The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Hampshire Edition

Wouldn't you though?

Happy birthday COS! The cooler, older sister of H&M, much-loved by the fash' pack, has given us a decade of pared-back high street style with an obsession for detail. I love it.

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Whistler at Mottisfont

29 Jan 2017

Youthful, at ease, dreaming, his athletic limbs lounging in the Mediterranean sun — the young man poses for society photographer, Cecil Beaton.

His name is Rex Whistler. Born a humble builder’s son he is now an artist fêted from Broadway to British High Society and one of The Bright Young Things, a fast-living group from the roaring twenties much-like Radio One’s Grimmy and his motley crew of c’lebs.

The hazy, black and white image is part of a new exhibition at The National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey.

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Jenna Burlingham Fine Art

27 Jan 2017

Oh Kingsclere, you do me proud. If you haven’t visited this North Hampshire spot-of-joy, then why not? London, you are so 2016. Free parking, great food and fashion, smiling faces, soaring walks and, oh look, a world-renowned art gallery just off the high street: if you haven’t heard about Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, then here’s your opportunity.

In a previous life, Jenna was Bonhams’ 20th Century British art expert and director at specialist London dealer, Offer Waterman, and it shows.

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Glazebrook House, Devon

21 Jan 2017

There’s nothing like planning a mini-break to ease the February blues. If quirky, vintage-chic is your thing, then can I recommend Devon’s Glazebrook House? Brand-new, buzzing and only a short motor down the A303.  Thank you Sharon Ryan, aka Ms Muddy Devon, for this review.

I’m going to have to learn to get a grip when I blog about hotels.  Seriously, what is it about going off-piste and being someone else’s guest for the night that sends me giddy?

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Healthy Food: Hampshire Style

19 Jan 2017

While the world of health-food faddism plumbs new depths of mad  — Amanda Chantal Bacon’s Moon Juice Dust with cordyceps, reishi and shilajit resin now retailing on net-a-porter for £50 a tin — us sensible mortals are embracing a different way of eating.

Books like Bee Wilson’s This Is Not A Diet Book: A User’s Guide to Eating Well, encourage us to reject the guilt and indulgence cycle and embrace food as joy: broccoli, for example, is moreish heaven when pan fried with the best olive oil, chilli and garlic.    

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4 Ways to Rock the School Run

16 Jan 2017

Do you remember last year’s media kerfuffle over the Head Mistress who banned parents from jammie-wearing at drop-off? Clearly a slow news day. I do see her point though — no-one wants their mum parading her snoopy PJs at the school gate BUT, but… the idea of slipping into an easy, Pyjama-esque outfit during the morning rush is much more appealing than that staple since the early noughties: the badly-fitted, low slung skinny jean.

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The Green Man, Winchester

12 Jan 2017

There’s no mistaking this snug drinkery’s spit-and-sawdust origins; you can easily imagine cheeky, peaked-cap chappies winking at you from the bar. This is, after all, Winchester where past and present are often confused: as I write in the city library, a Norman Knight passes on his way to the Gents. There’s a very 21st century re-enactment outside my window so forgive me if I’m distracted by burly men in chainmail…

Have no fear though, you won’t be greeted by suspicious locals, or warriors, at The Green Man.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Hampshire Edition