“I’ve spent the last six years seeking out the best that London has to offer, so now my aim is to distill that into environs outside the M25. I’m looking for my city vices in my new country home, Devon. Countryfille.com will
be a scrapbook of my favourite style, beauty, food and travel finds
along the way.”
In short, this website is the digitalisation of my life-long geographical quandary. My mother says I’m never satisfied, my dad says I have gypsy blood, but I maintain I’m just a complex hybrid. You see, I love the city and the country in equal measures. The bastard offspring of the proverbial country and town mice if you will (does that make me a suburban mouse? I hope not). Yet do one exclusively for too long and I get ants in my pants (my mother’s words, not mine).
When I’m in London for any length of time without escaping to Devon (my ‘country’ of choice) I feel claustrophobic, in need of a good wash and as if I’m missing out on the stuff that makes your heart that little bit lighter. You know, all the Hallmark card stuff. I hanker after the smell of the sea in the early evening just before the sun slides over the cliffs; far reaching vistas of the green and leafy variety; whisper it: skinny dipping; and stars, god I miss a good starry sky in London. I’m never happier than when lying under the Victoria plum tree in my parents’ garden, gorging myself on its fruits. Of course I could nip down Portobello and pick myself up a bag of plums but it wouldn’t be the same. It’s not just the abundance of stone fruits that I long for when it comes to country life. I like the feeling that I make sense somewhere, like I have a history rooted in a place; this is me in context.
But here it comes, the downside. Too long in the country and, you guessed it, I start to feel claustrophobic. I hanker after the anonymity and ‘grabs you by the balls’ electricity that only being a part of London (Hong Kong, New York et al) can bring. That country-dweller feeling of ‘waiting for something exciting to happen’ makes my brain want to explode. I miss the possibilities that just walking out of your front door in London can bring. Yes, having Everything You Could Possibly Want On Tap, 24 hours a day, can have its own dangers. Yet knowing that I can lay my hands on Vietnamese food at 11pm brings with it its own kind of comfort. You see, I’m one of those people that as soon as you say ‘you can’t have Vietnamese food’ all I can think about is a good bowl of pho. Too long in the provinces and I get frustrated at the lack of good coffee, great sushi and a killer cocktail (breakfast martini at Cafe Luc, Marylebone, please). Yes, there is more to life than an artisan bakery but call me shallow, on a Saturday morning I want a stroll, an Americano and an almond croissant damn it.
However, while being a nomad suits some, I’m a real homebody and and with the arrival of Country Bebe (CB) we needed to decide – country or city? In the end our hearts won and we set up nest in Devon, by the sea. While it is bliss to provide CB with an Enid Blyton childhood (building dams in the river, running barefoot in the garden, eating sun-warmed plums straight off the tree), I’m fed up of always feeling like I’d rather be somewhere else so my aim is to live in the country and lead my ‘city life’. Hence the site’s new tagline: country life, city living. Geddit?
I’ll be recreating my favourite London breakfasts (Cecconis, Claridges, Dean Street Townhouse – oh I will miss thee), hunting out the best medi-pedis to replace my Margaret Dabbs habit and slicing my own sashimi from the local fisherman’s daily catch. Will I be able to make macaroons that will stop me daydreaming about Pierre Herme and will a homemade scrub really cut the mustard verus my trusty Fresh Brown Sugar polish? I’ve spent the last six years seeking out the best that London has to offer so my aim now is to distill that into environs outside the M25. I’m looking for my city vices in my new country home and Countryfille.com will be a scrapbook of my favourite style, beauty, food and travel finds along the way.