Country & Town House - May/June 2020

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MAY/JUNE 2020 £3.90


Why we need to hug a tree PL ANET ORGANIC

STELLAR SPAS Book now for later: we’ll all be needing a reboot

Carole Bamford is the queen of green


Meet the women helping to save our soil

A MODEL MANIFESTO Arizona Muse on how to live a better life

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THE GOOD LIFE Alice B-B on finding herself again where she least expected to THE RURBANIST Carole Bamford has driven the eco-agenda for decades

UPFRONT 21 22 24 25 26 28 29 30

STYLE COUNTS Matches Fashion’s new sustainable style hub THE EDIT Look good, feel good. Mariella Tandy picks products responsibly STYLE REVOLUTION Brands making a difference MY STYLE Anna Mason on rainbow hues and power dressing BODY LANGUAGE Artificial intelligence and your beauty regime BRIGHT YOUNG THING Country star Twinnie is a natural beauty BODY & SOUL Slip into silent slumber WELL GROOMED Men’s style news


CULTURE FIX Upgrade your entertainment this spring 34 EVENTS Culture in quarantine 35 THE EXHIBITIONIST Ed Vaizey has time to get tantric 36 GOOD READS Getting back to nature 37 THE OLYMPIAN Sebastian Coe reminisces on the importance of maps 38 SEEDER’S DIGEST Fill your pots with colour and life 40 ROAD TEST How the Land Rover Defender got a bold new look 42 CONVERSATIONS AT SCARFES BAR Matthew Bell meets Helen Browning, the woman charged with saving our soil

FEATURES 44 52 54


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A WHOLE NEW WORLD Arizona Muse is a model on a mission, says Lucy Cleland ON LOCATION Behind the scenes of our cover shoot at Chewton Glen IN PRAISE OF TREES Amy Wakeham on the healing power of the forest FROM THE GROUND UP Charlotte Metcalf meets the Land Gardeners HEALTH HEROES Eight names to have on your speed dial or Zoom


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Supporting our Community

18ct Gold Diamond Choker Necklace

As a thank you to the incredible people working for our collective health and future, we pledge to donate 10% of all web sales to The St George’s Coronavirus Appeal— our local London Hospital.

@annoushkajewellery +44 7748 788641

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EDITOR’S LETTER Daisy Finer introduces the only guide you need right now to plan for later MAKING WELLNESS WAVES The latest spa trends TOTAL TRANSFORMERS Spas that revitalise you from top to toe HARD AND FAST Time to lighten up? KARMA CARE Eastern expertise HEAD SPACE Take a moment to prioritise what’s up top SWEAT IT OUT Get your pulse racing EASY DOES IT Excellence within reach HOME-GROWN HEALTH The UK spa scene has really upped its game


AVIAN ART A print that soars DESIGN NOTES Breathe new life into your home this spring 98 THE HEAT IS ON Stylish suntraps 99 ACT NATURAL Bring the outdoors in 100 DARLING BUDS OF MAY At home with Ensemblier’s Tara Craig


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explores a new conservation project in the Carpathian Mountains GASTRO GOSSIP It’s all in the delivery WASTE NOT, WANT NOT Fighting food waste with Melissa Hemsley RESTAURANT REVIEW Anastasia Bernhardt visits L’Enclume HAPPY HOUR You don’t need to wait till summer to crack open the rosé, says Alice Lascelles



ON THE COVER Arizona Muse wears an archive dress and boots by Dior, rings by Fabergé. Photography by Carla Guler. Fashion direction by Nicole Smallwood. Make-up by Nathalie Eleni using Orveda and llia Beauty. Hair by Brady Lea at Premier Hair and Make-up using Hair by Sam McKnight

PROPERTY OF THE MONTH An eco-home in the depths of Devon 112 LET’S MOVE TO AXMINSTER Coast, countryside and a foodie community

REGULARS 8 10 110 128



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WEAR A Sabina Savage cashmere scarf adds instant glamour for Zoom meetings




s I write this, my father-in-law, a retired Classics master, has just finished my nine-year-old daughter’s Latin lesson by Zoom (she started learning three weeks ago, Latin not being on her current curriculum); my mother has Whatsapp’d to say her 30-years-plus of living alone in London has made her supremely resilient to social isolation and is coping brilliantly, busier than ever with the constant communications; and my father has called to say he doesn’t have any friends anyway, so life in Somerset with a lovely garden to tend to hasn’t changed that much. Extraordinary times, extraordinary people. Here is not the right space to ponder the ramifications – economic, social, mental or otherwise – of Covid-19 or to philosophise on the morality of its spread, but to bring you, as ever, an edit of good ideas, brilliant writing and wonderful products, all sensible for – and sensitive to – our world as it currently stands. Luckily, we were bang on with this month’s theme, touching as it does on the wonder of



nature, living sustainably and buying responsibly – things that are good for mind, body, soul and the planet. And LIGHT to finish things off, you can dive into the delicious pages Rachel Vosper’s of our annual spa guide, edited by Daisy Finer, to get you divine-smelling, thinking about and savouring the places you can visit huge five-wick candle for cosy to heal after this period of unprecedented anxiety is evenings in over (from p67). I did, though, pose the question of what Arizona Muse, the model turned sustainability campaigner, would propose were she to pen her own modern manifesto for a better way of living. Her ideas on everything from farming and food to fashion and family make utter sense for anyone trying to understand a world hurtling towards an uncertain future thanks to our obsession with over-productivity, a depletion of resources, climate change LISTEN and social breakdown. Politicians, take Just listen... birdsong note. I’d vote for Ms Muse (p44). is all around and it’s Who’d have thought that taking a walk wonderfully uplifting would be so loaded? While we can’t currently urge you all head to your nearest forest unless it happens to be on your doorstep, we do know that it would be very, very good for you. It’s been proved that trees – just think of all those Japanese forest bathers – are not only beneficial WATCH to nature, as hosts of entire ecosystems, Fans of Sally of carbon captors and protectors of wildlife, but are Rooney’s Normal wonderful for us too, helping to calm our over-stimulated People can tune in to the TV adaptation nervous systems, giving us mental clarity and letting us on BBC3 on 26 April feel close to nature. Amy Wakeham argues that we should not be shy of hugging trees – indeed, they might just be @countryandtown the only thing you can hug /countryandtownhousemagazine /countryandtownhouse right now (p54).


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A p o llo C o lle c tio n F ire O p a l a n d D ia m o n d P e n d a n t

WWW.KIKI.CO.UK - +44 (0) 20 7730 3323

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What are you doing for your mind, body and soul? Breathing, calling friends, lighting candles, gathering goodness. Where do you go to escape the rat race? I live in the countryside and am freelance, so I’m not really in the rat race. I opted out Daisy compiles our definitive spa guide on page 67 a while back. What nature spot do you always return to? I walk every day in the comfort of nature. It’s always there for us, and I am lucky – I have amazing walks from my doorstep. What can we all do to help save the planet? An important thing we can all do is eat less meat.


What are you doing for your mind, body and soul? I’ll be keeping myself and my son healthy with good food, lots of yoga and play, and finding the positives in slow living. Where do you go to escape the rat race? The beach is my happy place. My favourite would be a quiet Cornish cove Wellness trends to savour from Rebecca on page 69 with a pasty. What nature spot do you always return to? There’s a spot where I stop to stretch on my 5km run along the Thames Path. It’s so peaceful at twilight. What can we all do to help save the planet? Shop local, buy less, buy better and stop throwing so much away.


What are you doing for your mind, body and soul? I’m trying to stay calm and positive by practising yoga, meditation and breathwork – there are brilliant online classes out there. Where do you go to escape the rat race? Anywhere that offers sea, mountains or plenty of trees. I love the simplicity Jane discovers the Romanian wilderness on page 103 of a cabin in the woods. What nature spot do you always return to? I always walk along the White Cliffs of Dover, near St Margaret’s Bay, where my grandparents had a farm. What can we all do to help save the planet? Planting trees is important, but we must all be more aware of the impact our lifestyles have on the earth and work to reduce our individual footprints.


What are you doing for your mind, body and soul? I’m spending as much time outside as possible, with a long run, walk or bike ride each day. Where do you go to escape the rat race? I head to my family’s farm on the wild north coast of Cornwall, to feel wind on my face and sand in my toes. What nature spot do you always Hug a tree, says Amy on page 54 return to? In London, I take advantage of our many parks and green spaces. In Cornwall, I have the best beaches in the country on my doorstep. What can we all do to help save the planet? Support British farmers. Buy local, seasonal meat, fruit and veg. Ditch the plastic.


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55 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX

24 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 8TX

24 Brook Street, London, W1K 5DG

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EDITOR-AT-LARGE ALICE B-B ASSOCIATE EDITOR CHARLOTTE METCALF MANAGING EDITOR AMY WAKEHAM SUB EDITOR BELINDA BAMBER FEATURES ASSISTANT & SUB EDITOR SOFIA TINDALL FASHION DIRECTOR NICOLE SMALLWOOD BEAUTY DIRECTOR NATHALIE ELENI FASHION EDITOR LUCY BOND LUXURY EDITOR LUCIA VAN DER POST INTERIORS EDITOR CAROLE ANNETT EXECUTIVE RETAIL EDITOR MARIELLA TANDY PROPERTY EDITOR ANNA TYZACK MOTORING EDITOR JEREMY TAYLOR ONLINE EDITOR REBECCA COX ONLINE WRITER ELLIE SMITH ONLINE ASSISTANT DANIELLA SAUNDERS ONLINE INTERN DINA NAGAPETYANTS CREATIVE & PRODUCTION DIRECTOR PARM BHAMRA PRODUCTION DESIGNER SAMUEL THOMAS ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR ELLIE RIX ACCOUNT MANAGER SHANNA WHALEY SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER PANDORA LEWIS DIGITAL MANAGER ADAM DEAN TECHNICAL MANAGER HANNAH JOHNSON TECHNICAL DIRECTOR MARK PEARSON DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY WIL HARRIS FINANCE CONTROLLER LAUREN HARTLEY SALES & OFFICE MANAGER DAISY ORR-EWING FINANCE DIRECTOR JILL NEWEY PROPERTY & MARKETING ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR GEMMA COWLEY GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR TIA GRAHAM MANAGING DIRECTOR JEREMY ISAAC CONTRIBUTING EDITORS STEPHEN BAYLEY, SIMON DE BURTON, FIONA DUNCAN, OLIVIA FALCON, DAISY FINER, LYDIA GARD, AVRIL GROOM, RICHARD HOPTON, EMMA LOVE, MARY LUSSIANA, ANNA PASTERNAK, CAROLINE PHILLIPS, HOLLY RUBENSTEIN, MARCUS SCRIVEN THE EDITOR EDITORIAL@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK FASHION FASHION@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK ADVERTISING ADVERTISING@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK PROPERTY ADVERTISING PROPERTY@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK ACCOUNTS ACCOUNTS@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK SUBSCRIPTIONS SUBSCRIBE@COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK COUNTRY & TOWN HOUSE is a monthly magazine distributed to AB homes in Barnes, Battersea, Bayswater, Belgravia, Brook Green, Chelsea, Chiswick, Clapham, Coombe, Fulham, Holland Park, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Pimlico, South Kensington, Wandsworth and Wimbledon, as well as being available from leading country and London estate agents. It is also on sale at selected WHSmith, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s stores and independent newsagents nationwide. It has an estimated readership of 150,000. It is available on subscription in the UK for £29.99 per annum. To subscribe online, iPad, iPhone and android all for only £24.99 visit: countrytownhouse. For subscription enquiries, please call 020 7384 9011 or email It is published by Country & Town House Ltd, Studio 2, Chelsea Gate Studios, 115 Harwood Road, London SW6 4QL (tel: 020 7384 9011). Registered number 576850 England and Wales. Printed in the UK by William Gibbons and Sons Ltd, West Midlands. Paper supplied by Gerald Judd. Distribution by Letterbox. Copyright © 2020 Country & Town House Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Materials are accepted on the understanding that no liability is incurred for safe custody. The publisher cannot be responsible for unsolicited material. All prices are correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change. Whilst every care is taken to ensure information is correct at time of going to press, it is subject to change, and C&TH Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors.

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Please recycle


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Giving myself a facial using Sarah Chapman’s The Facialift sculpting facial massager. sarahchapman. com


Growing lettuce and vegetables for a little selfsufficiency.


Continuing my obsession with Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma day serum for glowy skin. drunkelephant. com 3

isolation, I was aching for human connection. The School of Life works. Because in that moment, I knew myself a little better. I’M HALF WAY through Gavanndra Hodge’s extraordinary memoir The Consequences of Love. It’s her story of growing up in 1980s Chelsea, with a drug-dealing father, alcoholic model mother and Candy, her little sister, who died aged nine of a mysterious airborne virus, and of whom she has no memory. It’s an amazing book – heartbreaking, heartwarming and seems to be effortlessly written. I’m trying to savour it. I keep sneaking off to my bedroom to wolf another chapter. So, despite only being at the midpoint, I’m recommending Alice B-B finds herself in it anyway. The only an unexpected place disappointment will be to finish Hodge’s compelling tale and NOW YOURSELF IN A delicious words. DAY… was the premise of a THINGS I’M IN TO... 1 I’m one-day festival by the School of Life, the global organisation created making cosy isolation suppers by philosopher Alain de Botton that for Mr Love and me, inspired aims to help people live more fulfilled by Summerill & Bishop’s pretty lives. I showed up alone, awkward, arms tableware and tablecloths. 2 Most crossed, observing the gangs who’d swimwear brands offer an unhelpful come together; chattering, getting range of small, medium and large coffees, buying merch. ‘I’m fine on sizes, when bums and bosoms come my own,’ I kept repeating to myself. in more shapes and sizes than a ‘I’m here for work, I don’t need to fruit market. So top marks for new talk to anyone or make new friends.’ label Holiday Romance, both for The day unfurled: thought-provoking its eco-credentials and for tailoring and interactive talks by de Botton and swimwear in line with your bra size. 3 Every morning I wake from a his colleague Raul Aparici on how childhood is the single greatest cause of great night’s kip full of love for the how we function emotionally as adults; pal who recommended Silk Sleep’s how poor sleep could be because we’re breathable, hypoallergenic silknot spending enough time processing filled duvets. Down is great if you’re the day; how extraordinarily similar a duck in a freezing cold pond, our deepest fears are. But, for me, the not so much if you overheat in the best bit of the festival was when all 400 scratcher (one of the top reasons for of us were asked to hug a stranger broken sleep). Plus, who really wants for a WHOLE minute (this was to wrap themselves in dust- and mitepre-corona). It was a blissful hug. After gathering feathers yanked from birds. a day of cerebral study and pigheaded Swap for silk. You’ll thank me... n



LU XU RY & N ECESSIT Y DIVE IN Fit and eco. holiday romance

BACK TO SCHOOL Know yourself with

DRESS UP New frock for the table. summerilland


GREAT READ The Consequences of Love by Gavanndra Hodge (Michael Joseph, £14.99).


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What is the last book you read?

Becoming Bodhisattvas by Pema Chödrön. I’ve loved all her books – everything she writes is intelligent and so thought-provoking, but this book felt particularly important and timely. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received? ‘Have a passion

Carole Bamford on finding joy in nature and fighting food waste

and do something you really, really believe in.’ When I started farming organically it was at a time when lots of people were doing the opposite – switching to industrialised, mechanised agriculture. It was a friend who gave me that piece of advice and they were so right. What was the last song you listened to that made you dance? My wedding song, Let’s Stay Together, by

Al Green. My husband and I danced to it again on our wedding anniversary last year. Those words and their sentiment feel particularly relevant and important right now. What’s your favourite game to play and why? At the moment, it’s jigsaws. They’re a lovely way to sit and chat while doing something relaxing, and I find them extremely calming. What would really improve the world? Wasted food is one of the largest contributors to climate change and yet it’s completely unnecessary. We can all be mindful with our food purchasing and consumption, as well as those who need to address it on a larger scale, such as supermarkets. What’s your signature dish? A simple dish that in my family is just referred to as ‘eggs and onions’. It’s gently fried onions and hard-boiled eggs baked in a cheesy béchamel sauce – pure comfort food. I’d cook it for my husband. Where was the last place you ‘discovered’? The Galápagos Islands. There aren’t really words to describe the experience of visiting the archipelago – it is truly lifechanging. I’m conscious that we have an enormous responsibility in travelling there and supporting the conservation work that is done is vital. n

Where’s home for you? The Cotswolds.

I love the countryside – the sounds of nature, the greenery and the chance to walk my dogs. Where do you go to lose yourself? The beach. Scouring the shoreline for shells is a form of meditation for me. Favourite secret place in London? It has to be Brompton Oratory early in the morning; it is profoundly peaceful. My grandchildren – family is extremely important to me and they are a never-ending source of joy. Favourite eco-friendly clothes? I wear vintage; designer clothes that I’ve had since the Seventies and are now coming back into fashion, or items from the very first Bamford collections we produced over 15 years ago.

FROM ABOVE: Bamford’s B Vibrant shower cream, £24; breathtaking Bartolomé Island in the Galápagos Islands; Pema Chödrön’s Becoming Bodhisattvas; B Silent Nighttime bath concentrate, £70; Bamford’s Sailing dress, £425


What never fails to bring a smile to your face?


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Our unlined Oxford style made in England using the finest calf suede & featuring a chunky, lightweight rubber sole Women’s Collection


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Matches Fashion has just launched the Responsible Edit, an online hub for customers to access and discover brands that are forging ahead with their commitment to sustainability. To qualify, they must identify with at least one or more of the four areas of manufacturing responsibility: artisans, people, charity and materials.

Earrings, Alighieri. Vest, Another Tomorrow. Trousers, Stella McCartney. Shoes, Le Monde Beryl. Hat, Eliurpi All at Matches Fashion


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EDIT Do good, look good, feel good. Here’s how. By Mariella Tandy STYLE SWAPS

These gold-plated earrings feature red vegetable resin shells, a more sustainable option than plastic or synthetic resin, with lower ecotoxicity, a smaller CO2 footprint and inbuilt biodegradability. From £179.




Beulah’s effortlessly feminine pieces are made in collaboration with NGO partners around the world who help women lead safe and fulfilling working lives and achieve economic independence. It’s known for its natural fabrics with intricate embroidered details. Clover Zinnia blouse, £210; skirt, £240.



Since its inception ten years ago, Love Brand & Co has committed one per cent of revenue from every sale to saving elephants and other endangered species. What’s more, its trunks are made from recycled plastic bottles. Adult trunks, £120; child’s trunks, £60.



Founded in 1784 by John Smedley and Peter Nightingale, Florence Nightingale’s great great-uncle, the knitwear brand is celebrating the nurse’s 200th birthday with its new Nightingale collection. Twenty per cent of proceeds go to the Nightingale Fellowship charity. Cardigan, £200.

STAY AT HOME Ditch the airmiles and upgrade your staycation with Stay One Degree. The first ‘trusted members’ club for luxury travel’, its properties include castles, chalets and even award-winning eco-friendly beach houses like this pad in Devon. From £495 per night. 22 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2020

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BATCH 001 This Salt & Oil bath soak combines therapeutic Dead Sea and Himalayan sea salts with luxurious essential oils to cleanse, soften and detoxify. Great for those suffering with dry skin. £20.


Amlul is influencer Gala González’s new brand, intended as an antidote to fast fashion. Each piece is designed to be worn yearround, creating the ultimate capsule wardrobe. Gwyneth top, £120; Paltrow skirt, £100.




With a focus on transparency, fair trade and social and environmental responsibility, Veja works closely with its factory to ensure the best practices. It also sources natural rubber directly from seringueiro communities in the Amazon. £105.



ELEQURA With ingredients said to have zero aquatic and environmental impact, the Radiance Accelerator serum is a waterbased gel serum containing retinol and vitamin C. £98. johnbellcroyden.


Pink Shirtmaker has launched a capsule collection of patchwork shirts that use fabric scraps from its core collection. The relaxedfit shirt is available in three individual designs. £185.


Strathberry leather bags are handmade in Spain, and designed to last a lifetime. This season the brand has teamed up with Londonbased designer Xu Zhi to create this stylish ruffle bag in a choice of hues. £375.



As part of Miller Harris’ dedication to the environment, it has reworked, repackaged and reformulated its entire collection. All of the new formulations have been made with responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly ingredients. From £18.

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Having shinier hair could be as simple as switching your brush. This Christophe Robin one is made from 100 per cent natural boar bristles that invigorate the scalp. £91. christopherobin.



Jewellery designer Annoushka Ducas’s Sussex home was the inspiration behind Annoushka’s new Garden Party collection. A standout feature of the garden is its maze, which in this collection is re-imagined as a cocktail ring featuring a labyrinth framed by diamonds, plus a free-running bead to weave between the gaps. Other pieces include dazzling drop earrings and bracelets. Eighteen carat gold, white quartz and diamond Maze ring, £10,500.


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GIGI BURRIS Straw hat, £340

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

BAUM UND PFERDGARTEN Calina turtleneck, £99

STINE GOYA Lindy dress, £1,650

PIPPA HOLT Embroidered kaftan, £460

MARA HOFFMAN Freda dress, £360

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

VOTARY Eye oil, £115

STELLA MCCARTNEY Ruffled blouse, £395

SEED TO SKIN The Dew Mist, £66

CARAVANA Leather belt, £158

NANNACAY Astrid macramé tote, £130

GABRIELA HEARST Hades Agate sandals, £675

BITE STUDIOS Ombré dress, £550

MOTHER OF PEARL Iona trousers, £350

STORY MFG Tie-dyed skirt, £345


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Q & A


Power dressing never gets old, says designer Anna Mason What’s making you feel your best self at the moment? Fantasising about what I’ll

wear when we get back to normality! I’m looking forward to wearing the Kasia blouse and Tati midi skirt from my own collection. What is your daily uniform at home?

My gym kit is taking quite a beating – and not necessarily from at-home workouts. Wardrobe failsafes? I love dresses and jumpsuits – one piece and you’re away. What are you wearing for video meetings?

I’ve been trying to keep the face of the brand up by putting on a cheerful Anna Mason top. Whose style do you really admire? Where to start? There are so many: Giovanna Battaglia, Lauren Santo Domingo, Charlotte Groeneveld, Olivia Palermo, Leandra M. Cohen, Laura Bailey, Pernille Teisbaek. Power dressing? Lead into the room with your shoulders – that’s still power dressing. It’s so Eighties, isn’t it? Ultimately, it’s all about the silhouette for me and the silhouette starts with the shoulders. Power dressing is also about confidence.

Lounge lizard? On Sunday mornings I’m either in my pyjamas (I like Desmond & Dempsey’s cotton ones), or my gym kit. What have you rediscovered? A lot of stuff I want to get rid of. I’ve been sorting and organising, and now I have a couple of big bags for the charity shop. Finishing touches? I’m in love with the Saint Laurent Carre bag – it really is a new classic. On holiday, I like finding baskets and totes in markets. I also love Malone Souliers shoes, they are so comfortable and beautiful. For jewels I love big earrings by Vicki Sarge. I love scent – I’m always trying to sniff out a signature one for me, but I like so many it’s difficult. My favourites are Carnal Flower and Lys Méditerranée by Frédéric Malle, and Chanel No 19. Style cheats? Wear big earrings for instant glamour and a bit more make-up than usual. What will you wear when we’re allowed outside again? The Anna Mason Bardot

rainbow maxi dress in taffeta. It just couldn’t be more appropriate and joyful! n

1 Alighieri Pearl drop earrings, £250 2 Anna Mason Harper blouse, £475 3 Anna Mason Bardot dress, £1,990 4 Anna Mason Eva skirt, £495 5 Malone Souliers Dale mules, £475 6 Desmond & Dempsey Medina stripe cami, £50; trousers £95 7 Saint Laurent Carre leather and canvas bag, £1,365 8 Vicki Sarge Earrings, £225 9 Chanel No19 perfume, £113 10 A.P.C. Sandals, £320


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DABBLE Noble Panacea Intense Renewal Serum Spring’s new must-have beauty brand has super-cool, eco-friendly packaging, plus formulas to reboot lacklustre skin. £390. noble

Olivia Falcon adds some tech to her beauty routine


DISCONNECT Vanessa Kandiyoti guided meditations One-to-one or online meditation sessions for people that can’t sit still. Vanessa’s techniques calm and soothe racing minds. From £180. vanessa

REBOOT Natura Bissé Inhibit Tensolift Neck Mask The antidote to wrinkly tech necks, this lifting and plumping sheet mask smoothes out fine lines. £22.


emulsified together. Ninety seconds later you have a t’s a brave new world everywhere at the moment, single dose of cream tailored to your skin’s needs. but also at the (virtual) beauty counter. As someone The capsule selection is anchored with three who still has trouble working my TV remote, I wasn’t base creams – you’re assigned either a light, rich or holding up much hope I’d be able to master Duolab, a night formula, which you pair with a choice of eight new gadget from Provençal skincare superstars L’Occitane concentrates ranging from (£250, It looks a bit like an firming and brightening, to air purifier but is actually a portable Margaret Dabbs’ Shoe Freshener nukes bacteria and bad smells soothing and energising. Working skin lab that mixes bespoke formulas. Duolab proved to be a doddle – my First, you use an AI-powered phone seven-year-old daughter whipped up app that asks you to take a make-up three batches in under five minutes free selfie to analyse your skin. It can for her rather bemused playdate. identity dehydration, wrinkles, brown Next, step forward the mega minds patches, redness and other glitches at Sensai, who are turbo-charging with Terminator-like precision. It then our night-time beauty routine with recommends a combination of capsules its Biomimesis Veil Diffuser (£530. that slot into the machine and are This is an electronic device that seamlessly fires a transparent micro-fibre on to your skin to lock in moisture overnight. You simply apply Sensai’s hydrating essence, spray the spider web-like fibre, and peel it off the next morning to reveal the silkiest of skin. Finally, master podiatrist Margaret Dabbs has just launched a three-in-one Shoe Freshener (£64. margaretdabbs. I tried this on my husband’s stinky trainers, which were practically running out the door by themselves, and it worked a treat. Using electricity to produce oxygen molecules to nuke bacteria and germs, the shoes are then Duolab brings bespoke dried from the inside out, which is apparently much better skincare to your bathroom than leaving them on a radiator. n


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07/04/2020 08:05

Stronger, together.

Harness the award-winning power of Dr Sebagh’s potent super-serums, including the iconic Serum Repair and Rose de Vie Serum, by mixing them and adding a little Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream. This patented and highly concentrated skin brightener can also be added to the cell turnover-boosting Deep Exfoliating Mask, for an instant, just-back-from-the-spa glow. Available in-store and at

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24/03/2020 16:20


Q & A


Country music star Twinnie gives Nathalie Eleni her beauty insights What do you see when you look in the mirror? Big hair and big teeth! Do you have a pre-performance ritual?

I cleanse, tone and moisturise before I put on my make-up. It’s relaxing and really preps it to last on stage. I use Emma Hardie Moringa cleansing balm as it’s beautifully hydrating and leaves skin sparkling. When do you feel most confident?

When I’ve come back from a holiday and my skin has had some vitamin D. Also, I love when I can take a break from wearing make-up every day – that’s when I feel most myself. What is a beauty tip you swear by?

TEAM Make-up: nathalieeleni_beauty Photo: rvds Hair: Egon at Stephanie Pollard Earrings, Celeste Starre

Water and plenty of it. Also, protect your skin with SPF. How do you relax after a show?

Depending on what mood I’m in, wine or a work out. What is your signature look? I’m very low key when I’m not on stage or doing a shoot – I only ever wear tinted moisturiser (I love Pür’s 4-in-1 version) and a bit of blush. My signature look is fresh and natural. What are your desert island beauty must-haves? Decléor night balm,

it’s a total skin treat. I also love the vegan mascara by Poppy Sloane used on this shoot. How has your concept of beauty changed as you’ve got older? Feeling good

inside makes you look better on the outside, so look after yourself, take time out to rest, eat healthily and exercise when you can. Favourite beauty treatment? The Gala Glow facial with Dr Marwa Ali at the Harrods Wellness Clinic. It’s the most glowenhancing and skin-brightening treat, and the results last ages. Twinnie’s debut album Hollywood Gypsy is out now. n


Bare skin is in. Show off beautiful, healthy skin with a natural glow


If you’re going out in the evening, apply Sienna X The Retinol Serum to your skin to add instant radiance. Always wear an SPF during the day. £36.

2 3 4 5

Prep skin using Amly Deep Reveal cleansing balm, which nourishes and soothes skin for a glowing base. £52.

Apply RMS Beauty ‘Un’ Cover-Up foundation and concealer to dark circles and blemishes. £34.

Create inky black lashes with Poppy Sloane vegan Très Chic smudge-proof mascara. £15.

Add a see-through tint to lips and cheeks with Burt’s Bees All Aglow lip and cheek stick in Peony Pool. £12.99.


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07/04/2020 08:08



Make sure you get your eight hours in, says Camilla Hewitt


ith times such as they are, it can be hard to switch our brains off long enough to get a solid night’s sleep. In the UK alone, 74 per cent of people get less than the recommended seven to nine hours the body needs. Reaching a state of deep sleep is essential for staying healthy, as it allows a variety of functions to take place in the mind and body; memories are consolidated, learning and emotions are processed, physical recovery happens, blood sugar levels and metabolism are balanced out, the immune system is energised and the brain is detoxified. If we compromise on our sleep, we compromise on our wellbeing.

stylish stonewashed linen is an absolute dream. Linen’s naturally long fibres help to absorb moisture, and so help to regulate body temperature for unbroken sleep. Ironing is optional as they look great straight off the line.




It’s important to invest in a cosy, comfortable set of bed linen. If, like Piglet in Bed founder Jessica Mason, you have no interest in spending your weekends ironing sheets, her range of low-maintenance,


Chronic stress is one of the main causes of depleted serotonin and can affect our ability to sleep well. Bamford’s B Silent Treatment, involving a full-body massage and foot bath, is devoted to relaxing your body and preparing it for sound, restful sleep. £170 for 90 minutes.


LUCKNAM PARK, WILTSHIRE Award-winning hotel and spa, Lucknam Park, is hosting a series of sleep retreats lead by hypnotherapist Fiona Lamb and Qi Gong teacher Tallulah Rendall. The two-night break is designed to help you rediscover how to sleep well by balancing your energy levels and restoring equilibrium of the mind. Through guided meditation and hypnotherapy, worries and overthinking are released, allowing for a peaceful respite from the outside world. BOOK IT: 7-9 September. From £462 pp.



Hormonal fluctuations experienced during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause exacerbate sleepdisrupting heat flushes and night sweats. Being strategic about your sleep attire can help regulate your temperature during the night, promoting better slumber. Silk pyjamas act as a thermo-regulator, keeping you cool in summer but warm in winter. Shirt, £235; bottoms, £210.



Yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep, aims to create a state of consciousness somewhere between waking and sleeping. Unlike other forms of yoga, it does not involve physical movement or poses, but rather relies on deep breathing to calm the mind and relax the body. This soothing practice can be used as a transition into sleep, or as a way of bringing meditation to your bedtime routine.


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07/04/2020 08:10



Now your hair can smell as good as the rest of you. Acqua di Parma has added a new haircare line to its Barbiere grooming range, with six different formulas for men’s hair including shampoos, clays and waxes, all finished with the distinctive and fresh Colonia fragrance. From £31.

M E N ’ S


Matches Fashion has teamed with AnOther Man’s Creative Director Alister Mackie on a range of eight vibrant printed shirts in heavyweight silk twill. Unleash your inner dandy. From £760.

Feeling it’s time for a change? Try these three plant-based beauties

VOTCH Classic men’s watch, £120.



Sharp spring style and eco swaps. By Matt Thomas

WATSON & WOLFE Pouch with cuff handle, £99.

TRAINERS FOR TREES Ethical brand Yatay has launched Irori, a new line of ecosneakers constructed from repurposed materials including waste foam and recycled rubber. A tree in Bore, Kenya, is planted for each pair sold. £230.35.

MATT & NAT Hoxton backpack, £150.

T ROPICA L T I N T S Scotch & Soda has diversified into eyewear with a range inspired by Hawaii. Expect sunset gradients and tonal sea-scape lenses.


Despite the delayed release of the latest Bond movie No Time to Die, Globe-Trotter has just launched its sleek new collection inspired by 007’s luggage in the film. Check-in case, £2,220; carry-on case, £1,905.


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07/04/2020 08:16


Caesar necklace, £1,240; small bracelet, £210; big bracelet, £390

LEFT: Moon Bowl earrings, from £95 RIGHT: Berries necklace, £220

ETERNAL ELEGANCE Giovanni Raspini’s latest collection is a triumph of passion and skill

Tuscan designer, Giovanni Raspini


imeless, but yet utterly unique. These words can’t help but make you think of Giovanni Raspini’s elegant, innovative designs. The recipe is simple: Giovanni’s expertise as a master jeweller and silversmith is combined with his love of innovation and the natural world. This is never more apparent than in the Giovanni Raspini spring/summer 2020 collection, available now online and in the South Molton Street boutique. There’s the new Moon Crocodile bracelets, featuring oval-shaped, halfmoon sections that give the bracelets an extraordinary lightness and practicality. Giovanni has also used the same innovative technique to create the new Moon Bowl bracelets and earrings, which are crafted from handbeaten silver plate, resulting in luminous, light and effortlessly simple pieces. The Fuego range of opulent silver cuffs demonstrate Giovanni’s skill as a master jeweller, crafted from silver plate that’s shaped and transformed by fire. Likewise, the Caesar necklace and bracelets

combine an intricately entwined Byzantine chain with high-shine silver, for an effect that’s at once timeless and utterly contemporary. Given the location of the Giovanni Raspini atelier in the heart of Tuscany, it’s no surprise that nature also plays a key role in this latest collection. The Sky necklace and bracelet pair tranquil turquoise hues with textured silver, while in the Berries collection Giovanni has used a combination of polished and burnished areas to give a dramatic chiaroscuro effect. Finally, the Tahiti earrings were inspired by the delicacy of freshwater pearls, transformed by Giovanni into contemporary sculptures.

ABOVE: Moon Crocodile bracelet, £330 LEFT: Berries ring, £135 BELOW: Sky necklace, £370

Giovanni Raspini specialises in jewellery, sculptures and homeware, with boutiques in Monaco, Moscow, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Verona and Naples. 5 South Molton Street, Mayfair W1, 020 7629 1401.


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07/04/2020 08:24

BECOME THE ULTIMATE HOME COOK There has never been a better time to up the ante in the kitchen department. We have hundreds of delicious and easy-to-follow recipes online, but in the name of comfort food, why not start with Jessie Ware’s decadent triplethreat chocolate brownies? triplebrownies

Good News You Need Right Now If you’re fi nding it hard to stay positive with the stress of Covid-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the future, you’re not alone. Here are C&TH’s pick of the best feel good stories...

STAY POSITIVE It might feel like there’s nothing good happening in the world right now, but we promise you there is. Stop scrolling through the news and sign up to our daily good news email and hear everything positive that’s happening around the world right now.

WHAT’S ON AT HOME In this time of isolation we need hope, connection and inspiration more than ever. So, for the foreseeable weeks, we’re dedicating Country & Town House’s digital channels to brilliant ideas for the best things to do in your own home, your local community, your nearest open space, or online. To get you started, here are four things to do right now...

LOOK AHEAD THE ULTIMATE HOME WORKOUT With gyms closed and parks packed, now’s the best time to try your hand at home workouts. Whether you’re looking for some gentle yoga, a toning barre class or a quick but effective HIIT circuit, we’ve compiled the very best ones available online right now.

For more inspiration visit What’s On by Country & Town House at...

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This too shall pass. We must remain positive, and continue to support the businesses we love. First, we can take stock and reflect on what this experience teaches us. Then, we can move forward and plan that dream trip abroad, the eco staycation we’ll take with family, the champagne cocktail we’ll order with friends. You’ll find inspiration for all this and more at countryand

07/04/2020 12:03





Your streaming choices just got a massive upgrade. Every week this spring the Royal Opera House is releasing online a ballet or opera from its impressive archive, including the 2014 production of The Winter’s Tale on 1 May, with the inimitable Lauren Cuthbertson as Hermione.


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07/04/2020 08:26


Delve into the BBC’s archives for Wise Children




CULTURE IN QUARANTINE Log on to the best art, theatre and dance the world has to offer


BEHIND THE SCENES Catch a glimpse of the Hayward Gallery’s Among the Trees through a video interview with artist Hugh Hayden ( Learn more about the National Gallery’s Artemisia exhibition with a YouTube lecture by art historian Jesse Locker (, and watch Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin star in Candice Breitz’s video installation exploring the refugee crisis (

Visit Machu Picchu from your sofa



Who knows when we’ll next be able to get on a plane? For now, feed your travel bug with virtual tours of culture hotspots around the world. You can have the Sistine Chapel all to yourself with a tour of the Vatican (, take in the view from the Acropolis of Athens ( or explore the history of Machu Picchu – without getting stuck in Peru (

Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura), by Artemisia Gentileschi


AUDIBLE ART None of us can leave our homes to enjoy the multitude of galleries and museums available across the UK. However, we can still enjoy them in our ears with Art Fund’s excellent Meet Me at the Museum podcast series. You can tour the new V&A Dundee with Kirsty Wark, visit Charleston, the Sussex home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, with author Jessie Burton or laugh your way around the Fashion and Textile Museum with comedian Cariad Lloyd (


ON THE AIRWAVES The BBC has launched its new series Culture in Quarantine, promising a ‘virtual festival of the arts’ across television, radio and online. The programme is wide-ranging, from a new series of Front Row Late hosted by Mary Beard, featuring unusual arts like puppet shows by Margaret Atwood, to theatre and dance performances available on demand from the BBC Archive. These include Deluxe, BalletBoyz’s cancelled 20th anniversary tour and Emma Rice’s 2019 production of Wise Children (


Switch up your streaming choices with the growing number of world-class culture now available to watch online. The National Theatre is streaming productions for free every Thursday on YouTube for a week at a time – look out for Tamsin Greig’s headline-grabbing turn as Malvolia in Twelfth Night from 23 April (nationaltheatre., while Shakespeare’s Globe has its amazing back catalogue available to watch for a small fee (


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07/04/2020 08:28


THE EXHIBITIONIST Tantra has had female empowerment pegged for millennia, says Ed Vaizey



hat better way to celebrate the Mind, Body & Soul edition of this esteemed magazine than with a long overdue article on tantric you-know-what. Sadly I only have a few hundred words to share with you the mysteries of this ancient practice, made famous in modern times by the singer Sting. Allegedly. I think he was misquoted. At least he said he was. This article may not fulfil you because of its limited length. But it may have to suffice, as at the time of writing, Britain is in the grip of a permanent coronavirus lock down. It’s a bit chicken and egg. This therapeutic exhibition might have been just what you needed before three months of selfisolation with your partner. Take this as your ‘what might have been’ moment. Tantra was due to open on St George’s Day, the day we normally associate with buttoned-up Englishness. Of course, the British Museum would never associate itself with anything too sordid, and this exhibition is designed to set us right about our lazy views of tantra. It’s true that tantra, as the curator of the exhibition, Dr Imma Ramos, acknowledges, ‘is usually equated with sex in the West’. But actually it is ‘a radical philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond’. The word ‘tantra’ refers to sacred texts, and four of the oldest surviving texts come from the Cambridge University Library, and date from the 12th century. The texts are instructional, and are written as conversations between a god and goddess. The British Museum has one of the largest collections of tantric material in the world, so in total more than a hundred objects could be on display. Tantra has acquired its racy image in the West because tantric texts often challenged social and religious norms. This included those of the body and the sensual, and indeed one tantra does focus on the benefits of sexual activity. But this is to reduce the sophisticated impact of tantra on Indian religion. The tantric world view is that everything material is informed by female divine power. Goddesses and female tantric practitioners feature prominently, showing how the philosophy challenged the prevailing view of women’s place in society. So tantra is a revolutionary philosophy, and indeed, became a tool of revolution during the struggle for India’s independence in the late 19th

FROM ABOVE: A woman visiting two Nath yoginis, North India, Mughal, circa 1750; Ramprasad Sen and the goddess Kali, signed P. Chakraborty, Bengal, India, 20th century; Chamunda dancing on a corpse, Madhya Pradesh, Central India, 800s

century. Indian goddesses became sybols of India’s fight against colonial rule, and the female image was used to project both maternal strength and destructive power. In the 1960s and 1970s tantra was purloined for imagery to support the countercultural movement. Much tantric art is typical of the Indian art you may have seen in the past. And you will be surprised to see how, 1500 years later, it played a role in the psychedelic imagery that is much more familiar to the modern eye. I’m not sure an hour immersing yourself in tantra would improve your sex life. But it’s good for the soul, great for yoga, and fabulous for challenging misconceptions. Maybe you can experience it virtually. The British Museum is temporarily closed, but you can view its collections online. n May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 35

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08/04/2020 07:44




On lockdown, Richard Hopton is meditating on nature and empathising with motherhood


ees are essential to life. As many as 150 crops – many of them staples – rely upon bees to survive; of these, honey is only the most obvious. Roger Morgan-Grenville’s Liquid Gold 1 (Icon, £12.99) is a delightful exploration of the world of bees and their honey. Ostensibly an account of his adventures as a bumbling novice beekeeper, is it in fact about much more than that. It’s in part an essay – its knowledge lightly worn and gently imparted – about the importance of bees to our very existence and the necessity of doing something, anything, to arrest the decline in their numbers. As Morgan-Grenville writes, their plight is a serious problem but ‘they never quite make it to the top section of mankind’s to-do list’. The book is also a hymn to the life-enhancing connection with the natural world that helped Morgan-Grenville reconcile himself to the fading of the light that is middle age. Along the way, we learn much about the arcane art of the apiarist and get a glimpse into the world of competitive honey shows. Much of the humour springs from the conflict between millennia of evolution, centuries of beekeeping lore and the new-found enthusiasm of two amateurs. The importance of our connection – or lack of it – to the natural world is the subject of the next two books, Lucy Jones’ Losing Eden 2 (Allen Lane, £20) and Alice Vincent’s Rootbound 3 (Canongate, £14.99). They tackle the subject in very different ways, but their arguments remain essentially the same: our lives would all benefit from a greater awareness of the rhythms of the natural world. In a highly urbanised world, we are in our daily lives, greatly to our detriment, too far removed from nature. Losing Eden is an absorbing book that presents a lot of scientific and other evidence that a connection with the natural world is vital to our mental wellbeing. Jones attributes much of her recovery from alcoholism to the power of nature. Its balm is, or should be, an essential element of a balanced modern life. The book is more than just a scientific treatise: Jones writes beautifully about nature and her own experiences of its healing powers and there is much discussion of ecological issues. At one point, science is

abandoned altogether when she goes for a walk with the Chief Druid on the South Downs. Rootbound ploughs the same furrow, demonstrating that the consequences of the alienation of modern life from nature can be tackled by growing a few plants in pots on the balcony of a flat in south London. Vincent was a busy music journalist, living a hectic millennial existence but felt ungrounded so she began gardening – ‘strange and dowdy, a habit enjoyed by the elderly or the tedious’ – with unexpected results. Vincent’s book is an enjoyable cocktail of memoir and botanical history but also an ode to the restorative power of nature. Clover Stroud’s My Wild and Sleepless Nights 4 (Doubleday, £16.99) is both a memorial of motherhood and a report from the front line of childrearing. It is a precise and blisteringly honest account, beautifully written, of the pain and the boredom as well as the rewards of motherhood. She distils its complex emotions and its contradictions: the love and the contentment, the tedium and the resentment, the isolation and the relentless work. Above all, perhaps, it defines and explains the absolute, unconditional love a mother will always bear her children, come what may. n


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07/04/2020 08:32

Sebastian Coe’s love of maps has shaped his sporting career



Sebastian Coe charts the lasting influence of maps on his sporting career



ow many times have our passions – even, ultimately, our professional lives – been inflamed by inspiring teaching? My fascination for cartography was bestowed upon me by my wonderful geography master, David Jackson, at school in Sheffield where I grew up. He brought the prosaicness of cities, mountain ranges and rivers alive through maps, revealing their impact on so many other things that have shaped – and continue to shape – our world. (Tim Marshall’s best-selling Prisoners of Geography – ten maps that display this point perfectly – is well worth a read.) To this day I’m happily surrounded by maps. On my wall hang two of my favourites. One of India, home to a large chunk of my family (both my grandfather and mother were born there), and another of Australia, which has effectively been my second home from the moment I stepped off the plane in Melbourne over 30 years ago. My daughter went one better and settled there. I find comfort and meaning from a quote in Irish writer William Trevor’s Fools of Fortune: ‘Does the map remind you curiously of an embrace? A most extraordinary embrace to throw up all this.’ I may be the last generation to feel comfortable with map reading. It’s a skill worth cherishing, and it’s always a good fallback for faltering GPS. At the London 2012 Olympic Games

I remember the lament of many of our volunteer drivers that their satnavs would take them in a direction that added half an hour to the journey. Many had their own fold-up maps in their rucksacks. The mile upon mile of solitary distance running, the essential ingredient in my own athletic career, was often brought to life by the study of an ordinance survey map before a training stint, every bit of the landscape, every uphill slog or descent framed by telling brown contour rings. In 1981 I gave my father (and coach) a copy of The Times Concise Atlas for his birthday. The year before I had won my first Olympic title, and my birthday inscription thanked him for his coaching prowess in Moscow at the 1980 Olympic Games. I included grid references that acknowledged his great work in the Soviet capital, and I also reminded us both that our journey together would extend to the next Games in Los Angeles, again with an accompanying grid reference. We continued the postings that covered my second Olympic win in Southern California, the European title in Stuttgart and my final race in Europe in the World Cup in Barcelona – grid references always supplied. When my father died in 2008, I inherited the atlas together with our musings – a close embrace, and as good as it gets with someone from my past who is etched in my landscape for eternity. n May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 37

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07/04/2020 08:34






Whatever your space, planters and pots make for joyous additions, says Sarah Raven


’m obsessed with pots. I have them everywhere at Perch Hill, but whatever the size of your garden or balcony, you can fill it with scent and colour. For maximum benefit, place them on top of low walls, at the side of doorways or paths, and around terraces. Choose deep purple or blue for rich colour, beautiful with white, pale pinks and acid green. I recommend the Scented Purple Pot Collection (from £32.95). It will give you a scented spot anywhere sunny. If you can, squeeze in some sweetpeas by the back door. My Ultimate Sweetpea Collection contains the best long-stemmed, strongly scented varieties (£29.95). These are cut-and-come-again, so pick bunches through the summer and fill your vases with intense scent and beauty. Pelargoniums are excellent for mixing with other pots. They are all tender perennials, so will last from one year to the next, getting bigger and better. Over the last 20 years of growing pelargoniums, I’ve trialled nearly 100 varieties. My six favourites, all easy pot plants, are: ‘Australian Mystery’, ‘Dark Secret’, ‘Lara Starshine’, ‘Lord Bute’, ‘Madame Auguste Nonin’ and ‘Surcouf’ – all available in the Ultimate Pelargonium Collection (£57.50). If you have room for one shrub, make it Philadelphus ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ (£18.50), a compact variety that will fill your garden with an aroma of orange blossom. Happy gardening!


The Scented Purple Pot Collection


Now is the time to direct sow zinnias and biennials such as foxgloves, honesty and wallflowers.


Many tulips are looking their best now. Keep cutting and fill your vases.


Cut plenty of alliums – they’re at their peak. Add a drop of bleach or slosh of vinegar to the flower water as this stops bacterial buildup and slows the stem ageing, hence reducing any oniony smell.

» Philadelphus ‘Manteau d’Hermine’

Gardening is great exercise and good for the mind too. Just what we need right now.


20 per cent off for C&TH readers at Sarah Raven. Visit and enter offer code CTH20. Terms and conditions: Offer ends 30 June 2020. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. *See website for full T&Cs All available at


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07/04/2020 08:36

T H E W E ST L ON DON L A DI E S COU R SE D e s i g n ed to f it aroun d your sch edu l e

Our Ladies Course is the perfect way for ladies with busy lifestyles to get into shooting. Join us for three one hour lessons, with f ifty clays and cartridges included with each session, booked at your convenience. C OM PET I T ION DAT E: W E DN E SDAY 10 T H J U N E 2020 020 8 8 45 1377 w w w. s ho ot i n g s c ho ol .c o.u k Sha r vel L a ne, West End R oad, Nor t holt, U B5 6R A

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11/03/2020 10:17



Jeremy Taylor joins the all-new Land Rover Defender in Namibia

The Defender 2 sees the classic 4x4 reimagined for the 21st century

VITA L STATS Land Rover Defender 110 P400T PRICE £78,800 ENGINE 3.0-litre petrol hybrid POWER 400 PS 0-62MPH 6.4 seconds RANGE 29.4 mpg STREAMING Africa, Toto



Defender 2 is the most important model in Land Rover’s illustrious history. But how do you emulate a car so revered and respected around the world? Land Rover enthusiasts might take a while to warm to this latest Defender because it’s so different. That classic 1948 design was unstoppable off-road but totally lacking in comfort around town. Instead, Defender 2 is a thoroughly modern SUV that pays homage to the past but is very much about the future. Already sales of this new model have gone ballistic, with many dealers reporting a waiting list. That’s before a fleet of black Defender 2s appear in the delayed James Bond movie No Time to Die. And whether your home is in Chelsea or the Cotswolds, Land Rover believes there’s a Defender to suit – choose from Explorer, Adventure, Country or Urban Pack, plus an array of 170 lifestyle options. You will want the side-mounted gear carriers, the portable rinse system for washing a muddy dog, and quite possibly the expedition roof rack and side ladder to pitch the family tent on top. Loaded with modern technology, the all-new Defender is light years ahead of the original. That means comfortable, quiet and extremely well-built – although not in the UK but a factory in Slovakia. RATING: 4/5 HANDBAGS

‘Don’t drive too close to the elephants.’ When Land Rover decided to prove their all-new Defender is just as rough and tumble as the old one they looked for the most extreme countryside on the planet. Which is why I’m hunkered down in a remote campsite on Van Zyl’s Pass, in north-west Namibia. Notoriously dangerous, countless car wrecks along the way warn of what lies ahead. It’s a long way from the South Downs – not even a mountain goat with crampons would want to scrabble over the landscape here. The downhill slopes are terrifying, tyres are ripped to shreds and the paintwork is trashed by razor-sharp bushes. Fortunately, the new Defender has morphed into a luxurious and practical vehicle that can cope with every situation and terrain you throw at it. The engine line-up comprises a pair of petrols, one with mild hybrid technology, plus a couple of out-of-favour diesels. No doubt a full-electric version will be crashing onto the forecourt soon. I doubt many will fall as much in love with the new Defender as the old model but my Namibia trip proved it holds true to Land Rover core values. Although those values don’t come cheap, place your order now and get in the queue. RATING: 4/5 WELLIES


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07/04/2020 08:37


We’ll all be buying cars like the Hyundai Ioniq Electric by 2035


VITA L STATS Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium SE PRICE £34,950

Picturesque Cowdray nestles in the gently rolling hills of the South Downs National Park and is the country home of publishing magnate Viscount Cowdray. Just a stone’s throw from Midhurst, the 16,500-acre estate has lately blossomed into a thriving business. Weddings, events, golf, shooting and an exquisite farm shop draw in visitors all-year round, although Cowdray is perhaps best known as the home of the British Open Polo

ENGINE Single speed electric motor POWER 134 bhp 0-60MPH 9.7 seconds RANGE 194 mpg STREAMING Ironic, Alanis Morissette

IN THE BOOT MAY MUST-HAVES LET THERE BE LIGHT The 3,000 lumen Ledlenser i18R is a powerful, rechargeable torch that’s perfect for adventurous types. Plug in to your vehicle’s USB. £249.

Relax at Woods Garden in Cowdray Park

DOUBLE AGENT This Osprey Farpoint Wheels 36 bag is a neat, wheel-on cabin case that also doubles as a backpack. A long-serving favourite, the practical construction houses handy compartments and stow spaces. £190.

Championship and the King Power Gold Cup. For this drive I should really be at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo. However, cars like the new Hyundai Ioniq Electric are the future of automotive transport in Britain, thanks to the government’s plan to ban sales of all combustion engines by 2035. A sleek and attractive coupé, the Ioniq hardly sets the pulses racing but at least my Premium SE model is loaded with useful equipment, like a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats and an app that remotely pre-heats the cabin on chilly mornings. If you aren’t quite ready for all-electric power just yet, Hyundai also sells a hybrid petrolelectric Ioniq that charges itself on the move, plus a plug-in version (remember – both of these won’t be sold in the UK in 15 years’ time either). A rival for the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai feels at home cruising along the South Downs on a spring day like this with the windows open. Although this isn’t a performance coupé, there’s a palpable feel-good factor to driving a battery-powered car. Cowdray is a great base for exploring the pretty roads of the National Park and offers a range of delightful holiday cottages, too. Woods Garden is a tastefully furnished house that sleeps seven and offers calming views over open countryside. If you can haul yourself out of the double-ended bath, relax on a squidgy sofa in front of the fire or fire up the barbecue and watch a perfect sunset. It’s a perfect bolthole if you want to escape the city. The area is overloaded with great eateries too – I charged the Ioniq batteries in nearby Petworth while dining at the Angel Inn. Try the Goodwood organic steak and followed by a scoop of homemade ginger ice cream. Delicious. The pub also does a great Sunday roast and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. This beamed coaching inn is steeped in history and at the heart of a town voted one of the best places to live in England. BOOK IT: Four nights from £990.

WEARABLE TECH This waterproof jacket from Musto and Land Rover has a stitched-in reflective antenna to help rescue teams locate you, plus insulated pockets to ensure mobile phone batteries last longer. £350.


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07/04/2020 08:39


Matthew Bell discusses the future of farming with Helen Browning, head of the Soil Association Portrait by ALEXANDRA DAO


hat exactly is the point of the Soil Association, I couldn’t help but wonder before meeting its chief executive, Helen Browning. Founded in 1946 by Lady Eve Balfour, a pioneering organic farmer, its main concerns were soil erosion and the impact of intensive farming. Fast forward to today, and there seems to be so much more to worry about. Take George Monbiot and his Apocalypse Cow: How Meat Killed the Planet documentary, or the Leonardo DiCaprio-funded film Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Then there are the pesticides, which are killing us all according to the journalists behind the book Our Daily Poison. So, where in all this is the Soil Association? The answer lies somewhere in the middle, says Browning. ‘The challenge is that nuance is difficult to get across in the world we live in,’ she says. ‘For us it’s not about one extreme or the other, it’s about trying to look at the multi-functional use of land and making the best use of it.’ She agrees that it’s ‘madness’ that 60 per cent of the grain we grow in Britain is fed to animals, not people, and that we should be growing crops that directly feed humans. But she doesn’t champion veganism, saying instead that we should eat less meat of a higher quality, because sheep and cattle have a role to play in keeping grasslands reinvigorated, which in turn provide insect life – the basis of the whole food chain. Browning’s path to the Soil Association, which Town or country? is based in Bristol and employs 300 people, began Definitely country as a child catching rabbits on her father’s farm. Glass of wine or As a teenager, she was inspired by tales of her five green tea? Can I go for both? great-aunts who lived and farmed near Ledbury Cat or dog? Dog. during the 1920s. ‘They had a madcap life at a I haven’t got any time when most women had a very boring time at the moment, of it,’ she says, referring to their independence, but I’ve always had them hunting and whisky-drinking. Cosy knits Browning’s father took on the lease of or sharp suits? Eastbrook farm near Swindon from the Cosy knits Church Commissioners in 1950, but wasn’t Long lunch or wildly encouraging of her ambitions to follow his power breakfast? Power breakfast footsteps. As time wore on, it became obvious that farming was her calling, and in 1986, age Rolling hills or seaside? Rolling 24, she took over the running of the 1,330-acre hills running holding. By then, she had completed a degree down to the sea in Agricultural Technology at Harper Adams University, but it wasn’t until she spent a year


doing the government’s first trial comparing organic to non-organic farming that her eyes were really opened. ‘It was riveting and gave me a chance to really understand deep farming systems in a way that I hadn’t done through my degree, looking at mushroom cycles, pests and diseases, and carbon cycles. I became fascinated by this idea of: “how do you take an organic farm and make it more productive?”’ This was in contrast to her father’s intensive methods, but over time she was able to effect change. She has long been a champion of rewilding and recently got interested in agroforestry, the idea of reintroducing trees into pastureland, so that animals graze among them as they would have done centuries ago. Now that everyone is finally paying attention to the organic movement, does she feel like saying ‘I told you so’? ‘Even if you do think, “why couldn’t this have happened 40 years ago?”, I think you have to not be exasperated and just grab the moment and work with the wind you’ve got blowing right now. Climate is moving faster than we thought it was going to, and when you start to get news that we are losing 2.5 per cent of our insect mass every year you think, “gosh, we haven’t got long to turn this around, it feels really urgent.” At the same time, it does feel like humanity is rallying just at the last moment. But there’s still a lot to do.’ The Soil Association was vocally against Brexit, and Browning finds rumours that 60 per cent of farmers voted to leave the EU ‘completely bizarre, real “turkeys and Christmas”, a crazy thing for them to have done.’ But she sees the opportunity to completely re-write British farming, which the Soil Association is lobbying hard to shape. On her own farm, the model is diversification. With ex-husband Henry Stoye and current partner Tim Finney, she has expanded the business to include the village pub, a shop, and a restaurant – all serving home-grown organic produce. When I float the idea that greedy farmers have historically been a problem, she is quick to laugh that away. ‘We run farms and pubs, and both are crazy ways to make a living! I think that farmers are interested in survival. If farmers were really interested in money, they wouldn’t be farming. It’s not money that drives them, it’s being able to care for the land and their livestock, and to be able to pass it on.’ In time, Browning plans to hand over Eastbrook to her daughter, a vet. Saving the planet for Browning isn’t about donning a hair shirt and foregoing sausages. ‘I can’t live like that,’ she says. ‘I have to have fun in my life, a bit of optimism and energy. This is a long battle, and we’ve got to be able to keep at it, and not feel guilt and panic and give up. I think the energy runs out if you are too extreme – there’s a danger that you put people off if you preach at them too hard.’ n


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Helen Browing, chief executive of the Soil Association, balances optimism with pragmatism

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A WHOLE NEW WORLD Arizona Muse wants to change the way we live. We should take what she has to say seriously, says Lucy Cleland Fashion director NICOLE SMALLWOOD Photographer CARLA GULER

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Dress, Ralph & Russo. Earrings, Vintage Chanel. Boots, Belstaff. Ring, FabergÊ Arizona wears dresses from designers’ archives throughout

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little surprised, given a model’s usual regime, but you’ll understand why later. And she was game for anything, too. It wasn’t exactly warm outside, but the 31-year-old American-English beauty was happy to stay semi-clad in vintage Dior, Temperley and Westwood until our photographer got the right shot. She even posed precariously on a moss-covered stone balustrade with a long drop down, crouching on it like the sleekest of leopards. The trope of model as mute clotheshorse was well and truly obliterated. However, it was our slightly intermittent phone conversation a few weeks later that made me forget the world’s most immediate troubles for a while, and led me down an imaginary path to a place where our respect for the land, for farming, for nature and for family has usurped our almost relentless need for economic growth and over-consumption. After all, Arizona is the girl who posted on Instagram: ‘Climate Change needs to hire Corona Virus’s publicist’, and it’s this issue that keeps her motivated and focussed – and the reason she’s still in the high fashion game. Read Arizona Muse’s modern manifesto right here, in her own words.



t’s taking a while for our Whatsapp interview to get going. Arizona Muse is desperately trying to find signal down on the farm in Devon where she’s staying for the foreseeable, as well as looking after her two children, Cy, one, and Nikko, 10. We finally connect and what follows is an hour and a half’s edifying conversation in which Arizona, the gazellelike model with the wide-set eyes at the top of her game and, more notably, sustainability activist, talks eruditely and enthusiastically about what policies she might implement if she had the prime minister’s ear. They’re well worth a listen. But let’s rewind a few weeks to a time before planes were grounded and countries shut their borders, when shelves were fit to burst with loo roll and facemasks were the preserve of Chinese tourists. We were lucky enough to shoot our cover before social isolation became the government directive, but we were still advised not to hug or kiss. I’d half expected Arizona to pull out given the uncertainty over Covid-19. But no: low-key and eco-concious, she was all set to arrive by train from London to Chewton Glen in the New Forest, had it not been cancelled. Then for lunch she ordered a burger. I was a

I believe farming is pretty much the most important thing humans can do right now. It connects us with nature, from which we’ve become so distant. This is detrimental to our mental health, our creativity and even our parenting. Parents are glued to their screens and missing out on nurturing relationships with their own children. Farming brings us in touch with the things that are important – land, soil and creativity – but I’m a firm advocate that it has to be done regeneratively and biodynamically. What does that mean? It means starting with the question: ‘How can I get the richest and most nutritious food while supporting the health of the soil and the organisms within it?’ Animals have a role in this and, despite their bad reputation for over-production of methane, cows are the most effective creatures for keeping our soil healthy. Their manure is richly beneficial for soil, especially once it’s been composted properly – this creates a wide variety of enzymes and bacteria that are amazing for soil health. Biodynamic farming also uses preparations, which are homeopathic treatments made with the potent properties of local plants, animals and minerals. They are made on farms by farmers to support composting, to spray on trees and fields. They can also be used in rewilding projects and to strengthen nature so that more carbon can be sequestered by the healthier plants and fungi that result. POLICY: All land – not necessarily just that which is agricultural but that which can be rewilded so people and animals can enjoy it in its wildness – should be converted into biodynamically, cared-for land, with preparations used to help regenerate it. These preparations help hugely to revitalise soils and plants, and therefore support carbon capture, pollution filtration, and the overall wellbeing of the land.


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LEFT: Dress, Vintage Chanel. Earrings, Erdem. Boots, Belstaff RIGHT: Dress, Stella McCartney. Earrings, Bina Goenka

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ABOVE: Dress, Vivienne Westwood Couture. Earrings, Vintage Chanel. Boots, Dior RIGHT: Dress and earrings, Erdem

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need support. They are already struggling financially and are often in debt from buying expensive chemicals and machinery. You don’t need these things in biodynamic farming, so costs would come down a lot. And while you are producing food with the highest nutritional content you are also regenerating the soil beneath the farm, so it’s able to better absorb rainfall. It also creates a biodiverse home for underground insects and microbes. There needs to be a lot of educational and financial support around learning a new way to farm.



How I eat now is the most bountiful, rich and enjoyable way I have ever eaten. I’ve never felt so satiated in my life. I base my whole menu around fats and vegetables – I consume almost no grains and very few carbohydrates as, from what I’ve read, humans are not set up to eat grains and they also take a huge amount of space to grow. I use organic butter as my main source of fat and biodynamically farmed meat – beef, lamb, bacon, anything really. The fats I eat support me so well my weight stays exactly the same; I actually exercise less now. I used to work out like a maniac out of fear and body image issues, but now I have no fear. I’ve been through so many other ways of eating and they were all brutally exhausting, so I really sympathise with people trying to find the right way to eat; denying yourself things so your willpower disappears and your weight yo-yos. I don’t do that anymore. I have now learned to eat well for my health, well for the climate and in a relaxed way so I’m not anxious about it anymore. POLICY: Food should be based around high-quality ingredients sourced from farms that are doing good for the climate, but farmers

Clothing and materials are a huge opportunity to support the right people. Whenever you buy something you are singlehandedly helping to support a business. So, you can choose to support ones that are conscious of the way they make their products and are using materials that are good for the environment, or you can choose to support a big conglomerate that’s probably responsible for awful working conditions and environmental degradation. It’s a big choice, but if we all think about it like that, it helps us to make the right one. I start by buying second hand. Whatever you’re looking for, check whether it’s on eBay (set up alerts) or in charity shops. It’s really fun and it may take a little longer but that’s an adjustment in behaviour – we all agree behavioural change is the biggest step to solving the climate crisis. If you really can’t find it, look for it new, but read the label and look at the materials. Always buy organic – cotton, linens and wools. Currently you can’t buy organic leather because they don’t separate the hides at the abattoir (this should be a policy that could be implemented really quickly and easily), but I’d advise against buying vegan leather as it’s terrible for the environment. I’m often asked how I square walking the catwalk in the latest couture show with sustainability. My answer is that it’s very important I continue modelling, because it’s my access point. Whenever I’m with a brand and a CEO, I talk to them about sustainability, I ask questions and I’m curious. The response I get is really encouraging. Many brands want to change, and I want to be there to help them do that. But just now I can’t say I won’t work with brands that aren’t sustainable – sadly, there just aren’t enough of them yet. POLICY: Governments need to ban materials that are harmful to the environment outright. They need to implement a lot more naturebased solutions, and there has to be a lot more protection for the planet, rather than business. From reading the 2008 Climate Change Act, business is very much prioritised over and above the environment.


Natural beauty is really important. It comes from within – what you eat will affect your skin, as beauty and food are so closely linked. A lot of May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 49

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also opens your mind. Think about where you can go and what can you do by train that will teach you things and still be inspiring. Here, on the farm [in Devon], we are going to be learning so much – how to grow food, how to fix things, how to care for animals – all really useful life skills that we’re not taught anymore. When we do travel, we need to experience local culture and ecosystems so we can understand more about the world – both natural and human. Also, I think that only people should have the privilege of flying in a plane; products and produce should not. POLICY: The appreciation for travel has gone, so we need to change the way holidays are talked about – it’s not luxurious to be wasteful. Also, look at airports; no one is treated with respect, you feel like you’ve done something wrong. We need to make them more conducive to people caring and appreciating the trip they’re taking.


the medication we take also has an effect on the way we look, which we don’t always realise. I try to use only homeopathic medicines and I sometimes take vitamins. Currently my family is taking extra vitamin C, which is helpful for fighting any virus, but eating well, sleeping well and drinking lots of water are the real key. I also love organic multitasking oils, such as evening primrose, which I use orally and topically. I make a great toner out of apple cider vinegar, water and vanilla extract. It’s really easy and keeps my skin in great condition. I’ve never really seen the difference in my skin from using a £200 cream – there are so many unnatural ingredients used in many of them, why would you put them on your second largest organ? POLICY: Reduce the toxicity of ingredients used in the beauty industry and ban the most harmful ones. Aim to reduce and improve all packaging.


Modern travel should be a fun, educational experience that brings you closer to the people you love, to nature and to culture, and

I feel strongly that parenting doesn’t come naturally. We’re not birds, so we’re not born knowing how to build our nests. We need to learn, to consult with experts and to read books, so we can understand child behaviour, wellness and development. Also, society doesn’t seem to value the family very highly anymore. A parent is expected to leave the house early to get to work on time and work late to be productive, so if you have young children you hardly see them. Then at the weekend you’re so tired, you might not be your best self. As children require a lot of undivided attention, they’re given screen time as compensation. The Nordic countries have designed the week around families, so parents work shorter hours and can spend dinner and breakfast time together in a nonstressful way. A woman can still have it all, but there’s a simple flaw that we forgot to factor in: if you take a woman out of domestic life half the time, you have to put the man (or other partner) back in the other half in order to balance the equation. POLICY: Parents should be educated in child development, so they know what their children need and how they should be spoken to. The world also needs to be designed so it works for children. Parents should be able to divide their time in a way that’s best for the family.


ith these policies, Arizona believes we can have a happier society. Not one dependent on medication and screens, but one that values family time, work time and playtime; one that values our food systems, our nutrition and our closeness to nature. Perhaps Covid-19 and the current enforced social distancing measures will give us the much-needed time and space to consider how we start remodelling the world for the better. n


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FAR LEFT: Dress, Jenny Packham. Earrings, Fabergé RIGHT: Dress, Temperley London. Ring, Fabergé TEAM Fashion assistant: Dina Nagapetyants Photo assistants: Alex Ingram and Tristan Fennell Make-up: Nathalie Eleni using Orveda and Ilia Beauty. Hair: Brady Lea at Premier Hair and Make-up using Hair by Sam McKnight LOCATION With thanks to Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa in the New Forest, part of Iconic Luxury Hotels. STOCKISTS: PAGE 110

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On Location

Getting back to nature with Arizona Muse in the New Forest


ature is at the heart and soul of Chewton Glen. Tucked away in leafy Hampshire, on the edge of the New Forest, the hotel is ensconced in a 130-acre estate with verdant lawns, meadows and woodland. It was the perfect setting for our cover shoot with sustainability campainer Arizona Muse. The main house, which dates back to the 18th century, has 23 suites and 35 bedrooms to choose between. There’s also an awardwinning restaurant and a brand-new spa with a hydrotherapy pool, aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms, and treatments from Natura Bissé, Oskia and the Chewton Glen Spa & Body collection. Chewton Glen has literary ties, too; it was owned in the 19th century by George Marryat, brother of Captain Frederick Marryat, who stayed there for periods in the 1840s while writing his acclaimed novel The Children of the New Forest. As a nod to this rich history, many of the rooms are named after characters in the book; the team was based in the sumptuous Alice Beverley suite, with a garden terrace and direct access to the grounds from our own private gate – ideal for a photoshoot. It was here, among the daffodils and budding spring woodland, that our fashion director Nicole Smallwood dressed Arizona in decadent vintage gowns, as a nod to her green credentials. The red velvet sofa that also stars in the shoot was borrowed from the hotel’s restaurant, which sources many of its ingredients from the neighbouring kitchen garden. Meat and fish are also locally produced, with Brixham crab and venison from Wiltshire on the menu. The honey is from Chewton Glen’s very own beehives, whose five million occupants produce their nectar from the wildflowers that fill the estate. A short walk from the main house and shoot location are Chewton Glen’s six treehouses. Perched high in the canopy of the New Forest, they were designed to have as little visual and physical impact as possible on their ecologically rich surroundings. Rainwater harvesting, air-source heat pumps, solar panels and low-energy lighting all help to keep the treenhouses’ environmental footprint as small as possible. Chewton Glen’s eco-conscious ethos extends to its estate stewardship, too, and includes the planting of native species of trees and developing local wildlife habitats across its acres. It also lobbies against any action or developments that would negatively affect the local environment. After the shoot wrapped, the team could enjoy everything else Chewton Glen has to offer, from its heated outdoor pool (ordering a hot chocolate to sip beside it is non-negotiable) to its numerous woodland trails. The sea is only a short, 20-minute stroll away – and there’s always the 100,000-acre New Forest National Park to explore. Getting back to nature never felt so easy. Doubles from £370 B&B; treehouses from £950. n

Chewton Glen’s New Forest setting makes it the perfect escape to nature

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In praise of

Misty Beeches, Buckinghamshire, by Paul Mitchell for the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award

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The real secret to happiness? Just take a walk in the woods, says Amy Wakeham


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here’s something endlessly unknowable, yet reassuringly familiar, about trees. Soaring silently from the dark earth, their immense height and far-reaching branches make them nature’s true giants. They contain secret worlds, their intelligent systems hidden away under unassuming bark and within deep roots. And they are in themselves entire universes, hosting thousands of dependent species and ecosystems in their branches. ‘Trees are sanctuaries,’ wrote poet and philosopher Herman Hesse. ‘Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.’ Trees outlive us by centuries and witness generations of human life – the oldest tree in the UK, the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, is believed to be well over 2,000 years old. They remind us, lest we forget, how insignificant human lifespans really are. There’s an old English proverb that says: ‘If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden; if you want to be happy for life, plant a tree.’ According to campaigners in 2020, the future happiness of the human race is predicated on planting trees (after we’ve moved on from Covid-19, of course). In the UK alone, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said we need to plant 90-120 million trees a year between now and 2050 to achieve carbon neutrality. It’s the biggest push for tree planting since the end of World War I, when the UK’s tree cover hit an all-time low of five per cent. Right now, only 13 per cent of UK land is made up of trees – the CCC wants to grow that to at least 17 per cent in the next 30 years. Trees have become the new gold rush – a prize far greater than monetary riches,

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according to climate scientists. This is because they not only help capture carbon from the atmosphere, but are vital in our battle to stop declining wildlife numbers, by creating diverse habitats. Trees can also help reduce flooding by preventing soil erosion and slowing water flow, a hugely significant benefit considering our recent apocalyptic rains. The National Trust is already on board. Britain’s largest private landowner has promised to plant 20 million trees on its land over the next decade. Likewise, the Woodland Trust launched its Emergency Tree Plan in January, in which it urged governments and councils to take action. Individuals are also on the case: Paul Lister, owner of the 23,000-acre Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands, is already seeing the benefits of reforesting his land, having planted 920,000 saplings between 2009 and 2012. His Highland neighbours, Danish clothing magnate Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife Anne, who own over 200,000 acres, plan to remove sheep and cull deer across their estates, to allow native woodland and other species to regenerate. Elsewhere in the world, Tree Sisters, the women-led charitable foundation, has planted over six million trees across its projects in Kenya, Madagascar, Brazil, Cameroon, Nepal and India. Plant Your Future is a charity working in Peru that funds sustainable agroforestry, empowering farmers while protecting and regenerating Amazon rainforest. Forests Without Frontiers has also been integral to the rewilding of the Carpathian Mountains, which Jane Dunford explores on p103. Of course, caution is needed. Dr Tony Whitbread, president of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, warns: ‘Enormous ecological damage was done in the mid-20th century by tree planting,’ with Sussex losing 80 per cent of its heathlands, half of which to trees. So care must be taken with which species are planted, and where. Furniture designer Sebastian Cox, who has built his business around British

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ROSEWOOD CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO, Tuscany Step out into the Tuscan woods with arboreal healing guru Marco Nieri himself as he leads the hotel’s new forest bathing programme. Experience meditative nature walks, as well as yoga in the woods. Dates TBC. From c. £1,740 B&B, per suite, per night.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ancient oaks at Crock Hill, New Forest, by John Miller; Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, one of the most species-rich places in the UK, by Rob Coleman; Brandlehow in the Lake District, the first woodland acquired by the National Trust in 1902, by John Malley. All taken for the National Trust

SWALLOWTAIL HILL, Sussex Set among 40 acres of wildflower meadows and woodlands in Sussex, Swallowtail Hill Farm was established to preserve the natural landscape. You can take a guided walk around its woodland, and kids can join the forest school for more hands-on fun. Two nights in a cottage from £230.

FOREST HOLIDAYS The first in Britain to offer dedicated forest bathing escapes, Forest Holidays has luxury cabins and treehouses all over the UK. You can get back to nature in all of them, but Blackwood Forest hosts dedicated forest bathing experiences led by trained guides. Cabins from £495 for four nights midweek.

AMAN, Kyoto The just-opened Aman Kyoto will take you back to where it all began, in eight acres of beautiful forest carpeted with moss and bordered by a trickling stream. Gentle yoga takes place beneath the trees, and a secluded spa offers hot springs and Zazen meditation. From £1,258 per night, sharing.


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THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES, Peter Wohlleben For forester Peter Wohlleben, who lives and works among the woods of the Eifel mountains in western Germany, trees are so much more than raw materials for harvesting. In his book he argues that trees live in nurturing communities, supporting and communicating with each other through a network of underground funghi, dubbed ‘the wood-wide web’, all backed up by recent scientific studies. A fascinating argument for a more ecological approach to forest management. HarperCollins, £9.99 THE OVERSTORY, Richard Powers The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2019, The Overstory is a sweeping novel that skilfully intertwines many different stories of trees and people to create a paean to the hidden power and vital importance of the natural world. Vintage, £9.99 THE WOOD: THE LIFE & TIMES OF COCKSHUTT WOOD, John LewisStempel This memoir covers the last of the four years that John Lewis-Stempel spent caring for Cockshutt Wood, three and a half acres of woodland in Herefordshire. Within this small area LewisStempel practised agro-forestry, keeping pigs, cows and sheep among the trees, and foraging for mushrooms, wild plants and occasionally pheasants or wood pigeons. A poetic evocation of the English countryside and a treatise on another way to live. Black Swan, £9.99

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Infinity, The Lake District by Rod Ireland for LPOTYA; a speckled wood butterfly; Holme Fell, Cumbria by Alexander Wrigley for LPOTYA

INTO THE FOREST, Dr Qing Li One of the foremost scientists in the field of forest medicine, immunologist Dr Li has spent years researching the connection between nature and health. Into the Forest is a practical guide to how nature can help you with everything from reducing blood pressure and stress levels to improving immunity. Penguin Life, £9.99


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woodlands, wants the UK to focus on the broader ecological issues, not just replanting. ‘There’s a massive opportunity with trees in terms of solving the world’s problems,’ he argues. ‘If the concrete industry was a country it would have the third largest emissions after China and the USA. If we can replace some of that concrete with wooden structures, we could not only cut down on emissions, but also be storing carbon dioxide.’ Woods and forests aren’t just beneficial to the planet, they can also improve our lives. A recent study by Derby University concluded that spending time among trees is linked to improved happiness and mental wellbeing. Forest bathing has recently started sweeping the West, following the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, which involves spending time mindfully among trees. It’s going mainstream in retreats, spas and hotel

programmes worldwide, and it’s backed up by science: Professor Yoshifumi Miyazaki, of Chiba University in Japan, found leisurely forest walks led to a 12.4 per cent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, compared with urban walks. Participants in his studies also reported better moods and less anxiety. ‘It’s a matter of opening your senses to the stimuli of the forest, gently walking, breathing the vital air under the trees and reinforcing an emotional connection with the landscape,’ explains Marco Nieri, a bio researcher and co-author of The Secret Therapy of Trees, who leads the forest bathing retreat at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany. ‘Practice involves one’s connection to the natural world, and awakens the perception of beauty, wonder and curiosity.’ Nieri sees forest bathing as a cure for our frenetic urban lives. ‘Today, people spend more and more time in closed spaces and

technostress is increasing everywhere,’ he says. ‘This leads us to suppress the innate biophilia that characterises us as human beings – which means the neurological and rooted need to be in contact with nature and other living beings.’ That disconnect from the natural world could have serious consequences for the environment. Recent research by the National Trust has found that people who make small, everyday connections with nature (like birdwatching, forest bathing or gardening) are much more likely to take action to protect it. Above all, it’s about rebuilding centuries-old connections between humans and trees, and forging a deeper understanding and appreciation of woods and forests, as well as the natural world. Perhaps by listening to trees, as Hesse suggested, we’ll end up all the wiser. n


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BALHAM BALHAM - - HARRODS HARRODS - - HAMPSTEAD HAMPSTEAD +44 +44(0)208 (0)208675 6754808 4808

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Charlotte Metcalf talks healthy flowers, ‘productive’ gardening and how soil can save the world with The Land Gardeners


ast autumn I came across one of the most beautiful coffee table books I’ve ever seen. Opening the pages of Cut Flowers is to enter an enchanted, sunlit world of walled gardens, wild flower meadows, bluebell woods, abundant vegetable patches, façades crawling with roses and wisteria, and country house rooms brought alive by scented bulbs and blossom boughs. Every photograph, whether of a bucket of tulips or a bowl of dahlias, conjures up the joy that flowers bring. I bought several books and sent them to friends in need of cheering up. The authors of the book are The Land Gardeners, Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elworthy. For those without a copy, a daily floral boost can be had via their Instagram, which has attracted nearly 50,000 followers and brought them to the attention of Thames & Hudson, who published the book. The Land Gardeners are sought after for their gardens and floral arrangements, but it’s their ability to transform a humble bunch of flowers into a sublime offering that has elevated them to far more than garden designers or flower sellers. On one of their website blogs is a photograph of bulbs thrusting up from a battered tin tub. The caption reads: ‘In they came to the warmth of the kitchen in early January and a few days later – tiny little green shoots of hope peeped through the soil.’ It’s poetry for the soul. Courtauld and Elworthy met at the gates of their children’s London nursery school and became friends. After a three-year spell back in her native New Zealand, Elworthy and her family returned to England, buying and moving into Wardington Manor, a Jacobean house in Oxfordshire with a generous walled garden and plenty of acreage for growing flowers. The women’s partnership evolved naturally from their friendship and shared interests, and they now operate between Wardington and Courtauld’s London home in Notting Hill, where a garden shed acts as their town studio. On a cold, wet February morning (before the world shut down), I finally arrive at Courtauld’s house to meet the women behind the book. I am all set to talk about

The Land Gardeners, Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld

the beauty inherent in a rose petal or spray of lilac, but we are fast discussing earthier matters – soil, compost, microbes and faecal implants – bacterial balance being as important to the human gut as to soil. Courtauld and Elworthy are not so much concerned with beauty as with saving the earth – literally. While they love creating gardens and the romantic, blowsy, overblown, joyous flower arrangements that have won them fans all over the world, their real passion is for healthy soil, which, they say, is the only way of ensuring we have a future.


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Good soil is crucial to good gardening because their non-negotiable rule number one is that a garden must be ‘productive’, meaning that it pulses with life and yields herbs, fruit, flowers, vegetables or essential nutrients for birds and bees all the year round. ‘Even if we’re planting a hedge, we’ll make sure it fruits or feeds wildlife. And then gardens should also inspire and make people happy,’ says Courtauld. ‘It’s important we’re doing people’s gardens for them and not for us,’ adds Elworthy, ‘so we ask our customers to do a bit of homework to find out what makes their hearts sing. Someone gave us some French music as inspiration and someone else said they wanted to dance through their garden in a catsuit and legwarmers listening to Kate Bush. We work with a garden as if it were an orchestra, a moving, living thing.’ They were inspired by Beatrix Havergal, who established her School of Horticulture for Ladies from 1932 to 1971 at Waterperry in Oxfordshire. ‘We love the Land Girls because that wartime generation of women had to learn to work the soil,’ says Courtauld. ‘And women are playing such a key role in our gardens and agriculture now – look at Eve Balfour, founder of the Soil Association, Helen Browning shaping the new agricultural bill or Minette Batters heading up the NFU.’ As their concern is making gardens productive, the duo’s latest venture is working on making microbially rich compost – and then a new book on soil. ‘Compost from a garden centre is usually quite light and fibrous,’ says Elworthy, ‘but the compost we’re creating is dense and sticky from secretions of millions of protozoa and fungi, alive with microbes and nutrients. It will be a bit like a “mother” that you add to your compost or topsoil. We will have “teabags” of microbially rich compost that you can make a brew from to add to your soil.’ ‘It will lock carbon in and stabilise it,’ adds Courtauld, ‘and we’ve spent the last four years developing a composting tool kit that can be scaled up or down – it’s being trialled by farmers now.’ It’s early days but they are trying to provide a solution to the problem of our topsoil eroding and nutrients disappearing, causing not just our vegetable patches and gardens to wilt but entire harvests to fail. FROM ABOVE: One of the beautiful floral arrangements in Cut Flowers; a moodboard for one of their gardens; the pair have been friends for years; healthy beds of flowers at Wardington Manor

It’s time for The Land Gardeners to don their uniform navy-blue smocks and get out into the garden, so I find my umbrella and reluctantly leave the sanctuary of Courtauld’s warm kitchen, which has featured in several interior design magazines. In normal times, The Land Gardeners move fluidly between country and town, as at home in an overgrown rural walled garden as in a stylish city terrace, and their strength lies in combining beauty with health. The flowers they plant and grow are exquisite because they are so vigorous and vibrant. If they can do for British farms what they’re doing for our gardens, they could go way beyond being Land Gardeners to being Land Saviours. The Land Gardeners: Cut Flowers by Henrietta Courtauld and Bridget Elworthy (Thames & Hudson, £39.95). n May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 63

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Bikini, Missoni. Hat, Melissa Odabash Photography: Christine Kreiselmaier Art direction, hair and make-up: Camilla Hewitt Styling: Nicole Smallwood

Meet the people who will get you shipshape in mind, body and soul. By Caroline Phillips


Watsu Wonder STEVE KARLE, Aquatic Therapy

Deep under Regent Street, you’ll find yourself immersed in the Hotel Café Royal’s specialist Watsu pool with small floats attached to your shins. Here, Steve Karle guides you in an hourlong underwater dance of stretching, shiatsu, joint mobilisation and craniosacral work. You’ll feel weightless, and will leave the pool deliciously spaced out, your aches eased. Then you’ll bliss out again with the other parts of this Four Elements treatment: a body massage, hot stones and scalp massage. Book in for when you’re out of self-isolation. BOOK IT: £240.


Oral Awakening DR TIM BRADSTOCK-SMITH, Cosmetic Dentistry

Dental implants, bridges, reconstruction, gum reshaping, teeth bonding, anyone? Or you may want a smile makeover to align crowded teeth, decrease protrusion, reduce a gummy smile and replace missing teeth. Dr Bradstock-Smith is a global leader in cosmetic dentistry, with a Fitzrovia clinic that boasts the most advanced dental methods and the latest interactive computer imaging and laser techniques. The London Smile Clinic is closed for now, but is offering online consultations for patients. BOOK IT: £POA.


Hormone Havoc DR JAN TOLEDANO, Hormone Therapy

Low libido, tired, apathetic, anxious? If those pesky hormones are causing you problems, Dr Toledano is the queen of personalised hormone therapy. She’ll optimise your hormones – using conventional, evidence-based medicine – dispelling premenopausal, perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. She boasts experience in endocrinology, dermatology and developmental psychology, plus a decade as a genitourinary specialist, and tackles everything from nutrition to the andropause (male menopause). See her via video now. BOOK IT: From £325. 64 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2020

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Eastern Promise DR YU HAN, Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr Han is a whizz at acupuncture, traditional herbs, cupping and Chinese massage – done fully clothed, on your meridians. A protégé of the leading light in traditional Chinese medicine (Professor Cheng Xin-Nong, the man credited with teaching the West’s leading practitioners), Han trained for eight years in Beijing and has been practising since 1983. She may pop needles into your ‘du’ meridian to calm an over-active mind or prescribe peony stamen to nourish your liver. She treats everything from asthma to high blood pressure, and her wall is plastered with photos of babies born to previously infertile patients. Aficionados even travel from France to her Kensal Rise clinic. Dr Han is currently offering telephone and online consultations. BOOK IT: £POA. 020 8964 2421.


Spirit Level NATALIA O’SULLIVAN, Spiritual Therapy

If you don’t believe in spirits, a session with Natalia O’Sullivan will soon put paid to that. She’s a holistic therapist, psychic and spiritual counsellor of three decades’ standing who’ll read your Tibetan Buddhist cards – tuning into your ancestors for spot-on guidance on your relationship, work and health issues – and then do some hands-on healing. If you’re in need of a psychic spring clean, she’s your lady. With her leather skirt, forthright manner and psychology degree, she’s no eccentric Madame Arcati, more a tip-top life coach. Natalia can usually be found in London, LA or Somerset, but is currently offering her expertise online, by phone or video for clients over the coming weeks. BOOK IT: £POA.


Skin Solutions JOANNE EVANS, Skin Health

She’s a medical aesthetician and former nurse who’s just opened her own Holland Park clinic (think covetable décor and a curved Chesterfield sofa) offering the capital’s best one-stop shop for skin matters, blitzing large pores, uneven texture and acne. For sun damage, scarring or stretch marks, she’s deft at collagen stimulation therapy. If it’s wrinkles, she offers micro-needling, and unwanted moles go to spot heaven under her careful hands. Joanne is London’s biggest secret. The clinic is currently closed for treatment but Joanne is offering product deliveries and virtual skin and treatment consultations via video. BOOK IT: From £100.


8 Gut Guru GUDRUN JONSSON, Naturopathy

Naturopath Gudrun Jonsson is a bestselling author of books on the gut, and boasts years of experience in digestive health. She offers natural treatments, including negative ion therapy to boost your immune system, and is likely to suggest an alkaline-based eating plan – she has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the healing properties of plants – as well as lifestyle changes. She will also prescribe homeopathic remedies and food supplements for conditions like arthritis and IBS. You may spy a Tibetan monk or Siân Phillips leaving her clinic – they know a healthy gut equals a happy life. Gudrun is currently available for clients over the phone. BOOK IT: From £150. 020 7603 1926.

Mind, Body and Sole MILLY ST AUBYN, Reflexology

Milly believes your soul (not just your sole) is found in your feet – points on which, in reflexology, connect to all your organs. She’s a super-qualified, go-to practitioner for adults – Trinny Woodall and Bella Freud are fans – children and teenagers, alleviating everything from aches to angst. See her in her Shepherd’s Bush consulting room or she’ll bring her reflexology chair and recordings of sacred chants to your home. Afterwards, you’ll feel more comatose than Peter Rabbit nibbling on chamomile. Milly’s has stopped practicing until government guidelines have been lifted, but is happy to give free life advice to clients over phone or video. BOOK IT: From £90.


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EDIT This month’s top ten. By Mariella Tandy




Sportmax celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a limited-edition collection including coats with its signature garment stitch, a classic technique added to ultra-modern silhouettes. £1,125.


Mary Katrantzou has launched Mary Mare, a new resort collection that features many of her prints from the last decade. Sicilia swimsuit, £375; Cannes dress, £1,480.

T H R E E O F T H E B E S T… V I L L A S

OWNER’S VILLA, Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa Designed by David Collins Studio, the villa encompasses over 660 sq/m, and features works by some of Africa’s top artists, curated by owner Laurence Graff. £POA.

CHATEAU LES CARRASSES, France Hide away from modern life at historic Château Les Carrasses, home of several elegant villas. L’Oliveraie is one of its finest, with two bedrooms, a terrace and a pool. From €680 per night.


SONEVA FUSHI, Maldives Set among lush tropical forest, and steps away from the beach, Soneva Fushi’s two new Maldivian villa residences have been designed to exist in perfect harmony with their unspoiled setting. £POA.

THROWING SHADE For its first collaboration in half a century, Persol has worked with much-loved French fashion house APC on three colour variants of its iconic 649 sunglasses, originally designed in 1957 for tram drivers in Turin. £232.


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Email or visit @countryandtown

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SPA GUIDE Floating away at Lefay Resort & Spa in the Dolomites

Edited by Daisy Finer


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Yoga at Como Shambhala Estate


90 ON THE COVER: Lefay Resort & Spa. CONTRIBUTORS: Jane Alexander, Carole Annett, Abi Butcher, Harriet Charnock-Bates, Lucy Cleland, Harriet Compston, Fiona Duncan, Olivia Falcon, Caiti Grove, Jessica Harris, Sue Lawley, Mary Lussiana, Kamin Mohammadi, Anna Pasternak, Holly Rubenstein, Sarah Siese, Lottie Stanners, Sofia Tindall


he need to focus on staying happy and healthy has never been felt so acutely. What seemed to be a year so full of fresh promise has been ripped away from us. Our world is changing as I write. It’s scary and we all feel anxious. What can we do? Take each day, each breath, as it comes. Know and trust that out of the agony, a new world will be born. There are so many lessons to be absorbed. Technology, travel, fast food, instant gratification – all are supposedly in place to make our lives easier and yet, amid all the progress and forward motion, we already knew something was afoot. Stress, anxiety, tension, hurry, the desire to be and have more, do not for a happy life make. As the world pulled us faster and further away from our inner essence, the desire to slow down, get close to ourselves and pause had never been more urgent. And now we are being forced to do just that: slow right down and reset. The Country & Town House Spa Guide offers insight into those places that will be waiting for us once we are out the other side. Those places that offer a space to find peace, healing and inner nourishment. The need for individual time to reflect and process will be paramount. Continuing to trust in the universe, in travel and inspiration, in real time connection with our fellow beings, as well as creating our own full stops, is part of our historical and personal responsibility. The children of today will learn from us how to cope with a future that we cannot predict. Within these pages you’ll find healing stop-outs from India to Italy (we will go back), offering everything from meditation and massages to digestive cleanses and fitness overhauls. Why wouldn’t you want to gift yourself that? Take time to tend and befriend, rest and digest. Mostly, take time to dream, and to hope. When all is said and done, the greatest victory will be to rediscover that behind the fear, our fundamental joy in the beauty of the world remains. Be brave.


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SPA FOR THE MIND It makes sense that the spa world is branching out into makeovers for the mind. Nimaya Mindstation ( is a ‘gym for the mind’ offering everything from integrated Japanese healing to PandoraStar light therapy. You can also spend an hour having a physical and emotional transformation with the new Mindful Facial at Dr David Jack’s clinic on Harley Street, which combines a results-driven skin treatment with an hour of hypnotherapy (


Sleep health is once again under the microscope, with more spas than ever offering dedicated retreats and programmes. Preferred Hotels’ Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa opens in Florida this autumn offering sleep specialist services. The 34 wellness suites will feature circadian rhythm lighting and free-standing bathtubs where guests can enjoy a personalised aromatherapy bath. Elsewhere on the resort you can relax in meditation gardens, four farm-to-table restaurants, tranquility pools and outdoor Patanjali yoga classes. Sweet dreams guaranteed.




Sound healing is here to stay and this year sees the combination of sound healing with hydrotherapy. Balance Holidays’ Swiss Alpine Sound Bath Retreat will include a daily water flotation session in an indoor heated pool, where guests will be immersed in different frequencies, noises and vibrations using singing bowls and other devices as they float, helping to guide them into a deep, meditative state.

You used to have to head to a German or Austrian medispa for the Mayr cure, but now Grayshott Health Spa’s seven-day strict detox programme (based on the Mayr) gives you everything you need to get your gut microbiome into good working order without leaving Blighty ( While you can’t travel, a few days’ gut-friendly food delivery service can give you a much-needed kick start. The Press Soup Cleanse (from £78) is easy on the digestion and delicious to boot (


Forget a trip to the hotel spa. Those in the know are cutting out the middleman and opting for destinations with wellness at their core. The ‘spas with rooms’ philosophy is at the heart of groups like Chenot, who this year open the Chenot Palace Weggis in Switzerland. Every guest enjoys a bespoke programme of treatments such as Chinese cupping, hydroaromatherapy, phyto-mud treatments, altitude hypoxic therapy, cryotherapy and anti-gravity exercise training. Sleep rooms on site feature special acoustics and lighting to fully optimise sleeping hours. IN LINE WITH GOVERNMENT SAFETY GUIDELINES MANY OF THE SPAS AND HOTELS FEATURED ON THIS PAGE WERE CLOSED AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRINT AND WILL RE-OPEN SOON. PLEASE CHECK WEBSITES FOR FURTHER DETAILS

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Tucked among fragrant lemon trees in the shadow of the sacred Mount Taygetos is Europe’s most exciting new spa. Euphoria Retreat is the very particular vision of founder Marina Efraimoglou, whose brush with cancer changed the course of her life: she left banking to retrain in traditional Chinese medicine. Properly holistic and imbued with a real sense of joy, Euphoria’s 45 warm rooms come clad in Byzantine colours of muted gold and deep reds. And the spa is at its very heart. Four storeys high, its core is an inner well where stairs twist from the cold darkness of a Kneipp bath to the blue skies above. Off this are a Himalayan salt room, an infrared sauna, Watsu pool, hammam and domed indoor pool. Science is also here in the form of Greek guru George Leon, who fixes broken metabolisms with a patented 3GL test that reveals your glutathione level (an indicator of metabolic health) and ensures your diet is tailored accordingly. And then there are the transformational journeys guided by Marina in which, through exploring the Chinese five elements, we learn who we really are. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers a seven-night Emotional & Physical Transformation retreat from £4,375pp, with BA flights and transfers.


Where the wisdom of an Indian ashram meets a tropical haven. Founded by John and Karina Stewart, the former a yogi monk for 16 years, the latter a master of Chinese traditional medicine, Kamalaya has all the beautiful holistic spa treatments you could wish for, plus a state-of-the-art fitness centre. At its heart is meditation, yoga and the need to balance body and mind, with four former monks on hand to offer guidance. Built around a mystical Buddhist cave and shrine, the resort flows steeply downhill to a charming beach, perfect for relaxing between treatments. Rooms and villas, plus two

restaurants, two swimming pools and a yoga pavilion, are hardly visible among the frangipani and casuarinas. Choose from one of 15 programmes covering health, diet, fitness and emotional wellbeing, or pick treatments and (free) classes à la carte. Treatments include both eastern and western techniques and visiting therapists are worldclass. Never have diet and detox dishes tasted so varied and delicious. But perhaps best is the friendly, collective vibe: famous faces melt into the background and the communal table at dinner is always animated. BOOK IT: Five-night Embracing Change programme from approx. £2,700 all-inclusive.


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In a fairyland of ferns and frangipani, the jungle alive with birdsong, a priest chants rhythmically as a couple dip their heads under a stream of water gushing from a stone wall, clad in sarongs. They join the priest, who performs a Balinese blessing ceremony by the holy spring set into the rocks. But this is not an initiation into a new religion, it’s just one part of the ‘day of tranquillity’ experience at Como Shambhala, and the pair are guests having a spa treatment that lasts eight hours and soothes the soul, quiets the mind, stretches the muscles and pampers the body. For this is so much more than a spa. Styled as a residential health retreat, the intention here is to help guests make life changes that will last, with different wellness programmes to that end. Yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong, pilates and fitness experts teach clients to nurture spirit and mind as well as body. Fitness junkies have the whole estate to jog around and there are steep steps into the river valley to increase lung capacity. Whether you come to change your life or simply to immerse yourself in the incredible natural surroundings, a stay here is unrivalled. BOOK IT: Garden Room, from £571 B&B.


Now 20 years old, Ananda is a truly holistic destination that, high up above the Ganges under blue Indian skies stretching over snow-capped Himalayan peaks, immerses you in a world of Ayurveda, yoga and Vedanta philosophy. Arrive at the 19th-century Viceregal Palace to be met by monkeys and marigolds before swooping downhill past three villas to the spa, swimming pool, restaurant and 70 rooms. The atmosphere radiates a sense of peace; bedrooms are cosy and bathrooms have huge windows overlooking lush gardens where peacocks strut. But really it is the people here that make it. Sandeep with his soporific voice during yoga nidra, and therapists like Tsering from Tibet and Aretha from Kerala with their shy smiles and caring hands. Before each Ayurvedic treatment a Sanskrit prayer is chanted over you. Food is tailored to your dosha, diagnosed by the doctor on arrival and served with solicitude by the friendly waiters. Expect dishes such as curry leaf-marinated, griddled fish or haricot beans and palm heart salad. Expect to leave here lighter in body and enriched in mind. BOOK IT: Doubles from £568.50 (anandaspa. com). Cox & Kings offers tailor-made trips to the Himalayas ( May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 71

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This is Bodrum’s latest star: a destination spa hotel with a heart. Just be warned; it also pitches itself as a family hotel, so if you want to detox (which you should, the programmes are superb), you may prefer to take meals in the peace of your room, as opposed to sitting amid the chitter-chatter and food decadence in the dining rooms. But don’t let this put you off. The new anti-aging programme is stellar and the one to plump for. Beginning with a proper health screening, which measures everything from hydration and stress levels to BMI, every day is beautifully designed to nurture and restore. Things start light – with a liquid diet on day one, building up over the following days to include light protein-packed meals (white fish, steamed veg). Days are peppered with treats: facials, exquisite massages, Turkish hammams, incredible candlelit Watsu, breathing meditations and yoga with the wonderful Dorelal Singh. His teachings are something to take home with you. Don’t miss his guided yoga nidra, especially helpful for anyone who struggles with sleep. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers a fivenight Discover Yoga programme (including accommodation, transfers, breakfast and yoga) from £2,499.


The slick design may be Spanish, but the heart of India’s foremost destination spa remains authentically Indian. Vana delivers exceptional care, wisdom and therapies. This really is a special place, where programmes deliver both physical and spiritual transformation. There’s an Ayurvedic wing, a water wing, a natural therapy centre for the likes of shiatsu, reflexology and acupuncture and, a highlight, the Tibetan Healing Centre. Health is taken seriously and a retreat atmosphere is fostered. There’s a minimum five-night stay and no social media or photography allowed in public areas. You’re even encouraged not to wear your own clothes – each day a fresh set of white kurta pyjamas invites you to drop into anonymity and just be. Schedules can get busy: classes include cookery workshops, yoga and breath work and there are wonderful morning treks into the mountains. The food is exceptional and abundant – you need willpower to shift pounds because the emphasis is more on de-stressing than deprivation. What’s interesting is that few leave disappointed. Relaxation is the first step to halting stress-related eating and dropping into intuitive self-care. Clever. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers a five-night Ashram programme from £2,299pp full board, including flights and transfers. 72 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2020

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Driving through 600 acres down a barely signposted road, past southern Utah’s vast plateaus and rugged flat-top mesa rock formations, it quickly becomes clear that this remote resort is intentionally enigmatic – privacy, serenity and oneness with nature are its raison d’être. Its surroundings are celebrated at every turn. Sleek polished concrete and clean contemporary lines disappear almost completely into the rocky landscape. Most guests head straight to the photogenic pool, curved around a dramatic rock protrusion and lined with steaming jacuzzis. The spa – the pinnacle for self-proclaimed ‘Aman junkies’ – is surrounded by Navajo Nation, the largest Native American Reservation in the US, and the extensive treatment menu channels Navajo culture and healing traditions. April sees the opening of Camp Sarika – ten canvas-topped pavilions with sunset-facing private plunge pools, a five-minute drive from the main resort and with full access to its facilities. This is a true bucket-list destination and if it’s total transformation you’re looking for, it is a truly restorative escape. BOOK IT: Doubles from £1,478 full board (excluding alcohol), with transfers.

OLIVIA VON HALLE Silk nightshirt set, £380.

HORIZON ATHLETIC Swimsuit, £149.


Celebrating 25 years of helping people feel better, the grand dame of wellness resorts now sports a slick and stylish new look after extensive refurbishment. On the compact six-acre site you’ll find all the attributes of an in-depth medispa, softened by all the attributes of a swanky five-star hideaway, plus a wealth of holistic treatments, yoga and meditation and delicious, pound-shedding food. Relaxing on the terrace above Hua Hin’s seemingly endless beach and watching the horse riders by day and fishermen by night is a constant joy. It’s certainly not all work, but the superb facilities, including extensive subterranean spa and impressive physiotherapy department, the breadth of treatments and world-renowned quality of the practitioners, demand a robust response to get the most benefit from a stay here. At times it may feel like you’re constantly checking what’s next on the agenda. This is one of the oldest destination spas in the world, one that remains a bubble of luxury and privilege, where guests have the opportunity for real and lasting change, administered with care, professionalism and smiling kindness. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers seven nights from £4,595pp all-inclusive, including BA flights, transfers and £625 wellness credit.

MAJE Bag, £59.

MARA HOFFMAN Cotton dress, £390.

ANCIENT GREEK SANDALS Revekka Rivets, £185.


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This wellness temple in white – part sleek hotel with canopied sunbeds around an infinity pool, but mostly a centre dedicated to immersing you in every aspect of your health – is rooted in the Japanese tradition of macrobiotics, which uses food as medicine. And how magnificent it is too. Based on whole grains, seasonal vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds, it’s both nourishing and surprisingly plentiful. You’ll also find the very best of East meets West therapies achieved with kindness, professionalism and a desire to deliver results. Where else might you get the latest technology and techniques developed by NASA and Harvard to maximise cognitive abilities (book a session with the wondrous Dr Bruno Ribeiro) or have genetic studies done to analyse your health predictors? The list of treatments is endless but luckily they have a useful app to keep you up to speed. Guests run the gamut from A-listers like Monica Bellucci to Masters of the Universe on burnout, who can hide away in one of 11 new private residences. Add in a hit of vitamin D from the Spanish sun and SHA is a complete recipe for health success. BOOK IT: Healing Holidays offers a four-night Rebalance programme from £2,399pp all-inclusive, with flights and transfers.


Gone are the days when the Mayr cure just meant Epsom salts, chewing stale bread till your jaw ached and sipping broth, though these elements very much remain at its core. Today’s Mayr therapy takes the mental and emotional part of health and healing a lot more seriously. Here at FX Mayr Original, the home of the Mayr cure from which others sprang, on the edge of glittering Lake Wörthersee (ask for a lake view room), this means evening meditation and access to the wonderful psychotherapist, Claudia Waldner. There are personal yoga lessons, shiatsu (stress-relieving), silent eating (to

reconnect in a healthy way with food) and an overall ethos that recognises mental stress as a signifier of physical malfunction. A design revamp within the last few years (along with ditching the traditional dirndl uniform of the staff) has added a beautiful new sauna just metres from the lake’s edge (do take a dip), electric bikes and guided hikes, which have all breathed new life into this classic institution, to which guests return again and again. Submit to the cure in its entirety – mind, soul and body – and new life will be breathed into you too. BOOK IT: Seven-day FX Mayr cure programme from £1,305. Rooms from £185 per night.


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Research has proved that fasting is one of the most therapeutic methods of dealing with the diseases of modern living (obesity, cancer, diabetes, allergies etc). It is known to regenerate the immune system, reduce inflammation, blood pressure and cholesterol; it also releases endorphins. What’s not to love? Well, not eating solid food for ten days is not without its challenges so you definitely want to undertake it in a calm, safe and supervised environment. This is Germany’s foremost clinic, set on a steep hillside above Lake Constance and started by Dr Otto Buchinger in 1953 after he self-cured himself of chronic rheumatic fever. Still run by the family, the loving care of the staff eases you through the process. The 250-calorie a day liquid fast involves light soups and broths, delicious apple peel tea with honey, as much water as you can manage, the occasional enema, hot liver compresses (so comforting), blood tests and turbosiestas. The daily walks are invigorating and keep you connected to both nature and other guests. Yes, you will lose weight, yes, your skin will glow, yes, you will sleep deeply. There is also something intrinsically affirmative about achieving abstinence. BOOK IT: Ten-day programmes from £2,340pp all-inclusive.


It’s a given that the well-heeled Europeans and Russians who come to this mustard yellow palace to undertake Dr Henri Chenot’s world-famous method will have packed ironed white chinos (the men) and LBDs (the women). And why not? The balconied dining area overlooking the gardens happily calls for a uniform, which is otherwise – categorically – a white robe. Nor should it put you off: never mind your neighbours (rotund, scrawny, alone or in twos, with dogs or daughters), it’s the staff that put the heart and soul into the place, really nurturing you through your detox, an outstanding mix of daily massages based on your meridian lines, electrical acupuncture, hydro-mud baths (topped off by being sprayed down with hot and cold jets, like a prize heifer) and a bespoke diet that is beautiful, delicious… and tiny. Just introduced is an open body scanner that displays your muscle and bone density and a programme of personal training, vitamin drips and a special diet to keep you at the top of your game. Leave skinnier, stronger and, most importantly, educated. BOOK IT: Six-day programme from about £2,380. Seven nights’ double room, from £1,425pp. May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 75

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Lanserhof’s third and most modern medispa, which stands in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps with spectacular views, is as dripping with awards as media darling Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The reasons why are manifold. Designed by leading architect Christoph Ingenhoven, it’s a stylishly pared-down boutique hotel (all larch wood, glass and stone) meets bells-and-whistles hightech clinic, to which A-listers return again and again for the now worldfamous Lans Med Concept – fasting, chewing spelt rolls and that whole detoxification regime based on the original Mayr cure. But unlike spas of a similar ilk, it’s the vast plush bedrooms and excellent additional treatments – from cranio-sacral therapy and hypnosis to genetic analysis and vitamin infusions (beware your bill) – that elevate it to cult status. When you’re not being massaged or having your hormones analysed, the best way to forget your growling stomach is to take morning hikes, e-bike around the lake, swim in the outdoor saltwater pool, sweat in the sauna or join any of the complementary classes such as pilates and yoga. Leave feeling like a Lanserhof evangelist. You’ll be back. BOOK IT: Seven-day Cure Classic, from approx. £1,675 (excluding accommodation).

BEGG & CO Staffa shawl, £220.

DEREK ROSE Cami silk satin pyjamas, £325.

TUMI Backpack, £500.



Digestion actually starts in the nose. The smell of food gets digestive juices flowing so take your time before your first mouthful, then it’s chew, chew, chew until it resembles a paste. Even if you eat a healthy diet, not chewing means you might as well be eating McDonald’s. Raw food especially needs chewing thoroughly as it hasn’t been softened by cooking.


Drinking enough liquid is critical to aid detoxification. Try aromatic herbal teas such as fennel, peppermint, ginger or rosemary to improve digestion. If you find drinking plain water boring, add mint or basil leaves to a jugful. The herbs infuse the water with their nutrients as well as adding flavour.


Once a month, stick to just soup and juice for an entire day, to cleanse your mind and body. Vegetarian soups and green juices are best: they are less difficult for your body to digest and also contain more fibre (critically missing from so many of our diets), aiding in the detoxification process.


Exercise every day to improve digestion and eliminate toxins through the pores of your skin. You can also sweat it in a steam room so your body can further detoxify through perspiration.


Dry body brushing not only helps to exfoliate skin, it increases blood circulation, promotes lymph flow and is invigorating. Remember to brush towards the heart.

REEBOK X BA&SH Jacket (launches June), £150.

CELTIC & CO Cashmere sleep socks, £76.


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Rooted in the white-sanded central coastline of Vietnam, this fledgling Four Seasons is a secret holistic treasure on the Asian spa scene. The setting is well worth the journey: 86 acres of exquisite tropical gardens, numerous true-blue infinity pools, handcrafted cobbled lanes, gorgeously traditional Vietnamesestyle guest houses, and Insta-worthy spa huts set around a stunning lotus pond. Soul-soothing spa treatments provide a head-to-toe reboot. The Nam Hai Earth Song Ritual – including breath work, a Vietnamese scrub and bath with herbs from the gardens, a deep pressure massage incorporating gem-tipped tuning forks, and a fully immersive sound bath – lasts two and a half hours and leaves the body glowing and the mind purged of tension and stress. Other highlights include reiki, reflexology, adrenalboosting therapies and even specially designed treatments for children. Yes, there’s tennis and watersports, but once you’ve dipped into the otherworldly experience of the spa it’s impossible not to come back for more. A charming hotel with the unequivocal pedigree of Four Seasons, plus a nourishing soul at its core. BOOK IT: One-bedroom villa from £545 B&B.


Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is sacred. There is no interminable piped music, rooms are wifi-free and the televisions have pretty felt hoods to protect you from unwanted vibes. Even better, there is no incessant background trill of mobiles, since devoted guests respect the quiet space. Here in Austria, Sonnhof pioneers European Ayurveda, an ingenious mix of ancient Indian detox practices with subtle tailoring for westerners. Food is calmed, in that, yes, there are excellent soups, dahls, rice and vegetables, yet the spices won’t send you sky high. Similarly, the oils in the Ayurvedic treatments are

less pungently powerful than in India. Immense care is taken with your bespoke treatment programme. This is the place to properly connect within and expel negative thought patterns. The purge day has explosive results, yet the physical, mental and emotional benefits leave you giddy with joy once those pesky detox symptoms abate. Indian Dr Sharma is worth the trip alone. Psychic and gifted, he’ll read your body like Braille. Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is so nurturing and wholesome that you can happily overlook some dodgy decor for balanced doshas and peace in your soul. BOOK IT: Seven-night AyurDetox Intensive Programme from around £1,212. Single room from £152.


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Think the holistic approach to wellness is a modern phenomenon? Not one bit – Ayurvedic medicine is one of the systems of 5,000-year-old traditional Indian medicine for body, mind and soul. And there’s nowhere better to experience it than at Atmantan: think modern 21st-century luxury villas with the best of ancient Ayurveda at your fingertips. A dedicated doctor determines your dominant dosha (out of three), the Sanskrit term for body and personality type. The aim? To balance all three elements for optimum health. Days start early with rinsing eyes in home-brewed saline water (surprisingly nice) and abluting nasal passages (more challenging). Yoga follows, and the western concept of yoga – sweaty, shouty and smug – does not equate in India. Here it’s traditional and slower, practised overlooking a vast lake and mountains. Food is organic, plentiful even if calorie-controlled. Treatments are prescribed according to your dosha. For the brave, a self-induced colonic – by downing three litres of water interspersed with yoga – works a charm. A transformative stay results in sparkly eyes, a clear mind, and inches off the belly – there’s good reason Ayurveda has outlived other fads. BOOK IT: Five nights from £1,765pp all-inclusive.


One of the original yoga retreats, Shreyas is a true journey of self-discovery. Twenty years ago, founder Pawan Malik, a former investment banker, wanted to create a high-end retreat for high achievers – to practise yoga and meditation without the harsh confines of an ashram. Since then, Shreyas has grown both spiritually and physically, and now offers a host of different packages, including the Joy of Giving that immerses guests in local life, assisting in the orphanage that has been built nearby, thanks to donations from Shreyas. Comfy cottages are dotted around a 25-acre coconut grove just outside Bangalore, now home to six yoga and meditation spaces, an infinity pool and a vast spa with 13 treatment rooms, a reflexology footpath and extensive vegetable garden. There are no brands here – healing is simple and natural, with more than 90 staff on hand (for a maximum of 26 guests) to ensure your personal wellbeing. Immerse yourself in two and a half hours of yoga each day and half an hour of meditation; eat freshly prepared, plentiful vegetarian food and indulge yourself with treatments, both western and Ayurvedic. A week here, under the team’s extraordinary care, is life-changing. BOOK IT: Doubles from around £212. May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 79

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Cradled between mountains and the Arabian Sea, Oman’s second-largest city, Salalah, sits on a coastline thickly fringed with coconut palms and banana trees. A private villa with a pool offers an instant cocoon of indulgence: sipping chamomile tea on a cabana bed while watching the brightly-coloured birds is therapy in itself. Slink out for early morning beach yoga sessions on cool white sands, then breakfast beside an infinity of pools leading the eye out to the sea. Make waves with an Aqua Zumba class in the privacy of your villa – it hilariously shakes up the day and spares any blushes. Head to the heat of the hammam and have all your sins sweated, scrubbed and pummelled out. And descend into deep relaxation with an Anantara Signature Massage, which channels the sensual and healing properties of frankincense, an aromatic tree resin produced and traded here for millennia. Venture out with the local guide and discover an ancient coastline of beaches and blowholes, with eagles clinging to craggy eyries. Dine indulgently from a personal menu curated by the head chef and served at the villa; every nuance is catered for, including weight loss, and everything is utterly delicious – the fresh coconut rice pudding is a revelation. Then light some incense, take a dip and watch those birds… BOOK IT: Garden view pool villa from £400 B&B.

ZEUS + DIONE Sitia dress, £424.

BOABAB Diego Suarez candle, £284.

CUTLER & GROSS 1330 sunglasses, £300.



In Ayurveda, warm milk (organic and full fat) is believed to be easily digested; it nourishes all the tissues and promotes balanced emotions. Add a pinch of turmeric, a twist of ground black pepper and a cinnamon stick or a few pinches of ginger while it’s on the hob. These warming spices help to calm the mind and will improve your sleep.


Don’t forget posture and breath. Most of us spend hours hunched in front of a screen and our shallow breathing habits can cause longterm issues. So put your shoulders back and down, hold your stomach in, expand your chest – and breathe deeply. This not only calms the mind, it boosts circulation and supports the spine.


Antidepressant, antiseptic and aphrodisiac, damask rose essential oil is an incredible healer. A few drops in an oil burner or dabbed onto your inner wrists will help clear the atmosphere and enable you to drop out of your head and into your heart space.


Practise meditation to help reduce stress and improve resilience. You don’t have to sit still – a daily silent walk can be your meditation. And remember, the more regularly you practise, the more effective it becomes.


A daily selfmassage with sesame oil is very nourishing. Sesame oil is warming, pacifying, good for the bones and full of nutrients that soak into your body through skin and hair. Try it once a week. Marinate overnight and then shower in the morning.

BAMFORD Basket bag, £295.

GIA COUTURE Melissa, £260.


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Set on the Puglian coast among thousandyear-old olive trees, this dreamily beautiful hotel looks after all the family. Mirroring the design of a traditional local village, the 184 white stone rooms, casettas and villas, dotted among bougainvillea-filled cobbled streets, are crisp and clean with Adriatic sea views. Six restaurants leave you spoilt for choice, along with a superb kids’ club, two private beaches and four pools – mothers can truly reclaim themselves. And it’s the Vair Spa that steals the show. Quiet, creamcoloured and candle-lit, with elegant barefoot therapists clad in Grecian gowns, it’s all about targeted healing of the body and soul. Begin with the Roman thermal baths: a two-hour, steaming hot and blindingly cold adventure. Then there are the fantastic treatments, from hydrating facials and muscle-melting massages to volcanic-mud wraps. A laughter workshop is in the mix too, involving local folk dance pizzica (less excruciating than it sounds). For pure bliss, plump for the U Mor massage that uses local olive oil and warmed seawater in strokes synchronised to the sound of waves. You can also enjoy deep yoga, explore the countryside on bikes or go for gentle runs. BOOK IT: Doubles from around £250 B&B.


Tucked into the divine landscape of Sierra de Mariola, MasQi’s intimate eightbedroom retreat occupies a simply converted 19th-century farmhouse surrounded by views of verdant hills, cherry, olive and pine trees. A gentle wind washes your spirit clean and the air smells of oranges, lavender, rosemary and thyme. Just to arrive here is tranquillising, before you’ve even got to the food, yoga and therapies. Owner Sonia Ferre’s aim is to offer back to the world the tools she discovered when recovering from her own personal crisis. As such, the approach is deeply personal and full of heart. The calibre

of the treatments would be hard to match anywhere in Europe, if not beyond. There’s no need to worry about which practitioner is on your programme, all are confident enough to deliver their own intuitive healing. Daily yoga is pure and traditional rather than being treated as a sport, meditation classes frequently combine sound healing or gong baths, and the food is exceptional. Expect miso soup, nut butters, fruits and porridges for breakfast, nourishing four-course lunches and dinners. You’ll leave grounded, inspired and blissed out. BOOK IT: Seven-day Transform programme from £1,632pp all-inclusive.


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Passing through the serene Sonoran desert to reach this modern-day retreat ensures you arrive with a true sense of tranquility. This is Scottsdale, Arizona – often dubbed the Beverly Hills of the Southwest – where sun-drenched mountains are dotted with shots of bright colour from the flowering cacti and lush green succulents. It’s built into the side of the rocky outcrop that dominates the local skyline, said to be shaped like a camel’s head. This is an exclusive – and private – retreat. Vast suites with floor-to-ceiling windows take in the blissful panoramic views of aptly named Paradise Valley stretching beyond. Historically, this was a site for Native American meditation, so wellness is very much rooted in Sanctuary’s foundations. It’s now home to one of the top destination spas in the US. Asian influences permeate throughout, from its reflection pond and Watsu pool to signature treatments like the muscle-melting Luk Pra Kope, a blend of Thai massage and organic medicinal herbs. Whether it’s cocktails by the cabana-lined infinity pool, or a transformative spa journey, this Sanctuary lives up to its name. BOOK IT: Doubles from £250.

VIVIEN SHERIFF Aquamarine Queen Panama, £256.

SEP JORDAN Made 51 x UNHCR linen shawl, £121.


Kindness seeps through the pores at Shillim: to yourself, to others and to the planet. Set among 350 acres within a 3,000-acre conservation estate in India’s Western Ghats, this goes far beyond forest bathing – it’s a freediving immersion into nature. There’s no gym – instead you ramble into the surrounding mountains or practise mindful yoga in a shala that floats amid the trees. Ancient wisdom (Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy) softly nudges shoulders with modern diagnostics and your personalised programme gives you exactly what you need, rather than what you think you want. For most that means a deep reset for frazzled nervous systems (weight loss, rejuvenation, and so on, will all follow once that’s sorted). Everything is designed to soothe, from the Zen-inspired villas to the gentle daily routine. Ayurvedic bodywork rules supreme and the therapists frequently veer off-piste, depending on your needs – they’re drenched in compassion. Dosha-dedicated food is delicious. Even the smallest frog is treated as royalty here and your conscience can be further soothed in the knowledge that your travel (both flights and car transfers) is carbon-offset by the estate’s heartfelt eco initiatives. BOOK IT: Spa villa from £350.

ETRO Geometric-print silktwill turban hat, £320.

JAMES PERSE T-shirt, £85.

PENELOPE CHILVERS Sol Pampas slides, £119.


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Hunkering down in the remote reaches of Iceland’s unforgiving north, framed by snow-cloaked volcanic peaks, this former sheep croft is a no-holds-barred assault on the senses – a refuge for clued-in thrill seekers, if you will – and home to the boundary-pushing wellness concept, Eleven Life. In keeping with Deplar’s adventurous spirit, the focus is on adrenaline-fuelled challenges that boost your mental capacity as well as your fitness levels. Days begin at the huge farmhouse table, where herby omelettes and pancakes are washed down with immune-bolstering juices. Then you’re off outdoors to be propelled towards your goals by the assembly of Viking-like guides. Along with snowmobile racing and axe throwing in the frozen wilds, there’s cross-country skiing – and don’t miss the torch-free night walks beneath the eerie glow of the Northern Lights, an experience that’s somehow stimulating and soothing all at once. Down in the vast, slate-clad spa, limb-loosening therapies run the gamut from vigorous full body rub-downs to stints in a saltwater flotation pod. Leave with a stronger body, a sharper mind, and a new-found respect for Mother Nature. BOOK IT: Doubles from £2,350 per night full board incl. wellness programme, guide services and transfers.


When The Ranch opened 79 years ago, it cost about £13.50 to pitch your own tent, do a week of hiking and eat vegetarian meals under the starry skies. Nearly eight decades later, this much-loved grande dame on the slopes of Mount Kuchumaa, overlooking the Mexican border, has been transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing retreat. Begin with a spectacular dawn trek across the mountains. Then get stuck into some mind-boggling options – everything from ballet to hula-hooping to aerial acrobatics. Add to that creative writing classes, sculpture lessons and an extensive

cookery school, and afterwards you’ll need to zone out with a massage: they’re no frills, done by local women, but deliciously effective. Meals are super-healthy with a Mexican twist. It’s all communal eating – there are about 160 guests a week – but that means great camaraderie and even more fun at the final fiesta when alcohol – yippee – is finally served. After dinner, flop in your casita tucked into the forest, charmingly decorated in colourful local fabrics. This straightforward approach works. Repeat custom is almost a given. BOOK IT: Seven nights from £3,335pp full board (single occupancy), including transfers.


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There are no bells and whistles here, unless you count the distant tinkle of a goat bell, carried across flower-strewn meadows and deep valleys. This isn’t a spa, but a true retreat: a pulling back from the hubbub of our 21st-century existence. Mobile network is negligible, immersing you in the outer silence. Led by your guide, you walk and walk – up hills, down narrow footpaths, passing women laden with dried grass on their heads, through stone villages where houses come in candy box pink or sky blue, with slate roofs. Red-roofed temples lie silhouetted against the snow-capped mountains. You can hear yourself think while walking; the body begins to tone, mental clarity arrives. You fall into a rhythm: wake with the sun, bed tea, then yoga before a breakfast of warm roti. Then walk. By sunset you’ll have reached another house in time for a drink by the log fire, a curry and a hot-water-bottle-filled bed. Finally, you reach 360 Leti and its four simple stone cottages, tucked under the Himalayan mountain range. You feel you’ve dropped off the edge of the world. When you emerge renewed, reborn and revived, nothing looks quite the same again. BOOK IT: Seven nights from £6,120pp all inclusive with transfers.

MONCLER Long parka, £1,235.

VAARA Mara paddle suit, £200.


The River Lule was once an important link between Lapland’s inland forests and the timber industry’s coastal sawmills. As timber floated downstream, logs would jam, trapped by the fastflowing currents. Just south of the Arctic Circle, a new hotel now sits on the water, its exterior clad in the criss-crossing trunks of birch trees, mimicking those log jams from the great days of Swedish timber export. At its epicentre sits the Arctic bath. At four degrees centigrade, any keen plunger needs steely resilience. The effect is instant and electrifying, followed by a rapid dash back into the sauna where fellow heroes nod their congratulations in silent Nordic fashion. Spa therapist Jennie Astridsson is often there to rally courage and welcome survivors of the dip. She hands out frozen grapes and pours aromatic unguents over the wood chip furnace. Result? Blissful sensations in 70-degree heat. Guests go cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing through the forest – utterly invigorating – then return for rejuvenating massages. It works. You walk into the restaurant taller, your neck coaxed upwards like a turtle emerging from hibernation. BOOK IT: From £700pp half board (arcticbath. se); SAS flies from Heathrow (;;

DR STURM Ski Cream, £90.

ADIDAS BY STELLA MCCARTNEY Technical shell backpack, £130.

VEJA Condor trainer, £130.


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If you’re scared of heights, you might be startled by the vertiginous clifftop setting, but the spectacular Amalfi coast and insanely glamorous hotel – romantic, smart and with a spa that oozes soul – will soon quell any anxiety. The 17th-century former convent has just 20 beautiful bedrooms and is surrounded by landscaped terraces leading to a jaw-dropping infinity pool – there are Instagram-worthy views all round. Inside, carefully curated antiques sit alongside contemporary art pieces in a clever blend of old and new. The spa boasts original, vaulted, double-height ceilings and uses products made by monks from the divine Farmacia Santa Maria Novella. The signature massage, with its melted candle wax layered onto your skin, feels almost transcendental. For romance, head to the huge couple’s spa suite with its own rasul, steam room, wet and dry treatment couches and terrace. Equally decadent, at the Michelin-starred Ristorante Il Refettorio, chef Christoph Bob prepares superb fare sourced from the surrounding Campania region (don’t miss the famous breakfast puff pastries). This is definitely not the place to diet. BOOK IT: Doubles from around £348 B&B.


Set in the hills of the Algarve, with an epic view of the coastline from the rooftop infinity pool, Longevity Alvor is less hotelwith-spa, more tip-top health clinic with beautiful rooms attached. Of course, there’s the usual gamut of massages and facials, but we advise signing up to one of the hotel’s signature programmes, such as Metabolic Optimisation or Essential Detox. These include full-blown medical consultations with on-site doctors and clinical treatments specifically designed to help counter any health imbalances you may have accrued from life in the real world. Treatments aside,

it would be foolish to miss out on some of the daily group activities that can help reset your mental space (and are fun to boot) – there’s everything from chilled-out sunrise yoga and Tibetan singing bowls to bracing hikes to the beach. And rest assured that healthy needn’t mean boring when it comes to food – the restaurant serves up some supremely imaginative dishes, all of them deeply delicious and deeply good for you, since they’re designed to alkalise your body and help expel toxins. If you can’t resist a wee tipple, at least the wine is organic. BOOK IT: Five-night Longevity Essential Detox from £1,815pp. Doubles from £170 B&B.


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If minimal aesthetics and unapologetic luxury is your MO, you’ll no doubt overlook the three-hour transfer (or a swifter 25 minutes in the hotel’s helicopter) from Athens to arrive at the overwhelmingly beautiful Amanzoe. With panoramic views of the Aegean, miles of columned walkways and lavender-adorned flat roofs, it’s a sight to behold. Each of the 38 classical pavilions and eight stand-alone villas offers a modern oasis, complete with its own pool, private garden and personal chef. Although in-room treatments are available (and very tempting), you won’t want to miss the sanctuary of the light-filled spa. Combining ancient Greek beauty rituals with Asian techniques, the nature-focused treatment concept of grounding, purifying and nourishing follows the Aman group’s ethos and weaves throughout their expansive menu. Treatments begin with a complimentary purifying smoke ceremony followed by a foot ritual and range from targeted lymphatic facials to hot stone massages. You can even carry on the experience at home with Aman’s new, own-brand, bespoke skincare range, packed full of healing tree oils and alkalising oxygen-rich spring water. What could be better? BOOK IT: Doubles from £964 B&B.


Sicily is abundant in delicious ingredients – nuts, oils, citrus fruits and herbs thrive in its warm winters and hot dry summers. In Verdura, a Forte resort on the south-west coast, you don’t just get to eat the local produce: Irene Forte, daughter of Sir Rocco, has used oranges, almonds, rosemary and lemons in her own skin and body product range and spa treatments. Grown on the local farm, they’re transformed into unguents whose names make you feel naturally beautiful: pistachio lip balm, hibiscus serum, pomegranate mask and blackcurrant body oil. The spa itself, a flowing space of natural stone and glass, is designed to put you in touch with nature: floor-to-ceiling windows look out across acres of grassland to the sea beyond. You can sauna, steam or swim – there’s an elegant 70m pool – or perform a circuit of the four outdoor thalassotherapy pools, whose varying salt densities restore health and help respiration. There’s only one downside: the tinkle of the handcrafted Sicilian bell that heralds the end of your treatment and return to the real world. BOOK IT: Luxury rooms from around £292 B&B. May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 87

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Nestled into the mountainside on a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Italian Dolomites, surrounded by forest, Lefay’s newest offering is an elegant architectural juxtaposition of traditional and modern. Warm and cosy, with sleek accents and tonal touches, the 88-suite sustainable resort blends perfectly into the surrounding landscape. Situated in the popular ski area of Madonna di Campiglio, it provides a chic base to relax and recharge (there are firepits aplenty) after a hard day on the slopes, especially with a vast and impressive spa on offer. Set over three floors and incorporating the brand’s wellness method of traditional Chinese medicine with Western techniques, it’s a spa-goer’s paradise with eight saunas, three pools, healthy snacks and a variety of authentic herbal teas, all catered to your emotional disposition. With immune-boosting breathing classes, low-calorie menu options and skin-loving juices to boot, you’ll be tempted to give the slopes a miss altogether. But if you do crave a little movement, wrap up and explore the nearby waterfalls on the hotel’s electric bikes – before retiring in front of your in-room faux fire to watch the clouds roll in over the peaks. BOOK IT: Junior suites from £281 B&B.


Ever since 1861, when Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, bestowed her patronage on Eugénieles-Bains’ thermal springs, this sleepy town in southwest France has been a must-visit for fixing health issues. Then, in 1974, French superstar chef Michel Guérard opened Les Prés d’Eugénie. Housed in a supremely chic 19th-century manor house, this Relais & Châteaux retreat is a masterpiece of French country elegance, with Guérard’s phenomenal food its crowning glory. A pioneer of nouvelle cuisine – the 20th-century movement that lightened traditional French cooking – Guérard created a shining example with his cuisine ‘minceur’ (slimming). Tuck into succulent beef salad, creamy risotto with vegetables and shrimp, and even a chocolate pudding – all in a three-course menu with less than 600 calories. Then continue shedding pounds in the garden spa, where thermal water baths in solid marble tubs in front of crackling log fires are divine, with a bouquet of rosemary, thyme and sage to exfoliate your skin. Next, aid digestion with a white clay bath – like wallowing in warm thick cream. The body-shaping hydrotherapies sting (a little) but stick with it, those high-pressure jets of water are breaking down unwanted fat cells. Sisley, the brand of choice, works wonders for further toning. BOOK IT: Doubles from around £210. 88 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2020

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Champillon is an area of north-eastern France that’s as famous for its champagne houses as for its lack of high-class accommodation – that is, until 2018’s reopening of the renovated Royal Champagne Hotel. Trips to and from the Champagne region’s most iconic houses are organised with exacting precision by the hotel staff. Refreshingly, the emphasis is on behindthe-scenes harvesting processes as well as tasting sessions of niche and often underrated releases that rarely leave the locale. Most visitors come for these fizz-based pursuits but end up staying (and invariably returning) for the spa, which spans a vast and unparalleled 16,000sq/ft. Partnered with cult French brand Biologique Recherche, the wellness centre has nine treatment rooms, a calming eucalyptus-infused sauna, and – the jewel in the crown – two temperature-controlled, chaise longue-lined pools looking out onto the very vineyards that prompted the hangover from the night before. It’s a tale of two villages: a perfect place to enjoy one too many coupes of the finest champagne at dusk, and an idyllic setting in which to sleep it off the morning after. BOOK IT: Doubles from around £320 B&B.

DODO BAR OR Tatiana ruched swimsuit, £230.

REALLY WILD Boho silk dress, £365.


Small, chic and surprisingly cosy, St Tropez’s Cheval Blanc is a must-visit haven for those seeking solace from the cosmopolitan town just a short walk away. Once a private holiday home, the newly refurbished bolthole possesses a boutique quality that keeps royals and celebrities coming back year after year. With a small private beach, homey nooks, nautical touches and bespoke scented candles, the 31-room abode has all the charm you’d expect from a location steeped in character and history. The understated glamour extends to the hotel’s Guerlain spa. With a heavy focus on the location, each treatment is aimed towards relaxation and aftercare for those long, lazy days in the sun. After choosing your scented oil, lie back and enjoy the summer sounds of Sade and tinkling French jazz as your aches and pains are kneaded and rocked away. While transformation isn’t the aim of the game here, it’s an indulgence perfectly suited to a Riviera getaway. And if that wasn’t enough, you can even have your complimentary Guerlain sun care applied for you by the spa therapists without leaving your sun lounger. Well, it is St Tropez after all! BOOK IT: Doubles from around £505 B&B.

ELEMIS Superfood facial oil, £45.

ROSETTA GETTY Jacquard shorts, £534.

JOHN LOBB Stratton sandal, £650.


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Highly rated by Kate Moss for their fad-free, once and for all approach to eating, Bodhimaya retreats take a big step towards remedying modern-day burnout. Using a combo of tender eastern philosophy and pioneering bioscience, results include a fresher complexion, improved energy levels, better mental clarity – and weight loss. At the heart of the method is intermittent fasting, giving the body periods of digestive rest when it can use its energy to repair and rejuvenate. In the long term, the straightforward eating plan can be easily integrated into busy schedules, avoiding all the hip and hype of foody obsessions. The immersive six-day detox retreat, masterminded by Cornelius O’Shaughnessy (a meditation expert known for his ability to effect change and promote self-awareness), allows time for natural physical and mental healing in the form of daily yoga and ‘inner stillness’ sessions. Steeped in over 500 years of history, overlooking medieval ruins and nestled in the heart of a 16,500acre estate, Cowdray House is the perfect setting for just switching off, and there’s plenty of time for a massage, swim or long walk in acres of English countryside. A retreat that feeds you at every level. BOOK IT: Six nights from £2,695pp all-inclusive.


Imagine leaving your hectic, overwhelming life for a true respite where you can reflect and reassess. Author of the bestselling Pause, coach Danielle Marchant has created an ingenious retreat for self-enquiry and nurtured rest. Set at Retreat East, the space is contained and comfy, all white bedlinen and bedside posies. Cocooned by nature, it’s like staying at a spiritual house party. There are group sessions – yet respect between guests forms quickly, so there’s also plenty of personal space. The main ethos is to do very little, allow your body to find its natural rhythm and discover what’s lying dormant

in yourself, both creatively and emotionally. This gentle but profound process is supported by superb shiatsu (our practitioner Kate had hands like hot irons, smoothing out tension) and Scaravelli yoga, a form of exercise that goes beneath the rational mind to let your instinctive body release. Wild swimming, a powerful fireside ritual and outstandingly vibrant and delicious food support a radical transformation. Danielle is a soft but astute presence, missing nothing. She gently coaxes you to truly show up for yourself, which is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Dress down: PJs all day are encouraged. BOOK IT: Four nights/five days from £2,255pp all-inclusive.


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If Louis XIV could design a 21st-century spa, it would be The Club at Cottonmill, the new £14 million members-only addition to Sopwell House. With sumptuous country house hotel beds and a private courtyard with your own spa bath, it could be tempting to stay in one of the mews suites all day – but you’ll want to head for The Club. Think sleek indoor and outdoor vitality and hydrotherapy pools, a panoramic sauna and ‘deep relaxation room’, perfectly calculated to meditate away life’s stresses. Yoga and pilates classes are on offer at the studio for something a little more re-energising – or undertake a brisk soaking in one of the new ‘experience showers’. And don’t miss the more easy-going poultice massage on an amber and quartz crystal bed. Afterwards, swap your spa robe for your finery and head to the award-winning restaurant, where even the most religious foodies will be impressed by ‘62-degree egg’ with salt-baked celery and truffle, and succulent beef fillet with truffled gnocchi and perigourdine sauce. The perfect antidote for stressed-out city dwellers. BOOK IT: Doubles from £469 B&B with access to The Club at Cottonmill.


Getting back to nature is a nice concept but we’re not all cut out for roughing it in wobbly tents and muddy wellies. Trust Fiona Arrigo, doyenne of retreat chic, to pull the bunny out of the hat once again. Her new Back to Nurture retreats transform the wilderness wellbeing trope into a whole new pattern of luxurious simplicity. Home is a magical safari-style ‘tent’ (complete with log burner, supercomfy beds and – oh yes – your own flushing loo and steaming-hot shower). Food is mainly vegetarian (though smoked salmon sneaks in for breakfast) and so healthily delicious you almost feel your cells giggle. Sublime bodywork tells your body to let go – you’re safe. Put your inner sceptic on a tight leash and go commune with those trees and dance barefoot in the dew. Uncover your inner weaving woman, your inner banging-a-drum woman; roar your angst at the fire (tears optional). The invitation is to stop and reconnect with your deep, instinctual self, and it’s beyond beguiling. We all need a dose of this – a grass-roots, backto-nature experience that helps us connect to something primal, as well as to our inner essence. BOOK IT: Four days from £1,890pp (double occupancy) all-inclusive. May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 91

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Designed by women for women, this massage aims to balance female hormones using divine and incredibly pure essential oils (it’s not you, it’s them – right?). Powerful adaptogenic castor oil is also used to support kidneys and the reproductive system. BULGARI Top Treat: Prana

From wonderful Ayurvedic brand Mauli, the Prana healing session uses essential organic oils handcrafted in England. Spoiling and gentle, this Marma therapy reduces stress, improves blood flow and lymphatic circulation and will leave you floating. THE LANESBOROUGH Top Treat: Anastasia Achilleos

Book months is advance for the facial of a lifetime – there’s no turning back after Anastasia. A kinder soul you will not find; her knowledge of mind-body-soul connection is unsurpassed. Then there’s the facial itself: skin will feel reborn. BROWN’S HOTEL

MANDARIN ORIENTAL Top Treat: Forest Therapy™

A new, all-over body experience by Aromatherapy Associates. The massage oil blend is nature-in-a-bottle and extras include breathing exercises, hot basalt stones and fresh, mineral-rich mud applied to feet and palms. Lush. ASHAKA, HOTEL CAFÉ ROYAL Top Treat: L’Elixir des Glaciers – Majestic by Valmont

The ultimate facial for rejuvenating and sculpting the face using an essence of honey, propolis and royal jelly direct from the beehive. It will revitalise your skin with techniques from Japanese Kobido massage. Think immediate glow.


The sound of a gong used to mean dinner time in the 17th-century mansion’s former life as a private dwelling. Now the gong is a crystal singing bowl heralding the start of a detoxifying salt scrub at the hotel’s Three Graces spa. Local Yorkshire businesswoman Valeria Sykes has poured her heart (and funds) into this magnificent property and done it with style. The spa is as top notch and cosseting as the hotel itself. Nature and nurture are the abiding tenets, with British organic skincare brand Ila featuring alongside Natura Bissé. Treatments are designed to soothe brain and body, activate energy flow and promote healing. It’s easy to while away the day as you flop from heated pool to daybed, sauna to snow room (yes, real snow) and out again to defrost in a hydrotherapy pool before another round of massage, crystal healing, or perhaps a facial. An adjoining fitness centre offers an altitude chamber, underwater treadmill and cryotherapy, helpful if you are carrying a niggle or for post-op recovery. Whether you’re a stressed-out exec, mum-to-be or simply after some me-time, the Grantley team and head-clearing Yorkshire air will do their best to work some magic. BOOK IT: Doubles from £340 B&B.


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Top Treat: Forte Body Ritual

Sir Rocco’s daughter, Irene, has developed her own face and body product range, exclusively for the group. Fresh with Sicilian ingredients, the 90-minute body ritual leaves you scrubbed, scented and massaged, before you head upstairs for dinner at Charlie’s.


Perched on a clifftop overlooking an historic fishing harbour, Mullion Cove has breathtaking views over the Lizard coast. You can bring your four-legged friend, but after a vigorous coastal walk, let Fido sleep it off while you head to the recently opened eco spa, which uses only Soil Association-approved products in its treatments. Headed up by holistic therapist Hannah Martin and with the mesmerising murmur of the sea as your soundscape, rejuvenating facials use a special combination of massage techniques from India and Japan to leave your face glowing, while seaweed-infused body treatments play on the Atlantic Ocean connection (but not the smell, thank goodness!) to keep things as local as possible. Both day and hotel guests should visit the salt laconicum, sea-view steam rooms and indoor hydrotherapy infinity pool, but we urge you to go for their signature treatment, the Mullion Ocean Essence, a blissful indulgence that incorporates jade ‘wave stones’ to target areas of tightness, a Japanese scalp massage for bliss-out zen and healing reiki to rebalance the body and soul. BOOK IT: Doubles from £175 B&B.


SUNSPEL X JOHN BOOTH Sweatshirt, £180.

JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN Cashmere joggers with metallic trim, £345.




It’s usually pretty blustery hiking on the headlands of the beautiful North Devon coast, but this place clears out the fug of city living and re-energises the gloomy with such dazzling precision that many people make it an annual detox. A Yeotown retreat stretches muscles, pumps pulses you never knew you had and unravels the whirr and buzz of the busiest minds. Run by Simon and Mercedes Sieff, he leads the charge for surfing and hiking, while she lengthens and stretches weary limbs with her excellent yoga classes. They’ve created a cosy weekend house party vibe rather than a spartan, spa-like detox. The staff are all stars, from Jaz the vegan chef, who has the most voracious carnivores oohing and ahhhing over her veggie dahl, to Mo the hiking guide, who herds the most sofa-prone sloth up vertiginous coastal paths using patience and gentle persuasion. Everyone bonds over simple pleasures such as hot baths with Epsom salts and nightly massages in the barn. The running theme here is space – both to stretch your body and free your mind (they encourage you to set down your gadgets). Each day is completely different so you learn to live in the moment, and what a liberating moment these precious five days are. Expect to feel a seismic shift. BOOK IT: Four nights from £1,950pp.

ASPINAL OF LONDON St Tropez sunglasses £165.

GANNI Recycled Ripstop Quilt coat, £425.

SEE BY CHLOÉ Leather-trimmed nubuck ankle boots, £365.


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







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


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AVIAN ART A fragment of 18th-century Chinese wallpaper inspired GP & J Baker’s ‘Hydrangea Bird’, painted by William Turner in 1917. Bird motifs swoop across tropical swathes of emerald fabric in this bedroom, curated by studio Sims Hilditch.


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Sabina Savage creates a story for each of her collections, then hand draws the narrative in elaborate handiwork. The Hare’s Gift cushion, silk satin and velvet with a feather pad, £350.

HEART OF GLASS The Looking Glass collection was inspired by Deirdre Dyson’s observation of colour and form through glass. ‘My aim was to simulate a glassy appearance using silk and wool.’ Glass cubes rug, £1,080 per sq/m.



Bring new life to your home this spring, says Carole Annett

CHICK THIS OUT Cotswold-based designer Sam Wilson has opened a new shop in Bath, an addition to those in Chipping Campden and Stow-onthe-Wold. Hedgerow linen, £44.95 p/m.

READ ALL ABOUT IT Making Living Lovely by Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe. Thames & Hudson, £19.95


LPM Bohemia is a luxury tent sale and hire business founded by three school mates, Graham Cresswell and brothers John and Charles Preston. LPM is committed to using traditional crafts like wood bending. £POA.

FRILL ME This scallop-edged Venus chair with a cane frame is crafted by expert weavers at Soane’s rattan workshop in Leicestershire. Available in a choice of finishes and with a metal base. £5,700.


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Sunshine on a wall. Ceylon collection Tiverton wallpaper, £120 per roll.

RUB A DUB DUB… … in a blue tub. Catchpole & Rye Le Bain de Bateau, from £5,000.


Mylands’ metallic paints star on backdrops in the upcoming Bond film No Time to Die. From £30.90 per litre.

1 Zoë de Givenchy Set of two Safari espresso cups and saucers, £190. 2 Bertioli by Thyme Nest of handmade bowls, £270. 3 Villeroy & Boch Small plate from the Colourful Spring collection, £11.90. 4 Rex London Daisy design stoneware coffee cup, £8.95 each. 5 Daylesford Bento box, £25.

HINT OF GLINT Handmade in panels, this wallcovering by Gregorius Pineo features metallic leaf peeping out between layers of plasterwork and glaze. From £941.24 per panel.


A perfect vessel for this season’s peonies – Stones hand-cut, lead-free crystal vase by Moser, £3,185.

PARK HERE Dorothy chair by Julian Chichester with steel-frame clad in stitched black leather, and a flexible back rest, £1,932. May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 97

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THE HEAT IS ON A sun trap to catch the first spring rays has never felt more essential

1 Benjamin Moore Buxton Blue painted shutters. Paint from £23 a litre. 2 McKinnon and Harris Virginia three-seater bench with Manwaring back, £7,150; cushion, £1,450. 3 Gaze Burvill bespoke kitchen with Wolf BBQ, £POA; bar table, from £2,370; counter stool, £1,260.; 4 Neptune Compton three-seater sofa, £1,430; coffee table, £425. 98 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | May/June 2020

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Loom & Last Linen curtains, £27.50 p/m.

Cole & Son Woods wallpaper, £85 p/roll.

Ligne Roset Luna Rossa light, £1,349.

Alessandra Baldereschi Squirrel jug, £73.

Tori Murphy Little Cress throw, £245.



Amara Wooden side table, £75.

Forest finds, by Sofia Tindall Wolf & Badger Night owl DIY paper lamp, £42. The Wood Life Project Rabbit plate, £30. thewoodlife

Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Country Grey, from £5.95.

Mind The Gap Tree Foliage wallpaper, £175 p/roll.

If you go down to the woods today, make sure you pick up silvan-inspired wall hangings, fabrics and furniture designs rooted in the natural world. Stay modern with clean lines, earthy colours and natureinspired textures, and pick the perfect plate for a stylish teddy-bear’s picnic.

Rose Uniacke Y chair, £4,200. John Lewis Geometric wooden table lamp, £130.

GP & J Baker Ramayana wallpaper, £125 per roll.

Such & Such Kiondo basket, £45.

Culinary Concepts Bee olive picks, £34.95.


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DARLING BUDS OF MAY Tara Craig’s Chelsea home is in full bloom. By Sofia Tindall


ara Craig had the score on sustainability long before it became an interiors buzzword. Founding furniture design company Ensemblier in 2014, her vision was to champion home-grown design and craftsmanship, with sustainable principles at the heart of everything it did. The brand’s beautiful beds, sofas and headboards are all made from the finest materials sourced in the UK. ‘We work with artisans to make furniture by hand, using natural and sustainable materials,’ explains Craig. Her beautiful Chelsea home is as good an advertisement as any. Resplendent florals (echoing the cascading spring blooms outside her flat) perfectly capture the Ensemblier spirit. In the bedroom, where patterns layer on patterns like a haphazard cupboard of chintz crockery, she’s ‘lined the walls with Marialida’s Urbino cotton, which I love for its vintage faded quality.’ Textiles and art have always been a big inspiration for Craig. ‘They tend to determine the colour palette of the rooms.’ One of the most magical touches here are the gilded shell Collier Webb lamps arching over the bed. In the bathroom, the light-hearted design shorthand gives way to a more weathered feeling of grandeur. ‘I chose Sarah Watson’s Balineum tiles as they are so authentic,’ Craig says. ‘This style of tile has been made on Stoke-on-Trent for the last 200 years.’ In retro plasterpink, they’re offset against velvety maroons, and dulled brass fittings. It’s a timeless vintage hybrid, sitting somewhere between a 1930s starlet’s boudoir, and a clanking Victorian washroom. The Ensemblier calling card – an idiosyncratic flourish of pattern – finds its way back into the design language of the sitting room. Climactic lashings of tropical fronds caress smatterings of floral fabrics, with even a little marbled paper on a Rosi De Ruig lamp. More restraint is exercised in the kitchen, which echoes the bathroom with its aged-pink painted cupboard doors. ‘It had a few teething problems, like when they fitted the drawer divides the wrong way, so only miniature knives and forks would have fitted in!’ Yet it’s this higgledypiggledyness, the slight sense of things jumbling together, that the charm of this home, and Ensemblier itself are rooted. Her hero item is her Ensemblier Erskine headboard inspired by the outer frame of an 18th century settee back, and upholstered in Claremont Warner textiles with bronze nailing. ‘It’s a small space, however I wanted it to have character,’ summarises Craig. And just like everything else she touches, her vision here has rung true. n May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 101

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It’s time to tackle the climate crisis Nature must be defended

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24/10/2019 14:10 30/03/2020 13:46



REWILDING ROMANIA Jane Dunford visited eastern Europe to learn about an ambitious conservation project to recreate a lost wilderness

Mist falls on the Carpathian Mountains


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he light is fading fast when the bear appears. A whisper from our guide breaks the silence as he points at a dark brown form, foraging under a tree, metres away. We’re deep in Romania’s Carpathian mountains, watching from the comfort of a hide, but being up close to such a creature in the wild is truly thrilling. He paws the ground and snuffles for food, tilting his head from time to time, as if in response to sounds we cannot hear. Eventually he wanders off into the night – and we’re about to climb into our comfy bunk beds when a majestic giant stag with towering antlers strides into the clearing, prompting enthralled gasps once again. I’ve come to Romania with The European Nature Trust (TENT), which offers wildlife experiences in some of the continent’s most unspoilt places – and part of your holiday cost goes to conservation projects. These mountains are home to Europe’s largest swathes of virgin forest and its biggest populations of brown bear, lynx and wolves. Bison have been recently reintroduced, too. ‘You don’t have to go to Africa to go on safari – we have incredible wildlife and wild places right on our doorstep,’ says founder Paul Lister. This trip is run in conjunction with Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC), which is working to stop

There’s a choice of lodges to stay in

ABOVE: A ‘Yellowstone for Europe’: Romania’s new national park in the Fagaras Mountains BELOW: Brown bears and wolves thrive in the rewilded park

rampant illegal logging while reforesting the land, restoring the ecosystem and creating a 620,000-acre national park – a ‘Yellowstone for Europe’. It’s an exciting and ambitious project, a park that will be as close to wilderness as possible, with carefully managed ecotourism boosting rural economies, and all just four hours from Bucharest. Following the model adopted by pioneering conservationists Kris and Doug Tomkins in South America, the FCC has been buying up land with a small team of wealthy private backers, and the protected wilderness reserve will eventually be handed back to the state. The park is being created in the Fagaras Mountains, in the southern part of the Carpathians. It’s a beautiful, wild place and we wander through ancient beech woodlands and along the lake close to our hide. There’s a particular charm to the old growth forests, a richness, diversity and density you don’t often find, and knowing that such rare wildlife roams here adds to the excitement as we explore. (We’re encouraged to talk as we walk, to warn any bear of our approach.) Guests are accompanied by FCC experts – we’re with founder Christoph Promberger – guaranteeing a fascinating insider


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insight into one of the world’s most important conservation initiatives. At a time when the urgent need to reforest and rewild our planet to help fight climate change is headline news, FCC’s work is more poignant than ever. Increasingly, too, we’re waking up to how being in nature – particularly in woodlands – dramatically improves physical and mental wellbeing (see page XX for our celebration of the transformational power of trees). It doesn’t take long in the Romanian great outdoors before Mother Nature starts to work her magic – all the fresh air and walking soon help my mind to slow and my body to relax. Our trip begins with two nights at Amfiteatrul, an eco lodge in the heart of Transylvania. Its restored fairytale houses have 360-degree mountain views and the land is awash with wildflowers. We stroll through meadows, learn about healing herbs and drink tonic made of bark sap, said to cure all ills. Itineraries are tailored to suit visitors, with a choice of lodges, an eco farm and several hides for wildlife watching, which you can walk between. We’re taken by 4x4 close to our hide, on the edge of Pecineagu Lake in the Dambovita Valley, stopping to see an area FCC has restored on the way. What was once a logging road in a dead landscape now buzzes with new life, butterflies flitting through the greenery. The mountains we drive through are mostly forested with spruce – the legacy of decades of commercial forestry. The simplicity of our hide keeps nature close. It sleeps six, in bunk beds and a double, with a cold shower and basic cooking facilities – a comfortable den in the midst of the wild. Over dinner we watch a storm roll in, mist pouring over the mountainside and the sky aflash with forked lightning – as if we’re watching a film. At dawn the show continues: we see wild boar rooting close by and two more juvenile bears treat us to separate appearances. I long to stay on, to delve deeper into these beautiful forests, but console myself with the idea of visiting other wilderness areas closer to home. TENT works with a project in the Scottish Highlands, the 23,000-acre Alladale Wilderness Reserve. Native forest cover has significantly diminished in the Highlands over the centuries and the area is being rewilded, with the aim of boosting biodiversity and allowing flora and fauna that once flourished here to thrive again. Plans to bring back the Scottish wildcat and reintroduce the red squirrel are on the agenda. It’s a privilege to spend time in such precious places and it’s definitely medicine for body, mind and soul. Conservation tourism must be the tourism of the future – a way for travellers to contribute to protecting nature, while enjoying the thrill of a wilder world. Explore the mountains by foot, bike or 4x4


BOOK IT: Working with TENT, Steppes offers a four-night conservation journey from £1,695pp all-inclusive, excluding flights. £500 per person goes to TENT (not including children under 12 years). n May/June 2020 | COUNTRYANDTOWNHOUSE.CO.UK | 105

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Need some WFH inspiration? Nootropics are smart cognitive enhancers said to boost your little grey cells, improving creativity and reducing stress levels. While we’re waiting for Rockwell’s trendy Nootropical bar to re-open in Trafalgar Square, try supercharging your morning coffee with London Nootropics’ Grind blend.



BUY Zest in style. Microplane Ecograte, £16.99.


Cheese and wine night lives on, thanks to The Cheese Truck’s genius delivery service. Laden with Stiltons, gooey Bries and crumbly Cheddars, its cheeseboards can be delivered straight to London doorsteps. Or, create at-home chalet vibes with a DIY fondue kit.

RE-USE The coolest keep-cup on the block. £30.

It’s all in the delivery. By Sofia Tindall

BUNDLES OF JOY For the first time, Ollie Dabbous’ cult restaurant Hide will be doing a delivery service. ‘There is some high-quality food in the building, and we still have access to suppliers,’ Dabbous explains. ‘It gives our staff a sense of purpose, and offers the locals a window of luxury that they can enjoy at home.’ Enjoy dishes like roast scallops with Jerusalem artichoke and black truffle, and burrata with confit tamarillo.

DRINK Newby Tea’s Sunflower Dew Van Gogh caddy is art for your kitchen. £28.


Peardrop (usually a top-end caterer) is giving freezers a makeover London-wide with its colourful frozen meals. Plus, for every five four-meal packages sold, one will be donated to a family in need. Now is a better time than ever to show these small companies some love.

One for the diary if you’re thinking ahead to sunnier days when Covid-19 blows over; the brand-new Little Orange Door will be opening its doors (and botanical conservatory) on Clapham Common later this year. Make ours a large Aperol.




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Raid your leftovers for this delicious dahl, says Melissa Hemsley


his is ideal to make at the end of the weekend with any leftover root veg that didn’t make it into the Sunday roast. It will set you up nicely for Monday’s dinner – just reheat and top with the onions and yoghurt, and then either freeze or enjoy later in the week with dosa-style pancakes or with fresh leaves and a crispy fried egg on top.


Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan) and melt two tablespoons of ghee or oil on a large baking tray in the oven. Meanwhile, mix the spices in a small bowl and slice three of the parsnips into about 18 wedges, then toss them in the oil with half the spice mix. Pop in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through with the maple syrup, until golden and going crispy at the edges. In a large pan, fry the onions in the remaining two tablespoons of ghee or oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the remaining spice mix, plus the garlic and ginger, and fry for three minutes. Add the diced parsnips and lentils, the chopped coriander stems and the tomato purée. After a minute, add the coconut milk, then fill up the tin with 1.6 litres of hot water, stirring well. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil and then turn down to a medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times throughout. Meanwhile, scrunch the red onion in a bowl with the lime juice, salt and maple syrup for 30 seconds, then leave in the juice. Once the lentils and parsnips in the pan are cooked, add the chopped greens, pop the lid on so they steam for three to five minutes until just tender. Serve topped with the roasted parsnips, coriander leaves, pink pickled onions and their juices and a dollop of yoghurt.



» » » » » » » » » » » »

4 tbsp ghee or oil 5 large parsnips 1 tbsp maple syrup 2 large onions, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 thumb of ginger, finely grated 400g split red lentils, rinsed 2 large handfuls of fresh coriander 3 tbsp tomato purée 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk 200g leafy greens, like chard Yoghurt, to serve

» SPICE MIX » 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric » 2 tbsp ground cumin or 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground » 2 tbsp ground coriander or 1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds » 2 tbsp black mustard seeds, roughly ground » A pinch of chilli flakes or chilli powder » Sea salt and black pepper » » » » »

PINK PICKLED ONIONS 2 large red onions, thinly sliced Juice of 2 limes or 4 tbsp vinegar A big pinch of sea salt 2 tsp maple syrup

Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury, £22) n

MELISSA HEMSLEY Food writer, author and cook Food philosophy? Delicious, healthy food that never needs to be wasted. People aren’t getting access to the right food; we have more than enough but we’re throwing it away. Most vivid childhood food memory? I remember my mum (who is from the Philippines) boiling prawns, peeling them, dipping them in vinegar and putting them in my mouth with some white rice. I’ve loved sweet and sour flavours ever since. Favourite ingredient that’s in season? I recently had the best wild garlic I’ve ever eaten – it was so incredibly fresh and pungent. I’m also looking forward to asparagus season. Biggest cooking mistake? Trying too hard. You don’t have to follow a recipe rigidly, if you’re missing one ingredient you can always find something else. Most memorable meal out? The Hidden Hut in Portscatho, Cornwall. The chef Simon Stallard hosts a meal every six weeks on the beach where you bring your own booze and he serves whatever the fishermen have brought in three hours earlier. We made paella on the beach with saffron from across the road, muffins and English wine. It was beautiful. When you’re not in the kitchen, where are you? Ideally with my dog, walking towards the next meal. Killing time between eating, basically. Do you have any unusual rules in your kitchen? Not wasting anything would be one. And then anything I can do to get out of washing up! We also try to keep a shelf at eye level with things that need eating up first. Every three days or so I rearrange it – it really helps reduce waste. Who would you most like to take out for dinner? I’d take David Attenborough and Jane Goodall for a walk along the river to Somerset House. We’d eat Skye Gyngell’s Scratch menu at Spring, where everything is made from food waste.


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Anastasia Bernhardt headed north to see what all the fuss is about


s season four of The Trip returns to our screens, I decided to pay a visit to that star of the north, L’Enclume, which the comedy duo pay homage to in the first season. For the uninitiated, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on the comedy equivalent of the original Michelin guide, road tripping through the Lake District, Spain, Italy and now Greece. It’s 6pm and my clackety carry-on case has created enough of a commotion on the cobbled streets of Cartmel to draw the attention of L’Enclume’s passing general manager: ‘You must be dining with us tonight.’ It feels a bit like the whole village exists to serve the two Michelin-starred restaurant: which is both eerie and strangely comforting. But when Simon Rogan transformed the old blacksmith’s forge in 2002, Cartmel was best-known for its priory and sticky toffee pudding. Just to give you an idea of how far ahead of the curve Rogan was, by the time Jay Rayner arrived in 2011 – almost ten years into the restaurant’s history – Rayner was still complaining that you couldn’t find a good meal outside London. The space manages to feel low-key but expensive, achieved by balancing higgledy-piggledy

white-washed walls with sharp mid-century furniture. If you’re having lunch, request a seat in the conservatory by the garden. The food is undoubtedly special. Dishes feel true to their ingredients despite having undergone many complicated processes (Gairloch scallops, for instance, are sliced and cooked over the same coals used to forge Samurai swords). It’s the food equivalent of spending hours blow-drying your hair to look like you’ve just got out of bed. Dishes range from the deliciously comforting, like a crumpet fried in duck fat and topped with dry-aged duck leg brushed with fermented wheat bran, to the confusingly tasty. If you’d told me I would lick clean a plate of semi-set seaweed custard topped with fish eggs I would have laughed at you. To quote Coogan: ‘The consistency is a bit like snot, but it tastes great’. It’s the sort of food that deserves reverential treatment, but the hushed awe in the dining room does feel a decidedly unmodern way to eat. But it’s the little touches that give this restaurant its soul. I notice a few of the ceramic dishes had been stuck back together with glittery gold glue: one of the chefs is into the Japanese art of Kintsugi. Unsurprisingly it’s not cheap, at £159 for the tasting menu, plus £80 for a classic wine pairing, but L’Enclume really hits the nail on the head. While L’Enclume is shut for now in the wake of Covid-19, Simon Rogan and the team are cooking meals for the local community and the most vulnerable residents of Cartmel. Available for collection or delivery.; n

Soil Association’s organic box scheme

There’s never been a greater requirement for hearty, healthy, filling food straight from the English soil, and British farmers are delivering – literally. If you’re veg-box curious but haven’t taken the plunge until now, the Farmdrop (, and Riverford (riverford. organic box schemes are making it simpler than ever to get local, organic and sustainable produce delivered to your door. As a bonus, you’ll be supporting your local economy and helping British farmers stay in business. Missing your local market? Londoners can get fresh flowers, fruit and veg thanks to New Covent Garden’s genius online service (newcoventgarden. org), while pasta, cocktails, gooey cheeses and wine can be ordered in thanks to the Initiative Group, behind Queenhithe’s trendy Deli Cat & Sons (goodeats. io). For the ultimate treat, the crème-de-la-crème of food delivery is a Fortnum & Mason hamper ( – luckily, they’re still delivering worldwide. You heard it here first: eating in is the new eating out.

Hamper down


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Even if there’s a virus on the loose, there’s always rosé, says Alice Lascelles


osé used to be a bit of an afterthought for winemakers. But then the world went potty for pink, and the spectrum of styles blossomed. From petal-pale poolside refreshers to rose-gold vintage champagnes and heavyweight rosatos the colour of cranberry juice, there’s now a rosé to suit every time of the year and every type of occasion. Don’t wait until your summer hols to get stuck in. Any excuse will do. ENGLAND

Urban Foxes Pink Pinot

England is now turning out some impressive rosé. Urban Foxes is a boutique winery that makes small-batch wines showcasing hand-picked plots around England. This pinot noir is provençale rosé by way of Essex; delicately fruity, with a touch of uplifting herby-ness that comes from fermenting the bunches stemsand-all. A gorgeous picnic wine. £18.50.


A Vita Rosato


The trend may be for ultrapale rosé, but dark rosés are often (whisper it) rather more interesting. This deep-strawberry rosato from A Vita – a tiny natural winery in Calabria, in the south of Italy – has the freshness of a rosé, but the body and grip of a red wine. Try it with a dish of chilli and tomato pasta. £24.

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What are you drinking? Mere Champagne, our bespoke brut.

What drinks would we find in your fridge? Vodka, in my freezer. And four very well-stocked wine fridges.

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Dom Ruinart Rosé 2007

Most rosé is drunk very young, but this prestige cuvée from France’s oldest champagne house proves it can age magnificently with the right treatments. Ruinart’s signature, citrusy exuberance joined by just a hint of red fruit, with time has given it an added toastiness, and a luxuriant, creamy texture. £230.

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Hangover cure? An early morning dog walk. Any pet peeves when it comes to drinks? Hangovers!

Lay down or drink now? Lay down. My husband David hides his most special wines away for the future.


Where would your vineyard be? New Zealand, where I would ideally like to settle one day.


The wine is corked – do you tell your host? Yes, always!






What’s your guilty pleasure? Chilli Doritos – I love them.

Favourite place for a drink? The Wigmore. I’d drink a classic G&T with Salcombe gin.


Even if you’re streaming Netflix in your PJs, that’s no excuse to let your drinks choices slide. Hedonism does ultra-speedy delivery – if you’re in London you could be drinking 1982 Lafite Rothschild by sundown.

Who are you drinking it with? Good family and friends.

» » » » »

The world’s first Afro-Caribbean rum, Equiano is superb blend of rums from Mauritius and Barbados. This highball cocktail is a RECIPE spicy, fruity 50ml Equiano rum 200ml dry ginger ale update on the 3 dashes Bitter Truth classic Dark Chocolate Bitters Slice of orange and Stormy. Mix and serve in a tall £46.95. thewhisky glass over lots of ice


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HOUSE OF THE MONTH Who’s behind the design? Local architects, Koto, who wanted to build with nature to protect the environment and to encourage biophilic living; a connectedness between people and the natural world. Falcon House, in the Birchwood development, is designed to have a direct connection with nature and to maximise the light. Eco-friendly credentials? The house is built out of sustainably sourced timber, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the fabric of the building. The development is in what used to be a working quarry, which has been regenerated with water channels and newly planting native meadows to encourage a diversity of flora and fauna.

Birchwood, Barnstaple, North Devon Price: £399,000 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms 896 sq/ft

Best room in the house? The sitting room, with its huge glass windows that offer fantastic views into the tree canopies and beyond. What would parties be like here? Falcon House and its neighbours are ideal for families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Parties would involve a couple of families relaxing outside, roasting marshmallows on the fire pit and sipping drinks in the wood-fire hot tubs. … and summers? The house is located in a unique forested area with a large children’s treehouse alongside the firepits and hot-tubs. There are bikes to hire and acres of land to explore by foot, and, of course, fantastic surfing beaches are just a 20 minute drive away. Perks of the area? It’s located in the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and is a beautiful area to explore. 01271 316492; birchwoodnorth n


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FROM ABOVE: Beautiful views of the Jurassic Coast; River Cottage; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Anna Tyzack falls under the spell of this West Country town


t’s no wonder that Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall fell in love with the East Devon town of Axminster. The pretty town, once famed for carpets, is just a few miles from the Jurassic Coast and has streets filled with shops and a vibrant weekly market. River Cottage, FearnleyWhittingstall’s cookery school and 100-acre farm just a few miles from the town, has helped inspire a whole generation of London leavers to consider this undiscovered corner of the West Country, explains Philip German-Ribon of Jackson-Stops. ‘It’s amazing how many young families are flocking this way,’ he says. ‘It’s a lifestyle move – there are beautiful beaches, dramatic countryside and proper pubs. And my wife doesn’t feel she has to put on make-up to go to the village shop.’ For all its rural charm, Axminster isn’t as remote as it might seem. This is the eastern extremity of Devon, a stone’s throw from the borders of Dorset and Somerset, with easy access to the A303 and M5. There’s a station in the town with regular trains to London Waterloo in two hours 40 minutes; by car the journey takes around three hours. ‘It’s too far for a

A weekend away The Crooked Swan, Crewkerne, is an 18th-century coaching inn with open fires and a pretty garden. crookedswan. com Food shopping Miller’s Farm Shop sells Lyme Bay fish and meat, local cider and cheese, plus goodies from France. millersfarmshop. com

daily commute but a lot of our buyers work from home and travel up to London once or twice a week,’ says German-Ribon, who moved down from London with his family several years ago. According to Hamish Humfrey of Knight Frank, buyers appreciate the privacy that comes with living in East Devon. ‘You feel as if you’ve got away from it all and yet if you need to get to Exeter, Bristol or even London, it’s no trouble.’ While the area around Axminster is very much the countryside, with narrow lanes, high hedges and a lot of mud, there are still plenty of places to get a decent coffee or a meal out, adds GermanRibon. Along with River Cottage Kitchen, FearnleyWhittingstall’s restaurant in Axminster, Brassica on the square in Beaminster appeals to Londoners, as does The Pig at Combe in Gittisham. A local brunch favourite, the Rousdon Village Bakery, suffered a fire earlier this year but should be open again for business within the next few months, while the Kings Arms Inn at Stockland, the Lord

Home inspiration Collate Interiors curates new and vintage homewares, art and antiques. collateinteriors. com Date night Join Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall for cocktails in the walled garden before dining in the 18thcentury threshing barn at a River Cottage event. An adventure On a family camp at Trill Farm you can explore the woods, meet the wildlife, cook over fires and go wild swimming.


L E T ’ S


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PROPERTY Poulett Arms at Hinton St George and the Crooked Swan in Crewkerne are popular local pubs. There’s also an increasing number of great places to eat out on the local beaches, including Hix Oyster & Fish House and Swim in Lyme Regis, the Watch House Cafe in West Bay and Hive Beach Cafe at Burton Bradstock. The schools are another major lure for London parents. In the villages around Axminster there are several Ofsted ‘outstanding’ state primaries, including in Stockland and Kilmington. There are also two revered state secondary schools: the Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis and Colyton Grammar School, just outside the village of Colyton. Within striking distance there’s also a raft of good prep schools, including Perrott Hill near Crewkerne and Hazlegrove near Yeovil. Local public schools within easy reach include Sherborne Boys’ and Girls’, Bryanston, Blundell’s and King’s College Taunton. No wonder, then, there’s a shortage of decent family homes on the market within a ten-mile radius of Axminster. Since the start of this year German-Ribon has seen more than ten houses go under offer and recently sold three rectories for the asking price before they’d even hit the open market. ‘If you’re spending more than a million it’s a good idea

to instruct a buying agent,’ he says. ‘The best houses often change hands privately.’ In Axminster itself, a three- to fourbedroom period house on a prime street will cost anything from £500,000; Jackson-Stops is selling the principal wing of Chattan Hall, a Victorian mansion on the outskirts of town, for £900,000. In the surrounding villages prices are much the same – £500,000 for a cottage and around one million for a sizeable family home with a couple of acres. Old rectories with a decent amount of land tend to sell for upwards of £1.5 million, while at the top end of the market a country estate could cost as much as £4 million. ‘Another attractive aspect of the area is that is has a stable market,’ Humfrey says. ‘You might not see dramatic increases but neither do you see dramatic decreases, which makes it a great place to buy a forever home.’ Over the past few years German-Ribon has noted a trend for more modern properties, particular around the coast. ‘People will buy up an old farmhouse for around £650,000, flatten it and then rebuild it in a more contemporary style. Old manor houses aren’t as popular these days – they’re costly to run and they don’t have big kitchens,’ he says. German-Ribon is enjoying bringing up his children in this part of the West Country. It’s an outdoorsy way of life, he says, with dogs and riding and days on the beach. ‘My children made friends through the Pony Club and my wife and I find it incredibly social down here.’ In fact, the only downside of moving down to this part of the world, he claims, is that it’s not always good for your liver. n


AXMOUTH, £4.5m Stedcombe House is a rare example of its type: a Grade I-listed William and Mary house, immaculately restored to the highest standard. The eight-bedroom home enjoys beautiful views over the Axe Valley and has elegant period features, including shutters and wood panelling.

UPLYME, £795,000 Woodhouse Hill is a stunning family home that enjoys some of the most exceptional panoramic views in the area – both sea and countryside. Dating from the '50s, the house features a large kitchen and breakfast room, separate dining room, four bedrooms and a balcony to take in the view.


AXMINSTER, £670,000 A spacious Edwardian house with a stable block only a short distance from the town centre yet with stunning views. The property is in excellent condition with an Aga, formal reception rooms with fireplaces, and four double bedrooms. Gardens surround the house and there’s a conservatory.

Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis

BEAMINSTER, £775,000 An opportunity to purchase a Grade IIlisted house overlooking the square, with a shop and a two-bedroom annexe. The house itself has a sitting room, kitchen and breakfast room, workshop, study and five bedrooms. There’s a small courtyard to the rear with parking for two cars, plus a double garage.


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verlooking the picturesque Regent's Canal, this stylish family home spans over two floors. The house has been meticulously designed from the ground up by renowned architects Emrys. 3 B E D R O O M S | 3 B AT H R O O M S | 2 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S | B A L C O N Y | G A R D E N | U N D E R F L O O R H E AT I N G | E P C D 0 . 8 M I L E S T O S T P A N C R A S I N T E R N AT I O N A L A N D U N D E R G R O U N D T R A I N S TAT I O N

Guide price £2,000,000 Leasehold Knight Frank King's Cross 020 3925 1923

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B R O C K ST R E E T, R E G E N T ' S PA R K


n impressive triplex penthouse which offers spectacular views over Regent's Park and the London skyline. The high specification penthouse offers contemporary living with unique sky rooms. 4 B E D R O O M S | 4 B AT H R O O M S | 3 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S | B A L C O N I E S | U N D E R F L O O R H E AT I N G | P A R K I N G | E P C C 0 . 9 M I L E S T O S T P A N C R A S I N T E R N AT I O N A L A N D U N D E R G R O U N D T R A I N S TAT I O N

Guide price £7,300,000 Leasehold Knight Frank King's Cross 020 3925 1923

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unique Grade II listed former vicarage set over five floors, offering private parking and a charming garden. This impressive house spans over 5,000 sq ft and is rich in history, having at one point formed part of St. Matthew's Church, designed by architect John Johnson of Alexandra Palace fame. 6 B E D R O O M S | B AT H R O O M | 4 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S | 2 C L O A K R O O M S | P R I VAT E G AT E D D R I V E WAY 0 .7 M I L E S T O C A M D E N T O W N O V E R G R O U N D S TAT I O N 0 . 8 M I L E S T O S T PA N C R A S I N T E R N AT I O N A L A N D U N D E R G R O U N D T R A I N S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ4,250,000 Freehold Knight Frank King's Cross 020 3925 1923

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n one of Dulwich's most favoured residential roads, this detached New England style house combines contemporary design with practical family living. The stylish property benefits from a gated entrance, integral double garage, heated enclosed swimming pool and excellent transport links into London. 6 - 7 B E D R O O M S | 6 B AT H R O O M S | 4 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S A M P L E O F F S T R E E T PA R K I N G | U T I L I T Y R O O M | C L O S E T O P O P U L A R I N D E P E N D E N T S C H O O L S | E P C E A P P R O X I M AT E LY 0 . 6 M I L E S T O W E S T D U LW I C H S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ3,500,000 Freehold Knight Frank Dulwich Village 020 8022 3162

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ocated in the heart of Queen's Park, this impressive and substantial family home is on one of the area's most sought-after streets. Behind the period facade this elegant, high-specification house offers expansive living accommodation across four floors with a chic, private garden at the rear. 5 B E D R O O M S | 5 B AT H R O O M S | R E C E P T I O N R O O M | H O M E C I N E M A | G Y M | G A M E S R O O M O F F - S T R E E T PA R K I N G | A P P R O X I M AT E LY 4 , 1 8 2 S Q F T | E P C D 1 0 0 YA R D S T O Q U E E N ' S PA R K U N D E R G R O U N D A N D O V E R G R O U N D S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ3,500,000 Freehold Knight Frank Queen's Park 020 3544 0695

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luxurious apartment in one of London's most iconic five star developments, with River and City views. Finished to a high specification residents can also enjoy the finest facilities including a heated indoor swimming pool, numerous saunas, snow room, cinema and state of the art gym. 2 B E D R O O M S | 2 B AT H R O O M S | R E C E P T I O N R O O M S K Y G A R D E N | L AT E S T H O M E T E C H N O L O G Y | A P P R O X I M AT E LY 1 , 5 2 0 S Q F T | E P C B 0 . 3 M I L E S T O B L A C K F R I A R S U N D E R G R O U N D A N D M A I N L I N E T R A I N S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ2,985,000 Leasehold Knight Frank Southbank 020 3797 2050

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ith a private balcony offering incredible views of the London skyline, this apartment is located on the fifth floor of a sought-after warehouse conversion. The addition of secure private parking, a 24 hour concierge and superb storage space make this a highly desirable place to call home. 3 B E D R O O M S | 2 B AT H R O O M S | R E C E P T I O N R O O M U T I L I T Y R O O M | C L O A K R O O M | A P P R O X I M AT E LY 1 ,7 8 9 S Q F T | E P C C 0 . 4 M I L E S T O L O N D O N B R I D G E U N D E R G R O U N D A N D M A I N L I N E T R A I N S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ2,650,000 Leasehold Knight Frank Southbank 020 3797 2050

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ocated close to the park, this beautiful semi-detached family home has been carefully refurbished to an exacting standard. The house retains many of its original period features, which have been enhanced by clever use of period style fittings and modern accents throughout. 4 B E D R O O M S | 3 B AT H R O O M S | 2 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S C O N S E R VAT O R Y | D I N I N G R O O M | C U S T O M K I T C H E N U N I T S | 9 6 F T G A R D E N | E P C D 0 . 4 M I L E S T O Q U E E N ' S PA R K T R A I N S TAT I O N | 0 . 4 M I L E S T O K E N S A L R I S E O V E R G R O U N D S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ2,350,000 Freehold Knight Frank Queen's Park 020 3544 0695

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beautiful example of 21st century architecture, in the form of a contemporary townhouse in a woodland setting. Part of a new build development, this final remaining home has been built to a high standard, complete with the latest smart home technology, off street parking and a master suite spanning the entire top floor. 5 B E D R O O M S | 4 B AT H R O O M S | 2 R E C E P T I O N R O O M S GARDEN | CLOSE TO POPULAR LOCAL SCHOOLS G O O D T R A N S P O R T L I N K S T O L O N D O N V I A S Y D E N H A M H I L L S TAT I O N

Guide price ÂŁ1,750,000 Freehold Knight Frank Dulwich Village 020 3815 9417

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Computer Generated Images

DI S COV E R BE T T E R CON N EC T E D LIVING IN THE HEART OF SURREY With only a select few homes still available in Phase One at Broadoaks Park, work is now underway on Phase Two, due to launch this summer. Offering brand new and beautifully restored homes, from two bedroom apartments to six bedroom houses, each property will be finished to a high level of specification – all set within 25 acres of landscaped grounds. West Byfleet village and train station are less than 1 mile away, with regular train services to London Waterloo taking from 28 minutes.

Prices range from £625,000 to £1,850,000


020 8481 7500 | OCTAGON.CO.UK

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Stunning Semi-detached House Heathfield Gardens, London, SW18 Wandsworth Town: 1 mile, Clapham Junction: 1.2 miles A stunning semi-detached family house overlooking Wandsworth Common with a south-facing garden. Reception room, kitchen/dining area, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, media room and outbuilding/office. EPC=D Freehold | 3,917 sq ft | Guide ÂŁ3.995 million Robin Chatwin Savills Wandsworth 020 3925 1197

Sarah Tracey Savills Wandsworth 020 3797 8394


20/03/2020 09:59 17:03 07/04/2020

Sales and Lettings Specialists for Exclusive Developments in Prime Central London


3 bedroom penthouse with security, parking, river views, gym and pool Leasehold £6,500,000


Larger than average 4 bedroom house with exceptionally large garden, security, parking and gym Freehold £4,850,000

+44 (0)20 7349 7055

Jo Webster.indd 1


2/3 bedroom apartment with security, parking, river views, gym and tennis court Share of Freehold £3,500,000


2 bedroom apartment, security, gardens, parking and gym. Furnished/unfurnished To Let £1,300 per week

“Jo Webster has sold two apartments for me. I wouldn’t use any other agent, they are a specialist estate agency, very knowledgeable, highly professional, with a personal touch. Always keeping you informed and up to date, every step of the way. An independent agency with lots of expertise. I would recommend them again and again.” - Vendor, Montevetro

06/04/2020 13:04

FryerningEssex Essex Margaretting, Essex Fryerning

Guide Price £1,400,000 - £1,450,000 Guide Price £3,850,000 Guide Price £3,850,000 The Old Vicarage is an imposing 19th century striking five double bedroom, reception Grade II AAstriking five double bedroom, fourfour reception Grade II Georgian country home built in 1822 with additions listed period property thought to date backback 500 years. listed period property thought to date 500 years. added in more modern times, on a plot of approx. This residence is originally thought to beto 3 be 3 Thischarming charming residence originally thought 2.6 acres being located on theisperiphery of cottages, now providing a fantastic flow of interesting cottages, now providing a fantastic flow of interesting Ingatestone offering main road and rail links close and family living space overover two floors. The The andextensive extensive family living space two floors. by, excellent schooling and Chelmsford City Centre 7.5 acre plot comprises formal grounds mixed 7.5 acre plot comprises formal grounds mixed approx. 5.7 miles. EPC F.

sympathetically with paddocks (benefitting fromfrom a sympathetically with paddocks (benefitting a second separate access), ponds and a substantial lake. second separate access), ponds and a substantial lake. Numerous outbuildings, tennis court, double garage Numerous outbuildings, tennis court, double garage and detached one bedroom annexe. Equestrian and detached one bedroom annexe. Equestrian potential. EPC Exempt

potential. EPC Exempt Country & Village Office 01277 350614 Country & Village Office 01245 397475

Country & Village Office 01245 397475

Fryerning EssexBrentwood Thorndon Park, Guide GuidePrice Price £3,850,000 £1,600,000

Fryerning Essex Orchard is abedroom, Grade II Listed 4 bedroom A striking Cottage five double four reception Grade II country home with origins dating from 1764 Guide Price £3,850,000 listed period property thought to date back 500 years. and located a stunning This charminginresidence is private originallysetting thought to be 3

A striking five double bedroom, fourThe reception Grade within Thorndon Country Park. property is II cottages, now providing a fantastic flow of interesting listedand period property thought to date back 500 years. surrounded a beautiful walled garden on a The extensivebyfamily living space over two floors. This charming residence is originally thought to be 3 plotacre of approx. 3.5 acres and has beenmixed extended 7.5 plot comprises formal grounds cottages, apaddocks fantastic flow of interesting over now moreproviding recent years. EPC exempt. sympathetically with (benefitting from a and extensive family living space over two floors. Thelake. second separate access), ponds and a substantial 7.5 acre plot comprises formal grounds Numerous outbuildings, tennis court,mixed double garage sympathetically with paddocks from a and detached one bedroom(benefitting annexe. Equestrian potential. EPCaccess), Exemptponds and a substantial lake. second separate Numerous outbuildings, tennis court, double garage and detached bedroom annexe. Equestrian Countryone Village Offi ce01245 01277 350614 Country &&Village Office 397475 potential. EPC Exempt

Country Village Office 01245 397475 Sales •&Lettings • Mortgages Beresford.indd 125 Sales • Lettings • Mortgages

07/04/2020 10:02

Hamptons Branch

BINTON, STR ATFORD-UPON-AVON Price on Application Freehold A superb farmhouse with secondary accommodation and equestrian facilities, with rural views over the south Warwickshire countryside. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms, EPC: D. Paul Houghton-Brown | 01789 430 217 |

HINDHEAD, SURREY Guide Price £1,500,000 Freehold


This house has been extended and completely refurbished throughout, Asking Price £1,250,000 Freehold to form an impressive contemporary family home. The Tower located on the private Kingston Gorse Estate has been beautifully modernised and gives easy access to the local beach. 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 reception rooms, EPC: C 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms, EPC: C Mike Sparks | 01243 630 582 | |


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Neil Barnes | 01428 260 041 | @hamptonsint

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LIPHOOK, HAMPSHIRE Guide Price £2,350,000 Freehold An newly built contemporary home of over 5000 sq. ft. built to a high specification. 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms, EPC: C



Guide Price £1,100,000 Freehold

Guide Price £1,250,000 Freehold

A period cottage that has been extended by current owners, set in 2.35 acres with a large pond and within 0.5 miles of village and station.

A charming Grade II listed country house comprising two former hop kilns, set in 2.47 acres.

4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 reception rooms, EPC: D |


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6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5 reception rooms

Guy Emanuel | 01428 260 299 |

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TALES OF OUR TIME In unprecedented times, the one thing we can all do is pay it forward, says Michael Hayman


e can be kind. That is what we can be when the world seems cruel. We can pay it forward. Repay the kindness of others by our own good deeds and thoughtfulness. When facing the fear of the unknown we have choices about how we decide to behave, how we react and respond. Look at the world around you – family, friends, neighbours, and the very many others who may need you right now, even if you aren’t immediately aware of it. The elderly and the vulnerable who, in a world of isolation, may yearn for nothing more than a listening ear. Or the small firms fighting to find different ways of staying relevant but facing the risk of customers battening down the hatches. From food producers to piano teachers, all are finding inventive ways to ensure safety in their services. They need you to pay it forward. So, don’t close the door. Instead, do what you can to bring light into the world to beat a common foe. Because our greatest strength is to choose to face our fears together. Why? The 19th-century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke put it like this: ‘Do not

believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty and sadness… Were it otherwise he would never have been able to find those words.’ Compassion matters. The founder of Planet Organic, Renée Elliott, told me that, ‘This is a chance to be thoughtful and to self-examine. Ask yourself what you want in life? What could you do differently? What have you neglected?’ Her advice is to regroup, re-think and re-vision your life. Your best self. In these troubling times so many will be called upon to give their best – doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, refuse collectors, a host of front line heroes – to keep us safe. You can never pay that back – the kindness that others might show you in an hour of need. But you can pay it forward. And that’s something you can do right now. In these uncertain times, kindness is what counts

Michael Hayman is co-founder of Seven Hills and co-author of Mission: How the Best in Business Break Through (Penguin, £10.99) n

VOLUNTEER Join NHS Volunteer Responders. You can do your bit to help ( TRY Yoga Nidra: complete relaxation and awareness of your inner world. I’m new to it and love it! WATCH Spring blossom. It’s happening all around us. LISTEN The Tortoise Podcast – take news slowly and find signal not noise (




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