Feeling run-down, irritable, disenfranchised, and city-weary…? Congratulations, you’re a real Londoner. Oh sweet Metropolis, I do adore you so, but there’s only so much one can take. Even a hardened urbanite like me needs to get away sometimes and swap congestion charge for corgis & clear air. About to tear your hair out from city-related stress? Do as the English do and pack an bag, hop on the train, and seek refuge in le country house.

Sadly, my family home is just under 9000 miles away in a different continent. Happily, my friend India very kindly invited me to her home in the country, where we could turn off our smartphones, take off our heels & city rags, and walk around braless.

It was my first time in the home counties, never mind the English country, so I was more than a little excited…!


Love how the juxtaposition of blue sky next to storm cloud perfectly sums up the weather those few days…No doubt walking in the woods without a brolly only for the heavens to open up and start raining contributed to this mild fever I’m nursing at the moment. 6 years in London and I still haven’t learnt to prepare myself for all kinds of weather! D’oh.

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You know you’re among equestrian lovers when the guest bathroom is kitted with Polo Ralph Lauren towels and Hermes toiletries. I matched my perfume and nail polish to the countryside—-CHANEL’s Cuir De Russie leather, earth, & tobacco scent and CHANEL Particuliere’s earthy greige were the perfect accents to what I erroneously dubbed ‘country-chic’…

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…’country chic’, that is to say, faux-tweed, naff jumpers, walking sticks, pipes, and misappropriated hunting hats. My jumper is from Agent Provocateur, my tweed is Zang Toi, my scarf Givenchy.

My attire was less than practical so India lent me something far more suitable for walking the dogs in the woods…

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The classics; Barbour jackets and Hunter wellies.

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Hector & Horace, the gorgeous ridgebacks.

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Is there anything more adorable than a tuckered-out dog?

I wanted to ride the horses but they were away from the stables…

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…but this noble steed allowed me to mount her. Fagget Fairy’s Feed The Horse came to mind. Feed the horse, nyam nyam…


Bullet belt. Shoot from the hip. Literally.


I love how the tranquil country, free of the distraction & the decadence London saturates itself in is most conducive to creativity. Friends calling you, tweeting you, texting, BBMing you to come to dinner at DSTRKT, tables at Project, Le Baron after, Scotch afterparty, after-afterparty in some stranger’s townhouse? Sorry, I’m in the country, playing my guitar and singing heart-wrenching songs about the impossible lightness of being.


Wings, to be turned into a headpiece or hat.





The next day, Lady Butterworth who up till then had been napping, came out to play. Look at her riding the stud, the saucy little minx.


It was a sunny day so we inched ourselves outside…

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Lady Of The Manor.

Lady Butterworth explores the garden, but responsible pet-owner that I am I didn’t let her roam too far. Heaven help if a fox ravaged or a horse kicked her. MY BABYYYYY!!!










Getting stuck in bushes…

She’s such a good girl!

India and I strip off and have a little dress-up session!

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Does my butt look big in this…?

On to the red room, where treasures and things of wonder are stowed. At this point the antique-lover in me imploded with joy. My late grandfather, he who collected vintage Jaguars, Islamic arms, and had an airplane cockpit in his garden (which he turned into a lounge!) would have approved.

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More dress up ensues…

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Lady Butterworth gets in on the action. Little attention-seeker!


Lady Butterworth getting feathery.


Lady Butterworth trooping the colour.


Lady Butterworth in armour.




We got back to London well-fed, with fresh air in our lungs, and well-rested! I did end up a little bit poorly, but that’s probably all the city toxins leaving my system.

I love the country and all of it’s serenity, and am definitely going to make these lil’ getaways more often. I leave you with one of my favourite prayers, Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity prayer.


May 17, 2012


Feeling run-down, irritable, disenfranchised, and city-weary…? Congratulations, you’re a real Londoner. Oh sweet Metropolis, I do adore you...