Lau­rence Llewelyn-bowen

We asked the lo­cal leg­end to name his 10 favourite things about the Cotswolds, and sent Katie Jarvis along to in­ter­pret...

Cotswold Life - - CONTENTS -

Ten years ago, the Cotswolds awoke to the sur­pris­ing news that Lau­rence Llewe­lyn­bowen – a de­signer fa­mous for star­tling TV makeovers – had moved in. From then on, Cotswold res­i­dents re­fused to close their eyes for a sin­gle sec­ond for fear that, on open­ing them, they should dis­cover Bour­ton-on­the-wa­ter draped in span­gly pur­ple faux­fur; or Blen­heim Palace clad in fetch­ing an­i­mal-print MDF.

But, soft! For grad­u­ally, over the en­su­ing years, each seems to have worked its magic on the other. No one is say­ing the gra­ziers of Minch­in­hamp­ton Com­mon have all laid chichi che­quer­board mock flag­stone-ef­fect floors. Nor that Lau­rence is re­tir­ing to run a gluten­free teashop.

Yet mu­tual love and re­spect have grown. And grown. So… We know what we value about Lau­rence and fam­ily: the tire­less char­ity work; the com­mu­nity in­volve­ment; the wit and verve; the su­per-glue loy­alty to the area they now call home.

But what does Lau­rence value about the Cotswolds?

“I know!” I tell him. “Do a ‘Top 10 Things I Love About the Cotswolds’ list! Sheep, cheese, stone, hills – that sort of thing - in hon­our of your first decade here.”

“Con­sider it done,” he says. “Call round Tues­day and I’ll tell you what they are.”

“This list…” Lau­rence says on Tues­day, as we sit in his Sid­ding­ton home. “It’s a bit of a work-in-progress.”

“What do you mean, a ‘work-in­progress?’” I ask guard­edly.

“I’ve def­i­nitely got Num­ber One,” he says, quickly.

OK, so I know he’s busy. Su­per busy. Viz:

“I’m about to start film­ing The Apart­ment [in which a glam team of pros dec­o­rate lux­ury homes in the hope of win­ning his ap­proval], sea­son five, in Jo­hor Bahru.” Where? “It now has 150m view­ers all over the world. Mostly Asia. But Mid­dle East; just launched in Ja­pan and In­dia. Has been avail­able in Latin Amer­ica. Weirdly, it’s very pop­u­lar in Venice.”

He’s do­ing a bit of Show­house Show­down in Ire­land; and more of his Lau­rence of Sub­ur­bia se­ries; (I’m imag­in­ing Seven card­board-and-duct­tape Pil­lars of Wis­dom). And there are other se­ries in Aus­tralia, Amer­ica, and – you know - more DIY SOS. And stuff.

“But that’s not my day job. The busi­ness is the big thing and that’s taken off – in the House of Fraser, China [with his House of Lau­rence range]. [So the Cul­tural Rev­o­lu­tion wasn’t in vain.]

“We’re in Courts in Singapore and Malaysia; we’re launch­ing in the Philip­pines; we’re look­ing at Thai­land and In­done­sia as well. And there’s the fi­nal push for ne­go­ti­a­tions in Aus­tralia and NZ”.

“OK,” I say, de­feated. “So let’s have it. What’s the one thing you love about the Cotswolds, then?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.