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Country Living UK

Country Living UK

December 2020

Whether you live in the town or countryside, in Country Living you’ll find a wealth of ideas for your home and garden, learn about traditional crafts, keep informed of rural issues, enjoy irresistible dishes using seasonal produce and, above all, escape the stress and strain of modern-day life.

United Kingdom
Hearst Magazines UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

9 min.
wild west

“Can you hear it? That slightly squeaky, squeezy-out sound. That’s a coal tit,” says the actor Samuel West. We’re in his garden, a swerve of paving, flanked by straggles of green. “I get itchy if I don’t go birding for a while. It stops me thinking so much about myself… It’s so easy to be squashed by human concerns.” Birding became a serious pursuit 15 years ago, when Samuel was artistic director of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. He began listening to a CD of birdsong when driving up the M1 and went walking three or four times a week in the Peak District with his binoculars and telescope. Now, he likes to scoot off to Woodberry Wetlands in east London, near his Islington flat. With more time, he’ll head for…

2 min.
meet the family

CLAUDETTE Effortlessly elegant, the Claudette chaise sofa is upholstered in super-soft linen-viscose and comes with turned wooden feet, delicately sloping arms, pillow-back cushions and an extended chaise. Available in eight colours. LIBBY Handcrafted in luxurious Italian fabric designed to look and feel stylish while being incredibly hard-wearing, Libby also has foam-filled, fibre-wrapped cushions for maximum comfort with minimal plumping. Available in seven colour combinations. LONG BEACH Laidback and luxurious, this oversized sofa with super-comfy pillow-back cushions would be an elegant addition to any modern living space. Available in nine velvet colours and six fabric colour combinations. At House Beautiful, they know how much great style means to you, which is why they are proud to have partnered with furnishing experts DFS to bring you this fantastic – and exclusive – House Beautiful collection of sofas. There…

8 min.
gifts that give back

One of the silver linings of this strange year has been the upswing in volunteering and community spirit. Back at the beginning of the pandemic, Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, said he expected “extraordinary outbreaks of altruism”. That has certainly been reflected in the hundreds of thousands of people who volunteered to do everything from helping the NHS to running errands for neighbours in need. We’ve proved that when the going gets tough, we can all come together to support one another. Now, as the festive season approaches, many of Britain’s charities – there are almost 170,000 – are suffering severe financial hardship, with one in ten facing bankruptcy due to lost fundraising opportunities1. Smaller, local charities are especially at risk, but even some household names face serious problems. The…

6 min.
the gardening year at woodhill manor

The festive season starts early for the gardeners at Woodhill Manor. Hazel and willow stems are collected for weeks, along with cones from the fir and larch trees around the estate, stacked into baskets ready for fashioning into natural decorations to hang both inside the house and around the gardens. On dark, damp afternoons, when work in the borders must finish for the day, head gardener Kate Halls and her dedicated part-time team – Lisa Firth, Sonia Dodridge and Victoria Menzies – can sometimes be found in the Gardeners’ Retreat at the top of the garden, busily making hazel and willow stars or weaving wreaths from flexible birch twigs. “Christmas is huge here,” Kate says, smiling. “So much so that whenever I interview a new gardener, I always ask them if…

5 min.
10 steps to serenity

This year – this exhausting, rollercoaster of a year – calls for a new approach to the festive period. Christmas invariably involves rushing around, last-minute panics and juggling the complexities of family dynamics – but it now comes with added complications of social distancing, tightened budgets and a general level of anxiety in everyone. Which is why it’s more important than ever to take some time for yourself. Don’t underestimate the healing power of a warm bath, scented candles or a rejuvenating face mask. Hitting the ‘pause button’ occasionally throughout December will allow time to draw breath, recharge and focus on what is important to you and your family. 1 THE CONTEMPLATIVE CANDLES A simple mindfulness technique to give you greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings is to sit quietly in…

4 min.
a sweet alternative

Move over, Christmas pudding. If you want to treat yourself to something a little bit different after your turkey this year, try our elegant tower of salted caramel choux puffs. Filled with a generous scoop of smooth Carte D’Or Vanilla ice cream, these delicious profiteroles are guaranteed to wow your family and friends Carte D’Or Vanilla ice cream adds an indulgent finishing touch to your festive desserts, whether you prefer a more traditional Christmas pudding or our decadent profiterole tower. Made with 100 per cent sustainably sourced Madagascan vanilla, it’s the perfect way to round off your meal. SALTED CARAMEL AND VANILLA ICE CREAM PROFITEROLE TOWER These profiteroles have a simple crumble topping, which helps to keep them nice and round, adding a lovely bit of texture. It’s best to weigh the eggs…