Country Fille, Lydia Mansi, is a simple girl at heart. She left her seaside home of Sidmouth in Devon with salt in her hair and headed to Goldsmiths College, London. Here, she learnt her trade as a wordsmith, waitressed in a cocktail bar and had one too many a-symmetrical haircuts, truth be told.
At 21, via a brief job as a suited and booted finance bod in the city (it’s a mystery to her too), she ended up at the publishing house, Archant Life. Here, she cut her teeth in every department, all the while charming the pants off the editors and taking whatever commission she could; from sourcing 10 pairs of ice tongs at 9pm in Chelsea, to reviewing a vegetarian Indian restaurant in North Finchley. Finally it paid off and her first bonafide editorial role came as assistant on Grove magazine, the glossy local magazine for Notting Hill, which is where she lived in a basement studio flat, nicknamed The Hutch.
Through her journalistic endeavours around Westbourne Grove she soon discovered the joys of Portuguese custard tarts from Lisboa on Golborne Road, countered by a class at Beautcamp Pilates; nights out at Harlem (RIP) and mornings after sweating it out at The Porchester Spa… in short, she had fallen in love with inspiring readers to love where they lived.
Soon her wanderings took her south of Hyde Park, where she was immediately seduced by the glamour of the Royal Borough. An assistant editor’s role soon beckoned on The Resident, the publishing houses’ flagship title and, to those in the know, a ‘local Tatler’ for Kensington & Chelsea.
After three years of flits to exotic climes, champagne suppers in a constellation of Michelin-starred restaurants and the demise of more than a couple of credit cards on the King’s Road she upped sticks again, hotfooting it across Green Park to Mayfair, to help launch The Mayfair Resident.
Falling in love with Claridges, Heywood Hill bookshop, Burlington Arcade and Fortnum & Mason is easy for a girl to do. As is falling in love with a handsome Italian, which she did, and became his wife.
At the dawn of a new decade, editorship of NorthWest finally felt like coming home; and indeed, geographically it was, as she now lived in Kensal Rise with her very own husband and a trio of kittens. From here she could sate her country whims with stomps across Hampstead Heath and Sunday jaunts to farmers’ markets for muddy carrots.
Then, as the big 3-0 beckoned, her next challenge arrived via the cabbage patch, Country Bebe – the newest member of the Mansi brood. So, she put aside her editor’s hat (for now) and took up the mantel of motherhood – launching this website to keep the editorial cobwebs at bay and to celebrate her simple heart’s two loves: city living and country life.