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June 2018 issue 390

60

114 13

Contents Houses & gardens

Features

13

27

32 60 74 106 114 122 128 137

EMPORIUM New ways to introduce country style to your home and garden CRAFTING A CELEBRATION Beautiful makes for a summer garden party IN FULL BLOOM Expert advice on creating your own loral arrangements MAKING AN ENTRANCE Greet guests with our welcoming ideas for your home ARTIST IN RESIDENCE The pale plaster walls of Jessica Zoob’s Sussex home provide the perfect backdrop for her paintings INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Rustic meets modern in this historic barn in the Netherlands A PAINTER’S EYE Artist Helen Riches has created a coastal-style garden full of colour OPEN SEASON Winchelsea’s private gardens have turned the town into a horticultural hotspot GARDEN NOTES Everything you need to know to get the most from your plot

countryliving.co.uk

29 44 54 66 84 92 100

COUNTRY LOVING Rural life isn’t always idyllic, especially when it comes to dating… THE GOOD LIFE Growing edible lowers KITCHEN TABLE TALENT We celebrate entrepreneurs who have turned their hobby into a business. This month: the Devon wedding venue ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL Patrick Barkham celebrates Britain’s rich fauna. This month: cuckoos GIVE BEES A CHANCE Why the humble honeybee is worth celebrating – and saving A BUG’S LIFE Louisa Crispin illustrates the ot-overlooked world of insects from her garden studio in Kent 10 OF THE BEST… GENTLE WALKS Countryside strolls that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or mobility AN ARTIST’S NATURE JOURNAL Kelly Hall illustrates her local lora and fauna

154 ON THE COVER Lazy days of summer pages 32, 128 and 60 Pick of the bunch pages 29, 154 and 140 Call of the cuckoo page 54 Creating a buzz page 66 Love story page 44 10 of the best gentle walks in Britain page 92

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Contents 66

92

122 137

June 2018 issue 390 Food & drink 140 154

BRITISH IN PARTICULAR We look at the delicious ingredients farmed, ished, made and grown in the UK. This month: cherries SWEETER THAN ROSES Enjoy this beautiful bloom in surprising seasonal recipes

Health & beauty 165 167

HEALTH NOTES Our regular round-up from the world of health and beauty SKIN SAVIOURS Natural ways to bring harmony to your complexion

174 194

Reader ofers & events 51 52 73 90 99 151

News & views 19 173 06

A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY What to do, where to go and the simple pleasures of June WHERE TO BUY Stockist details

JUNE 2018

NEXT MONTH in Country Living MY COUNTRYSIDE TV presenter Alex Jones

163 171

COME TO OUR BUILD-A-BUSINESS DAY ESCAPE YOUR EVERYDAY Stay at the new Country Living Hotels in Bath and Harrogate SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBE TO COUNTRY LIVING LOVE IS IN THE AIR! Join our successful online dating service at country-loving.co.uk VISIT THE COUNTRY LIVING PAVILION AT THE GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW FREE FROM COUNTRY LIVING Send for your copy of Turn Your Hobby into a Business ENJOY A GREAT DAY OUT AT THE GAME FAIR

TAKE OUT A SUBSCRIPTION TO CL THIS MONTH See page 90 for details COVER CREDITS Photograph by Mads Mogensen. Production by Martina Hunglinger

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MANAGING DIRECTOR, FASHION & LUXURY JACQUELINE EUWE MANAGING DIRECTOR, FITNESS & HEALTH ALUN WILLIAMS DIRECTOR OF ENDORSEMENTS & FOOD LAURA COHEN DIRECTOR OF TRAVEL DENISE DEGROOT DIRECTOR OF MOTORS JIM CHAUDRY CLIENT DIRECTOR, PERSONAL FINANCE JACQUIE DUCKWORTH CLIENT DIRECT DIRECTOR, FASHION & BEAUTY EMMA BARNES CHIEF AGENCY OFFICER JANE WOLFSON EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TANYA STEWART 020 7439 5532 LIFESTYLE GROUP AGENCY DIRECTOR MATT DOWNS LIFESTYLE GROUP REGIONAL DIRECTOR LISA BHATTI SENIOR AGENCY MANAGER, DIGITAL CRYSTAL MALACHIAS 020 7439 5520 HEAD OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT LUCY PORTER 020 7439 5276 HEARST DIRECT MANAGER, HEAD OF CLASSIFIED LEE RIMMER 020 3728 7707 DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & SPONSORSHIP, HEARST LIVE VICTORIA ARCHBOLD SHOWS DIRECTOR LAUREN HUBBARD 020 7439 5459 SHOWS EXECUTIVE JONNY WATTS 020 7312 2725 SALES EXECUTIVE LOUISE DUCKETT 07435 751517 SALES ASSISTANT NIKKI MELLODY 07458 013960 MANAGING DIRECTOR, BUSINESS SERVICES JUDITH SECOMBE MARKETING & CIRCULATION DIRECTOR REID HOLLAND HEAD OF CONSUMER SALES & MARKETING JAMES HILL HEAD OF MARKETING PROMOTIONS AOIBHEANN FOLEY HEAD OF SUBSCRIPTIONS KAREN SHARP DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR SEEMA KUMARI INTERIM HEAD OF PR & COMMUNICATIONS DEBRA JOHNSON PR MANAGERS FAY JENNINGS, ALICE ROBERTA TAYLOR JOURNALIST ENQUIRIES MEDIA@HEARST.CO.UK SENIOR ADVERTISEMENT PRODUCTION CONTROLLER PAUL LOCKETT 020 7439 5682 PRODUCTION MANAGER JEFF PETTITT

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Hearst UK is a trading name of The National Magazine Company Limited (Registered in England number 112955) and Hearst UK 2012-1 Ltd (Registered in England number 4474102) whose registered offices are at House of Hearst, 30 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4AJ. Country Living is distributed by Frontline Ltd, Peterborough Tel: 01733 555161. This publication is sold subject to the following conditions: that it shall not, without the consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired or otherwise disposed of by way of Trade except at the full retail price of £4.40; it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition, or in any unauthorised cover by way of Trade of affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. Sources, uses and disclosures of personal data held by Hearst Magazines UK are described in the official Data Protection Register. All paper used to make this magazine is from sustainable sources in Scandinavia and we encourage our suppliers to join an accredited green scheme. Magazines are now fully recyclable. By recycling magazines you can help to reduce waste and add to the 5.5 million tonnes of paper already recycled by the UK paper industry each year. Before you recycle your magazine, please ensure that you remove all plastic wrapping, free gifts and samples. If you are unable to participate in a recycling scheme, pass your magazine on to a local hospital or charity. This magazine can be recycled either through your kerbside collection, or at a local recycling point. Log on to recyclenow.com and enter your postcode to find your nearest sites.


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STYLING BY ALAINA BINKS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY RACHEL WHITING (MOODBOARD) AND ALUN CALLENDER (PORTRAIT). LINEN (BACKGROUND), DE LE CUONA. MARBLED BUTTERFLY DECORATIONS, ELIZABETH HARBOUR. PATTERNED CARD AND PAPERS; GREEN EMBROIDERY THREAD: HOBBYCRAFT. PINK STRIPED PARTY BAG; PAPER STRAWS: PIPII. ROLL OF GIFTWRAP, PAPERCHASE. NOTEBOOK, CAMBRIDGE IMPRINT. BOWL, STYLIST’S OWN. RIBBONS, VV ROULEAUX. ROSE JUG, EMMA BRIDGEWATER

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June is the perfect month… to take a break in the British countryside. Might I sugest you do so in the beautiful spa town of Bath in Somerset or the equally lovely Harrogate in North Yorkshire. Quite aside from the fact that both ofer great cultural and shopping experiences, they are surrounded by wonderful countryside that is perfect for walking, discovering country pubs and visiting local landmarks. They also ofer visitors the opportunity of being able to stay in one of our brand-new Country Living Hotels! The irst 100 people to book a weekend stay will receive the special git of a gorgeous throw and scented candle from Rockett St George. For booking details, see page 52. Those of you interested in turning your hobby into a venture should join us at the Bath hotel on 26 June for our Build-A-Business Day (page 51) and if you simply want to create the look, see Emporium (page 13).

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 30 MAY


emporium Be inspired by our two new Country Living Hotels in Harrogate and Bath and discover how to create the CL style on the go COMPILED BY ALAINA BINKS

Modern twin-bell alarm clock, £22, Newgate

This wool throw is inspired by the colours seen in the Yorkshire countryside close to the Bronte by Moon mill, £75

Elegant glass lamp base with neutral shade to suit a country or coastal home, £155, Loaf

Classic Cornishware striped mug, from £10

The modern country-style hotel rooms, as seen here, are decorated in rich and earthy tones reflecting the natural world

Oak-top dressing table with a hand-painted finish, from £745, Neptune

This smart Betty button-back armchair in a navy pure Belgian linen from sofa.com is from £590. Choose from beechwood or black painted legs

Durable wool-mix carpet with a subtle chevron design. Available in four colours, shown in Slate, £32.99/m2, from the Alaska range in the Country Living Collection at Carpetright


EMPORIUM

Cotton cosmetic bag with waterproof lining and hand-printed cherry design by Thornback & Peel, £22

Cotton lawn pyjamas handmade in Norfolk, £125, by Carrier Company

Gather pretty clothing and useful travel essentials for a weekend away. Floral suitcase, Liberty Wraparound floral dress by Fairtrade company People Tree, £109

Natural hand cream, £9.95, by The Handmade Soap Company

rf u uf l

Strawberryprint lightweight cotton scarf, £17.50, Seasalt

u lo St co ti h hite tw ,W 2 ha w s, £1 a r t s m ’s -po ild Ch pom

countryliving.co.uk


EMPORIUM

Set of three melamine storage boxes, £36, Emma Bridgewater

This picnic blanket by Joules comes in two colour combinations and is machine washable, £34.95

Backpack with pretty wild-flower photographic print by Eastpak, £45

Enjoy the warm days exploring, then stopping for a simple picnic. Similar wool picnic blankets, RE

Bettys of Harrogate’s shortbread in a caddy with a design by artist Emily Sutton, £7.50

Bee-design melamine beaker by Sophie Allport, £6, available from Rossiters of Bath

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK A ROOM AT THE COUNTRY LIVING LANSDOWN GROVE, BATH, AND THE ST GEORGE, HARROGATE, VISIT COUNTRYLIVINGHOTELS.COM AND SEE PAGE 52

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JUNE 2018

For stockists, see Where to Buy

PRICES AND AVAILABILITY CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS. LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRENT DARBY; CRAIG FORDHAM; RACHEL WHITING. STYLING BY BEN KENDRICK; CAROLINE REEVES

Hand-bound notebook featuring Victoria Snape’s drawings, £6 each, Folksy


W H AT T O S E E A N D D O I N J U N E IN THE FIELDS THIS MONTH

VISIT A SUMMER FLOWER SHOW

COMPILED BY SARAH BARRATT AND LAURAN ELSDEN

Look out for stag beetles The season of many wonderful celebratory floral events is now upon us. If you missed Chelsea Flower Show in May, don’t fear – there is still a profusion to choose from. For grandeur, visit Chatsworth in Derbyshire (6-10 June) and its Great Conservatory, or Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (22-24 June), with its fine floral pavilions. A relative newcomer, there’s also Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show (22-24 June), which takes place within a beautiful 58-acre garden in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. And there’s the ever-popular Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in Surrey (3-8 July). It’s also worth researching events in your area so you can meet local suppliers and find out what grows well where you live. For more information, go to rhs.org.uk. countryliving.co.uk

AS THE DAYS GET LONGER AND THE WEATHER WARMER, KEEP AN EYE OUT IN LEAFY GARDENS or at the edge of woodland areas for Britain’s bigest beetle. The stag beetle (from the Lucanidae family) may look rather fearsome, but behind its monstrous mandibles lies one of our most interesting insects. Ater spending three to seven years underground as larvae, adults emerge for six short weeks in order to reproduce. The males enjoy a spell of sunbathing to gather strength, then patrol the same area repeatedly in search of a mate. Sadly, stag beetles are now categorised as ‘nationally scarce’ due to signiicant habitat loss, with the majority of the population being limited to the south of England. Gardeners can help, however, by drilling holes in a bucket, illing it with wood chippings and burying it in lowerbeds to create an artiicial nesting site. Visit ptes.org (People’s Trust for Endangered Species) for more information.

Longer days mean longer working hours for farmers, but many will be taking time out during this busy period to open their farms to the public on 10 June for Open Farm Sunday. Since launching in 2006, the scheme has seen 1,600 farms visited by 2 million of us (farmsunday.org).

QUIRKY COUNTRYSIDE

Bawming the Thorn Each June, the village of Appleton Thorn in Cheshire holds the Bawming the Thorn ceremony. Dating back to the 1800s, this tradition involves local schoolchildren decorating a hawthorn tree – which, legend has it, was grown from a cutting of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury – with garlands and ribbons, then dancing round it while singing verses from Sir Walter Scott’s Bonnie Dundee. JUNE 2018

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A simple make...

POM-POM BOOKMARK Colourful and jolly, these are fun and easy to make from leftover wool WORDS BY ALAINA BINKS PROJECT BY JANET PALMER PHOTOGRAPH BY SUSSIE BELL

1 Draw and cut out two

A WALK TO TAKE OFF-THEBEATENTRACK WALK, ICKWORTH, SUFFOLK As summer begins to breeze in, make the most of warmer days by exploring the tranquil parkland and ancient woodland of the Ickworth Estate. This five-mile circular route is well named – allowing you to explore diverse habitats, encounter babbling brooks, breathtaking views and even a wild-flower meadow. Plus, if you’re accompanied by miniature explorers, the woodland provides plenty of den-building apparatus and the opportunity to glimpse a vast array of wildlife, including deer, birds and toads. When you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for a picnic among grazing sheep in The Walled Garden – with the Earl’s summerhouse as your backdrop (nationaltrust.org.uk).

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circles, 6cm in diameter, from a piece of cardboard. 2 Draw and cut two smaller circles inside each piece, 1cm-1.5cm from the edge, to create two rings. Place them on top of each other. 3 Pull a length of wool through the centre and over the edge of the rings, pulling it taut. Work your way round to cover the cardboard, overlapping the wool slightly as you go. You will need to neatly tuck the end underneath the next strand to begin. 4 Once covered, go around the ring again in the same way to add another layer of wool. Repeat this until there is very little space

let in the centre.

5 Gently cut around the edge of the ring using a pair of scissors, with the blades between the cardboard edges. 6 Loop another piece of wool around the pom-pom,

between the cardboard rings, and tie to secure, leaving enough of one end to slot into a book. 7 Cut and remove the cardboard rings and luf up the wool to form a pom-pom shape.

An ingredient to enjoy COURGETTE Designer, cook and author Sophie Conran shares her favourite seasonal lavour The courgette comes from a large and tasty family that includes melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and gourds. Although they have been enjoyed for thousands of years by the South Americans, the variety we know and love today was developed in Italy in the 19th century. Anyone who has a vegetable garden or allotment knows they’re not hard to grow and have a long and bountiful cropping season. With the invention of the spiralizer to create ‘courgetti’, it is now a firm favourite in many households. I love them grilled and tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, capers and anchovies or cut into matchsticks and deep-fried in a light batter. For more information, see sophieconran.com.

countryliving.co.uk


A BOOK TO READ

Skymeadow: Notes from an English Gardener (Constable, £16.99) Plagued by personal tragedy, Charlie Hart left London for a small Peb Valley farmhouse, complete with meadowland. While wrestling with the roses, he worked through his grief and found that cultivating a garden helped mend his mind. This meditative book celebrates the healing efects of nature.

Tamed: Ten Species That Changed Our World (Arrow, £9.99) Hundreds of thousands of years ago, potatoes and wheat were uncultivated, and cattle and dogs were wild animals. In this book, Alice Roberts tracks the extraordinary way humans have domesticated plants and animals, turning them into allies that have helped build today’s world.

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STAY ON… A WORKING FARM

For cheeselovers

For the ecoconscious

Sgriob-ruadh Farm, Isle of Mull Visitors to this dairy farm with three luxurious stone cottages (top) are encouraged to watch the activities, from morning milking to cheese-making. Mull is also an excellent place to spot white-tailed sea eagles, whales and dolphins. From £375 per week (isleofmullcheese.co.uk).

The Olde House, Chapel Amble, Cornwall Just down the road from Padstow and Port Isaac, The Olde House is part of a 550-acre sustainable working farm, where you can take part in birdwatching, pond-dipping, feeding goats and more. From £670 per week (theoldehouse.co.uk).

For horse riders The Old Calf Shed, Lindley, West Yorkshire Once a location for Emmerdale, Heartbeat and A Touch of Frost, this is perfect for exploring Stainburn Forest and the Yorkshire Dales. Owners Julie and Nicholas will introduce you to their cows and sheep, and there’s even room in the stables for your own horses. Contact for prices (theoldcalfshed.co.uk).

NEWS YOU CAN USE NATIONAL FISH AND CHIP DAY Is there anything better than a sea view and fish and chips eaten straight out of the paper? Fried fish was first brought to the UK by Sephardic Jews in the 17th century and 200 years later, the first ‘chippy’ opened in London. A further 35,000 had popped up by the 1920s. To celebrate this British icon – and the fisherman and farmers who provide its ingredients – 2 June will mark National Fish and Chip Day. Head to last year’s winning eatery, Kingfisher Fish & Chips in Plymouth, or share a photo from your local with #nationalfishandchipday. For more information, visit neoda.org.uk. countryliving.co.uk


Our property of the month

SMALLWOOD FARM HOUSE, BRADFIELD ST GEORGE, NEAR BURY ST EDMUNDS, SUFFOLK £895,000

FROM ITS HERRINGBONE BRICK FLOORS RIGHT DOWN TO ITS ORIGINAL SHUTTER NOTCHES and 18th-century window latches, this Grade II-listed farmhouse is brimming with period charm. So picturesque is the six-bedroom property – which was part of a working farm for 500 years – it has been featured widely in national magazines, including Country Living, as well as on television shows such as BBC Two’s Great British Garden Revival. As that would sugest, the 1.7-acre grounds are as lovely as the house and include an ancient meadow, formal herb garden, a mini-orchard, two natural ponds and a large vegetable patch – all perfect for embracing country life.

For details of more rural houses for sale, visit countryliving.co.uk. Enjoy the latest home and property features, plus much more, in the CL free weekly newsletter. To sign up, go to www.countryliving.co.uk/newsletter.

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INFORMATION CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRESS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES; RHS/GEORGI MABEE; STOCKFOOD; RACHEL WHITING. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOANNA KERR. HAND-LETTERING BY RUTHROWLAND.CO.UK

F I N D YO U R D R E A M C O U N T RY H O M E


RU R A L R O M A N C E

COUNTRY LOVING

Read the inal instalment of Imogen’s story in our July issue.

DON’T MISS THE NEW RURAL DATING SERIES ON BBC TWO INE

GAZ

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countryliving.co.uk

it looked far cleaner than before, and smelled of chorizo and garlic. In the front room, the television was on so José could watch cricket, a cool breeze blowing through from the open kitchen door. I ran upstairs to put on my trouser-suit in honour of Pilar’s meal. It felt strangely tight. For one horrible moment I thought I was bloated, then I realised that Pilar had taken it in so it itted me perfectly. I went to fetch José, who was sitting in his wheelchair beaming, an arm round Ramón’s woolly neck. “You see my new friend?” he said, delightedly. And, as we sat down to dinner, Matthew whispered, “I think it’s safe to say they like you.”

UGH

IT’S BEEN A STRANGE COUPLE OF DAYS. THIS IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED: MY CLOTHES FEEL TIGHTER – AND NOT BECAUSE I’VE GAINED WEIGHT; my fridge is full of chorizo; and Matthew’s pet lamb, Ramón, has a surprising new friend. It’s all because my relationship with Matthew has continued to progress and, as a result, his father and sister have come to visit so they can meet me. They arrived from Spain yesterday, and I immediately invited them over for lunch. It did not go well. Matthew’s older sister, Pilar, kept studying me with dark, critical eyes, and his father, José, was silent and sad. Eventually, out of desperation, I sugested they look at the cows. José isn’t very mobile, so Matthew drove him in his car up to the dry, sunny ield. While they were all listening to my (dull) lecture on animal husbandry, one of the cows leant in through the open window and teased out the car keys with her tongue – it then took us 40 minutes to ind them again. Ater that, they clearly couldn’t wait to leave and, although I was hoping to do some damage control today, things were made more complicated because the sheep shearer was booked to come, and Matthew had promised to help. I had just got the ewes in the yard when Matthew appeared, Pilar pushing José in a wheelchair behind him. The two disappeared into the house, Pilar waving carrier bags and announcing that she was going to show me proper Spanish food. I tried to concentrate on showing Matthew how to roll up the leeces properly. Then the shearer got going, and the work became a blur of activity as I chivvied sheep through a series of hurdles. I enjoyed watching as the thick leeces, speckled with grass seed, were peeled of. Aterwards, the sheep looked relieved as they pattered out into the sunlight. Two hours in, Pilar appeared, and said irmly, “I will help you!” I glanced up doubtfully. She’s a striking woman, with her stif helmet of auburn hair, red nails, high heels and tight trousers, and I suspected she wasn’t the type to like the company of hot, angry sheep. I was wrong. I’ve never met anyone so hardworking. Within minutes, she was liting ewes through the air, and presenting them, strugling and ighting, to the shearer. In between, she ticked of Matthew for rolling the wool wrong, or swept dung out of the way, all the while telling triumphal stories in broken English about her early years in the tailoring trade. I’d grown quite fond of her by the time it was all over and we were letting the ewes back in with their lambs. This is always a comical moment, because the lambs don’t recognise their sheared mothers, and sidle away, wailing with alarm, at the sight of these afectionate but naked creatures rushing towards them. There was chaos for a while, and in the mêlée I failed to notice that one lamb was missing – Ramón, Matthew’s bottle-fed pet. When I returned to the farmhouse,

BRO

ILLUSTRATION BY JOANNA KERR

As their relationship becomes more serious, Imogen gets to meet Matthew’s family, with interesting results

YOU

BY COUNTRY LIV

ING

Love in the Countryside, inspired by Country Living’s dating site country-loving.co.uk, will be airing soon. To find out more, visit bbc.co.uk.

‘Crazy sheep woman seeks man with equally peculiar family’

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Inspiration and advice for aspiring smallholders

How to...GROW YOUR OWN EDIBLE FLOWERS Flowers have made their way onto the kitchen table, and not just in a vase. Anyone who has watched television shows such as The Great British Bake Off or MasterChef will know that adding the right petals to a dish doesn’t just make it look beautiful – it enhances the lavours, too. Growing your own is a good way of trying your hand at Add borage this, as you can be conident of the species (some plants flowers to are poisonous, so it pays to be cautious), be certain that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides (oten the case summer Pimm’s for a floral with cut lowers in supermarkets) and you can pick them alternative the morning before you serve them, ensuring the colours to cucumber are at their brightest and the lavours at their freshest.

scented petals of roses and lavender from your borders in jellies, icing and cakes – the more fragrant varieties tend to have a stronger lavour. Bright red, orange and yellow nasturtiums add a peppery punch to salads and also work well as a garnish for steak. Pretty violas are popular as a decoration for cakes and puddings, especially when crystallised in sugar, but their lettuce-like taste works well in salads, too. For a bedding plant with a diference, try Electric Daisies (£2.49, suttons.co.uk) – the bright yellow lowers have a izzy, almost electric taste on your tongue. Be warned – a few petals is enough!

FROM THE BORDERS Take a look around your garden and you might be surprised to ind that you already have a supply of edible lowers. Make the most of the

FROM THE VEGETABLE PLOT Don’t forget about the lowers in your vegetable patch. The big yellow blooms of courgettes and squash are delicious when stufed

countryliving.co.uk

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with ricotta and deep-fried in a tempura batter. Pick a few lowers from pea and runner bean plants (not all of them, or you won’t get any pods later in the year) and you’ll beneit from a delicate pea or bean lavour, which works well stirred through rice and couscous.

BREED OF THE MONTH Golden Guernsey As the name sugests, the coat on these goats ranges from pale blonde to a deep bronze. Golden Guernseys are generally smaller than most milking breeds, but they produce milk with a high butterfat content, which makes great cheese. Their ancestors came from wild herds on the Channel Islands and the breed was revived by Miss Miriam Milbourne, who started keeping and breeding the goats in the 1930s. She even hid a group of them during the German occupation of Guernsey during World War II.

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Go on a course: WILDLIFE WATCHING THINK A-LEVEL BIOLOGY FIELD TRIP, BUT MORE FUN. On a summer wildlife course in Pembrokeshire, I spent an aternoon on Skomer Island, looking for pulings learning to ly. Less comical but equally fascinating was watching a lypast of Manx shearwaters at sunset as they returned from their feeding grounds. Each day, ater a hearty breakfast, my group was guided by ecologist Clive Hurford of the Field Studies Council (FSC) in identifying damsellies on the River Cleddau, hermit crabs in rockpools and sea wrack on the shore. In the evenings at Orielton – a Georgian mansion in 100 acres of land and FSC’s HQ – we could see badgers searching for grubs. But my favourite activity was bat-watching. Head of centre Chris Millican lives on the estate, along with 400 bats but, far from being spooked by her neighbours, she enjoys their nocturnal antics. Equipped with bat-detector gadgets, we joined Chris to hear their high-pitched calls, which are not audible to the human ear. I learned that just one can eat 3,000 midges in a night – what better reason to put up a bat box in our own gardens? The next Summer Wildlife Watch course at Orielton is on 19-23 July, from £395 all-inclusive (ield-studies-council.org).

THREE MORE TO TRY… FOR WALKERS Shetland Wildlife, Shetland; eight days, £1,345 (shetlandwildlife.co.uk). Walk eight to ten miles a day, spotting seabirds, porpoises and otters on the way. 14-21 and 21-28 July 2018. FOR PLANTHUNTERS Dorset Wildlife Trust, The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset; three days, £289 (dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk). Learn to identify wild flowers, orchids and grasses at Kingcombe Nature Reserve – the meadowland that CL readers helped to save back in 1987. 27-29 June 2018. FOR SNAPPERS Birds of Prey & Action, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire; one day, £100 (goingdigital.co.uk). You will be taught how to take stunning shots of elegant birds of prey in their woodland habitat. 24 June and 12 August 2018.

countryliving.co.uk

WORDS BY KATE LANGRISH AND KITTY CORRIGAN. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; MICHELLE GARRETT; GETTY IMAGES; CLIVE HURFORD; STOCKFOOD

FROM THE HERB GARDEN During warmer months, herbs can grow so voraciously that they start to lower. Although this diverts enery from the leaves, it does provide you with some lovely edible blooms. The lowers of annual herbs, including basil, coriander and dill, are a toned-down version of the plant’s leaves. Sprinkle them into salads, or try freezing them into ice cubes for a botanical boost to G&Ts. Borage lowers have a surprising taste of cucumber, so are ideal in salads; the purple petals of chives have a mild onion lavour that goes perfectly with ish, and the white lowers of garlic chives provide a subtler lavour to dressings than cloves. For more on how to use edible flowers, see Sweeter Than Roses in this issue.


Crafting a celebration These simple and charming projects will ensure a summer party goes with a seasonal swing PRODUCED BY ALAINA BINKS

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CRAFT

PARTY CUPS Pretty papers add a decorative finish to plain paper cups (opposite). Gift wrap, cut into wide strips and secured in place with double-sided tape, works exceptionally well. Tailor patterns and colours to the occasion and team with paper straws in similar coordinated designs. Papers, Paperchase. Paper straws, Pipii

STREAMER GARLAND Colourful and efective, this simple idea will add instant jollity to a celebration. Tie pieces of fabric or ribbon along a length of string in an informal arrangement. Similar fabrics and ribbons, Cloth House, Jane Means and VV Rouleaux

PAPER FLOWER NAPKIN RINGS Create a pretty tabletop with flower garlands, cut from

paper, to add decoration to napkins. Cut shapes from textured paper or lightweight card in a variety of sizes and petal formations. Push green wire, or wire covered in florist’s tape, through the centre of each flower and bend the end into a ball or twist to secure in place. Wind each stem onto a bundle of rafia tied around a napkin. Papers and card, Paperchase. Wire and florist’s tape, Hobbycraft

COLOURFUL CUTLERY Ornate-style cutlery, found at a flea market can be given a new lease of life with a suitable spray or enamel paint. Cover the top sections with masking tape before painting the handles. Choose a single colour or mix together pastel tones with brighter shades. Spray paint, PlastiKote. Enamel paints, art and craft shops


CRAFTS FLORAL JAR LANTERNS

*NEVER LEAVE A LIT CANDLE UNATTENDED

Fresh stems in vibrant tones add a cheerful note to glass vessels made into temporary lanterns. Using a hot gun, glue a candle to the base of the receptacle, ensuring it is shorter than the container. Pour in a small amount of water and decorate with flowers. Use sprigs of tansy, as seen here, or other small blooms that have a sturdy stem, such as gypsophila, waxflower and blossom, cutting the stems so they aren’t too close to the flame once the candle is lit*. For a storm lantern, float flower heads such as pansies, daisies and buttercups on top of the water.

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CRAFT

DECORATIVE BUNTING Flags made from old lace, trimmings, embroidered cloths and fabric doilies gives alfresco dining a stylish vintage look. Decide on the size of flag you want and cut triangles of the same size from the materials. Pin the flags, roughly equal distance apart, along a length of woven ribbon and sew in place, making one long length of bunting or several shorter ones. Make and knot a loop at each end to hang.

SCENTED CANDLES These outdoor candles, contained in a collection of jelly moulds, are scented with citronella to help keep insects away. Heat soy wax flakes in a double boiler, or a bain-marie over a medium heat. Once melted, add the scented oil. Secure one or two wicks to the base of each mould and,

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holding the wicks upright, slowly pour in the wax. Wrap the end of each wick around the middle of a pencil and rest on top of the mould until firm. Leave to set at room temperature. Jelly moulds, RE. Soy wax, wicks and scented oils, Hobbycraft, Amazon and Candle Makers Supplies

COLLAGE TABLECLOTH This is a great way to refresh old and worn table-linen, as you can hide holes and marks under interesting patches. Try crocheted doilies, shapes and lettering cut from lightweight fabrics and attach to a tablecloth using an iron-on adhesive, or by pinning and sewing them in place. Alternatively, use pre-cut iron-on lettering, available from Liberty and Not On The High Street countryliving.co.uk


CRAFTS PATCHWORK TEEPEE Perfect for a picnic, garden party or the beach, this charming tent will create a shaded spot or hideaway for children to play. Cut six identical triangles from lightweight cottons or linens. Mix and match patterns from three to six designs, linked by colour. Ditsy florals, checks and ticking stripes work well and have a classic country style. Sew together the panels, making sure to secure two ties at a time, made from the same fabrics or coordinating ribbon in intervals, along each inside seam. These will help to keep the canes in place. Once all are sewn together, hem along the bottom edge of the teepee. Fold over the fabric along the top edge to create a pocket and thread strong ribbon through to tighten and tie around the canes once in place. Hem the two long edges, connecting the fabrics at the top to make the opening. Similar fabrics, Clarke & Clarke and Cath Kidston

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UPCYCLED STOOLS A thick cotton or linen used as a seat sling revives the frame of a folded stool. Heavyweight linens, canvas and vintage grain sacks are best for this. Open out the frame and measure the gap for the seat, adding extra at both ends. Cut the fabric to size if needed, allowing extra for a hem. Fold over each end and sew to create an open-ended pocket to slide the rods through, before slotting into the frame.

SWEET CONES Fill these with sweets, marshmallows or popcorn as an alternative to a party bag. Take a square piece of thick paper or lightweight card with a jolly print. Cut out wedges, each one roughly the shape of a quarter of a circle. With the wrong side facing, cut and stick a piece of Cellophane to the inside top edge of the paper/card. Pull into a cone shape and secure with

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double-sided tape. Fill, closing the Cellophane top with twine and a label. Paper, Cellophane and twine, Paperchase and Jane Means

FLOWER ICE CUBES Add a summery surprise to a glass or carafe of water using edible petals encased in ice. Pick varieties for their colour and taste, such as borage, marigolds, roses, pansies and violets. Alternatively, fragrant herbs and plants such as mint and lemon verbena work well. Choose the flowers/petals for each cube according to their size. Use distilled water that has been boiled and left to cool for more chance of clear ice cubes – fill each well in a silicone tray a third of the way up and freeze. Place the washed flower on top before covering with water to the top (or less if adding another flower) and freezing. Seasonal edible flowers, Maddocks Farm Organics

For stockist details, see Where to Buy

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUSSIE BELL; ALUN CALLENDER; CAMERA PRESS; EWA STOCK/CHRISTIN PARDUN; LIVING4MEDIA; LOUPE IMAGES/EMMA MITCHELL; SIMON SCARBORO; PAUL VIANT

CRAFT


THIS MONTH: THE DEVON WEDDING VENUE

We celebrate the home-grown entrepreneurs who have turned their hobby into a thriving business WORDS BY SARAH BARRATT

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALUN CALLENDER


If the weather allows, ceremonies can be held outside in the beautiful grounds, with the wedding breakfast taking place in the barn


Once a derelict farm building, The Great Barn was restored to its former glory in 2004 by Emma and John Birkin (opposite, below centre), who transformed it into a profitable wedding venue on the grounds of their family home in the Devon countryside

arly summer, with the rest of the season stretching ahead, is an innately hopeful time of year – and today is a quintessential June day. The sky is a deep azure, specked with white, wispy clouds. The forecast is clear, the trees are a brilliant green and the roses are blooming – it is the perfect day for a wedding, which is fortunate because soon one will begin. Although the hour is early, and the bride and groom may well still be asleep, Emma and John Birkin, the creators of The Great Barn – a gloriously rustic West Country wedding venue – are already hard at work, laying tables, checking details and making sure everything is in place. “There’s a real sense of anticipation,” muses John – who, despite having run the business for more than a decade, still strugles to sleep before “show day” (a phrase he’s appropriated from his time as a television director). “If you don’t have a slight element of nervousness about it, it’s probably not being done properly,” he says. His wife, Emma, is more relaxed: “We’ve done it enough now that we know what we’re doing,” she says. The pair met at the BBC, where she was a producer, working on programmes such as Children in Need, and John directed shows including Mr Bean and French and Saunders. Their previous roles have very much shaped the way they run their business. “I produce,” Emma says, “meaning I do a lot of the practical organisation, while John takes over and directs the day. We work well together, but within very separate enclaves. Our backgrounds helped a lot – we’re used to having contingencies for everything.” It might seem an unlikely jump. The couple never planned on running a wedding venue, but fate played a hand when they countryliving.co.uk

swapped city life for greener Devon pastures 20 years ago, having been drawn to the area’s “proper country” feel. Their new home was a charming thatched cottage with a handful of outbuildings in the village of Higher Aston on the edge of Dartmoor. “The estate agent described the house as ‘tired’,” Emma laughs. Although they were keen to take on a project, the couple never intended to renovate the old barn, which at the time was little more than a ruin with a rusting corrugated iron roof. It took a lot of encouragement from a zealous architect, backed by DEFRA’s historic buildings department, for them to recognise its potential. “Because we had invested our savings, it was very important for the business to pay its way once it was launched,” John explains. Thankfully, it did. Following a year of renovation, which ended in 2004, the barn was transformed into an arcadian, almost ecclesiastical event space, which unwittingly hit upon a zeitgeist – relecting the shit away from ceremonial formality to a more informal afair. “Brides wanted to move past the ‘princess-for-aday’ idea and experience a more relaxed celebration. We were very lucky that we hit a mood,” John observes. The well-judged nature of the venue was conirmed by the bookings, which immediately started rolling in when they irst opened. “It was all through word of mouth,” John says. “The great thing about a venue is that hundreds of people visit every week when attending weddings – and, with the rise of social media, it’s like a ripple efect without the need to pay for marketing or advertising.” “It also helps that we were slightly ahead of the curve down here,” Emma continues. “Lots of people got married in stately homes or marquees, but there wasn’t much in between. The JUNE 2018

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A DEVON BUSINESS “We relish the unpressured, gentler pace of life that Devon provides. To us, it means utter peace and privacy ater living in London and working in the crazy media world. With sailing and riding all on our doorstep, it’s a wonderful place to bring up children – there’s plenty of room for them to roam and roll around in the mud. We love watching our three mad dogs race across a ield and being able to see the change of the seasons up close – the excitement of the irst snowdrops, the carpet of bluebells in the woods in spring and the scent of roses in the garden in summer.”

“It’s highly emotive – it can take a year to plan an event, so we get to know our clients well” barn provided a nice alternative. It has the gravitas required for a wedding, without being as formal as a stately pile.” But as well as being more aesthetically relaxed, the couple are also adamant their venue should feel relaxed, too: “There’s a tendency now for things to become a huge production, but what makes a good wedding is for the couple to be carefree. You go to some places and they’ll tell you exactly what you should do when, but we encourage clients to design their day the way they want it.” The only thing John and Emma are vaguely prescriptive about is the “wonderful Dartmoor catering company” they work closely with. “Great food is integral to our weddings,” John says. “When we started, we had a policy that anyone could bring in whoever they wanted, but we very quickly saw that there were some terrible caterers, so we had to stop.” Otherwise, it’s all up to the bride and groom, but just in case they need a helping hand, Emma has collated a comprehensive directory of all things lower, cake and crockery related – in the form of a ‘Brides CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Romantic finishing touches extend to the doorways; John and Emma are incredibly

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attentive to the finer details and make sure every element of each table setting is perfect before the guests arrive

Bible’. In a frothy and oten OTT industry, her voice cuts through the luf, providing invaluable common-sense advice. It might seem all white lace and champagne receptions on the surface, but during wedding season the couple rarely have a weekend of, or even a weekday for that matter. Plus, being responsible for the most important day of somebody’s life is nerve-wracking at the best of times. But while they found it stressful to start with (“The irst wedding we did was terrifying – we thought no one would want to come because they’d all think it smelt faintly of cow”), now they’re old hands who work together seamlessly. While John inesses lighting and perfects playlists, Emma is on hand to dispense any last-minute pearls of wisdom – and the odd nerve-steadying drink. When the bridesmaids walk ahead (“The star always comes on in Act II,” John explains), she is oten called upon to arrange the train of the bride’s dress. Ater 12 years, Emma still bursts into tears. “It’s highly emotive,” she smiles. “We get to know clients well leading up to the event – they usually book at least a year in advance, oten visiting the venue multiple times in the run-up with diferent family members, so we build up a very strong relationship with them.” More commercial venues oten host numerous weddings each week, but John and Emma are adamant theirs “isn’t a wedding countryliving.co.uk


WHAT WE’VE LEARNT… Sometimes going in blind is good. If, at the beginning, we had known the amount of work we would have to do and the inal amount we’d pay for the barn renovation, we deinitely wouldn’t have done it. But now we’re so pleased that we did. A functional website is essential. Around two years ago, we noticed bookings were dipping slightly. We worked out it was because the website was quite outdated and wouldn’t work on iPads or phones. With a business like this, the area makes all the diference. This county really does tick all the boxes – everywhere you turn, you have a fantastic backdrop for photographs. Guests attending a Devon wedding will also oten make a holiday of it, booking into one of the countless lovely B&Bs. There’s also a wealth of great local produce. Expect the unexpected. Over the years we’ve had everything from burst sewage pipes to a band’s drummer being in a car accident. The important thing is to deal with the situation calmly without the bride and groom realising what’s happened.

factory”, so will only ever do one ceremony per week, ensuring they put all their enery into making it a show-stopper. It does, in a strange sort of way, feel a bit like a set – as RollsRoyces pull up carrying suit-clad men and bridesmaids dart across the courtyard, looking invariably glamorous in varying degrees of disarray – some still wearing dressing gowns with curlers in their hair. The couple agree the wedding industry does have certain parallels with showbusiness: “Really, the ceremony is a big piece of theatre.” John likens overseeing a service to directing This is Your Life: “It was the only thing in television, apart from the news, that you absolutely don’t get a second chance at. Weddings are the same.” With such professionalism paired with such a uniquely beautiful venue, there’s no doubt that today’s couple will be added to a long list of happy customers – ater all, they say if you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life.

The carefully renovated building, with its timber beams, provides an unforgettable experience for the bride and groom

For more on The Great Barn, visit thegreatbarndevon.co.uk.

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Come to our BUILD-A-BUSINESS DAY at the new Country Living Hotel in Bath Learn all you need to know to start and develop your own venture

For more about the new Country Living Hotels, see page 52. To combine the Build-ABusiness Day with an overnight stay – course attendees get a special rate – visit the website below. Our expert speakers, led by business coach Carole Ann Rice (above let),

will guide you through a selection of subjects, including: O Early business planning O Establishing your brand O De-mystifying social media O Getting media coverage O Finding the conidence to get started O How to really make money

*PLUS BOOKING FEE

PLUS You’ll meet other small-business owners and members of the CL team. Tickets cost £150*, which includes a comprehensive information pack, two-course lunch, all refreshments and a CL goodie bag. For more information, email hearstevents@hearst.co.uk

26 June 2018 9.30am-4.30pm TO are limited, so reserve your place today BOOK Spaces – and don’t forget to book your overnight stay! VISIT hearstlive.co.uk/build-a-business


N AT U R E

ALL CREATURES great & small Patrick Barkham celebrates the long-standing residents that make up Britain’s rich fauna This month CUCKOOS


N AT U R E A reed warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) feeding a 12-day-old European cuckoo chick in its nest in the East Anglian Fens

A FOOTLOOSE WANDERER FROM TRURO TO TIMBUKTU, settling nowhere for more than a couple of months. A promiscuous parent, who disdains to raise young and dupes smaller creatures into maternal duties. A noisy caller whose voice is a unique song of spring. The cuckoo may seem astonishingly immoral but that is to anthropomorphise an innocent animal. The real miracle is that this slim grey bird exists at all. The lifestyle it has chosen is peculiar and almost ridiculously precarious. Our relationship with the cuckoo begins at this time of year with its “cuck-coo” call. One note is a noise but two notes are a tune, and this sound “is the most remarkable noise in the natural world”, according to Michael McCarthy, author of Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo. It’s a perfect musical interval: a descending minor third. “Because it’s a minor third, it has a mournful note,” he says. “Occasionally a cuckoo sings in a major third, which is less mournful. And cuckoo clocks chime in a major third, which is why they are so annoying.” It may be mournful, but the call, like the bird, is also strangely diicult to locate. Wordsworth captured its elusiveness: O blithe New-comer! I have heard, I hear thee and rejoice. O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird, Or but a wandering Voice? Unsurprisingly, there is something witchy about the cuckoo, which is rarely seen and easily confused with a bird of prey. Its call has prophetic qualities in folklore – a French saying sugests that if you hear a cuckoo and have money in your pocket, then you will be rich all year; many other European traditions sugest that the bird can foretell your longevity or when you will marry. In Britain, we only hear its wandering voice when it arrives to breed. During a spring dawn, or dusk, the male’s mournful, sonorous call can be heard a mile beyond. A female will pair with more than one but the species is really famed for what comes next. Eighteenth-century naturalist Gilbert White

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admired the female’s crat in locating nests belonging to suitable species in which to deposit its egs. But he denigrated its “monstrous outrage on maternal afection”.

AN ABSENT PARENT This bird’s parasitic parenting was only fully revealed by cuckoo obsessive Edgar Chance, who named his daughter Cardamine ater the scientiic name of the cuckoo lower, and amassed a collection of 25,000 birds’ egs, including 25 from a single female cuckoo during one breeding season. In 1922, Chance dispatched children to watch nests on a Worcestershire common to deduce which the cuckoo would visit. Hiding in a fake stack of hay, he successfully ilmed The Cuckoo’s Secret, a ground-breaking documentary. Perhaps Chance empathised with the cuckoo’s outlaw status: his eg collection eventually led to his expulsion from the British Ornithologists’ Union. His ilm revealed the bird’s cunning approach – placing single, colour-matched egs into nests while dropping or devouring her fosterer’s own egs. We recoil from pictures of diminutive reed warblers or meadow pipits feeding baby cuckoos that are monstrously biger than they are – a Pathé News ilm of Chance’s work was entitled The Home Wrecker. The cuckoo lends its name to other domestic deceptions: for instance, to be a cuckold, a man whose wife is adulterous, is seen as a humiliation.

INTREPID TRAVELLER There are, however, still more cuckoo secrets to discover. Until a few years ago, a traditional rhyme held that… In April, come he will, In May, he sings all day, In June, he changes his tune In July, he prepares to fly In August, away he must Satellites proved this wrong, though. In 2011, scientists led by Dr Chris Hewson from the British Trust for Ornitholoy (BTO) countryliving.co.uk


N AT U R E

ABOVE Hairy caterpillars are a favourite meal for cuckoos TOP A European cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) in flight over North Uist in the Outer Hebrides

put GPS tags on the birds. Before the taging, there was just one clue about where the cuckoo lew: a youngster ringed in a pied wagtail’s nest in 1928 was later recovered in Cameroon (well, the ring was; the bird was taken for the pot). But satellites revealed a more complex picture. Cuckoos aren’t heard in July because most are halfway to Algeria by then. While we originally thought they travelled only as far as West Africa, the truth is that they journey a great deal further. One (named Chris Packham) spent winters in the swamp forest of the Congo Basin, but on his third winter abruptly relocated to Angola, a further 1,000km away. Satellite tags revealed that it rarely stayed in one location for more than two months. The BTO’s research revealed that cuckoos mostly return to their British breeding grounds but choose two distinctive migratory paths: birds from southern England leave later and take a shorter, western route via Spain. Birds from northern Britain take a longer, eastern route, leaving ten days earlier to complete it. Unexpectedly, Hewson has found survival rates on the eastern route to be signiicantly higher; birds on the westerly route are strugling.

A PICKY EATER Besides its call, parenting and globe-trotting, the cuckoo’s diet is its inal oddity. It devours hairy caterpillars – so hairy that the gizzards of dissected cuckoos can look furry. Mostly these are large moths, such as Emperor moths. Scientiic data reveals that, south of Lancaster and York, moth populations fell by 40 per cent over 40 years but numbers held up in northern Britain. Michael McCarthy believes it is no coincidence that northern cuckoos are surviving, while the cuckoo has virtually vanished from south-east England, where agricultural intensiication has decimated moth populations. However, while these diferent research projects have unveiled elements of the bird’s hidden life, Hewson believes we still have a lot to learn about these enigmatic creatures: “We have convincing evidence that what we know is not the whole story.” It is certainly mournful that the cuckoo’s call is no longer so widely heard, but there is something heartening about the fact that there is still such mystery surrounding this remarkable bird.

Cuckoos are most commonly heard from late April, through May and into June – later on, the male’s call is followed by the female’s less obvious ‘bubbling’ response. These birds were once ubiquitous in southern England but sadly this is no longer the case. However, large wetland nature reserves remain some of the best areas to encounter them, due to plentiful reed warblers’ nests for the cuckoos to parasitise. The Norfolk Broads or Bough Beech nature reserve, near Ide Hill in Kent, are both good places to visit. In the Midlands, beautiful Glapthorn Cow Pastures in Northamptonshire is an important nesting site for cuckoos; they are also known to frequent Highgate Common near Wombourne in Stafordshire and Brandon Marsh near Coventry. They can also be heard at Gilfach reserve and Tylcau Hill in Wales, Ballynahone Bog in Northern Ireland and across much of the western Highlands and islands, including Barra and Islay. In the West Country, the Avalon Marshes in Somerset and upland areas of Devon such as Dartmoor are also good options.

A European male cuckoo in the Cairngorms

The BTO’s project to tag cuckoos and track their miraculous migration is ongoing and still depends upon donations. You can sponsor a satellite-tagged cuckoo or even name one. Go to bto.org/cuckoo to ind out more.

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countryliving.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER CAIRNS; DAVID KJAER; ANDY ROSE; GEOFF SCOTT-SIMPSON CREATIVE; DAVID TIPLING/NATUREPL

WHERE TO SPOT A CUCKOO


In full bloom Let the efortless, beautiful shapes and patterns in nature inspire you to create harmonious displays using lowers and foliage WORDS AND STYLING BY BEA ANDREWS

PHOTOGRAPHS BY EVA NEMETH

FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS PART 1

Summer


S E A S O N A L I N S P I R AT I O N

BEA ANDREWS Bea is a horticulturist by heart. “I have been working with plants and flowers for more than 20 years, but using them in displays has opened up a whole new world that I am still passionately exploring,� she says. Bea worked as head gardener with Sarah Raven at her East Sussex farm, Perch Hill, where she was able to have the opportunity to indulge her enthusiasm for growing a wide variety of flowers and experiment with design. More recently, she set up Botanika, a small independent studio based in Hassocks, West Sussex, where she creates floral displays that reflect the seasons, using natural elements, interesting textures and pleasing colour combinations. She ofers tailor-made arrangements for weddings and also holds workshops to teach others how to design their own.

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Gather armfuls of blooms and striking leaves from local hedgerows and the garden to incorporate into a display – changing your arrangements

s a gardener and loral designer, I have always been attracted to wild and naturalistic planting schemes and relaxed, garden-like lower compositions. Nature has a wealth of patterns to observe and imitate, and, by capturing its magic, incorporating the best available wild and cultivated plants, you are on the right path. In this four-part series, I will be looking at diferent projects, encapsulating the essence of each season with a few simple, easy-to-ind elements that will enable you to create your own arrangement. At this time of year, there is a generous ofering of foraged goods on hand when it comes to more naturalistic lower arranging. Country lanes are gloriously awash with froths of cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris). Also known as Queen Anne’s lace, this dainty little early summer wild lower can make a great impression, as it grows in large numbers from April to June. In the Sussex woods, near where I live, it is joined by the fresh,

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with the seasons will enable you to create a natural style and allow you to use the bounty of organic blossoms available on your doorstep

vivid greens of hazel and the large arching, highly divided stems of our native British fern or bracken (Pteridium aquilinum). If you missed out on the cow parsley season, a succession of similar lacy wild lowers can be found throughout summer. The elegant, upright hedge parsley (Torilis japonica), with its daintier lower heads, appears later in July and August, closely followed by the wild carrot (Daucus carota) in late summer, going into September. None of these plants should be confused with their highly poisonous cousin, the hemlock (Conium maculatum), which boasts similar white frothy, lacy lower heads, but it’s a much taller plant with purple blotched stems. Cow parsley can be tricky when picked at an early stage. Its vase life improves with age, once the stems become stronger and darker. Searing the stems in boiling water for a few seconds prolongs the endurance of the arrangement. See overleaf for instructions on how to create a beautiful seasonal arrangement for your summer table. countryliving.co.uk


S E A S O N A L I N S P I R AT I O N

MAKING A TABLE CENTRE

Collect foliage such as hazel, fern, spindle (Euonymus europea), oak, wild dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), rosemary, sage, weeping pear (Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’) or similar. Arrange three stems of each at an angle in your favourite bowl illed with water. Aim for a good mix of upright and gently arching stems. Use a loral pin holder or lower frog to secure them if the bowl is too shallow. Add ive stems of wild cow parsley, three stems each of white sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis), double white Persian buttercup (Ranunculus), white mock orange stems (Philadelphus), blush snapdragon and, inally, blush

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rose ‘Abraham Darby’. Place the stems at diferent heights – think of them growing naturally in a hedge or border. Alternatively, you can use other home-grown blooms – a selection of smaller and larger lower heads and a restricted colour palette will give a more harmonious feel with a relaxed and organic look. Discover more about Bea’s wedding flowers and one-toone workshops, plus read her blog, at botanikafloral.co.uk or follow her on Instagram @botanika_floral. countryliving.co.uk


HONEY BEE SPECIAL

GIVE

BEES A CHANCE A symbol of summer and an unwitting igurehead for the natural world, the humble honey bee is a creature worth celebrating – and saving WORDS BY SARAH BARRATT

t

hey may be small, but bees play a huge role in our eco-system. Colossal, in fact. They are one of our key pollinators, a group of insects responsible for the production of one third of all the food we eat. As a result, the work they do is worth £200 million to the British economy, and the retail value of what they pollinate is closer to an amazing £1 billion. So widely recognised is their value that, at the end of last year, environment secretary Michael Gove reversed the UK’s position on pesticides that are harmful to bees – switching from opposing an EU ban to supporting one. There are 250 species of bee native to the UK – these include 24 types of bumble bee, 67 types of mining bee as well as mason bees, leaf-cutter bees and carder bees. But one genus that is in a particularly precarious position – due to the fact that there is only a single kind in the UK – is the honey bee. While all have

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Honey bee colonies are now dependent on beekeepers for their survival

experienced a decline in recent years, honey bees have been hit particularly badly, with populations in England falling by 54 per cent between 1985 and 2005. This drop in numbers is made somehow sadder by the fact that our relationship with the honey bee goes back a long way. People have been presiding over hives for more than 8,500 years; before that, it was a dangerous game of smoking out wild colonies and stealing their honey (earliest evidence of this dates back some 25,000 years). So ancient are these insects, the earliest recorded bee, found in Myanmar, is thought to be more than 100 million years old. Since then, bees and plants have evolved in near perfect symbiosis – until recently.

U N D E R T H R E AT A number of things have contributed to the decline of the honey bee (and bees in general) during our lifetime. The loss of wild-lower habitats is one – in the UK, 97 per cent of these have disappeared since the 1930s. Use of pesticides is another – research has shown that in Germany there has been 75 per cent decline in insect life in the past 27 years for this reason. Neonicotinoids, in particular, are believed to damage the central nervous systems of bees, afecting their ability to navigate and forage. But the bigest challenge they’ve faced by far is the deadly varroa mite. Originally from Asia, this parasite has slowly spread across the world, arriving in the UK in 1992. Speciically targeting honey bees, it attaches to their abdomens, feeding on their blood. This weakens them and makes them more susceptible to viruses and fungal infection, and, as a result, can cause entire colonies to fail. These combined elements have collectively had a devastating efect on the British honey bee population. In 2014, a study conducted by the University of Leeds discovered that there are unlikely to be any wild colonies let in England or Wales, which means that they are now entirely dependent on beekeepers for their survival.

A UNIQUE FOODSTUFF Even if they didn’t play an invaluable role in our ecosystem, these tiny insects would still be one of our most remarkable native creatures because of the unique byproduct they produce. Gathered by humans since the Mesolithic times, honey is one of the most enery-dense foods in nature – and the only one produced by insects that we consume. It also has a phenomenal shelf life: at 3,000

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Buddleia (Buddleia davidii)

BEE-FRIENDLY PLANTS Attract honey bees into your garden with a variety of beautiful blooms Honey bees have short tongues compared to other insects, so prefer shallow flowers where the nectar is easy to access. Spires made of many small blooms are perfect for this – lavender, buddleia, agastache, marjoram and many types of salvia and nepeta are all great options. Plants with open blooms such as

borage, wild roses and single hollyhocks also work well. Honey bees forage from spring right through until autumn (you may even see the odd sleepy one in winter, as they don’t hibernate like bumblebees), so plant flowers that will provide sustenance throughout this period – crocuses and primulas for spring, poppies and cosmos for summer, and sedums and golden rod from autumn.

years old, the world’s oldest sample – discovered by archaeologists excavating an Eyptian tomb – is still edible. Honey is said to possess a huge array of health beneits: certain varieties are proven to be antibacterial (manuka honey is known to kill antibiotic-resistant infections), others are well-known cough soothers, and many people swear by local honey as an antidote to allergies. However, while we think of honey as being an innately ‘natural’ food, unless speciied, many of the varieties found on supermarket shelves have been processed – pasteurised to preserve liquidity and destroy pathogens or homogenised to remove pollen. They might also have been bulked out with sugar syrup. To get the maximum nutritional beneit, look for ‘raw’ honey, which hasn’t been treated with heat and is therefore still full of pollen, enzymes and antioxidants. Heat also destroys many of the delicate lavours in honey, so untreated options may reward you with a better taste. The lavour and texture of natural honey can vary hugely, depending on the plants the bees have fed upon. Heather oten produces a distinctly loral aroma and can be sot set, while acacia or orange blossom honey is usually lighter in taste and colour. That derived from pine forests tends to be amber with a stronger lavour, while lavender honey is noticeably perfumed.

HOW WE CAN HELP Marjoram (Origanum majorana)

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

Salvia (Salvia divinorum)

Nepeta (Nepeta racemosa)

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Even if you’re not a beekeeper, there are still things you can do to help protect and support the honey bee. Growing bee-friendly lowers – even a pot on a windowsill – is a valuable contribution (see let for sugestions). As well as sustenance, bees need plenty of shelter. This can be provided by an uncut lawn – even if you favour a bowling green garden, experiment with allowing one corner to grow wild, or raise the notches of your lawn mower so it leaves the grass slightly longer. Perhaps most key, though, is reducing the use of chemical pesticides, which kill of the helpful and endangered insects as well as the troublesome ones. Try experimenting with natural alternatives such as companion planting, which can also provide bees with extra forage material. It’s also important to support your local beekeepers (you can ind yours at bbka.org.uk) by purchasing honey and other bee products from them. Another way you can help is by monitoring bee populations through Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count 2018, which runs from 17 May to 30 June this year. See friendsotheearth.uk/bee-count to ind out more. countryliving.co.uk


N AT U R E BEE BYPRODUCTS PROPOLIS This substance is used as a sealant in hives. Due to its antiseptic properties, it is still included in throat lozenges and syrup – the Ancient Greeks even used it to treat abscesses. BEESWAX Secreted by the glands of worker bees, beeswax is used to build comb in the hive. It often appears as an ingredient in furniture polish, soaps, cosmetics and eco-friendly candles.

BEEKEEPERS CREATING A BUZZ H I L LT O P H O N E Y Back in 2011, 23-year-old Scott Davies was living with his parents, recovering from a back injury and unsure of his next step. It was here, during his daily curative walks around the garden, that he struck upon the idea for Hilltop Honey – a raw, unpasteurised and delicious local product, which in 2015 became the irst ever raw honey to be sold in large supermarkets. His mission? To educate consumers about its beneits and support the humble honey bee through an ‘adopt a bee’ scheme and by donating ive per cent of all Welsh honey proits to the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. (hilltop-honey.com)

B L AC K B E E H O N E Y It may seem slightly paradoxical to keep bees in a city but, according to Black Bee Honey founders Chris Barnes and Paul Webb, “The huge variety of plants and trees in the capital’s parks and gardens give honey a mind-blowing complexity of lavours.” Named ater the native British bee, Black Bee Honey works with beekeepers in London and Exmoor to make area-speciic, unprocessed honey, which is not heated or blended – for maximum nutritional beneit. The duo met in an oice in

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2003 and, ater undertaking a beekeeping course together and “catching the bug”, they’re now working tirelessly to tackle the endangerment of both bees and their keepers – did you know the average age of a British beekeeper is 66? (blackbeehoney.co)

T H E T R AV E L L I N G B E E C O Diferent lowers create very diferent lavours, so Mark Chambers spends his life shuttling a 60-strong collection of hives up and down the country – setting up apiaries to give his bees access to the widest array of forests and lora throughout the seasons and create wonderfully diverse area-speciic honey. On top of the challenges of disease and habitat loss, British beekeepers face the additional obstacle of a very short window for producing honey (British bees can be in winter-mode for up to six months, while in warmer countries they produce honey all year round) – which is why, Mark explains, local honey needs to be a little more expensive. A lover of nature, he knows just how essential bees are: “I recently witnessed Scandinavian thrushes, which had lown thousands of miles to this country, feed on the hawthorn bushes that my bees pollinate. The work of bees underpins our entire ecosystem.” (travellingbee.co.uk) countryliving.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; CRISTIAN BARNETT; GETTY IMAGES; ANDREW MONTGOMERY; MICHAEL PAUL. RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE IN 2007

ROYAL JELLY Fed to queen bees, this milky white substance – secreted from the head glands of worker bees – has an almost mythical status and is often featured in anti-aging products.


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WILDLIFE


D E C O R AT I N G

MAKING AN

ENTRANCE Greet guests to your home with welcoming ideas that are practical and inviting WORDS BY BEN KENDRICK


FIRST IMPRESSIONS On arrival, visitors immediately see the front garden, so try to make the design elements, hard landscaping and planting all work from this perspective. A gate that is partly open in style and allows you to see through it – such as a ive-bar-style picket fence or bespoke design in forged metal – will give views up the path and lead the eye to the front door. This looks more appealing than a solid structure, so choose this type unless security or privacy are particular issues. A path in brick or stone that will stay relatively clean and free-draining in winter is practical and relatively low maintenance. Make sure it is wide enough and consider how you are going to lay it. You can lead the eye towards the door with sets of stones laid in the direction of the path, or lay them horizontally to increase its sense of width. You could also put them in a random pattern or a more decorative herringbone style. Whatever material you choose, invest in one that is countryliving.co.uk

mortared and has a good hard-core foundation, not just laid on sand, which is less robust and higher maintenance. Gravel or larger chippings, preferably locally sourced (that blend with the house’s building materials), are also an excellent choice for a country house. The evocative crunch will alert you to visitors and a solid border of setts or metal lawn edging, or a purpose-made grid on a driveway, will help to stop it moving around. An ofset path, with a direct, rather than straight, route to the front door with a view that is broken up with plants can be efective. Use planting to enhance the front of the house. Whichever style of garden you favour, beds and borders should frame a pathway and soten the edges. Repeatplanting with one species on either side creates symmetry. Try clipped box balls, beds of lavender or nepeta, or standard clipped robinias. A pair of potted evergreens can look smart on each side of the entrance, or group seasonal pots for colour, scent and interest.

Matching the materials of your home to the hard landscaping achieves a harmonious exterior (above left); a green oak porch is an attractive

addition (above); traditional style and modern technology meet in Everest’s House Beautiful Brompton door in Chartwell Green (below)

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OPEN AND SHUT CASE

Framing a doorway with trained climbers and planting (above) helps give your house a softer appearance; lollipop clipped holly or bay trees in planters draw attention to the door (below); a porch

like this one by Everest (below right) can create extra room for boots and coats; soft greens and blues are a good choice for windows and doors against yellow stone (opposite)

As a general rule, try to match your doors and windows to the age and style of your property. If you do this, then you can be adventurous with the shade you paint them. Some listed properties, conservation areas or estate cottages have strict guidelines on colours, too, so make sure you investigate if this is a possibility. Historic houses oten look better decorated with period paints, and a number of companies stock accurate shades, which can make your decision easier. Above all, use a colour for exterior woodwork that suits the materials of your home such as the stone or brick. For example, the warm honey-coloured hues of Cotswold stone work really well with cool grey-greens and greyblues, while red stocks suit similar cool tones such as blue-greys or stronger greens, and most materials will look good with smart black or white. Consider door furniture in much the same way, and choose pieces that suit your property, its style and age. However, a bold colour choice – one that you might not

consider using indoors – can be efective, especially in outdoor light, which can have a sotening efect on many colours. Your front garden and its planting should also play a part in your decision, taking into consideration seasonal changes, plus the wider landscape and neighbouring properties. Solid wood doors, however, are expensive and require regular care and repainting, and this can be exacerbated in exposed or coastal sites. However, uPVC or composite materials, such as those made by Everest, are more stable and require far less maintenance (never needing to be repainted or stained), can be made more secure, plus are much cheaper to purchase than solid wood or bespoke pieces (uPVC is obviously not as sustainable or ecologically sound, though). Designs and styles are currently improving, so source a door that is authentic to your property and pay attention to the number and proportion of details, such as the glazing bars. Make sure your supplier is a member of FENSA (Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme Registered).

Choose a colour for exterior woodwork that suits the materials of your home

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D E C O R AT I N G

COME ON IN A hall should be a warm, welcoming environment but also practical, catering to muddy boots and hats and coats. Therefore, looring is of primary importance – hardwearing stone, tiles or boards are all ideal and can be sotened and coloured with rugs and runners. An inset coir mat inside the door is worth considering if you are investing in a new loor.

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WELCOME HOME Again, when it comes to furnishings, practicalities dictated by space and safety are the main points to remember. A small table or narrow console is a good choice, allowing you to display pieces, even a jug of fresh lowers, as well as creating a surface to deposit items in transit – your keys or the daily post. A narrow bench or old pew with storage, similarly slim in dimensions, can be a useful place to take of your shoes. Anything that mounts on a wall is also a good bet in a small space.

Clockwise from far left Large flagstones have been uncovered and restored in this house; quarry tiles are easy to keep clean in combination with a coir doormat, preferably inset; a slim console provides a focus for decoration and a dropping-of point for post; a plant stand ofers a similar function, creating a focus for the decoration in this hall; strong colour can provide a warm welcome; terracotta pammets and a built-in settle with storage underneath make this Lincolnshire house both practical and welcoming

A practical small table or console can also be used to display attractive pieces

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LIGHT THE WAY

brass porch light from Jim Lawrence; illuminate paths with spotlights at ground level; a swannecked galvanized-steel design has an appropriately utilitarian aesthetic

The best lighting sources for a hallway are either ceiling-mounted, pendants or spots, recessed lights, a lantern or chandelier, or wall-mounted, such as sconces and wall lights. These are the most practical, as they take up no loor space and don’t have unsightly cables, which could be a tripping hazard. The level of lighting you choose can also be primarily practical and brighter than all the other rooms in the house, where ambience is a more important consideration, since this is a space you pass through rather than one you spend much time in. However, a welcoming glow from a combination of sources will create the most appealing atmosphere. Outside lighting is largely a question of safety and security, but take care to still create a romantic, sot, welcoming glow and avoid harsh lighting that can look stark. Low-level path or step lights make dim or steep walkways safer to use, while box wall lights, a swan-neck lamp, lantern or exterior bracket lights will give a welcoming impression by the front door. Lights must be suitable for outdoor use, safely wired and weatherproof. Add motion-sensors if you don’t want to leave them on permanently. Use an electrician to install exterior lighting that needs to be run through an armoured cable for safety. Natural materials such as weathered bronze, copper, galvanized zinc and brass are great choices for outdoor styles, as they weather beautifully.

DIRECTORY E EVEREST 0800 008 7172; everest.co.uk Wide range of high-quality doors and windows, including a House Beautiful collection of doors. Low-maintenance durable composite constructions, A rated for thermal efficiency. Split stable door options, part-glazed doors, made in Britain with 16 colour options and 24 styles. EVOLUTION WINDOWS 01767 821548; evolutionwindows.com Stylish, quality doors, many on sympathetic period lines, handcrafted and finished in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Unique composite construction, which looks like solid wood but is low maintenance and high security with good thermal and soundproofing qualities. Range of solid cast door and window furniture.

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F FIRED EARTH 01295 814365; firedearth.

G

O

com Wide range of decorative and natural floor tiles such as terracotta and slate. GARDEN TRADING 0333 272 5506; gardentrading.co.uk Good selection of subtle outdoor lighting in coloured enamel or galvanized-metal finishes, plus range of hallway lights, furniture, shelves, hooks and storage. OLD ENGLISH DOORS 01159 588755; oldenglishdoors.co.uk Bespoke Accoya doors made in Nottingham in a wide range of styles from authentic period designs to modern looks. ORIGINAL BTC 020 7351 2130; originalbtc.com Modern, classic and functional lighting designs all created

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and made in the UK. Range of outdoor lighting, including tiny step lights and bulkheads inspired by nautical styles. ORIGINAL STYLE 01392 473004; originalstyle.com Vitrified ceramic tiles to create a patterned Victorian or Edwardian path. PERIOD HOUSE SHOP 01584 877276; periodhouseshops.com Range of functional exterior lighting, door and window furniture, plus letterplates, knockers and bell pulls, all in traditional styles, from shops in Ludlow and Shrewsbury. ROSEVIEW WINDOWS 01234 712657; roseview.co.uk UPVC sash windows that look like traditional wooden designs but

with much lower maintenance and higher thermal efficiency. S THE SASH WINDOW WORKSHOP 01344 868668; sashwindow.com High-quality solid wood, handmade, bespoke sash and casement windows from FSC wood, ideal for replacement windows in period properties. All made in Berkshire. Double-glazing and guarantees. W WILLOW & STONE 01326 311388; willowandstone.co.uk Everything for the well-dressed door, including a wide range of top-quality door furniture in classic and traditional styles, such as knobs and handles, letterplates and boxes. Varied finishes including brass, nickel, bronze and enamel. Mostly produced in the UK. countryliving.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; SIMON BEVAN; MARK BOLTON; CHARLIE COLMER; JAKE EASTHAM; EVEREST; EWA/DAVID LLOYD; JIM LAWRENCE; LOUPE IMAGES/JAN BALDWIN; JAMES MERRELL; MMGI/MARIANNE MAJERUS; NARRATIVES/POLLY ELTES; MARK SCOTT; JO SHELDRAKE; JODY STEWART

Clockwise from this picture Discreet downlighters create warm pools of light on either side of a partglazed door; a simple suspended Salcombe


A bug’s

life

From her weatherboarded studio in Kent, Louisa Crispin creates intricate artwork inspired by the marvellous minutiae of the insect world WORDS BY SARAH BARRATT PHOTOGRAPHS BY POLLY WREFORD


RU R A L B US I N ES S

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ABOVE Louisa takes artistic inspiration from the tiny residents in her garden and the dried insects and plants

that adorn her studio. She is particularly fascinated with underappreciated bugs, such as daddy long-legs and wasps

presented with a seemingly unremarkable lichen-covered branch – her intuitive teacher thought she might enjoy the challenge of drawing it: “The next thing I knew, everyone was getting up to go home – it was three hours later and I hadn’t even drunk my tea. I’d completely disappeared into another world.” That, Louisa says, was the turning point. “Without that stick, I don’t know whether I’d be where I am now,” she says. Ater that, Louisa stopped making jewellery and poured all her enery into art, honing her skill through intense practice: “People say I disappear into myself when I’m drawing. I can hear what’s going on around me, but it’s like I’m in a dream. I am absolutely focused and don’t pay attention to anything else.” Still, working from an increasingly cluttered table at home, focusing must have been something of a challenge. “We stopped using the dining room table as the dining room table a long time ago,” she laughs. But in 2014, Louisa inally managed to persuade her husband that it was time for a purpose-built studio in their garden – a fresh, spacious, sacred space where she could sketch without distraction: “My family know not to come up here when I’m drawing, and the cats deinitely aren’t allowed in.” She does, however, share her studio with an extensive collection of insects, dried leaves, teasels, poppy heads and even rabbit skulls, which adorn every windowledge, shelf and tabletop as the subjects of her art. Friends will even deliver bugs they happen to ind on walks or windowsills to her door. To most people, countryliving.co.uk

HAND-LETTERING BY RUTHROWLAND.CO.UK

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he daily commute is rarely a favourite part of anyone’s routine. Unless, of course, you’re Louisa Crispin, a Kent-based ine artist whose walk to work is a 30-second stroll up the garden path – straight from her back door to a bright and breezy weatherboarded studio. Still, it can sometimes take her over half an hour to get there. “There’s so much to see,” she laughs. Most would walk by without so much as a second glance at the foxgloves, apricot trees and budding purple-tipped teasels festooning the borders of the cottage garden. But Louisa gets lost in the miniature worlds of her garden residents – always stopping to appreciate birdsong or study a bee in acute detail. She points out one such creature, bumbling through the air, carrying a piece of clover almost the same size as its body. “That’s a leafcutter bee, which has been buzzing backwards and forwards for weeks,” she explains, watching as the insect descends into a nearby terracotta pot. “There will be egs in there waiting to hatch. I’ve drawn on the pot, so I don’t accidentally tip out the soil. Unless you really look, you don’t realise these things are going on.” Such close attention to detail is also required when creating works as delicate as Louisa’s graphite sketches, which have been exhibited at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society and Mall Galleries. The skill, however, didn’t always come naturally to the artist, who irst picked up a pencil just seven years ago. Her venture into the art world began as little more than a way to expel creative enery, ater leaving a job in insurance to start a family. Initially, her chosen outlet was silversmithing, and she would sketch only to support her jewellery designs. “Every day, I would drop the children of at school, make a cup of cofee and start drawing,” she remembers. Later, she began attending a local art class to learn the principles of illustration. During one such session, she was


RU R A L B US I N ES S


RU R A L B US I N ES S LEFT Louisa’s graphite drawings focus on texture and form rather than colour BELOW LEFT Her series of

bee sketches is very popular with customers – she draws one bee a day and posts it on social media

these would be strange presents to receive, but to Louisa they are thoughtful gits. Then again, most people would be distressed to discover a wasp’s nest in their attic – but not Louisa. “We found the most enormous one in our house last year – my neighbours weren’t impressed,” she laughs. “But that’s where they lay their egs. They made the entire thing from chewed-up bits of weatherboard – it would have taken months. It’s intricate work, and the nest itself is incredibly tough.” This encounter inspired Louisa to create a whole series of drawings depicting the unsung insects. She is a loyal wasp defender, although they are not the most beloved of bugs. “People are cruel about them, but they do a huge amount of good. They eat greenly larvae, clear up all the detritus in the garden and pollinate all the raspberries. It’s not just bees that do it,” she points out. “Bees are used in campaigns because they’re lufy and cute, so they appeal to people more. But everything you do to save the bees helps other insects, too.” While Louisa continues to champion largely unloved bugs (she’s also a big fan of daddy long-legs), bees remain the subject matter of her most popular works. As a result, she has decided to draw at least one bee a day, posting the results on social media. In doing so, she has married a traditional skill with a modern audience, and garnered much attention for her work: “I’ve sold quite a few bee drawings through Instagram – it’s a big part of my marketing. They tend to sell almost as fast as I draw them, which is exciting.” Dividing her time between creating art, promoting it online and undertaking all the necessary admin – as well as the extensive networking required to help bolster her work – can be diicult. “I didn’t realise quite how much of being an artist is about networking,” she says. “When I worked at the insurance company, I went into the oice, did my work, then went home again – there was no need to reach out to others. In art, it’s critical. No matter how fantastic your work is, if you don’t put it out there, no one will know about it.” Still, despite these minor drawbacks, Louisa’s working day is one that would be the envy of many a nine-to-iver. She’ll spend an hour or two at her workstation, sketching her much-loved ‘daily bees’ while tuned in to Radio 4’s Today progamme, before enjoying a hard-earned cup of tea in the garden, catching up with the happenings of her tiny tenants and gaining inspiration for her next series of sketches. At this time of year, alliums and irises provide bright and cheerful focal points. But, when drawing, Louisa is more interested in form and texture than colour – and plants interest her most of all when they recede during the colder months. “It might sound morbid, but I tend to be fascinated by dead things. It’s the process of change that interests me,” she explains, gesturing toward the cow parsley, all delicate white blooms and acid green stems. “It has a continuity even when it dies. In summer, bugs feed on the lowers, then, in winter, birds feed on the seed. When looking at nature, there’s the obvious kind of beauty, like a rose in glorious full bloom. Then there’s the intricate sort of beauty that’s oten overlooked.” Notably the artistry that lurks in the most unexpected of subjects – yes, even a wasp. For more information about Louisa and her work, visit louisacrispinart.co.uk/countryliving.

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10 of the best…

gentle walks Our beautiful British landscapes should be accessible to everyone – these countryside strolls can be enjoyed by all, regardless of age or mobility WORDS BY ELLIE FORRESTER


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GIANT ’S CAUSEWAY, C O U N T RY A N T R I M

This UNESCO-protected site of 40,000 hexagonal basalt pillars on Northern Ireland’s north-west coast might not appear particularly accessible. However, take the two-mile clitop Green Trail, which starts at the Causeway Hotel, and you’ll have a great view, plus crowd-free tranquillity, even in high summer. Below, the Atlantic bites into this

natural mosaic with its rhythmic swell, and on a clear day you can spot the Scottish coastline. It’s worth continuing on the path to Portcoon Cave – access may not be possible, but the bay before it is a wonderful spot from which to see dolphins and porpoises cutting through the waves. nationaltrust.org.uk/ giants-causeway

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THE CAMEL TRAIL, C O R N WA L L

Winding through romantic Poldark country, the 17-mile Camel Trail is built on a disused rail track from Padstow to Bodmin – a line once described by Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman as “the most beautiful train

journey I know”. This wellmaintained path meanders through the salty marshes of the Camel Estuary to the market town of Wadebridge and inland to the foot of Bodmin Moor. Keep your eyes peeled – the route also

4

FLANDERS MOSS, STIRLINGSHIRE

One of Britain’s largest intact lowland raised bogs, the 8,000-year-old Flanders Moss nature reserve lies in the Carse of Stirling, a fertile lood plain of the River Forth. Rise above it, with the circular bog path that starts from the car park and turns into a half-mile boardwalk at the bog itself. From here, you can take in the

L A K E V Y R N W Y, P OWYS

Admire the Victorian Gothic Straining Tower (above) and majestic engineering of the dam at Lake Vyrnwy, which is now an RSPB nature reserve. Tucked into the folds of purple heather moorland, the reserve has several straightforward walks – as well as hides from which to spot peregrine falcons, pied lycatchers and redstarts. Try the mile-long

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smells and sights of this unique wildlife habitat, a landscape home to all things damp and wonderful, with domes of peat rising up out of squelchy mats of colourful sphagnum moss, adders and lizards sunbathing and the haunting sounds of snipe and stonechat calls rending the air. nnr-scotland.org.uk

JUNE 2018

Grwn-oer trail from Llanwddyn, which begins on a minor road before joining a forest track to a lookout point. Wheelchair users might need assistance with the walk’s one moderately steep hill, but, once at the top, works by chainsaw sculptor Andy Hancock and panoramic lake and dam views make up for the climb. rspb.org.uk

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runs through a Site of Special Scientiic Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, and is home to a host of British lora and fauna, from otters and dormice to kingishers and marsh orchids. cornwall.gov.uk/cameltrail

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H E D D O N VA L L E Y, D E VO N

With its dramatic coves and clifs, Heddon Valley in Exmoor National Park was a favourite spot for Romantic poets such as Coleridge and Shelley. Follow their lead with two simple routes through the splendour: a two-mile circular path to Heddon’s Mouth and a ive-mile linear track to Woody Bay, via Highveer Point (where you can see Wales on a clear

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H AU G H M O N D H I L L , SHROPSHIRE

Explore this pre-Cambrian hill and Iron Age monument on the linear Geo Trail, a 20-minute stroll from the car park up a slight gradient through ancient oaks. The summit looks out over a panorama of Shrewsbury and the hills beyond (a handy toposcope helps you get your bearings). The inal 100 metres to the viewpoint aren’t surfaced (pushchairs won’t have problems in dry conditions,

but wheelchairs might) – but the views are spectacular even without the extra stage. Another great option is the Corbett Trail, a circular route of the same length, through the woodland of the former Sundorne Estate – with frequent benches on which to rest and contemplate the beauty that surrounds you. forestry.gov.uk/ haughmondhill

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C A R S I N G T O N WAT E R , DERBYSHIRE

Not just a popular place for watersports, Carsington Water near the Peak District is also a tranquil oasis with picturesque walks around mirror-smooth water. It’s an eight-mile hike to lap the whole reservoir – some of it by a ruged footpath – but

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day). Both trails start at the dog-friendly Hunters Inn, with all-terrain mobility scooters and pushchairs to hire from the National Trust if needed. The routes then take you through the ruged swathes of scree and bracken along the west Exmoor coastline as deer and buzzards watch curiously from afar. nationaltrust.org. uk/heddon-valley

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if you prefer a gentler stroll, the lat, circular one-mile trail around the Stones Island peninsula from the visitors’ centre is a good alternative. The pinnacle is an intriguing group of stone monoliths by architect Lewis Knight, with

bored holes framing views of the widescreen scenery. Look out for buzzards, kingishers, sandpipers and woodpeckers, while concealed in bird hides at the nearby wildlife centre. peakdistrict.co.uk


T R AV E L

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T H E R O L L R I G H T ST O N E S, OX F O RD S H I RE

Take in some of England’s inest Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments with a stroll to this stone circle, four miles from Chipping Norton. Made up of the ‘King’s Men’, overlooked by the King Stone and ive megalithic ‘Whispering Knights’, the stones mark a 5,000-year-old dolmen, or burial chamber. Two easy grass routes accessed

S E N N E N C OV E , C O R N WA L L

Tickle the tip of the country with a three-mile walk from Sennen Cove to Land’s End. The trail can be uneven in some sections, with one short hill, so you may need assistance on this part of the route. However, wheelchair users can bypass much of it by using the smooth National Cycle Route 3 instead, from Sennen Cove harbour,

where there is accessible parking, too. Take a meander along granite clitops on the path, tucked between ields and the boundaries of a Bronze Age fort, before reaching the Land’s End Visitors’ Centre – and enjoy that edge-of-the-world feeling with grand vistas of the churning blue-black Atlantic beyond. visitcornwall.com

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DA L B Y F O R E S T, YO R K S H I R E

Wander gentle paths beneath Scots pines, gnarly oaks and elders on the southern slopes of the North York Moor National Park. The shortest is the lat, half-mile Lakeside trail, circling Staindale Lake along well-surfaced paths. For a longer stroll, head out on the 2.5-mile loop of the Ellerburn Red Trail alongside Ellerburn Beck, which winds past a

hibernaculum – an artiicial cave where bats can spend the winter. If you just want to enjoy beautiful vistas, the Crossclif View Trail leads you, in just under a mile, to a viewpoint where landscape sculpted by glacial ice rolls out before you – apart from Blakey Topping, a hill that, according to legend, was created by a giant. forestry.gov.uk/dalbyforest

Writer Ellie Forrester has had cerebral palsy since childhood. Today, she works to promote everyday equality for disabled people and is determined to show that nature is there for everyone to enjoy and explore. She is a supporter of the disability charity Scope (scope.org.uk).

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES; NATIONAL TRUST IMAGES/CHRIS LACEY (NATIONALTRUST.ORG.UK)

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through a mobility gate take you there – the longest of which is just a mile-long round trip. Legend has it that local witch Mother Shipton turned the protagonists into stone here and that they turn back briely at midnight every night – something you’ll have to take on trust, as the site closes at dusk. cotswoldsaonb.org.uk


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An artist’s nature journal June

Each month, Kelly Hall illustrates the lora and fauna she has spotted near her East Sussex home


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New inspirational handbooks from the publisher of…

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MEET AN URBAN ARTISAN

Hannah Bould Ceramics Working from the bottom of her garden near Hampstead Heath in London, Hannah Bould creates striking hand-thrown pottery that is rapidly gaining acclaim WORDS BY SARAH BARRATT

“HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOUSES that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” So said textile designer William Morris. He would, then, certainly have approved of ceramicist Hannah Bould’s cups, bowls and pots, in which practicality meets modernism in the most pleasingly playful designs. In the potting shed of her parents’ garden in Archway, north London, Hannah sits beside a clay-splattered wheel, sipping Earl Grey from one of the mugs she made on this very spot. A restorative tea break is an integral part of any crater’s day, but is essential when it comes to ceramics. “You have to be patient – creating a bowl is a long process. If rushed, things will crack as they dry,” Hannah explains, gesturing toward her kiln – a cylindrical metal box no biger than a side table. “My old one was smaller. I used it until, during my irst big order [from Liberty], it broke. I bought this one as a matter of urgency but now think I should have chosen a biger size because I can’t it much in and each item takes 24 hours to ire.” To the layman, two months to fulil an order might seem ample time, but on a ceramicist’s schedule this is cutting it pretty ine. With about 400 items to make before her next deadline, Hannah won’t be sleeping much until it’s met, yet she is the picture of calm. “I like the monotony of the process – it’s meditative – and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a row of perfect bowls,” she muses. “Hours can pass without me realising. Ater a while, it becomes all about muscle memory. I’m not thinking about what I’m doing, I’m just doing it.” Clearly this approach is working because Hannah’s long list of suppliers now includes household names such as Liberty, The Conran Shop and, most recently, Toast. It’s an achievement that is made all the more impressive by the fact she is a relative newcomer to the crat. Ater studying illustration at Camberwell College of Arts, Hannah worked at a print studio. Looking for an outlet for surplus artistic enery, she began attending weekly ceramics classes. Instantly, she was hooked: “I ind throwing completely mesmerising. The class would end and I’d be raring to carry on.” So a family friend lent Hannah an old wheel to practise on, which she spent more and countryliving.co.uk

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more time at, continually cutting down her hours at work, until she found she had inadvertently become a potter. In her ive years in the business, many things have amazed Hannah, not least that people actually want to buy her work. “I oten feel a need to say to customers, ‘Everything is going to be slightly diferent as it’s all handmade,’ and they say, ‘Yes, that’s what we want.’ It’s always such a pleasant surprise. But people like the idea that an item has a past and wasn’t just mass-produced in a factory – they no longer want to have the same as everyone else.” No customers are more supportive than the “community of friends” Hannah made at college, who proudly display her early eforts. “They’ll serve me tea from a really chunky cup I made them years ago that I don’t want to look at!” she says, laughing. They also provide her with inspiration. “Most of them are self-employed, so have given me advice and encouragement. Launching seemed a huge leap, but seeing my friends working for themselves spurred me on, which in turn inluenced others to have a go. Our group is based on giving each other hope and support.” While her skill has evolved since those early days, the geometric shapes that form Hannah’s decisively simple style remain a constant: these are designs – inluenced by modernist architecture, Picasso and Bauhaus – she has been creating since college. When too many hours at the wheel leave her head spinning, Hannah strolls down the road to the abundantly

“It’s so satisfying to create a perfect row of bowls”

PREVIOUS PAGE All of Hannah’s unique pieces are individually made THIS PAGE Her distinctive designs are produced in the shed at the bottom of her parents’ garden

green parkland of Hampstead Heath: “Mine feels as close to the country way of life as you can get in London – I grew up in this house and went to school down the road, so it does feel like a village to me. We’re friends with people who live next door and chat across the wall.” The neighbours must be very curious about the ever-growing array of pots, in various stages of completion, that line every available surface in Hannah’s small garden shed. But, despite her rapidly growing business, she says it will be a while before she is tempted to move to a biger space, as her current studio has special signiicance: “Dad originally built it for my mum, who was a printmaker – I used to spend so much time out here with her when I was young.” Now it’s Hannah’s mum’s turn to come and visit her in the shed, oten armed with a cup of tea, which is always in high demand when you’re working seven days a week. “Potters strugle to get out of their studios because there’s always something to do,” Hannah says, cutting chunks of clay for her next batch of bowls. “Mainly it’s because we enjoy what we do so much – it’s a labour of love, but luckily a very rewarding one.” Hannah will no doubt be here until the early hours, but can rest assured to know she has a beautiful vessel from which to sip regular restorative brews. For more information about Hannah’s work, visit hannahbould.com.

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Two of Jessica’s paintings completed at Monk’s House, where Virginia Woolf lived, hang above the built-in storage in the sitting area. Cushions are covered in fabrics from her collection for Black Edition


INTERIORS

Artist in residence Impressionist artworks and textiles, set against pale plaster walls and colourful painted pieces, bring a burst of personality to Jessica Zoob’s small terraced house in Sussex WORDS AND STYLING BY HESTER PAGE

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY NICK CARTER

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hen Jessica Zoob was looking to move from Brighton ater a slower pace of life, the attractive country town of Lewes in the Sussex Downs seemed ideal. “We knew it well, as we have friends who are local,” she says. With a long history as the county seat, a bustling market town and a bridging point over the River Ouse, it has notable landmarks, such as impressive Lewes Castle, built shortly ater the Norman invasion, and The 15thCentury Bookshop at one end of the high street, which forms the spine of the town. William Morris described it as “like a box of toys under a great amphitheatre of chalk hills”. The architecture is a jostle of periods and styles, and beyond, on all sides, the Sussex chalk hills can be spotted, smooth and grassy; then, further away still, the sea at Newhaven and Seaford. When they irst saw this 130-year-old house for sale, Jessica, a contemporary impressionist painter, and her two small daughters loved it instantly. It had one room downstairs running from front to back, and two bedrooms above. “It was big enough for three, just a short walk from the high street, and there’s a school opposite,” Jessica remembers. “It’s a perfect house for life here. Sometimes we had 13 children downstairs for the girls’ tea parties – I wasn’t at all precious about it.” But, over the years, each room has changed identity many times according to the family’s needs. Next door was a tumbledown garage, which, ater they moved in, was converted into a studio for Jessica: “The Den was my haven, my private space.” Then it became a spare bedroom and a sewing room for the girls. “The light is so beautiful in there but, looking back, I don’t know how I managed to work in such a small space,” she remembers. The only way to access it is by

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In the main dining area, an extendable table sits beneath a window overlooking the garden. Brightly painted chairs reflect Jessica’s love of colour


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The doorway from the sitting room to the hall was widened to open up the house and bookshelves added. Jessica found the handsome armchair in London’s Portobello Road Market


INTERIORS CLOCKWISE FROM THIS PICTURE White plastered walls are a perfect backdrop to Jessica’s artworks, including Midnight Garden,

in the seating area; the tiny kitchen features rustic tongue-and-groove panelling; a later addition, the attic space is light and bright

taking the ‘narrow way’ from the sitting room – not quite wide enough for a door but just possible to navigate. Because of its size, the most important thing in the house soon became storage. A shop-itter friend built cupboards in every possible space they could ind, cleverly disguised with wooden tongue-and-groove and lat-fronted doors on spring catches. Furniture, even the cofee table, has also been utilised for stowing items. A biger doorway from the hall to the sitting room opened up the downstairs space. Jessica wanted the walls to be plastered white and eventually found a woman who could do it, but, as she couldn’t aford to employ her, worked as a plasterer’s mate for three weeks during a freezing cold January to learn the skill for herself. “I’m so pleased I did that,” she says. “It brings the whole house together with a lovely texture that has more life to it than normal, very lat plaster.” Wooden loors were laid throughout to cover concrete, and regular children’s painting parties helped to add layers of colour on them. Over time, skates, rollerblades, scraping chairs and stilettos have added to a more lived-in look. The sofa below Jessica’s painting Midnight Garden is an unwanted shop itting on which sit cushions that have been covered in material designed for Jessica’s collection at Black Edition, while her grandmother’s bedspread covers built-in storage chests with seating. Above hang two artworks that are part of a small collection painted when staying at Monk’s House, Virginia Woolf’s home and now a National Trust property not far from the town, where her sister-in-law Caroline Zoob lived at the time. Under the garden window by the kitchen, a foldaway table with a collection of brightly coloured chairs is the main eating area. “It can open up to accommodate more chairs and more people, a little like the house itself – it’s quite remarkable,” Jessica says. “One morning countryliving.co.uk

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT The staircase was painted white to brighten the hallway; Jessica’s painting Autumn Escape hangs above a vintage cupboard in the bathroom; one bedroom is tucked under the eaves

we just decided to each paint a chair, which were lea-market inds.” Her love of markets and fairs has provided some well-loved pieces, such as an iron candle holder from Ardingly Antiques Fair in Sussex and a large armchair in the living area, which is covered in Jessica’s striking textile for Black Edition. “Driving through Portobello in London one day, we spotted the chair out on the kerb. There was a chorus of ‘Stop, stop, we must have it’,” she laughs. The galley kitchen “is tiny but it works,” Jessica says, “and the garden is the same – there were steps up to a concrete back yard and a rather tragic conifer in a pot when we arrived.” This has been modernised with a wooden sun deck and a small pool surrounded by rambling roses and a variety of climbers to give privacy from the houses beyond the garden gate. Ater making a millennium resolution, Jessica started painting in 2000. A former career as a theatre designer had prepared her for working with paint: a library in her parents’ home was converted to a studio, then she trained at Central School of Art and Nottingham University. “Art school taught me to see what was around me,” she explains. “I realised there is beauty everywhere, even in crumbling old walls and peeling posters.” Jessica loves oils because they allow her to play with texture, using layers to achieve the result. Paintings can sometimes take years to complete as she moves from one to another while they dry, and her pictures have grown in size since she acquired a new studio outside Lewes. “They are as big as the space allows me,” she says, “which is thrilling – and it has given me more room at home.” Space to continue to be inspired by her surroundings, no doubt. See more of Jessica’s work at jessicazoob.com and her fabric with Black Edition at blackedition.com.

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A sunny decked area next to the pond is a lovely spot to relax and enjoy the garden


INDUSTRIAL revolution Building on the deep-rooted character of a historic barn in the Dutch countryside, one creative couple have lovingly converted it into a modern family home WORDS BY JAMES CUNNINGHAM PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARGRIET HOEKSTRA PRODUCTION BY BARBARA NATZIJL/COCO FEATURES


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et in the verdant farming village of Raamsdonk in rural south-west Netherlands sits a historic holding made up of a small farmhouse to the front, with a large barn at the back and several smaller outbuildings close by. “When I irst saw this place, I was immediately attracted to its tranquillity,” reminisces Mijke Niks, an interior stylist who renovated the 19th-century property alongside her husband Jan, an architectural project manager. The couple were looking to move away from the bustling city of Rotterdam to settle down in a biger home with Juul, their ive-year-old son, but were unsure about where to relocate. They came from diferent backgrounds – Mijke was very much attached to the city, whereas Jan grew up on a farm. Mijke explains that “it was Jan’s viewpoint that made me begin to appreciate the space”, as he was attracted to the romantic landscape surrounding the barn. They bought the house in 2008, moved in and at once began renovating, reconiguring the space to make it work for them. “The farmhouse at the front is rather small,” Mijke says, “but the barn is huge,” so the couple’s instinct was to connect the two. They tore down the loor-to-ceiling wall that separated the buildings, then turned the smaller rooms in the farmhouse into workshops and a studio as the project progressed: “We saw many opportunities to make the house a space where living and working could co-exist.” Mijke’s work as an interior stylist means she is familiar with gathering ideas. Her scrapbook for the property was inspired by the design of French farmhouses and included visual references from the couple’s holidays in the Mediterranean: “I noticed how indoors and outdoors could blend into each other by using light and colour, so I knew the palette had to be connected to the landscape.” Blue and green hues are present throughout, from chairs and cushions in the sitting area to colourful walls in the open-plan kitchen space. This makes the house feel roomy, even more so with the use of bright white. “I wanted to relect a certain Dutch airiness,” Mijke says. “The building already had so much charm and charisma, and we just wanted to build on its raw beauty,” she continues. Natural elements, such as uninished wood and exposed brick, give characteristic warmth and soten the sharp lines of the architecture. “It’s a mix of my urban inluences and the rural environment,” she adds. The steel construction of the barn’s interior also makes it feel modern. “Everyone stares up at our high ceilings, but they all marvel at how intimate it feels, too,” Mijke says. On the ground loor is the family’s expansive open-plan living space. Tall windows and glass doors frame the surrounding

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OPPOSITE AND THIS PAGE Natural light illuminates the double-height living area. The concrete flooring was hand-poured by Jan. A

cross-section of the house gives a view of the ground floor and mezzanine, while the exterior shows how the house connects to the large barn behind it


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A more intimate living space has been created on the mezzanine platform, with views down to the ground floor


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landscape and lood the barn with natural light. “I see clouds loating by during the day and stars in the sky at night when I look up from the sofa,” Mijke says. “When bright sunshine hits the barn, it feels like we’re on holiday.” The looring is hand-poured concrete, which Jan did himself. “It didn’t have to be perfect,” Mijke says. “It has a patina that gives it a look that is both rough and beautiful.” A combination of new, vintage and handmade furniture surrounds a woodburning stove that has become an attractive focal point. The dining room, with rustic wooden loorboards and classic Wishbone chairs by Danish designer Hans Wegner, is accessed through an open arch in the kitchen wall and serves as “the connection between all the other spaces in the house”, Mijke explains. Doors here join the barn to the couple’s oices in the old farmhouse. In the kitchen, a raw wooden counter-top frames high-gloss cabinets. Ofsetting the sleek look are industrial elements such as exposed lighting and a distressed wooden door. “The white beams look as though they have been here for ever, but they’re brand new,” Mijke says. Hidden beyond this, the couple’s bedroom and bathroom are linked by an expansive walk-in wardrobe. In the bedroom, lea-market inds sit alongside individual items, including the bed, handmade by Jan, and a painted portrait of the family. Inspired by a spa that Mijke once visited, the bathroom has a freestanding bath with contemporary ixtures and ittings, while the exposed brick wall retains the industrial look. A mezzanine level is situated at the top of the main staircase, providing a wide view of the ground loor. “Even though it has such high ceilings, we wanted to make the barn more intimate

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were inspired by a Moroccan spa OPPOSITE The bed in the couple’s room was handmade by Jan. The concrete floor is warmed up with a rug

by dividing up spaces,” Mijke says, so the couple have created a secondary living area on another level that they use for watching television and listening to music. Complete with handmade furniture, the space feels nook-like, with layered throws and cushions giving a relaxed feel. Above the mezzanine level are further bedrooms and Juul’s playroom. Sot and chalky green tones are used to connect the room to similar shades throughout the house, and a fabric teepee serves as a den in one corner. A reading board – rescued from the primary school where Mijke’s father was once headmaster – has been mounted on the wall and become a family favourite. In the irst-loor hallway, rustic features such as sliding barn doors, original timber beams and lashes of exposed brick are indicative of the building’s history. A door connects this loor through to its counterpart in the old farmhouse, and stairs lead up to the highest point in the barn, a second mezzanine used by the couple as a creative studio. Ater making such sweeping changes to a traditional property that are also sympathetic to the original foundations, Mijke and Jan can now begin to really enjoy their lexible family home. This house is featured in the latest edition of Country Living’s Modern Rustic, c which is illed with inspiring interiors, innovative designers and stylish pieces for modern country homes. On sale from 24 May; see page 152 for details on how to buy.

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HAND-LETTERING BY RUTHROWLAND.CO.UK

THIS PAGE The upper hallway has wooden features that give a more rustic feel; in the bathroom, metallic pendant lights and uneven brickwork


GARDENING STYLE Laid-back coastal SEASONS OF INTEREST Spring to late summer SIZE 16 metres x 70 metres SOIL TYPE Sandy, enriched with organic matter

A painter’s eye WORDS BY PAULA M CWATERS

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SARAH CUTTLE

Close to the Sufolk coast, artist and garden designer Helen Riches has created a garden that is as relaxed as it is pretty JUNE 2018

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PREVIOUS PAGES Borders brim with ox-eye daisies and Phlox paniculata CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE RIGHT A delicate orange nasturtium; colourful half-can holders contain Sempervivum ‘Crimson Velvet’ and Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’;

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Erigeron karvinskianus and large ferns soften the order of Buxus sempervirens; Echeveria runyonii ‘Pink Edge’; Sempervivum ‘Crimson Velvet’; Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ is vibrant against soft-blue painted woodwork; Pelargonium ‘Chocolate Girl’

elen Riches is musing over some of the wilder elements of her East Anglian cottage garden and wondering whether to let them be. “I’m deinitely not as disciplined as I should be about allowing those borderline wild-lower/weeds to self-seed,” she says. “But then, on the other hand, can anyone ever have enough foxgloves and evening primroses? I think maybe not!” By mid-summer, the result of this laid-back approach is a marvellous tangle of cottagey delights – ox-eye daisies, poppies and phlox mingling with blue oat grass and carex, pierced occasionally by little rockets of purple loosestrife and taller ones of foxgloves. “I’m very tolerant of blow-ins,” Helen says. “It does create work keeping them in check, but it brings nice surprises, too. The strain of honesty we have here has the loveliest purple hues in the seed heads – and last year, when one of us accidentally stepped on a young evening primrose seedling, it caused it to branch into a huge, multi-stemmed triid. Each lower trembles just before it unfurls in the evening – it’s quite mesmerising to sit and watch.” At the end of a sunny day, she and husband David drag deckchairs down to the west-facing corner and settle down to read the paper, while Helen tries not to let the waiting garden tasks distract her. They both use the garden as an alfresco studio for painting, so set up a gazebo in the summer to provide them with shelter from sun or rain as they work. “It makes the garden look poised, as if ready for a party, which is a happy sight,” Helen says. In recent years, Helen has managed to weave some of the many strands of her life together here. She and David met at Norwich School of Art, where they trained as graphic designers. Later, she countryliving.co.uk


moved into illustrating gardens, which then prompted her to increase her plant knowledge by retraining in garden design: “As I love growing plants and enjoy trying to make things look good, it seems sensible to do both together.” When not painting, she designs gardens for other people and holds occasional three-day courses on the subject, based at the cottage. Last summer she became artist-in-residence at Darsham Nurseries, an independent garden centre a few miles away, where she captures moments in its daily life – she has an exhibition there in July. “I paint vignettes of items that catch my eye – a terracotta pot with some pelargonium cuttings maybe, or an old mug planted up with a succulent. I enjoy the way that painting from life records a moment in time, transporting you back to those hours when it was laboured over.” In her own garden, Helen has been both creative and practical. When she and David came to this 18th-century cottage near the Sufolk coast ive years ago, she was realistic about how much of its garden she could tend. They both have busy lives and the 16 x 70 metre back garden was, at the time, more than they needed. Helen’s solution was to concentrate on the irst 30 metres and screen of and leave the end section to grow wild. Her next move was to change the axis of view: “I wanted the eye to travel diagonally across the garden, not down its length – it makes the space look more dynamic.” To achieve this, hard landscaping is a series of interlocking rectangles in decking, paving and gravel, interspersed with wide beds of planting. One rectangle is raised, forming an east-facing breakfast terrace that catches the morning light. Helen was inspired by a single photograph in her scrapbook of a beachside boardwalk through sand dunes, but maritime countryliving.co.uk

FROM ABOVE Spires of Digitalis purpurea and ox-eye daisies create a cottage-garden look; informal displays include shells and quirky mugs

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LAWN HOUSE

MAIN BED PAVING CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE A plan of the garden; Papaver rhoeas and Allium aflatunense create highlights within a mass of ox-eye daisies; sunlight shines through Lunaria annua seed heads; pretty pink sea

thrift contrasts with the dark purple foliage of Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’; a compact New Zealand flax Phormium ‘Platt’s Black’ has been planted at regular intervals; Helen and her dog Scout

plants such as sea kale didn’t do well, so she has instead created the feel of a wild area by the sea by choosing plants that have the right mood: “Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ has that glaucous blue-green leaf like sea kale, for instance, and seeds itself gently about the place. It’s lovely to see it coming up because I associate it with the friend whose garden I gathered it from.” Five New Zealand lax (Phormium ‘Platt’s Black’), artfully spaced, set up a rhythm in the beds and have a unifying efect. There are several stands of feather reed grass

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(Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and ‘Overdam’), adding height to the border. Before these grew up, Helen put in hazel wigwams and three tall pieces of weathered timber, salvaged from an old barn, to make punctuation marks in the beds. She has decorated these with beach pebbles hung on strands of twine. “I love iddling about with bits and pieces like that,” she says. “You can have a bit of fun in the garden and be experimental. Why not?” Repeating a plant several times not only simpliies the design and holds it together, but also helps with maintenance because they can be treated in the same way at the same time. For instance, the feather reed grass is all chopped down in March. Helen was tempted to take out a large strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, which is a little too near the house, but it was reprieved by ‘having its skirts lited’ (removing the lower branches) to let light through instead. A mahonia is another plant that Helen values for its architectural qualities, branching in candelabra-like fashion. As well as providing an outdoor studio, Helen’s garden is primarily a place to relax: “I don’t get to sit down very oten but I do like to potter. If time allowed, I would be out there in all weathers, feeding the compost heap, wrestling with any stragling climbers and diging new beds. Gardening is my relaxation. It’s very therapeutic.” For details of Helen’s garden-design courses, go to helenriches.co.uk or call 01799 502155. Her exhibition at Darsham Nurseries runs from 3 July-6 August 2018 – visit helenrichespaintings.co.uk or darshamnurseries.co.uk. countryliving.co.uk

ILLUSTRATION BY JOANNA KERR

GRAVEL


A yew hedge edges the space in which a large strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, adds height and drama. The dark strap-like leaves of Phormium ‘Platt’s Black’ and tall wispy Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ provide points of interest


GA I NI N GG GR AD RE DN EN

OPEN

season On a number of much-anticipated summer days, the pretty town of Winchelsea in East Sussex opens its gardens to hundreds of visitors, many of whom come back year after year to enjoy the delights on ofer WORDS BY PAULA MCWATERS

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUZIE GIBBONS


OPPOSITE A glimpse of the walled garden at Periteau House THIS PAGE 2 Strand Plat (above) and Cleveland House

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n an average weekday, the little East Sussex town of Winchelsea can seem quiet and sleepy, but all that changes for the NGS Open Garden days, when its ancient streets – arranged in a grid around St Thomas’ Church and its large churchyard – are thronged with people criss-crossing this way and that to enter the gates of many usually unseen gardens. “It’s the bigest event on our calendar,” says organiser David Page, “and everyone plays their part, whether they are helping to serve the teas, sitting at a table to collect entrance money or directing traic to the parking places.” Billed as Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens and inaugurated over 20 years ago, it attracts around 800 visitors, with a record of 1,000 on one occasion. “The thing is with Winchelsea, you never know what you are going to ind behind the houses,” says Howard Norton, who helps David co-ordinate the event. “The gardens are carved up in unexpected ways, so you might discover a huge one behind a cottage and a much smaller one behind a large house. It is very intriguing for visitors to see what lies beyond those lovely old garden walls.” Gilly and Tony Tugman have been opening their quirky garden at 2 Strand Plat for seven years. Tucked behind their long white Georgian house, with its bubblegum-pink front

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door and even pinker climbing roses, is a garden that perfectly relects Gilly’s generous, welcoming personality. From the narrow courtyard, the space opens up onto a lawn that weaves through borders illed with typically English country-garden perennials and roses, and ofers a tantalising glimpse of Winchelsea church at its end. Gilly has changed the garden completely since she arrived, putting in 40 clematis, 30 to 40 diferent roses and a Kentucky cofee tree (Gymnocladus dioica), which always attracts comment. The house even has its own tiny chapel, which Tony now uses as a studio. Two moon gates, one wreathed in goldenyellow ‘Gardener’s Glory’ roses, frame the church and there are long views right over to the sea at Dungeness. At Cleveland Place, Sally and Graham Rhodda like the fact that many visitors return year ater year, keen to see what the latest ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT At 2 Strand Plat, Nemesia ‘Vanilla’ and Bacopa ‘Snowflake’, grown from plug plants, tumble down an old ladder under a willow; visitors enjoy characterful touches, including urns

and statues; pink ‘High Hopes’ and ‘Bonica’ roses adorn the front of the Georgian house; Gilly and Tony enjoy meeting their many visitors OPPOSITE A wisteria in full glory at Cleveland House countryliving.co.uk


GARDENING

“It’s the high spot of the year and an overwhelmingly positive experience” developments are in their courtyard garden. “We have quite a following,” Sally says. “They come with notebooks in hand, so we label our plants, which people seem to ind helpful.” It is one of the smallest to open, but nevertheless is packed with inspirational ideas that draw admiration and questions. The colour scheming is particularly harmonious, with a preponderance of plum and magenta ofset with silver and the occasional vivid orange, including Geum ‘Prinses Juliana’. Staking is vital here, as the garden is exposed to strong south-westerly winds. At Periteau House, Felicity and Lawrence Youlten have 124 roses in their garden, including the exuberant pink loribunda ‘Sexy Rexy’, which catches visitors’ eyes as soon as they walk through OPPOSITE Towering topiarised trees and crenellated yew hedges create a dramatic backdrop to planting at the historic Armoury THIS PAGE The L-shaped plot at Cleveland Place includes a charming pink countryliving.co.uk

seating area and colourful planting, with bright blue delphiniums and Artemisia ‘Silver Queen; a gothic-style mirror is an eyecatcher in a shady corner; home-made ice cream is on ofer

the gate. Periteau House is Tudor, dating to about 1450, and it is estimated that the enormous yew tree that towers over one side of their garden is about 250-300 years old. “People always ask us how we prune it,” say Felicity, who has opened for 17 years, “so we now provide a set of photographs that show the whole process.” The garden is completely encircled by other properties and is one of the surprises in size as it is impossible to see how large it might be until you are in it. Visitors tend to linger here under a shady pergola covered in wisteria, appreciating stone urns illed with colourful pelargoniums. Stone features in Lis and Tony Jasper’s garden, too, a labyrinthine one-acre site that is an adventure in itself. It is set behind one of Winchelsea’s most historic houses, The Armoury, which dates back to the 13th century. Divided into ten garden rooms with diferent themes, including a seaside garden, rock garden and a fern-illed grotto, it has serpentine paths that weave between huge crenellated yew hedges and topiarised trees, revealing itself little by little. There is even a giant chess set, which Tony lays out mid-game to tempt visitors to inish it. There are trees grown from seed and a wonderful fallen JUNE 2018

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COULD YOU OPEN YOUR GARDEN TO THE PUBLIC? A group opening is a great way to share your gardens with visitors while raising money for charity. Here’s what to consider… Is my garden worth visiting? More than 3,700 private gardens are opening for the NGS in England and Wales in 2018 (see ngs.org.uk). Visit a few to see if you think yours might be suitable. If you’re passionate about your garden and friends seem to be, too, it’s likely other people will want to visit it. Are there set criteria? No, all kinds of gardens open for the NGS – traditional and modern, large and small. There are no set rules, but gardens have to ofer character, quality and interest. What is expected? You can open once a year, although many owners find

TOP The gravel terrace behind Rye View features a variety of sun-loving plants ABOVE AND BELOW Visitors often linger in Felicity and Lawrence’s

garden at Periteau House, where a venerable wisteria and pink ‘Agatha Christie’ rose scramble over a shady wooden pergola

twice a year is ideal, to show the garden in a diferent season. Some like to open in spring, summer and autumn. Is there a commitment? Although opening your garden may seem daunting at first, most owners find it very enjoyable and continue to open in subsequent years, but if it’s not for you, there is no obligation to do it again. How do we apply? Contact the NGS (hello@ ngs.org.uk; 01483 211535, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). A local county organiser will then get in touch with you to discuss your garden and may ask for photos or arrange a visit.

eucalyptus. The Jaspers’ garden has the great advantage of accommodating many people at the same time. At Cleveland House, Sarah and Jonathan Jempson’s garden looks out over National Trust ields towards the sea. It has evolved over 40 years, with a manicured lawn and formal water feature complete with stone obelisk on one side and a romantic, pictorial meadow and summerhouse on the other, with a covered walkway in between. Again, this is a garden to linger in, enjoying the sight of a stunning white wisteria and the many colourful perennials. Howard Norton, who runs the thriving Winchelsea Gardens Society, is hugely enthusiastic about the open days. He and David Page open their own garden, Rye View, down the hill from the main grid of streets, on the banks of the river. They are avid plant collectors – they have a striking array of bamboos, for instance – and enjoy the airmation they get from knowledgeable plant-lovers. “It is the high spot of the year and an overwhelmingly positive experience for everyone,” Howard says. “Importantly, it is such an easy and relatively painless way of raising quite a lot of money for good causes. We have the gardens, and would maintain them anyway because we love them, so it’s no trouble for us to open them for other people to enjoy.” Eleven of Winchelsea’s secret gardens are opening for the NGS on 16 June, 11am-5pm, admission £6, children free. Visit ngs.org.uk to see which will be open on that date and for details of a further opening on 22 September, 1pm-5pm.

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OUT & ABOUT This year is the bicentenary of renowned 18th-century landscape gardener Humphry Repton, who helped transform many British country estates. He was famous for his charming ‘Red Books’ of notes and illustrations with lit-up laps to reveal his before and ater designs. Two of these form part of a major exhibition bringing his legacy to life at Woburn Abbey, where you can visit restored features in the gardens (including the Chinese Pavilion, let) until 28 October. See woburnabbey.co.uk for ticket details. For other Repton events, visit thegardentrust.org.

garden notes Everything you need to know to get the most from your plot in June

WORDS BY PAULA MCWATERS

NEARLY EVERY GARDEN I VISIT has bountiful quantities of clematis growing and this has made me determined to shoehorn some more into my own plot. They are incredibly useful and versatile climbers, not only for fences, walls and archways but also for covering the bare lower stems of leggy shrubs or for wreathing an evergreen with unexpected colour. Clematis ‘Kermesina’ (above) is one I have my eye on for its rich dark-red lowers that start coming in mid-summer. Its curious name comes from the crimsondye-producing kermes insect. It is a countryliving.co.uk

viticella type, so should be quite resistant to clematis wilt. In one of the Winchelsea gardens (see page 130), I noted the freelowering C. texensis ‘Princess Kate’. This has trumpet- or lily-shaped lowers, pinky purple on the outside and white on the inside with rich plum-coloured stamens. Ashwood Nurseries (ashwoodnurseries.com) recommends it for adding colour to an amelanchier’s summer foliage. I have had great success with C. koreana ‘Broughton Bride’, which has bell-shaped lowers speckled with lilac. The blooms hang like paper handkerchiefs over my galvanized arch – it’s a real show-stopper. Clematis are essentially woodlanders that prefer a cool root run, so if their base is not well shaded by other plants, lay a light-colour stone over their planted roots and they should do well.

PICK UP AN ECO POT Although it looks like ceramic, this stylish Antwerp eco pot is made of recycled plastic, so is light and easy to move around. Built to last, it is shock- and shatter-proof and resistant to UV light and frost. It comes in grey or white with a weathered inish, is 30cm high by 25.5cm in diameter and costs £20, from Burford Garden Company (01993 823117; burford.co.uk).

WHAT TO DO Plant out climbing French beans, runner beans, courgettes and squash Keep thinning out any overcrowded drifts of hardy annuals Provide supports for dahlias and any tall or floppy perennials Sow freshly collected seed from foxgloves and aquilegia Plant outdoor tomatoes in their final positions and provide support Prune philadelphus, weigela, deutzia and ribes after flowering Ventilate and shade plants in the greenhouse on warm days Plant main-crop carrots and protect them from root fly Sow oriental vegetables under cloches Keep young vegetable plants well watered and catch weeds early by hoeing of

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Tip Cut back oriental poppies and other early lowering perennials hard to the base to bring on a fresh lush of foliage

In the round

1 HOUR to make a difference

A pergola makes a good focal point in a garden and this Carousel design from Grange is unusual for its circular shape and simple inish. Grow climbers such as jasmine or clematis up the supports to create a fragrant sitting place or drape it with diaphanous fabric or bunting for summer parties. Made of pressure-treated timber, it measures 3.6 metres in diameter and 2.7 metres in height. It arrives lat-packed for you to build and costs £336 from Greeningers (greeningers.com) or see grangefen.co.uk for other stockists.

EASY ON THE ARMS

A rosy glow Scarvita F1 is an attractive new Chinese cabbage with a red/pink tinge that you can direct sow now for harvesting from August onwards. Crisp and tasty, the leaves can be eaten raw in a salad drizzled with olive oil, stir-fried or cooked like cabbage – or try barbecuing it, cut in half. Grow it in good, fertile soil in a sunny site for best results and keep it well watered. Horticultural fleece will help keep caterpillars at bay. £2.49 for 50 seeds from Dobies (dobies.co.uk).

Clipping is tiring work, especially when you have a long run to do and it involves liting your cutters above head height, so these Ultralight hedge shears by Wilkinson Sword are a welcome ind. They weigh only 670g and have aluminium handles with non-slip grips so they are comfortable to hold, even for prolonged periods. The precision ground blades measure 1,500mm long. They cost £29.99 (01869 363635; wilkinsonswordtools.co.uk ).

A full-sized herb garden can take time to plan out but, in the meantime, you can quickly have a cornucopia of useful varieties within easy picking distance of your kitchen door by planting up a selection in a container. A traditional strawberry pot with holes around the sides is ideal or try wall-mounted planting pockets hung in a sunny position. Choose herbs with contrasting leaf shapes and colours for the best efect – for example, thyme, sage, oregano and French tarragon, planted up in a free-draining compost such as loam-based with added grit.

EVENT Do some plant hunting this month at West Woodhay Gardeners’ Fair (westwoodhayfair.co.uk) and four Rare Plant Fairs (rareplantfair.co.uk). 138

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; BRIDGET DAVEY; MIKE SWARTZ. ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARIANA.IO

If time is short, focus on one satisfying task – and the rest of the garden can wait


BRITISH IN PARTICULAR To highlight the delicious ingredients that are farmed, ished, made and grown up and down the country, we meet the remarkable producers who help to bring them to our table

This month: cherries WORDS BY RUTH CHANDLER

RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING BY ALISON WALKER

LOCATION PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREW MONTGOMERY

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FOOD PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILIP WEBB

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Trees are covered with nets to protect the crops from birds; Michael started making cherry juice after a poor harvest, and it proved an instant success


FOOD & DRINK

Five varieties of cherry are grown on the eight-acre site in East Sussex, with an extra 20 varieties being produced in three other orchards in Kent. Last year was a particularly plentiful harvest, with some trees producing up to 60 kilos of fruit. The eight-week harvest period runs from June to August, after which the orchard’s 8,000 trees are then pruned

vailable in a broad palette of reds, with glossy skin and sweet, succulent lesh, the cherry has an old-fashioned glamour that inspires a devoted following. Nowhere is this more evident than at an orchard in Northiam on the Kent/Sussex border. Strewn with picnic blankets, folding chairs and people enjoying the summer sunshine, it’s where cherrylovers of all ages can come to harvest their own crop. By renting a tree, they can pick the fruit at the point of perfect ripeness, while indulging in the wealth of nostalgia that cherries seem to evoke in us Brits. “I receive emails and letters from customers who say how much they loved coming to gather their cherries and that the whole family – children, parents and grandparents – went home happy, with purple-stained ingers,” says the orchard’s owner, Michael Dallaway, who runs the eight-acre site at Cooks Yard Farm. “I came up with the idea of letting out the trees in 2007 while working with a supermarket. I didn’t want to spend all year cultivating the fruit just so someone else could potentially do a bad job of selling it. We’d just planted this new orchard and I knew we had to approach it diferently.” The ‘Rent a Cherry Tree’ scheme is just one branch of Michael’s enterprise, which produces up to 70 tonnes of the fruit per year and was started by his own father, Frederick. Although originally a banker, Frederick let the inancial world to do something diferent with his life when his father died in the mid-1980s. He rented and then bought land to grow apples originally, but when he noticed a dearth of cherries on the market, he focused on this traditional local speciality instead. Ater Frederick died in 2000, Michael, who had also been pursuing a career in banking, decided to take on the farm, continuing to make it very much a family afair with the help of his wife, Natasha, and mother, Ros. “I’d planted some trees and knew a little about the business,” Michael says, “but there was so much to learn.” As with any kind of agriculture, cherry growing is an unpredictable business – when the wet summer of 2010 resulted in a seemingly catastrophic amount of split fruit,

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Michael searched for a local drinks producer who had a press he could use to create a trial batch of juice. Disaster was averted: the pure, unsweetened drink turned out to be a great success. Not only was it delicious, but its anti-inlammatory properties also led to it being lauded as a great antidote to gout and the symptoms of arthritis. Now, the pickers who harvest the trees that aren’t rented by the public are paid to collect second-class cherries for pressing, as well as premium ones to be sold fresh. “The birds and badgers have lost out, but they still get their fair share,” Michael says. The luck of a harvest can, of course, swing the other way; last year, some individual trees produced an incredible 60 kilos, while the average is between 15 and 20. By growing 25 diferent varieties (ive at Northiam) – from ‘Merchant’, which is the irst to ripen, to ‘Regina’, the last – Michael not only stagers the picking, but spreads the risk of a poor crop. “‘Kordia’ has big black fruit and, for me, a stand-out lavour,” Michael says. “It’s a bit susceptible to frost at blossom time, which is its only weak spot.” Michael’s cherries and juice are sold from a roadside trailercum-farmshop during the eight-week harvest period, which runs from June to August. In addition to this, he and his team take a stall at the farmers’ markets in Lewes, Tunbridge Wells, Penshurst, Guildford and London every weekend: “We have a strong following because of the diference in taste between our large, juicy, locally grown cherries and the smaller, less tasty, imported ones. If we get enough rain, sunshine and warmth, the conditions in this part of the country are perfect. Customers also like the fact they can choose from several varieties.” Days at the farmer’s market can be long (they rise at 5am and return at 7pm) but Michael ensures he’s always at home in time to say goodnight to his three children – Freddie, ive and a half, William, two, and Constance, ten months. There is an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work to carry out throughout the seasons. The winter is for general maintenance tasks, then, when the trees irst come into lower, countryliving.co.uk


FOOD & DRINK

Michael left his job in finance to take over the orchard from his father, and now rents cherry trees to the public in addition to selling produce at farmers’ markets, including cherry juice and cherry brandy and vodka

a local honey producer brings his hives of bees to pollinate them. Michael enjoys taking time to appreciate this remarkable natural process: “If you sit under a tree on a lovely sunny day, all you can hear is the sound of pollinating insects – and the scent of the lowers is amazing.” In late April, the cherry tree renters are invited to a hog roast and guided walk around the orchard at blossom time. Michael spends the six weeks before harvest putting up nets to protect the fruit from the local avian population, although, due to their ground-nesting nature, blackbirds are experts at getting underneath: “They come and go at their leisure.” At the end of summer, Michael prunes his 8,000 trees – a major, physically demanding job that takes until September. Ater that, he makes sure he’s up to date with the orchards’ marketing and social media, as well as other general admin. This means that the only time of Michael gets is in January and February, when he enjoys going on holiday and spending time with the family. Now, though, he is relishing early summer and the happiness that his traditional crop brings. Returning to the orchard in Northiam in mid-aternoon, he can still hear the laughter and chatter that rings out as dozens of people gather beneath the trees to collect and eat their delicious fruit. Rent a Cherry Tree and Dallaways Cherries, Cooks Yard Farm, New Road, Northiam, East Sussex (rentacherrytree. co.uk). To apply to rent a cherry tree (£49 per year) during 2019, visit the website.

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BOTTLED CHERRIES Preparation 15 minutes, plus standing Cooking about 45 minutes Pit the cherries if you prefer, but the stones will impart a pleasing almond lavour to the syrup – plus leaving them saves time. Any letover syrup can be added to cocktails or drizzled over ice 375g granulated sugar 1 vanilla pod, split 1.1kg cherries

1 Heat the oven to 150ºC (130ºC fan oven) gas mark 2. Put the sugar and vanilla pod in a large pan with 900ml water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and bubble the liquid for 2 minutes without stirring. 2 Put the cherries in clean glass jars, packing them tightly but leaving a 1cm gap at the top. Carefully pour the hot sugar syrup over, so it covers the fruit completely.

3 Put the jars in a roasting tin. If you are using screw-top ones, screw the lid closed, then open by a quarter turn; for clip-top jars, put the clips over the hinge to hold in place but do not close. 4 Cook the prepared cherries in the oven for 40 minutes, then seal the jars fully. Leave to stand for 24 hours. Test the seal to ensure there is a vacuum by trying to prise of the lid with a ingernail. If you can’t do this, the seal has worked and they’ll last a long time; otherwise, store in the fridge and eat within two weeks. countryliving.co.uk


CHERRY, HALLOUMI AND LENTIL SALAD Preparation 25 minutes Cooking about 25 minutes Serves 2-3 The slight tartness of the cherries complements the salty halloumi and nuttiness of the lentils. 125g Puy lentils, rinsed 500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 1 tbsp white wine vinegar ½ tsp Dijon mustard 225g halloumi, cut lengthways into thick slices ½ tbsp olive oil 150g cherries, pitted and halved 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint ½ red onion, thinly sliced large handful of wild rocket

1 Put the lentils in a large pan with the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-25 minutes until cooked – they should retain a slight bite. Drain. 2 Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. While the lentils are still hot, transfer to a bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss well. 3 When the lentils have cooled a little (you need to serve them warm rather than hot), put a griddle pan over a medium heat until hot. Brush the halloumi with olive oil and sear for 30 seconds on each side until golden. Cut into bite-sized cubes. 4 Toss the lentils and halloumi with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

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FOOD & DRINK BLACK FOREST ROULADE Preparation 40 minutes, plus cooling Cooking 25 minutes Serves 8-10 If you can’t ind fresh Morello cherries, use bottled ones or a sweet-sour hybrid. butter, for greasing 125g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting plain flour, for dusting 125g plain chocolate, broken into pieces 4 large eggs, separated 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1 tbsp kirsch FOR THE FILLING 150ml double cream 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting 1 tbsp kirsch 300g morello cherries, pitted cocoa powder, for dusting

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1 Heat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven) gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 33cm x 23cm Swiss roll tin, line the base and sides with baking parchment, then dust with caster sugar and lour. 2 Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring once or twice. Set the bowl aside to cool slightly. 3 Whisk the yolks with the caster sugar until lufy and lighter in colour. Beat in the chocolate. 4 In a separate bowl, whisk the eg whites until stif. Using a large metal spoon,

fold a tablespoon of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully but quickly fold in the remainder. 5 Gently turn the cake mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides. Dust a large piece of baking parchment with caster sugar and turn the cake out onto it. Cover with a damp tea towel. When the cake has cooled,

roll it up loosely from the short end with the baking parchment still in place and set aside until ready to ill. 6 Dissolve the granulated sugar in 1 tablespoon boiling water. Stir in the kirsch. Gently unroll the cake and brush the syrup all over its surface. 7 For the illing, whip the cream with the icing sugar and kirsch until it just holds its shape. Spread the cake with the cream, leaving a 2-3cm border, then scatter the cherries on top. Gently roll up the cake from one short end and place on a plate seam-side down. Serve dusted with cocoa powder and icing sugar.

countryliving.co.uk


FOOD & DRINK

CHERRY AND VANILLA CLAFOUTIS Preparation 25 minutes, plus infusing Cooking 40 minutes Serves 6 Clafoutis originates from the Limousin province of France, where they leave the stones in the cherries to give more lavour; the pudding will taste milder if it is cooked without them. butter, for greasing 650g cherries 425ml Jersey or whole milk 1 vanilla pod, split 3 large eggs, beaten

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40g plain flour 40g caster sugar  1 tbsp kirsch (optional) icing sugar, for dusting

1 Heat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan oven) gas mark 7. Grease a shallow 24cm-25cm diameter ovenproof dish with butter. Arrange the cherries in one layer. 2 Heat the milk with the vanilla pod until scalded. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes.

3 Gradually whisk the egs into the lour. Stir in the sugar. Slowly whisk in the milk, then add the kirsch, if using. 4 Pour the batter over the cherries. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and just set. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then serve dusted with icing sugar. countryliving.co.uk


FOOD & DRINK

CHERRY AND ALMOND STRUDEL Preparation 40 minutes, plus standing Cooking about 25 minutes Serves 8 An Eastern European speciality, cinnamonlavoured cherry strudel is traditionally curved into a horseshoe shape before baking. 500g cherries, pitted ½ tsp cinnamon 25g fresh breadcrumbs 55g ground almonds 100g soft dark brown sugar zest of 1 lemon 6 sheets filo pastry, measuring approximately 39cm x 30cm 50g butter, melted icing sugar, for dusting

1 Heat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan oven) gas mark 6. In a mixing bowl, combine the cherries, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, ground almonds, sugar and lemon zest, and leave to stand for 15 minutes. 2 Unroll the ilo pastry and cover with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out while you work. Lay one sheet on the worktop and brush all over with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top and brush again with butter. Continue until all the sheets are used up. 3 Pile the cherry mixture

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along the bottom length of the ilo, leaving a 3cm border at each end. Roll the pastry around the mixture tightly, tucking in the ends as you go. 4 Put the strudel seam-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Curve into a horseshoe shape or leave straight. Brush all over with melted butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Eat warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar and served with cream. countryliving.co.uk


VISIT THE COUNTRY LIVING PAVILION AT THE

Great Yorkshire Show 10-12 JULY 2018, HARROGATE

THE 160TH GREAT YORKSHIRE SHOW will take place in Harrogate this year, celebrating the very best of farming, food and the countryside. More than 130,000 visitors and 8,500 animals lock to the Showground every year for the three-day event, making it one of the bigest of its kind in the UK. This year is all about celebrating the shows spanning the decades since 1838, with a host of special surprises lined up to mark the milestone. As part of this, the organisers have launched a limitededition clothing range, so be sure to get yours before they sell out at greatyorkshireshow.co.uk/shop. Highlights include equestrian dynamo Lorenzo, who will be coming back to the Main Ring with his daredevil bare-back display; chef Rosemary Shrager will whip

up an array of dishes in the cookery theatre, while the President’s Lawn is set to showcase some special additions, too. In the judging rings, animals from cattle to sheep, pigs to pigeons, will compete, and the show inishes with one of the most prestigious showjumping classes in the country, the Cock O’ The North. From cutting-edge farming equipment and machinery to displays from big-name brands, this is the place where the latest ranges are showcased. While the show has agriculture at its heart, you can also expect to enjoy entertainment, live music and a professional fashion show – including a one-of celebrity special. And there are also great shopping opportunities, including the Country Living Pavilion, which has a collection of stalls showcasing the work of British artisans and cratspeople.

TICKETS

for ckets and To book ti visit , n informatio o.uk the latest .c shireshow greatyork call or 1222 2 014 3 54

countryliving.co.uk

ADVANCE PRICE (BOOK BY 9 JULY)

GATE PRICE

ADULT

£25

£29

CHILD (AGED 5-18)

£12

£15

FAMILY £65 (2 ADULTS + UP TO 3 CHILDREN)

£75

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NEW ISSUE ON SALE 24 MAY

Inspiring interiors, innovative designers and makers, plus stylish pieces for the contemporary country home

Only £9.99 – pre-order a copy now at hearstmagazines.co.uk/cl/mr11* or purchase your copy in selected retailers *PRE-ORDERED COPIES WILL BE DISPATCHED ON 24 MAY 2018 STOCKISTS INCLUDE EASONS, M&S, SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, WAITROSE, WH SMITH AND ALL GOOD INDEPENDENT STORES


CELEBRATING 20 YEARS

RHS FLOWER SHOW TATTON PARK 18-22 July RHS Members’ Day 18 July

£2 off* full day public tickets when you book in advance quoting ‘CLT18’

Stunning Gardens • The Bee Hive Theatre The Poisonous Garden • Sunshine Field • Over 70 Top Nurseries Fabulous Shopping • Feast Cookery Theatre

Book at rhs.org.uk/tatton

Supported by

RHS Registered Charity No: 222879/SC038262. *Offer applies to full day public day tickets for RHS Tatton Park only. Offer applies to new bookings only and cannot be applied retrospectively. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and is subject to availability.


Sweeter THAN roses Nothing says summer quite like quintessential English roses. But they’re more than ornamental – they can add a light lavour and pretty palette to seasonally inspired dishes RECIPES BY HEARST FOOD NETWORK

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LAURA EDWARDS

FOOD AND DRINK EDITOR ALISON WALKER


FOOD & DRINK

BAKED RICOTTA WITH CORIANDER AND ROSE VINEGAR DRESSING Preparation 20 minutes, plus infusing Cooking about 1 hour Serves 4 The light pink dressing enhances the fresh lavours of this summery baked ricotta. You’ll need to make the rose vinegar in advance, as it takes a while to infuse. olive oil, for greasing 1kg ricotta, drained 4 eggs, lightly beaten zest of 1 lemon, finely grated 2 large handfuls soft herbs (eg parsley, basil, mint, chives, dill), chopped FOR THE ROSE VINEGAR DRESSING 200ml rice wine vinegar countryliving.co.uk

jam jar of red or pink rose petals, unsprayed 1 tsp coriander seeds 3 tbsp olive oil

1 For the dressing, heat the vinegar in a pan until almost boiling, then pour it over the rose petals in their jar. Leave to cool, seal and

set aside for at least a day (or up to ive days). Strain and keep chilled in the jar. 2 Toast the coriander seeds in a pan until fragrant. Crush them lightly, then whisk into the rose vinegar with the olive oil and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3 Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4. Line the base of a 1kg loaf tin with non-stick paper and lightly grease the sides with olive oil. 4 Put the ricotta in a large sieve over a bowl and leave

to drain for 15 minutes. 5 In a clean bowl, beat the drained ricotta, egs and lemon zest together. Place the tin in a larger, deep roasting tin and ill with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf tin. Add the ricotta mixture to the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool, then turn out and slice thickly. Serve with a herb salad and spoonfuls of the dressing. JUNE 2018

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RAS EL HANOUT WITH ROAST CHICKEN Preparation 20 minutes, plus resting Cooking about 1 hour 10 minutes Serves 4 Combining a standard ras el hanout spice mix with dried rose petals (which can be found in wholefood shops and supermarkets) and extra chilli makes for a wonderfully fragrant roast. 1 fat garlic clove, peeled and crushed 50g butter, softened 2 tbsp ras el hanout spice mix large pinch of dried chilli flakes 1 tbsp dried rose petals

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1 x 1.2kg whole chicken 1 small lemon, halved 2 shallots, finely sliced green salad leaves, to serve

1 Heat the oven to 200째C (180째C fan oven) gas mark 6. Mix the crushed garlic with

the butter, ras el hanout, chilli lakes, dried rose petals and a large pinch of sea salt. Spread two thirds of the butter over the chicken. Pop the rest inside it with the lemon halves. Spread the shallot slices out in a roasting tin. Sit the chicken on top, breast-side up, and roast for 20 minutes. 2 Turn the oven temperature down to 180째C (160째C fan oven) gas mark 4. Tent

loosely with foil and cook for another 40-50 minutes. Remove the foil for a inal 10-15 minutes to re-crisp the skin, until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh releases clear juices with no trace of pink. 3 Put the foil back over the chicken and set aside to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with a spoonful of the pan juices and vegetables. countryliving.co.uk


VANILLA AND CARDAMOM PANNA COTTA WITH RHUBARB AND ROSE COMPOTE Preparation 30 minutes, plus infusing and chilling Cooking 5 minutes Serves 8 If you want to impress guests with very little efort, this is the dessert for you – both the panna cotta and rhubarb compote can easily be made in advance. flavourless oil, for greasing 600ml double cream 400ml whole milk  1 vanilla pod, split 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed 120g caster sugar  5 sheets fine-leaf gelatine FOR THE COMPOTE 75g caster sugar 500g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3-4cm lengths ½ tsp rose-water squeeze of lemon juice  unsprayed rose petals, to serve

1 Before you begin, smear a tiny drop of oil around the insides of eight 125ml dariole moulds or teacups and set aside. 2 Heat the cream, milk, vanilla pod, cardamom pods and sugar in a large pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer. Turn of the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. 3 Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for ive minutes to soten.

4 Strain the cream mixture to remove the vanilla and cardamom, and return to the rinsed-out pan. Set over a medium heat and bring to just under the boil. Take of the heat. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and whisk it into the hot cream mixture, stirring well. 5 Pour into the moulds and leave to cool. Chill the panna cotta, covered with clingilm, for at least four hours (or up to two days). 6 To make the compote, put the sugar in a medium pan with 150ml water and dissolve over a low heat. Add the rhubarb and poach gently until it is tender, but still holding

its shape. Remove the rhubarb from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat and reduce until thickened. Stir in the rose-water and lemon juice, and allow to cool before pouring over the rhubarb. The compote can be kept chilled for up to three days until needed. 7 To turn out the panna cotta, dip each mould into hot water for two seconds, then invert onto a serving plate. Hold the mould and plate together tightly as you give it a tap and a shake; the custard should wobble out. Serve each panna cotta with a spoonful of compote and a scattering of rose petals.


FOOD & DRINK WATERMELON AND ROSE GRANITA Preparation 15 minutes, plus freezing Serves 6 The key to success with rose-water is to use it sparingly; here, subtle notes of rose pair beautifully with watermelon to make an exotic and refreshing dessert. 1kg watermelon (around half a large watermelon) 110g caster sugar juice of 1 large lemon ½ tsp rose-water

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1 Scoop the pink lesh from the watermelon and put straight into a blender with the sugar, lemon juice and rose-water. Blitz until

smooth and pour through a ine sieve into a large measuring jug, pushing the liquid through with a wooden spoon. 2 Pour the liquid into a shallow, wide container and freeze for 30 minutes. Break up the crystals with a fork and return the container to the

freezer. Ater 30 minutes, break them up again, and continue to do so every 30 minutes, until the granita has formed ice crystals with no trace of slush. This should take about three hours in total. Serve in chilled glasses. This is best eaten on the day it’s made.

countryliving.co.uk


FOOD & DRINK ROSE PETAL AND APPLE JAM Preparation 1 hour, plus straining Cooking 1 hour 40 minutes Makes 6 jars Set aside a quiet Sunday and you’ll be rewarded with a sotly set jam of immense beauty. It’s fabulous on buttered toast, crumpets, spooned over vanilla ice cream or as a foil to whipped cream in a Victoria sponge. 900g Bramley apples 900g Granny Smith apples 840g (approx) granulated sugar (see method) petals from 10 loosely packed unsprayed pink or red roses 200ml boiling water 100g granulated sugar juice of 1 lemon

1 Wash the apples, giving them a good scrub to remove any wax, and roughly chop them, discarding the stems but keeping the pips and skin in the mix. Put the chopped apples in a preserving pan or a very large, deep saucepan. Add enough water to barely cover (about 1.2 litres) and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, without stirring, for around 45 minutes to one hour until the apples are very sot and beginning to break up. 2 Using a jelly bag (or a large colander lined with three layers of muslin cloth) set over a large bowl, carefully spoon or pour the apple mixture in and leave undisturbed for around an hour until all the liquid has dripped through. Pressing on the apples will result in cloudy jam. 3 Meanwhile, snip the whitish bases from the rose petals (and discard) and put the petals in a large bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to just cover

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(around 500ml) and set aside to cool. Sterilise the jam jars and lids on the hot wash of a dishwasher cycle. 4 Wash out the apple pan and return the apple juice to it, measuring as you do so. There should be around 1.5 litres. For every 250ml, measure out 140g granulated sugar (ie 840g sugar for 1.5 litres liquid) and stir it into the apple juice. Heat through gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and simmer briskly

for 15-20 minutes, until the jam reaches setting point (105°C on a sugar thermometer or the point where slow double drips – rather than one quick drip – fall from the stirring spoon). Leave to cool for a few minutes and skim any scum away. Stir in the rose petals and their liquid with the remaining 100g sugar and the lemon juice. 5 Bring back to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and simmer briskly for about 15 minutes, until

the mixture reaches setting point again (105°C or double drips from a spoon, as before). Leave to cool for a few minutes, then ill the sterilised jars and seal tightly with lids. Label when cold. The jam will keep for up to a year in a cool, dark cupboard. Once opened, keep in the fridge and eat within a month. countryliving.co.uk


FOOD & DRINK

ROSE PETAL AND WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES Preparation 20 minutes, plus resting Cooking 15 minutes Makes 18 These decadent biscuits are chewy and buttery with crisp edges and a hint of exotic rose. 200g unsalted butter, softened 300g golden caster sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract

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325g self-raising flour 100g white chocolate, roughly chopped 2 pink or red roses, petals only

1 Beat the butter and sugar together for two minutes, until light and lufy. Beat in the eg and vanilla extract, then stir in the lour and 1 tsp sea salt to form a dough. Mix the chocolate and rose petals through, cover and chill for at least two hours (or up to three days). The lavours will deepen over time. 2 Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) gas mark 4. Line

2-3 baking sheets with baking paper. Using an ice-cream scoop or soup spoon, form balls of cookie dough. Space the scoops out well – six in a batch is plenty, as they will spread – and bake for around 15 minutes until pale golden. Leave to irm up on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool. countryliving.co.uk


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BEAUTY BUZZ

A clean sweep

V I TA M I N A

WORDS BY KATE LANGRISH. PHOTOGRAPHS BY GETTY IMAGES. *THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT OF A DOCTOR. IF YOU NOTICE MEDICAL SYMPTOMS OR FEEL ILL, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR

A word of warning to those who like to keep their house spotless – a recent study revealed that regular exposure to certain cleaning products can damage lungs. Researchers at University of Bergen, Norway, studied 6,000 people over 20 years and found that women were particularly susceptible to the efects of long-term exposure, sufering a decline in lung function comparable to smoking. It’s thought that chemicals in products, such as sprays and bleach, can irritate fragile mucous membranes in the lungs, leading to lasting damage. Writing in the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the researchers suggest that water and a microfibre cloth is enough for many domestic cleaning jobs. Alternatively, you could make your own natural products. Find recipes at countryliving.co.uk.

Often appearing in the form of retinol, vitamin A encourages collagen production and increases cell turnover to smooth and even out skin tone. It can cause irritation, so start using lower concentrations and build up gradually. Use an SPF in the day, as retinol makes skin more sensitive to UV rays. Perfect if you haven’t used retinol before, Medik8 Retinol 1TR Vitamin A Renewal Cream (£29; medik8.com) has 0.1% retinol with vitamin E and glycerin to boost hydration. Institut Esthederm Intensive Retinol Oil Serum (£49; lookfantastic.com) combines 0.3% retinol with meadowfoam, papyrus and apricot oil to nourish. REN Bio Retinoid Anti-wrinkle Concentrate (£45; renskincare.com) contains a naturally derived form of vitamin A, which smooths without irritating skin. Add a few drops of ESPA Tri-Active Advanced Night Booster (£42; espaskincare.com) to your night cream or serum. Its plant-sourced bio-retinols are gentler on skin.

health notes NEW FAVOURITE

Containing nutrient-rich plant complexes from grains and greens, and a prebiotic to encourage healthy bacteria, the new Elemis Superfood range will feed your skin. Facial Wash (£25), Day Cream (£42), Facial Oil (£45) and Night Cream (£46; elemis.com).

countryliving.co.uk

NATURE’S MEDICINE CABINET Burdock Enjoy the

Boost your wellbeing the natural way with our round-up from the world of health and beauty AS ANY FAN OF THE ARCHERS WILL TELL YOU, drinking keir is thought to be beneicial for gut health. The Keirko (£24.99; 2tech.co.uk) makes it simple to ferment milk or water keir cultures at home, with none of the mess usually involved. FOR WAYS TO GET FIT WHEREVER YOU ARE, look no further than Active by Holly Davidson (Kyle Books; £14.99). This fantastic title provides step-by-step exercises and workouts to do in the park or countryside and even on the beach – all aimed at building a stronger, healthier body. ON HOT SUMMER DAYS, QUENCH YOUR THIRST with new Phrooti (£1.30; phrooti.com). Made with crushed mango and spring water, it’s refreshing rather than sweet, and contains no artiicial sweeteners. Ten per cent of proits go to Plantlife to help regenerate wild-lower meadows. For more products and tips, visit netdoctor.co.uk.

delicious taste of homemade dandelion and burdock on a warm summer’s day. This drink was traditionally made with the roots of both plants, which is not the case with many shop-bought options. Like dandelion, burdock was used to purify the blood – dandelion and burdock is one of the original tonic drinks – it has diuretic qualities and is thought to help support liver function. A compress of the roots was also used to help relieve spots and acne, while an infusion of burdock is said to help reduce hormonal outbreaks on the skin, too. Be very careful if you’re digging up burdock roots yourself – unlike dandelions, they can be easily confused with poisonous plants.*


H E A LT H & B E AU T Y

D RY S K I N It’s easy for very dry and eczema-prone skin to get into a vicious circle of sensitivity – the dryness means its natural protective barrier is weakened, so some products can agravate it more than they would healthy skin. Keeping it calm and de-stressed is key to soothing your problem. Avoid products with synthetic fragrances, which can irritate. “Cleansing balms can be better for dry skin as they don’t strip its acid mantle,” says Kirstie Sherrif of Pinks Boutique. “An organic cleansing balm is great for your face, but also amazing as a body wash.” Skin saviour: Pinks Boutique Rose Face and Body Balm (£31, pinksboutique.com).

SKIN Whether your complexion is dry or sensitive, there are natural ways to glow

FINE LINES As we get older, the body produces less collagen in the skin, which gives it its irmness, and less elastin, which provides elasticity, but the ageing process can be exacerbated by external factors. “We all have an ageing clock deined by our genes, but we can inluence it by what we do in life,” says

saviours

WORDS BY DAISY GOUGH

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herbalist Tipper Lewis. “Long-term stress, sun, pollution and a high-sugar diet all contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin.” Tipper recommends using frankincense essential oil. “It tackles so many age-related problems, ighting inlammation, speeding cellular recovery, plus it is a potent antioxidant and tones the skin.” Try making your own facial oil with 30ml of a carrier oil. “Jojoba or argan oil are my favourites, as they’re rich in antioxidant vitamin E and essential fatty acids,” Tipper says. Add four drops of frankincense essential oil, plus two drops of neroli to speed regeneration. “Facial oil is wonderful used for drier skin, while someone with oily skin will love it as a night treatment. It helps balance oil production and actually improves this.” Skin saviour: Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense Cream (£55, nealsyardremedies.com).

BLEMISHES We tend to think of troublesome skin as a teenage problem, but it’s estimated that around a third of women sufer from blemishes well into their thirties and beyond. Hormones are oten to blame and it’s not uncommon for acne to reappear around the menopause when female hormones dip and testosterone increases, creating an excess of natural oils that block pores, encouraging spots. Fortunately, there are now products that recognise maturer skin needs a treatment to tackle breakouts without drying. Don’t be afraid of using an oil on spot-prone skin. “It seems strange, but not all oils block pores. Jojoba is so similar to

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H E A LT H & B E AU T Y

the skin’s sebum that it tricks it into thinking it has made enough itself and so balances oil production,” explains aromatherapy expert Deri Wilson (deriwilson.com). Add an essential oil, such as rose geranium, which has hormone-balancing qualities, for extra beneit. Skin saviour: Omorovicza Miracle Facial Oil (£80, omorovicza.com).

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ADDITIONAL RESEARCH BY KATE LANGRISH. PHOTOGRAPHS BY GETTY IMAGES

SENSITIVE SKIN Whether it’s taut and dry, laky and sore, or itchy and red, sensitive skin comes in many forms. Experts agree it’s a growing problem, with the products we use as much to blame as the lifestyles we lead. “Stress can oten be the triger,” says Sarah Brown, creator of Pai Skincare. “Food intolerances, hormones and cosmetic ingredients also play their part and most oten take efect when your immune system is impaired.” Look for products that are gentle on your skin, and make sure you keep to a simple routine. “Cleansing is the top priority to get right. A poor regime with harsh products can be the bigest source of problems,” Sarah says. “Camomile extract (rather than essential oil) is my number one ingredient due to its antiinlammatory efect – look for it on a label.” In the evening, take of your make-up by massaging cleanser into skin and removing with a damp muslin cloth. Follow with a few drops of facial oil patted into slightly damp skin. “Ingredients with high essential fatty acids, like rosehip oil and sea buckthorn, help to regenerate skin, making it less susceptible to lare-ups,” Sarah says. Skin saviour:Pai Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil (£22, paiskincare.com).


ENJOY A GREAT DAY OUT AT

The Game Fair 27-29 JULY 2018, RAGLEY HALL, WARWICKSHIRE

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE OF ITS KIND, The Game Fair is a showcase for country life and ieldsports. To mark its diamond anniversary, the three-day annual festival of the great British countryside will be biger and better than ever before this summer. When it was irst held in 1958, there were 8,000 visitors, but more than 15 times that are expected this year when it returns to Ragley Hall. From falconry, food and ishing, clay shooting, dogs and horses, to the fantastic shopping opportunities, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Don’t forget to visit the Country Living Pavilion, which has an array of stalls featuring British artisans and cratspeople selling original items. With so much on ofer, you can also escape the crowds and take advantage of our upgrade packages, ensuring your day is truly unforgettable. The Game Fair Enclosure is open to visitors who wish to enjoy VIP Gold WHERE: Ragley Hall, Warwickshire or Platinum packages with menus (follow the AA signs) by renowned chef James Martin.

WHEN: Friday 27 July to Sunday 29 July (6am to 6pm, 7.30pm on Friday) CONTACT: info@thegamefair.org WEB: thegamefair.org

CHILDREN UNDER 8 YEARS GO FREE. ADVANCE SAVER PRICES AVAILABLE UNTIL MIDNIGHT 26 JULY. PARKING IS FREE AND DOGS ARE VERY WELCOME. FOR INFORMATION ON GOLD AND PLATINUM PACKAGES, AND PRIORITY PARKING PASSES, VISIT THEGAMEFAIR.ORG/PACKAGES

countryliving.co.uk

THE JAMES MARTIN GAME FAY R E R E S TAU R A N T Located at the heart of the grounds, near the main arena, the 300-cover James Martin Game Fayre Restaurant will be a relaxed deli-style experience with a menu created by the chef, which will highlight the special ingredients of the British countryside. James will actually be there, too, cooking, mixing with diners and sharing his passion for the great outdoors.

MUSIC EVENINGS WITH RONNIE SCOT T ’S Join us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Game Fair with a special evening of live music presented by Ronnie Scott’s on Friday and Saturday night (big band jazz on Friday; Motown classics, funk and soul on Saturday) within The Game Fair enclosure. Your ticket includes world-famous entertainment from Ronnie Scott’s, a light supper and priority parking. There will also be a bar.

ADVANCE TICKETS

ON-THE-GATE TICKETS

Adult £27

Adult £34

Senior citizen (60+) £25

All concessions £32

Student £25 Military personnel (serving & veterans) £25 Family (2 adults + up to 3 children) £67

Family £80

Child (8-16) £10

Child (8-16) £10

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RDEN O F OP ET

E ILDNOWSEY STR U G RE RT

O HE S T -18 C 14

Aston Matthews bathrooms

where to buy Stockists in this issue BRONTE BY MOON 01943 873181; brontebymoon.co.uk

C CAMBRIDGE IMPRINT cambridgeimprint. co.uk CARPETRIGHT 0330 333 3444; carpetright.co.uk CARRIER COMPANY 01328 820699; carriercompany.co.uk CANDLE MAKERS SUPPLIES candlemakers.co.uk CATH KIDSTON 0333 320 2663; cathkidston.com CLARKE & CLARKE clarke-clarke.com CLOTH HOUSE clothhouse.com CORNISHWARE 01749 880992; cornishware.co.uk

D DE LE CUONA delecuona.com E EASTPAK eastpak.com ELIZABETH HARBOUR elizabethharbour.co.uk EMMA BRIDGEWATER 01782 407733; emmabridgewater.co.uk

F FOLKSY folksy.com H THE HANDMADE SOAP COMPANY thehandmadesoapcompany.com HOBBYCRAFT 0330 026 1400; hobbycraft.co.uk

J JANE MEANS 01522 522544; janemeans.com JOULES joules.com photography Jill Tate

A AMAZON amazon.co.uk B BETTYS 0800 456 1919; bettys.co.uk

L LIBERTY libertylondon.com LOAF 0845 468 0697; loaf.com

M MADDOCKS FARM ORGANICS maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk

N NEPTUNE 01793 427427; neptune.com NEWGATE 01691 679994; newgateclocks.com NOT ON THE HIGH STREET notonthehighstreet.com

P PAPERCHASE 020 3322 4788; paperchase.co.uk PEOPLE TREE 0845 450 4595; peopletree.co.uk PIPII pipii.co.uk PLASTIKOTE plasti-kote.co.uk

R RE 01434 634567; re-foundobjects.com ROSSITERS OF BATH rossitersofbath.com

S SEASALT 01326 640075; seasaltcornwall.co.uk SOFA.COM 0345 400 2222; sofa.com

T THORNBACK & PEEL 020 7242 7478; thornbackandpeel.co.uk

V VICTORIA SNAPE victoriasnape.co.uk VV ROULEAUX vvrouleaux.com

W WHITE STUFF 020 3752 5360; whitestuff.com

www.astonmatthews.co.uk online and in-store London and Guildford islington@astonmatthews.co.uk

020 7226 7220 guildford@astonmatthews.co.uk

01483 478826 since 1823


next month in Our July issue is on sale from 30 May

Call of the coast

Decorating inspiration from the shore BEACHSIDE CREATIVES

FLAVOURS OF THE SEA

SUMMER CRAFTS

NEVER MISS AN ISSUE Turn to page 90 to see our latest subscription or renewal offer


SUMMER COLLECTION

Photo: Yeshen Venema

EMILY-KRISTE WILCOX

SHOEDOLLY

JAMES BARTHOLOMEW

These handbuilt ceramic vessels by Emily-Kriste Wilcox exude calm and balance. Panels of clay are treated with layered coloured slips to achieve the desired depth of surface, making reference to the English landscape. www.emily-kriste.co.uk

ShoeDolly present the perfect espadrille, ideal for any occasion from early morning cofee to summer evenings outdoors. Designed to be supremely comfortable and classically chic, they will soon be your most faithful summer shoe. Choose from a gorgeous selection of classic colours. With sling back or ankle ties. Order online at www.shoedolly.com

See James Bartholomew’s vibrant and contemporary take on animals across his whole range of limited edition prints by visiting his website: www.jamesbartholomew.co.uk New editions now added.

JUDIT ESZTERGOMI CERAMICS

PURE ARTWORK - ONLINE GALLERY

EBSWORTH POTS

Inspired by the grasses of summer meadows, these pieces combine wheel-thrown shapes with hand-carved decorations and bold colours – perfect for cofee or wine, or as a new home for your plants! www.juditesztergomiceramics.com

A beautiful exhibition of original artwork produced by professional artists and makers. Original paintings, handmade prints, artisan sculptures and ceramics, stunningly creative photography, intuitive illustrations, contemporary and traditional textile art, a great place to visit, appreciate and buy unique artwork! www.pure-artwork.com

Professionally hand thrown pottery made in Wales UK. Yarn bowls are the perfect gift for any knitter. No more chasing that ball of wool around. It stays in the yarn bowl while you knit or crochet. ebsworthpots.com

BRUME

POTTER AND MOOCH

SUZY HAMILTON

Brume window film replicates the look of etched glass and is perfect for windows where you need privacy but don’t want to sacrifice natural light. Easy to apply, made to measure or by the metre. www.brume.co.uk

Explore our brand new collection of Ear Wings climbing earrings designed for a single piercing. Each pair is handmade in England on 925 Sterling Silver, 14ct Rose or Yellow Gold Filled wires with SWAROVSKI Elements. From £22 per pair. www.potterandmooch.co.uk Tel: 07703 785527

We specialise in dresses and complete outfits designed and made in the UK using fabrics of the highest quality including silks, linens, brocades and cotton. Many of our frocks give more than a nod to the spectacular and glamorous styling of the 1950s and 60s. Visit our boutiques in Holt and Harrogate. www.suzyhamilton.co.uk

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

JUNE 2018

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NATIONWIDE

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Home sweet home Where the heart is GIVE YOUR CLEANING A BOOST…

BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOUR WOOD FLOORS! The Bona Spray Mop and Cartridge System – the easy, safe and efective way to keep your wood loors clean. Recommended by wood loor professionals, this award winning mop is always ready to go without a bucket! Just squeeze the triger to release a mist of Bona Wood Floor Cleaner and simply wipe away the dirt. Awarded “Best Wood Floor Cleaner” in independent tests, it gives a professional quality, streak free clean. Kit includes: Spray Mop, reillable Bona Wood Floor Cleaner Cartridge and washable Microiber Cleaning Pad. Find your local stockist or shop online at bona.com

The SEBO X7 Pet Boost glides over loors and can easily tackle stubborn dirt with its deep cleaning boost function. It goes lat to clean under furniture and with its LED Search Light, dirt really has nowhere to hide. Made in Germany it is backed by a free ive year guarantee. Call 01494 465533 or visit www.sebo.co.uk


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MON AMIE The original crossback apron created by loral designers Mon Amie. Manufactured in the UK in a range of beautiful colours. With nothing hanging around the neck or tied around the waist, this apron is the most comfortable yet stylish piece of usefulness that you can wear. You can also now join us at The Barn in Leicestershire for a range of artistry courses and workshops – all information is online. Use ofer code CLJ18 for free UK p&p. monamieliving.co.uk

BADMINTON BEAUTY This stunning freshwater pearl bracelet is inspired by classic equestrian styling with a fresh, contemporary take on ine jewellery design. Featuring a vintage-inspired stirrup charm, the Badminton Bracelet has a pedigree with a winning streak. We say trot on with this beautiful piece this season. RRP: £210. www.sylviakerrjewellery.com

THE TWISTER Natural Knitted A Line. 100% cotton. On promotion £59.00. Reduced from £89.00. Available from our store www.originalblues. co.uk or phone 01635 867165.

Fashion essentials Look your best STYLISH WIDE FITTING SHOES

FINE FASHION – MADE IN ENGLAND

Wider Fit Shoes Ltd ofers stylish, afordable shoes to it you perfectly – whatever your width. Today, they are the leading supplier of wide-itting shoes in the UK, ofering footwear from EE through to 8E ittings. Their entire range of shoes and slippers are adjustable, durable, lightweight and lexible and every purchase is backed by their no quibble guarantee. No wonder they’re recommended by foot health professionals nationwide. For a free, colour catalogue or more information please call 01933 311077 or order securely online at www.wideritshoes.co.uk Please quote CLX1818M for 10% of your irst order.

We all want to look and feel fabulous, and it’s never been easier to achieve, thanks to David Nieper’s new collection of elegant womenswear, stylish travel outits, and luxury knitwear. Each piece is lovingly made in their Derbyshire studios from the inest quality fabrics. Expert designers and seamstresses create styles to it all sizes, each inished with the greatest of care for comfort, quality and style. Fine Jersey Dress £129, style 6113. Shop online at davidnieper.co.uk or call 01773 83 6000 for a catalogue. Quote code CL18.

THE DEFINITIVE GO ANYWHERE JEWELLERY We are delighted to be showcasing this brilliantly contemporary range of nickel-free silverplate jewellery. The pendants measure approximately 4.5cm (1.75”) diameter with a silver plate snake chain 40 – 48m (16” – 19”) long, and the stud earrings are approximately 1.25cm (0.5”) wide and 2cm (0.75”) long. Pendants are £17.50 each and earrings £9.50 a pair (plus p&p). Why not buy a set as a git and one for you too! You will ind beautiful gits, including a range of personalised items, for you and your home at www.cratworksgallery. co.uk or ring us on 01434 634500.


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CLASSIC AND ELEGANT CUTLERY DESIGNED FOR MODERN LIVING KENTCHURCH BUTLERS A perfect git that will last forever. Ideal for that birthday, wedding, anniversary or retirement present. Hand made and painted, these wooden side tables are fun pieces of furniture to rest your drinks etc on. To order: telephone 01803 732 933 or visit our website www.kentchurchbutlers.co.uk

This delightful range is Old English mirror inish stainless steel with dishwasher safe cream handled knives. Exclusive price – Set for six people at £300, this includes six seven-piece place settings (as shown) and two table spoons. A set for four people costs £220. Prices include VAT and UK delivery. www.glazebrook.com Tel: 020 7731 7135.

A TOAST TO THE PAST A stupendously eclectic mix of antiques and curios from a bygone era. UK and International shipping. Peruse, come and say hi! Matthew John Cook Tel / Text: 07584 320401 www.etsy.com/shop/atoasttothepast

Home comforts Your dream living space

WILVERLEY

HANDMADE IN ENGLAND BY WHICHFORD POTTERY

The Absolute King of Swing! Made for the British summer, the Idler Swingseat from Wilverley is a traditionally upholstered swinging garden sofa. Choice of colours, washable marine canvas (all loose covers), spring cushions and a 100% stainless steel foldable frame, so no tools required. The Idler isn’t just a fairweather friend! £1995. One week delivery. Call 01843603462 or visit www.wilverley.com Worldwide shipping.

Inspired by the work of William Morris, hand-carved roses weave around this stunning terracotta planter (24cm high x 42cm wide), picked out in blush pink. Handmade by Whichford Pottery in Warwickshire and guaranteed frostproof for 10 years. Free delivery ofer to mainland UK (saving £29.50). £67.95 each or a special price of £120 for two (saving a further £15.90). T&Cs apply. Ofer ends 30/06/18. Phone 01608 684416 or visit www.whichfordpottery.com to order.

LITTLE SHOP OF LTD Beautifully made jewellery books that hold earrings, necklaces and rings. Sot padded pages keep precious jewels tangle and tarnish-free. Designed to sit elegantly on top of a dressing table or easily pop into a suitcase for travelling. Large palette of colours available. For details of stockists and colours, visit our website. www.littleshopof.co.uk Tel: 020 3371 1522.


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WAKE UP BEAUTIFULLY WITH HYPNOS Award-winning British bed manufacturer Hypnos has been handcrating bespoke, luxury beds and mattresses for the inest homes, hotels and palaces around the world for more than 100 years. Testament to its skill and heritage, the company is the proud holder of a Royal Warrant, awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which acts as a mark of British cratsmanship. A family-run business, Hypnos places the customer at its heart ensuring each and every bespoke product is designed according to personal comfort level, size, shape and style, for a beautiful night’s sleep. Specialists in producing handcrated, sumptuous pocket spring beds, Hypnos combines traditional skills with the inest natural and sustainable materials. All Hypnos beds come with a 10-year guarantee. www.hypnosbeds.com

Hypnos mattress with Hideaway storage divan and Eleanor headboard in Paris Maroon fabric

Stylish living For you and your home MOSNEY MILL

DI FORD ILLUSTRATION Illustrated from her studio in South West Wales, Di creates quirky, characterful art work of your beloved pet. She specialises in illustrating custom pet portraits using a range of mediums including, watercolour, pen, ink and a digital drawing pad. Her distinctive style is perfect for any contemporary home owner and animal lover. Capture that unique personality of your favourite furry friend! www.diford.com Email: hello@diford.com or call 07581 135865.

From fun family breakfasts through to aternoon tea with friends there’s a design to please the most discerning palette in Mosney Mill’s range of ine china. Why not curl up on one of our duck down illed luxury cushions or add a dash of country style to your kitchen with our top quality kitchen textiles which are all designed, printed and manufactured in England. Visit www.mosneymill.co.uk to view the full range. Use voucher code CL15 to receive 15% discount exclusive to Country Living readers. For further information call 01772 822525.


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DISCOVER BEAUTIFUL SKIN WITH REGENTIV (Retinol) TM

Minimise lines and wrinkles, crepey eyes and neck, sun and skin damage with The Specialist Serum’s advanced retinol, vitamin E and aloe vera. Look younger longer with the anti-ageing serum professionals are raving about. From £29.95 to £149 with FREE UK p&p. To receive exclusive 10% reader discount, apply code CL6 at checkout. www.regentiv.co.uk or Tel: 01923 212555 for advice or to order. See website for full range and special ofers.

ABSOLUTE COLLAGEN AWARD-WINNING DRINKABLE SKINCARE! £29.99 for 14 ready-mixed sachets Fight the ageing process with the menopausemust-have supplement! Help bones, joints, ligaments, nails, hair and skin with the most convenient collagen product out there. Containing eight grams of marine collagen, ready to take, to hydrate and plump the skin. In fact 91% of women in a clinical study saw skin improvement ater eight weeks! To order call 020 3494 4944 or visit www.absolutecollagen.com Quote CL for 10% of with this ad.

DON’T WANT YOUR LOVED ONE TO GO IN A CARE HOME? There is an alternative! Do you want to stay in your own home with support from our live-in companions? If the answer is yes, Mayfair Live-In may be for you! Mayfair Live-in can ofer companionship, encourage stimulation and provide one-to-one support. For information or to become a live-in companion: email: info@mayfair-livein. co.uk or call 07896 575302..

Health & beauty Look good, feel great TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR STRESS INCONTINENCE WITH A PELVICTONERTM

AGE DEFYING SKIN CARE DUO – SAVE 50% Award winning, natural skin care range, with a high percentage of organic ingredients, specially formulated to provide efective, gentle daily care to help protect, hydrate and nourish. Includes 50mls luscious Hydro Crème Gel and 100mls refreshing Micellar Water. You can purchase this wonderful set for a special ofer price of £10.50 (saving 50% of rrp £20.95) and free delivery. To order this special ofer free phone 0800 980 6665 or order online at beautynaturals.com/cl

Embarrassing leaks are a symptom of a weak pelvic floor – the good news is they can be stopped with simple exercises. This is where the PelvicToner can help. It is clinically proven to help strengthen your pelvic loor, NHS approved and available on prescription. It can also be purchased without prescription for only £29.99 delivered. Designed to be used at home without supervision, it comes discreetly packaged with everything you need to start exercising straight away. So what’s stopping you? To ind out more, or to purchase a PelvicToner™, visit pelvictoner.co.uk or call 0117 974 3534 today.

KRILL OIL – THE NEW SUPER OMEGA 3 Research now shows that krill oil is superior to ish oil due to its unique phospholipid superstructure omega 3, antioxidants and brain nutrient choline. Krill oil is now seen as the gold standard in omega 3 supplements. Silvertown Health krill oil is eco-harvested to protect nature deep in the purest Antarctic seas to provide unparalleled omega 3 quality. RRP £24.95 – CL Ofer only £16.97 + p&p (60 capsules up to two months supply) plus CL readers also get two free home spa face masks with their irst order. Online order/ more info www.silvertownhealth.co.uk or Tel 24 Hour Order Line – 0345 0956903.


advertisement feature HICKSTEAD – A GREAT BRITISH DAY OUT Hickstead is to showjumping what Wembley is to football or Wimbledon is to tennis – and there’s no better place to spend a summer’s day. The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting (21-24 June) is one of the most popular shows in the equestrian calendar, a quintessentially British event featuring the world’s best. Hickstead is a Mecca for any horse lover – but there is plenty on ofer to tempt everyone, with more than 150 superb shops, a new Family Zone featuring a funfair as well as fantastic children’s entertainment from Tomfoolery. There are also a wide range of bars and eateries, from street food to glamorous hospitality options overlooking the International Arena. Visit www.hickstead.co.uk Quote CLM18 for 10% early bird ofer on all tickets (excluding parking).

Treat yourself This month’s essentials

TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN AND HAIR... with a Mulberry Silk Pillow Case. They assist in wrinkle prevention and add shine to your hair. Also cool to sleep on and hypoallergenic beneiting those with asthma and eczema. In a choice of colours and at £18, they are the ideal luxury git. Machine Washable. Cotton backed to prevent slipping. www.thecleverlittlepillowcase.bigcartel.com

NO MORE SUMMER CHAFING Embrace the season without the discomfort of burning thighs. The Big Bloomers Company’s Anti Chaing Slip Shorts are the ultimate summer solution. Designed in Britain and made in Italy using seamless technology, they’re extremely sot, lightweight and breathable – so much so, you’ll barely know you’ve got them on. Sizes UK 12-36. Call 01326 373268 or order securely online at www.thebigbloomerscompany.co.uk


IDYLLIC ESCAPES

COAST & COUNTRY COTTAGES

HIDDEN ANDALUCIA

NORTHUMBERLAND SELF CATERING

Choose from around 400 holiday properties in Salcombe, Dartmouth and throughout South Devon. From romantic hideaways and beautifully renovated farmhouses, to luxury waterside apartments and cosy thatched cottages, we can help you choose the right one for your holiday. Call 01548 843773 or book online coastandcountry.co.uk

Charming and quirky house in pretty white painted village, overlooking the Rio Guadiana. Just 75 mins. drive from Faro airport. Sleeps 2-8 (4 bedrooms, 4 showers) with sun terraces, private plunge pool, outdoor cinema and unrivalled views across the river. Visit matching Portuguese village across the river by boat or zip wire!

from the county’s first & only Visit England Quality Accredited Agency, www.staynorthumbria.co.uk. Choose & book with confidence from a selection of over 90 properties to suit all tastes and pockets, from: coastal fisherman’s retreats for 2, to a converted Mill for 36. Dogs & kids welcome too. For Winter, Spring & Summer breaks of 2 to 7 nights, a brisk walk on the beach, a castle or two to visit, and afternoon tea in front of the fire to return to. Visit our website or ring us on 01665 721380 – what could be simpler?

LUXURY COTTAGES NORTHUMBERLAND

BRECON BEACONS HOLIDAY COTTAGES

An outstanding selection of hand picked holiday cottages in prime locations along the beautiful Heritage Coast and amidst the majestic hills and National Park inland.

For that perfect break, we have over 350 great cottages in superb locations in and around the Brecon Beacons National Park, Black Mountains and Wye Valley. Romantic cottages for 2 people, rustic farmhouses and large country houses some sleeping 20, with oak beams and open fires. Pretty villages, good pubs, hill walking, pony trekking, mountain biking and fishing. Pets Welcome. www.breconcottages.com 01874 676446

www.luxury-cottages-northumberland.co.uk www.northumbria-cottages.co.uk 01665 830783

ISLE OF WIGHT AND DORSET HOLIDAY COTTAGES Charming cottages in beautiful rural and coastal locations situated throughout the Isle of Wight & Purbeck, Dorset. Pretty thatched cottages, farmhouses, stone cottages with stunning sea views in picturesque villages. Some cottages with swimming pools. Graded by the tourist board 3 - 5 Stars. Telephone 01929 481555 www.islandcottageholidays.com www.purbeckcottageholidays.com

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01263 768440 www.southernescapes.co.uk

RURAL RETREATS Over 450 luxury self-catering holiday properties sleeping 2-24 in the UK and Ireland. A Rural Retreats property has been carefully chosen for its beautiful interior as well as idyllic setting. From cosy cottages to country houses and lighthouses to windmills, there’s sure to be a property that will be perfect for you and your family. Dogs welcome. Request your FREE 2018 Brochure now. www.ruralretreats.co.uk 01386 897 959

THE ART OF GREAT HOSPITALITY Pride of Britain Hotels, Britain’s leading luxury & boutique hotel collection, have selected and approved 50 of the best independently owned hotels and spas around Britain for you to enjoy. To order gift vouchers or your free hotel directory call Freephone 0808 163 3764 or visit www.prideofbritainhotels.com

WILDERNESS COTTAGES THROUGHOUT SCOTLAND Quality self catering cottages, houses and apartments, throughout Scotland. Countryside to seashore, rustic to 5 star luxury. Short breaks available & pets welcome. New 2018 Brochure Available. Tel: 01463 719219 www.wildernesscottages.co.uk

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


COUNTRY DIRECTORY House & Garden Home Interest

DELIVERING CRAFTSMANSHIP & QUALITY

SINCE 1981

Great British Furniture

Makers of Fine Leather Furniture for Generations

Back from Black Beam Renovation Ltd RENOVATING BEAMS SINCE 1997

BEAMS RENOVATED WITHOUT MESS! A UNIQUE PROCESS - NO BLASTING

Tel: 01797 458508 WWW.BEAM-RENOVATION.CO.UK

NEW MAINE 4 SEATER SOFA WAS £2098 - NOW ONLY £1458 ● Made

Björk Haraldsdóttir

● Direct

Contemporary Handbuilt Ceramics

in our own UK factory from the factory prices ● 21 day money-back promise ● 2 year guarantee ● British and European Standard tested and approved To view our entire range or to order your free colour brochure call 01443 771222

www.ceramicsbybjork.com

S “Extraordinary CUMB LE name.

GOOSIE Extraordinary furniture.”

or visit www.thomaslloyd.com The finest of British Country Outbuildings

COVELLI TENNANT Oak Fronted Carriage Houses & Stand Alone Timber Garages ALSO GARDEN STUDIOS EQUESTRIAN BUILDINGS AND S P O RT S PAV I L I O N S

Est 1909

High Street, Strood, Kent ME2 4DR

Tel: 01634 290033

w w w. p a s s m o r e s . c o . u k • i n f o @ p a s s m o r e s . c o . u k

Vintage Textiles & Bespoke Upholstery 07855 256 007 07971 043 916 www.covellitennant.com

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

01453 731305

www.scumblegoosie.com JUNE 2018

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CONTROL YOUR BLINDS AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON • • • • •

01509 234000 - www.floorsofstone.com enquiries@floorsofstone.com

Battery powered Rechargeable & wire-free Smartphone app Choice of 400 stylish fabrics No cords – child safe

FOR A FREE COLOUR BROCHURE CALL 0800 975 5757 OR VISIT APPEALSHADING.COM

From The Appeal Group Ltd POWERED BLINDS | WINDOW SHUTTERS INSECT SCREENS | AWNINGS

The wood burning stove perfected

CLEARVIEW SHOWROOMS Ludlow, Stow-on-the-Wold & Whitchurch, plus stockists throughout the UK Manufactured at More Works, Bishops Castle, Shropshire SY9 5HH Brochure Line: 01588 650 123 www.clearviewstoves.com

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FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


J O I N T H E V E LV E T R E V O L U T I O N

D I R E C T F RO M T H E M A N U FAC T U R E R

Florence 3 seater sofa in velvet was £1139 - now only £849

www.sofasofa.co.uk For a free colour brochure call 01495 244226

Order your free fabric samples at

thefootstoolworkshop.co.uk 01443 831 981

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

Beautiful. Practical. Customisable.

JUNE 2018

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Spring Sale Let’s design together

The small Petworth sofa and king size Islington bed in Mixed Tones fabric.

Looking for colour day and night? It’s tailored to you. 186

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London & Nationwide 0808 178 3211 | sofasandstuf.com

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


THE G R E AT BRITISH RHINO

VE LUSI EXC UNT! O DISC CL18

de

quote co

perfectly evolved for

T H E G R E AT BRITISH SUMMER Whether this summer brings sweltering heat or tropical downpours, with a Rhino in your garden you can relax, knowing your plants are safely protected by the strength of our market-leading greenhouses. We can’t guarantee great weather, but we can guarantee the life of a Rhino for 25 years.

rhinogreenhouses.co.uk

0, C lay Grey

0800 694 1929

Rhino Premium 6x1

For the perfect outdoor space... CS157 £1349.99

Every item in our comprehensive collection of sustainable teak garden furniture is expertly designed and handcrafted for style, comfort and durability. From our superb Titan dining set with six contemporary chairs to our large range of iconic Lutyens benches, we have something to suit any outdoor space. Built to last, our furniture can be left outdoors all year round.

0RUHJUHDWR΍HUVRQOLQHcyan.co.uk

Teak Sun Lounger LT176 CA £163.00

Teak Steamer Chair LT602 CA £142.00

Lutyens Teak Benches LT375 1.35m £229.99 | LT025 1.65m £259.99 LT026 1.95m £299.99 | LT027 2.25m £389.99 GET 40% OFF MATCHING CUSHIONS with these Steamers, Sun Loungers and Benches

Versailles Teak Planters LT051 Standard £49.99 LT052 Large £79.99 LT053 X-Large £119.99

Cantilever Parasols Available from just £174.99

For the most extensive range of quality teak garden furniture Call Mon - Sat 9am - 5pm Shop Now 24/7

cyan.co.uk

020 8655 6240

Visit our showroom Unit 7 & 8 Gateway Business Park Station Approach Road Coulsdon Greater London CR5 2NS

All items delivered fully assembled except Sun Lounger which requires minimal assembly. Cushions & Parasol sold separately. Prices valid until 31/07/18 and include VAT but exclude delivery.

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

Sustainably Sourced Grade A Teak Furniture

JUNE 2018

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T R A D I T I O N A L B R I T I S H U P H O L S T E RY

Bring the inside out beautiful

Keep your home and garden with our stylish range of wipeable tablecloths

Fsarmpelees

HUGE choice of patterns, custom cut to size

LE AVAILAB

 21 day home trial  5 year hardwood frame warranty  Direct from the manufacturer

www.kirkdale.co.uk

MADE IN UK

Velcro

Parasol Holes

01606 833 886 To order your free samples, visit our website

Call for your free brochure 01495 243999

www.wipeeasytablecloths.com

What’s missing from an Albion bath? Excessive Weight. Our unique material is strong and durable, yet weighs around 1/3 of the cast iron equivalent. Request your brochure on: 01255 831605 or go to: www.albionbathco.com

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FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


DELPHINIUM

rare | unusual | exciting

Summer Skies height 1.5m (60")

BUY 12 FOR

£12 ONLY £1 PER PLANT

White with Black Eye height 1.8m (72")

Astolat height 1.5m (60")

Cameliard height 1.5m (60")

Blue Bird height 1.5m (60")

ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING PLANTS TO WATCH AS THE TIGHT BUDS SLOWLY UNFURL INTO STATELY SPIRES

Blue Jay height 1.5m (60")

Lavender height 90cm (36")

The perfect plant to add colour and structure to a cottage garden or herbaceous border yet also looks sensational in a more modern planting scheme. Stunning spires rise majestically above lower growing plants.

Black Knight height 1.8m (72")

Prefers well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Spread 30cm (12"). Fully hardy herbaceous perennials. Dark Blue with White Bee height 90cm (36")

Cherry Blossom height 90cm (36")

Sky Blue with White Bee height 1.5m (60")

Galahad height 1.5m (60")

Your order will be confirmed and your young plants will be delivered in 14 days with our no quibble guarantee.

TO ORDER QUOTE CL0618 • ONLINE hayloft.co.uk/cl • PHONE 0844 335 1088 CL0618

SEND THE COUPON TO: Hayloft Plants, FREEPOST RTGR-JAGJ-JETG, Pensham, Pershore WR10 3HB NAME & ADDRESS

PLEASE SEND

ITEM CODE

PRICE QTY

12 PLANTS (one of each) YPDEL12-CL0618

TOTAL

£12

P&P (UK ONLY)

£4.95 TOTAL DUE

Postcode          Tel

Please enter the last 3 digits of your security code (CSV)

I enclose Cheque/PO made payable to Hayloft Plants Ltd or please debit my Mastercard/Visa/Maestro Card no.

Expiry date

Start date

Issue no

CSV

All orders will be confirmed with our latest catalogue. Call 01386 554440 for your FREE copy.

EMAIL PLEASE ADVISE US OF YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO RECEIVE SPECIAL OFFERS

* Occasionally the advertised delivery date may change, however, this will be clearly stated on your order confirmation. Please tick here if you prefer not to receive offers other than from our company__

HAYLOFT PLANTS, MANOR FARM NURSERY, PENSHAM, PERSHORE, WORCESTERSHIRE WR10 3HB

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

JUNE 2018

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Locally hand built, solid wood, affordable kitchen furniture.

Robust, honest furniture that brings a taste of the countryside to everyday life. • Handmade • Made to measure in solid wood • Average sized kitchen price £7,000 • Download a brochure today Keep it simple keep it local

CL02_JUN18

For a delicious slice of country life

Lynx Trading Estate, YEOVIL BA20 2HL creamerykitchens.co.uk 01935 410500

INCHYRA HOME

Removable, washable and now even more affordable at just £299

Magnetic Aga Lid Covers The covers that don’t fall off!

www.inchyrahome.co.uk | 01738 860066

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Madrid 2 seater sofa was £399 ‐ now only £299

Made in Great Britain

Oakridge Sofas

T UES REQ UR YO URE CH BRO

Handmade in Nottinghamshire

01777 869 669 | revivalbeds.co.uk

Tuscany Sleigh Bed

01685 844944 www.oakridgedirect.co.uk Call now on

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FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


Fashion

PO ST-SURGE RY FASHI O N

CALL NOW FOR A

FREE CATALOGUE

0800 081 2121 QUOTE CLA06

www.theheadboardworkshop.co.uk or call us on 01291 628216

www.nicolajane.com

Headboards & Beds | Ottomans & Stools | Sofa Beds & Chairs

£69 (free p&p) Washable Jackets for all Occasions

various designs 01263 732643

Pets & Livestock Vanessa Bell (Auseasel)

CAMROSA OINTMENT

Beautiful, fragrant summer blooms Save 10% when you order David Austin’s fragrant, repeatflowering English Roses by 30th June 2018 quoting code CL71. Visit: www.davidaustinroses.co.uk Call: 0800 111 4699 DAVID AUSTIN®

COVELLI TENNANT Vintage Textiles & Bespoke Upholstery

For animals with sore, broken & itchy skin. Promotes natural healing.

+44 (0)1892 783240

www.camrosa.co.uk

Betty’s Buddies Dog Grooming Betty’s Buddies offer a full dog grooming service in Chelmsford, Essex. Working on a one to one basis, we ensure that your dog receives our undivided attention throughout the grooming process to ensure it's as stress free and as enjoyable as possible.

K AT I E @ B E T T Y S B U D D I E S G R O OM I N G . CO . U K W W W. B E T T Y S B U D D I E S G R O O M I N G.C O.U K

Topstitching for Brambles and Prickles.

FERNSBY HALL TAPESTRIES

FE

RNSBY HALL

Tapestry kits produced by Diana Fernsby from the original paintings of Catriona Hall. Kits from £55. Please quote Ref.FHT1. kits@fernsbyhall.com www.fernsbyhall.com Tel: 01279 777795

07855 256 007 07971 043 916

TA P E ST R I E S

www.covellitennant.com

Clairvoyancy

General Interest Courses Stuck in a rut? Need a change? Residential courses in the heart of Wiltshire. Choose from upholstery, soft furnishing or loose covers. Individual tuition. Please telephone for details: 0797 925 1853 www.upholsteryworkshop.com

020 7439 5500 www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/ institute/cookery-school

For details of classified advertising call 020 3728 6260

FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK

JUNE 2018

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FOR DETAILS OF CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING PLEASE TELEPHONE 020 3728 6260 OR VISIT WWW.HEARSTMAGAZINESDIRECT.CO.UK


MY COUNTRYSIDE

ALEX JONES

The TV presenter on childhood memories of Wales and growing produce in her garden

I grew up in Carmarthenshire and we were surrounded by beautiful spots. The Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire coast were a stone’s throw away, and we’d pass the hours in Rhossili Bay, which has oten been voted one of the UK’s best beaches. Our family holidays were spent at the seaside in Tenby, which was just down the coast. When you’re a child, all you want is a beach to run around on like a lunatic, and we did plenty of that. I loved having barbecues by the sea, too. There’s a lot to be said for a staycation – the only problem is that the weather doesn’t always play ball! We also had a caravanette – I can remember making cups of tea in lots of diferent locations! We were quite an outdoorsy family – I’d really like to replicate that with my son, Ted. Although I live in London now, I go back to Wales as often as I can. I miss the people and the scenery when I’m away, but we make the most of it when

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we’re back – my husband, Charlie, goes ishing and we’ll go on long walks together as a family. Sometimes, we visit Ogmore-by-Sea in the Vale of Glamorgan – it’s stunning. You can walk along the sand, through the dunes and up to the Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve. When city life gets too much, it’s great to jump in the car, drive over the Severn Bridge and soon be somewhere completely diferent. It was a privilege to be made a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards, which is an association made up of poets, writers, musicians and artists who have made a contribution to Welsh culture. It’s very rare that such a small country still has its own language and a strong sense of tradition and heritage. At

school, we were taught to recite, sing and dance, and, for a shy child like me, it nurtured something that might not have developed otherwise. Taking part in the TV series Hell on High Seas really was hellish. We sailed across the Irish Sea at four o’clock in the morning, with waves crashing over our heads for hours on end – it was so rough, we had to be secured to the side of the boat at one point! Although it was horrendous beyond all comprehension, we raised a lot of money for Sport Relief, which was absolutely fantastic! We have a beautiful garden in London, but it’s a bit smaller than I’d like. Charlie and I love a trip to the garden centre. I’m very into lilacs at the moment, and Charlie enjoys growing fruit and vegetables – tomatoes, strawberries and potatoes are my favourites. We had such a glut of cucumbers last year that I had to beg him to stop growing them! Charlie used to be a professional chef, so we’re very into using seasonal produce. There’s a lot of pleasure to be gained from cooking with ingredients that are in season. In summer, I can’t get enough of artichokes, asparagus and cherries. Environmental issues afect us all. Like most people, we loved watching the latest series of Blue Planet, but it’s heartbreaking to see pollution, litter and plastic in our oceans. I think becoming a parent has made me a lot more aware of what we’re doing and what we’re leaving behind for future generations.

I love barbecues by the sea – there’s a lot to be said for a staycation

Winging It! by Alex Jones is published by Lagom at £14.99. countryliving.co.uk

INTERVIEW BY JEN CROTHERS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES. *VOTED BY INDEPENDENT READERS

Alex grew up near Rhossili Bay (left) and spent many holidays in Tenby (below)


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khlhljilk  

Profile for mixafree
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