LIVING A BALANCED LIFE
MAY/JUNE 2021 £3.90
WALKING IN WATER
TOP of the COPS
Team GB’s synchro swimmers make a big splash
Meet Nigel Topping, the man you need to know at COP26
EARTH’S ADVOCATE The lawyer who is saving the planet
the hottest thing since sliced bread
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THE GOOD LIFE Will Alice B-B come out of her rabbit hole? THE RURBANIST Isabella Tree LAST WORD Michael Hayman on the big-name heirs putting their privilege to good purpose
STYLE 25 26 28 30
32 34 36
ARTS & CRAFTS Put a patch on it THE EDIT Conscious consumerism CHOOSE WISELY Happy clothes, happy planet PARTY WITH PURPOSE Julia Restoin Roitfeld collaborates with Hervé Léger THE MAGPIE Jewellery that sets the gold standard WELL GROOMED Men’s style news TIME TO GO GREEN Simon de Burton’s eco-friendly watches
HEALTH & WELLBEING 39 40 42 44
46 48 50 52 54
HELLO, HYDRATION Meet your new skin superhero BODY LANGUAGE Olivia Falcon ups her fitness regime with a little help THE SCOOP No gym? No worries, says Charlotte Cole MAKING A SPECTACLE The new beauty brand that is both high performance and low impact BODY & SOUL How to maintain a sense of wellbeing all the time SKIN DEEP Earth-friendly skin saviours BEAUTY BUZZ Facial reflexology LITTLE GREEN BOOK How to eat better in every way SPA TREK Healing gets personal at Euphoria in Greece
CULTURE 57 58 66
68 70 72 74
IN BLOOM David Hockney’s iPad masterpieces SPRING CALENDAR What to do, see, read and listen to this season THE CALL OF THE WILD We need to renew our relationship with nature, says the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund THE EXHIBITIONIST A new forest temporarily takes root in London ARTIST’S STUDIO Gavin Turk ROAD TEST Electric drives THE GREAT OUTDOORS Randle Siddeley’s garden tips for a winning al fresco summer SCARFES BAR Charlotte Metcalf meets COP26 champion Nigel Topping
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THE SHAPE OF WATER Team GB’s synchronised swimmers dive in to raise awareness of our most precious resource 88 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW’S QUIET ASSASSIN Lucy Cleland meets James Thornton, the lawyer taking on a planet-sized challenge 92 WHAT’S LUXURY GOT TO DO WITH IT? Charlotte Metcalf on the British brands leading the eco charge 97 MATERIALS, GIRLS Is that mushroom leather you’re wearing? 100 MAKING WAVES Gamechanging beauty – made in Margate. Marc Abbott meets Haeckels’ founder Dom Bridges 80
AMAZING GRACE Ultrasustainable linen by de Le Cuona 106 DESIGN NOTES Carole Annett’s world of interiors 108 FOCUS Colourful kitchens 110 TREND Flounces and frills 112 READY, STEADY, REFRESH! Upcycling your interiors 105
HOTELS & TRAVEL 115 122 124
GREAT GREEN RETREATS Low-carbon British breaks ARCTIC AMBITION Introducing the world’s first energy positive hotel BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE SKY On the ecotourism trail in Costa Rica
FOOD & DRINK 127 130 133
FOODIE TALES Petersham Nurseries’ Gael Boglione and her beef carpaccio GASTRO GOSSIP Foodie news RESTAURANT REVIEW Fenn, fab new food in Fulham
ON THE COVER Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe of Team GB wear swimwear by Stella McCartney. Photographer: Richard Johnson; Fashion Director: Nicole Smallwood: Hair & Make-Up: Nathalie Eleni using Clark’s Botanicals and Amanda Harrington; Photographer’s Assistant: Ollie Edwards
PROPERTY OF THE MONTH Old world meets new at Silicon Valley’s Green Gables estate LET’S MOVE TO... MONTENEGRO Sustainable homes on the Adriatic Coast FIVE OF THE BEST Kitchen gardens
REGULARS 14 16 134
EDITOR’S LETTER CONTRIBUTORS STOCKISTS
10 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
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emissions than we cause – and I am determined to play my part. Having immersed myself – over the past year especially – with the issue at hand (my God, it’s both thrillingly exciting and horrifyingly scary), I’ve come to understand that just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes humanity to save itself (as David Attenborough rightly says, the planet will be fine). How do we do it? Every incremental change we make can have an impact. Using the car less, taking fewer flights, eating less meat and dairy, changing to renewable energy, investing ethically and supporting environmental charities such as ClientEarth, whose founder, James Thornton, I interview on page 90, can cause a ripple effect – especially if you talk about it. We all feel the burden but a shared problem feels lighter than carrying the load alone. Talking of ripples, how fabulous do Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, Team GB’s Olympic synchronised swimming hopefuls for the Tokyo Games (touch wood it goes ahead), look in our cover shoot (p80)? Trust Fashion Director Nicole Smallwood to deliver a unique take on this issue’s ‘sustainability’ theme: water is pretty much our most important resource and these graceful mermaids symbolise our relationship with it beautifully. We wish them the very best of luck this summer. With the global climate change conference COP26 on the horizon, Charlotte Metcalf Zooms with Nigel Topping to talk about the role he’s been ‘preparing for his whole life’ – that of the government’s High Level Climate Action Champion (p76). Charlotte also changes the narrative on luxury brands. Often maligned as just flogging unnecessary expensive ‘stuff’, some of our most famous British companies are becoming real trailblazers in the sustainability space: take a look at what Burberry, Mulberry and Boodles, et alia, are doing (p92). And in Materials, Girls on page 97, discover why mushrooms are even more magical that you ever thought they were. I hope this issue – and all our online and newsletter content around sustainability – will spark a conversation, influence a buying decision or introduce you to some new brands, products and ideas you may not have considered before. And then you will tell people about it. Our small act of activism, if you will.
Editor’s LETTER I would never have described myself as an activist. I’m far too bourgeois to daub my face with paint and chain myself to railings. But revolution can also be more subtle than that. If you can influence changes in behaviour through what you write or talk about then, in essence, that is a type of activism at play. And when it comes to climate change, it’s our collective responsibility to profoundly reduce our carbon footprint – or, even better, to prevent more
BUY Lily Cole is the poster girl for sustainability and her eyewear brand Wires has impeccable credentials. khoeo.com
WEAR Baukjen is a British B Corp brand, meaning you can feel good looking good. baukjen.com
RIDE A car-free city is a dream to aspire to. In the meantime, hop on your (electric) Angell bike in snazzy silver. angell.bike
READ Learn how to do your washing properly – Patric Richardson’s book How To Love Your Laundry is a revelation. (Orion Books, £14.99)
PHOTOS: © RICHARD JOHNSON
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CON T R I BU TOR S
Why nature needs us, by the head of WWF UK, on p66
Photographer Richard shot Team GB’s synchronised swimmers on p80
Ginny Weeks finds an eco paradise in Costa Rica on p124
How to transform your garden for an outstanding al fresco summer, p74
What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability to me means respecting nature and the planet, which is our one shared home, and handing it on in a better state to future generations. Favourite easy eco hack? Planning meals for the week ahead and making a shopping list – it’s a great way to ensure we buy only what we need and cut down on food waste. The world would be a better place if… People made a bit of space for nature on their own land, however big or small it is. Favourite eco brand? Lockdown walks, while a real boost, have inevitably sometimes been accompanied by rain, and then I have been grateful for my Patagonia gear – I admire the company’s commitment to recycling, social justice and better supply chains.
What does sustainability mean to you? It means trying to consume what is needed and not something to just indulge one’s greed for more or bigger and better things. Of course you need a few indulgences, but I think trying to be conscious of one’s purchases is important. Favourite easy eco hack? A good, reusable water bottle. The world would be a better place if… We just tried to have more awareness of, and appreciation for, our natural environment. I think it would go a long way to making the world a better place. Favourite eco brands? Adidas is doing some amazing things with Parley for the Oceans and using recycled plastic in its shoes. Finisterre is another brand here in the UK that is really conscious of its supply chains and sustainability.
What does sustainability mean to you? Trying my best to be aware of my day-to-day impact on the environment and to make positive changes. Favourite easy eco hack? Pack a reusable water bottle (preferably metal) when you travel. Many airports have refillable water stations and you’ll avoid using lots of plastic bottles. The world would be a better place if… We all did something small but significant like eating more vegetables and less meat and fish. Favourite eco brands? Gather&See for beautifully curated clothes and accessories, all from ethical suppliers. Bouteco is a great platform for discovering the best sustainable hotels around the world. Evolve for small batch organic beauty, and Beauty Kubes for planetfriendly hair care.
What does sustainability mean to you? Changing the way we live our lives to ensure that future generations can enjoy the world. This includes making better use of our resources, changing habits and using recyclable and sustainable materials. Favourite easy eco hack? Natural cleaning agents. During Covid we have been making our own tea tree oil with silver water to create a very effective disinfectant. The world would be a better place if… Everyone just stopped using plastic water bottles. Favourite eco brand? Oddbox. We have its Fruit Booster box delivered to the office and love it. Every year, a third of all food globally is wasted, and in the UK we throw away three million tonnes of fruit and veg before it even leaves the farm due to its quirky shape.
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The GOOD LIFE Can I stay hunkered down just a little longer? asks Alice B-B
RE YOU READY? ’Cause I’m not – not in the slightest bit ready for the gates of freedom to be flung open again. The original change was so dramatic: one minute the world felt tiny and my life felt huge as I flung myself weekly around the globe on planes, trains and automobiles, visiting a billionaire’s island in Hawaii, meeting shamans, eating fruit that stained my lips bright orange. Then in a flash my life became parochial, mostly concerned with what was for dinner, walking the puppy and inquiring whether Sue the postwoman’s wrist was still sore. Now the door’s open again and out there is a world I’ve become a bit terrified of. Not because of the people (though when I do meet friends I talk fast and loud for 15 minutes and then collapse, realising I have nothing fresh to say). No, I’m terrified because of how much I’ve come to like this small life. How safe and like an old-fashioned hobbit hole it feels. So while I’m happy that businesses can be busy, shops can ring the tills and restaurants can buzz… I’m popping back into my cosy hole again. Just for a while. AH… BUT THE CONTRADICTION. Scrolling through my photos makes me long to explore. New spa hotel Forestis (forestis.it) in the Dolomites is the perfect post-lockdown decompression chamber, built on the site of a former TB sanatorium. The air is giddily fresh, the climate temperate and the water (even in the shower) is the same Plose spring water that’s bottled and sold elsewhere for plenty of euros. The eco-conscious details are remarkable: for every tree felled two are planted, the heating uses renewable energy and every room has a ‘no housekeeping’ button. I long to return to Forestis and walk among those mountains that jut from the ground like the planet’s very own teeth. To sweat out the last year in the naked sauna (pretending I’m cool with being starkers!), float on my back in the indoor-outdoor pool. And take a moment for the bluest of blue-sky thinking. FOR YEARS I’VE STRUGGLED with the West’s MarieAntoinetteish consumption of fresh flowers. The environmental impact of intensive flower farming needs to be clear. I’ve been to the foothills of Mount Kenya, much of which is given over to rose-growing in a country that struggles to feed itself. And there’s the global impact of pesticides, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel-guzzling refrigerated containers flying blooms all over the world. Surely one day we’ll look back in let-them-eat-cake horror. So instead I’m giving plants from Clifton Nurseries (clifton.co.uk) or my new discovery – a soft rainbow palette of dried thistles from Fox Flowers (foxflowers.co.uk).
THIS MONTH I’LL BE...
ORDERING supper from delicious D’Ambrosi Fine Foods in the Cotswolds (dambrosi.co.uk). EXCITED to visit Anya Cafe in Belgravia – the latest venture from superwoman Anya Hindmarch (anyahindmarch.com). HEADING to my friend Amanda Wakeley’s shop for her new Forever Pieces and upcycling service (amandawakeley.com).
ILLUSTRATION BY MEI MEI, @MEIMEI_2503
‘For years I’VE STRUGGLED with the West’s MarieAntoinetteish consumption of FRESH FLOWERS’
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Author and wilding pioneer Isabella Tree on (not) planting trees and escaping to Greece
What’s bringing you joy? The white storks bill-clattering on our roof. Last year, in our wilding project at Knepp, we had the first white storks breeding in Britain for 600 years. They’re part of the White Stork Project (whitestorkproject.org) – and this year we hope many more will breed here. What’s annoying you most? Litter in the countryside. All the plastic I find with little teeth marks from voles and field mice that now have a belly-full of the stuff. And helium balloons and Chinese sky lanterns! No one ever thinks about where these things fall to earth and the animals – like our free-roaming pigs, cattle, horses and deer – that end up eating them. And dog poo bags. Don’t get me started on fly-tipping... Whose mind do you wish you could change? People who think that planting is the best way to get trees back in our landscape. If we let nature do its job, we’ll have healthier trees, a richer habitat for wildlife and many more beautiful treescapes than the closed-canopy plantations we’re currently covering the countryside with. Advice for your 15-year-old self? Life’s too short to be shy. What keeps you awake? Caffeine, too much alcohol, not enough alcohol, the full moon, yoga backbends, things I’ve forgotten to do, the planet, writing books in my head. The best thing about country life is… The nuances of the seasons and the constant wildlife surprises. How do you escape? I go to Greece. Bobbing about in our little wooden caïque The Isabella – a 40th birthday present from my husband – with our family and friends, a picnic and icebox full of retsina – it’s as close to heaven as I could ever imagine. Best way to put a smile on your face? My daughter’s lockdown cocktail, the Quarantini: rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, vermouth and Hepple gin. The pet you loved most? My first dog, a spaniel called Bustle. I got her as a puppy when I was five and she lived for 15 years. She slept on my bed and shared all my childhood adventures. The book you wished you’d written? The one I’m writing now – The Wilding Handbook. Your greatest failure? Still using Amazon. Your greatest triumph? Getting to sleep. Your epitaph would read... I’m still here... in the life in the soil.
Isabella Tree is the author of Wilding (Pan Macmillan, £9.99)
SCENT Chanel No.19. BOX SET The Durrells. CHOCOLATE BAR Green & Black’s Classic Collection (not the ginger ones). SONG Young Americans by David Bowie. DISH Huevos rancheros. GADGET Caran d’Ache rotary pencil sharpener. RESTAURANT Clarke’s, Kensington Church Street.
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
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STYLE Edited by Mariella Tandy
Arts & Crafts
Zero waste gets a colourful traditional twist
Celia B’s much-loved colourful dresses and separates are now even more loveable, as the founder and designer, Celia Bernardo, makes a shift towards forever pieces made using traditional crafts in small batches. This striking patchwork dress is part of her ZEROWASTE project, where she creates new pieces using fabrics and trims left over from previous collections. Patchwork dress, £600. celiab.com
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STYLE | Shopping
EDIT Mariella Tandy’s sustainable style pick
Paper’s dresses are designed to make a statement – in terms of both style and sustainability. This playful Frankie dress funds the removal of one kilogram of ocean plastic in Southeast Asia and Africa. £360, paperlondon.com
1 Jurlique Moisture Plus Rare Rose gel cream. £41, jurlique.com 2 We Are Paradoxx Super Fuel face, hair and body oil. £30, weareparadoxx.com 3 Noble Panacea The Brilliant Prime Radiance serum refill. £184, noblepanacea.com
COVER ALL BASES
BOOK A TABLE
Browns Fashion’s new flagship boutique has opened at 39 Brook Street, in a beautiful Grade II-listed building just down the road from the original South Molton Street store. The store will also house Native at Browns, the little sister restaurant of Native Osea. It will champion seasonal produce and zero waste dining through closed-loop small plates, natural wines and foraged-ingredient cocktails, all set around a beautiful internal courtyard. brownsfashion.com
The Nue Co has launched Barrier Culture cleanser and moisturiser – the only products your skin will need. The cleanser is a probiotic treatment that deeply cleans the skin, removing dirt, pollution and makeup without disrupting the skin’s PH. Follow with the moisturiser, formulated to reduce inflammation and redness. Cleanser, £32; moisturiser, £50. thenueco.com
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Bamford Bask dungarees. £395, bamford.com Mother of Pearl Denim jacket. £295, motherofpearl.co.uk
Thoughtful, low-impact leather brand Skiim Paris recently branched out into other natural fibres, like the organic ventile cotton in this Veruschka dress from the S/S21 collection. Model Arizona Muse was also recently appointed its new sustainability consultant. £735, skiimparis.com
Sabina Savage Shirt. £735, sabinasavage.com Johnstons of Elgin Scarf. £110, johnstonsofelgin.com
ON THE RADAR
These planet-first brands are not so blue, using recycled fabrics, small batches and skilled artisans
Named after the Japanese word for ‘dream’, Yume Yume is an Amsterdambased footwear label and design collective with an eco-conscious ethos. These faux shearling slides are made from a blend of recycled nylon and Global Organic Textile Standard-certified wool. Slides, £130. yumeyume.eu
Really Wild Sky shirt dress. £425, reallywildclothing.com
SECOND TIME AROUND
Loewe Surplus leather bag. £1,650, loewe.com
Mulberry is one of the first partners of Vestiaire Collective’s new Brand Approved programme, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to creating a circular luxury economy. It’ll stock a selection of rare silhouettes and limited-edition pieces that have been carefully authenticated and restored by Mulberry’s artisans in Somerset. vestiairecollective.com; mulberry.com May/June 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 27
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STYLE | Trend
BEULAH X NANNACAY Straw bag, £235 GUCCI Cherry sweatshirt, £790
BASERANGE T-shirt, £45
JOHANNA ORTIZ Bikini top, £260; bottoms, £120
RAVE REVIEW Trench coat, £1,206
Make sure your clothes have a conscience too, says Mariella Tandy
SOCKSSS Socks, £21
BITE STUDIOS Cardigan, £336
ANOTHER TOMORROW Vintage Levi’s 501 jeans, £209
LAUREN MANOOGIAN Alpaca slides, £365
Cape Town-based Sindiso Khumalo is on a fast track to success. An LVMH Prize Finalist 2020 and winner of GCFA’s Independent Designer award, she’s just been picked up for Net-a-Porter’s Net Sustain edit, thanks to her organic, hand-woven textiles developed with NGOs. £595, netaporter.com
CITIZENS OF HUMANITY Jumpsuit, £480
FOR STOCKISTS SEE PAGE 134
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STYLE | Interview
Party WITH PURPOSE
t’s not even ten in the morning, and I’ve put on a full smokey eye, artfully tousled my just-got-out-of-bed (quite literally) hair and donned a suitably Rive Gauche black roll-neck jumper. It’s lockdown three, and this is the first time I’ve put on make-up and jewellery since New Year’s Eve. The reason? I’m about to Zoom with Julia Restoin Roitfeld, poster girl for French chic, and – bien sûr – I want to look the part. As the daughter of Carine Roitfeld, erstwhile editor of Vogue Paris, and Christian Restoin, founder of elegant shirt brand Equipment, style quite literally runs in Julia’s blood. She grew up immersed in the creativity of fashion shoots for Vogue; she got an internship at The Face, aged just 14, and she gained a degree in design from Parsons New York. Today we’re talking about her new collection for Hervé Léger, the French maison beloved for its feminine bandaged cocktail dresses, which has been helmed by designer Christian Juul Nielsen since 2018. ‘I’ve always loved the heritage of the brand – it has so many iconic pictures and dresses,’ explains Julia, from her new home in north London, where she relocated from New York last summer with her daughter, Romy Nicole, and her boyfriend, Ash frontman Tim Wheeler. ‘I wanted to recreate that recognisable style but add a twist,’ she continues, ‘so I suggested we make it from recycled fabrics.
Hervé Léger was on board straight away.’ In tune with Julia’s ongoing passion for the environment (she has a blog, Less Is More, in which she advocates living a more conscious, minimalist lifestyle), the 20-piece collection for Resort 2021 is made using sustainable yarns and recycled packaging in accordance with the Global Recycled Standard. She is aware, however, of the clash between advocating for sustainability and bringing out a new fashion range. ‘It’s sad not to create new clothes – fashion is what allows you to dream and new things are what inspire you,’ she explains. ‘But I think we should try to do it with a little bit of consciousness and with sustainability at its heart.’ Above all, she wants to show there’s another way to do fashion that’s not just about rabid consumption. ‘I think you can be sustainable not just by buying eco-conscious clothes but by being very aware of the amount of things you buy. Less is more: buy less, buy better. It’s not about being really strict, but every little change helps.’ Julia sees herself as a bit of a role model, pointing out a new path to tread for fashion fans and the industry as a whole. ‘I think people are inspired to know that you can work in fashion, but you don’t need to chase trends,’ she points out. ‘And you can still have a good outfit without having to buy too much. I think it’s good to lead by example...
PHOTOS: © CLAIRE ROTHSTEIN
Julia Restoin Roitfeld’s new collection for Hervé Léger is party perfect – but with a sustainable twist, says Amy Wakeham
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‘All I want to do is GO OUT and DRESS UP again. I’m so tired of being in jeans and a T-shirt. I can’t wait to put my MAKE-UP on, do my hair and feel PRETTY. We all need that ‘ and redefine the fashion industry a little bit.’ It’s certainly an industry that is undergoing enormous change at the moment, as the world wakes up to the huge environmental impact of clothing manufacture. And that shift has only been exacerbated by Covid, which saw fashion weeks cancelled all over the world with shows moving online, if held at all. So does Julia think a digitalfirst approach is the future? ‘I think there’s too much energy put into fashion shows, there's definitely a way to make them more sustainable,’ she replies. ‘There shouldn’t be so many – perhaps one a year, all in one city.’ Naturally, Julia’s been to countless shows over the years, ever since she sat next to her mother on the front row as a child. Which was the best? She pauses. ‘When I first moved to New York [to study at Parsons], the Marc Jacobs show was the one to attend. I’ll always remember A/W’05’s, at the Armory. It was when it was still okay to be three hours late – people were waiting; it was packed full of celebrities and Tonight Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins was blaring out. It was all very exciting.’ These days her life in London is less razzle-dazzle, more home schooling and playing dress-up with 11-year-old Romy. ‘All I want to do is go out again, not to fashion parties but just to [normal] parties and concerts, and dress up,’ she says, echoing how we’re all feeling. ‘I’m so tired of being in jeans and a T-shirt. I can’t wait to put my make-up on, do my hair and feel pretty. We all need that.’ With impeccable timing, Julia’s collection for Hervé Léger landed at the end of April, when the UK had tentatively started to reopen. She’s most looking forward to wearing the two-piece suit – ‘which was quite hard for Christian to achieve in a soft knitwear material... [because] it’s more casual to wear while still being quite elegant and masculine.’ Another favourite is the black bodycon bandage dress, inspired by a style Kate Moss wore in the Nineties. ‘I’d been looking for a similar one everywhere and I couldn’t find it, so I’m really happy we got to create it so I can have my own.’ They say that, post-Covid, we’re going to experience another Roaring Twenties, as we collectively rush out to hug family and friends, and dance off all the frustration, grief and despair of the past year or so. Handily, Julia has given us the perfect outfits to wear to embrace this brave new world – one which I, after a million mornings writing alone at my kitchen table, really can’t wait to arrive. Available now from herveleger.com
PHOTOS: © CLAIRE ROTHSTEIN
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bodysuit, $690; bandage dress, $650; jumpsuit, $990
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STYLE | Jewellery
Susan Caplan, the renowned curator of luxury vintage jewellery, has teamed up with Mappin & Webb to launch the Susan Caplan Collection. The collection is made up of 28 pieces from luxury jewellery brands such as Chanel, Dior and Givenchy. mappinand webb.com
HERE COMES THE SUN
Sandy Leong’s new Sol collection is in partnership with Gemfields, using striking ethically sourced emeralds from Zambia’s Kagem mine. The eight pieces all feature the designer’s famed organic silhouettes and come in a beautiful 18 carat, matte gold finish. Even better, 10 per cent of all sales from the Sol collection will be donated to specific projects centered around children and education. Emerald cage ring with diamond pavé, £16,516; oversized Origin hoops with emerald and diamond studs, £11,528. sandyleongjewelry.com
Jewellery that’s gold standard. By Mariella Tandy
FOREVER STARTS TODAY
De Beers’ new Building Forever initiative sees the brand pledge to ensure diamonds have a positive impact all the way through their life cycle, from mine to beautiful jewellery. There are four core pillars to the initiative: protecting the natural world, equal opportunities for all workers, partnering with local communities and leading the industry in ethical practice. To this end, its new Tracr platform allows customers to trace the exact mine their diamonds came from, while its Moving Giants programme has seen 100 elephants relocated from De Beers’ overpopulated Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa to Mozambique, where there are too few. Talisman bangle in yellow gold, £8,800. debeers.com
TRACEABLE ROOTS Three sustainably sourced gold pieces
1 Viltier Diamond and 18 carat gold earrings. £4,450, netaporter.com 2 Cleopatra’s Bling Oannes pendant in 18 carat gold, carved agate and black diamonds. £1,176, cleopatrasbling.com 3 Melissa Kaye Aria Fan earrings in diamond and 18 carat gold. £6,250, matchesfashion.com
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STYLE | Men’s
Planet-friendly paintbox hues
This #TogetherBand is made from upcycled ocean plastic and raises funds to tackle gender inequality. £35 for two, togetherband.org
LOVE BRAND Cowrie Kiss linen shirt. £130, lovebrand.com
1 Nuasan Active Body moisturiser. £26, nuasan.com 2 Triumph & Disaster Blanco deodorant. £17.50, triumphanddisasteruk.com 3 Acqua di Parma Colonia Futura natural spray. £150, johnlewis.com
WATERED DOWN Pepe Jeans London has collaborated with Brooklyn Beckham on a series of projects, commencing with Wiser Future, a shoot celebrating the preciousness of water. It features items from Pepe’s Wiser Wash range, in which water use is drastically reduced. pepejeans.com
Well Groomed Time for a sustainable spring style upgrade, says Matt Thomas
4 Ton Janmaat Washbag. £35, ethelloves.me
HEMINGSWORTH Clipper swim shorts. £185, hemingsworth.com
WESTLEY RICHARDS Explora rucksack. £1,295, westleyrichards.com
CROCKETT & JONES Richmond 2 suede loafers. £375, crockettandjones.com
CONSCIOUS CLASSICS SIGN UP FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Swiss running brand On has launched Cyclon, a service that allows subscribers to receive the latest running shoes and return them, end-of-life, for new replacements. Subscription, £25 per month. on-running.com
Using organic cotton, recycled fabrics and other environmentally responsible materials, Unfeigned makes durable, stylish classics that tread the smart/ casual divide. Perfect for a modern capsule wardrobe. Shirt, £95. unfeignedgear.com
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99 MOUNT STREET, MAYFAIR LONDON, W1K 2TF CREEDFRAGRANCES.CO.UK Creed Viking - Country & Town House SP Ad 225(w) x x298(h)mm v8.indd 1 Creed Viking.indd 1
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STYLE | Watches
TIME to go
Units 3&4, Royal Opera House, The Piazza, Covent Garden WC2E 8HD +44 (0) 20 7952 2040
Make your countdown to carbon neutral as stylish as possible, says Simon de Burton
ew things work harder for their place on Earth than a mechanical wristwatch. After all, how many other objects not only operate reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days per year (with minimal care and maintenance) but can also last several lifetimes and do no harm to the planet in the process? Clockwork watches may seem an anachronism in our digital age, but one of the reasons for their burgeoning revival in popularity is that they’re almost unique in their sustainability – a fact that led Bucherer, one of the world’s largest watch and jewellery retailers, to introduce a ‘certified pre-owned’ offering at its Geneva store in late 2019. Now the concept has been brought to the UK with the opening of the new Bucherer flagship boutique in London’s Covent Garden, where a significant amount of floorspace has been given over to pre-owned watches from the 35-plus brands retailed by Bucherer, plus its own Carl F. Bucherer dial name.
In addition to making the most of the longevity of well-made watches, the service aims to give buyers the chance to find discontinued models and difficult-to-source limited editions. It also gives those on a smaller budget the chance to get on the luxury watch ladder for less than the cost of buying new. Each pre-owned piece is thoroughly checked over and serviced by Bucherer’s in-house watchmakers to ensure its authenticity, condition and functionality, before being issued with a certificate that verifies it as genuine and ‘good to go’. The available selection changes on a regular basis as watches are sold and replaced by others, giving the boutique a magnetic attraction for horophiles such as me, who are always looking for ‘one more watch’. And if you can’t visit in person, all the pre-owned pieces can be seen and purchased through the online shop. bucherer.com
F O U R E C O - F R I E N D LY W A T C H B U Y S IT’S ID-EAL FOR THE PLANET Panerai says 98.6 per cent of the weight of its new Submersible eLAB-ID dive watch is made from recycled elements, including the Eco Titanium case, fabric strap and even the SuperLuminova dial. The brand is keen to collaborate with other dial names on ‘circular’ watchmaking. eLAB-ID, £54,000. panerai.com
THAT’S A CULE(M) FOREST CuleM, launched by British entrepreneur Matthew Cule in 2018, plants 100 trees and protects six acres of rainforest for every watch the brand sells. In its short history, it has already financed the planting of 12,769 mangrove trees in Madagascar. Lights GMT, £1,195. culemwatches.com
WHAT A WOKE WATCH French brand Awake claims its AW.01 model is ‘the most ecoinnovative watch ever made’. This affordable timepiece is said to be made exclusively from reengineered, bio-degradable components. Cases are made from a material called RE:FN-S1, a polymer produced from old fishing nets. AWAKE .01, €280. awakeconcept.com
STRAP IT ON IWC is offering new TimberTex sustainable straps on four of its models. Made from plant fibres sourced from trees certified by the FSC, the straps are crafted in Italy before being padded with recycled microfibre and coloured with plant-based dyes. Portugieser Automatic 40, £6,450. iwc.com
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A Tradition of Safari since 1812. Explore our latest fine leather travel goods and fit for purpose apparel. westleyrichards.com
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Hello, Hydration Why squalane is your new skin hero
Squalane (with an ‘a’) is the derivative that mimics our bodies’ natural moisturiser squalene (with an ‘e’). Squalane absorbs into the lipidic layers of your skin, helping to boost moisture retention, relieve redness and reduce wrinkles. Biossance 100 per cent Squalane Oil comes from renewable sugarcane, and is a sustainable choice. £27, cultbeauty.co.uk
Photographer: Emily Delphine Model: Lydia Graham @ Models 1 Make-Up & Hair: Camilla Hewitt @ One Represents using Nars and Davines earring by Pariah. £395, bypariah.com
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | Review
MIND & MATTER Three ways to energise your brain and body
SPRITZ You can almost hear the bees humming their approval. Proceeds from this summery, zesty, floral blend help support the Protect Our Species campaign that defends our planet’s pollinators. Clean Reserve Lush Fleur, £82. spacenk.com
Olivia Falcon fast tracks her fitness at the Cosmetic Skin Clinic
t’s the question that makes me cringe every summer: ‘Are you bikini body ready?’ my Insta feed enquires. The answer from me this year is a resounding, shouty ‘NO! Not even close.’ I don’t really feel ready to hold an adult conversation or stay awake past 10pm, let alone bare my paunch. So when I was invited to try the new EMSculpt Neo at the Cosmetic Skin Clinic in London, the latest version of a machine that’s touted to reduce fat pockets by up to 30 per cent, and build muscle by up to 25 per cent, I jumped, (well shuffled), at the chance to get myself out of elasticated leggings and back into a pair of jeans. The machine works by fusing two advanced technologies into one, combining electromagnetic energy with radiofrequency stimulation to destroy fat cells and build up muscle mass. Electromagnetic fields trigger thousands of muscle contractions, which feels pretty punchy as you convulse through a series of teeth-grinding, electrical taps and pulses on the treatment bed. The half-hour treatment is said to be the equivalent to doing 20,000 crunches, sit ups or arm dips, depending on which area you are treating.
While the paddle-like attachments can tone and treat abs, bums and calves, where it’s going to really revolutionise body contouring is on the hard-to-treat flappy bingo wings. I started with four sessions a week apart on my tummy, as I was intrigued by the promise that it will strengthen my core, improve my performance at the gym and help with my backache – the result of endless lockdown inertia. The radio frequency element might also help tighten loose skin round my navel. After two EMSculpt sessions I was indeed able to hold a plank for longer than usual. After four I felt stronger and looked considerably more toned and even a little chiseled in my before and after photos post-treatment. So might EMsculpt Neo work for you? It treats BMIs of up to 35 and most people lose 1.5 inches on the abdomen but if you’re skinny to start with EMSculpt would give some amazing muscle definition. At £3,000 for six sessions it’s a fee that far outflanks even the most premium gym membership. But hey, after a year-long gym hiatus, who doesn’t want a secret weapon to fast track their fitness and hit the ground running? cosmeticskinclinic.com
SCRUB The antidote to dull city skin, the sustainably sourced powdered botanicals in this cleansing powder are activated by water to wash away impurities from pollution. Guy Morgan Dagger Rose cleansing powder, £36. guy-morgan.com
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SCREEN This easy-to-apply mineral sunscreen is as kind to coral (it’s 100 per cent reef safe) as it is to your skin. Grown Alchemist natural hydrating sunscreen SPF 30, £33. netaporter.com
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Instantly hydrating and plumping, the legendary Serum Repair leaves skin feeling firmer and tighter immediately. Simply add this smoothing, hyaluronic-acid rich super-serum to your skin care routine for immediate radiance, all summer long.
2. Brighten, protect and repair your skin every day with a sprinkle of Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream. This highly innovative, patented powder provides a high concentration of stabilised vitamin C which transforms into a light cream on application. Add a dash to Deep Exfoliating Mask for an intensive brightening treatment and to reduce pigmentation, or mix with any serum or moisturiser.
Dr Sebagh #boxfreebeauty Head into summer with fresh, radiant skin, from top-totoe with these expert tips and seasonal heroes. Shop at drsebagh.com and go ‘box-free’ to save up to 50% off and reduce packaging. What better way to glow?
Reach for the moisturiser that takes daily protection to the next level. Supreme Day Cream boasts a powerful blend of antioxidants to fight free radical damage, provides anti-pollution benefits and helps to shield skin against High Energy Visible (blue) light from screens. A ‘tense and lift’ complex and lightreflecting pigments provide an instant tightening effect and a touch of summer luminosity.
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3. Don’t hide behind your shades. Keep the delicate skin around your eyes plump, protected and refreshed this summer with the trouble-shooting, fragrancefree Firming Eye Cream. An advanced combination of ingredients, including the intensively hydrating hyaluronic acid, helps to brighten and firm the eye area, whilst helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improving tone.
Available in-store and online. #boxfreebeauty offer at drsebagh.com
HEALTH & WELLBEING | Notes
Charlotte Cole fi nds there’s no need to return to an actual gym – especially now she’s red in the face
OUT AND PROUD
UP YOUR AT-HOME REGIME Even though the real things are open again I’ll bet my bottom dollar your sitting room is still decked out like a private boutique gym. The proliferation of sleek home-use equipment and streaming programmes sees no let-up either. What’s new? How about Reformer pilates – the only exercise that got me wedding-fit all those years ago (oh, I miss those Obama arms). Top personal trainer Aimee Victoria Long is now working with the Microformer, brand new to the UK, to teach pilates on Zoom (or face to face). Smaller than the full-sized machines you’ll find in studios, the Microformer is lightweight and portable (you can stow it away under the sofa) and will raise your heart rate while targeting every muscle in your body – with really visible results. I’m in. Rental, from £59 per month, studiolagree.com; aimeevictorialong.co.uk For spin fans, Psycle At Home has been designed to replicate its popular studio experience and comprises four main workout regimes: Ride, Strength, Barre and Yoga. You can buy their SC2 bike (£1,899), but just as easily hit the mat and save space instead. Classes from £12; unlimited monthly subscription, £35 per month. psyclelondon.com Or how about rowing? Apparently it engages 86 per cent of the body’s muscles compared to 44 per cent in cycling. US brand Hydrow (one of TIME magazine’s best inventions of 2020) has just launched here in the UK, with live classes from elite rowers streamed from on the water (in locations worldwide), plus a whole host of other complementary full-body workouts. You might be waving bye-bye Peloton, hello rowing machine. £2,295 plus a £38 monthly membership fee, hydrow.co.uk
Now we’re all out like cats from the proverbial bag, make your way post-haste to Harley Street and Dr Jack’s clinic to try out Tri-Layer – a nifty three-in-one rejuvenating and skin-brightening facial treatment. It starts with dermaplaning to fully exfoliate and remove the upper layer of dead cells, followed by mesotherapy (a non-painful injection of vitamins, minerals and amino acids), and finishes off with Forma RF, which uses radiofrequency technology deep down to promote new collagen and elastin production. Result? Clean, sparkly, dewy skin that is super soft to the touch. £375, drdavidjack.com
ABOVE & BELOW: Rowing works more muscle groups than cycling
The Microformer is small enough to stow under furniture when not in use
Get your Psycle experience at home
Home gadgetry has helped many of us save face during lockdown. Although CurrentBody’s award-winning LED light therapy face mask will give you more than a passing resemblance to Hannibal Lecter, it will really add to your anti-ageing armoury. Wear it on a cleansed face for just ten minutes daily and the healing LED red lights will work their magic to reduce wrinkles (by up to 35 per cent in four weeks) and improve tone and texture. £265, currentbody.com
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | Sustainable Swaps
MAKING A SPECTACLE
The conscious beauty brand rewiring your everyday routine. By Charlotte Cole
ike most women I’ve relied heavily on beauty products to keep me buoyed through the grind of the last three lockdowns, including magnesium bath salts and gold-flecked foundations that promise to make colleagues swoon on Zoom. Indeed, my desk looks like a druid’s altar piled high with scented candles, face mists, lip balms and hand creams, which have lifted my spirits but also created considerable guilt at the acres of landfill flotsam I’ve generated. So it was a welcome surprise when a humble brown recycled envelope arrived without the usual cellophane wrap, layers of tissue paper and corrugated cardboard origami. I could almost hear the kitchen bin sigh with relief. Inside was the first offering from new conscious beauty brand Spectacle Skincare, an Anglo-American company dedicated to producing scientific formulas wrapped in sustainable packaging. Spectacle Performance Crème is a multitasking moisturiser that promises to brighten, soothe and hydrate my weary grey skin. The tube is made from a new sawdust and sugarcane hybrid that has a 40 per cent lower carbon footprint than traditional plastics, which makes me smile. The box is made of hemp fibres, which requires 45 per cent less energy to create than traditional paper and generates 38 per cent fewer greenhouse gases. The cream itself has the most addictive texture that simply melts into skin, leaving it buttery soft and glowing. It’s an active formula that harnesses the latest biotechnology to deliver potent ingredients like moisturising squalene, which in Spectacle’s formula is made from bio-fermented sugar cane and yeast rather than olives, and is much more sustainable to produce. There’s also gallic acid, a plant polyphenol that blocks melanin production in the skin, toning down the brown blotches that cropped up after my desperate sunbathing sessions in the garden last summer. After about a week of using Spectacle Performance Crème the
results are palpable: my neck looks less stringy, the texture of my skin is smoother. Indeed, even without any professional help for the best part of a year, my skin is in that happy place where on weekends I’ve been confident enough to go completely make-up free. After months of daily Amazon deliveries and weekends spent weeping over the state of the planet with David Attenborough, I’m emerging this summer with a more mindful, measured approach to beauty. This is a real step in the right direction – I’ve discovered consciously consuming gives you the ultimate glow from within. spectacleskincare.com
FOUR SUSTAINABLE BEAUTY SWAPS 1 SHAMPOO Ishga is a Scottish brand signposting a gentler way to shower with a unique, natural blend of hand-harvested seaweed extract, local Hebridean spring water, and soothing aloe vera. With no plastic packaging, it’s kind to hair and skin as well as to the planet. Ishga Shampoo and Body Bar, £11. ishga.com
3 SERUM Created to declutter excessive beauty routines and keep skin feeling fresh, these lightweight, recyclable, mono-dose sachets from Wǒ are the way forward to refine pores and reduce our carbon footprint. Pore Refining Essence, £15 for 14 doses. wearewo.com 4 CANDLE The most sustainable way to scent your home. This beautiful porcelain box from L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803 can be monogrammed and holds a porous stone that you drip-feed fragrant oil. It is heat-less and steam-less yet imbued with great perfuming power. Surely a future heirloom. The Alabaster scented diffuser stone, £80. matchesfashion.com
2 SHEET MASK Save your skin and the planet with this biodegradable biocellulose sheet mask from Decree. It’s packed with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, silk amino acids, niacinamide and vitamin E to boost radiance, support the skin barrier, reduce pigmentation and stimulate skin’s natural growth. SOS Revitalising Mask, £120 for six. thedecree.com
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | Wellness
Body & SOUL Camilla Hewitt on how to sustain a sense of wellbeing
MAKE MOVEMENT A HABIT
Goal-orientated fitness, such as weight loss, may be difficult to sustain after the end goal is achieved. Process-orientated workouts that focus on the positive effects of exercise, from improved mood to settled sleep, are more likely to become habitual, making them easier to maintain. Lottie Murphy’s virtual pilates studio offers classes to help you feel good in mind and body. lottiemurphypilates.com
HEALTHY EATING HACKS
Plant-based, plastic-free food brand, Tyme, is the easiest way to eat well. If you don’t know where to start with a meat-free diet or find healthy food a little bland, it has a range of meals that are delivered to your door. You can choose your menu on whether you want to find focus, fuel a workout or reduce inflammation. tymefood.com
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Many of us start taking supplements without any advice on how long we should be taking them for. Wild Nutrition recommends ‘taking most supplements for around 12 weeks before assessing the full benefits’. However, water soluble nutrients (such as vitamin B) are faster acting and benefits can be felt within days. Daily Essentials for Women, £79. wildnutrition.com
TALK IT OUT
Sitting back and enjoying your surroundings is essential for processing thoughts and optimising cognitive function. Giving the brain downtime can assist decision making and problem solving, as well as allowing ideas to form. So lie down, light a candle and disconnect for a while. Try Well Curated x Bahay Life’s rapeseed and coconut wax candle. £12, wellcurated.co.uk
While it can be helpful to talk to friends and family, sometimes you need an outside perspective. Extra support from an expert can help with everyday concerns, from job stress to selfdoubt. Find the right counsellor for you at welldoing.org.
« CHECK IN: The Chalet, Saunton, Devon With seven luxury apartments overlooking more than three miles of golden sands at Saunton, one of Britain’s best surfing beaches, The Chalet embodies the easy escape so many of us are craving this summer. It’s the ideal DIY yoga and surf retreat: there’s ample room to roll out your mat and complete your practice before heading to the beach to hire a board and have a go on the beginner’s waves. What’s more stress free and sustainable than skipping air travel in favour of a staycation? BOOK IT: Three-bedroom self catered apartments from £500 per night. chaletsaunton.com
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53 SLOANE SQUARE, LONDON, SW1W 8AX 105 HIGH STREET, MARLOW, SL7 1AB
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | Take Ten
Calm and treat stressed out skin, and plant one square metre of biodiverse forest with every purchase. Oio Lab The Forest Retreat, £51. oiolab.co
Biodegradable, carbon-neutral seaweed capsules, available in refillable glass jars. Bolt Beauty Filthy Clean cleanser, £30. bolt-beauty.com
A clinically proven botanical infusion for glowing and nourished skin. Clark’s Botanicals Jasmine Vital Oil, £90. spacenk.com
Nourish and brighten dry skin with this innovative moisturiser made from a by-product of the argan oil industry. UpCircle moisturiser with argan powder, £18.99. upcirclebeauty.com
Skin DEEP Nathalie Eleni’s top ten earthfriendly skincare saviours
An organic, probiotic formulation designed to support a healthy skin microbiome. Esse foundation, £57. esse skincare.co.uk
A soothing, creamy rice and oat milk cleanser, with ingredients sourced in the UK. L’abu Oat Milk cleanser, £15. labuskin.com
This lightweight oil restores and revives skin, using ethically sourced plant-based ingredients that are mainly organic. Poppy’s Natural Skincare face oil, £65. poppysns. co.uk
An indulgent treatment mask packed with wild ingredients foraged in Wales. Rhug Wild Beauty Replenishing Mask, £75. rhugwildbeauty.com
New for July 2021 is Bamford’s revived line of high-performance skincare grounded in nature. This serum has 75 per cent natural ingredients. Vitamin C Serum, £60. bamford.com
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This multi-tasking balm has 99 per cent organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging. Green People One Balm, £20. greenpeople.co.uk
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | News
Nathalie Eleni on the treatments and tools you need to look good and feel even better
LONG AND LEAN
Ana Trida’s expert hands are just what you need if lockdown has left you bloated and lacklustre. She combines lymphatic drainage and modelling massage in her bespoke signature treatment, to eliminate excess liquids and toxins, strengthen the immune system, and reduce fluid retention, while also improving cellulite, skin and overall body tone. You’ll come out feeling brand new. £200 for one hour, anatridatherapist.co.uk
A new way to beat tiredness, stress and low moods. Dr Sohère Roked has developed a new online programme to help you understand your hormone health. She offers expert advice on how to improve your hormone balance with supplements, lifestyle changes, nutrition and exercise. £97, drsohereroked.co.uk
Supercharge your skin each morning with this cooling and refreshing rose quartz gua sha tool from Hayo’u. Stroking it against your face and neck helps to support circulation and lymphatic drainage, as well as lifting, plumping and sculpting skin. Keep in the fridge to bring peace and calm to sensitive skin. £38, hayoumethod.com Photo: Fifi Newbery Make-up: @nathalieeleni_beauty Hair: @roxyfarrier Model: Poppy Mannion at Models 1
HOW TO… DE-PUFF YOUR EYES WITH FACIAL REFLEXOLOGY Apply a small amount of facial oil to damp skin around the eye area. Using anything with a rounded tip – like the end of your make-up brush or the Wild Lily Organics Facial Reflexology Wand (£32, wildlilyorganics.com) – gently massage in circular motions around the whole orbital bone. Start from the inner corner of the eye and massage towards the outer corner, and then along the brow bone. Use light pressure and repeat two or three times. This will help to remove any blockages, tension, and stagnation that prohibits the healthy flow of blood and lymph. Say hello to rejuvenated and awakened eyes!
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LILIANA QUINTERO, FOUNDER OF WILD LILY ORGANICS, SHARES HER TOP TIPS
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HEALTH & WELLBEING | Sustainability
MY LITTLE GREEN BOOK Lisa Grainger’s top tips for eating in a more sustainable way
ost of us now know that the way we eat is no longer sustainable – and will be even less so by 2050, when the world’s population will have grown by two billion. Which means we all need to be more thoughtful about what and how we eat: to protect our climate, soil, biodiversity and water. How to start? Here are a few tips.
USE EVERYTHING, THROW NOTHING
Most bananas in the supermarket have been flown from about 5,000 miles away, which in carbon terms is crazy. Buy British cheese, fish, fruit and vegetables – or produce from countries nearby that can come by boat, rather than plane – and you are not only supporting local communities, but cutting down on the distance your food has travelled. Try local markets (farmretail.co.uk) or order a farm delivery box from an organisation such as PaleGreenDot. When you buy two of its boxes at a discounted rate – one is sent to a food bank. pale greendot. co.uk
Britain could save 4.5 million tonnes of food waste a year if we used leftovers, from bread crusts (made into breadcrumbs) and potato peelings (great for soups) to the tops of carrots (which make delicious pesto). Adopt your granny’s wartime attitude and use everything you have: in veg curries, soups, pies and stews. And remember, just about any fruit or green veg will taste delicious in a smoothie. lovefoodhatewaste.com
CUT DOWN ON MEAT AND DAIRY
Buying food in small portions is not just expensive, but inefficient. Instead, cook a single dish, divide it into freezer boxes, and heat portions up as you fancy them. Joseph Joseph does pretty nests of glass containers that can be transferred from freezer to oven. Over winter, I have several soups in my freezer, as well as a lentil stew and a dahl, into which I add fresh veg and different spices. Tip: set your freezer at -17C to make sure dishes freeze quickly and preserve goodness. If veg are going off in the fridge, blanch them, plunge them into cold water, then freeze. josephjoseph.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; UNSPLASH
Farming and food production create about a third of the world’s greenhouse gases. After burning fossil fuels, it’s the greatest contributor to the warming of our planet, with livestock responsible for about 15 per cent of all emissions. The ideal is to cut our meat consumption by 70 per cent, and when we do indulge, buy only British – and ideally from organic, free-range farms with grass-fed livestock. Look out for labels such as RSPCA Assured, Pasture for Life, and organic producers accredited by the Soil Association.
52 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
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.
HEALTH & WELLBEING | Wellness East meets West and old meets new at Euphoria in the beautiful southern Peloponnese
Daisy Finer suggests we all get high at Euphoria in Greece
mmersed in all the orange-scented freshness and purity of light that Greece so reliably delivers, I can’t help but feel Euphoria is just what we all need right now. Whether you come for an indulgent mini-escape or inner transformation, the southern Peloponnese, dotted with wild flowers, majestic mountains and fairytale forests, is an antidote to worldweary spirits. The architecture of the spa itself is also an adventure: huge domed ceilings, spiral staircases, impressive steam rooms, saunas and ice showers, a Byzantine-domed hammam, a watsu pool, yoga and fitness rooms and, most unusual of all, a vast, showstopping, space-age indoor hydrotherapy pool that plummets to three metres deep. Refreshing indeed. Underpinning Euphoria’s philosophy is an inclusive East-meets-West holistic approach to personal healing. Traditional Chinese medicine and Taoism sit beside age-old Hellenic philosophies. The comprehensive wellness menu
includes Five Elements dance, acupuncture and gua sha facials, as well as a Spartan Spirit of Adventure programme. Classes in tai chi, qi gong and vinyasa yoga encourage mind-body movement while alternative therapies, such as reflexology and massages fragrant with Greek oils and scents, soothe the soul. Modern day science also plays its role. The brainchild of Dr George Leon, the patented 3GL Therapy is unique to Euphoria. Based on a pinprick blood test, which measures the three most important biomarkers for metabolic health (glycogen, glucose and glutathione), meals are customised for individual results. And there’s no deprivation here – food is Mediterranean, artistically presented, light yet indulgent. Think broccoli soup, sea bass with steamed vegetables and triple chocolate pudding. Euphoria does indeed beat to a joyful pulse. The 45 bedrooms are serene, full of lunar
blues and sunshine yellows. The hospitality is warm and embracing as only the Greeks know how. Founder Marina Efraimoglou, a former banker who trained in traditional Chinese medicine following a cancer scare, is committed to nurturing guests into optimum health. I would go so far as to say that her vision sets a blueprint for evolving medicine, one where ancient healing modalities run parallel to the latest in scientific advances and where solutions are entirely customised to each individual. This is surely what the future of medicine will look like. If each of us can be empowered through our own self-knowledge to look after our health and become our own healers, then the postpandemic horizon will look even brighter. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers a threenight full board Balance & Restart programme from £1,295pp, including flights and transfers. healingholidays.com
BRING An open mind, ready to explore the varying treatments. DO Walk into Mystras, a Unesco World Heritage site with the most exquisite Byzantine churches. READ Greek myths, to appreciate Euphoria’s symbolism of the hero returning to the light armed with greater self-knowledge and wisdom. BRING HOME New habits to relax your nervous system and energise your inner fire.
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
O P E N YO U R H E A R T
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OUT OF T H I S WO R L D QIPCO KIN G GEORGE D IAM O ND W EEK END FRI 2 3 RD - SAT 24 T H J U LY Raise your glass to a sparkling midsummer cocktail of style, socialising and world-class racing. Featuring The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes, Europe’s indisputable midsummer middle-distance showpiece. Tickets from £30pp Fine Dining from £419 +VAT pp Book your tickets at ascot.co.uk
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PLEASE NOTE THAT EVENT DATES MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO COVID
David Hockney had a busy 2020. He spent the pandemic at his house in Normandy, working on a new series of iPad ‘paintings’ that chart the unfolding of spring from beginning to end. The resulting 116 works, highly detailed and bursting with Hockney’s signature colour, go on display at the Royal Academy in May. 23 May to 26 September. royalacademy.org.uk
David Hockney, No. 147, 5 April 2020 iPad painting © David Hockney. Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels
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CULTURE | What’s On
Finally, we’re allowed out. Here’s how to make the most of it, says Ellie Smith
STRIKE A POSE FLOWER POWER AT BLENHEIM PALACE
Celebrate the beauty of all things green at this year’s Blenheim Palace Flower Show, which sees the stately home transformed into a horticultural dreamland. Listen to expert talks on gardening, explore the delights of over 300 fascinating horticultural exhibitors and browse the outdoor plant village. 25-27 June. blenheimpalace.com
Lee Miller was one of the most important artists in the surrealism movement, but her body of fashion photography has been somewhat under-recognised – until now. A new exhibition at her home, Farleys House, will feature over 60 of the artist’s images for British Vogue from 1939 until early 1944. 20 May to 8 Aug. farleyshouseandgallery.co.uk
PLACE YOUR ORDER
‘What does home mean to you?’ asks the Museum of the Home, which reopens in May. It now plays host to a new area, Home Galleries, which delves into the relationship we have with where we live. From May, museumofthehome.org.uk
We’ve been treated to plenty of glass-smashing digital opera over lockdown, but nothing quite matches up to seeing it live. Thankfully, The Grange Festival returns to Hampshire this summer, with world-class performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Cenerentola and King Lear all on the cards. Various dates from June. thegrangefestival.co.uk
ART IN THE AGE OF NOW
After being empty for over ten years, historic London building Fulham Town Hall will open to the public with a new group exhibition spanning contemporary and performance art, talks and live music. From 20 May, fulhamtownhall.com
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PHOTOS: DAVID REISS
HITTING THE HIGH NOTES
PHOTOS: © LEE MILLER ARCHIVS
Tom Kerridge’s cheery food and music tour celebrates everything there is to love about the British pub: great drinks, food, atmosphere and music. The 2021 lineup features Craig David and Rudimental, plus top chefs like Paul Ainsworth, Marcus Wareing and Kerridge himself. Various dates from 18 June to 9 Sept. pubintheparkuk.com
The Critical LIST
Photographer: David Reiss Stylist: Emily Tighe Grooming: Charlotte Yeomans
Big releases to bookmark
CRUELLA Emma Stone stars as young fashion designer Estella de Vil in Cruella, which imagines the villain’s life before 101 Dalmatians. Out 28 May
TENGO UN DRAGÓN DENTRO DEL CORAZÓN A new fashion photography book from Barcelona-born Carlota Guerrero, who captured Solange Knowles for her 2016 music album A Seat at the Table. Out now
ONE TO WATCH Ellie Smith meets up-and-coming actor Aaron Pierre
PHOTOS: DAVID REISS
PHOTOS: © LEE MILLER ARCHIVS
rowing up, South London-born Aaron Pierre wanted to be a sprinter. But as a teenager he set his sights elsewhere and went on to train to be an actor at LAMDA. It wasn’t long before he landed his first big TV role as Antonius in Sky series Britannia, a historical fantasy drama set in the first century AD. Sticking with the otherworldly theme – though in a totally different sphere – Aaron went on to play military commander Dev-Em in the Superman prequel Krypton. He’s also proven adept on the stage, having perfected the loyal yet flawed character of Cassio in Othello at The Globe, in which he starred alongside none other than Mark Rylance.
Pierre’s next venture, though, is set to be his biggest yet. He’s playing one of the leads in The Underground Railroad, the much-anticipated adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Directed by Barry Jenkins – of Moonlight fame – The Underground Railroad follows Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in 19th-century Georgia. When fellow slave Caesar (played by Aaron) tells her about the underground railroad, the pair plan to escape. ‘To be part of The Underground Railroad is an absolute honour,’ Pierre tells us. ‘I am truly grateful to be part of this story.’ The Underground Railroad airs on Amazon Prime on 14 May 2021
THE NEVERS Eleanor Tomlinson and James Norton star in new Sky series The Nevers, about a group of Victorian women with mysterious powers. 17 May, sky.com
AFTER LIFE The National Theatre will reopem with After Life, a new play based on the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, which follows a group of strangers deciding which memory they want to relive for eternity. 2 June to 24 July, national theatre.org.uk
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CULTURE | What’s On
Ralph Fiennes’ Four Quartets marks the triumphant return of theatre
Four Quartets runs at the Theatre Royal Bath from 25 May to 5 June; then at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton, from 8-12 June. theatreroyalorg.uk
MY Cultural LIFE Actor Leonie Elliott on chasing thrills and lockdown lyrics
I’m tuning into... Enjoy the Podcast by Jared Brady – inspiring chat about male sensitivity and vulnerability with his mates Los and JD. What I’m reading... We’re Going to Need More Wine, Gabrielle Union’s essays about gender, sexuality and race. The last thing I watched... Behind Her Eyes, a supernatural British drama series on Netflix involving a single mum, her one-night-stand, some astral projection and a surprise ending. What I’m most looking forward to seeing... Euphoria season two. It’s
a US adaptation of an Israeli series on HBO, in which American high school students kick up a teen hormone storm. Favourite painting... Stranger by Glenn Ligon. Singer I always have on repeat...
Lianne La Havas. My ultimate recommendation...
The Pandemic Project, a topical album by Tobe Nwigwe, a Nigerian-American rapper and singer. Cultural guilty pleasure...
Dance – like no one is watching! Leonie plays Lucille in the tenth anniversary series of Call the Midwife
PHOTOS: © MATT HUMPHREY
.S. Eliot wrote the majority of Four Quartets during World War I, when playhouses were closed as a result of the Blitz. These four interwoven meditations – Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages and Little Gidding – explore themes of time, nature, spirituality, war and mortality, offering reflections on surviving periods of national crisis. It’s fitting, then, that Ralph Fiennes is celebrating the return of theatres postlockdown with a new rendition of the epic poem, launching at Theatre Royal Bath this May. While Fiennes is perhaps best known for his film roles – popular culture doesn’t get much bigger than Harry Potter, after all – he has a clear passion for theatre too. In a bid to help reignite venues that have been shut for so long, the solo theatre adaptation will go on to tour a number of venues across the country, including the Royal & Derngate in Northampton, Oxford Playhouse and the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Speaking to The Telegraph, Fiennes said he recorded a version of Four Quartets back in 2009, but a year ago decided he wanted to delve into it further. ‘I think it speaks to people who are in “the middle way”’, he said. ‘You have a sense of what the poem really means as you get older.’
60 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
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CULTURE | Books THE C&TH GUIDE TO…
THE GOOD FIGHT Richard Hopton reviews three books about the plight of our planet and its future
What to read and watch as the world’s favourite literary festival goes online The 34th Hay Festival will bring writers and readers together from all over the world, with hundreds of free interactive broadcasts from Hay-on-Wye. Here’s everything you need on your (virtual) calendar.
THE BEST NEW RELEASES You’ll never have a book drought again: take notes from talks with exciting contemporary writers such as Brit Bennett (The Vanishing Half), Lionel Shriver (Should We Stay or Should We Go) and Ethan Hawke (A Bright Ray of Darkness), plus Marian Keyes (above) talks to Graham Norton. HAY ON EARTH: COUNTDOWN TO COP26 To mark its commitment to sustainability the Hay on Earth series of 22 events features Alok Sharma, president of autumn’s COP26 climate change conference, along with authors like Peter Wohlleben (The Heartbeat of Trees), Chris Packham (Back to Nature), and Imbolo Mbue (How Beautiful We Were). C&TH IN CONVERSATION Country & Town House will be hosting its own symposium on how brands can help save culture in Britain. Chaired by C&TH culture editor, Ed Vaizey, guests include Neil Mendoza, Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, and Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery. 26 May to 6 June 2021, hayfestival.com
THERE IS NO PLANET B Mike Berners-Lee
Mike Berners-Lee is one of Britain’s leading carbon scientists, which is to say he studies the threats posed to our planet by human activity. Mankind is now in ‘a race between tipping points; will the environmental crisis tip out of control first, or will humanity wake up in time?’ This book, a newly updated edition of the 2019 bestseller, is ‘an evidencebased practical guide to the make-or-break choices we face now.’ It’s framed as a series of questions – ‘What can shops do about meat and dairy habits?’ or ‘How can we fly in the low carbon world?’ – which the author answers with a bracing cocktail of convincing arguments and statistics. Although the book delivers some harsh truths it is, essentially, optimistic: if we all want it enough, we really can save the planet. Cambridge University Press, £9.99
SAVE OUR SPECIES Dominic Couzens
This attractively illustrated book is about the destruction of British wildlife, a process that has been going on for centuries, but that has accelerated alarmingly in the last few decades. It looks at 30 species of British animals and plants, illustrating the reasons for their decline and presenting ways in which we can help reverse the process. Couzens includes some wellknown threatened species such as the puffin, but also some that are less commonly known to be at risk, including the earthworm, common frog or yellow rattle plant. The book concludes with a section of practical tips for helping wildlife: how to make bat boxes or hedgehog houses, the best ways to encourage bees and how to plant flower meadows. Like Berners-Lee, Couzens is optimistic: we can all make a difference, but we have to start now. Harper Collins, £10.99
SAVE YOUR PLANET Ben Hoare & Jade Orlando
It is a cliché to say that our children are our future but it’s true: the future of the planet, no less, lies in their hands. The human race is a victim of its own success and now, in the Anthropocene, we confront the consequences of this success. This book is a call to action, inspiring children to ‘get your voice heard and become an eco champion’. You may blanch at the prospect of your child being the next Greta Thunberg – think of all those missed weeks of school – but this book offers young readers a grounding in the problems facing the planet: pollution, endangered species, climate change, the peril of plastic and so on. It’s colourful, approachable, informative and fun but has a serious point to make. Start young to save the planet! Macmillan, £8.99
PHOTOS: © SAM HARDWICK; SHUTTERSTOCK
GALAS GALORE The festival kicks off on Wednesday 26 May with the inaugural Opening Night Gala, featuring short readings by names such as Richard Eyre, Romola Garai, Elif Shafak and the Duchess of Cornwall. On Saturday 5 June, the From Women to the World Gala sees the likes of Kate Winslet and Vanessa Redgrave perform excerpts of new releases The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing and From Women to the World: Letters for a New Century by Elizabeth Filippouli.
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Upcoming Auctions Fine Jewellery
Thursday 27th May Starts at 10am
The Designer Collection
Monday 7th June Ends from 10am
The Luxury Watch Sale
Monday 14th June Starts at 10am
www.fellows.co.uk | 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
CULTURE | Books
Belinda Bamber on Patricia Lockwood, the rise of the internet novel, and other stories
UNDER THE COVER WITH…
F2F with the author of No One Is Talking About This (and over 20,000 tweets)
How do your online and offline worlds interact? They’re intertwined. Even
s the internet destroying the novel? Recent debuts led by young female writers suggest the opposite. In Lauren Oyler’s darkly funny Fake Accounts (HarperCollins, £14.99), the narrator finds something nasty in her boyfriend’s social media account, skewering conspiracy theorists and the deceptions of online profiles in its wake. Fake or not, given we spend up to a quarter of the day scrolling online, a waking foray into Twitter is the equivalent of Lizzie Bennet’s morning walk. Social media addiction may give ‘users’ a bad name, but what Olivia Sudjic describes in Exposure (Peninsular Press, £6) as
its ‘bifocal gaze’ – simultaneously on seismic events and trivia – shows digital life is an inescapable dimension of our real one. Dubbed the poet laureate of Twitter, Patricia Lockwood’s novel No One Is Talking About This (see Q&A) feels like she’s flipped back her cranium for us to access the helterskelter, stream-of-consciousness wit that’s won her 90,000 followers. When the story shifts into a family crisis its heroine initially abjures the web, since the internet seems too shallow a portal for talking about the inexpressible: love and loss. But this acclaimed poet IRL shows it’s the words not the medium that count.
READ ALL ABOUT IT TUNE INTO the inimitable Damian Barr’s free, live-streamed Literary Salons – upcoming guests are Paris Lees and Kate Mosse (theliterarysalon. co.uk). ENTER a radio scriptwriting competition with a sustainable theme (greenstories.org.uk). SETTLE IN for all-nighters with Esther Freud’s I Couldn’t Love You More, (Bloomsbury, £11.89) and Rachel Cusk’s Second Place (Faber, £14.99) – both featuring women beguiled by male artists.
when living my realest and most urgent life, my phone’s in my back pocket and the stream of some other consciousness goes on in there, electric and alive. (But 20,000 tweets? What have I been doing?) What are non-Twitter users missing?
The feeling of flowing down the bloodstream of the news on a rapidly deflating life raft: you’re about to drown, but at least you’re not missing anything. How will we connect in 2121? We’ll have capsule hotels inside our minds, probably, and people will check in for a cup of tea and a sit-down, wearing complimentary slippers. Do novels or the internet yield greater human insight? In both you
watch people go about their days, knowing their lives are ticking down and that the question is: to what? As a reader do you want these people to be alive or conceptualised by some dead guy in a waistcoat who was mad on the Industrial Revolution? It’s just personal preference. Which books re-centre you? AS Byatt’s Frederica quartet; Lore Segal’s children’s book Tell Me a Mitzi when I’m sick; Maya Angelou’s memoirs when I want to think about the arc of the twentieth century. Do you prefer writing prose or poetry?
Poetry, of course. No One is Talking About This is shortlisted for the Women’s Prize 2021 (Bloomsbury, £14.99)
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OU OG 06 MA T R A J U Y— NO M N W M E E
ha E G I S yf TE es R ti v F O a l. R or F R g E
ISABEL ALLENDE • ANNE APPLEBAUM • SIMON ARMITAGE CALEB AZUMAH NELSON • GUVNA B • LAURA BATES • BRIT BENNETT GORDON BROWN • GILLIAN CLARKE • REVEREND RICHARD COLES CRESSIDA COWELL • RACHEL CUSK • STEPHEN FRY • MEL GIEDROYC JULIA GILLARD • MALCOM GLADWELL • ETHAN HAWKE • NATALIE HAYNES
DAVID HOCKNEY • OLIVER JEFFERS • DANIEL KAHNEMAN • MARIAN KEYES RAVEN LEILANI • DEBORAH LEVY • VAL MCDERMID • ED MILIBAND
CAITLIN MORAN • MICHAEL MORPURGO • JOJO MOYES • GRAHAM NORTON MICHAEL ROSEN • SATHNAM SANGHERA • ALOK SHARMA • LEMN SISSAY ALI SMITH • SHARON STONE • ANGIE THOMAS • RUSSELL TOVEY
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA • ROBERT WEBB • JOE WICKS GARY YOUNGE • HAFSA ZAYYAN • BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH • AND MORE…
Join us in a free digital wonderland of thoughtful conversation, debates, readings, performances and family fun @HAYFESTIVAL #HAYFESTIVAL2021
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CULTURE | Conservation Encourage butterflies and bees by rewilding parts of your garden
THE CALL OF
ho among us hasn’t been filled with awe at the beauty of nature around us? From the sight of bluebell woods in bloom to the sounds of birds in our gardens, the natural world gives us a lift. This past year has taught us to appreciate nature on our doorsteps and the changing seasons, with spring a time of hope and recovery, of restoration and regeneration. However, nature is also our life support system. From the food we eat to the air we breathe and the water we drink, we rely on the natural world. Right now, nature is in freefall. Globally there has been a 68 per cent average drop in wildlife population sizes since 1970; here in the UK, hedgehogs, butterflies and dormice are disappearing from our countryside and gardens. We’ve lost 97 per cent of our precious wildflower meadows, which is bad news for bees, crucial pollinators of our food, as their habitat disappears. Our freshwater species are in trouble too; in UK waters, burbot and sturgeon are already extinct, while salmon numbers have dramatically declined since the 1960s, largely due to agricultural pollution. All is not lost, but to address and reverse the destruction of nature, we must rethink how we use our land and the way we produce and consume food at home and overseas. This includes ensuring the products we buy aren’t driving deforestation in amazing places like the Amazon, which helps to keep our climate safe by regulating global temperatures. In the UK
we must make space for nature in the farmed landscape, including healthier soils, thriving wildlife and cleaner waterways, and of course working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. And we should support these farmers who are bringing nature back to their land, particularly those local to us, by buying their produce and recommending them to others. On our own land, we can sow wildflowers and leave some areas to their own devices to create a haven for wildlife. In our homes, we can make a difference by switching to a 100 per cent renewable energy tariff. Our spending and saving habits matter too. Some banks and pension providers invest in oil, coal and gas companies and others responsible for the destruction of nature. We can ask where they put our money, and switch to more sustainable providers if we don’t like the answer they give. Finally, we can use our voices to ask for change and support campaigns calling for tough new laws to create a stable climate, cut deforestation out of the products we import and protect nature at home and overseas. 2021 is a critical year for environmental action, with a series of climate and nature meetings including the global climate summit right here in the UK. We can all play our part to speak up for nature while we still have a chance – and we must, because if wildlife doesn’t have a home neither do we. Discover more ways you can help at wwf.org.uk
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
Our relationship with nature needs renewing, says Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF-UK
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CULTURE | Column
The EXHIBITIONIST Ed Vaizey eagerly awaits Es Devlin’s arboreal installation at Somerset House
FROM TOP: The Forest for Change will put down roots in the newly reopened Somerset House courtyard this summer; artist and stage designer Es Devlin
from 23 varieties typical of those found across the UK and northern Europe, and will indeed create a magnificent and hugely fun and incongruous green landscape and centrepiece in Somerset House’s courtyard. Es has designed it with landscape designer Philip Jaffa and urban greening specialists Scotscape, and it will be a dramatic representation of the challenge of climate change that is now the dominant issue of our time. Ultimately, after the trees have graced the Somerset House courtyard, they will be replanted, with further details to be revealed soon. Somerset House is now a major centre for the arts, but it was once the home of the Inland Revenue, and its magnificent courtyard was a car park. It has come a long way, and I can’t wait to explore the Biennale when it arrives there this summer. London Design Biennale, 1–27 June, londondesignbiennale.com
PHOTOS: ES DEVLIN STUDIO; SOMERSET HOUSE/KEVIN MEREDITH
n June this year, London will gain a new forest. Granted, the forest will not be very big, or last very long, but it is an enchanting idea. Three people and institutions that I greatly admire are behind it. The forest is being organised as part of the London Design Biennale, which is the brainchild of Sir John Sorrell. John is an old friend, a working-class lad who created, with his wife Frances, one of the world’s most successful brand design agencies in the world. A conversation with John is never wasted, and he remains an enormous and energetic force in the world of design. The artistic director of the Biennale is Es Devlin. I have never met her, but when I was arts minister I put her name forward for a gong. At that time, I am ashamed to say, I hadn’t even heard of her, but a friend told me she would be a worthy recipient. She is in fact a supremely successful theatre and rock tour designer, with numerous famous installations to her name (including the UK Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai in 2020). The forest is her inspired idea. The partner in the installation is Project Everyone, Richard Curtis’ charity, set up to promote the UN’s Global Goals to combat climate change and world poverty. It’s about time I told you what the forest is, or to give it its title: the Forest for Change. It will be installed in the courtyard of London’s Somerset House in June. Es explains: ‘When I was first shown around Somerset House many years ago, I discovered that the Enlightenment principles on which the building was conceived specifically forbade the introduction of trees into the courtyard. Of course, the first thing we wanted to do when considering this year’s Biennale was to counter this attitude of human dominance over nature by allowing a forest to overtake the entire courtyard. In literature forests are often places of transformation, the forest of Arden in Shakespeare or the enchanted forests of the Brothers Grimm. The UN Global Goals offer us clear ways to engage and alter our behaviour and it is our hope that an interaction with the goals in the forest will be transformative.’ The forest will be made up of 400 trees 68 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
CULTURE | Art Gavin Turk in his studio; the sculpture of the painter in the back left will soon appear on the roof of the Coronet Theatre in Notting Hill Gate
The sculptor has to resist taking everything from the recycling plant, says Caiti Grove
do miss the beautiful people,’ says Gavin Turk with a wry smile. ‘Folk famous for being famous. I was an eye-roller, too, but now they’re gone I wish they were here.’ Gavin sprang to fame in the Nineties as one of the Young British Artists, famous for their conceptual outlook and untamed bohemian spirit. ‘They never referred to themselves as “YBAs”,’ Turk asserts. ‘It wasn’t like the Surrealists who wanted to be called surrealists and had a manifesto about how they were going to change the world. If anything, we were all irritated about being British and didn’t give a shit about being young.’ He himself gained notoriety for his final show at the Royal College of Art in 1991, which consisted of a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque: ‘Gavin Turk worked here 1989-91’. The college refused to award him his degree, but the installation was spotted by Charles Saatchi, and made critics sit up. When asked the ‘secret’ of being an artist, Gavin’s advice is crisp: ‘find people whose work you’re interested in and make conversations. It grants you potency and power.’ Today, Gavin is known for his large-scale sculptures and installations, such as the giant stainless-steel plug with a ball chain that materialised outside the Brunel Building in Paddington canal basin last September. His studio is a huge minimalist space in Canning Town, east London, overlooking a recycling processing plant. It’s a major distraction for an
artist fascinated with value – and how it evaporates, ‘I watch the diggers moving it all around from upstairs,’ he says. ‘I sometimes call them and say, “I’ll have that” – I have to resist taking the lot.’ Usually, the studio would be buzzing with five assistants, a dynamic Turk has cultivated for the past 30-or-so years. Now it’s just him and his son Caesar, who busies in the background, sourcing glue and soup. In a side room, a dusky green ten-foot-long long egg lies on its side. This is one of many; a reference to Magritte’s eggs and his own childhood nightmares. ‘If I was having a bad dream, a light would come from the back of my mind and this egg would rock towards me, blot out the dream and I’d wake up,’ Gavin explains. A giant version is in residence at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the bank of its grand lake. ‘The egg,’ he continues, ‘is like the open door.’ He gestures to a door in the corner, cast in bronze, that stands slightly ajar. ‘There’s only one way out!’ Gavin then points to ground. ‘And this is another bronze,’ he says. I look down but can’t see it. ‘Where?’ I ask. It’s a bin bag, cast in hyper-realistic bronze and painted slick black, complete with a knotted top. Thirty years on, and he is still as subversive as ever. ‘I like the moment before,’ Turk says, reflecting on his work. ‘Before the unveiling, the hatching, the greeting. It’s all still unknown – anything can happen.’ gavinturk.com
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Collaborating with some of London’s top bars Martin Miller’s Gin will be serving the ultimate Bees Knees cocktails from 20th - 23rd May and donating thyme seeds to support World Bee Day 2021. Plant the seeds, feed the bees and bring the freshest herbal notes to your cocktails.
SUMMERFUL BEES KNEES 50ml Martin Millers Gin Summerful 25ml Lemon Juice 20ml Runny Honey AVAILABLE AT WAITROSE & AMAZON
Stir all ingredients without ice to loosen the honey, add ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
BMW i3s Suite interior PRICE £43,660 MOTOR 42 kWh POWER 184 bhp RANGE 172 miles 0-62MPH 6.9 seconds MAX SPEED 99 mph STREAMING The Boy In The Bubble by Simon & Garfunkel
Is the long-serving electric BMW i3 about to be overtaken by more modern rivals? Jeremy Taylor charges the batteries
TOWN COUNTRY The bubble-shaped BMW i3 was a worthy winner of the World Away from town is where electric car owners experience Green Car of the Year award in 2014 – a fashionable and chic runabout that proved battery power would one day reshape our lives forever. Seven years on and the UK is at the start of a transport revolution that will culminate in a ban on all new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030. The cute i3 was an EV (electric vehicle) pioneer and has now been updated one last time to compete with the new VW ID.3 and Peugeot e-208. The i3 still boasts the rear-hinged side doors at the back, a huge windscreen and a simply brilliant infotainment system. All these factors make it a joy to drive around town. Excellent visibility ensures parking is a doddle, while access for children or aged passengers is class-leading. The updated satnav also helps you find the nearest charging points. The i3 is quick off the mark like all electric cars but in sporty ‘S’ guise features lowered suspension, wider wheels and a more involving drive. Economy suffers accordingly so expect around 140 miles in the real world – whatever the salesman tells you! Remember to budget for a home charger too, which costs around £500 with a government grant.
range anxiety – can you reach the next charge point on your journey in time? Remember, an i3 has modest miles in the battery and even a Peugeot e-208 officially covers 217 miles. The BMW whisks along a motorway in silence and is perfectly at home in high-speed traffic. Our ‘S’ version was also a lot of fun on a country road but somehow didn’t handle quite as well as the VW ID.3. Despite advancing years, the i3 cabin still feels fresh, light and airy. New passengers will be blown away by the futuristic design, backed up by a catalogue of recycled materials that embarrass more expensive models. Passengers can luxuriate on leather seats with premium fittings such as eucalyptus wood, a Harman Kardon hi-fi and sun protection glass. The options list is extensive and you can soon push the final price well over £40,000. That’s around £10,000 more than a very well-appointed electric Mini E! This funky little BMW will likely be replaced by an allelectric version of the familiar 3 Series saloon later this year, offering more conventional looks. I for one will miss the curvy styling of the best small premium EV on the market.
RATING: 4/5 HANDBAGS
RATING: 3/5 WELLIES
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Driving | CULTURE
Simon Stallard’s Hidden Hut is the foodie world’s worst-kept secret
DESTINATION: THE HIDDEN HUT, CORNWALL
The culinary delights of Simon Stallard’s Hidden Hut are Cornwall’s worst-kept secret (hiddenhut.co.uk). His wonderful summer feasts on the beach are so popular that when 600 tickets became available online they were wolfed up by hungry gastronomes in just eight seconds – faster than a Beyoncé concert. The tang of dozens of lobsters roasting on an open-air barbecue never fails to disappoint. It’s an aroma that greets walkers long before they negotiate the footpath down to the former kiosk at Porthcurnick Beach, near Portscatho. Parking is almost non-existent here on the Roseland Peninsula, so I’ve left my all-electric Polestar 1 at a National Trust car park back in the village. No need to ask for directions – the clifftop path to the hut is now well worn by hungry holidaymakers and locals alike. Stallard is to Portscatho what Rick Stein is to Padstow. Just a few miles around the coast from swanky St Mawes, the once sleepy fishing village is a classic tangle of narrow lanes and footpaths that all eventually lead to the sea. You’ve likely missed this year’s allocation of seats for smoky shellfish, seafood paella or Sri Lankan monkfish curry, but there’s always The Hidden Hut cookbook (HarperCollins, £22). Stallard isn’t just crazy about seafood, he’s also a car nut and my Polestar has him salivating. A luxury offshoot from Volvo, the Swedish company has only been around a few years and specialises in electrification. Polestar 1 is a petrol-electric, plug-in GT and costs a not insubstantial £139,000. That’s Aston Martin money but because few people will even recognise the badge, the caché is very much about the exclusivity. The hybrid also looks like nothing else on the road. A radical design means the Polestar
could pass as a one-off concept car – and the interior is a pretty funky place to sit too. However, underneath the sculpted, carbon-fibre bodywork is where the real magic happens. The rear wheels are powered by a pair of electric motors offering a very decent 93-mile range, backed up by a supercharged 2.0-litre engine for longer journeys and sudden bursts of acceleration. Crisp, precise handling, the whisperquiet cabin and a glass roof that cuts out 95 per cent of UV light make the Polestar 1 a great travelling companion. And while the boot is tiny, it does feature a glass screen that proudly shows off the battery cables and workings beneath. Not enough space for a trawler-load of seafood but then you have to admire any car company that takes on the might of Tesla.
IN THE BOOT
OH BABY! Can’t afford a real Bugatti – what about this? A scaled down, battery-powered version faithful to the original Type 35 car and capable of 42mph! Bugatti Baby II, from £27,000. bugattibaby.com
BOOK IT: From £1,104 for a long weekend or midweek break in Florence Cottage, Portscatho. boutique-retreats.co.uk Polestar 1 PRICE £139,000 ENGINE 2.0-Litre Petrol/ Battery POWER 619 BHP (Combined) 0-62MPH 4.1 seconds ECONOMY 58 MPG (Combined)
ASHES TO ASHES Infused with ash wood taken from a Morgan car chassis, this collaboration with Piston Gin is packed with botanicals and great for a hip flask. Morgan x Piston Gin, £45. morganmotor.com
STREAMING Chime by Alan Gogoll
FOR THE WEEKEND When we can travel again, choose this elegant, full-grain leather bag. It’s stylish enough to squeeze in the boot of any supercar. Weekender Garment Bag, £1,120.96. theoutlierman.com
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CULTURE | Gardening
Garden PARTY N After months of isolation, create your own talking point, says Randle Siddeley ow that we can all gather in our gardens, I’ve noticed things becoming a little competitive out there. If you want to host a garden party to remember, it won’t suffice to produce some lanterns or a pretty parasol – it’s time to think about your garden’s wow factor. You need some unique features to start a conversation, so here are one or two innovations guaranteed to add intriguing originality to any outside space.
ADD SOME DRAMA
Originally, I placed five of these beautifully textured shards by Andrew Moor in a Hong Kong garden against the sweeping backdrop of Discovery Bay. Seeing how they became talking points and added instant theatre to the space, I decided to design one into a central London garden, where it had an equally dramatic and elegant effect. The highest shard rises to about two metres and each one suggests a beautiful sea-cold flame or giant blade of translucent grass, thrusting up towards the sky and evoking immediate curiosity. andrewmoor.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
TAKE AN (AWARD-WINNING) SEAT
I was with Simon Burvill at Chelsea Design Centre when we spotted Nina Campbell’s beautiful upholstered three-seater love seat. We joked about it being the perfect set-up for a contemporary ménage à trois. Soon we were imagining a garden version – with a table in the middle for the champagne magnum of course – and the Gaze Burvill Meander 3 was born. It was extraordinarily difficult to master this chair’s balance, but the expertise of Gaze Burvill’s craftsmen prevailed to create its thick flared bends and clever demountable system. The Meander caught the approving eye of RHS judges at the last Chelsea Flower Show, where it was shortlisted for the Product of the Year Award. It’s the perfect antidote to our hectic digital age, designed for non-confrontational but close conversations and convivial debate. Guests might never want to leave. £6,960, gazeburvill.com 74 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
THE POWER OF GREAT LIGHTING
Dusk can descend all too fast on al fresco entertaining. We talk about bringing the outside in but as the sun sinks we need to draw some interior cheer outside. Invest in lighting that will seamlessly flow from house to garden, creating one big entertainment space. Never underestimate the transformative power of lighting to create atmosphere. For this LG Chelsea Flower Show Garden (left), I worked with Sally Storey, award-winning creative director at John Cullen Lighting. She linked the garden room with the sunken seating area, creating atmospheric punctuation by uplighting the multi-stemmed trees with key spotlights. Sally lit the path from the kitchen with Guida path lights, which skim across the paving. She gave the seating area a soft glow by underlighting it with Contour LED strips and then added solar lanterns for decoration. The result was a stunning backdrop, a welcoming, glamorous stage for a memorable evening. johncullenlighting.com
MAKE A SPLASH
We were commissioned to re-landscape an entire six-acre garden in Wentworth and found an ill-construed water feature comprising an unattractive stone lily pad. I collaborated with artist David Harber on designing a single Teardrop sculpture. The elegant curves are a wickerwork of stainless steel, painted dark blue inside with a skirt of water around it. This formidable centrepiece transitions effortlessly between day and night – in sunlight, its reflective surface turns the pond a mystical deep blue, while after dark it’s lit from within, making the Teardrop appear to shimmer, suspended above water. davidharber.co.uk
A PAEAN TO PEONIES
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
PIZZA TO GO
I dread someone arriving at a picnic with a pile of soggy pizzas wilting in their cardboard boxes. I’m fussy and I like my pizza crisp. To ensure the perfect crust, I intend to use my Ooni Koda 16”, a gas-fired pizza oven that’s portable – great for picnics – and creates superb pizza in seconds. I love seeing good design paired with functionality and this oven embodies both – it’s the ultimate in innovative culinary chic. £499, ooni.com
At this time of year my flower of the month has to be peonies. Much of their beauty lies in their luscious globular buds prior to bursting, but once they emerge like extravagant butterflies, nothing competes with their transient grace. Their very appeal lies in the fact their blowsy heads are as fragile and shortlived as blossom, so admire them while they last. Plant them in groups of a dozen or more (they like sun or partial shade and rich soil), then leave them to die back. Avoid cutting them because their petal-cluster heads add sensual splendour to any herbaceous border alongside spiky salvias, feathery fennel foliage and sparkling Astrantia stars. I love the semi-double, creamily pure Immaculée, the big, fragrant Percher with a red thread outlining its soft pink petals and the robust, reliable, bestselling Sarah Bernhardt with its enormous heads of dark rose petals. So – invest in a garden talking piece, start partying among the peonies and have a wonderful al fresco summer. randlesiddeley.co.uk May/June 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 75
CULTURE | Interview
Nigel Topping is Britain’s High Level Climate Action Champion, a role he’s been preparing for his whole life, as he tells Charlotte Metcalf
IN BRIEF COUNTRY PUB OR MICHELIN STAR?
Pub – I love the Cott Inn in Dartington. DOG OR CAT?
We had a muchmissed cat called Vegas but now we have a frequent feline visitor called Kipper. GARDENING OR THEATRE?
Theatre. The last play I saw was Ovid’s Heroides at the Jermyn Street Theatre– it was terrific. COUNTRY CASUALS OR CITY SUIT?
Country casuals conjure up the idea of old Yorkshiremen in hairy tweeds, like my Yorkshire farmer brother-inlaw, so I’d definitely go for the more urban look.
igel Topping was born in Glasgow in a November snowstorm. This November he’ll be back there, charged with making the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference a success. ‘It’s all part of my personal mythology,’ he laughs, when I express disbelief at the coincidence. As Scarfe’s Bar is still closed, Nigel is speaking to me from his home in Devon. Other than being born in a snowstorm, I’m curious about what drove him to a career path dedicated to saving our planet. He grew up near Thurso and Dingwall till he was eight, developing a love of wild, open spaces. ‘I’ve always loved remote landscapes like the Arctic or Patagonia,’ he says. ‘I went on a scientific expedition to Greenland as a young man and returned [there] later. I made friends who became professors of glaciology and heard and saw first-hand the terrible damage we were inflicting on our fragile environment.’ Yet after studying Maths at Cambridge, Nigel surprisingly went into industry. ‘My father was a civil engineer, building grain silos and nuclear power stations,’ he explains, ‘and that attracted me to the real economy, in which real people did real things.’ Nigel ended up buying out a company making brake pads, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers. After 18 years there, and as the youngest member of the management board, he fell foul of his bosses and had to leave. ‘My identity was all tied up there, so it was very hard,’ he remembers. He changed tack, moving to Devon to study for an MSc in Holistic Science: ‘I thought I could combine my passion for cold places with business, and college was a turning point. I read and reflected, learning about earth systems science and different indigenous ways of doing things. People were pointing the finger of blame at business for climate change, but it seemed crazy to alienate such a powerful sector rather than harness it when we’re all complicit anyway.’ Nigel was looking around to find who was embracing business’ dynamism as part of the solution and met Paul Dickinson, founder of the Carbon Disclosure Project. Paul took Nigel to lunch and offered him a job before their starters arrived. ‘More to the point, I accepted it,’ grins Nigel. ‘This was 2007, just after the 2006 Stern Review, which translated the science of climate change into raw economics. Suddenly we all saw it was cheaper to solve it than ignore it. It was the necessary judo throw
to galvanise business leaders.’ Eight years later Nigel was fronting We Mean Business, strengthening business collaborations in the run up to COP21 in Paris. ‘I’ve always been a team sports player and mountaineer, so I have very strong views on collaboration,’ says Nigel, ‘but this did involve a lot of cat herding! It was a bit like the scene in Life of Brian when all the NGOs are in the Colosseum bickering rather than solving anything. But by 2015, at the end of COP21 in Paris, I was elated. To me it was the greatest treaty in the history of civilisation, with the global family finally coming together. And no critic had a better idea. The level of ambition was huge and exciting. Unfortunately, it was still not enough.’ It was at the Paris climate talks that the role of High Level Climate Action Champion was created to push through those ambitions and Boris Johnson appointed Nigel to take it on at the beginning of last year. He grins at the memory: ‘It took me three seconds to agree – I’d been preparing for this my whole life.’ While most of us accept action is the right course, we chat about how daunting the global Race To Zero campaign can be, particularly for small luxury brands. What would he say to a brand leader he was stuck in a lift with for 60 seconds? ‘First, your customers will demand you protect our heritage and planet. Second, it’s more expensive to resist the new way, as no one will invest in a brand stuck in the past. Third, great talent will move away if a brand’s not displaying a responsible attitude to the future. And if those reasons aren’t enough for you to embrace change, you shouldn’t be running a business and I don’t want to be in the lift with you a minute longer!’ After we laugh, he admits it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the changes we all need to embrace, though he points out our children will ask us what we’re doing to step up to the challenge and shame us if we’re not. So I ask him which three changes anyone reading this can make today: ‘Make sure your electricity supplier is green. Then ask if you really need a car and if you do, make sure your next one’s electric. Third, give up intensively farmed meat, if not altogether, and spend occasionally on high quality, pasture-fed meat.’ A polite reminder lands in my chat box that we’re nearing our allotted time. Fair enough. As the man with our whole world in his hands, he doesn’t have much time to rescue it.
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Alexandra Dao snapped Nigel through Zoom – Covid-safe and free of carbon emissions
The Resort Villa in Thailand is responsible luxury that won’t cost the planet
he Resort Villa in Rayong, Thailand, has set the new benchmark for sustainable luxury stays. The exquisite private property can be found on the country’s idyllic east coast, with expansive views over the Bay of Thailand. Only available to book as a whole, The Resort Villa features eight villas sleeping up to 16 guests, multiple infinity pools, 70 plus full-time staff, a home cinema, spa, and a 15-metre aquarium. This private haven is multi award-winning, having scooped up accolades at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2020 and the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards 2020. The Resort Villa was also featured in Strive For Perfection: Celebrating 110 Years of the Spirit of Ecstasy, a recent coffee table book by the International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts that was published to mark the car brand’s 110th anniversary. Along with a curated selection of premium brands from around the world, The Resort Villa was chosen not only for its luxury credentials, but for also for its stand-out eco-friendly approach.
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P R O M OT I O N
Sleeping up to sixteen people in five-star luxury, The Resort Villa makes the ultimate sustainable escape for family and friends
SUSTAINABLE VALUES The Resort Villa’s core mission is to provide ultra-luxury while staying sustainable and it offers a unique five-star experience with an eco-twist. It has achieved this by investing more than a quarter of a million US dollars in a state-of-the-art solar farm at the property, which provides all the power it requires for air conditioning, lights and swimming pools during the day. All utilities – except the aquarium, of course – are turned off at night to conserve energy. The property also has its own vegetable garden, hydroponic system and farm, which supply the villa’s kitchen with fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and eggs every morning. A water filtration system was recently installed to eliminate plastic water bottles, and guests are provided with bamboo cotton buds and toothbrushes. ‘We believe it’s entirely possible to enjoy luxury at its finest while staying environmentally aware and responsible at the same time,’ says The Resort Villa’s General Manager, Benjamin Tellenbach. ‘In addition to the solar farm, we’ve cleaned up nearby beaches and installed anchoring points to protect coral reefs in the harbour. As a result, when guests join us at The Resort Villa, they automatically become a part of this green movement.’
SERENITY SPA Central to The Resort Villa’s luxurious facilities is its Serenity Spa, which offers a range of treatments inspired by the history and culture of the East. Its traditional Thai massage incorporates a combination of point pressure, energy meridian work, and yoga-like stretching for an invigorating and balancing experience, while the Maya abdominal massage has its roots in Taoist healing, and is said to boost fertility.
FIVE-STAR DINING The Resort Villa’s head chef, Laurent Renaud, is passionate about using local ingredients, many of which are sourced from the property’s own vegetable garden and farm. He uses them to create a range of Thai and international dishes, from poolside snacks to banquets in the beautiful dining rooms. Wines come from a carefully selected winery in New Zealand, which produces The Resort Villa’s own private label wines. There’s also a wide selection of local and international bottles to choose from, and specialty wines can be sourced upon request.
UNIQUE ADVENTURES Whether you’re a water sports fanatic or a culture lover, The Resort Villa’s dedicated team will be on hand to keep you entertained. Explore the local temples with an expert guide, or hike through untouched Thai rainforest in search of hidden waterfalls. Or how about a cruise around the nearby islands of Koh Samed and Koh Chang in one of The Resort Villa’s own yachts? It’s the perfect opportunity to discover a side of Thailand many visitors never get see – all from the comfort of your own private piece of eco-paradise. Find out more at theresortvilla.com
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Bikini tops and bottoms, Les Girls Les Boys
The Shape of
We must protect our most valuable resource FASHION DIRECTOR NICOLE SMALLWOOD PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD JOHNSON
Bikini top and bottoms, swimsuit and scrunchie, all Hunza G
Bikini top, 8 by Yoox
Synchronised swimming is like performing ballet underwater. For this special shoot, Team GB’s synchro duo Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe showed us the sublime power of the human body in water to symbolise our essential relationship with the world’s most important resource. As temperatures rise, not only do we face less predictability in the availability of water, with an increased likelihood of flooding and its converse ef fect, drought, but also the amount of plastic pollution in water that threatens both marine life and humans ourselves as we indirectly eat the plastic ingested by fish. With approximately eight million pieces of plastic entering the oceans every single day, why not join Surfers Against Sewage and its new initiative Million Mile Clean, which aims to bring communities together to organise a beach – or a park – clean (beachcleans.org.uk) and hit a target of a million miles of clean-up by the end of 2021.
Bikini top and bottoms; swimsuit, both Medina
Bikini tops and bottoms, Cossie + Co
Swimsuit, Paper TEAM Photographer’s assistant: Ollie Edwards Hair and make-up: Nathalie Eleni using Clark’s Botanicals for face and Amanda Harrington for body Models: Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe of Team GB STOCKISTS: PAGE 134
PHOTOS: GETTY; UNSPLASH
PHOTOS: GETTY; UNSPLASH
With the international climate conference COP26 taking place in November this year, all eyes will be on the UK and what steps we are taking to hit Net Zero by 2050 at the latest. Should we fail in our legally bound obligations, be under no illusion that, along with the surge in temperatures, the floods, the famines, the fi res and the wholescale migration of climate refugees, the strong arm of the law will be there to throw a very large book at the government right where it hurts. One lawyer, James Thornton, will no doubt be fi rst in line – defending his only client – Earth. LUCY CLELAND meets the man with the lethal legal touch May/June 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 89
aving the Earth and, more accurately, our place on it, from his bedroom is not a situation in which Irish-American environmental lawyer James Thornton could have guessed he’d ever find himself, but that’s Covid-19 for you. Far more used to flying around the world with an everincreasing carbon footprint (yes, he gets the irony but, trust me, he takes out far more carbon than he adds), he seems overwhelmingly delighted to find it’s possible to stay in one place and still protect the planet. That place, for lockdown, was Suffolk and ‘extremely unglamorous’ Lowestoft (his words, not mine). ‘It works amazingly well,’ he tells me, as I get comfortable in the back seat of my car with my iPhone squidged into the headrest (my own rural broadband is so ropey it doesn’t allow for extensive Zoom interviews, so I’ve driven to an area with good 4G). ‘We have 225 people at ClientEarth [the global non-profit environmental law organisation he founded in 2008], and we’ve been able to continue bringing lawsuits and working on legislation all over the world.’ I always thought law was dry, but having discovered what James has been able to do I wish I could go back 25 years and study to be an environmental lawyer. How fun it must have been suing the British government (and winning – three times) over the UK’s illegal levels of air pollution. How creatively cunning he was to buy shares in a Polish company that wanted to build ‘the last new coal-fired power station in Europe’ (the last, because ClientEarth has, over 14 years, succeeded in stopping any new coal-fired power stations being built in Europe), and then sue that company as a stakeholder for investing his money badly – not for environmental reasons but for business ones. ‘We won the case,’ James chuckles, ‘and the stock price actually went up!’
That Polish case was a game changer. It signified that the economics were now being stacked in favour of renewable energy. And where markets move, investment follows – meaning there is much to feel positive about as we tackle the huge task of ditching fossil fuels and hitting the UK target of net zero greenhouses gases by 2050 – probably the single most important goal in our fight against rising temperatures. James, named in 2009 as one of New Statesman’s ‘ten people who could change the world’, wasn’t always the quiet legal assassin with zen calm that he is now. (He’s also an ordained Buddhist priest, a poet – his latest collection Notes from a Mountain Village was published last year – and a classically trained violinist ‘currently obsessed with Bach’s cello suites as transposed for the violin’.) Like many people who go on to do extraordinary things, his journey was rooted in anger. ‘When you really understand the state of the environmental problems of climate change, and the loss of nature, and what it will mean for our children and future generations, the first reaction is to get very angry,’ he acknowledges. The second reaction is despair (just google ‘eco-anxiety’ and you’ll get 23 million searches spewed back at you). ‘But despair is very disempowering,’ asserts James, ‘so you have to know what to do with your anger and your despair – together they don’t lead to positive solutions.’ Show us the way, James. I’m sure that applies to so many of us who feel overwhelmed by the threat of what is likely to go wrong should we fail in our mission to steady global temperature rise, protect biodiversity and prevent ecological collapse. ‘It’s not that the anger goes away,’ he explains, ‘it’ll keep popping up. But it’s important that it doesn’t remain your permanent state. If you want to get to a place to help humanity, you need to be in a healing space – where you can see solutions.’ And here, I’m guessing, being a Zen Buddhist helps. ‘It would be very difficult to do the work I do without it,’ he concedes. ‘Meditating grounds me and gets me beyond the ego being very
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involved. And it gives me a sense of wanting to work for something more than yourself.’ That work has indeed been world-changing. Whether it’s taking the European Investment Bank (EIB) to court over the illegally avoided environmental scrutiny of its financing decisions (and winning) or pressuring Drax Power to scrap its plans to build what would have been Europe’s largest gas-fired plant in North Yorkshire, ClientEarth’s icy hand of the law extends far and wide – and you wouldn’t want to feel its chill down your back. Asked if he’s ever failed, James responds wryly: ‘In a few battles, never in the war.’ Going to battle obviously requires deep war chests. As a charity, fundraising is its life blood, so having a trustee like music producer Brian Eno helps. Eno introduced the band Coldplay to ClientEarth and they became patrons in 2010. Nine years later, headlines were made when Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour donated $21.5 million from the sale of his guitars at auction in New York. With such a gargantuan task to undertake, the ever-flowing money tap is crucial and James is keen to encourage companies and individuals to take a look at the work they do, which can be so much more effective than, say, increasingly popular carbonoffsetting schemes. According to Greenpeace and Friends of The Earth, these are better than doing nothing at all but they don’t begin to scratch at the surface of the real issue: producing the emissions in the first place. So who really shifts the dial when it comes to driving the
climate change agenda globally? Who would James invite to a round-table at COP26, for instance? ‘The President of China, Xi Jinping, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and US President Joe Biden. Then Larry Fink from BlackRock [one of the world’s pre-eminent asset management firms, who wrote to all the companies he invested in saying “sustainability was their new standard for investing”]. And, for some spice, Elon Musk.’ Boris, nota bene, you’re NFI. But what about the UK? Where does James see his adopted homeland in all this? ‘The UK government likes to say very good things about the environment, but the follow-up is not always there. There’s this great opportunity now, after Brexit, to completely change the way we organise things and to build back greener. But what we citizens need to do is hold politicians’ feet to the fire. No politician should be allowed to drift back to what’s comfortable and old-fashioned.’ The message is clear. There is hope, there is will – and there is ClientEarth when you need to turn the screws tighter. But it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part – how we vote and where we invest our money (just like Larry Fink) can help engender the massive mindshift needed to win the most important case of all: the saving of the human race.
‘What we CITIZENS need to do is hold POLITICIANS’ feet to the fire. No politician should be allowed to drift back to what’s COMFORTABLE and old-fashioned’
ClientEarth is an environmental law charity. If you want to support them and help them to continue their work, you can donate here: clientearth.org/join-us/make-a-donation
May/June 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 91
Boodles has recently chosen Yanfolila in Mali to supply it with its SMO (Single Mine Origin) gold because of its full traceability and commitment to its workers and community.
LUX WH AT’S
GOT TO By 2022 all of Mulberry’s leather will be sourced from LWG-accredited tanneries.
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For Johnstons of Elgin animal welfare is key to its ethos. It works with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance to protect grasslands and support traditional goat herders in Mongolia.
House of Hackney’s wallpaper is made using wood pulp from FSC-certified forests. For each roll sold, they donate to Friends of the Earth’s campaign to double UK tree cover by 2045.
URY DO WITH IT? Luxury and sustainability don’t seem like natural bedfellows but some of the UK’s best-known high-end brands are, in fact, setting the gold standard. CHARLOTTE METCALF talks to Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole, the trade organisation for the British Luxury sector, about how it’s building a sustainable future
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PHOTO: LIZ MCAULAY; ANDREW MORGAN
hen shops reopened that no luxury brand has a three-year plan – it has a 300-year one. Indeed, many of our Great British Brands stretch back their doors in April, for 'non-essential' shopping, through the centuries, from Wedgwood and Fortnum & Mason the very description conjured to Penhaligons and Church’s. ‘You’re never just the CEO of a luxury brand, you’re the a frivolous notion of luxuries custodian for the next generation, as that Patek Philippe ad we no longer need nor can afford, particularly as we spent reiterates. With that role comes great responsibility,’ says Helen. lockdown recalibrating what we really want from life. With its Yet it’s precisely that burden of responsibility that can feel connotations of careless consumption and lavish extravagance, overwhelming for smaller brands. Trying to become carbon many perceive luxury as having a heavy carbon footprint. Until neutral or gain sustainable accreditation can feel like too high recently, it would have been laughable to suggest the luxury a mountain to climb. ‘It’s less of a barrier and more a matter industry could be instrumental in making the world a happier of not knowing where to start,’ counters Charlotte Keesing. and safer place for us and the next generation. ‘Small brands are struggling enough with day-to-day logistics In fact the luxury industry is setting out to do just that, and don’t have time to tackle big strategic projects. Sometimes by addressing the dangers we all face from climate change and a benchmark can seem too high to strive for. But if you break environmental degradation. And it’s making good progress. The it down, think holistically and make a start where you can, Institute of Positive Fashion is helping the British fashion industry you can tackle it bit by bit. Having B Corp accreditation might become a more resilient still be seen as the ultimate circular economy, while the pinnacle and some brands lavish Fashion Weeks of old find the rigorous process are steadily being eclipsed that B Corp demands by initiatives like Eco-Age’s helpful, but it’s important Green Carpet Challenge, the to find the right landscape for you.’ brainchild of Livia Firth. Major ‘If you have the mindset British brands are steaming ahead, with Burberry stating that sustainability's a journey that by 2022 it aims for positive rather than a destination, impact on its supply chain and it’s a lot easier,’ agrees communities while protecting Helen. ‘No brand is perfect our fragile earth, with 100 per and we’re all on the road cent of its cotton and leather together. What I’ve found coming from sustainable inspiring is how committed sources. The British-based bigger brands are to helping Natural Diamond Council smaller ones. Instead is shaking up the jewellery of competing, big brands industry, while Botswana have been selflessly sharing becomes transparent about their homework for the its mining practices. Even common good.’ She cites smart water brands like Dash a recent Walpole working and Evian are achieving group that collaborated B Corp status. on a repackaging project: Yet it’s taken sheer ‘Seeing their shared goals and enthusiasm for determination and hard work exchanging knowledge to convince consumers that Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole, in a Kathryn Sargent suit made from Dugdale cloth, woven in Yorkshire from sustainably luxury is a friend rather than a was like watching pilgrims raised wool, and a Johnstons of Elgin cashmere jumper villainous enemy to the planet. setting out on the road together. Collaboration The turning point came in is the key, because some 2020 when Walpole, the trade organisation that promotes, protects and develops British luxury brands are way ahead of the UN milestones and government worldwide, launched its sustainability manifesto with McKinsey. Race to Zero targets, but there are smaller, younger businesses Walpole was quick to spot the urgent need to overturn damaging making astonishing progress and working in very innovative perceptions and galvanise all brands to follow Burberry’s ways to overcome barriers. They are all champions in their way.’ lead. Harrods, Dunhill, Johnstons of Elgin, Chivas Brothers, ‘It’s frustrating that British luxury is not yet getting the The Savoy and Mulberry joined Walpole in a founding group recognition it deserves,’ Helen concludes. ‘It’s easy to knock to establish British luxury as a sustainability leader. it, but we provide 160,000 jobs in the UK and we applaud the The manifesto culminated in the publication of Walpole’s progress of all our brands, big or small. Now with the COP26 British Luxury Sustainability Report in March. Helen Climate Conference coming to Glasgow in November, we have Brocklebank, Walpole’s CEO, and Charlotte Keesing, director a wonderful opportunity to plant and fly the British luxury sustainable flag with pride.’ of corporate affairs, are on a mission to place luxury centre stage as a force for good. ‘Luxury is about being the best and For more information on Walpole’s 2021 British Luxury a relentless quest for perfection,’ says Helen, ‘and you can’t be Sustainability Report, or to request a copy, go to: the best without looking after people and the planet.’ thewalpole.co.uk/news/british-luxury-sustainability-the-report Helen reminds me about Kristina Blahnik famously saying 94 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
Great British Brands
TO BE PROUD OF
Boodles already sources its diamonds from the rough, direct from Cullinan Mine in South Africa, before polishing them in London. More recently, it chose Yanfolila in Mali to supply it with its Single Mine Origin gold because of its full traceability and commitment to its workers and community. ‘In the past rival companies didn’t disclose information to each other on the grounds of competition but now we feel a great sense of responsibility to one another and ensure we all share best practice,’ says marketing director James Amos. ‘It’s such positive progress to witness and we know our future depends on it.’
HOUSE OF HACKNEY
House of Hackney knows sustainability goals can be overwhelming, so the brand likes to think 'responsibly' rather than 'sustainably' in order to keep trying and improving. All its wallpaper is made using wood pulp from FSC-certified forests. For each roll sold, the brand donates to Friends of the Earth’s campaign to double UK tree cover by 2045. It’s also reduced its single-use plastic consumption by 98 per cent and has attained B Corp status. ‘A sense of compassion for people and the planet is the foundation of everything we do,’ says founder Frieda Gormley, ‘which imbues our designs with a deeper meaning, to be treasured for years to come.’
Harrods' managing director, Michael Ward, is also chairman of Walpole and helped establish and develop its sustainable manifesto. With its worldrenowned Food Hall, Harrods identified reducing food waste as a priority, from converting used cooking oil into energy and biofuel to partnering with local food charities to ensure all its food waste reached those most in need. In 2020 Harrods recycled 178.6 tons of food waste and achieved zero food waste contamination in just three months.
PHOTO: LIZ MCAULAY; ANDREW MORGAN
Mulberry’s Made to Last charter means it's well on track to establishing a transparent circular economy. The sustainable credentials of every single product are clearly visible on its website, and its Mulberry Exchange means bags can be repaired, restored and authenticated and put towards a new purchase. The global Leather Working Group (LWG) has defined a rating system for leather production, and by 2022 all Mulberry’s leather will be sourced from LWG-accredited tanneries.
5 FROM TOP: Ana de Armas, the Natural Diamond Council’s first global ambassador; Livia Firth, co-founder of Eco-Age, visits Botswana's diamond mines in Fashionscapes: The Diamonds of Botswana, an episode of the documentary series that investigates fashion's supply chain
JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN
Consumers can trace every effort the brand is making to help save the planet on its website. Johnstons of Elgin sources its cashmere from Mongolian goats, and animal welfare is key to its ethos. It also works with the Sustainable Fibre Alliance to protect grasslands and support traditional herders. It knits with bio-degradable fibres and its EveryYarn collection uses surplus products, ensuring that waste is drastically reduced.
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P R O M OT I O N
THE CIRCLE OF LIFE Luxury fashion meets the circular economy at Cudoni
hen Cudoni was founded in 2017, its mission was to provide a simple and rewarding way to buy and sell pre-loved luxury goods. In doing so it reimagined the resale process, making it as simple and straightforward as possible to do your part in the growing circular fashion movement. Since 2017, that movement has massively expanded, with the resale fashion industry valued at $5.3 trillion, growing 21 times faster than conventional retail. But Cudoni still stands out, thanks to its innovative tech-based operating model that helps the platform get the best prices for its sellers. Cudoni’s curated collection includes an extensive list of renowned brands, from Alexander McQueen to Zuhair Murad, and incredibly special pieces, including vintage items and rare collectibles. Checking in regularly is key – there are new pieces every day, so that’s the best way to find hidden gems from designers’ best seasons. The Cudoni experience is seamless: first it offers free home collection by its Client Concierge team, who are all trained in handling luxury goods and can answer any questions you might have. You are then notified as soon as your items arrive at Cudoni’s secure facility, and the authentication experts start to review your designer pieces.
The authentication process is extensive to ensure assessments are correct and each piece is accurately priced. Cudoni’s experts consider a variety of factors for every item, including hardware, stitching, lining, labels, typeface, and serial codes. They research aspects exclusive to each brand’s heritage such as the season, year, and collection, to gain a thorough understanding of each item’s origin and history. ‘It really is a comprehensive process from start to finish; I’ll feel the bag, the weight of its hardware, smell the leather, assess the stitch count and format of the stamp. And that’s only within the moment it’s placed before me,’ says Mahenoor, Cudoni’s Head of Authentication. Then, when your pieces are sold, your account manager contacts you. Your earnings are transferred directly to your bank account, or to a charity of your choosing. Throughout the Cudoni process its dedicated team works hard to make it easier than ever to extend the life of your luxury pieces. The fashion industry is the world’s second largest consumer of water, producing 20 per cent of global wastewater. Extending a garment’s life by nine months can reduce that environmental impact by 20 to 30 per cent. You don’t have to choose between curating a beautiful wardrobe and protecting the planet – Cudoni helps you do both. It’s the new way to love luxury, again and again. Sell and shop exceptional pre-loved luxury at cudoni.com
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Stella McCartney leads the way with its new Mylo collection made from mushrooms
PHOTO: © STELLA MCCARTNEY
GIR LS From mushrooms to seaweed, SOFIA TINDALL examines how the fashion industry is turning to innovative new materials that are better for the planet
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FROM LEFT: Neu Nomads Tencel Easy Slip dress, £117, immaculatevegan.com; biodegradable Vollebak Plant and Algae t-shirt £85. vollebak.com; Bottletop’s couture design for the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony. bottletop.org; Hermes x MycoWorks ‘mushroom leather’ Victoria bag. hermes.com
Legend. Stella McCartney has just unveiled an entire collection based on a variation called Mylo by Bolt Threads, with armoured bodices and utility trousers. Hermès too, famed for its notoriously expensive Birkin, has re-imagined the classic Victoria bag in mushroom-based ‘leather’. So far, so good. But while these fabrics all present compelling solutions to the fast fashion dilemma, they’re not (yet) perfect. ‘One of the key things we still need to think about is regulation of water usage, biodiversity and carbon emissions,’ says Kieran Miles, co-founder of Duco (ducolife. com), which makes clothes and accessories from ocean plastic and recycled materials. Two resources to be addressed are seaweed – which needs stricter regulation around farming and growing – and bamboo. ‘It doesn’t quite yet have stringent regulation for reforestation and replanting,’ Kieran explains, ‘and it can be quite destructive removing it from the ground. So it’s not perhaps as clean-cut as it could be.’ But he’s quick to point out that these fabrics are on a journey of improvement and play a critical role in developing sustainable practices. ‘Every one of these brands is taking a step in the right direction, which is worth celebrating,’ emphasises Kieran. ‘However, there needs to be clearer regulation.’ ‘Any time you use a new or recycled material it’s not going to be perfect,’ echoes Steve Tidball, who launched Vollebak in 2015 with his twin
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PHOTOS: © LAIS RIBEIRO, GRAYSON HOFFMAN
re you longing for a wardrobe overhaul? Can’t wait to give athleisure the kick? Buying something new and sparkly is a postlockdown treat we can all get on board with but, given humanity’s next epic task is the race to Carbon Zero, I’m determined to achieve it in a planet-friendly way. The statistics of the fashion industry make for grim reading. Currently, an estimated £140 million worth of textiles, weighing 336 tons, ends up in UK landfill each year, taking anything from 20 to 200 years to decompose. Globally, the industry annually uses 79 billion cubic metres of water, makes 10 per cent of carbon emissions and 20 per cent of waste. Disconcertingly, current advertising guidelines suggest a garment can be labelled ‘recycled’ with only 30 per cent recycled material in it. But while many are still hooked on their synthetic Boohoo fix, a quiet revolution is taking place in the luxury fashion arena, with the use of innovative new materials that don’t cost the earth. Immaculate Vegan was founded by Annick Ireland in 2017 after she saw a gap in the market for a platform curating sustainable luxury fashion brands, many of which are now ditching leather and other carbon-intensive materials in favour of plant-based ones (immaculatevegan.com). One of these is Desserto, a cactus leather first showcased in 2019 at Lineapelle, the International Leather Fair. ‘Cactus leather is really sustainable because cacti need so little water,’ Annick explains, ‘and it doesn’t use pesticides like some other crops.’ A leather-look alternative for totes and shoes, it’s also partially biodegradable and grown natively on an organic plantation in Mexico without harming the region’s biodiversity. Piñatex is another ‘cradle to cradle’ circular material, generated from waste pineapple leaves that are a by-product of the harvest. ‘It tends to look really good in metallic – several couture designers have used it in gowns for the Oscars,’ says Annick. And then there’s Vegea, which is made using waste from the wine industry and makes a mean leather-look trench or pair of statement trousers. (An excuse to drink more wine? I’ll take it…). These new ‘bio’ materials do much more than look good. ‘Using plant content doesn’t divert necessary resources for food farms or animal feed,’ explains Helen Farr-Leander, who founded vegan bag and accessories brand, Watson & Wolfe in 2016 (watsonwolfe.com). Along with cork and cactus leather, she’s been experimenting with an eco-leather derived from renewable corn. The advantages? ‘It comes from entirely renewable sources and it’s carbon neutral,’ Helen explains, ‘so has a substantially lower impact on the environment.’ One of the most exciting new developments currently making waves in the industry is fungibased ‘mushroom leather’, which is grown from mycelium and agricultural by-products in a carbon-negative process and boasts 100 per cent biodegradability. In November 2020, MycoWorks, a Californian start-up that produces mycelium materials, raised financial backing to the tune of $45 million – and the A-list are already flocking to get involved, from actress Natalie Portman to musician John
PHOTOS: © LAIS RIBEIRO, GRAYSON HOFFMAN
brother Nick (vollebak.com). Working around the principles of longevity, recyclability and biodegradability, its range includes a ‘plant and pomegranate’ hoodie made from eucalyptus trees that, at the end of its life, can be chucked on the compost heap where it will biodegrade within 12 weeks. There’s also the ‘garbage watch’ made from some of the 50 million tonnes of electronic waste thrown out annually. ‘We like to think of our clothing in terms of how it can solve a problem,’ Steve adds. But he’s emphatic that, as well as using innovative, space-age materials, one of Vollebak’s missions is to encourage us to buy less by creating pieces we’ll only ever need one of. The brand works with scientists and innovators to find solutions and create future collections. ‘Over the next 100 years or so there will be big changes to the planet,’ Steve says. ‘We need to problem-solve.’ Another effective waste-transforming approach is to salvage material from landfill and oceans to engineer new materials. Bottletop was co-launched by Cameron Saul, son of Mulberry founder Roger, after he saw artisans making bags from bottle caps in Uganda (bottletop.org). With an exoskeleton of chainmail made of aluminium ring-pulls, Bottletop bags exemplify a whole new market that’s being carved out: the sustainable luxury category. To this end, in 2002 it joined forces with Mulberry, creating a bag that became its global bestseller of the season. ‘We’re always setting out to incorporate upcycled materials wherever possible,’ says Cameron. For him, that means repurposing and reimagining waste materials, and carefully sourcing materials that are either upcycled or on a journey of improvement. On Global Recycling Day in March, Bottletop’s #togetherband campaign, supporting UN global goals, launched its debut loungewear collection made from 60 per cent recycled cotton and 40 per cent recycled PET, marking its first foray into clothing. Where would he like to see the industry in five years’ time? ‘It’s exciting seeing where technology is taking us in terms of reducing negative impact, while also keeping handcraftsmanship as part of the process,’ he reflects. ‘But what we’ve experienced, particularly through the pandemic, is that we no longer have the luxury of time on our side. For me, the most important thing is for brands to place sustainability at the heart of their decision-making.’ He adds: ‘Brands only exist because of the consumer and the consumer has the power to shape that.’ Which brings us neatly back full circle to you and me, and what’s hanging in our closets. Most of my wardrobe consists of the staples that can survive both the commute and the transition from office to evening – so this seems a good place to start. What do sustainable staples look like in 2021? First, the ‘everything bag’ is undoubtedly Luxtra London’s modish Maya tote in chestnut ‘cactus leather’ – with enough room to accommodate laptop, keys, face mask and gym kit. Secondly, trainer junkies will fall heels over head for Yatay’s low-top Neven trainers that, paired with Caes’ leather-look trousers, make a dream back-to-office combination. And finally, what wardrobe would be complete without that little black dress? Neu Nomads Tencel slip dress, worn layered over a tee, has got you covered for an on-trend Nineties vibe. Turns out all we need do to help the planet is to look to vegetables, buy with passion and conviction, and keep wearing the new pieces in our wardrobes. It’s no hardship on the evidence of the designers featured here. ‘What I think the fashion industry does better than anything is excite, captivate, reimagine and articulate things in a way that can really build the appeal,’ says Cameron. We always knew mushrooms were magic.
Eco Fabric Cheat Sheet CAES Edition 3 organic sweater, €180. caes-store.com
CRADLE TO CRADLE
Materials designed to be recycled or returned to earth at the end of their life cycle, mimicking circular patterns of nature.
CLOSED LOOP FASHION CAES Edition 3 Vegea trousers, €450. caes-store.com
A system to keep garments circulating for as long as possible – incorporating repairability, recyclability, and minimal environmental impact and use of resources.
THE HIGG INDEX
TAKE FIVE Back-to-work sustainable staples
A set of online tools developed in 2012 that allows brands to benchmark and measure their sustainability performance against a set of criteria.
A cotton-like material made from lyocell and modal, which are derived from renewable, compostable and biodegradable wood fibres.
A recyclable plastic used in plastic bottles.
The world’s largest fashion activism movement. In April 2019 its hashtag #whomademyclothes, encouraging consumers to probe brands’ supply chains, was tagged over 55,000 times. LUXTRA LONDON Desserto Maya tote, £250. luxtralondon.com
We can: donate clothes for free via re-fashion.co.uk; find take-back retailers at wrap.org and textile recycling banks at loveyourclothes. org.uk, or set up collection WATSON & WOLFE parties for Cork belt in blue, £40. clothesaid. watsonwolfe.com co.uk.
YATAY Irori vegan leather trainers, £231. immaculatevegan.com
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PHOTOS: UNSPLASH; JO BRIDGES
How Dom Bridges’ affinity with the coastline transformed Haeckels from a Margate start-up into a global touchstone for sustainable skincare
By MARC ABBOTT FROM ABOVE: Dom Bridges; Botany Bay on the Kent coast, where Haeckels harvests its seaweed
don’t think anybody really knew what “sustainability” was until people started founding companies based on it, or using it as a hashtag,’ says Dom Bridges, founder of Margate’s seaweed-based skincare company Haeckels. In the space of nine years, besides cultivating one of the country’s most impressive moustaches, he has grown a brand that’s become a beacon for its global following of ethical acolytes. ‘In the beginning, however, we just saw the seaweed as a local crop with which we could promote the neighbourhood,’ he adds. ‘But we didn’t want to just “sustain” that local environment, we want to “redevelop” it,' Dom continues. ‘Haeckels is tied to a natural vegetable and as soon as we cut and remove that seaweed from its habitat the natural biosphere is fragmented. So anything else we do needs to have as minimal impact as possible. In essence, we see ourselves as reef farmers.’ His stewardship of Margate’s coastal resources even extends to a ‘crab taxi’. Any crustaceans found in the seaweed once it’s back at the lab (where Haeckels’ extracts are formulated) are ferried back to their natural home among the kelp. As Dom points out, the core ingredient of seaweed is what defines Haeckels, and his team is devoted to its protection and development, both in the lab and in its marine habitat. ‘Haeckels is deeply rooted in being connected to the planet, and we’re one of few brands that cultivate and manufacture ourselves,’ he explains. ‘Right now, we’re attempting to seed “dulse”, a type of seaweed that has the potential to offer UVA and UVB skin protection. We’re also planning to grow it off the edge of the local chalk reef. Seaweed farms have huge potential to absorb CO2 – much more so than forests.’ But while Margate’s fecund coastal environment makes up 25 per cent of the world’s chalk reef, Dom’s plans extend far beyond the bays of north-east Kent. Haeckels’ worldwide expansion includes a showroom in Osaka, Japan, and plans are afoot for a Californian outpost, selling skincare products created from locally harvested seagrass. This global focus on local shoreline environments will eventually allow Haeckels to stop shipping to these locations, greatly reducing its carbon footprint.
Nonetheless, expanding just 80 miles beyond the company's Kentish home has brought teething problems – though not the kind you’d expect. ‘In 2020 we chose to open a shop in London’s Broadway Market because it can be reached by water from Margate,’ explains Dom. ‘The plan is to deliver ingredients to the shop, then ferry customers back to Margate, to connect with our coastal environment. But we’re having an issue with “skipper’s insurance”, and we need the right boat. It has to be narrow enough to access London’s canals, but also needs a scalloped bottom, because we need to navigate open water. I know [actor] Timothy Spall has one, and he lives near us; I think we approached him, but he’s probably got a lot on his plate right now!’ And haven’t we all. ‘The past 14 months have obviously been awful,’ says Dom. ‘The health crisis has reminded us of the huge amount of global disparity. But even though Boris thought our shop didn’t represent “essential retail”, we certainly haven’t hibernated… we’ve gone into creative overload, working on podcasts, film and photography.’ At the height of the pandemic, Haeckels was supplying handwash to local restaurants for free (at a time when they remained open for business) and was also distributing hand sanitiser free of charge. ‘It’s not expensive to make and it sickens me how many companies saw Covid-19 as a reason to market handwash products,’ he adds. Dom’s highly principled approach is one of Haeckels’ big pulls for ethical consumers. ‘We’ve turned down contracts with big airlines like Emirates and Virgin Atlantic, who wanted to buy our products to gift to their First and Business Class customers,’ he explains. ‘It made no sense to say no, but we did. Obviously, the association with airline carbon emissions is distasteful, but to make the quantities of product required would [also] have involved moving the manufacture away from our small Margate lab to a big factory. So in terms of how achievable it would have been to supply it from our current premises – at the price we’d have to sell it, as well as what it represented – it wasn’t something I was prepared to do.’ Such a move would also have sat uneasily with much of the brand’s loyal customer base, a fact Dom acknowledges. ‘People are becoming cleverer, more informed, more demanding – and that’s what drives our development,’ he says.
PHOTOS: UNSPLASH; JO BRIDGES
DOM’S SUSTAINABILITY HEROES ‘I don’t think a business can be credible until it starts to benefit other people’, says Dom, ‘and to be honest there aren’t a lot of other companies I have time for! But there are a few that make the grade…’
‘Story MFG is run by a husband-and-wife team, sells clothes made in India using natural dyes, and pays its workers proper wages. It’s an example of authentic ethical manufacturing. Their clothes aren’t cheap, but they’re worth it.’ storymfg.com
We’ve all been hooked into a Lush store by the amazing aromas wafting out. ‘They do make some terrible social media faux pas, but you’ve got to give Lush due credit for the work they’ve done with the use of circular plastic and water-free products.’ uk.lush.com
The founder of The Body Shop is credited as the driving force behind ethical skincare. ‘I met Anita a few times; she was a great person and a hugely inspirational figure – not only in the skincare world, but also the greater world of ethical business.’ thebodyshop.com
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One of his most recent innovations is a body wash in the form of a small capsule that customers add to water at home in the supplied ceramic dispenser. Devilishly simple in concept, it’s emblematic of Dom’s considerate approach. After all, it makes no sense to use water in manufacture and transport that around the world, when nearly everywhere has a water supply. ‘We created it for a hotel in New York which had just installed a phenomenal water-cleansing system, and it took three years to develop,’ explains Dom. ‘But we also sell it on a subscription basis for individual customers and we’re making a powdered facial cleanser version.’ This new product is a microcosm of Haeckels’ mindful approach to consumption, its deeply-rooted environmental connection and its thirst for discovery – brand cornerstones that are apparent the moment you step over the threshold of the recently refitted Margate shop.
Inside the premises Dom and his team are progressing from self-proclaimed reef farmers to borderline smallholders. ‘The shop floor now has its air filtered by a living moss floor, and we’re growing micro-greens on site in hydroponic grow towers,’ he reveals. ‘I’ve some microbroccoli on the go at the moment, as well as alpine strawberries. We have a symbiotic relationship with our customers – they can pop in and take home seeds or even just get some tips on gardening.’ It’s this connection with Haeckels’ local community, as well as its global following, that elevates the brand in a crowded market. Dom’s devotion to his locality and his unwavering ethical outlook has an almost cultish attraction. Small but mighty, local but global – Haeckels’ approach might sound dichotomous but, like its many perfumes, skin creams and ointments, it’s proving to be a winning formula. haeckels.co.uk
‘People are becoming CLEVERER, more informed, more DEMANDING – and that’s what drives our DEVELOPMENT’
PHOTOS: JO BRIDGES
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Haeckels Ocean Cleanse Concentrate + Allantoin body wash capsule, £120 for a year's supply; other products are contained in laboratory-standard amber glassware or compostable packaging; the Eco Hand Balm, £18; the Broadway Market shop; harvesting seaweed on the Kent coast; cutting-edge science meets the natural world
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P R O M OT I O N Graphenstone GCS Interior Premium in Venezia
GREEN MACHINE Based on Nobel Prize-winning technology, Graphenstone is the perfect partner to a sustainable home makeover
PHOTOS: GRAPHENSTONE WITH VINTAGE FURNITURE FROM MERCHANT & FOUND
Considered the ‘gold of the future’, graphene is 200 times stronger than structural steel and 1,000 times more conductive than copper. Applying this technology to paint means that Graphenstone’s formula is one of the most durable around, in addition to being washable, flexible and crack resistant.
long with recycling, championing biodiversity and making better food and fashion choices, switching to low impact home decor is a necessity for a greener future, and one brand which is strides ahead in the sustainability stakes is 2013-founded Graphenstone. Rethinking your walls for summer? Here’s why you should opt for this natural, organic and more eco-friendly formula, based on 2010 Nobel Prizewinning technology, graphene.
ECO-CREDENTIALS Graphenstone comes approved by the biggest names in sustainability certification. From Cradle to Cradle to Eurofins Air Comfort Gold, Graphenstone has achieved the highest standards in eco-friendly benchmarking. ‘The combination of minerals like lime and silicate, combined with 21st century graphene technology sets our range apart,’ explains Patrick Folkes, UK CEO. ‘Graphenstone paint is sustainable and ecological yet extremely durable. Its porous nature prevents mould and moisture build up, creating safe and healthy environments.’
Graphenstone GCS Interior Premium in Old Lilac
Graphenstone paint contains 98 per cent natural and organic lime, which improves air quality by absorbing CO2 through a unique lime cycle. After application, three 15-litre tins of Graphenstone paint can absorb up to 15 kilos of carbon dioxide – the same amount as a fully-grown tree over a year. Its photocatalytic paint, AmbientPro+ Premium, also helps to eliminate air pollution by decomposing organic compounds and inorganic gases.
LOW VOC One of the main planet-harming culprits of modern paint brands are VOCs (volatile organic compounds) – chemicals emitted as gases that are harmful to health and the environment during the application and drying process. Graphenstone’s ‘harm-free’ paint contains less than 0.1 per cent VOCs. graphenstone-ecopaints.store
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Graphenstone-ADV V5 STG.indd 103
Visit our website to book a showroom sales or design consultation 0345 600 1950 | www.cphart.co.uk
CP Hart.indd 1
PHOTO: © DAMIAN FOXE
Edited by Carole Annett
Amazing Grace Edward Watson, principal dancer at The Royal Ballet, collaborated with de Le Cuona to capture the ebb and flow of its new studio linen collection through movement. Styled and shot by fashion director, Damian Foxe, the collection comprises ultra-sustainable linen blended with silk and wool. A masterpiece in motion. delecuona.com
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INTERIORS | News EX MODEL
Kirkby Design’s touchably soft new Leaf collection uses wool yarns recycled from the fashion industry, with five per cent from every metre sold going to Trees for Life. Available in 46 colours, £64 p/m. kirkbydesign.com
Arteriors’ new Horatio chair is made of thick rattan poles, steamed, flattened and woven into a frame. £3,146, arteriorshome.com
LISTEN UP Ruark Audio’s R1 radio, as seen in The Savoy hotel and Soho House bedrooms, has a built-in Bluetooth receiver to wirelessly stream from phone or computer. £229.99, ruarkaudio.com
The latest beautiful homewares to get excited about. By Carole Annett ODE TO SCOTLAND Hand-woven alpaca pinecone throw by Araminta Campbell. £6,000, aramintacampbell.co.uk
FRUIT OF THE LOOM
Clarke & Clarke Sorento ebony velvet, £41 p/m. sandersondesigngroup.com
Curl up in this classic-yet-cosy Stowe button-back accent chair by Drew Pritchard, shown in the Raphael Sienna covering. £1,245, barkerandstonehouse.co.uk
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SUN AND STRIPE
New for summer, Barbar Osorio’s South collection of fabrics. From £109 p/m, bofabrics.pt
MR BLOBBY Handpainted Max Rollitt lamp base. £440, maxrollitt. com
WHAT’S COOKING Everhot outdoor grill. £2,195, everhot.co.uk
OCEAN COMMOTION Adam Ellis sea urchin shell print, 800mm x 800mm. Framed, £380. adamellis.com
FRESH NEW WORLD
Enliven your interiors. Nerissa wallpaper, £58 p/roll; chairs in Piper, £58 p/m; sofa in Emile, £61 p/m. janechurchill.com
ALMOND CRUSH Fromental’s new wallpaper, Untitled 1, was inspired by the abstract works of British modernist painter Ben Nicholson. Hand-painted on Papyri Paper with pencil line detailing. £472 per sq/m, fromental.co.uk
TOP TABLE Kiko birch plywood dining table with black oil finish. £1,800, fuzl.co May/June 2021 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 107
INTERIORS | Focus
Six style-savvy side tables
Vivense London Pi high coffee table. £229, vivenselondon.com
Arteriors Celeste accent tablel. £960, arteriorshome.com 1
HUE DONE IT
Jonathan Adler Kismet accent table. £1,250, jonathanadler.com
A colourful kitchen feels fresh and modern with a hint of nostalgia
Ligne Roset Lewa table in natural ash and white ceramic. £539, ligne-roset.com
1 Furniture and walls painted in mouldy plum, nicotine and burnt toast from Colour Collection No 3 at Plain English. Kitchens from £50,000 (plainenglishdesign.co.uk). 2 Two complementary colours contrasting with natural wood detail in a kitchen by Brookmans by Smallbone. Kitchens cost from £25,000 (brookmans.co.uk). 3 Functional and fun – a feature wall of bright tiles in a London townhouse with interiors by Studio Duggan. 4 A pretty cocktail corner in a project by Interior Fox with bespoke cabinetry from Hansford’s Joinery, £POA (interiorfox.co.uk).
FBC London Brass column side table. £2,950, fbc-london.com
PHOTOS: STUDIO DUGGAN © ALEX JAMES
And Objects Bighton side table, oak and scagliola. £3,500, andobjects.com
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© Gayle Warwick Fine Linen Ltd 2021
Our first purchase in starting Gayle Warwick Fine Linen over 20 years ago was 2000 meters of 100% Organic Cotton sheeting woven exclusively for us. It was a commitment to sustainable organic textiles that we continue to honour. Hand Embroidered Bed Linen Made to Last. www.gaylewarwick.com
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INTERIORS | Trend HEAL’S Tempo Vivace pendant light. £429, heals.com
CHACCRA Modala Vidhi rug. From £441, chaccra.com
ANTHROPOLOGIE Bethan Gray feathered occasional chair. £798, anthropologie.com
THYME Small green stem stripe bowl. £150, take-a-little-thyme.myshopify.com DALE ROGERS Freestanding amethyst ring. £1,800, dalerogers ammonite.com
ON THE EDGE
Feathered fringes, asymmetrical pleats and rows of pom poms are making their way into the most sartorially-savvy wardrobes this season, so why not add a fashionable flounce to your interiors, too? asks Sofia Tindall
OKA Tarma two-seater sofa. £2,095, oka.com
TROVE Avalon petite bedside table. £750, thetrove.co.uk
IN CASA BY PABOY Patchwork cushion with navy ruffle. £82, incasaby paboy.com
AMARA Global Explorer fringed mirror. £150, amara.com
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INTERIORS | Upcyling
READY, STEADY, REFRESH!
How to give your home a green makeover for summer. By Sofia Tindall
PHOTOS: © RETROUVIOUS
hat was your lockdown interiors project? Furniture stencilling? Beginners’ grouting and tiling? Constructing a pergola from scratch? If seeing your kitchen walls reflected on Zoom made you realise they needed a lick of paint, you’re not alone – DIY-related search terms leapt by 48 per cent over the last year and paint by 77 per cent. But in our eco-conscious age of upcycling and low-impact refurbishments, what’s the best way to give your home a responsible refresh? We asked reclamation and salvage specialist Retrouvius for its top tips for a sustainable home makeover.
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CHOOSE YOUR CENTREPIECE
The first thing to decide when it comes to furniture is what you’re using as a centrepiece, says Retrouvius co-founder Adam Hills. ‘When it comes to salvage, use one or two pieces to define the project. For example, a museum cabinet adapted to become a new kitchen island provides a large amount of timber and material to work with.’ Places to hunt for your next star piece include eBay (ebay. co.uk), Vinterior (vinterior.co), or 1st Dibs (1stdibs.co.uk). ‘Too many layers of salvage will over-complicate,’ warns Adam, ‘so don’t incorporate too many pieces and stick to a restrained palette.’ TRY: The deluge of brilliant Instagram accounts selling second-hand pieces like @pt_antiques @vintiquelondon and @bohomeinteriors. You might just scout out the perfect base piece for your home bar or his-and-hers sink unit.
PICK YOUR ECO PAINT
Put down the paintbrush and overalls: VOCs (volatile organic compounds) contained in many paints emit gases that are harmful to health, the environment and air quality. Instead, try paint brands like Little Greene (littlegreene.com), which has almost zero VOC, and Graphenstone (graphenstone.co.uk), which is VOC-free and has a 100 per cent environmentally friendly production cycle. TRY: For a broad range of cosy, bang-on-trend neutrals and earthy tonal shades, low-VOC brand Lick (lickhome.com) has gone a step further, partnering with plastic recycling initiative 4ocean to remove 18kg of plastic for every 2.5-litre paint pot sold – over five tonnes so far.
GET THE RIGHT LIGHT
‘Retrouvius works with salvage as a priority,’ says Adam. ‘Whether it’s lighting or textiles, our first question is: can it be vintage or second hand? Secondly, can it be re-used in the future?’ For lighting, an on-trend industrial look can be achieved with copper, which is super-sustainable owing to the fact it can be recycled without losing quality, and festooning it against an exposed brick wall is easy to do yourself. Other stylish (and sustainable) materials include nickel, recycled brass and recycled glass. TRY: Etsy (etsy.com) and skinflintdesign.com for salvaged lighting. Finish with a Tala energy-efficient, dimmable LED lightbulb (tala.co.uk).
Retrouvious’s in-house design studio transforms salvaged furniture and wood into distinctive contemporary interiors
‘Re-upholstering gives ANTIQUE or second-hand furniture a new lease of LIFE and can create a truly UNIQUE and BESPOKE piece’
PHOTOS: © RETROUVIOUS
A sustainable renovation requires some creative thinking, and Retrouvius uses reclaimed materials in ways that really make them sing in the context of the overall decorative scheme. ‘Use what is available, even locally,’ encourages Adam. ‘Embrace serendipity, re-use a material you love and find a way of building it into your design.’ For example, if you have an overspill of reclaimed hardwood for parquet floors, repurpose it for drawers, panelling or even cupboard fronts so it can be enjoyed at eye height and chime with different areas of a room. TRY: Salvagers Lassco (lassco.co.uk) or Retrouvius (retrouvious.com).
COVER IT UP
From Cloth Collective (clothcollective.co) to Offset Warehouse (offsetwarehouse.com), many companies now produce fabrics printed with non-toxic dyes on sustainable materials like linen (one of the most biodegradable natural fabrics) and hemp. Re-upholstering gives antique or second-hand furniture a new lease of life and can create a truly unique and bespoke piece. TRY: For re-upholstery services, try Lorfords (lorfords.com) and Howe London (howelondon.com).
THE QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2020
TR AVEL ESC APE | H OTELS
Great Green Retreats Pack your Finisterre jacket in your Patagonia duffel bag, jump in your Audi e-tron SUV and enjoy a low-carbon British break
Thyme, the Cotswolds
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HOTELS & TRAVEL | Guide
In the remote Scottish Highlands, five-star hotel The Torridon is the perfect setting for a sustainable staycation. With beautiful views overlooking the magnificent sea loch, the resort offers something for everyone. Taste the natural larder of Wester Ross, where head chef Paul Green uses locally sourced fresh produce to create a tantalising menu, or explore the munros that surround the hotel. Thrill-seekers can take part in mountain biking, gorge scrambling and sea kayaking. The hotel’s environmental commitments include sourcing its own water from a borehole on the estate, Tesla chargers and gifting native wildflower seeds to guests. BOOK IT: Classic double room from £295 B&B. thetorridon.com
BAINLAND COUNTRY PARK, Lincolnshire
Bainland Country Park is undergoing a substantial renovation programme, with a focus on sustainability. Leading this is a reforesting and rewilding project by Chelsea Flower Show gold medalwinning landscape designer, Jody Lidgard. The idea is to plant 1,500 trees within the park, as well as shrubs and wildflowers. A lot of cabins at Bainland are already clad with reclaimed timber and new environmentally friendly options include The Nook, a Blue Forest treehouse set to open this summer in prime position overlooking the water. Future plans include solar power and the creation of six more wild swimming lakes. BOOK IT: The Nook, from £749 for four nights, self-catering. bainland.co.uk
WILDHIVE, Peak District
Wildhive is a new boutique hospitality brand with nature at its core and bees as its buzz. Its first property opens this summer at Callow Hall, where the accommodation (apart from the 15 gorgeous rooms designed by Isabella Worsley in the main house) offers wild places to stay. From cabins and pigsties (former residents firmly rehomed) to treehouses and dens, you can cook marshmallows on firepits and take outdoor baths on the deck of your Blue Forest treehouse. Feast on the local, seasonal dishes of David Bukowicki (previously at Barnsdale Lodge) and relax with an organic treatment in the wellness centre. And take home some honey. BOOK IT: Doubles from £179 (room only). wildhive.uk
THE FISH, Cotswolds
Located on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway, The Fish is part boutique hotel, part adventure hideout. Its green initiatives include the promise of zero rubbish going to landfill and all food waste sent to neighbouring Northwick Park’s anaerobic digester. The Fish is also completely powered by green energy, rears its own pigs, and plants trees to replace any used for printed materials. This year The Fish is set to open five more Hideaway Huts in its grounds, making nine in total, in addition to the existing Boaty McBoatface lakeside hut and three Treehouses. The stylish Hideaway Huts feature double bedrooms, rolltop baths, wood burners and private hot tubs. BOOK IT: Hideaway Huts from £325 B&B. thefishhotel.co.uk
THE PIERHOUSE HOTEL, Argyll
Perched on the edge of Loch Linnhe on the west coast of Scotland, The Pierhouse Hotel’s loyal guests come back for the locally sourced food, the views and the naturefirst approach. It’s a recent addition to hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray’s Wee Hotel Company, which he founded to champion the small, the sustainable and the local in his home country of Scotland. The hotel, a gold award holder of the Green Tourism scheme, has an ethos of reduce, reuse and recycle, with energy usage minimised, eco-friendly cleaning products, and toiletries sourced from the Highland Soap Company in order to cut down on single-use plastic. BOOK IT: From £195 per night B&B in high season. pierhousehotel.co.uk
Motivated by a desire to feed her children better, in the 1980s Lady Carole Bamford set out to turn her family’s farmland into a sustainable business. Forty years later Daylesford stands as one of the most eco-friendly farms in the UK, with branches of its cafés, restaurants and shops dotted across the country. The Gloucestershire farm offers overnight stays too, with six cosy converted stone cottages available to book alongside Bamford spa and an artisan cookery school. The Trough restaurant has just been awarded a 2021 Michelin Green Star, a new accolade for eateries that take exceptional steps towards sustainable business. BOOK IT: Cottages from £325 per night, minimum two-night stay. daylesford.com
COOMBESHEAD FARM, Cornwall
Set across 66 acres of Cornish countryside, Coombeshead is a self-sufficient entity, complete with a beautiful farm, guesthouse and restaurant, headed up by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield. There’s also a wine cellar featuring vintages from Tom’s brother’s micro-vineyard in the South of France, a beehive and a bakery run by Ben Glazer. Food is served in the Feasting Barn, which offers an ever-changing, family-style menu dependent on what’s ready from the farm, smokehouse and pickling rooms. Nine bedrooms in the Farmhouse and Grain Store are decked out with eclectic furnishings, mostly preloved pieces sourced locally or at auction. BOOK IT: Rooms from £195 B&B. coombesheadfarm.co.uk
THE PIG AT COMBE, Devon
Fans of The Pig’s ‘restaurants with rooms’ concept will know this hotel group is serious about serving up locally sourced and sustainable food. The Pig at Combe is no different, with emphasis placed on the ‘25-mile menu’ concept, where seasonal dishes are entirely dependent on the kitchen gardens and local suppliers. The hotel – which produces around 3.4 tons of its own fruit and vegetables every year – is also home to local beehives, while both rooms and restaurant aim to reduce as much waste as possible. As for the interiors, a number of antique and upcycled furnishings have been used to create the hotel’s signature sumptuous yet rustic aesthetic. BOOK IT: Doubles from £175 (room only). thepighotel.com
NEWHALL MAINS, Inverness-shire
Slow living meets sustainable chic at 18th-century Newhall Mains farmhouse, which has been restored from ruins by local craftsmen using traditional stone, lime render, lead and slate. The property comprises five cottages and four double suites, which overlook either lavender courtyards or peacefully grazing sheep. All of them have scrumptious joy-inspiring interiors by Kelling Designs and cosy touches like rugs spun with wool from the estate’s own flock of Jacob sheep. Throw in Tesla charging points, a firepit to congregate around, and food deliveries using local Scottish produce, and you have one of the most luxurious eco-stays around. BOOK IT: From £110 per night B&B. newhall-mains.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
THE TORRIDON, Wester Ross
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PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
PHOTOS: HECKFIELD PLACE © ADAM LYNK; GETTY IMAGES
Guide | HOTELS & TRAVEL
NORWEGIAN WOOD, Powys
Get off-grid and back to nature at this adult-only eco-campsite deep in the Welsh countryside. Gaze at starry skies through the skylight of your geodesic glamping dome, keep toasty with a wood-burning stove, read by electricity generated by the on-site wind turbine or get your walking boots on and discover the Cambrian mountains. Even better, take a mountain bike and explore the spectacular Elan Trail that loops past the reservoirs and dramatic dams of the Elan Valley, where the idea for the Dambusters raid in 1940 originated. Back home, open a beer on the deck and settle in as the bats swoop down in search of insects. BOOK IT: From £100 per night. qualityunearthed.co.uk
FFOREST FARM, Pembrokeshire
PHOTOS: HECKFIELD PLACE © ADAM LYNK; GETTY IMAGES
From the blankets woven at the mill on the banks of the nearby river Teifi to the home-grown vegetables, Fforest is 200 acres of outdoor eco heaven. You can even wend your way through woods, reed banks and the Teifi estuary all the way into Cardigan for a day exploring the beaches. There’s a range of accommodation, from a Georgian farmhouse sleeping 14 to a Bathhouse Dome sleeping two, via Garden Shacs sleeping six. All come beautifully appointed with everything you need, including an on-site pub. There’s no need for a spa when a dip in the sea or a bathe in the river is free – but you can warm up afterwards in the cedar barrel sauna. BOOK IT: Domes from £98 per night for seven nights, S/C. coldatnight.co.uk
THE TREEHOUSES AT LANRICK, Perthshire
Say goodbye to wifi and hello to the beautiful Scottish wilderness. This eco-retreat designed by husband-and-wife team Simon and Louisa Dickson comprises five luxury treehouses located in dense woodland on the banks of the River Teith. They’re built from timber from the Lanrick estate to reduce their carbon footprint and powered by airsource heat pumps. The interiors feature handcrafted and upcycled furniture and there are treetop terraces with BBQs and copper baths. With Doune Castle, Blair Drummond Safari Park and Deanston Distillery all within ten miles, it makes for a perfect staycation. BOOK IT: From £200 per night S/C, twonight minimum. lanricktreehouses.co.uk
Our favourite ‘green’ aspect of Treehouse in Marylebone has to be the biophilic rooftop bar, with spectacular panoramic views across London – it’s almost impossible to peel yourself away. But its eco commitment doesn’t stop at the Instagrammable aesthetics. As the younger, fun-loving sibling of sustainably focussed American company 1 Hotels, Treehouse has carried many of the brand’s eco principles across the pond, from conscious construction using recycled materials, to staff training in waste management and reducing singleuse plastic. Seasonal British produce inspires menus at 15th floor Casa Madera restaurant and The Nest rooftop bar. BOOK IT: From £299 per night, room only. treehousehotels.com
WILDERNESS RESERVE, Suffolk
Simplicity and a nostalgia for pastoral England lie at the heart of Wilderness Reserve, a 5,000-acre estate in Suffolk. The project began nearly 20 years ago, spearheaded by landscape architect Kim Wilkie. And although it was more of a landscaping than a rewilding venture, the restoration has worked wonders for attracting new or returning wildlife to the area. There are now over 130 different bird species in residence, plus over 200 types of plants. Guests can choose between a number of different accommodation options, from cosy cottages to the recently launched Chapel Barn, complete with 17 double bedrooms, a gym, pool, hot tub and sauna. BOOK IT: Chapel Barn, from £5,276 per night S/C. wildernessreserve.com
HECKFIELD PLACE, Hampshire
Nature lies at the beating heart of this gorgeous Georgian hotel. Years in the conception, weaving the strands of a grand English house, its farm and the local community together to create something unique, it all revolves around an ethos of luxurious sustainability. This radiates everywhere from the plastic-free rooms to the dining (headed up by Skye Gyngell), where the seasonal produce is grown on its own biodynamic and organic farm (with the rest locally sourced). A recent project includes cloning its trees (some over 150 years old) to ensure succession planting of varieties including Giant Redwoods, Douglas Fir and Japanese Cedar. BOOK IT: Doubles from £350 B&B. heckfieldplace.com
WATERGATE LODGE, Cornwall
This brand-new eco-friendly Newquay beach house from Beach Retreats will be opening for stays from summer 2021, with accommodation for up to 12 guests over five bedrooms. The lodge’s eco credentials include solar panels, air-source heating, and a mechanical ventilation system. Those with an eye for style will appreciate the designer interiors and all guests will fall in love with the large roof terrace boasting views across the valley and featuring a sunken firepit for cosy nights with friends or family. Best of all? It’s just 400 metres from the waves of world-famous Watergate Bay. Grab your surfboard and go. BOOK IT: From £4,215 for a seven-night stay, S/C. beachretreats.co.uk
CEDAR VALLEY, Hampshire
The Meon Valley, in the South Downs, is one of Hampshire’s hidden glories – think quintessential English villages, quaint traditional pubs, chalk streams and lush scenery. Tucked away on the Bereleigh Estate, a new pair of luxury log cabins for two has just been added to the existing family-sized Cowshed. There are also two safari-style glamping tents, Betty the Bedford (a restored horse lorry), and an on-site deli and mobile pizza oven. The cabins are fashioned with sustainability in mind – expect local reclaimed timber cladding, insulation made with recyclable wool fibre and Tala LED light bulbs. All the better for enjoying the stunning views. BOOK IT: Cabins from £150 per night S/C, minimum two nights. cedarvalley.co.uk
FOWEY HALL HOTEL, Cornwall
Perched high on the hill overlooking the fishing village that’s its namesake, Fowey Hall Hotel is family-friendly luxury with a sustainable twist. A herb garden supplies the kitchen with fresh ingredients, while local fishermen bring in the catch of the day, and nearby farms supply meat. The furniture in the hotel’s contemporary bedrooms is made from sustainably managed or British-grown wood, and its Little Shop, curated by former Vogue contributing editor Fiona Golfar, stocks wares by local makers. From 30 May the hotel is partnering with Farms to Feed Us for a Sunday market, featuring local and sustainable producers and artists. BOOK IT: From £279 per night B&B in high season. foweyhallhotel.co.uk
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With contemporary interiors and trendy offbeat accents, The Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell is the perfect ode to east London’s community of creatives. It also has impressive eco credentials, having been renovated with sustainably sourced and environmentally sensitive building materials. It’s also energy efficient, with heating and cooling provided by an energy loop system and boreholes. Glass and paper is rigorously recycled and there’s an in-house Green Team to uphold eco standards. You can also opt to forgo housekeeping for a free cocktail (thus saving power, water, and harmful cleaning chemicals). We’ll raise a martini to that. BOOK IT: From £119 per night B&B. thezetter.com
THYME, The Cotswolds
This tranquil hotel, which opened in 2014, is really ‘a village within a village’, with restaurants, bars, a spa, a farm and a cookery school. Indulge in delicious seasonal food, unwind with a treatment at Meadow Spa or take a wander around the gardens and farm with its ecosystem of wildflowers, otters, kingfishers, egrets and water voles. Whether it’s extracting pure spring water via an underground river source, using heat pumps and woodchip boilers, restoring wild spaces and habitats through afforestation and replanting or choosing suppliers with like-minded ethics, Thyme is committed to eco-friendly practices, restoration and preservation. BOOK IT: From £245 per night (room only). thyme.co.uk
THE SCARLET, Cornwall
The Scarlet has won numerous sustainability awards since opening in 2009. When the hotel was built, existing stone walls on the site were carefully deconstructed to allow over 100 small reptiles to be rehoused. This set the tone for the hotel’s eco-minded future. Its sustainability credits can be seen in details big and small: all electricity comes from renewable sources and guests are encouraged to take home the locally handmade organic soap. Nose-to-tail dining ensures very little wastage in the restaurant – an idyllic spot overlooking the bay. Even the flip-flops for guests in the spa are made from recycled vehicle tyres. BOOK IT: Rooms from £250 per night B&B. scarlethotel.co.uk
WHATLEY MANOR HOTEL & SPA, Malmesbury
Romantic honey-stoned Whatley Manor is a classic English beauty. Peek behind its 18thcentury walls, however, and you’ll find it has a decidedly modern attitude. The hotel has committed to using only renewable energy and foodies will be seduced by locally and ethically sourced ingredients (some of them from Whatley’s very own beehives and orchard) served in either Grey’s Brasserie or the Dining Room, the latter of which recently scooped one of Michelin’s brand new Green Star awards. All food waste is cleverly converted to methane, which provides ten per cent of the hotel’s energy. BOOK IT: From £399 per night B&B. whatleymanor.com
GLEBE HOUSE, Devon
Having grown up with his parents running the family home, Glebe House, as a B&B, Hugo Guest is no stranger to hospitality. However, it wasn’t until he experienced agriturismo in Italy that he and his wife Olive were inspired to try it themselves. The couple have transformed their 15-acre property in the idyllic rolling hills of east Devon into a just-opened guest house with five bedrooms, a smallholding and a restaurant. Local food and a love of the surrounding landscape are at the heart of it all, with interiors by Studio Alexandra, which specialises in environmentally conscious design. The restaurant is helmed by Hugo himself. BOOK IT: From £129 per night B&B. glebehousedevon.co.uk
CHEWTON GLEN, Hampshire
Set over 130 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland on the edge of the New Forest, it’s no wonder nature is at the heart of Chewton Glen’s philosophy. Its eco-treehouses feature harvested rainwater, air-source heat pumps, solar panels, and low energy lighting. Many of the ingredients used in the hotel’s restaurant and cookery school are harvested from its own walled garden and orchard. And around the estate years of tree planting and habitat creation have led to a boom in biodiversity, aided by the more than 50 working beehives dotted around the estate, which help keep nature thriving. BOOK IT: Treehouse from £1,350 per night B&B, min two nights. chewtonglen.com
HAM YARD HOTEL, London
Vibrant colour, mismatched patterns, quirky décor – this could only be the work of one designer: Kit Kemp, who owns the Firmdale Hotels group alongside her husband Tim. Ham Yard is an urban village, complete with not only 91 bedrooms but also speciality stores, a rooftop bar, a spa, bowling alley and cinema. And the hotel’s sustainability measures are also worth shouting about. It was awarded BREEAM Excellent rating, a methodology used to assess the environmental performance of buildings, thanks to its use of CHP units and solar panels. It also has its own living green roof, plus a terrace with beehives and a vegetable garden. BOOK IT: From £420 per night (room only). firmdalehotels.com
THE GROVE, Hertfordshire
A five-star luxury hotel set on a 300-acre estate, The Grove has a worldrenowned 18-hole golf course, awardwinning spa and abundance of culinary delights. It’s been awarded a Green Apple Environment Award for its continued dedication to sustainability, such as the replacement of single-use plastics with eco-friendly alternatives, the use of solar panels, and partnership with the Clean the World programme that supplies water and sanitation resources to vulnerable communities around the globe. Over the past ten years it has also achieved an impressive 36 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. BOOK IT: From £430 per night B&B. thegrove.co.uk
CYEFIN RETREATS, Herefordshire
Home to the famous literary festival, Hay-on-Wye is a charming market town in quieter times, too, stuffed to the brim with bookshops, antique shops and great places to eat and drink (check out The Old Electric Shop for arts and curiosities). Cynefin, just three miles away, whisks you away to a Dark Sky Reserve in the Wye Valley where you can sleep in an eco Luxe Pod for two, complete with your own firepit, hot tub and those star-strewn skies. Outdoor activities abound: there’s everything from riding to hiking (climb the Brecon Beacons’ highest peak Pen y Fan), or kayaking on the River Wye. Bliss. BOOK IT: From £182 per night, selfcatering. cynefinretreats.com
PHOTOS: © DARREN CHUNG; GETTY IMAGES
THE ZETTER HOTEL, London
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PHOTOS: © DARREN CHUNG; GETTY IMAGES
HOTELS & TRAVEL | Escape
ARCTIC AMBITION When it opens, Svart will not only be the world’s first energy positive hotel, but also a design lab for technological innovation. By Amy Wakeham
PHOTOS: © SNØHETTA/PLOMPMOZES/MIRIS
omewhere in Norway’s Arctic Circle, perched above a glittering fjord at the foot of a majestic glacier, is a hotel that might very well change the way we travel forever. Or at any rate there will be soon – because said hotel is not yet built. For now the crystal-clear water is imbued with possibility. When it opens in 2023, Svart will be the world’s first energy-positive hotel, a destination that not only offers travellers all the usual tenets of high-end hospitality, but also hopes to inspire its guests to learn more about conservation, climate change and preserving the surrounding polar region. It’s the project of Miris, a Norwegian real estate company that offers building solutions for reducing energy consumption, with the ultimate goal of helping the world reach carbon neutrality. Designed by architects Snøhett, Svart is its flagship project: a glass-fronted, doughnut-shaped building that will be built from prefabricated capsules in Holandsfjorden fjord, balanced on stilts. The venture has been developed alongside local residents and government, following strict building principles that will minimise the hotel’s impact on the landscape and environment. Ultimately (within five years), Svart aims to produce more energy than it uses, through inbuilt solar panels that cleverly soak up the bountiful amounts of solar radiation bounced off the nearby Svartisen glacier, Norway’s second largest. And
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PHOTOS: © SNØHETTA/PLOMPMOZES/MIRIS
The Holandsfjorden fjord at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in the far north of Norway will be home to Svart, an innovative new luxury eco-hotel
as well as being off grid, the goal is zero waste. This all sounds very impressive, but focusing on the hotel’s individual aspects is kind of missing the point, says Ivaylo Lefterov, hotel development director at Miris. The real innovation, he explains, comes from combining all the elements – the prefabricated building, the solar technology, the heat provided from humans moving through the hotel – into one. ‘What we’re trying to provide is a very holistic approach, allowing [the hotel] to breathe and live,’ says Ivaylo. ‘So the building becomes a living organism, whereby it supplies the energy that is needed to operate it, as well as the heat, the waste management and the water, plus the shelter and comfort that visitors need. And then we, as humans, also contribute energy into the process [to heat the hotel]. That’s what makes it unique. Nobody has ever combined it all together before to make a hotel that’s totally off grid, completely independent and a breathing organism in itself.’ The hotel’s energy reserve will also power the boats that are needed to transport either guests or produce from the sustainable on-shore farm where many of the ingredients used in the hotel’s four restaurants will be grown. Wellness is another area of innovation for Svart’s developers. On arrival, guests will have a one-to-one consultation with a health concierge
and will be given wearable technology to track their daily habits, which will then inform a bespoke programme of treatments and activities to support, strengthen and optimise mind and body. ‘We can show you that by just changing small habits of your day-to-day routine, you can actually improve your lifespan, your health, your diet and your overall wellness,’ explains Ivaylo. Treatments will take place in Svart’s 1,000 sq/m indoor-outdoor spa, and will include massages and facials using sustainable, locally sourced products, sound healing, reflexology, cryotherapy and transformative health and nutrition coaching. These will run alongside a range of stimulating outdoor activities, from ice climbing on the glacier to wild foraging, and yoga sessions under the midnight sun. Completing the picture will be Svart’s education centre, where guests can learn about the technology used to create the hotel, as well as about waste management, glacier protection and sustainable farming. In fact, raising awareness about sustainability and the environment will run through all areas of the hotel. It’s about educating visitors says Ivaylo, ‘but not in a boring, lecturing kind of way – we want to make people aware through their activities’. It’s an ambitious project, and one that’s set to stretch our idea of what a hotel is capable of. ‘We like to think of ourselves a little bit
as disruptors,’ says Ivaylo. ‘We’re trying to get the industry to think like us.’ But Svart isn’t just about pushing the boundaries of hospitality, it’s also a big experiment for parent company, Miris – a learning curve for new technology that will be applied to all its future real estate projects, with the aim of driving towards that urgent Net Zero goal. The building represents a new beginning rather than an end in itself, and there’s an open invitation for sustainable tech companies to come and try out their products at the hotel, whether that’s in food production, water preservation or solar technology. ‘We’re trying to utilise the building itself as a design lab for many different technologies in the future,’ says Ivaylo. And these new technologies won’t just be for the hospitality industry but could influence how we live and build our homes and cities in the years to come. ‘It’s a hotel but it’s [also] so much more than that. It’s a think tank for various different options for the future.’ For now, all that exists is a pristine Arctic fjord, surrounded by steep mountains and picturesque valleys. But the future of how we holiday – and perhaps the answer to the carbon neutral future we’re so desperately searching for – lies right here, just waiting to be uncovered. Svart will open in 2023. svart.no
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BETWEEN THE SEA AND THE SKY
An eco-friendly stay in the rainforest, a glamping tent by a volcano or a hideaway on the beach? Costa Rica offers them all, says Ginny Weeks
Conchal beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
ORIGINS LODGE, Alajuela BEST FOR: ROMANCE
A truly unique setting awaits guests at this luxury eco-retreat set in Costa Rica’s remote northern rainforest. The 111-acre estate is blissfully secluded and romantic, with six enchanting lodges set into the hillside, surrounded by jungle gardens and topped with living roofs. There’s also a three-bedroom villa suspended among the treetops that’s great for groups. Whichever lodge you stay in, you’ll be treated to sensational views over plush valley jungle and further out to Lake Nicaragua. Inside, the rooms have luxurious canopy beds, openair en suite bathrooms and gourmet snacks. Outside, you’ll find an outdoor shower and a private, hot, plunge pool on the wrap-around terrace – a dreamy spot for a drink at sunset. The grounds teem with life at every turn and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Try lake fishing, go hiking or sample the spa. As it rains a lot in this region, you’ll have lots of time to chill in the restaurant (complete with board games and pool table). Mealtimes are a special occasion here with excellent organic food and some of the best margaritas I’ve tasted. BOOK IT: Lodges from £503 B&B, plus tax. originslodge.com
BEST FOR: BOUTIQUE CHARM
Just outside the vibrant town of Puerto Viejo stands this handsome collection of Victorian-style houses and bungalows. Brought to life by a mother-daughter team, the charming, artfilled hotel is the ideal retreat on this untamed part of the Caribbean coast. A short walk from two of the best beaches in the area, it has maze-like tropical gardens, an inviting pool, a yoga pavilion, six stilted bungalows and six standard rooms set in a colonial-style house. Each room is decorated in white with pops of colour from bright artwork or vintage furniture. The hotel’s DaLime Beach Club is a great spot for smoothies and snacks, but it’s the restaurant Papaya that’s the real food highlight here and one of the best places to eat in the region. Its fresh, tropical design is totally unique in Costa Rica with bold coral furniture, statement lighting and a relaxed, trendy vibe. The mouth-watering menu includes healthy breakfast options such as banana oatmeal and omelettes as well as tasty cocktails, ceviche, Caribbean curries, and home-made coconut ice cream. BOOK IT: Doubles from £235 B&B, including tax. hotelaguasclaras.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; BRICE FERRE STUDIO
AGUAS CLARAS, Limon
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Escape | HOTELS & TRAVEL
KASIIYA, Guanacaste BEST FOR: LUXURY ESCAPE
Kasiiya is a truly unique eco-escape hidden away in a remote bay on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Pacific coast. The hotel’s name means ‘find your pace’ in Swahili and it’s all about connecting guests to the natural surroundings. Seven award-winning safari-style tented cabins are dotted on the beach and clifftop. With Kasiiya being off-grid, everything is powered by solar energy and the tents were constructed without using cement or damaging any surrounding trees. Inside the rooms, the décor is all about clean white linen and smooth wood finishes. Some have huge, indulgent bathrooms with outdoor showers and copper bathtubs. Within the 123-acre grounds is a spa, where you can indulge in a restorative massage or healing treatment by resident healer Yamuna (who counts Brad Pitt as one of his clients). Alternatively, go for a nature walk with the resident biologist. Later, you can dine at the beach cabana where the chef prepares three-course meals with fresh, organic ingredients, or at the more formal, candlelit sunset lounge for fine dining, located on the hilltop with incredible vistas over the Pacific. BOOK IT: Suites from £586 full board, plus tax. kasiiya.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; BRICE FERRE STUDIO
NAYARA TENTED CAMP, Arenal BEST FOR: VOLCANO VIEWS
The breathtaking views from the recently opened Nayara Tented Camp are hard to beat in this area of Arenal national park, or anywhere actually. The rooms overlook the ‘resting’ Arenal volcano and are surrounded by verdant hotel grounds, which have been the suject of a recent reforestation project – over 40,000 indigenous trees have been replanted on the hillside that was once cleared for cattle pasture. It’s now home to birds, sloths, coatis and monkeys. The 25 rooms are all set in glamorous tents raised high above the ground on stilts. Each has a hot spring-fed pool, an outdoor shower and large terrace decorated with hammocks and lounging areas, perfect for relaxing and taking in that view. Guests can use all the facilities and dine at one of the many excellent restaurants at sister properties Nayara Springs or Nayara Gardens next door. There’s also a wine bar with a charming sommelier. Don’t miss the terraced spring pools or the award-winning spa for total relaxation. BOOK IT: From £520 B&B plus tax. nayaratentedcamp.com
ALL FEATURED HOTELS PASS A STRINGENT SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING PRACTICES, SINGLE-USE PLASTIC, RECYCLING, WASTE MANAGEMENT, ENERGY SUPPLY, FOOD SUPPLY AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES.
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Petersham Nurseries’ Gael Boglione makes the beetroots the star of her beef carpaccio
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FOOD&DRINK | Recipe Food philosophy? Eat fresh,
First dish you learnt to cook?
Spinach pie with cheddar cheese and rosemary. I was a very strict vegetarian when I was younger and this was always a simple staple dish in our flat.
PICTURED ON PREVIOUS PAGE
Most vivid childhood food memory? Fish and chips in
INGREDIENTS SERVES FOUR
newspaper, eaten on the beach. Favourite ingredient that’s in season? Springtime
— — — — — — —
4 baby golden beetroots 4 baby red beetroots 4 baby chioggia beetroots 360–480g beef fillet 1/2 lemon 50ml crème fraîche 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh horseradish — Olive oil — Salt and black pepper
brings with it such a wealth of beautiful, verdant produce so it’s my favourite time of the year to be in the kitchen. I love wild garlic and nettles – they’re both such versatile ingredients and I’ve been making wild garlic and nettle soup, which is absolutely delicious. Biggest mistake you’ve made?
TRY WITH — Fonterutoli Chianti Classico, Castello di Fonterutoli
eetroots have a reputation as a winter vegetable, often only appearing on summer tables when they have been preserved. We prefer to use them in the spring and summer when they are still small and softskinned and bursting with flavour. This dish is still delicious if using full-sized beetroot, however – simply reduce the quantity to one of each variety and boil for longer.
Wash and scrub the beetroot, then boil each variety in separate pans of salted water for around 15 minutes, or until tender. Cooking each variety separately means they will hold their colour. Once cooked, peel and halve or quarter (depending on their size) and set aside. Season the fillet of beef with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. In a heavy-based, very hot pan, sear quickly on each side and put to one side. To assemble the dish, slice the beef very finely, then season with olive oil and lemon juice. Scatter the beetroot over the top and season. Top with little dollops of crème fraîche and then, using a microplane or fine grater, grate on as much or as little of the horseradish as you like.
seasonal, locally produced, chemical-free food. Make fruit and vegetables the stars of your meal, and if you eat meat or fish make sure it’s well sourced.
Foodie TALES Gael Boglione, co-founder of Petersham Nurseries
I was having a dinner party and mocha coffee exploded all over my kitchen. I ended up having to have the kitchen re-painted. Fortunately, no one was hurt! Most memorable meal out?
The Banyan Tree in Hampi in India. The restaurant is under this huge tree with steps going down to the most beautiful river. Not only is it in the most mesmerising location, it also serves the best authentic southern Indian vegetarian food. Any unusual kitchen rules?
I get quite agitated when everyone congregates in the kitchen so I prefer to cook solo. What’s in your fridge? Haye Farm chicken, Haye Farm eggs, organic seasonal vegetables, oat milk, goats’ butter and turmeric root. Least favourite ingredient?
I can’t bear peppers – raw or cooked. Petersham Nurseries by Francesco and Gael Boglione is out on 20 May. £65. petershamnurseries.com
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; ANDREW MONTGOMERY
Beef Carpaccio with Heritage Beetroots, Horseradish & Crème Fraîche
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Gael with her family; spinach pie – her first classic dish; fish and chips on the beach
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P R O M OT I O N
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ith spring in full swing, and after such a lot of time spent at home over the last 12 months, our focus has naturally turned to making our homes as clean, hygienic and sustainable as possible. One area we can all make an immediate impact with just a small change is how we clean our homes. Every day we wash cleaning products down our drains, and the impact of our choice of a cleaning brand can actively harm or help the environment. Enter Delphis Eco, a Britishmade ecological cleaning range that has been developed to help stop the negative impact we have on our planet, while giving our homes an impeccable clean. ‘We’ve spent ten years delivering cleaning excellence in stately homes, esteemed hotels, palaces and restaurants,’ explains Mark Jankovich, founder and CEO of Delphis Eco. ‘This experience has allowed us to launch a home cleaning range that really works while being kinder to the user and the planet. Our hope is that we can leave the planet in better shape for our kids.’ Delphis Eco is an award-winning, environmentally friendly cleaning range made from renewable, plant-based ingredients and entirely recycled packaging. The range is formulated to be kind to our hands, homes, families, pets and oceans. Did you know that phosphates poison our rivers and oceans?
All of Delphis Eco products are free from phosphates, nasty chemicals and toxins, and care for a beautiful Britain, while cleaning effectively. They are septic tank safe, and never tested on animals. The brand also holds Royal Warrants from HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, and is a certified B Corporation – the highest global accolade for companies who put people and planet ahead of profit. When you buy a Delphis Eco cleaning product, there’s a high chance that the bottle it comes in may have visited your home in a previous life as a milk bottle. Delphis Eco is a recycling pioneer, turning milk bottles into the first-ever Britishmade 100 per cent recycled single-use plastic bottle for packaging. It’s made right here in the UK and Delphis Eco’s careful approach minimises both waste and carbon emissions. Last year, customers saved the planet 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as removing 13 million single-use plastic spray bottles from landfill and incineration. Delphis Eco is now available in over 260 Waitrose branches, at waitrose.com, ocado.com, Robert Dyas and Farmdrop. delphiseco.com; @delphisecoUK; @delphisecoccleanlikeapro; #delphisecocleanlikeapro
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FOOD&DRINK | Round Up
SPRING AWAKENING Resplendent sustainable floristry, biodynamic produce, natural wines and seasonal veg have made Skye Gyngell’s new Spring shop the flavour of the month. Pay it a visit on Ledbury Road, Notting Hill from 15 May. springrestaurant-shop.co.uk
Local-to-London coffee bean delivery, Ernie, saves over 15,000 coffee bags, 3,000 boxes and two tonnes of CO2 emissions annually – all from a 1960s milk float. ernie.london
FARE AND SQUARE Not quite ready to leave the hermitude of lockdown? Fare’s doorstep deliveries of cheese, chutneys and deli snacks supporting the British food chain and farmers are the perfect excuse to stay in. Deli Fare, £35. farefoods.co.uk
Gastro GOSSIP The 2021 green machines. By Sofia Tindall
AL FRESCO FUN
The tail end of lockdown is a perfect time to get au fait with the trend for open fire feasts and campfire cooking. Just add friends, sunshine, and Tom Kerridge’s new Outdoor Cooking (Bloomsbury, £22). tomkerridge.com
SCR AP IT Forget bottomless brunch – b_together’s zero wasteinspired AT Feast in St John’s Wood is where we’re headed. Perfect for all ages, the seasonally-changing menu combines creative recipes with produce from local suppliers and spare food scraps. Bon appétit. atfeast.com 130 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2021
Award-winning wines from Hampshire
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Be part of the cultural conversation Every week, Country & Town House’s Break Out Culture hosts Ed Vaizey and Charlotte Metcalf invite an illustrious roll call of guests to discuss their latest projects. Plus, don’t-miss recommendations on what to watch, stream, listen to and visit each week. Available on all good platforms.
Review | FOOD & DRINK
Sustainably sourced fine British food has landed in Fulham. I’m in, says Amy Wakeham
PHOTOS: © MATT AUSTIN; © HAZEL THOMPSON; © JOE WOODHOUSE; © ANTON RODRIGUEZ
h, glorious day! It was the moment I had been waiting for, all through the eternal winter of lockdown. A chance to sit across from a friend and be passed a printed menu and a glass of English sparkling; to agonise over my choice of dishes; to be poured wine from a bottle that didn’t get delivered with my Sainsbury’s shop. Expectations were high, but new opening Fenn in Fulham rose to the occasion. It’s the latest venture from the team behind Hackney’s Nest restaurant and, like its sister establishment, it has a strong focus on seasonality and sustainability, with high quality British vegetables, meat and fish at the heart of it all. The restaurant is small, with a friendly, low-key neighbourhood feel – the plant-strewn terrace has only four tables, while the inside space (opening 18 May) revolves around a long, central dining table hand-carved from ash. Its menu, created by Executive Head Chef Johnnie Crowe and Head Chef Joe Laker, formerly of Anglo, is short yet packed with delights. Unable to choose, we went for the chef’s menu, a six-course highlights reel with handpicked sustainable and low-intervention wines. We primed our appetites with juicy Fenn fried chicken and Lincolnshire Poacher cheese dumplings (right), followed by beef tartare that was sweet and tender, and infused with a moreish hit of fermented chilli. Fenn sources its meat from small scale sustainable UK farms, with this piece of beef coming from Swaledale butchers
Fabulous British produce is at the heart of Luke Wasserman, Toby Neill and Johnnie Crowe’s new venture, Fenn
in Yorkshire, specialising in native rare breeds. The accompanying wine was a rich and spicy Italian primitivo from award-winning biodynamic producer Cantina Orsogna, which harvests its grapes according to the lunar cycle. This was followed by hand-dived Scottish scallops, paired with umami-rich chicken butter and apple, and Cornish halibut and crab with samphire, sourced from Flying Fish, a sustainable and ethical Cornish supplier. To round it all off we headed back to Swaledale for its aged Yorkshire beef (above, far back) with pickled walnut. It’s this celebration of best-of-British produce, and its simple, hearty flavours that really makes Fenn stand out in the crowded London restaurant scene. There’s nothing complicated or pretentious here: just a friendly team eager to shake off the past year and get on with serving up fantastic local food. Round up your friends and book a table – you won’t regret it. Chef’s menu, £45 pp; wine pairing, £40pp. fennrestaurant.co.uk
THR EE N EW ECO-E ATS
MOTLEY, Manchester The foodie hub of new ‘green hotel’ Qbic in Manchester, Motley serves up a low-key, antipodeaninspired menu packed with local, in-season ingredients. Try the punchy sustainably sourced fish tacos. Opens 17 May. motleymanchester.co.uk
THE LOCH & THE TYNE, Windsor Adam Handling’s first project outside London, The Loch & The Tyne will be a pub that sources its ingredients from its own vegetable garden and orchard, with the kitchen powered by solar panels on site. Opens 17 May. lochandtyne.com
ROBIN WYLDE, Lyme Regis Harriet Mansell’s Robin Wylde restaurant focuses on the bountiful west country produce found on its doorstep, as well as the wild foods that grow along the coastline and hedgerows, plus local Dorset wines. Opens 19 May. robinwylde.com
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Edited by Anna Tyzack
HOUSE OF THE MONTH Green Gables Estate, Woodside, California Seven houses, 74 acres $135m In a sentence… A once-in-a-century opportunity to own one of the most beautiful estates in America, gloriously situated in one of California’s most exclusive enclaves. Who is behind the design? In 1911, Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr, a business leader of San Francisco, commissioned the renowned California Arts & Crafts architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene to design the main residence and Italianate gardens. What’s unique? Green Gables boasts many unique qualities, but perhaps foremost among them are its truly magnificent gardens and vistas, which look upon the Santa Cruz mountains. The estate totals seven homes, two private roads, splendid formal and informal gardens and abundant vegetation. Any juicy history? Many world leaders have visited Green Gables, which was chosen as the site of the United Nations’ 20th anniversary gala in 1965. Perks of the location? Green Gables is in the heart of Silicon Valley, yet remains secluded and private. It’s also just a tenminute drive from Stanford University and 45 minutes from San Francisco. +1 347 463 4592; christiesrealestate.com
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PROPERTY | Let’s Move To
MONTENEGRO O n the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, the beachfront restaurants look out over glassy aquamarine waters to a backdrop of olive groves, medieval villages and dramatic mountains. The sun shines for more than 300 days a year, the sea is warm enough for an October dip and the local Adriatic cuisine is simple with a strong Venetian influence – fish, seafood and pasta. ‘It’s like Ibiza before Ibiza became popular,’ says Michael Ward, who bought a second home on Kotor Bay nearly 20 years ago. ‘Vast swathes of the coast are still undeveloped, which means there’s so much green space and when you swim or sail you’re in pristine water.’ Unsurprisingly, this Balkan country, which is about the size of Northern Ireland, has recently been drawing a steady stream of British second-homers in search of a Mediterranean way of life, but amid unspoilt surroundings. ‘Montenegro’s slow evolution into tourism has worked in its favour,’ Michael continues. ‘The government has put in place a stringent planning regime to ensure new developments are always buffered by green zones – there is never going to be the overdevelopment found in the south of Spain.’ Sustainability is the buzzword when it comes to new-build homes and large parts of the country have been designated as national parks and nature reserves. As a result, the coastline – save some monstrosities around the town of Budva – still looks much as it did when Michael and his wife Amra began restoring their tumbledown house in the village of Prčanj. There were only two other British families on Kotor Bay at that time and English wasn’t widely spoken; but they fell so deeply in love with Montegnegro they ended up staying, setting up a property company, MoHo, and educating their children at local schools. ‘It felt undiscovered back then and in many ways it still does,’ he says.
Yet Montenegro’s wild coastline has also caught the eye of some of the world’s most luxurious resort brands including The Chedi on Luštica Bay (chedilusticabay.com), Aman on the islet of Sveti Stefan (aman.com) and One&Only (oneandonlyresorts.com) which is opening its first European resort at Portonovi this summer, an ultra-luxury 113-room retreat with private beaches and yacht moorings. Meanwhile Porto Montenegro (portomontenegro.com) a new-build marina and luxury development at Tivat, attracts global superyachts such as Black Pearl. ‘The area still has a provincial feel yet it’s also increasingly cosmopolitan,’ Michael says. ‘We have one of the largest open-air clubs on the Adriatic, which attracts the biggest-name DJs on the European club circuit and the likes of [Russian oligarch and industrialist] Oleg Deripaska are mooring here.’ The stretch of coastline from Budva to Kotor Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site and Europe’s southernmost fjord, is the most popular destination for British buyers. Here prices are still up to up to 50 per cent cheaper than in traditional Mediterranean hotspots. Four-bedroom eco-houses, surrounded by gardens with a pool and sea views, cost less than €1m near Tivat – unheard of on the Côte d’Azur (see ecosmartinvest. com). Luxury resort apartments on the coast cost from €290,000, while it’s also possible to find older, traditional properties to develop. MoHo has overseen the redevelopment of a former olive mill on the Luštica coast, and a property in a 15th-century hamlet overlooking Porto Montenegro. It’s working on a modern development of sustainable fourand five-bedroom villas in a prime spot above Kotor Bay, priced from €1.8m, and a six-bedroom villa on the Luštica Peninsula, overlooking the Adriatic. ‘The coastline is effectively one giant neighbourhood and you can go from one extreme to the other in 15 minutes – from a medieval town to a cutting-edge modern marina,’ Michael says.
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PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; OCEANCO; DARKO BULATOVIC/WIKIPEDIA
Searching for sustainable homes on the sublime Adriatic coast. By Anna Tyzack
The downside for British investors is accessibility. British Airways currently flies to Podgorica, the capital, from July to mid-September, while Easy Jet flies to Tivat on Kotor Bay from June to October. You can reach the Montenegrin coast via Belgrade in Serbia, which has flights to Tivat, or by flying to Dubrovnik in Croatia, which is just over an hour’s drive from Kotor Bay. There’s also a stunning 12-hour rail journey from Belgrade to Bar. None of these routes make it an attractive weekend option – although some would say this is a bonus. Montenegro is on track to become an EU member in the next four years and for British buyers an added incentive is the chance to obtain European citizenship for the whole family, thanks to the citizenshipvia-investment programme – but it’s only until the end of 2021. Applicants must invest a minimum of €350,000 (a property investment of €250,000 plus a donation of €100,000 to the country). As well as offering visa-free movement to Montenegro, the scheme offers entry to countries including the EU Schengen area, Russia and Turkey (for more information see henleyglobal.com). Michael expects to see prices grow over coming years as more British buyers decide to base themselves in Montenegro for part
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES; OCEANCO; DARKO BULATOVIC/WIKIPEDIA
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The town of Perast in the beautiful Bay of Kotor; the Black Pearl by Oceanco, the world’s largest sailing yacht, is often sighted at Porto Montenegro; the D-Marin Portonovi marina is home to One&Only’s first European resort
THE STARTER HOME
PORTONOVI, from €345,000 Portonovi is a tranquil village with 218 residences for sale, including contemporary apartments around a beach club, ten One&Only private homes and 50 holiday residences. The resort features restaurants, cocktail bars, private swimming pools, boutiques, art galleries and the 238-berth marina. portonovi.com
A HIKE WITH A VIEW The Mausoleum of Njegoš trail connects Kotor with the burial place of the most famous Montenegrin king, Njegoš.
of the year. The country enjoys affordable living costs, one of the lowest corporate and dividend tax rates in Europe (nine per cent), and also offers excellent healthcare and international schooling. At weekends Michael drives half an hour into the mountains for lunch at a traditional family restaurant, and his children, who are now teenagers, enjoy the nightlife on the coast. But mostly it’s the low stress, outdoorsy way of life that keeps the family staying on, along with the stunning scenery and Mediterranean climate. ‘Montenegro offers a really healthy, balanced lifestyle,’ he confirms. ‘And it’s extremely friendly and welcoming – around 50 per cent of locals now speak English.’ Lord Byron described Kotor Bay as ‘the most beautiful encounter between land and sea’, and while Michael still returns to Britain for holidays, he doesn’t like to leave for too long. ‘I miss the drama and beauty of the place,’ he says. ‘That’s what hits us every time we step off the plane. We just take a big breath in.’
A SUNDOWNER Head to Budva’s boutique hotel Astoria Kotor for its decadent cocktail list. astoriamontenegro.com
A LAZY LUNCH Arva in historic, storied Villa Miločer has a serene loggia looking out over Sveti Stefan island. aman.com A ROMANTIC DINNER The terrace restaurant at Hotel Vardar is one of the most romantic restaurants in Montenegro. hotelvardar.com AN EVENING STROLL Wear your comfortable shoes and wander the streets of Kotor, visiting the cathedral and climbing the city walls.
A SPA DAY Check in to the new Chenot Espace spa at the One&Only for its detoxifying treatments. oneandonlyresorts.com
THE DREAM HOME
TIVAT, €1.25m A contemporary four-bedroom villa with a pool and sea and mountain views, a ten-minute walk from Porto Montenegro. The property is built with sustainability in mind, with underfloor heating, aluminum window frames and triple glazing, and is surrounded by nature. dreammontenegro.com
PRCANJ MARINA, from €1.8m This new development offers three sustainably-built four- and five-bedroom villas in a prime position in the Bay of Kotor, with large swimming pools and landscaped gardens. The villas are traditional and intimate in feel, with private courtyards, terraces and sloping terracotta roofs. moho.co.me
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PROPERTY | Five of the Best
KITCHEN GARDENS Grow-your-own just got a lot easier. By Amy Wakeham
Dairy House is a delightful Grade II-listed Queen Anne home on the leafy Hampshire-Berkshire border. Inside it boasts six bedrooms and five reception rooms, while outside there’s over six acres of land. As well as landscaped lawns, there’s a productive kitchen garden with a glasshouse, where green-fingered owners could really get stuck in. struttandparker.com
There’s plenty of space in this 17th-century former farmhouse tucked away in the Scottish Borders, with nine bedrooms, plus original fireplaces and an elegant staircase. There are also over 14 acres that sweep down to the banks of the River Tweed, plus a walled vegetable garden for stocking your kitchen larder. knightfrank.co.uk
Located less than 20 minutes from the centre of Ipswich, but still in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, Goldsmiths Barn is a stunning family home. It’s constructed from a timber frame, resulting in characterful exposed beams throughout, plus beautiful high ceilings. The mature lawn has two ponds, plus a kitchen garden within easy reach of the house. savills.com
The Devon farmstead of Leigh Barton dates back to 1120. It’s thought to have been part of the nearby Buckfast Abbey estate before the Dissolution, and it now has 11 acres of gardens designed following monastic principles, along with plant species from the medieval period. marchandpetit.co.uk
This spacious eight-bedroom house will make a beautiful home. It’s set among impressive landscaped gardens, which are designed to be as low maintenance as possible. There’s a sunny walled kitchen garden perfect for growing your own fruit and veg, plus swathes of lawn and a pond. Plus, there’s a separate two-bedroom cottage annexe. hamptons.co.uk
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A well-presented three-bedroom apartment Beautifully refurbished in exclusive Knightsbridge block A this well-presented three-bedroom apartment three bedroom Chelsea townhouse Trevor Square, Knightsbrigdge SW7 in this exclusive Knightsbridge block Hasker Street, Chelsea, SW3 •Trevor Spacious reception room Square, Knightsbrigdge SW7
• Car parking space • Three bedrooms • 24-hour concierge and security This charming, three double bedroom Chelsea townhouse (1577 sq ft / 146.5 sq m) has been the •Two Spacious reception room Car parking space • en-suite bathrooms ••Approx. 1,575sq ft / 146sq m period subject of an extensive refurbishment programme resulting in a beautiful, tastefully designed, • Three bedrooms • 24-hour concierge and security family home which benefits from the highest specifications and finishes. A large double reception room • Two bathrooms • Approx. ft / 146sq opening ontoen-suite a lovely terrace, occupies the raised ground floor whilst 1,575sq on the lower groundmfloor, there are three distinct areas comprising a large kitchen / breakfast room, dining room and family room leading onto a pretty patio garden.
GUIDE PRICE £5,950,000
LEASEHOLD GUIDE PRICE APPROXIMATELY 984 YEARS £5,950,000
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A well-presented three-bedroom apartment Impressive five storey Belgravia townhouse in exclusive Knightsbridge block A this well-presented three-bedroom apartment Eaton Belgravia, SW7 SW1 Trevor Square,exclusive Knightsbrigdge in Terrace, this Knightsbridge block This impressive eight bedroom townhouse ( 4,467 sq ft / 415 sq m ) occupies a prominent location at this •Trevor Spacious reception room • Car parking space Square, Knightsbrigdge SW7 premier Belgravia address and benefits from an abundance of period details. The reception, dining and • Three bedrooms • 24-hour concierge and security entertaining areas are arranged over the ground and first floors with the bedrooms arranged over the •Two Spacious reception room Car parking space • en-suite bathrooms ••Approx. 1,575sq ft /A146sq m staff room, three upper floors with the principal bedroom suite occupying the second floor. large office, • Three bedrooms • 24-hour concierge and security guest bedroom and vaults are located on the lower ground floor. A 30ft long garden provides an excellent • Two en-suite area bathrooms • Approx. 1,575sq ft / 146sq m outdoor entertaining and can also be accessed from the ground floor.
GUIDE PRICE £5,950,000
LEASEHOLD GUIDE PRICE APPROXIMATELY 984 YEARS £5,950,000
EPC RATING LEASEHOLD EAPPROXIMATELY 984 YEARS
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Award-winning Waterside Home St Mawes, Cornwall Truro: 19.2 miles, Newquay Airport: 27 miles Immaculate home with panoramic views and direct water access to the Percuil River. 3 reception rooms, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, home office, wine store, internal lift, balcony and hot tub terrace, integral boat store/workshop, garaging and hardstanding for boat storage/trailers/vehicles. EPC = C Offers over £3.25 million George Nares Savills London Country Department 020 3918 7392 george.nares @savills.com
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TAKING THE PAIN OUT OF MOVING... Central and South-West London’s specialist estate agency. Please contact us on 020 3876 0280 to discuss selling or letting your home. When we started Radstock Property on the 1st July 2020, there were some raised eyebrows. Yet another estate agency in the middle of a pandemic…seriously? Having sold £45,000,000 worth of residential property, our belief that London agency needs to return to longstanding professionalism, backed by cutting edge technology, has been endorsed by many clients over the last 9 months. We are very grateful for their support.
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Contact us on 020 3876 0280 to discuss selling or letting your home. facebook /radstockproperty
EXPERIENCE MATTERS, DETERMINATION DELIVERS & SERVICE COUNTS Callcott Street, W8
Talbot Road, W2
SOLD - GUIDE £2,595,000
SOLD - GUIDE £2,400,000
Campden Hill Square, W8
Lansdowne Crescent, W11
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ACQUIRED - OFF MARKET
Winchendon Road, SW6
Lamont Road, SW10
ACQUIRED - GUIDE £2,350,000
ACQUIRED - OFF MARKET
Sarah has worked in the Prime Central London property market for 20 years, with particular expertise in Kensington & Chelsea, Notting Hill, Holland Park & Fulham. Hailing from an established family firm of building contractors – she practically grew up on building sites – you might even say the property business is in her genes. Whether for home, investment, or development, private clients benefit from Sarah’s vast experience in both selling and acquiring residential property. Deeply trusted within her profession, among both clients and peers, her business is founded on empathy and forging relationships, rather than high volume transactions. Buying or selling your home is very personal, and she likes to keep it that way, always mindful of the emotional, as well as financial investment required. Her extensive network and energetic style, combined with a forensic and diligent approach, ensure clients receive the highest quality market intelligence, access to off-market properties and, above all, honest and straightforward advice based on individual needs. If that sounds like a refreshing approach and you’re in need of the best property expertise, she’d love to talk to you, so you can judge for yourself...
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S U R R E Y’S E XC LUSI V E C O U N T RY E S TAT E Set within 25 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, Broadoaks Park offers brand new and beautifully restored homes, from two bedroom apartments to six bedroom houses. Homes in phase three are due to launch this month, which feature four bedroom detached family homes, all finished to Octagon’s renowned high level of specification and designed to enhance the private parkland setting. West Byfleet village and train station are less than one mile away, with regular train services to London Waterloo taking from 30 minutes. SALES SUITE OPEN – VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Guide Prices from £625,000 for two bedroom apartments and £1,050,000 for four bedroom detached houses.
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B R O A D O A K S PA R K . C O . U K
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S H O W H O M E N O W L A U N C H E D A G AT E D C O L L E C T I O N O F 1 , 2 & 3 B E D R O O M A PA R T M E N T S A N D P E N T H O U S E S S I T U AT E D I N T H E P I C T U R E S Q U E T O W N O F O X T E D .
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Nr Bakewell, Derbyshire A fine Grade II listed Tudor style Hall set in approx. 15.56 acres of park and woodland with wonderful views over the waters of Water-cum-Jolly and the dale beyond. Entrance hall, inner staircase hall, drawing room, sitting room, dining room, orangery, further sitting room/garden room, conservatory, kitchen and breakfast room, commercial kitchen, office, cloakroom, function room, five bedroom suites, family suite with two bedrooms and bathroom, bedroom eight, two WC’s, extensive cellar rooms, two self-contained cottages. Guide price £2,750,000 subject to contract. Viewing: by appointment email@example.com or 07766565893
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Glisson Road, Cambridge – 1 mile from Cambridge station £1,300,000 A unique and very special opportunity to acquire a most impressive and substantial late Victorian bay fronted town house, providing exceptionally versatile living accommodation set over five storeys and including a potential self contained lower ground floor apartment in a sought after central location close to the station. The property has its own unique ambience and wealth of character features together with high ceilings. Outside: Two small inner courtyards and top floor roof terrace enjoying spectacular views. EER: D Contact: Martin Walshe | Cambridge Office: 01223 214214 | email@example.com
Great Shelford – 1 mile from Shelford station £985,000 A most impressive and beautifully presented detached residence of charm and character forming part of a select scheme so conveniently placed for access to the centre of this thriving village with its own station and just a few miles south of the city. Hallway, cloakroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, utility, family room, 4 bedrooms (1 ensuite), bathroom. Outside: Delightful landscaped gardens and courtyard style parking. EER: C
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cheffins.co.uk 01223 214214
Cambridge | Saffron Walden | Newmarket | Ely | Haverhill | London
Burwell – 12 miles from Cambridge North Station Prices from £850,000 Mandeville Farm is a small and exclusive collection of just five traditional farmhouse and barn-style homes set against a delightful backdrop of rolling countryside. Each home has been thoughtfully designed and provides generous and flexible accommodation arranged over 2 floors. The properties benefit from a high specification throughout including fully fitted kitchens with integrated appliances and contemporary style luxury bathrooms and en-suites. The properties all benefit from garaging and enclosed rear gardens. All in the thriving Cambridgeshire village of Burwell, just 12 miles from Cambridge. Contact: Christina Ballands | Cambridge Office: 01223 214214 | email@example.com
Comberton – 8 miles from Cambridge station £1,250,000 A substantial detached residence with accommodation of about 3050 sq ft with grounds in all extending to about 3 acres in this rather special semi rural location towards the outskirts of this highly sought after village 6 miles west of Cambridge. The property also has a useful range of outbuildings including stables, stores, and an office/ studio. Attractive gardens and adjoining paddocks. EER: D
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Cambridge | Saffron Walden | Newmarket | Ely | Haverhill | London
01223 214214 cheffins.co.uk
LAST WORD A new scent for success: are we entering an era of kinder, planet-focussed business?
Tales of our Time
Michael Hayman considers the old names appearing under new, kinder guises
eing a chip off the old block is often a compliment but sometimes a curse for new generations of famous families making their way in the world. What might be different today, though, is how many examples there are of heirs using their privilege and potential as a force for good. Founded in 1828 by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, the Parisian master perfumer would in time see his business count Napoléon III and Queen Victoria among his long list of celebrated clients. The rest, as they say, is history, and today it is one of the leading luxury fragrance brands in the world. Marie Guerlain emerges as the newest name in the family dynasty to make her
mark. But this time it’s the planet, not perfume, that’s on her mind. Ondine is both Marie’s middle name and that of her business brand, which produces non-toxic, sustainable, titanium cookware. It’s part of her wider mission for promoting wellness and non-toxic living. Marie considered her entrepreneurial heritage during an episode of the Great British Brands x Changemakers podcast (available to download now), sharing that she believed her great-great-grandfather would have advised her to follow her passion and her creative flair. ‘He would have supported me,’ she said. Take Irene Forte, who began her career as part of the family firm, Rocco Forte Hotels, and has gone on to create her own eponymous vegan skincare brand, rooted in the ideals of people, community and planet.
Or Richard Walker, the latest leader in the family to take the helm at Iceland. He’s taken the family motto of ‘doing it right’ to create an exciting vision for the high street based on environmental action and a green recovery. This is commercial activism: it’s about products, purpose and the proceeds of profits. And of course it’s a much wider movement than family firms and their offspring. It’s a spirit that is capturing the imagination through initiatives like B Corps, a trust mark for kindness in business. Guerlain was founded less than a generation after the storming of the Bastille and the subsequent French Revolution. Today there is a new revolution afoot. Not about guillotines but about kindness and how it endures. With it comes a new scent for success and one that must stand the test of time.
READ The Green Grocer: One Man’s Manifesto for Corporate Activism by Richard Walker (DK, £12.99). THINK B Corps – businesses balancing purpose with profit (bcorporation.uk). LISTEN Marie Guerlain on non-toxic cooking in Great British Brands (audioboom.com). WATCH Seaspiracy – the harm humans are doing to the sea and the planet (Netflix).
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