshing is. He finds a mill to grind it and finally bakes his own bread. The result is a fascinating account of man’s most important staple, greatly enlivened by Penn’s enthusiasm and curiosity. How to Have the Energy (Icon, £9.99) is a collaboration between ‘productivity expert’ Graham Allcott and nutritionist Colette Heneghan, offering advice on what to eat to achieve peak levels of performance throughout the working day. ‘It’s a busy person’s guide

to eating well,’ say the authors, adding that ‘our most precious resource is our attention’. Keen on slogans to illustrate their points, the reader is exhorted to ‘Eat the Rainbow’, ‘Banish the Beige’, and ‘Ditch the Al Desko’. If you’re feeling liverish and unfocussed after Christmas, this book may offer redemption and a route back to your former dynamic self. Likewise, after Christmas and New Year the body can start to crave lighter, healthier, quicker meals. Donna Hay’s new recipe book, Everyday Fresh (Fourth Estate, £20), offers lots of recipes, the majority of them vegetarian, which use a wide variety of fresh ingredients and are easy to cook but do not sacrifice flavour and interest to the gods of convenience. Your New Year’s resolutions could do worse than start here. January is the month for making marmalade, when Seville oranges are at their best. Hot, bubbling pans and the bittersweet aroma of oranges and sugar are a delicious, homely contrast to short, dark cold days. Lucy Deedes’ The Little Book of Marmalade (HQ, £9.99) tells you everything you need to know about this conserve. Suffice to say it has a lot of uses – spreading some on your breakfast toast is merely the beginning. n

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THE OLYMPIAN Will Covid-19 leave a legacy of positive change? Sebastian Coe hopes so



s we look back on the events of last year and forward into 2021, there can only be one mountainous theme that looms threateningly over both. And it really doesn’t matter who you are and what you do: Covid has changed everything. It has upended the way we live our daily lives. But in the same instance, it has probably also led us to prioritise what is important in our lives, with a greater emphasis on health and wellbeing. Much of my year was spent confronting the challenge of rearranging the global athletics calendar and trying to get athletes back into training and competitions as safely and as quickly as possible – both of which we achieved over the summer. A postponed Olympic Games hardly helped and has produced a knock-on effect for our global sporting events for the next half-decade. It means shifting the World Athletics Championships to a year down the line so we don’t clash with a relocated Olympic Games

this summer. That means squeezing the World Athletics Championships, the European Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games into 2022. All in all, it’s been a year of frustrations. Lockdown was described as the great

leveller in the early days, but in reality it’s proved anything but, hitting our poorest communities harder than most. Young people haven’t fared at all well, with schools and universities closed despite there being no obvious scientific rationale. Older people, meanwhile, have often felt irritated and hobbled by the designation of ‘vulnerable’. This reaction wasn’t really surprising given that a good chunk of that demographic work out every day, as well as competing in marathons, triathlons and cycling events. But as we navigate the new year, let’s park all the frustrations and inconsistent government edicts for the moment, and look forward. Covid-19 has been a watershed moment in our times, and it’s brought two big global changes to the forefront: much of the world’s population has been breathing decidedly cleaner air for the first time in their lives, and there’s also been a dramatic spike in physical activity, mostly in the form of running and walking. If we’re smart and thinking of a global legacy – always conscious of the adage ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’ – we should hold hard to maintain these two developments and make sure they sit at the centre of public policy in 2021. n

Cleaner air and increased physical activity should be two things we hold on to post-Covid, argues Seb Coe

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Moving to the country? The Lexus self-charging LC 500 hybrid has green cred with more mileage, says Jeremy Taylor

VITA L STATS LEXUS LC 500H PRICE £80,100 ENGINE 3.5-litre V6 & electric motor POWER 354bhp 0-60MPH 5 seconds ECONOMY 34.8mpg combined STREAMING She’s Electric – Oasis



A new year and a new start: many people are relocating to the countryside because of Covid. A change of lifestyle often means a new car too – one that can cope with longer journeys but still offers a dash of style. Pure electric vehicles are best suited to urban driving, so how do you show off your green credentials in the shires and still be the talk of the school run? The Lexus LC 500h is a stylish coupé that also happens to have a battery pack. It’s self-charging, too, with the V6 petrol engine replenishing the electric battery as you drive along. Around town, the LC selects the best power source (which is often the battery) cutting emissions and improving fuel efficiency. There is something rather exciting about pressing the start button for the first time in the Lexus. Like other hybrids, the LC doesn’t make a sound, silently creeping away on battery power only. The V6 engine only kicks in under harsher acceleration and while the auto gear changes aren’t that smooth, there’s a sporty feel to the drive. With so much technology on board, the LC 500 hybrid really feels like you are driving into the future – and a greener one at that. RATING: 4 HANDBAGS

There’s no mistaking the LC. That enormous front grille and cutting-edge design makes even a Tesla look old fashioned. The interior is pretty spectacular too, with sculpted seats and a leather trim. For people fed up with traditional German fare, the LC 500h is a real breath of fresh air. And while economy mode will top 44mpg, a more realistic figure for everyday driving is around 35mpg. On the open road, the LC performs more like a grand tourer than a sports car. It will speed to 60mph in five seconds but the refined nature of the cabin doesn’t offer any drama to up the thrills. Space in the back seats is tight and you certainly don’t want muddy feet mucking up the hide – highly likely in a two-door where passengers have to clamber into the back by folding the front seats forward. At least the boot is a decent size. At cruising speed on the motorway the LC has the ability to switch to pure electric. However, it’s less remarkable on country lanes, where the gearbox doesn’t suit sporty driving. Lexus is the posh arm of Toyota, scoring highly in every reliability and customer satisfaction survey. That’s good to know in a motor with this much new technology on board. RATING: 3 WELLIES

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08/01/2021 12:09

THE GUIDE An LED-constellation lights up the interior

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is about as luxurious as it gets


VITA L STATS Rolls-Royce Phantom

‘There is plenty of time to win this game, and to thrash the Spaniards, too.’ So said Sir Francis Drake in 1588, famously playing a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Armada approached. Buckland Abbey, a glorious 700-year-old house just a cannon ball’s flight from the bustling market town of Tavistock, was bought by Drake in 1580 and remained in the family until 1947, when it was handed to the National Trust. Nestled in the

PRICE £363,600 ENGINE 6.75-litre V12 POWER 563 bhp 0-60 MPH 5.1 seconds MAX SPEED 155mph STREAMING Smooth Operator – Sade


TARTAN TERRIER Keep dog hair at bay when your pooch is on board using the Barbour Tartan Fleece-Lined Dog Coat. Waterproof, with reflective edging and a snuggly inner lining. £54.95.

grounds is Mulberry Barton, a house dating back to the 12th century and now immaculately restored for paying guests. It sits in a small wooded valley, surrounded by farmland and an exquisite garden. Drake’s house and the abbey are just a few steps away but this is the ideal spot to get away from it all. In fact it’s a quintessential English setting, which is only matched by this quintessential British car. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the Rolls-Royce of Rolls-Royces – the ultimate luxury limo where owners usually choose to sit on the back seat. Fit for a conquering hero like Drake, it is 2.8 tons of opulence. Impeccably engineered, the twin turbocharged V12 engine is so refined that I twice stepped out of the driver’s seat and left the engine running. Whisper-quiet, double-glazed windows and 130kg of sound-deadening materials help maintain the calm. Inside, umbrellas are hidden within the electronic-opening doors and sumptuous, inch-thick lambswool mats just encourage passengers to kick off their shoes and relax on heated, massaging seats. The weather wasn’t kind to us in Devon – Drake would have struggled to navigate his way home via the stars. No matter: the Phantom has a starspangled roof powered by LEDs – buyers can even pay extra to have the constellations matched to the location of their choice. There’s nothing post-opulent about the Phantom. As we sail way from Europe, perhaps it’s time to celebrate great British achievements like this car, since it gets so close to automotive perfection. BOOK IT: Mulberry Barton: sleeps 8, self-catering, no pets, from £1,425 for a long weekend in winter to £4,278 for a week in summer.

TWEED DREAM The Musto women’s lightweight Gore-Tex Tweed Jacket is designed for shooting but makes the perfect driving coat for wintry days out. Washable and waterproof. £595. ROOMS TO ROAM Find the best B&Bs and hotels to enjoy in 2021 with C&TH’s very own Great British & Irish Hotels. £12.99. countryand

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Journalist and broadcaster Matthew Parris talks to Charlotte Metcalf about ambition, working with Margaret Thatcher and his ‘undistinguished’ life Portrait by ALEXANDRA DAO


’d met Matthew Parris briefly before when I went to watch him interviewing the ceramicist Emma Bridgewater about her sister Nell Gifford, who started Gifford’s Circus. In a crowded room he probed Emma, still raw from her beloved sister’s very recent death, with kindness and gentle restraint. It made me want to know more of the person behind the consummate interviewer. Most people know Matthew as a columnist and from Radio 4’s biographical programme Great Lives – he’s presented over 500 episodes. Last year came Fracture (Profile Books, £16.99), Matthew’s book about how geniuses and great lives are often forged in trauma. Ed Vaizey and I talked to him about Fracture on our podcast Break Out Culture, but today is the first time we are having a proper conversation. ‘It’s not always the famous ones that are the most interesting,’ he says of his favourite guests on Great Lives. ‘Frances Cairncross, writer and broadcaster, chose Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian doctor in 19th-century Vienna. Very pertinent to today, he urged doctors to wash their hands to stop puerperal fever raging through hospitals. He was ignored and ended life in a mental asylum.’ I ask which, if any, guest he’d disliked and am delighted how bluntly he responds: ‘Lord Snowdon chose Alec Issigonis, known for Penthouse designing the Mini, but I didn’t think his heart or cottage? I have both – a was in it. Jeremy Paxman was surprisingly penthouse in unpleasant. He was rude and sneering about Docklands and a cottage in Wales. Lord Shaftesbury, but would no doubt pass it off as just joshing.’ Pub or Michelin star? In Matthew was born in 1949 in Johannesburg, between: I love the eldest of six into what he describes as a big, the George at Alstonefield in close, happy family. His father was overseas Staffordshire. manager for an engineering company, so they Dog or cat? It’s moved around – to Cyprus, Rhodesia (now a lifestyle choice Zimbabwe), Swaziland (now Eswatini), Jamaica not to have either and finally Catalonia. ‘Unusually, our parents but I do like dogs. didn’t send us to school in England,’ he says. Green tea or wine? Wine. ‘We just all wanted to stay together – the only time I ever went to boarding school was in Theatre or gardening? Swaziland. Eventually we sort of settled in lateGardening. Franco Spain and two of my younger siblings Suit or country married Catalans.’ Later, with one of his casuals? Country sisters and her husband, Matthew bought an casuals – I hardly ever wear a suit. old fortified farmhouse in the foothills of the


Pyrenees and says, ‘It’s been a wonderful 25-year labour of love doing it up and now we run it as a small, self-catering hotel.’ In Fracture he describes his life as ‘happy and undistinguished’, as opposed to the horrendous traumas that most of his great lives are rooted in. He explores over 30 of them: from Abraham Lincoln to Lenin, Charlie Chaplin to Coco Chanel. ‘I suppose dislocation can be a fracture, but we were all so happy that the moving about just made me look at things from different angles. As a child I wanted to be King of the World. I once shook hands with the governor of Cyprus and wrote the Colonial Office a letter asking how to go about it. I even got a nice letter back.’ We veer to talking about his time in politics. He laughs and says, ‘I just wanted to be in charge and thought it would be all about swanning around in plumed hats, like that governor. In fact, I once told David Cameron I’d love to be a governor of a small island like Grenada but he just laughed and that’s unlikely now at 71!’ After reading law at Cambridge and international relations at Yale, Matthew worked for the Foreign Office and for Chris Patten before landing a job as a clerk in Thatcher’s office. ‘One never really “got on” with her,’ he says. ‘She was very much the boss. I admired her and worked hard and that’s all she required. She made mistakes but she was a great leader.’ Matthew won the only safe Tory seat in the Derbyshire Dales, where he still lives happily. ‘I absolutely loved the constituency work as it made me feel like Lady Bountiful,’ he says, ‘but I didn’t get on in the House of Commons. I wasn’t enough of a team player for the party machine. I left in 1986 because I wasn’t getting anywhere – I wanted to be Prime Minister but never got promoted.’ I am surprised by such a candid admission of ambition and ask what he’d like to do now. ‘Be the first person on Mars – I’d go even if I knew I couldn’t return,’ he replies. We laugh and I wonder if he truly feels his life has been ‘undistinguished’. He answers, ‘Ed Victor was my agent and said, “God has given you a minor talent”. So the thing I’m most proud of is how far I’ve got with just a sniff of ability.’ I realise now that Matthew is so immensely likeable on air not so much because he’s good-humoured and self-deprecating, but because he lacks envy. He’s rare in being genuinely content. He loves travelling and his home in Derbyshire. He loves his big family and has grown closer and closer to his partner, journalist Julian Glover, over 25 years. Mars apart, is there anything else he’s burning to do? ‘Oh, I’ve plateaued now,’ he grins. ‘Nowadays my ambition is to pave our potholed driveway. That should take me the rest of my life.’ n

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With a one-time ambition to be Prime Minister, now Matthew is content to pave his pot-holed driveway

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When it comes to choosing roles, Ellie Bamber is unafraid to examine the depths of the human psyche. Harriet Compston discovers why she’s drawn to the dark side Fashion director NICOLE SMALLWOOD Photographer RACHELL SMITH

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Cardigan, crop top and shorts, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear

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o for the crumpets, they’re home-made,’ enthuses Ellie Bamber, looking especially elegant in a Stand Studio faux-fur cream coat. We’re surveying the menu at La Fromagerie – her favourite spot in Bloomsbury, just around the corner from her flat. ‘This is the first place I came to after lockdown 2.0 ended,’ she says, chatting away about the cheese (her favourite food), the fruit, the veg. It soon becomes clear that, while this 23-year-old may be one of Britain’s most in-demand actresses, she’s also one of the most down-to-earth.

It’s a freezing cold Monday morning in December, but Bamber is glowing, fresh from filming Prisoners of Paradise in Mauritius, due out this summer. ‘Mauritius is really cool. The island is Covid-free so everyone walks around as if it’s life as usual. They have great music such as sega [traditional Creole dance music]. I went to a festival, so crazy, it was like being in a very strange time capsule,’ she recalls. The time capsule being the 1920s setting of the film, in which Bamber plays Lucy, an orphan sent to live with her violent uncle (Rupert Penry-Jones). However, she falls deeply and dangerously in love with a labourer (The Messiah’s Mehdi Dehbi) on a nearby plantation. Bamber certainly lucks out with filming locations. She recently spent three months in Bangkok for the BBC series The Serpent – on air now and the true story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj, who committed a spree of murders throughout Asia in the 1970s. Bamber plays Angela Knippenberg, the wife of the Dutch diplomat who is instrumental in bringing Sobhraj to justice. ‘Angela is so strong, so intelligent. She speaks four or five languages and is now very high up in the UN.’ To help get into character, Bamber had several Zoom calls with Knippenberg, who sent over nearly 100 personal photographs so the costume department could replicate her outfits. The role of Angela required a German accent – and an ability to speak Thai. ‘It was definitely a hard one,’ admits Bamber. ‘Thai is very tonal and musical so I ended up learning the language like a song. Very bizarre. I would say things and my Thai teacher would say, “No, you’re saying frog, saying the wrong thing!” I was like, “why?”, and she’d say, “because your voice needs to go up in a very particular kind of way”. It was fascinating.’ The cast – including Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Tim McInnerny – were also a big draw. ‘Billy [who plays Angela’s husband] and I had so much fun on set. Such a giggle. In between filming, we explored the city, trying all the amazing local cuisine.’

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LEFT: Cardigan, crop top and shorts, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear BELOW: Jacket, crop top, shorts and cuffs, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear

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ABOVE Bikini top, cardigan and shorts, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear TOP RIGHT: Earrings, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear. COCO CRUSH Mini Ring in 18K Beige Gold, CHANEL Fine Jewellery

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Not stopping there, Bamber also has The Show coming up, a trippy thriller starring Tom Burke. ‘I have a small role but being involved in an Alan Moore production was mad, he’s an absolute genius,’ she says. Then there’s The Seven Sorrows of Mary, the true story of an American exchange student who, after being kidnapped in Brazil, endures a horrific gang rape. Why the dark roles? ‘I am really interested in exploring the human psyche and how we, as human beings, work,’ she explains. ‘I’m intrigued by all types of characters who have different types of flaws and [experiences of] human suffering. I am not afraid of getting too dark because I can separate it in my mind.’

Books or watching films are Bamber’s means of escape. She’s currently reading Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids and likes ‘quite deep’ movies, such as Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love – ‘the use of imagery to reflect the story is beautiful,’ she comments. Otherwise, it’s her family who keep her grounded, and they all spent lockdown together in her London flat. A big foodie, Bamber often cooks with her father. ‘We usually make curries but we made a lot of pizzas and fresh pasta during lockdown. We would figure out what to cook, then I would source everything from our little local shop. It was special.’ Bamber had an ‘outdoorsy’ upbringing in Berkshire with her younger brother Lucas. Her father manages private investments and her mother is a producer who doubles as her ‘momager’. Bamber’s love for acting started at school. Thanks to a ‘superenthusiastic’ drama teacher, she began performing at the local theatre aged 12 and, just a year later, was spotted to star in Sir Trevor Nunn’s Aspects Of Love in London. Her first television role was in the ITV mini-series A Mother’s Son in 2012, after which she went on to West End roles in High Society at the Old Vic and The Lady From The Sea at the Donmar. Bamber’s defining moment, however, was her chilling performance in Tom Ford’s exquisite psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals in 2016. She played the Texan daughter of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Tony and Isla Fisher’s Laura, who is brutally murdered. Ford famously said of Bamber, ‘I had an immediate crush on her the first time I met her’. It was mutual: ‘It was amazing to work with Tom,’ she avers. ‘Jake also gave me loads of advice, just in the moments when we were on set. He always made great choices within the scenes. I learnt a lot from all the actors – particularly about commitment to the shoot.’ The leading role of Cosette in the BBC’s Les Miserables in 2018 further highlighted Bamber as a force to be reckoned with. The Trial of Christine Keeler, about the Profumo affair, sealed January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 69

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the deal in 2019, since she played Keeler’s confidante Mandy Rice-Davies with eerie accuracy. Not only was it a meaty role, the fashion was fabulous to wear, says Bamber. ‘The clothes were amazing. I have this pink suit which I kept because it was so gorgeous. The fashion and make-up I got to explore were incredible. We wanted to do poppy colours for Mandy, which was also part of her armour when she went to court.’ Indeed, fashion plays a big part in Bamber’s own life. ‘I love fashion because it is an outward reflection of my mood of the day. It can transform you and take you to a different place – particularly with acting.’ So it was a dream come true when Chanel invited Bamber to

be an ambassador and lead their 2017 runway show. ‘Chanel’s garments are pieces of art. Their archives, ateliers and the way they work is so fascinating. I once went to a Chanel show where I was wearing this incredible embroidered dress. A woman came up to me and said, “I made your dress!”. We then had this long conversation about how long it took her and what went into it. It was such a privilege to meet her.’ This season Bamber watched the Chanel show, under new creative director Virginie Viard, from her sofa. ‘The show was beautiful, so sexy, with a very fresh new direction.’ Off the catwalk, she describes her style as ‘erratic’. ‘I’ll go from wearing trainers and tracksuit bottoms to being very dressed up. I go with how I feel on the day, it can sometimes be very pretty, other times hard and edgy.’ She loves shopping with mobile app Depop. ‘It’s great for finding cool, vintage pieces. I think it is important to buy second-hand and not just wear and discard. Fast fashion is so damaging to the environment. We need to protect the planet for future generations.’ Bamber is very private about her love life – not surprising after the run of headlines in 2019 when she broke up with Bodyguard star Richard Madden. Instead, she uses the spotlight to campaign on issues she cares about – particularly the Black Lives Matter movement, for which she attended a ‘really powerful’ march in Trafalgar Square. ‘We need to confront these racial biases and look at ourselves, do the work and bring up these conversations with friends and families so we can stand up to racism. There is a lot of work to be done. I have been reading up on it, watching films and educating myself because systemic racism is a real crisis.’ What are Bamber’s future ambitions? ‘I just want to keep on doing what I am doing, working hard and being vocal and spreading awareness of the issues I am really passionate about.’ It seems she’s already well on her way. The Serpent is on BBC iPlayer and Sundays at 9pm on BBC One n

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FAR LEFT: Shirt and shorts, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear. COCO CRUSH bracelet in 18K beige gold by CHANEL Fine Jewellery. COCO CRUSH mini ring 18K beige gold by CHANEL Fine Jewellery RIGHT: Crop top, trousers and belt, CHANEL Cruise 2021 Ready to Wear TEAM Fashion assistant: Daisy Bryson Photo assistant: Cameron Smith Make-up: Alexis Day using Les Fleurs de Chanel and Chanel Le Lift Lotion Hair: Alexis Day using Ouai Haircare LOCATION Shot in the penthouse suite at The Londond EDITION. STOCKISTS: PAGE 126

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ON LOCATION Capturing Ellie Bamber in Chanel at The London EDITION


he elegant-with-an-edge London EDITION hotel was the ideal place to capture actor Ellie Bamber for Country & Town House’s first cover of 2021. At once classic and contemporary, it was the perfect foil for Bamber’s compelling mixture of silver-screen beauty and utterly modern attitude. The shoot took place in one of The London EDITION’s luxurious suites with panoramic views over the London skyline, as Bamber posed in a seriously covetable line-up of pieces from the Chanel Cruise 2021 RTW collection. Originally built in 1835 as five luxurious townhouses in the heart of Fitzrovia, the location became the Berners Hotel in 1908. It was then bought by American hotelier and co-founder of Studio 54, Ian Schrager, and re-opened in 2013 as the first EDITION hotel. Today, it comprises 173 rooms, two bars and a restaurant, Berners Tavern by the renowned chef Jason Atherton. The hotel encapsulates the traditions of Britain’s English country houses and London’s private members’ clubs, fused with the capital’s distinctly modern, urban outlook. This can be seen through the striking interiors, which combine the building’s original Georgian splendour and Edwardian fittings with modern elements and bold contemporary art. A striking modernist glass vestibule

projects into the sumptuous lobby, while Ingo Maurer’s sci-fi polished silver sphere presides over the entrance. In the rooms and suites, the walls are panelled in dark walnut or light oak and furnished with plush textiles and contemporary furniture. Old meets new once again on the walls, where the gilt-framed paintings are decidedly modern takes on Dutch Masters by photographer Hendrik Kerstens. BOOK IT: Rooms from £295 per night.

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GIGI BURRIS Straw hat, £340

Sustainable and ethical are your new fashion watch-words, says Mariella Tandy

BAUM UND PFERDGARTEN Calina turtleneck, £99

STINE GOYA Lindy dress, £1,650

PIPPA HOLT Embroidered kaftan, £460

MARA HOFFMAN Freda dress, £360

Alex Gore Browne’s designs are knitted in Italy using the finest Italian yarns, resulting in pieces that will last a lifetime. Sweater, £195; detachable collar, £265

VOTARY Eye oil, £115

STELLA MCCARTNEY Ruffled blouse, £395

SEED TO SKIN The Dew Mist, £66

CARAVANA Leather belt, £158

NANNACAY Astrid macramé tote, £130

GABRIELA HEARST Hades Agate sandals, £675

BITE STUDIOS Ombré dress, £550

MOTHER OF PEARL Iona trousers, £350

STORY MFG Tie-dyed skirt, £345


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The C&TH





And breathe. Congratulations, you’ve made it through 2020, now make sure 2021 is about feeling your best in body, mind and soul


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You’ve seen the movies and watched the documentaries. A shaman administers hallucinogenic ‘tea’ to a group of people and watches over them while they enter a higher mental state to find clarity, purpose and vision (and the odd vomit). If you’ve ever been tempted to take a trip, but don’t know where to start, Behold Retreats, which launched last year, offers fully bespoke and supported plant medicine retreats, where you can safely – and legally – find your own inner meaning on ayahuasca, psilocybin or the San Pedro cactus.




COLLAGEN Suzie Sawyer, nutritionist to Ancient and Brave, tells us that, ‘Intermittent fasting is not only effective for weight loss but also for correcting metabolic imbalances putting people more at risk from type 2 diabetes and other conditions.’ On your fasting days, Ancient + Brave’s Inspired Collagyn powder can really help as it’s high in protein and MCT oil, which keeps blood sugar levels in good balance. £37.


Loved by Kate Moss, Joshi’s 21-day detox kit comes with a simple-tofollow, packedfull-of-good advice book about really understanding how to detox safely and properly. But it’s the carefully curated box of brilliantly packaged supplements, Deep Clean, Flush, Lighter Liver and Sweet Revenge (the one that sends you sprinting to the loo in the morning) that really help support you and get you going and flowing. £250.



Osteopath Sam Kankanamge from Sen Wellness recommends not just a measly teaspoon of salts in your bath but a whopping 2kg if you really want to feel the benefits (senwellnessclinic. Use once or twice a week to relieve sore muscles or just to increase relaxation for a better night’s sleep. For added luxury, add a capful of Slow Ageing’s Bath Essence with hazelnut seed, juniper and cypress oils for moodenhancing, gorgeous-smelling joy. £51.


Gwyneth Paltrow raised some eyebrows raving about the wellbeing benefits of walking around barefoot, but her claims are backed by science. Known as ‘earthing’, the practice involves placing bare feet or hands on the earth to soak up Mother Nature’s healing energy, with devotees swearing by 30 minutes a day for better sleep and reduced inflammation.

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We’re used to looking to Nordic practices when it comes to upping our wellbeing game and since outdoor socialising has become the new norm friluftsliv teaches us the value of reconnecting with nature by spending as much time as possible outside. The aim is to pause in our busy lives go outdoors, breathe in fresh air and remember there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

It was inevitable after 2020: we’re now obsessed with germs. And hand sanitiser is simply not enough: there’s an emerging new genre of bacteriaand virus-beating technology that makes it even easier to eliminate unhealthy bugs – without the harsh chemicals to boot. Enter the CleanPod UVC Steriliser, which uses a high energy beam of ultraviolet C light to sanitise surfaces (£67. The Tersano iClean Mini, meanwhile, is a portable device that zaps tap water with an electric current to turn it into an effective cleaner that’s stronger than bleach, but still gentle on skin (£238.



The exponential rise in CBD (medical marijuana) products in everything from toothpaste to shampoo is an index of the habitually high state of anxiety at which many of us function. Rue Verte is the only CBD collection currently authorised for professional spa use, so there’s no doubting its quality. The oral tincture, taken under the tongue and held for 60 seconds, is a highly effective way of delivering its calming properties to the body, setting us up for a less stressed day and a better night’s kip. Available in up to 2500mg CBD per 10ml. From £64.95.



We all know phones should be out of the bedroom but what if you need it for that meditation app? Now you’ve no excuse, as Morphée has landed (£79.95. This new, non-digital sleeping aid offers 200 sessions of guided meditation and sophrology (relaxation, breathing and mental exercises to calm your mind). It’s also time to ditch the fizzy coke and usher in PepsiCo’s answer to the sleeplessness pandemic: a sleep drink in a can. Driftwell is a ‘functional water’ drink containing magnesium and 200 mg of L-theanine (found naturally in green and black tea), which is known for its stress and anxiety-busting qualities.



If you struggle with meditation, journaling is another avenue to improving your relationship with your mind. Getting your thoughts, emotions and intentions down on paper means focusing on, and giving space to, your feelings, which can have a positive overall impact on your mental health. Many believe that journaling can improve symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and even promote better sleep. We like Noble Macmillan’s selection, from £30.

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Wearable tech has allowed us insight into our health, fitness and wellbeing in the last few years. But it’s not just for tracking your step counts anymore. New developments include the V-LAP, the world’s first microcomputer implanted in the heart, which captures and analyses data ready for review by the patient and their doctor (; trackers like ZOE, which stores your gut, blood fat and blood sugar responses so you can take control of your health (joinzoe. com); and apps like Flo and Clue, which track ovulation patterns , so users understand their bodies better (;


If the ravages of last year got you down and you couldn’t regularly see your facialist, book in for a few nifty sessions of Laser Genesis with Sana Khan when you can. Known as the lunchtime facial (it’s done in under an hour, with barely any downtime afterwards), the non-invasive laser treatment targets areas of sun damage, fine lines, acne and rosacea to give your skin a massive boost of dewy glow and softness. Three to six sessions are recommended for optimal results. From £109.



Once taboo, menopause is now rightfully getting the airtime it deserves, led by celebrities such as Emma Thompson and Oprah, who have opened up the conversation. If you’re in one of the three transitional stages of menopause, you might want to give MPowder a try, developed by Rebekah Brown, who was finding it impossible to get proper help and advice. Approved by registered naturopaths, nutritionists and herbalists, the plant-based supplement contains all the relevant vitamins and minerals needed to help support women through a change that can last up to ten years. £69 for a 30-day supply. 78 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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NOOTROPICS Want to clear the brain fog and get focussed? Don’t we all. There are other ways to get that caffeine buzz, though. Nootropics or ‘smart drugs’ are brain-boosting substances loved by Silicon Valley types, which supply natural psychostimulants, such as lion’s mane mushroom and bacopa monnieri leaf extract, to the body and brain to improve mental clarity, cognitive function and sharpen senses. Nootro-Focus, £65 for 60 pills.



Since the enforced digital switch, there are literally millions of courses to do online now, but one of the most enjoyable for those wishing to eat and shop smarter and better is Amelia Freer’s The Joy of Healthy Eating. Thirty inspiring ten-minute videos invite you into Amelia’s home, kitchen and mind. You’ll go shopping with her and learn to plan meals, as well as some invaluable life and food hacks. There are exclusive recipes and downloadable handouts too.

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POWER POWDER We defy you to find a more delicious, healthy start to your day than Dr Jack’s SkinShake. The cacao flavour tastes so caramely you can’t believe it’s just pea and white hemp protein along with matcha, chlorella, chia seeds, wheatgrass, and green kale powder, plus vitamins and omega 3s. Mix with water or a nut milk and it will keep you going till lunch, we promise. 15 helpings, £65.

Qigong – aka Chinese yoga – is an ancient ‘energy practice’ that can have profound benefits on physical and mental health. As we experience emotions, from birth, they manifest in our physical bodies, and with repeated emotional patterns that energy can get stuck in our organs – hence phrases like ‘sick to the stomach’ and ‘heartache’. Through breathing techniques and a series of movements that correspond to our vital organs, Qigong aims to shift those blockages to restore balance. One place to start learning about this powerful technique is to do a course with Hayo’u, whose teachers are so passionate about its healing effects that you feel you’re at the beginning of a fascinating journey of discovery. Online classes from £10.


Taylor Swift was right when she wrote her chart-busting song Shake it Off. Body shaking can help release the impact of profound stress and trauma on our minds and bodies. Trauma expert Steve Haines developed TRE (trauma-releasing exercises) to help trigger our natural tremor reflex and release deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma in a safe environment. Afterwards expect to feel present, connected and calm. £80 per hour.


A rush of blood to the head has long been known to increase blood flow to the brain and the digestive system. But a headstand can also strengthen your core, upper body strength and stamina. Learn how to achieve it at The Yoga Class, a new online-only members’ studio with a comprehensive library of yoga and meditation classes to dip into wherever you are. From £23.98 per month.


We’ve just about got the gist of tapping, or EFT (it’s like acupuncture without the needles and is used to eliminate negative emotions, emotional pain and stuck energy), but now Rapid Tapping has come to the UK courtesy of ‘the mind alchemist’ Poppy Delbridge (above), who counts Oprah and Madonna among her fans. In just one minute this technique ‘shifts your emotional state for the better and allows us to go into patterns stored in the brain and rewire them in one single session,’ says Poppy. One to one sessions, £250.


Spotted some yellow and black straps hanging ominously in the corner of your gym? That’s called a TRX, which stands for Total Resistance Exercise. An increased interest in home workouts has brought this handy and effective piece of kit into the spotlight, prompting the launch of TRX Live: digital suspension training classes you can tune into from home.

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WINTER CLEANSE To help break bad habits (anyone been diving into the fridge once too often while working at home?), a change in regime can help. Purearth’s new Winter Warmer Juice Cleanse is a mixed pack with ingredients that warm the body from within (broths and spiced chai nut milk – like a much-needed hug), cold-pressed juices packed with antioxidants, shots that boost your immunity and water kefirs full of those all-important live cultures for better gut health. All organic. All delicious. All vegan. In just three days you’ll feel the results, with better skin, more energy and improved sleep. From £80.




Want to know the secret of good skin? It’s not as complicated as it’s made out to be. ‘A lot of people have no idea how important vitamin C is, or think it’s old news,’ says Margaret Karlinski, a scientific aromatherapist (aromaessence. ‘But vitamin C, together with zinc and other minerals and amino acids (lysine and proline), are all necessary nutrients involved in collagen synthesis,’ she says. Karlinksi advises taking products with vitamin C as well as hyaluronic acid, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles through its hydration superpowers. ‘These two active ingredients are the main players to prevent skin ageing,’ she affirms. For a super skin treat in the morning we love applying Dr Sebagh’s Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream with its super-high concentration (5 x 1.95g, £85., together with two or three drops of Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster (£34.




Lululemon’s workout gear is beloved by everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to the Duchess of Cambridge. This month they’re bringing out a super-cool, explosively colourful collection in collaboration with British artist Ed Curtis, who debuted his own fashion line in August last year. From £35.

A whole new industry was borne out of lockdown but here’s an incredible training regime you can do from the comfort of home that is actually really effective. If you want something challenging that will work all those tiny muscle groups and raise your heart rate, Aimee Victoria Long’s Body Beautiful Method is just the ticket, mixing Pilates, barre and body weight conditioning. You won’t believe how hard you can work and how much you sweat, but the genius is you can jump straight into you own shower afterwards and admire the resculpting of your body that starts to show after just a few sessions.

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Welcome in. C&TH invites you into the houses of a host of famous faces, including the biggest names in interior design and decoration.




Unique to Country & Town House, The House Guest podcast – interviews with the biggest names from design and decoration, as well as celebrities sharing experiences and tips from their own renovation projects. Hosted by C&TH Interiors Editor Carole Annett. Available on all good platforms.


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British Design & Manufacture . . 020 8994 3582

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James Perkins created an exclusive party and wedding playground for the rich and famous at Aynhoe


The revelry at Aynhoe Park is over and the treasures amassed by owner James Perkins are up for auction. Stuffed unicorn, anyone? By Carole Annett January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 83

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Aynhoe is stuffed with fascinating objets d’art, taxidermy and treasures from around the world, all of which are up for sale this January


t’s an emotional time,’ admits music industry veteran and events organiser James Perkins, who has lived at the Grade I-listed house near Banbury, Oxfordshire, since 2004. ‘Aynhoe was my baby but it’s now a teenager and time to let go.’ Within its walls and around the Capability Brown estate Perkins created an exclusive party and wedding playground for the rich and famous, winning awards and accolades for his superb hospitality and high-grade entertainment. Jade Jagger married here, as well as numerous other well-heeled socialites and celebrities. Perkins, the ringmaster, conjured anything their hearts desired, from chefs and butlers to cocktail maestros and musicians, and, whatever their high jinks, Aynhoe’s walls would never talk. ‘Sometimes I was blown away by the creativity that people added on top of what I put in,’ he says. While running the business, constantly adding to and upgrading Aynhoe’s interior, Perkins also extended his own family with partner Sophie and three children. After 12 years together they married at Aynhoe last year. ‘I’m taking the visitors’ books with me and all those memories but the rest is being sold. Everything here was bought specifically for Aynhoe and that’s why it’s all going under the hammer.’ James is, and always has been, a fanatical collector and shopper. He has a discerning, quirky eye and many passions. One of which, plaster casts, was an interest sparked as a teenager when his mother took him to meet a restorer. Over 4,000 casts, many collected from museums, are sprinkled around Aynhoe, including two gigantic ceiling roses currently adorning the eastern staircase, estimated at £1,500-£2,500. These, as well as a feast of other antiques, works of art and modern design furniture, are in the sale. To give a clue to the lots, imagine Noah escaping the flood and stopping off at a few ports, including ancient Athens and the Isle of Wight, picking up anything that takes his fancy. He carefully stacks his precious cargo in the Ark and deposits it at Aynhoe, animals and all. But Perkins has his own explanation: ‘A modern Grand Tour is very much part of my life story,’ he says. ‘I have been buying and selling and collecting things for a long time. Anyone who visited Aynhoe could see it was a home. Eccentric, but that’s normal to me. The interior evolved. It was like a living story.’ On the day I visit, the house is in cataloguing mode. In the entrance hall where guests would once have been greeted with a roaring fire and

a glass of champagne, fingers tap away at computers on a mahogany table surrounded by headless statues; among the paperwork, someone has deposited a pile of ceremonialdrum ice buckets. A painter touches up the ceiling in the drawing room while staff from Dreweatts, the appointed auctioneers, pace the flagstones looking serious. Every single item, including pictures, furniture and taxidermy, is being photographed. The rooms will be put back again so virtual tour videos can be made, showing prospective buyers how each piece fitted into the Aynhoe story. No wonder a polar bear in the corner has an anxious gaze. It’s a mammoth job and the clock is ticking. ‘We’re very excited,’ says Joe Robinson, Dreweatts’ head of sale. ‘Aynhoe has a truly distinctive collection, unapologetic for its eclecticism and range and emblematic of a life’s compulsion to collect. Sales which offer an entire aesthetic are rare and when they come up for sale it is crucial our efforts reflect the passion and the story.’ The sale takes place over two days in January with a post-auction online offering. It’s billed as the first virtual house sale, modernising key elements of the iconic country house sales of the mid-20th century through remote viewing. ‘I chose Dreweatts as I’ve been buying over the phone with them for a while now and am always impressed with their service and honesty as a saleroom,’ says Perkins. ‘Once I spent seven hours with them bidding online, so I feel in safe hands.’ Among the many covetable lots is a triceratops skull estimated at £180,000-£250,000 and a carved, limed-oak, marble-topped pier table in mid-18th-century style above a tree-work base and standing ostrich, estimated to fetch between £1,500-£3,000. Petrolheads, meanwhile, will no doubt vie for a 1959 Le Mans half-scale tribute model of the winning Aston Martin DBR1. The static model of the car was created to commemorate the victory by Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby in the 24-hour race, estimated at £10,000-£15,000. ‘I’m pained to let go of the judge’s chair with ER on the back, which came from Exeter Castle,’ admits Perkins, ‘as well as my Battersea Power Station desk, a one-off made to commemorate the iconic building. But there’s been no edit: the essence of this auction is that we are leaving nothing out.’ He apologises for being somewhat distracted. ‘Until about a week ago, leaving Aynhoe sort of felt like the nevernever and now it’s a very real scenario. The auction, three children, schooling, moving out… I’m trying to put together the jigsaw puzzle.’ Perkins is also busy planning his next adventure – he has bought Parnham Park in Dorset. ‘It’s the most wonderful, magical estate I have ever seen,’ he tells me. ‘It’ll be a totally different concept to Aynhoe and one I’m very excited about.’ For him, it means a new beginning and a new creation. And a new shopping list. I just hope he’ll have enough bedrooms for all the friends who will want to come and stay. Aynhoe Park: The Celebration of A Modern Grand Tour. 20 and 21 Jan (live online auction); 22 Jan (timed online auction). n

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Nigel Tisdall tries bee therapy and natural horsemanship at La Donaira, Andalucia


his morning I am going to spend 30 minutes inside a coffin. Well, that’s what the specially built cama de abejas at La Donaira resembles: a ‘bee bed’ set in a long wooden box with a curved lid, small window, air vent and pillow. Resting on top of three hives, it’s designed to immerse the participant in the complex world of honeybees, as you lie in the dark listening to the intense sound and vibration of up to 60,000 pairs of wings flapping away at an unimaginable 230 beats per second. I’m not sure I want to do this, but I have every faith in the staff at this sublime 1,500-acre estate near Ronda in Spain. For the last 13 years it has been committed to organic farming, including natural beekeeping using 22 hives dotted around its picturesque rolling fields of oaks, olives, almonds and vines. Close to the bee bed is an enchanting medicinal garden with over 200 varieties

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: La Donaira is home to over 80 Lusitano horses; the equestrian centre tailors rides and classes to all abilities; trying out bee therapy in the cama de abejas

of edible, healing herbs and flowers, and I’m told there are only two places in the world where you can try this ‘bee sound’ meditation (the other one is in bee-mad Slovenia). And so, after a fine pre-execution breakfast of fresh ginger tea and farm eggs fried with chorizo, I find myself donning an all-white beekeeper’s suit and hat, an ensemble that makes me look like a budget astronaut. The therapist, Paula, tells me about a ten-year-old boy who so loved this encounter he spent 40 minutes inside the box; but the moment the lid closes I think of monks being buried alive beneath church flagstones. I try hard to contemplate the truly extraordinary world of honeybees, with their brutal social system in which the workers (non-reproductive females) relentlessly slave away for their six-week lifespan. But being a bloke, I shudder at what happens when a drone successfully sees off hundreds of male rivals to mate with the queen – I’ve read German beekeeping expert Michael Weiler’s dry description of the post-climax moment: ‘the drone then tips over backwards, his genitalia are torn out and remain hanging from the genital orifice of the queen. The drone falls dead to the ground.’ After ten minutes I’ve had enough, and when I emerge into the Spanish sunshine I’m glad I’m wearing the suit as my new insect friends seem narked. La Donaira’s harvesters take neither pollen nor royal jelly from these hives, but I sense the bees know I’ve been sneaking into the kitchen to scoff their deliciously rich honey. Paula is philosophical, comparing January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 87

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what I’ve just done, in bee terms, as ‘like a stranger coming into your house and lying on your sofa’. Like so many things in my past (swimming butterfly, egg-and-spoon races, making chocolate volcanoes) it would probably be fine if I gave it a second go. Fortunately, there are plenty of other things to do on this glorious private finca set at 2,800 feet. Its centrepiece is a 110-year-old restored farmhouse with nine cosseting rooms, including a duo of luxurious yurts. Some have a free-standing copper bath, others panoramic windows with a view over the fields, and there’s a huge openplan lounge with sturdy white walls and exposed beams, furnished with vintage sofas, sheepskin rugs, stacks of LPs and a Steinway piano. With its gorgeous countryside, uncrowded spa and superb, predominantly vegetarian cuisine, I’m not surprised to learn La Donaira is popular for exclusive-hire celebrations. The 60 workers on the estate include three chefs and a sommelier, and 90 per cent of what we eat comes from its chemical-free lands. Meals are communal with both staff and guests wildly international, and there’s an easy, sociable mood as we lunch al fresco under the wisteria on featherlight tortilla and home-made ice cream with balsamic vinegar. My fellow guests hail from the UK, Holland, Kuwait and Russia, with the latter quickly revealed as a wit. When asked what breed of horses they ride, his reply doesn’t miss a beat: ‘Horses? In Russia vee only hev tanks!’ With 300 days of sunshine and coffee table tomes like The Practical Beekeeper and The Noma Guide to Fermentation guaranteed to induce a snooze, it’s no struggle to laze by the long, spring-fed pool where dragonflies patrol and ripe figs are just asking to be plucked. And once we (well, the Brits) discover the wet bar with a fridge stacked high with chilled organic rosé and sparkling wine, the afternoon siesta soon turns into a party. If you prefer to be active, La Donaira also offers biking, hiking and paragliding, while its trump card is an equestrian centre with over 80 Lusitano horses.

Originally from Portugal and renowned for their nobility, strength and willingness, these steeds are bliss-on-fetlocks, whether you’re a child, beginner or seasoned rider who’s game for a two-hour hack into the lofty realms of the Serranía de Ronda. Bordered with rosemary and lavender, the impeccably-run stables are also a bastion of natural horsemanship, a method of horse training through trust rather than fear. ‘There is no bad horse born,’ explains Seamus Gaffney, a globetrotting Irish cowboy who demonstrates this approach with Finn, a threeyear-old male who has only been sat on three times. It’s a touching sight as he patiently develops a bond with Finn through speech, sounds and signals, then finally mounts him while only putting one foot in the stirrups. ‘In case he bucks!’ Seamus explains with a grin. After a few nights in this bucolic paradise deeply committed to harmony with nature, you can’t help but come away feeling recharged, loved-up and convinced the green way of living and farming simply must prevail in our poor, pandemic-ravaged world. All the customary Covid-19 protocols are in place here and with so much space you inevitably spend most of the time outdoors. On the two-hour drive back to Málaga I double-check to ensure I still have the small jar of estate honey Paula gave me at the end of my meditative spell in the cama de abejas. Bees evolved 130 million years ago and seem far more developed than us, but after my dreamy days of relaxing, feasting and riding at La Donaira one thing is clear – we silly old humans have way more fun.

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FROM TOP LEFT: La Donaira comprises 1,500 acres in the rolling Andalucian hills; relax in the uncrowded spa; rooms are rustic yet stylish; natural beekeeping with one of its 22 hives; you can explore the huge estate on horseback

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Amy Wakeham explores the country estates leading rural Britain’s eco-transformation

production and globalisation, the influence of British country estates is on the rise once again with a new purpose and identity: as the vanguard of the British green revolution, restoring nature, rebuilding ecological systems and imagining a better future for the countryside. It’s an idea that’s been spearheaded by the likes of Charlie Burrell and Isabella Tree at the Knepp estate in West Sussex, Paul Lister of Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland, and, of course, HRH Prince Charles. But there are plenty of other landowners doing it their own way – with fascinating, long-term benefits for people and planet alike.



he history of Britain is entangled with the history of its country estates, many of which precede the Domesday Book. Over the centuries they have shaped the countryside and moulded our agricultural practices; landowners formed the majority of people entitled to vote before 1832. After a century of shrinking importance thanks to modernisation, mass-market

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Georgina and Gareth are continuing Elmley’s large-scale conservation projects as well as opening up the estate to visitors, so they can experience nature close at hand

Back in the 1980s, Elmley estate on the Isle of Sheppey was designated SSSI: a site of special scientific interest. This meant its owners, Philip and Corinne Merricks, had to move away from intensive arable farming and revert to wet grassland, a habitat rich in biodiversity. The Merricks embraced the change and as a result the country’s first and only farmed national nature reserve was born. It’s looked after today by their daughter Georgina and son-in-law Gareth Fulton. The estate is completely off-grid, and the reserve is home to a huge number of rare and endangered species. The huge size of the 3,200-acre estate means that biodiversity has boomed there since the Eighties. ‘While the rest of the country’s lapwing population has dropped by 90 per cent in 30 years, Elmley’s has reached pre-intensification levels,’ explains Gareth. ‘Another good example is the marsh harrier: in 1974 there was only one pair left in England. Last February we counted 164 marsh harriers on site. If you do wildlife at scale the benefits are massive.’ Alongside the reserve, there are also grazing sheep and a flock of 700 cattle. ‘They’re essential for maintaining the wild habitat and for good soil health,’ he says. Georgina and Gareth have also opened holiday yurts and cottages as a way of introducing more people to the benefits of being in nature. ‘Elmley has always been known for very pragmatic, handson conservation with really big outcomes. Our way of flying the flag is to open it up to the wider public as an amazing place to come and stay,’ says Gareth. ‘It’s really important to bring new people to wildlife conservation. We try to inspire through experience; if you lie in bed and watch the sun rise over the marshes and see thousands of ducks fly over, and a hare run by, you’re going to remember that and think it’s special.’


CABILLA, Cornwall

Deep on Bodmin Moor is a farm that can be traced back to the Domesday Book. Cabilla comprises over 80 acres of ancient oak woodland, rivers and wildflower meadows. Bought by explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison in the 1960s, it’s been reimagined by his son Merlin and daughter-in-law Lizzie. ‘We’ve got three key strategic pillars that we’re focusing on: restoration, retreats and research,’ explains Lizzie. ‘We want to future-proof it for the next 1,000 years.’ This involves reintroducing keystone species – those that define an ecosystem by their presence or absence – ‘enabling the reintroduction of flora or fauna’. First to be rehomed at Cabilla were beavers, which were hunted to extinction in the UK in the 16th century; Sigourney Beaver and Jean Claude Van Dam are currently enjoying their new quarters on the Warleggan River. Pine martens, red squirrels and Cornish black pigs will also have the red carpet rolled out. ‘We want to pioneer restoration techniques that demonstrate to other farms and landowners that you can be environmentally, economically and spiritually sustainable all at the same time,’ says Lizzie. This summer they plan to launch forest bathing retreats alongside their restoration work. ‘We’ll be the only forest bathing retreat in the UK with a live research programme… hopefully it’ll prove the positive effects of nature on our physiology,’ says Lizzie. The mission at Cabilla is clear: ‘we just want people to leave feeling better than when they arrived. It’s about that simple, no-strings-attached connection with nature.’

Merlin and Lizzie (far left) release the first beaver at Cabilla with the help of volunteers

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CADLAND, Hampshire Perched between the New Forest and the Solent, Cadland has been owned by the Drummond family for 240 years. Today, the estate is under the care of Aldred and Fiona (Fee) Drummond, who have undertaken major sustainability and conservation projects since they took over in 2007, including building a saltwater lagoon as a bird sanctuary, creating ten hectares of new salt marsh, and the largest expansion of the New Forest since the Normans. Fiona has just launched Sustainable Solent, an initiative to restore this part of Britain’s coast alongside the ocean health charity Bluemarine Foundation. Also on the agenda is food, which Fiona is passionate about, after using nutrition to change her family’s health: ‘From epilepsy through to coeliac disease, I have used food as a tool to cure chronic disease,’ she explains. ‘Food is absolutely the answer and I’m scaling it up into our farms so we can farm sustainably but also for future human health.’ Fawley Waterside is another big Cadland project, a new town designed by Ben Pentreath and landscaped by Kim Wilkie. It will be car- and plastic-free, with food supplied by the estate. ‘Our vision is that our farm returns to be the community food source,’ explains Fiona. ‘It’s our responsibility to create a circular economy and a sustainable way of living,’ she continues. ‘I believe in tribal living, of old and young living together in a community. We’ve thought long and hard about the optimal way of life, and we think that’s what this place will become.’


Skye’s native woods are set to be expanded on the MacLeod estate

Home to Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod since the 13th century, the MacLeod Estate spans 42,000 acres over the Isle of Skye. It’s just been awarded a £1 million grant from the Scottish Government and the EU for an ambitious native woodland creation scheme, in which 372,000 native trees will be planted, offsetting an estimated 40,000+ tons of carbon over a 65-year period. It’s part of a rewilding strategy that Hugh MacLeod, estate director and clan chief, has been working on for some time. ‘I had the idea over ten years ago, when I decided to stop farming at the estate’s Totachocaire Farm, which is not only marginal land, but was also loss-making for almost every year of its operation since it was revived by my late father in the 1970s,’ he explains. ‘This is the first phase of our nascent rewilding plans and once the woodlands are established this will create an extensive and biodiverse habitat to support a number of native species.’

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Lord Leicester’s family seat, Holkham Hall. He takes inspiration from his wise ancestors for his approach to nature and farming

HOLKHAM, Norfolk

Aldred and Fiona (far left) are building new green town Fawley Waterside on the brownfield site of old Fawley power station (in background)

Holkham has been the ancestral home of the Coke family, who became the Earls of Leicester, since the 17th century. Today, the estate comprises 25,000 acres of agricultural land and the Holkham National Nature Reserve. It has just launched Wonder, an ambitious new sustainability and conservation programme that encompasses regenerative agriculture, soil rejuvenation, habitat protection and waste reduction. Holkham aims to become a carbon negative estate by 2040. ‘We are not rewilding as we have good agricultural land and we have a responsibility to grow good, healthy and nutritious food,’ explains Thomas Coke, 8th Earl of Leicester. ‘We’re going on a journey, which we started in 2012, of regenerative agriculture. Last year I gave my farming team the aspiration of farming without “cides” – pesticides, insecticides, fungicides – by 2030. And without artificial nitrogen, which is incredibly expensive and environmentally damaging.’ This will involve planting cover crops like clover, vetch, buckwheat and oilseed radish, which instead suck nitrogen out of the atmosphere and deposit it in the soil. ‘It’s what my fourth great-grandfather, Coke of Norfolk, did in the Agricultural Revolution 250 years ago,’ continues Lord Leicester. He quotes from a letter, written in 1835 by Coke of Norfolk to his son (Lord Leicester’s third great-grandfather) who was then just a boy: ‘I’m an old man, but it has taken me a lifetime to learn the transcending wisdom of nature. Do, I beg of you, study the laws of nature in every aspect. Use them to your advantage and to the betterment of those who live by the land. But do not, I beseech you, try and improve upon them, because you will be courting disaster.’ Like his ancestors before him, Lord Leicester points to the benefits of longevity of purpose when it comes to the environment. ‘Landowners with a long association with the land have, in the main, a really good understanding of it. It brings constancy, it brings continuity. We can take a long-term view.’

Holkham Beach has been voted Best Beach in the UK and starred in many films, including Shakespeare In Love

From new green towns to regenerative agriculture, every British estate shown here has a different vision for building a better future. But what they share is both the space to make it happen and the drive to see it through – whether it’s trying new farming practices, restoring biodiversity or bringing communities back together. Fee Drummond of Cadland sums it up: ‘We believe there’s a better way of life. We’ve got to lead the way and create the change.’ n

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Winter Sale. N OW O N

est. 1937 | 0345 600 1950

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ETERNAL FLAME London-based antiques and reproduction specialist Jamb is lighting our fires in more ways than one this month. The timeless Montford fireplace (seen here in founders Will Fisher and Charlotte Freemantle’s home), with its masculine lines and balanced cornicing, is inspired by original Georgian designs. It comes in Bath, Ancaster, or Portland stone, or white marble. From £4,200.

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Smallbone’s Icarus dressing room boasts Samsung’s AirDresser, a stateof-the-art system for keeping clothes refreshed using hot steam and filters. The Icarus Collection starts from £200,000; AirDresser, £1,999.

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER Tom Rooth’s Octoplate, signed and dated, is screen-printed on earthenware. £95.




Chunky knits and funky weaves. By Carole Annett

HUNKY & CHUNKY Cosy Jo Arran blanket, £125.

Modotti garden throw blanket, crafted in Scotland with signature floral Erdem motif, £980.


Clementine chair, upholstered in honeysuckle by Colefax and Fowler. £2,400. samantha


Barley twist candlesticks handmade in Sicily. £75 each, Montes & Clark. montes andclark. com


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SHIMMY Evelyn chandelier by Arteriors, £2,832.


Caesarstone’s new Calacatta Maximus quartz emulates the look of marble yet can be seamless and colour controlled. From £550 per sq/m.


Great Masters collection Verdure Tapestry wallpaper by Cole & Son, £500 p/roll.


‘Day’ linen by Makoto Kagoshima x Chariots on Fire for Christopher Farr Cloth, £125 p/m.

1 Clou wall light by Cocovara in rock crystal with bronze, £3,300; shade, £381.60. 2 Christopher Wray Elise bathroom wall light, £325. 3 Murano pill wall light. £660, by Gong Lighting. 4 Bill Amberg hand-knotted leather wall light, £1,250. 5 Facet Collection wall light by Laura Hammett and Bella Figura, £2,405 (ex VAT).

OFFICER STYLE This Barracks Bench from Albion Nord was inspired by the heritage of London’s Chelsea Barracks. It comes in fumed pippy oak with an upholstered seat cushion, £10,000.

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GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES Hard lines are out, says Carole Annett

1 Th2designs softened this corner space, giving it a harmonious feel with an oversized lamp and multi-functional table. Stools from Th2’s own furniture range, from £425. 2 This London pied-à-terre by Honky design studio features interlinking circle lights mirroring the shape of a table below. Missoni fabric, Emporio by Eichholtz table, and rug by Jacaranda. 3 Amber Rankin’s Boozy rug is typical of her pop aesthetic. From £5,120. 4 Black Edition’s latest collection goes dotty. Lune wallcovering in Oxide, £337.50 p/roll; Nuala curtains in Rosa, £149 p/m. 98 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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The Metallics Collection 4b Ledbury Mews North Notting Hill London W11 2AF

020 7566 6794

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Secret tunnels, regatta stripes and palace connections: The Mitre has it all, finds Sofia Tindall


One hundred paint colours were used throughout The Mitre, alongside vivid patterns and touchable, tactile elements to create a space that’s as bright and welcoming as it is luxurious

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y the time Nicola Harding was deployed to undertake the redesign of The Mitre at Hampton Court, her CV was already impressively adorned with residential projects in Marylebone, Notting Hill and Westminster, all with her eclectic blend of flea market finds and signature attention to detail. A serendipitous appointment led her to The Mitre, a down-atheel guest house taken on in early 2020 by hotelier Hector Ross, with whom she’d worked at Beaverbrook, to open his new Signet Collection. The blank canvas of any creative’s dreams, it came with an intriguing past: royal connections (it was commissioned in 1655 by King Charles II as a lodge for his extra guests), a rumoured secret tunnel, and halcyon views over the Thames to which Betjeman himself would have struggled to do justice. ‘The river and the palace play a large part, contributing to the stunning views from many rooms,’ says Harding. ‘The design needed to be authentically connected to the history of the building and its location, and to the personality and intentions of Hector and the team.’ The surroundings also provided inspiration: Hampton Court Palace across the road, Bushy Park, the river and the boating traditions of the area all found their way onto the mood board. ‘Think of the bright colours and stripes of Henley Regatta – we used a lot of colour and pattern,’ she observes. ‘There’s a striped, tented ceiling in the Coppernose restaurant – as you might see looking up from a riverside picnic.’ This light-hearted design caper continues into the bedrooms, with fits and starts of Fifties gingham and dashing cameos of flamingo pink, all infused with a kind of kidulthood whimsy, from the curtained bunk beds to the hundred paint colours used throughout: ‘aqua green and blue for Coppernose, with a touch of oxblood red to draw your eye to the window; deep olive green for [its birthdate] 1655 and coral-coloured limewash in The Orangery,’ explains Harding. Look closer at the detail, however, and it’s here that her influence becomes truly apparent. A number of antiques throughout the rooms were sourced by local dealers, and much of the materials for the project came from UK suppliers. Harding is most satisfied with the spaces featuring Rosi de Ruig lamps (‘they’re just bursts of happiness’) and Ottoline wallpapers. ‘Both are based in west London; it was important to find suppliers that had a local connection,’ she says. Her favourite part of the project? The waterside Orangery, because it’s ‘bursting with plants and [has] an intoxicating, ethereal atmosphere on the riverbank.’ Restored and revitalised it’s to Harding’s credit that, when lockdown is over, The Mitre will be fit for royal guests once more.; n January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 101

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Soane Britain Small Rattan Ripple console, £4,700.

CP Hart Cielo I Catini basin in Acque di Cielo Anemone finish, from £1,580.

Shutterly Fabulous Shutters, from £299 per sq/m.

Caravane Badoo washbag, £21.30. Fermoie Aylsham fabric in L-219, £120 p/m.


SUN KISSED Look on the bright side, it’s 2021 after all, says Sofia Tindall

Polkra x Katie Scott Calypso Rose candle, £49.

Raj Tent Club Grooved glass carafe and tumblers, from £48.

Balineum Hanley Tube lined tiles, from £18.90 each.

Originating from as early as 45,000 BC when it was derived from clay soil pigments, yellow had important symbolic meaning to Neolithic cultures, as the colour of honey, ripe wheat and, of course, the sun. What better time to bring a touch of optimistic yellow magic into your home, then, as we gear up for a new year? Here’s to welcoming in a brighter, sunnier 2021 for all.

Catchpole & Rye Le Bateau Foix, £6,000 (ex. VAT).

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Tilton, from £5.95.

West One Bathrooms Inciso tall basin mixer, £966. westone

George Smith Soho baby buttoned drum in George Smith mohair yellow, £1,436.

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THE INTERIOR DESIGNER’S EYE. THE CLIENT’S VISION I never forget that my clients aspire to live in a real home, not a show home. With empathy and flair, I blend recycled antiques with new, striking pieces to create perfectly imperfect interiors.


4256_2 ENGEL Adverts Ann Englehorn.indd 1 2020 C+T AW.indd 2

02/12/2020 14:55 12:34 02/12/2020

Luxury Ski Chalets & Lodges since 1882.

We offer an exceptional array of properties and individuallytailored experiences across the Alps and beyond. To find out more visit our website or contact our travel team on: +44 (0)203 004 8750

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ONPISTE Edited by Felix Milns


Star jacket, £595; Gstaad onepiece, £645.

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Ski seasons are long – don’t give up your winter dreams just yet

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Felix Milns and Gabriella le Breton find gorgeous getaways for safe skiing – restrictions allowing


Get the App Resort apps are the new essentials for lift passes, avoiding queues, collecting keys and pre-ordering lunch on the slopes.


Après-Ski Lite Forget packed bars and table-top dancing, après will focus on outdoor activities, quiet aperitifs and evenings en famille.


Ski School Pre-book lessons and ski guiding in the Alps with SkiBro (


t’s safe to say winter 2020/21 is impossible to predict. Nonetheless, resorts in Switzerland, the Spanish Pyrenees and North America are (currently) open and enjoying superb early season conditions, and the snow is primed and ready as and when the other Alpine nations (and the UK) relax their restrictions. We’ve rounded up the best of the luxury ski news so you can dare to dream of snowy days back in the mountains. First to Val d’Isère, where the ingenious Capezzone family are launching the opulent Le K2 Chogori on 28 December, in a fantastic location on the site of the old Moris Pub at the base of pistes ( Having created a trio of ultra-luxury boutique hotels in Courchevel, this marks a return to their home town for the Capezzones. The Chogori’s 21 suites and apartments promise plenty of K2 flourishes such as lavish contemporary interiors, the Goji by Valmont spa and an innovative, Peruvian-inspired restaurant. In the sophisticated resort

Fermes de Marie’s concierge-run chalets

Le K2 Chogori hotel in Val d’Isère



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Above and right: Cappella’s impressive pool and spa

of Megève, another French family hotel empire, Maisons et Hôtels Sibuet, has responded to demand for blissful isolation by launching a collection of ten chalets, available on a catered or self-catered basis ( Each of these new Chalets de Fermes boasts signature Sibuet rustic chic interiors and enviable locations, either in the heart of Megève or on the pistes, plus concierge ‘chalet service’, with delicious meals delivered straight from the celebrated kitchens of the Fermes de Marie hotel. The Swiss brand Ultima Collection is also poised to blend chalet seclusion with hotel facilities, bringing its suave style and all-frills service to Courchevel.Launching on the slopes of Moriond, Ultima Courchevel is a clutch of ski-in/ski-out chalets that effectively create a mini village, with its own restaurant, two spas and a private ski school ( So despite the news that operators like Crystal have axed their chalet operations this winter, chalet fans need not despair. Ultra-luxury chalet operators such as Leo Trippi are well placed to weather the Covid storm: they’re already accustomed to offering ‘invisible’ or contactless service (whereby staff keep properties pristine, lay out meals and tidy them away without being seen by guests) and arranging private jet flights and exclusive transfers to ensure clients enjoy a door-to-chalet travel bubble ( As Oliver Corkhill, CEO of Leo Trippi explains: ‘We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of guests requesting private jet transfers and contactless service as well as long-term chalet bookings of several months, even entire seasons. Ultimately, we’re striving to remain fluid, providing a “flexible cancellation chalet collection” and adapting our booking policies to the ever-changing

situation wherever possible.’ Bramble Ski is another operator seeing a major switch to self-catering ( As this looks set to be a core element of this winter’s ‘new normal’ sybarites will be relieved to hear that luxury take-aways are by no means limited to London, with several Michelin-star restaurants in the Trois Vallées delivering direct to your chalet. And if that’s not enough, Michelin-star chefs like Julien Machet of Courchevel’s Le Farçon will pop round in person to cook dinner for you in the privacy of your chalet ( For more informal evenings, the food delivery service Huski ( can provide everything from authentic tartiflette and local craft beers to vegan Thai curry and fine wines to resorts across the French Alps. As health and wellbeing top our travel essentials list, the therapeutic benefits of quality time in the mountains are more appealing than ever. Merely being among the spectacular Dolomites is a tonic and this December three freshly-renovated hotels in the South Tyrolean ski area of Alta Badia are emerging with expansive wellness facilities and bedrooms: the Marmolada and Kolfuschgerhof hotels in Corvara and Hotel Cappella in Colfosco (; kolfuschgerhof. com; Or hop across the Austrian border and stay at Forsthofgut, a healthy-living spa hotel in Leogang where you can request a ‘green room’: a verdant oasis packed with plants working hard to boost oxygen levels and help you battle colds and ease nasal congestion ( n

t Hotel Kolfuschgerhof

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Get back to nature with cross-country skiing at Schloss Elmau in the beautiful Bavarian mountains

IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER Don't let Covid destroy your winter plans. There can be snow up till Easter, says Felix Milns


Chalets are not so readily available in Lech as they are in neighbouring St Anton, so the opening of five new chalets in stunningly beautiful Lech was major news last winter. Add in the fact that they're run by luxury ski pioneers Bramble Ski, who have quietly become the leading luxury operator in the resort, and they become even more enticing. Each of the chalets has stunning open-plan living areas built around a suspended central fireplace with a chimney reaching up to the eaves, and glorious views out through crittal-style windows over the village and its surrounding peaks. The look is classically Alpine contemporary, all soothing greys and elemental reclaimed wood, monolithic stone and weathered steel. While all the chalets have their own private spa facilities, they are each also linked underground to a shared indoor pool and large wellness area in the Chalech residence. Bramble specialises in the individual service touch, whether that’s ski pros laying out your skis after a mid-morning pit stop and ensuring tables at the best mountain restaurants, or the chalet staff surprising guests by carving an ice bar and serving oysters and mojitos for après-ski. The chalets are also available with self-catering if you want even more privacy, making them the perfect choice for families looking for their own space this winter. BOOK IT: Chalet S (sleeps 12)– seven nights self-catering from €25,100 with two days BSP ski instruction. 108 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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Last season marked the 30th birthday of this bastion of Megève comfort and style, but there is no sign of the Sibuet family slowing down. While this winter seems a most apposite time for them to be launching their new chalet collection, the hotel remains one of the most luxurious mountain experiences. Service is impeccable, the hotel is home to the original Pure Altitude spa and you can’t help but positively sink into the refined wool fabrics and tweed blankets by the roaring fires. The bedrooms feel like mini chalets in themselves, not surprising when you consider the hotel practically launched the aged timber and fur-strewn interiors trend that is so prevalent across the Alps today. Guests this winter can also experience a rare and exclusive lunch at the Sibuet family farmhouse, La Ferme de Bacré. Accessed by a snowshoe trek fording a mountain stream, inside it’s a feast of fondu and hunting memorabilia. The group owns several more hotels and restaurants around the town, affording great variety on a half-board basis. BOOK IT: Doubles from €300 B&B.


There are not many ski resorts where you can see the sea, but from the summit of the Sierras you can glimpse not only the Mediterranean but also the turrets of the magnificent Alhambra Palace in nearby Granada. With its 106km ski area stretching up to 3300m, and the highest seafood restaurant in Europe, Sierra Nevada is a thrillingly different resort to visit and El Lodge the perfect base. Alongside skiing it offers activities like tapas tours to Granada and horse riding through foothills of cherry orchards and almond groves. The hotel itself has a real chalet-style, clubhouse feel, with deeply relaxing and colourful interiors by Andrew Martin: think metallic-edged trunks, oodles of wallpaper, antique tills, a dramatic black pool table and a retro Pac-Man coffee table game by the fire of the lounge bar. Even in early season the sun does not set here until well into the evening, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna. BOOK IT: Doubles from €350 B&B.

Armancette, St Nicolas de Véroce FOR SECRET ROMANTIC HIDEAWAYS

Hidden away on the fringes of the Megève ski area, L’Armancette is a veritable treasure in the impossibly pretty hamlet of St Nicolas de Véroce. Newly built on the site of the old bakery – the bar still sells the village bread – this is a bijou bolthole oozing with je ne sais quoi. Despite having only 17 rooms there is a truly indulgent spa with indoor-outdoor pool, and the attention to detail throughout is a joy to behold: the ambience is laid-back luxury distilled. While many go to Megève to see and be seen, St Nicolas is a much more discreet and private affair, but with all mod cons thrown in. Think Bluetooth speakers, Japanese loos and funky graffiti in the underground car park, all under a cloak of timeless serenity. The restaurant oozes gastronomic flair, be that scallop carpaccio or rare rack of lamb, and the bar has captured a wonderful blend of hotel cocktail glamour and local wine bar, distilling the heart and soul of St Nicolas. All in all a very special place to be. BOOK IT: Doubles from €390 B&B. January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 109

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Converted from the old cable car station at the summit of the Solaise mountain, Le Refuge is quite unlike any other hotel in the Tarentaise. Boasting glorious views over the village, the Tignes dam and across the valley to the men’s downhill course on the Face de Bellevarde, staying up here is a privilege. While the name may conjure images of a small mountain hut, this refuge has been conceived on a grand scale, with the rooms and communal spaces as extensive as the panoramic views. Surely no other mountain refuge can boast a 25m swimming pool? There are four apartments sleeping from four to 18 people, 16 double rooms and a luxe dorm for 14, all designed with a contemporary mountain aesthetic. There’s a private bar and lounge for refuge guests, with meals served by the wood pellet fire in the main restaurant. Powder hounds will relish the opportunity of being a lift ahead of the crowds when the slopes open. BOOK IT: Doubles from €360 B&B (two nights minimum).


A castle in the Bavarian Alps is always going to have a fairytale feel, but Schloss Elmau's magic comes from its distinctive blend of luxury and zen-like calm, from the smiling staff to the cosy bedrooms with awe-inspiring views of the snow-covered Alps. Beloved by returning guests for its blissful spa, nightly classical concerts and Jivamukti yoga centre (housed in the most beautiful wooden pavilion), last year Schloss Elmau launched its Mindful Skiing experiences for people searching for wellness as well as adventure. The package combines cross-country skiing with forest bathing, and is complemented by yoga classes and spa treatments. Cross-country skiing is an intensive, cardio-heavy exercise that gets the legs working and the heart racing as you skim through the peace and quiet of Schloss Elmau’s beautiful, forested grounds. Afterwards, the yoga classes will stretch sore muscles, and the spa will revive you – ready to go again in the morning. BOOK IT: From €338 per night half-board, incl. group tuition, equipment, yoga classes, events and use of spa.


Until last winter Avoriaz was home to only one hotel, the Hotel des Dromonts, the very first building to be built on this stark clifftop plateau. Step forward MiL8, a new kid on the block but one oozing retro eccentricity. The external walls twist at impossibly sharp angles, with eccentrically-shaped glazing breaking up the timber cladding. Welcoming you in from the cold is a triple-height Corten steel fireplace juxtaposed with climbing walls with sprayed gold holds. The bar has a Thunderbirds HQ feel, and is the perfect setting to watch a snowstorm rage on through the circular windows. Upstairs, the rooms have a contemporary, youthful feel. Special mention must also go to the sauna and the indoor-outdoor infinity pool and spa, vertically arranged over two floors with stunning views over Avoriaz. The vibe of the restaurant is local food served in Le Creuset pots, be that slow-cooked shoulder of pork or a divine mi-cuit poached egg with local mushrooms. BOOK IT: Doubles from €395 B&B. 110 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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Nestled below the imposing flanks of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is one of the prettiest of all mountain towns and the ideal choice for the Italian Hospitality Collection’s first ski property, the aptly-named, five-star Le Massif. Two-dimensional steel trees flank a building that's risen like a phoenix from a site closed for 30 years. The location is perfect, just two minutes’ walk to the cable car taking you to the ski area, where it’s squared the circle with its own mountain restaurant, lodge and boot room (so all your ski gear waits here safe and warm). It’s the ideal base for attending a renowned Momentum Ski Mountain Gourmet Ski Experience, with two delicious dinners on the mountain, and one in the resort, all served up by Tom Kerridge and guest chefs and scheduled here for 4-7 March. BOOK IT: Gourmet Ski Experience: from £1,400pp based on two sharing, 3 nights B&B, on 4-7 March 2021 incl private transfers.


If you’re looking for a magical winter adventure, this is for you. Situated within the Arctic circle in Finland, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort has picturesque, Instagrammable glass igloos and mesmerising snowy landscapes. You can choose to pack in as much or little activity as you wish, whether that's a highoctane husky ride, relaxed reindeer safari or hunting the Aurora Borealis from the back of a snowmobile. It’s the perfect family holiday with friendly staff keen to pass on their knowledge of this remarkable part of the world. Hole up at the Kelo-Glass igloo, a combination of log cabin and glass igloo, with cosy log fire with en-suite and sauna in the cabin, along with an attached glass igloo bedroom from which you can gaze unfettered at the beauty of the Northern Lights from the warmth and comfort of your bed. All accommodation comes with an Aurora Alarm to make sure you'll never miss a display of those elusive lights. BOOK IT: Special rate for a Kelo-Glass igloo, room only, selfcatering, double occupancy: €392.50 per night.


Just over 50 years after the Kristiania hotel was opened by the Olympic skier Othmar Schneider, his daughter Gertrud is giving it a new lease of life. Long cherished by Lech devotees for its heartfelt hospitality, art collection and exceptional cuisine under head chef Martin Schnitzer, the Kristiania has been transformed from a 29-room hotel into a 15-suite private house, bringing a spirit of creative luxury to our post-Covid world. The revamped property retains all the hotel’s unique charms, while adding a cinema, outdoor hot tub and all-inclusive service. Whether you book the entire hotel or simply bag a suite or two, you’ll enjoy the intimacy of a private chalet, complete with lavish afternoon tea, snow picnics and packed lunches, plus the staff, kitchen and facilities of a superb hotel. All in a brilliant central location with fantastic views over the main home run. BOOK IT: Seven nights all-inclusive from £5,310pp incl BA return flights and private transfers. January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 111

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Olympian Victoria Pendleton puts away her bike and tests her mettle on Savoie’s off-piste slopes

Season ends 30 April 2021. Double rooms start at £902 per night; chalets start at approx. £4,597 per night, based on ten guests. Prices include pre-planning, private concierge, activities, gear, ski lift, chefprepared meals and house drinks. eleven




am chatting to my good friend Jade as we sit toasty warm in the bubbling hot tub on the terrace of our chalet, sipping cocktails while soaking up epic views of Mont Pourri. (This was, of course, before the Covid pandemic hit.) Jade and I have been friends for over ten years, ever since I was an elite athlete and she was a physio who worked across the road. We don’t get to spend much time together now and life is busy, so indulging in quality over quantity is essential these days. The first thing that strikes me at Eleven Experience’s Le Chalet Pelerin in the tiny hamlet of Le Miroir, France, near the Italian border, is the incredible attention to detail (the aforementioned cocktail had been expertly made and put in my hands by the chalet’s own mixologist). This experiential travel company has established itself as an adaptable, personal and discreet company, combining fluid, off-the-grid adventures with best-in-class service. They choose the most stunning areas for a variety of pursuits across the globe and provide pitch-perfect accommodation to go with it. We are in Savoie to try our hand at ice climbing – we Olympians like to test our mettle – but sadly the conditions are not right. The ice

Exploring Savoie with snowshoes

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Above and below: The sumptuous interiors of Chalet Pelerin make it all-too-easy to relax

is just not icy enough. However, we’ll be pumping adrenaline with off-piste skiing, ski touring and showshoeing (inevitably followed by more hot tub action, I’m hoping). Guests are paired with a host and guide who remain with the party from start to finish, which is comforting in its consistency and allows you the chance to reach – and more likely surpass – your desired level of challenge. Despite the lodge having shared communal areas (you can rent it out exclusively, too), there are plenty of places to relax, whether it’s lying on a sheepskin rug, soothing aching muscles in the Finnish sauna or steam room pool, taking a few laps in the freshwater pool or gulping gallons of fresh air on the outdoor terrace with its firepit and hot tub (cocktail required). The family sharing the lodge with us during the trip are no strangers to the place. They tell us it’s their third visit, and they couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this bolthole in the French Alps. As two busy professionals, the parents explain they have limited time to get away as a family and require a level of service they can rely on to deliver everything they need. With two children and a variety of abilities between the four of them, the ski school and guide have coordinated a schedule that allows them time to explore the slopes as individuals and then regroup at various intervals as a family. Being partial to a few adrenaline-pumping activities myself, I’ve become aware that adventure and luxury don’t usually come hand in hand. I’ve lost count of the nights I’ve spent roughing

it in a chilly wooden hut on a mountaineering expedition, but after this trip I’ll no longer assume I have to endure freezing feet and bad food to get that buzz. Our guide takes us along off-piste and off-the-beaten-track routes, so we get to see the very best of the gorgeous landscape and can enjoy the pristine conditions without even looking at a map or app (and without the resort crowds). There are delights in store: we not only squeeze every run we can into the day but also physically squeeze through a tiny snow hole into a ravine that becomes our secret, high-jinks, rollercoaster ski track. On the second day we take the chance to do some ski touring, and are provided with the different equipment we need and instructions on how to apply ski skins in order to climb. After some sweeping and relaxed off-piste carving, we work hard to regain elevation and are rewarded with fresh snow which we enthusiastically cut into. While exhausted, I’m also beaming from ear to ear. I couldn’t ask for more. Later, when we’ve deposited our skis in the personalised storage cabinets in the chalet’s boot room, we head out again for dinner at Auberge, which is only accessible by a half-hour hike or snowshoe, meandering through coniferous trees and over bubbling streams. I’m admittedly a little reluctant to leave the comfort of the chalet, but all those lazy thoughts soon get blown away. As we approach a small cluster of ancient buildings, flickering candle lanterns illuminate the path ahead. A nearby water trough tinkles with ice-cold spring water and we’re each handed a metal tankard, which we fill and drink down thirstily. Our hosts welcome us and, heaped high with furs, we get comfortable around the fire pit carved out of the snow. Moreish canapés and aperitifs are swiftly offered, and the firelight, furs and food start to work their magic before we’re ushered into the beautiful rustic Auberge, all cosy and invitingly warm, lit only by candles and the fire crackling in the corner. In challenging circumstances (i.e. no electricity and no plumbing), the chef, Valentin, prepares an incredible three-course meal, which would not be out of place at a fine dining restaurant in Courchevel. There’s a bijou wine cellar and tiny but well-stocked bar upstairs. My expectations of mountain hut cuisine have just scaled another peak. If you’re up for testing yourself with a trip that’s a little more adventurous, challenging or extreme than usual, but don’t fancy the usual sacrifices in terms of delicious food, comfy beds and first-class service, you’ll find this trip ticks all the right boxes – with some wow factor extras thrown in. n

Victoria squeezes through a snow hole leading to a secret rollercoaster ski track

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Why are the Finns so joyous? Lucy Cleland found out in February 2020 just before the world closed down

Chasing those most elusive of celestial phenomena – The Northern Lights

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CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT Finland offers snowy adventures galore, from cross-country skiing to snowmobiling, husky rides, ski jumping, reindeer sledding and ice-hole swimming


ack in February 2020, Finland was pronounced the happiest country in the world for the third time running. I pondered the true meaning of this accolade as I stood shivering in just a swimsuit on a winter’s night before dipping my toe in the freezing water of an ice hole carved into a vast frozen lake. All thoughts evaporated (or rather, froze) once I was in, submerged up to my neck, breath ripped away, my body flicking to panic mode and unable to feel my toes or fingers. I’d read about crazy ice swimmers, and all of a sudden I was one of them. It began to make sense once I’d scuttled back out of my snow hole and the endorphins start flooding through. The sense of elation and triumph that comes from icy water is intoxicating. You no longer feel the cold, instead, you feel the most powerful version of yourself. Then I began to laugh. The wellbeing benefits from freezing your body briefly are well documented, but no one tells you about the full belly laughter that comes too. I literally haven’t cried with laughter that long or loudly in years. We were at the newly built Arctic Sauna World near Muonio in northern Finland, owned by the Pietikäinen family’s Harriniva Hotels & Safaris, who seem to have a monopoly on all accommodation and activity centres around this area of wilderness in Finnish Lapland. Perched on the edge of Lake Jeris in a perfect position to see the Northern Lights (poetically named Fox Fire in Finnish) should they care to make an appearance (approximately one in the three nights, though disappointingly not for us), the sauna was invented by Finns and is as intrinsic to their lifestyle as woods are to bears. And boy do they like it hot. The ladling of the water onto the coals is almost a spiritual act to locals and they pay reverence to the hiss of the water and the rising steam as though it were a goddess incarnate. The 10,000 or so Sami in Finnish Lapland (Finland’s whole population is around 5.5m) are deeply connected to woods and the wild (70 per cent of the country is covered by trees, after all), and they worship at the altar of Mother

Nature. Foraging is in their blood. Blueberries, cloudberries, cranberries, lingonberries and mushrooms grow liberally in the woods and swamps and anyone is allowed to pick them, either for their own consumption or to sell commercially. The Finns have a steely determination about them too. They’re imbued with sisu, meaning tenacity of purpose – whether that’s using a hand tool to drill a hole in 1.5m of thick ice to drop a fishing rod down for catching pike and grayling for supper, or fighting the Russians in the Winter War of 1939. At the beginning of World War II, the Russian army thought they’d have another crack at reclaiming a land they’d previously dominated. However, designed for navigating high-branched pines, the Russian tanks couldn’t penetrate the forests of Finnish spruce, whose branches protrude from the entire trunk, and so the Finns were able to push them back even though they were outnumbered ten to one. Officially Finland is a young country, having gained independence from – at varying times – both Sweden and

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FOOD & TRAVEL YOU CAN LIE IN THE SNOW UNDER THE DARKEST OF SKIES, BREATHE IN THE CLEANEST AIR IN EUROPE AND SEE STARS YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED Russia in 1917. As a people they are perhaps slightly more shy than their oil-rich Norwegian or trendsetting Swedish neighbours – they are the smaller, younger sibling with, according to the Finns I met, ‘bad marketing skills’. It’s not that they lack for good ideas, they just don’t know how to shout about them. Nor would they want to shout too loud. Nature, silence and the wilderness are precious to them, and fiercely protected, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to show this beauty to respectful guests. Here you can snowshoe in a national park at night, stopping to make a fire in a government-provided firepit (even logs are ready and waiting) or a wooden kota (a Finnish cottage with a fireplace), which stays unlocked for anyone to use. You can lie in the snow under the darkest of skies, breathe in the cleanest air in Europe (certified) and see stars you never knew existed. You can ski cross-country through thick forests and wide plains, take husky or reindeer sleighs down snowy tracks like you’re re-enacting a scene from Frozen and snowmobile at 60kph over vast frozen lakes as a popping pink sunset descends. Of course you can also gawp at the Northern Lights, if you’re lucky. Alpine skiing is better in Levi, just 20 minutes from Kittalä airport (and an hour’s drive from Harriniva). It offers 43 slopes, 27 lifts and a brilliant children’s ski school. It is also the country’s first ski resort to have ISO creditation, meaning it’s been certified for quality, safety and sustainable development. They’ve been able to cut energy costs by 35 per cent by using the latest technology – whether that’s LED lighting on ski slopes or snow machines that only produce snow where and when it’s needed, thanks to smart technology. Snow is also stored from one season

to the next and they are learning to market the summer season too, so holiday lets don’t remain empty and people can work all year round. Season by season attractions are important in a world that is changing due to global warming. Last winter the first snow arrived a month and a half early and was heavier than they’d seen in decades – yet also for the first time in years, south Finland saw no snow. The Arctic fox, once common in these parts, has receded deeper into chilly Siberia and last year 25,000 reindeer died in Russia because snow patterns had changed with the volatile temperature shifts and they could no longer dig for lichen beneath the snow because it was too hard. Lapland is a veritable winter wonderland and thankfully, because of its people and government policy, Finland stands as good a chance as any country with a protected environment of helping keep it that way. BOOK IT: Finnair flies from London Heathrow to Kittilä, via Helsinki with fares from £213 in economy class, including all taxes and charges ( Stay at Harriniva Hotel from €115 (around £102) per night for a double/twin room or a cabin with a sauna is available from €163. This includes breakfast, coffee/tea and the hotel sauna ( n January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 117

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These are the bottles you need to have on your radar this year, says Amy Wakeham


ith pubs and bars closed for most of last year, is it any wonder we spent 2020 stocking up our home wine cellars and drinks trolleys? But a new year always means a new start, which is why it’s time to take your wine-loving hobby to the next level. These five wines, sourced from some of the world’s finest estates and producers, are the bottles you need to know about to become a true oenophile in 2021. They’re all part of the line up at Petrichor Club, a members-only organisation that offers the chance to learn from industry insiders, try some truly exceptional wines and gain a professional-level qualification in wine or spirits. Now that’s the kind of New Year’s resolution I can get on board with.... Cin cin!





Alfred Gratien Brut Classique NV

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2019

Silver Lining Chardonnay 2020

Quinta do Crasto LBV Port

A silver medal winner at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2019, this is fermented in small oak barrels. ‘Singing fruit and delicate brioche notes on the nose,’ describes Jim Bass, judge at the awards.

A small estate wine from the Italian-Slovenian border. ‘A delicious expression of Pinot Grigio from an iconic producer, seen as a gem by wine buffs,’ says Harriet Kininmonth, Director of Buying at Great Wine Co.

A floral and citrus-y southern Australian wine, with fascinatingly complex lemon sorbet flavours and loads of minerality. ‘The Chardonnay mirrors the delicacy of a first-class Chablis,’ rates wine writer Matthew Jukes.

Dust off your best crystal decanter for this port, with flavours of black cherry and a huge cedary core. ‘Deep, dark and fresh with delicious concentration and length,’ recommends Harriet Kininmonth. The perfect night cap.


Porte Noire Provence Rosé 2019 This delicate wine, launched by Idris Elba, has a floral nose, with passion fruit. ‘Delicious, beautiful colour, great freshness and aromatic structure,’ says Vincent Gasnier, Wine Buyer at Soho House.

Available at and through Petrichor Club, which offers fascinating tutelage and professional qualifications for wine and spirits lovers. 118 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | January/February 2021

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The ultimate staycation? Escaping normality with a night of splendour, says a revitalised Charlotte Metcalf


he Dorchester’s 1931 curved façade is a monument to Art Deco elegance, cresting Park Lane like a splendid passenger ship and daunting my teenager, Deia. ‘I’m so underdressed, I won’t belong,’ she wails. But minutes later we are cosseted by the staff’s warm welcome and relaxing into afternoon tea, cocooned from life’s worries in the thickly carpeted and lushly upholstered Promenade. The signature teas are fragrant and exquisite, the cakes wickedly delicious and the sandwiches so good we can taste the fresh ginger in the coronation chicken. We then head to a complimentary masterclass with florist Phil Hammond. The Dorchester took seven years to grow its champagne-coloured rose, which Phil now deploys in glorious displays throughout the hotel. We love the mindful, companionable process of twisting and tying stems to create imperfect but beautiful rose bouquets that are ours to take away. In December, unable to fly or make elaborate holiday plans, we’d booked into a sumptuous suite, comprising two marbled bathrooms and an enormous living room, for a single fabulous night. Deia had moaned about the hotel’s dress code preventing her from wearing trackies and trainers but, soothed by tea and flowers, she now hummed happily as she dressed for dinner. We had

cocktails in the bar, its gleaming coppery curves reminiscent of the Titanic, then ate in The Grill. Here Tom Booton’s menu is so imaginative and the décor so theatrical that all mother-daughter tensions dissolved as we surrendered to what felt like a soul-warming, once-in-a-lifetime delight. The 10pm covid curfew came all too soon but room service whisked our post-prandial cocktails and puddings to our suite so we could polish them off in front of a movie. No mother-daughter treat would be complete without a pilgrimage to the spa, so after breakfast in bed we had mani-pedis and signature Carol Joy facials. The warmly-lit, creamy rooms full of flowers transformed what might have been a gloomy London basement into a pearly haven. ‘The therapists were so lovely,’ I later overheard my daughter tell a friend, her complexion as transformed and glowing as her outlook on life. The Dorchester’s unmatchable service and comfort take immersive luxury to a celestial level and we arrived home as refreshed as if we’d been away for a fortnight. Just one night, a mere drop of the Dorchester elixir, was enough to make us feel cherished and to revitalise our locked-down spirits. BOOK IT: The Mayfair Suite is £1,675 per night. n January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 119

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… to avoid disappointment. Rebecca Cox has the lowdown on the hot hotels opening soon

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et the records show 2021 as the year that travel bounces back. Starting with some home-grown optimism, here are some of the most exciting new hotels to check into for a great British staycation.

The Mayfair Townhouse, opened late 2020

From the team behind Cliveden House and Chewton Glen comes a new London powerhouse, The Mayfair Townhouse. Bringing a welcome injection of fun and frivolity to the area, the property offers an ‘Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland’ vibe with Goddard Littlefair citing the dandy era as their design inspiration.




The Star, Alfriston, opens May 2021

The Star, Alfriston, will offer 30 rooms set in a striking, Grade II-listed 15th-century building at the heart of an East Sussex village. Located in the South Downs National Park, the Sussex coastline, including the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, is just waiting to be explored.


The Falcon, opened late 2020

Set at the centre of the huge Castle Ashby estate, the ancestral home of the seventh Marquess of Northampton, is The Falcon. A Grade II-listed coaching inn built in 1594, this magnificent country retreat offers 22 bedrooms across the main hotel and cottages.

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Nobu Portman Square, opened Dec 2020


The much-loved Nobu Berkeley Street restaurant moved late last year to its new abode at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, which promises to be a home away from home for guests, with signature kokoro (authenticity and passion). Expect incredible service and food.





The Harper, Norfolk, opens spring 2021

This much-anticipated 32-room boutique hotel will open in the picturesque village of Langham in north Norfolk, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Housed in a former glassblowing factory, the property will showcase bespoke glass features and natural materials throughout.


The Bodmin Jail Hotel, Cornwall opens spring 2021


Set to be one of the most exciting new accommodation options in Cornwall for 2021, The Bodmin Jail Hotel sees the walls of an 18th-century prison transformed into a boutique hotel in the heart of the county. Each of the 70 rooms has been created by combining three former cells, with free-standing baths behind original cell doors and weathered stone walls.

ROSEWOOD LE GUANAHANI, St Barth. Opening spring 2021 A private 18-acre peninsula on the island of St Barth, with 66 guestrooms, suites and villas.

SIX SENSES SHAHARUT, Israel. Opening June 2021 Deep in the dramatic Negev Desert, with luxury suites and villas offering uninterrupted panoramas.

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LUX GRAND BAIE RESORT & RESIDENCES, Mauritius, opening October 2021 Find laid-back beachside living with a sophisticated twist and interiors by Kelly Hoppen.

The Double Red Duke, Oxford opens spring 2021

Your new country escape in the Cotswolds. The latest addition to the chic stable of Sam and Georgie Pearman, this 19-room hotel is just outside Oxford, and will have a kitchen based around an open fire, presided over by Richard Turner and Richard Sandiford of Hawksmoor and Pitt Cue Co.

AIRELLES CHĂ‚TEAU DE VERSAILLES, Le Grand ContrĂ´le, France. Opening early 2021 A stay fit for royalty, with original antiques and art inspired by the Petit Trianon Palace.

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FOOD & TRAVEL Climb from Funchal to Monte in a cable car


STAY Vidamar Hotel Madeira boasts stunning sea views and the Thalasso spa ( But if you prefer a more rustic vibe, Fajã dos Padres is your bag. Only accessible by boat or cable car, you can book one of eight villas for a more secluded base (




It’s not ‘goodbye’. It’s ‘see you soon’, says Alex Bloom-Davis

A steep Funchal street leading down to the sea

Jardim Tropical de Monte

the world’s most luscious botanical gardens, the Jardim Tropical de Monte. The island’s volcanic structure has made it a haven for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers. See Madeira’s biblically beautiful landscapes accompanied by guides from Madeira Experience (madeiraexperiencetours. com), who will take you on the most picturesque tailored hikes. For lounge lizards, there’s nowhere better to get your tan on than Porto do Seixal beach. Its black sand, crystal waters and tropical mountain vistas are not dissimilar to a Thai island; the difference is, if you leave London in the morning you can enjoy your first glass of rosé on the beach by lunch time. BOOK IT: From £89 return with British Airways. n

DO Twenty-eight levadas – man made irrigation systems dating back to the 16th century – flow through Madeira. Follow the levadas on foot along breathtaking paths, choosing from mountain, forest, beach or mixed routes. EAT Eat the Madeiran delicacy, black scabbard fish with baked banana at Chalet Vincent and accompany it with one of 400+ wines on its list.

BUY Besides Madeiran wine, the islanders also enjoy Poncha, made from Madeiran sugar cane rum, citrus fruit and honey.

SEE Sunrise at Pico Ruivo, the island’s highest peak at 1,862 metres above sea level, on a popular walking route and 30 minutes’ drive from Funchal.



et me dispel a myth from the start: Madeira is not a place where the aged convalesce. This may have once been the case due to the island’s tropical climate – which is typically 25°C in the summer, rarely dipping below 17°C in the winter – but in recent years people’s eyes have been opened to the fact Madeira has something for every type of traveller. Wander through the old streets of the island’s capital, Funchal, or see it from the sky in a cable car ( that takes you to the area of Monte, home to one of

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NATURAL HIGH OTO’s CBD cocktail bitters have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to get you through the tough winter months. Simply add to your tonic or cocktail, and enjoy. £79.

This 2008 vintage is one in a million. Produced in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, perfect conditions are required for the highly concentrated palette. Just 18 bottles are available, and it’s only the sixth vintage ever to be released by Royal Tokaji. Approx. £30,391.

THIS MON TH Fortnum & Mason Caviar tasting collection, £495. fortnumand

READ Up on perfect food and wine pairings from the experts. (£40, 67 Pall Mall)



TOAST The non-alcoholic fermented sparkling tea favoured by sommeliers. Real Dry Dragon, £8.

A cracking good time. By Sofia Tindall


A Burford Brown not cutting the gourmet mustard anymore? How about an emu egg instead? Laid by a coop of just six birds in Ross-on-Wye, these emerald green, prehistoric-sized beauties are tipped to be the next big delicacy. From £25.

BUY The barware of the one per cent. Sterling silver gin sleeve, £4,950.


SEASON’S EATINGS This year Murano is celebrating white truffle season a little differently, with a four-course menu box. Each kit comes with a truffle slicer, and 30g of white truffles. Delivery within the M4. £175 plus £105 for 30g white truffles.

The silver standard: inspired by renowned Italian industrial designer Carlo Galizzi’s design, La Pavoni’s Esperto model has an expert lever control to monitor brewing pressure. It looks rather dashing on the kitchen counter, too. £1,499. January/February 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 123

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s healthy chachouka


classic chachouka uses peppers and tomatoes, but the concept is endlessly adaptable. Bake or roast almost any combination of veg (plus grains and/or pulses if you like), then break in the eggs for the last 10 minutes of cooking, and you have a tasty, well- balanced supper. This is also a good way to use up leftover rice.


M USH ROOM & BL ACK R ICE ‘CH ACHOU K A’ INGREDIENTS SERVES 4 » » » » » » » » » » » » »

150g black or red rice 500g chestnut mushrooms 1 onion, roughly chopped 1–2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 small preserved lemons, chopped or finely grated zest of 1 lemon 250g spinach 2 tbsp crème fraîche 4 eggs A handful of almonds, chopped Sea salt and black pepper

Cook the rice in lightly salted water for 20–35 minutes (depending on the type of rice). Drain well. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put the mushrooms and onion into a large roasting dish, trickle with one tbsp oil and season. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the mushrooms are well coloured and the onion is tender. Stir in the garlic, diced lemons or lemon zest and the spinach. Return to the oven for five to ten minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Stir the cooked rice into the roasted veg. Dot over the crème fraîche and swirl it in a little. Make four shallow dips for the eggs and break them in. Pepper everything generously and scatter the chopped almonds over the veg, between the eggs. Return the dish to the oven for eight–ten minutes or until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. (Bloomsbury, £18.20) n


HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL CHEF AND FOOD CAMPAIGNER Food philosophy? What you eat really matters, where your food comes from really matters and the story of where your food comes from really matters. The more you know about your food, the better you feel because you make better decisions and your food will make you happier and healthier. Most vivid childhood food memory? The first time I ate a whole grilled mackerel. My dad took me fishing and he tricked me by putting the mackerel on the end of the line when I wasn’t looking – I really thought I’d caught it. We took it home and my mum cooked it under the grill so it was all crispy and delicious. That was when I moved on from fish fingers. Biggest mistake you’ve made? We’ve got a wood-burning stove and I absolutely love it to bits, but it’s got a cast iron door and you can’t really smell what’s going on inside so you don’t get that vital clue that you’re burning something. Most memorable meal out? I have very happy memories of raising a family in Dorset and going for Sunday lunch at the Riverside in West Bay. It was a proper family restaurant where everyone got really looked after, and it was great to see the kids eating squid and vegetables. When you’re not in the kitchen, where are you? In the garden, wandering around the Devon countryside or swimming in the sea. Any unusual kitchen rules? We’re pretty relaxed around the kitchen table but we do try and eat together as a family every single evening. It’s barely a rule, it just kind of happens. What’s in your fridge right now? A nice leftover sausage and tomato sauce that I made last night, homemade kombucha, a bit of local cheese, half a cabbage that I picked from the garden yesterday, a bottle of organic milk, and some homemade red cabbage beetroot and horseradish sauerkraut.

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Amy Wakeham falls back in love with French cuisine

ABOVE: The red mullet in bouillabaisse is rich yet light. LEFT: The dessert trolley of dreams



m I the only one who slightly dreads going to a French brasserie? Aloof waiters, carnivorous menus and strict courses feel a tad out of touch in our modern world of informal manners, sharing plates and bring-it-all-at-once appetites. Fortunately, I was relieved to find that new opening Maison François, on St James’s Duke Street and named after its founder François O’Neill, formerly of Brompton Bar & Grill – extracts all the highlights of a Gallic bistro and does away with the rest, resulting in a far more contemporary affair. Its dark wooden panelling and leather banquettes recall all the hallmarks of a brasserie, albeit brought bang up to date with an orange and cream palette and a high, exposed ceiling. Once settled in a booth, pre Tier 4 of course, a kir apiece deftly arrived, along with a menu brimming with dishes both classic and nouveau from chef Matthew Ryle, previously of MasterChef, the Dorchester and Isabel. You’re not restricted by set courses; you can do three courses or just paddle around in the starter and vegetable sections. Funnily enough, French menus with their separate, mix ’n’ match meat, potato and vegetables work amazingly well if you fancy sharing.

After hors d’oeuvres of radishes with a cheesy, herby cervelle de canut dip, celeriac remoulade and a board loaded with French charcuterie, despite classics like entrecôte de boeuf, we lightened up with fish. The red mullet came immersed in a fragrant bouillabaisse, while the John Dory was meaty and flavoursome with its onion soup and pig’s trotter sides. All this was washed down with a pichet of orange wine (that sits somewhere between a white and a red), expertly recommended by sommelier Xavier Sockeel to accompany our off-piste menu choices. One thing in Maison François that hasn’t fallen foul to encroaching modernity is the dessert trolley: a slice of paradise on four wheels if ever there was one, groaning under the weight of tarte tatin, ParisBrest, macarons and rhum baba. Readers, I sampled it – a divine chocolate éclair to be precise. It looks like there’s life in the old brasserie yet.

MILK BEACH, NW6 It’s not often you find a piece of sunny Oz down a cobbled London mews but seek out Milk Beach and you’ll be rewarded with the best coffee in NW6, a slap-up brunch (think avo on toast, buttermilk pancakes or a poké bowl) and something more mood-setting for dinner (sharing plates of AsianAntipodean fusion, beautifully presented).

PANTECHNICON, SW1 You know you’re in Belgravia by the amount of fur draped over bone-thin shoulders and tiny lapdogs, but cast that aside: this new Nordic-Japanese Motcomb Street destination is a five-storey shopping, design and eating extravaganza, where on The Roof Garden you’ll feast on ingredients like lovage, reindeer and sea buckthorn.

Starters from £4. Mains from £13.50. n

SILVER BIRCH, W4 Cutting her teeth in a slew of Michelin-starred hotspots, Kimberley Hernandez brings her take on relaxed sophistication to Chiswick High Street. From brunch to dinner, expect generous, flavour-packed dishes, such as truffle chicken and dumplings and Iberico schnitzel, cabbage, lemon and capers in a seasonally changing menu.

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HOUSE OF THE MONTH Sell it to us in a sentence... An architectural masterpiece in rural New Zealand. Who is behind the design? Ponatahi House was designed by Stuart Gardyne from Architecture+, an award-winning firm based in Wellington. What is unique about it? It’s ‘A House Wrapped in Literature’ – it comes with its own poem. The owners, working with typographer Catherine Griffiths, commissioned Jenny Bornholdt (New Zealand Poet Laureate in 2005) to create a bespoke poem for the house which was sandblasted onto the 120 glass panels.

Ponatahi House, Wairarapa, New Zealand Price: NZ$10.5m 7 bedrooms 6 bathrooms 8,353 sq/ft

What would parties be like here? Ponatahi House is an amazing party house! Many areas internally and externally are available to entertain all family milestones. To date we have had: 50ths, 60ths, and going away parties, with an average of 150 people at each. What would summers be like here? The Wairarapa is renown for its hot, languid summers, hence the region boasts a world-class wine growing region. Big skies, al-fresco dining, stunning sunsets, evening tennis and late-night swimming are all treats on offer. Best place to unwind? The belvedere amongst the treetops. Enjoy a coffee, listen to the morning birdsong and read the paper in the morning sunlight raised 15ft above the ground. Perks of the area? The region is known for its relaxed way of life with a vibrant local wine community, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. The home is situated down a small gravel road in a secure and private rural location. Spectacular views, established gardens, water features, a stream and farmland are all included, which is within comfortable walking distance of the Ruamahanga River. +44 (0)20 7016 3740. n

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BEST FOR... Date night The sleek Brazz at the Castle Hotel poetically finds its ingredients in local ‘meadows, orchards, rivers, seas, pastures and uplands’.




ABOVE & BELOW: The picturesque view from the Quantock Hills; plenty of outdoor adventures await in the West Country

A pub lunch The Lord Poulett Arms at Hinton St George has hearty food (below), flagstones and fireplaces, and is surrounded by good walking country. lordpoulett

Anna Tyzack explores an unspoilt nook of the West Country


he Vale of Taunton in Somerset has long been a destination for the hunting, shooting and fishing brigade. This is West Country proper with endless bridleways and footpaths, unspoilt villages and black starry night skies; it’s the doorstep to the Quantock and Brendon Hills, and Exmoor National Park. Increasingly, however, Taunton is catching the imagination of London leavers who might previously have headed to the Home Counties. ‘I have always thought Taunton to be very underrated and it’s no surprise that people are finally coming round to viewing it as the place to move to,’ confirms Robin Gould, director of buying agency Prime Purchase ( The town is a three-hour drive from London, yet its fast train line – just one hour 45 minutes from Paddington – makes it a plausible bet for the post-Covid breed of office worker who only needs to be at his or her desk in the capital a couple of times a week. ‘It’s a very reasonable journey considering many of our buyers are not planning to do a five-day commute moving forward,’ says Brian Bishop, of Jackson-Stops’ Taunton branch ( ‘We’ve certainly seen a spike in buyers from London moving to Taunton this year in pursuit of an idyllic country lifestyle.’ While the town doesn’t have a Cotswolds-style picturesque centre, it does have some gracious Georgian architecture, a plentiful range of useful independent shops and a theatre, polo ground, racecourse and the Somerset County Cricket Ground. ‘The majestic spire of St Mary Magdalene church

set against the backdrop of the beautiful Quantock Hills is still one of the most picturesque West Country townscapes,’ says buying agent Gideon Sumption of Stacks Property Search ( It’s also a midway point between London and coastal Cornwall, which heightens the appeal, adds Jo Henry, West Country specialist at Jess Simpson Property Search ( And it’s not just City wealth that is making its way to this part of the West Country: Henry says the area has been recognised as a place where various businesses can thrive. ‘Taunton is becoming trendier – you only need to look at the number of artisan food outlets, boutique retailers and regular independent street markets to see this,’ she says. Indeed, Alice Temperley’s new landmark HQ in nearby Ilminster is evidence that the creative march is moving westward, while there are rumours of a possible Tesla Gigafactory site in neighbouring Bridgewater. For a relatively small town, Taunton has a rich supply of good schools, including sought-after independents Taunton School, King’s College and Queen’s College, which all offer private co-education from nursery to age 18. Millfield, Wellington

A walk Head to Beacon Hill and Bicknoller Hill in the north-west corner of the Quantocks, above West Quantoxhead, to find Trendle Ring, Iron Age hill fort. Shopping Alice Temperley is launching a boutique, bar and restaurant in Ilminster, with produce from her parents’ farm. temperley


L E T ’ S

A garden tour Hestercombe House and Gardens is one of the finest collabs between garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and architect Edwin Lutyens. hestercombe. com

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PROPERTY School and Blundell’s are also within easy reach. Meanwhile, Castle School is a well-regarded state option, recently Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’, and there are numerous highly-regarded primary schools in the surrounding villages. A wealth of roomy family houses can be found within easy reach of these schools, on leafy streets amid large gardens, while Taunton Vale is a well-stocked hunting ground of charming farmhouses and majestic rectories, according to Gould. Property values here are still reasonably unaffected by the recent London exodus and therefore offer relative value for money, he says. Jackson-Stops is seeing demand for elegant Georgian houses overlooking Vivary Park in Taunton South Side as well as homes in the surrounding villages of Kingston St Mary’s, Milverton and Wiveliscombe, which have great primary schools and picturesque surroundings. ‘One of the prettiest Georgian houses on the outskirts of town is coming to the market in spring, with 15 acres, a pool, stables and tennis court, and will be a bellwether for the postlockdown market,’ adds Sumption.

ABOVE & BELOW: Alice Temperley in her new Ilminster HQ; Exmoor ponies

A five-bedroom, edge-of-village house with a few acres currently costs up to a million, while rectories with paddocks and pools cost upwards of £1.5m and more substantial country houses can sell for as much as £5m. It was the affordable house prices and fresh air that drew Becky Humphries, a surgeon, and her solicitor husband, John, to the area last year. They were living in east London with their two young children, but when a job came up at Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital, Becky began researching the local property market. ‘I was astonished to see that for the price of our house in London we could buy a farmhouse and eight acres, ten minutes from Taunton,’ she says. ‘We made the move during the Easter holidays and haven’t looked back.’ At weekends the Humphries go to Exmoor or walk in the Quantock Hills, England’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. ‘I always imagined we’d be a London family but we all feel happier and more relaxed here,’ Becky explains. ‘My daughters have taken up riding, they do an afternoon of forest school every week and I’ve got myself a mountain bike. We definitely get a lot more vitamin D.’ While Taunton is still largely under the radar, several families Becky and John have met through school and work have also moved from the capital. ‘It’s more cosmopolitan than we were expecting; I haven’t felt any need to rush back to London for a night out,’ says Becky. ‘We spend less but have a much richer life – Somerset seems to suit us.’ n


BISHOPS LYDEARD, £3.95m A stunning Grade II-listed country house on the edge of the Quantock Hills designed by the architect Sir Ernest Newton and fully reconstructed following a fire in 2002. Along with 11 bedrooms, there’s a wine cellar and a home cinema. There’s also a three-bedroom cottage and nearly 20 acres.

KINGSTON ST MARY, £3.25m Marsh House is an impressive Georgian family home with superb proportions, immaculately presented throughout with a separate coach house and parkland gardens. There is an indoor pool complex with sauna and the extensive cellar has been refurbished to provide ample space for wine storage as well as a media room and hobbies room.

TAUNTON, £900,000 The Grove is a beautifully presented Edwardian villa with light-filled reception rooms offering period features and an impressive kitchen. There are five bedrooms and lawned gardens and the shops and schools of central Taunton are just a few minutes away.


LANGALLER, £1.1m An elegant manor house that dates back to the 15th century. The house has large reception rooms, a kitchen with range cooker and breakfast area, plus seven bedrooms. There’s also a three-bedroom coach house and more than two acres of grounds to play with.

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The best feel-good facilities on the market. By Amy Wakeham


This Grade II-listed, sevenbedroom Georgian house is set in beautiful grounds, with an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi alongside west-facing terraces that are perfect for entertaining. The garden also features a children’s play area and an all-weather floodlit tennis court. Inside, there’s a gym, home cinema and open-plan kitchen.


A new addition to the coveted postcode, Mayfair Park Residences is the latest project from Clivedale London and the Dorchester Collection. Designed by Parisian studio, Jouin Manku, they offer 22 opulent one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, all with access to a private health club with a 20m swimming pool, sauna and steam room, hydrotherapy pool, treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness suite and private studio.

BELGRAVIA, £23m This is what London townhouse dreams are truly made of. With six bedrooms, this terraced turnkey house is just a hop and a skip from stylish Sloane Square, and features a fusion of classical period features with cool, contemporary design. A gym, Jacuzzi, steam room and swimming pool will make keeping on top of your wellness routine effortless.

TEVERSHAM, £1.75m Just outside Cambridge is the pretty village of Teversham, with this elegant Georgian manor at its centre. Sitting in 1.42 acres of grounds, the four-bedroom house has a separate, impressive leisure complex with a 12m pool and a gym area with mood lighting and drop-down projector screen, plus a fully kitted-out pool kitchen and BBQ, and outdoor seating for entertaining.

HOLLAND PARK, £32m This beautifully refurbished family house is a unique find located opposite Holland Park. Alongside seven stylish and welcoming bedroom ensuites and three reception rooms, there’s also a 15-metre swimming pool with full spa facilities to make use of. The terraced garden was designed by C&TH gardening columnist Randle Siddeley.

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BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE MOORS Raithwaite Village is a new community of holiday homes on the North Yorkshire coast


he North Yorkshire coast is a wild and beautiful nook, where moorland, woods and golden beaches meet. This year there’ll be a new addition to the area’s tight knit community: Raithwaite Village. Nestled in the grounds of luxury country hotel Raithwaite Sandsend, and close to historic Whitby, it will comprise 190 lodges, cottages and villas, as well as a village square with a café, wine cellar, art gallery and a local bakery.

to come. It’s partnered with design expert and interiors retailer Neptune to create bespoke kitchens for every property, inspired by the colours and textures of the coast, beach and moors. Every property sale also includes a £10,000 Neptune voucher.

A SUSTAINABLE ETHOS Nature is at the beating heart of Raithwaite Village. The development team, Maritime Capital, is working hard to design and build in line with sustainable measures for the future, from construction to insulation to energy usage. It has also committed to building with and for the environment, using natural openings for woodland lodges, green roofs and renewable energies.

LUXURY SERVICES Raithwaite Village has all the perks of a hotel, in the comfort of your own holiday home. Residents will be able to use all the hotel’s facilities, and the concierge team can assist with everything from property maintenance to turndown service and housekeeping.

INSPIRATIONAL DESIGN Raithwaite Village is designed to stand the test of time, and for its homes to be enjoyed by generations

£POA. Available to buy now, and ready from October 2021. Enquire now: +44 (0)1947 602626;


LODGES These woodland Hilltop Lodges have a picturesque coastal location, set in a leafy niche between the curve of Sandsend beach and the North Yorkshire moors. The Keeper’s Lodges are located nearer to the Village Square.

VILLAS For those after a spacious room with a view, the Coastal Villas make for an ideal investment. All villas feature contemporary interiors by Neptune, and have access to Raithwaite Sandsend’s luxury facilities.

COTTAGES The Seaview Cottages are the best option for uninterrupted views over the sea, and are near the bustling Village Square. Local shops, relaxed dining, the beach, the hotel… everything is close by, making for an effortless stay.

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CTH DPS Ad 12/20.qxp_Layout 1 17/12/2020 12:00 Page 1

Between Falmouth and the Helford River Falmouth 3 miles, Helford River 2 miles, Truro 11 miles A small estate situated in an incredibly private position at the end of a long drive, 3 reception rooms, 5 bedrooms, detached 3 bed cottage, home office, stable block and further outbuildings, and subtropical gardens and pasture. In all about 16 acres. 4943 sqft (total), EPC F/E Guide ÂŁ3m 01326 617447

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St.Ives, West Cornwall Porthminster Beach 200 yards, St Ives Station 0.8 miles, Penzance (main line station) 8 miles, Truro 26 miles Beautiful former sea captains house above Porthminster Beach with grandstand views over St Ives Bay. 4 bedrooms, open-plan kitchen-dining room, first floor sitting room, studio/bedroom 5, private courtyard garden with sun deck and off street parking. 1675 sqft Guide ÂŁ1.25m 01326 617447


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If you need a personal, best in class service with exceptional results, let’s talk


Albion Riverside, SW11 Guide price £2,250 per week


The Dumont, SE1 Guide price £3,650 per week


Smith Street, SW3 Guide price £750 per week

Lamont Road, SW10 Guide price £2,200 per week


Onslow Gardens, SW7 Guide price £1,450 per week


Caroline Terrace, SW3 Guide price £3,975,000



Hollywood Court, SW10 Guide price £900,000


Flood Street, SW3 Guide price £5,000,000


Battersea Power Station, SW11 Guide price P&C

T +44 (0) 20 7352 0535 E W Tedworth Property Ltd, 121 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9BW. Registered in England number 10877899

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West Halkin Street, SW1 Guide price £4,950,000

Cheyne Terrace, SW3 Guide price £10,000,000


Harrington Gardens, SW7 Guide price £1,200,000

Victoria Road, W8 Guide price £11,000,000



Pembridge Crescent, W11 Guide price £1,700,000

Paradise Walk, SW3 Guide price £1,850,000


Egerton Place, SW3 Guide price £1,500,000



Roland Way, SW7 Guide price £3,850,000


Grosvenor Gardens Mews South, SW1 Guide price £3,500,000

T +44 (0) 20 7352 0535 E W Tedworth Property Ltd, 121 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9BW. Registered in England number 10877899

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TALES OF OUR TIME What happens next? asks Michael Hayman

The road ahead looks bright with promise


he world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.’ Poetic wisdom from WB Yeats, inspiring our imagination with the promise of better days ahead. There’s no doubt 2020 will be remembered for the global gloom of the pandemic. But could it be that we look at this shared experience as the moment we became alive to new possibilities? The arrival of a vaccine is a scientific and emotional game changer – a new narrative of when, not if, we can beat this common foe. For the generation of today it might well become the moment that lives long in the memory. The fork in the road. The split second when we remember vividly what happened next. What did we find and what did we lose? The former White House economist Pippa Malmgren says that, among fellow economists, the world is split on the question of what comes next. She draws literary inspiration: The Great Gatsby vs The Grapes of Wrath tribes. Like the books, both tribes offer extreme takes on what is to come, one of triumph and the other disaster. She thinks each outcome is possible, but neither is unlikely to endure.

The reality may be somewhat gentler and slower to reveal itself. Who have we become? What will the legends of lockdown be that we share with generations to come? Will it be a time that is remembered for the selfless or the selfish? For good reason, more people have been asking themselves fundamental questions more often – questions about what it means to live and to love. And that shared experience of challenge could lead to change that brings a great many closer together rather than driving them further apart. Churchill wisely said that the future is unknowable. We will all have to find our own path on an as yet undiscovered journey. But we should travel with mindful care because what we do next abounds with consequence. Our mindset in this moment will matter. Positivity will matter. In no small way this is the moment for our senses to grow sharper to the magic of the world around us. Michael Hayman is the co-founder of Seven Hills and presents the podcast Change Makers.

WATCH The French Dispatch. A star-studded cast, stylistic sets and a ‘love letter to journalists’ by Wes Anderson. LISTEN The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq. David Dimbleby narrates this powerful podcast on how the events of nearly two decades ago set the scene for today. SCENT 71/72 by Floris London x Turnbull & Asser. Lavender, mandarin and sandalwood to see you through the winter ( TRY Glaze & Gordon. A British country store that offers something a little bit different for hounds, horses, humans and home ( READ V2 by Robert Harris. Rockets, risk and relationships set in the final days of World War II (Hutchinson, £20).



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