Rustic Retreat: Welcome to the nut house

March 10, 2014
...or rather, nut farm. Walnuts Farm

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! This photo was taken approximately 0.002 seconds before I accidentally projectiled off the swing and landed into a pile of manure.

Yesterday Nokia UK sent myself and a few food bloggers (incidentally almost all of them were French speakers, ca va?) to Walnuts Farm in East Sussex to milk cows, churn butter, stack hay for a day of cooking class with Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton. 

It was a lovely way for Nokia to celebrate the Great British Chefs app coming to the Lumia, we were driven on a gloriously warm, sunny day from London to the country to meet and cook with an award-winning chef. Who I now may have a massive crush on, but his loveliness and the cooking is for another story for another time. 

This post is all about the idyllic country life and gorgeous little scenes of rustic prettiness that is Walnuts Farm. 

Hellooooo Walnuts Farm, here comes another nut to add to your collection!

Oh, you don't actually harvest nuts...? *shuffles awkwardly behind a pile of logs* Nevermind.

"Walnuts Farm is a film and photographic shoot location house in East Sussex by Nick & Bella. Walnuts Farm is a traditional Wealden farmhouse built around 1800 with a separate two storey granary outbuilding, set in 5 acres of gardens, meadows and woodland, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty."

I may also have a crush on Nick. In fact I have a crush on half the men I met that day especially at the pub up the road. I don't know what it is about the area, if it's in the air, or water, but I swear this place is my Mecca. The pub was rammed with serious silver foxes driving gorgeous vintage sports cars (good taste, good age, and good looks, just like my late grandfather. Don't read too much into that)

I am moving down to East Sussex to be a farmer (farmeress?), albeit one with meticulously applied red lipstick, false eyelashes, and tonged hair. It's doable, I woke up at seven this morning to style and make myself up before catching the car to Walnuts Farm, if I can do that surely I can get dressed before feeding the chickens.

The new face of farming.


Things born out of practicality tend to end up being appropriated as superfluous ornaments by the middle-class and hipsters. Case in point: decorative terrariums. I want one now. In a bell jar. It's own ecosystem. Of which I am God---can destroy said ecosystem at any time by blocking sunlight, introducing hamster to plants, any time. An entire world is at my mercy.

What do turkeys speak?

Turkish? Gobbledeegook?

Whatever it is, I speak it. I am the turkey whisperer.

Granted, my 'turkish' sounds more like barking, or a cat underwater. But I managed to communicate so that's all that matters. Do you wish you knew what we were talking about? That's for us to know, and for you to learn gobbledeegook to find out.

I love how the fences are alive.

And what of the house?

Oh, the house!

Every corner was a beautifully curated vignette of objet d'art. 

The sort of 'cabinet of curiosities' aesthetic that the British have perfected. 

My anal American ex describes it as clutter, but then again his idea of minimalism is an empty room with a solitary chair in the middle and a tall vase (standing on the floor, no flowers) in a cornerWhat he calls junk, I call decorative diversity.

My Saint Laurent Arty ring came home to roost.

I painted my nails a speckled Illamasqua polish to look like robin's eggs for the day, it was the closest thing I could find that seemed vaguely countryside. But for the 'I work all day on a farm' look you just can't beat my peeling cuticles and dry nail beds...that's authenticity right there (sadly it was not intentional).

In love with my new agate print jumper from fact Zara are having a 'minerals and stones' print moment right now which is perfect for me because I am a gem. *awkward silence* 

The closest I could get to dressing like a farmer. I'm a city girl; I have no reason to own a Barbour (I refuse to poster on Sloane Square in new country clothes looking like an absolute back end of a horse) nor wellies (I had ironic Pucci ones in pink which I've long since thrown away). So I made do with an Anya Hindmarch tote (best of British!), Stuart Weitzman 5050s (they come up to my knees, bully for me!), Givenchy scarf (at least it's a scarf!), and a YSL ring and fingernails that vaguely looks like bird's eggs.

I've put a lot of effort and thought into looking like I have no self-awareness.

I adore the decor of the house, especially the English cottage look of the bedrooms...!


I wish I had a rustic space where I could casually prop a collection of headboards against the wall, have it look absolutely natural and charming. If I did that in my London apartment my friends would say "Time to call the council to remove your rubbish, dear?" Allow that.

The pub where all the handsome older men congregate. 

I do love a good vintage. Champagne, dresses, cars, men... *growls*

Everyone at the pub was so friendly, so engaging, and would go out of their way to help me take good photo; they'd pose for me, pose their dogs for me, pose their children for me...oh guys! You're all so lovely. Please adopt me and my camera.

Right, I'm going to ask Nick if Walnuts Farm needs a caretaker for the weekends, a part-time nut farmer, turkey whisperer, and manky tennis ball thrower (someone has to keep the dogs entertained).

Pictures and recipes from the cooking class with Josh Eggleton, a review of the Great British Chefs app, and my day with Nokia and the other bloggers, coming soon. x


  1. What a lovely day it was. Love your pics. A bient├┤t!

    1. It was such a gorgeous day! I can't wait to see your pictures xx

  2. Ah so jealous, looks like an amazing day out (and perfect weather for it) - can't wait to read about the food and cooking!!

    Rosie xx

    1. That day was the perfect little snippet of my idea of rural life! Country living for the win. #FARMLYF x